From Darkness to Light…
— How I find my way back to light from the overwhelming hands of darkness…
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
― Nelson Mandela
August, 3rd 2013. I still couldn’t remember why I woke up early that day. I was usually a late- riser. I took my time to wake up from the hands of slumber. However, that day I woke up too early.
Maybe, it was a bad dream that startled me, but I hadn’t had the chance to lay back down. The sharp stinging pain at the bottom of my stomach, like someone was jabbing my uterus with a jagged blade, made me erect. I was quick to reach the bathroom and quick to find the flow of blood. If it was a normal day, I would have done what any women must have done in that situation, but it wasn’t a normal day and I wasn’t a normal woman, that time. I was pregnant.
The pain now radiated through my body, and finally reached my heart with a razor sharp sting, as I watched the thick peel of blood flowing out– blood of my future little girl or boy. I stood up, wiped my face with water and walked out.
The emptiness in my stomach mingled with the intricate details of pain, made me gasp aloud in pain. It was like a heart attack, in the emotional sense. I feared the loss of this precious life inside me, but I couldn’t even comprehend it.
I walked towards my room, clutching the throbbing stomach and sat down on the bed. My husband was fast to approach me, his face morphed into concern. He was quick to leave me to fetch the auto. I waited with abated breath. I knew what it meant, but my void eyes were fixated on the empty wall, as I kept repeating ‘No, no… please, God, No.’
Finally the auto had arrived and I hauled myself in the empty seat. The strange smell of the morning air and the mist enclosed me, blanketing me in a protective bubble. I snuggled inside the bubble, trying hard to find solace. The sobs fizzing from under my throat was stuffed back. I stifled a groan at the rush of pain whenever the auto had to cross the bumpy roads.
The first stop was relatively a small clinic. The big board in the front said 24 hours, but I still couldn’t understand why they had that board. There was only a receptionist and that was it. I dragged myself back to the auto, and this time I was sure the time had passed.
The next stop was a big, looming hospital. I climbed the stairs and slumped in the chair as my husband talked with the receptionist. He came back to me and said there were no doctors. Another 24 hour hospital, with no doctor, not even the nurses. And it wasn’t even midnight.
It took at least another hour to find the hospital that was working. My body was beaten by then – completely worn-out and in the suffocating ache radiating from my abdomen, I couldn’t even comprehend the emotional pain.
There was a cricket match going on the television. There were cheers. Loud claps. I felt like I was the only one who wasn’t smiling that day. I was alone, and I was scared when I was placed in a small room. My body sighed when it found a bed to rest and my heart and mind started working.
I hated crying in front of people, so I tied my emotions in a little black box and was trying hard to push it in the back of my mind when a lady doctor came in. She had a beautiful smile and a sincere tone, which immediately comforted me. She checked my vitals, pressed my hands.
“I am afraid.” I said, voice shaking. She asked me to stay strong. I was staying strong, but I wanted to break down, then and there. Fear engulfed me, ate me and fogged my mind.
When they let me stay in the bed, I started thinking about everything. The thoughts in my mind were jumbled, out-of-order and I couldn’t find a connecting thought to another. Turning to the wall, I let the first tear slip down, but soon someone else came in and I’d been stolen of the privacy to cry, silently.
I was given the IV and the injections. I watched it all with a helpless fury. It was as if I was acting in a presaged drama. After that one slip of tears, I was suddenly very calm – calm and voiceless like a goat to the slaughter house. The smiling and generous nurses comforted me and took their time to speak – though I didn’t know their language and they didn’t know mine.
Finally, garbed in a green coat, I walked inside the small operation theatre. It smelled of chlorine, anguish and melancholy. It smelled of blood and loss and fear. I laid on the green bed. My palms were cold and my heart was thrashing.
When the anesthetic was administered through the plugged needle, the world became dull and dim. Everything danced in front of my eyes, and I saw the distorted images. I felt vulnerable and I wanted to run far away, to a secure place. Finally, my eyes dropped down to the gentle tone of the doctor, asking me to go to sleep.
‘Everything will be alright.’ She kept saying and even though I didn’t trust her, I gave into the power of the sedatives. The world became pink and then black – an overwhelming darkness enshrouded me and I was gone.
When I woke up again, I could feel the emptiness in my heart, soul and my stomach. The feeling of loss was still stifled by the sedatives, but I knew I’d feel it soon. I just wanted to feel numb, so I closed my eyes again and slept…
It was later that night, I came to the conclusion that I had lost something that was so close to me. When everyone slept and when the wails of dogs echoed in the night, I finally cried along with the dogs… Silent tears slipped down my cheeks and drenched my pillow.
I feared that I would go insane. I feared that this was going to be my destruction. I didn’t want to let the niggling fear inside, but I had no choice. It was like a rush of flood, never leaving me alone.
In the coming days, I continued to sit at the empty night, crying and continued to stare at the walls, trying to find the power back. When I slept, I feared I would wake up again and go through it the second time. Sleep was like a distant memory and the only thing I could do was sit, think about what if’s and then cry. Not a great therapy, but it helped.
The fine line between a dream and a reality was what kept all of us sane. I was literally close to falling prey to those thoughts.
‘I am not going anywhere. I will come back.’
The small sound of a beautiful little boy and his giggles was what saved me from my insanity and the punishing terror. From the clawing hands of emptiness, pain and suffocation. I fought the insanity and try to emerge out from the darkness of my own thoughts. It was not an easy job for me. It took me time, to do it alone, all by myself.
‘Will you come back to me?’ I didn’t know whether I was asleep or awake when that happened. I couldn’t remember.
‘I will, mommy. I promise.’ The little boy ran into the streams of light and vanished behind the rainbow, and I chased him to the light from the darkness.
That little light of hope… that dream… it brought me back from the hands of fear. Of gloom.
That was the last time I cried with suffocation and feared every turn in my life. I still found myself sniffling whenever I think of the baby, the loss and the pain, and still feared that someday this would happen, again… but I am stronger now; I have find a way to slip past my thoughts and terminate my fear. Thanks to the God and His help. Thanks to the friends and family who comforted me and stayed by me. Thanks to that dream.
I started to pen that instance again and again, a story, an article… to remember the life I had lost. To remember that I was healed and saved by God. To remember that I had once let the fear overcome me and to remember never to let that happen again…