Liberation from repetition: ‘Therapeutic’ side-effects of the virus

 Liberation from repetition: ‘Therapeutic’ side-effects of the virus

Sushree Sahu

I am 28, female, financially independent, emotionally dependent and single. These are the parameters that define my overt and, more truly, my covert personality. And when I wonder, each of these parameters singly, and in combination has had a profound impact on my living and, more likely consequences of my parental living conditions. As I sit down to write this down, I can’t help but wonder how our ancestors live on in the present and the beyond through a complex system of the aforementioned parameters, call them ‘collective (un)consciousness’ if you like.

 


And if I may mention, for the first time in 28 years of living have I genuinely felt free, a sense of liberation that exudes from every pore of my skin and through all of ‘awakened senses’. The macro society continues to deteriorate as unprecedented circumstances unfold in the wake of a deadly virus. While human presence is grappling with ways to eradicate the virus generated pandemic, the resistant virus stands tall and vengeful eradicating traces of human condition in return. To be honest, I have my own individual concerns too, followed by societal concerns {it progressed in that order, evidently demonstrating human selfishness, or self-preservation (suit yourself), and maybe a good enough reason for the virus to stay put. After all, humans in their desire to perpetuate themselves and their species have had little regard for other existing ones}. Well, my self-concerns have not been any different from yours. What hit me hard was the source of income which shows a depleting trend, pretty much, overthrowing the self-parameters that I once took pride in. And of course, there’s a desire for society to fall back into its pre-pandemic normalcy, because my heart has wept for the poor daily wage earners that continue to suffer economically, as is always the case. Wow, this puts my dichotomy of selfishness and altruism into a unified solid concern.

But, as I yearn for normalcy, I can’t but deny a stronger yearn for the continuation of the current wave of affairs. I continue to feel empowered and liberated with each passing day. I have discovered, through layers of self-unawareness that the post-modern society affords us. Let’s talk about the post-modern era. I am not a dissenter, as I enjoy the luxuries of digitalisation that is the hallmark characterising our lives. I’m no longer a staunch supporter either since post-modern living has wrecked me and will continue to, unless such pandemics occur more frequently. I can’t help but think of how modern living is a conspiracy that has slowly and gradually entered our lives and killing us from within without the slightest element of looking suspicious, or even malignant. It kept me trapped, stagnant, unhappy and stunted my individual growth for all the past years. Oblivion imprisoned me with shackles that were freed by the lockdown. The oblivion was perpetuated by the repetitions of modern living that likes structure, and repetitions. Eat, work, sleep and then REPEAT!

 


I think I have for the first time understood what this truly means. And it is frustrating every time there’s a repeat to be followed. The thought of it makes me psychosomatically sick. I have repeated and repeated, since childhood with almost no courage to deviate. Instead, was rewarded (by others) for being obedient and arrogantly prided (in myself) for being a ‘hardworker’. But nothing made me content for too long. The brevity of the rewards is rather strange (either in terms of a good grade or in terms of the pay cheque at the end of the month). These transient happinesses are an illusion of postmodern living that gnaw you from inside even without you knowing until you reach your deathbed. Repetition ensconces structure giving us little courage to be deviant.

But the deviance did finally arrive. Long live the pandemic. Hail the virus. I feel enlightened and actualised as I experiment with different parts of myself, I feel more alive than I have. There’s more peace inside, more balance and a sense of progression. I have started enjoying things I dreaded once. I have become more efficient and balanced. Amid all this, I have also found myself, catching myself in each moment as I feel the nuances of every emotion that the human heart could know. Above all, I find myself getting more and more lost in my daydreams and feel happy about it. Since, that’s a constant space of respite since childhood and continues to be the most empowering faculty of my psyche.

I am evolutionary and my ancestral genes continue to thrive inside me, with the intrinsic desire to procreate and perpetuate my own. Like every other parent, I’d like to provide safety to my child, but I am unsure how the postmodern forces would prevent the repetition of the mundane with the desire for structure being utmost. But, I guess, it’s the will of the virus, if it is generous enough to disallow me from succumbing to its supremacy, and perpetuate my species at its own cost. If I am able to reach this utopia, I would pay my extreme gratitude to the virus and will attempt to do justice to it. So, that another 28 year old doesn’t get blown away by the currents of a structured stifling era.

The author is a counselling psychologist and psychotherapist at Noida-based ManagsGanga Clinic

 

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