‘Life is a sufficient book.’‘1 – François Jacob
Psychiatrist: Why are you at our psychiatric hospital, Antonia? You have been brought here by a procedure of forced admission from an emergency psychiatric centre.
Antonia: Because my husband, his family and you consider my euphoria may be dangerous to myself and others… Because such fierce despair and desire have been awakened in me, having been confined in the box that society forces us to fit in… Because for the people who keep their souls imprisoned by the ropes of routine, my presence is disturbing and discomforting… Just because I want a divorce and be free in my spirit and follow my dreams… And, indeed, I had the honour of being accompanied by two policemen during my transfer, within the framework of the forced admission procedure.
Psychiatrist: Do you acknowledge that the long period of stress at work this year, especially this autumn, has derailed your normal way of life? You had everything to be happy, satisfied. You were happy, right?
Antonia: No, my mind and soul were not truly happy. Fulfilling one’s material goals and settling down shouldn´t mean everything and represent the only purpose of one’s existence. In this respect, I am so grateful for the experiences I have had over the past few months. Thanks to the recent surgery and the ongoing stressful period, I have realised that the only moment available to us to enjoy is NOW! Happy Carpe Diem! The stress has also been a catalyst in bringing to the surface the frustrations concerning my relationship with my husband that I have been sweeping under the carpet. Most of them are related to cultural differences, especially to a mentality gap: his need for certainties and his fear of changes versus my exuberant attitude towards seizing the unexpected moments that life creates every day through its invisible threads.
Psychiatrist: It´s Christmas Eve, Antonia. What is your dearest wish?
Antonia: What a meaningful question! Thank you for asking. It opens so many windows of possibilities. Well… to write a book about my experience of being a prisoner at your hospital, but one whose mind is free and beyond in liberty. Above all, I wish to live each day by its magic and not to live this life anymore in expectation, in the virtual reality of unaccomplished dreams.
Psychiatrist: See you next time, and Merry Christmas, Antonia!
Antonia: Merry Christmas to you and your family, Doctor! It will be the first time (and for sure the only time in my life) that I spend Christmas and New Year´s Eve at a psychiatric hospital, at a hospital of any kind. By the way, I received a fantastic present at our special Christmas Eve Dinner. We had been free to choose our place at the table, and each plate contained a piece of a wrapped paper. The text that chose me (nothing is coincidental) was the following: ‘Every new day is a chance to change your life’.