Earlier this year, I received a call from a Reiki student of mine. She said she was ready to do her Master Level Training.
This woman had been diagnosed with a major mental health challenge in 2015. It was so severe that she was hospitalized for some days and received psychiatric treatment.
After she regained some stability and normalcy, she approached me for Reiki training.
Soon after she received her Level 1 attunement, she had some breakthroughs in her personal and professional life.
She dropped by one day to share her happiness with me.
As we chatted and laughed together, her face suddenly turned grim.
She said, “Haripriya, I feel so blessed. I bounced back to normalcy pretty quickly after this mental health crisis. And then Reiki came into my life and I experienced such wondrous shifts.”
“That’s so good for you, isn’t it?” I said, wondering why she looked serious.
“Yes. But I really don’t like the fact that psychiatric treatment is going to be a permanent part of my life. I know I risk a relapse if I discontinue treatment. And I don’t like this one bit! I wish I had been cured for good. But I know there isn’t a cure for this condition at the moment. Can you help me here?” she said.
Since I have no medical background, I felt I ought not to offer random advice.
So, I said, “I understand your feelings. Please give me some time. I will get back to you with some insight into this. Meanwhile, please continue with whatever medical treatment you may be on and do keep up with your Reiki practice too.”
I then spoke to a couple of psychiatrists I know well.
I understood from them that-
1. While some people with mental health challenges need just simple short-term treatment, others require ongoing longer-term treatment.
2. Many people fear the side effects of psychiatric drugs but don’t understand that the risks of not taking them when medically indicated are far worse than any side effect they may experience. Some others view a psychiatric diagnosis as a ‘stigma’ and have a hard time accepting the challenge they are faced with.
3. Many people give in to fear or misconception midway and abruptly stop treatment. This then puts them at a risk for relapse. And treatment gets more difficult with every episode of relapse. Patients then place the blame on the treatment itself, saying it didn’t help, remaining blind to the fact that they were not patient enough to stick with it, and discontinued midway (or modified treatment as they deemed fit).
4. The best outcomes are experienced by people who move forward with a sense of trust, who abide by medical advice from a professional they trust, and who are consistent in their effort to get better.
After I had a thorough understanding of this, I called my student over for a discussion and explained everything I had understood to her.
She broke down.
“This is exactly what I am going through,” she wept, “I simply cannot accept the fact that I have this problem. I feel like I am a crazy woman or something.”
I held her hand and said, “I understand. It’s OK to be upset. And you aren’t a crazy woman. Please trust me when I say this. Do allow yourself some time to grieve. But whenever you are ready, do you think you can come to an acceptance of the situation? I can help you if you require support.”
She said, “I will try.”
She called me after four months.
Even before I could ask her a question, she said excitedly, “Haripriya, I have been practicing Reiki every day without missing a single day in between. I feel this has helped me accept my situation as it is and I am feeling WAY lighter. This acceptance has also helped me look at the positive side. My medical treatment is helping me lead a near-normal life. I am no longer the pale woman I used to be. I have a lot more energy and zest for life. I am motivated enough to take care of myself. I spend time in nature after work every day. I have joined a weekend aerobic class and I also took swimming lessons last month! I even managed to attend a high school reunion yesterday. This would have been impossible for my previous self! I so hated meeting people when I was affected by that condition. And the icing on the cake is that I even received a promotion at work! My doctor says I am making excellent progress and that if I continue this way, my need for medication and therapy would be tailored accordingly.”
Her voice was reverberating with excitement and I held back from saying anything until she had poured her heart out.
She finally finished with the sentence – “My ability to accept my situation for what it is and keeping up with treatment brought about these miraculous shifts!”
I said, “Wow, wow, wow! I am so very happy for you. Keep shining like a star!”
She went on to do Reiki Level 2 in 2016. And she is now a Reiki 3A practitioner!
She is doing great. When required, she has no hesitation in revealing that she is on long-term psychiatric treatment for a condition that has no cure at the moment.
She has accepted her life as it is and does everything in her power to support herself physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and also medically.
She doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her anymore for she is so busy living her life to the fullest.
She no longer sees herself as a broken lunatic. She sees herself as an empowered woman who has risen like a phoenix from the ashes!