The moment we entered my house Peter proceeded directly to a shelf of books that were in my living room. He picked ‘Veronika Decides To Die’ a book by Paulo Coelho.
“I also decided to run, just like Veronika decided to die. I must take this one from you.”
“That is one of my favourite gifts from my wife. It helped me overcome some fears that were breaking my life. I like how the author in a simple language, explains the struggles of people suffering from different mental issues.”
My wife entered the living room. She greeted us and left. We sat down, and Peter continued talking.
“For a very long time, I only lacked courage. Since I was a young boy all I wanted was to end my life. I didn’t see the meaning of life. Why should we struggle? Does life make sense to you? You wake up every day, to meet people who don’t want anything to do with you.
At first, I didn’t agree with the doctors. How can someone like me have mental issues? I am okay. I only hate life.
However, that was not an issue. Everyone around me thought I was a freak.
Personality disorder, does that even make sense to you?
Society has classified us as difficult, manipulative, and attention seeking. The media is playing a significant role in this. It portrays people like me as dangerous. As a result, all we can do is stay away from everyone.
The distancing started when I was fourteen years old. I was the most bullied kid in the school. One day, I was fed up by the bullying. I grabbed one of the boys and bit his left hear. Luckily, other boys separated us.
The boy bled. The school nurse dressed his injuries.
I had a letter to bring my parent the following day. My mother cried in the office when she saw what I had done.
At that point, all I wanted was to run away from school. I desired to live in a world where I never had to interact with humans.”
“You mean all these started from your childhood. You must have been a strong boy to endure all those experiences.” I tried to connect with the pain that Peter had endured as a boy.
My wife was approaching, and we stopped talking for a minute. She served us with freshly prepared juice.
My wife is the most hospitable person I know. She has supported me in all aspects of my life. If it wasn’t for my wife, I could still be trapped in depression.
She came in my life at a point when I was out of shape. I remember one day she came with my brother and they forced me to get in a car and took me to a mental hospital. I wish everyone would get someone amazing like my wife to support them in their daily struggles.
“Tell me how you found yourself in the woods,” I continued the conversation. My wife had already left the living room.
“It was the beginning of my life. I finally had the courage to pursue my childhood dream. A dream of running away from everyone. I am lucky to have achieved it. You know, not everyone who does. Though, you interrupted my success.”
“Yeah, you know, I think you are talking about me. When I was younger, I had wild dreams. I don’t think I will ever get the courage to pursue some of the dreams. You can’t imagine I once had a dream of marrying princess Anne.”
We both laughed.
Peter continued talking, “You saved my life today. It was the end. I wanted to starve myself to death. Humans are not good people. Living away from them is my desire. I will achieve it someday.”
There was a moment of silence.
“I know how it feels. It’s painful. I have been there. If it wasn’t of that woman who served us juice today, I don’t know where I could be. But it’s not the end.
I know a friend who can help you. He is a licensed doctor. He has helped me. He can help you too.
If I call him now, he will be here as soon as he can.”
The conversation became too emotional. Two hours later someone was at the door.
“I think the doctor has arrived.”
My wife opened the door. Peter agreed to receive the treatment.
Three months later Peter invited me to meet his family. The family was delighted to meet me.
To my surprise, he was fully recovered. The doctor together with his family had managed to help him overcome the thoughts of self-harm. Today, Peter is a successful businessman. He runs a chain of restaurants, and he has employed over 2000 people in across Australia.