Freedom has its own cost and prize. Getting freedom is not a very easy task. It may ask many sacrifices and losses. The freedom has its own definition. It depends on the nature of freedom. or who or why we want to be free? What making you prisoner? Why do you think it is a prison? what is the main reason you want to come out? I am not talking about the outlaws. The person could be an outlaw of his or her own mind. You don’t have to do something against the law. Sometimes, you just do the things against your own desires and wishes. You struggle to make a decision which is right or wrong. You make mistakes which you do not have control over. You still want to repeat that mistake because you feel yourself incomplete or unsatisfied. Being unsatisfied is just a game of hunger. You can fight with the world, and you could win or loss which really depends on your determination. However, it is hard to fight with your inner self which we called a soul. For a human, it is very difficult to win his or her soul because the human mind is greedy or confused.
The story is about one of my patients. Due to confidentiality, her real name has been changed so I will refer her as Maxi. She is an alcoholic and homeless. For the past five years, I get the chance of meeting her at least 2-3 times a week. The police officer often picks her up from the different stores. Of course, she always comes drunk, and some minor abrasions/cuts on her forehead. I have never seen her coming sober with valid medical complaints. All staff members love her but they do often get frustrated due to her alcoholism. Yes, I always agree with the staff. I never paid attention to her until last night. There was some specific reason which makes me pay attention to her. Maxi is 45 years old alcoholic without any psychiatric issues. Of course, everyone blames her for his own condition. Everybody hates going close to her because she never takes shower or changes her clothes or brush her teeth. Either entire staff or Max herself don’t know when she has changed her clothes last time or has taken shower.
Last week, one of my best friends named Ziva has suffered from emotional trauma. She was a totally changed person. However, her emotional traumatic injury has brought significant changes in her life. Her nickname is a tornado. She is a hard worker and has great faith in God and her love. She has abandoned and was left alone by her loved one. The woman who was against the alcohol, I have witnessed her lying around in her own vomiting and urine and of course was intoxicated. Once she was known as a woman with courage, self-respected, and full of dignity. I knew Ziva since my childhood. I have never seen her in this bad condition. Suddenly I remember what was happened with her last week. So Ziva did have a specific reason for her condition. Everybody has blamed her current situation for her traumatic emotional injury. Everybody including myself has sympathy and empathy with Ziva.
How about Maxi? What was her life five years ago? Nobody has made any attempt to know her story. Yes everybody blamed alcoholism for being her homeless and jobless. Each time, the medic or the police officer will find her on the floor being intoxicated; of course, we will do our medical part which includes scanning her head to make sure she does not have intracranial bleed, then always discharge back to the street when she gets sober. Sometimes, the social worker has attempted to send her to rehab. However, Maxi always returns on the streets within a week or so. None of us raise the question to find out what is an actual reason behind her alcoholism. Last night, The police officer and EMS crew brought Maxi again with the same issues. Everybody including the hospital staff, paramedic, and cops standing outside of her room, and busy blaming her. Suddenly my friend’s recent trauma came in my mind. I confronted everybody and advised to leave the area. I asked many questions from myself and others but none of us came to conclusion. Everybody thinks Maxi is responsible for her own condition. Everybody also admitted that Maxi should be somewhere in the rehab facility or should be locked down for her own or others safety. The country is already facing healthcare issues. Most mental health and rehab/addiction facilities have been shut down due to a financial budget issues. I saw Ziva’s face when I looked at Max. It was a very slow day in the ED so I just sat by her. She hesitated first. She loves eating foods. So I bought some hot coffee with donuts. As against the rules, I did sit by her and ate my breakfast with her. Suddenly her facial expression changed and tears has covered her cheeks. She said, “thanks a lot”. She said slowly nobody care about her since she was 13th years old. Maxi said some people came forward to help her but got their fees by raping her including her stepfather and brother which left a non-erasable impression on her both mind and brain. It hurt my own feeling that how easily we make a judgment against somebody. so please help these kinds of people without making any judgment. Sometimes those people just need little empathy, loving, and tender care. Yes, we as a society certainly make a difference.