How a trip to the Maldives helped me heal
“I’ll see you safe and sound all the way to the end of the woods – and then I have to go back, you know. It’s the end of my move” – White Knight – Alice Through the Looking Glass
It was 8 a.m. on a Sunday and the phone rang again. I ignored him again. I tried to sleep but couldn’t. I was awake. Irritated, I look at my phone. It was never good news. You slept with death and woke up with death. Five missed calls from an unrecognized number. If someone was so desperate to talk to me maybe, I should call back. I did.
The voice on the other end of the line asked, “I need to buy some oxygen.”
“Sorry, I think you got the wrong number,” I moved to end the call.
“Please please. I need everything you have,” the voice pleaded.
“I really don’t have one. Where did you get my number? “
“Please my mother is dying. And she needs oxygen, even half a tank “
“I’m so, so sorry I have nothing”
I hung up the phone and broke down.
This incident unfortunately triggered in me a sense of hopelessness cut off from the world and from my family who were in the UK. The clock had run silently before that, but after the call it got louder and more threatening. A constant underlying fear began to reappear in my mind that we would have a metaphorical knock on the door and be next – it was only a matter of time.
The constant bombardment of bad news began to take its toll. It started to manifest in a physical format and slowly gnawed at me. I had migraines and aches and pains every day and the medication was not helping.
After I was in pain for a while, I visited my doctor and he diagnosed me with stress-related symptoms caused by a strong jaw contraction while sleeping. He told me that he had had a massive increase in these symptoms and that the best way to deal with them was to get away, to make a physical change in your surroundings.
It was only after he pointed it out to me that I realized that I had internalized all of my emotions and needed to break this vicious cycle. Taking charge of your well-being is an important part of healing.
Travel had become restrictive due to COVID and options became limited. Europe had several well-known properties, but it was not that easy and straightforward to get to during the pandemic. India too had amazing spas and resorts for rejuvenation, but I was in desperate need of an escape. So, with the mantra going through my head: “Don’t focus on the negative, but focus on the positive” – I remembered the Maldives. I had fond memories of my visit before and knew it would help me focus on the positives. It had to be my white knight, my Eat Pray Love moment.