Dear Anisha and Dr. Anjali,
This is for the two of you, the two people who have had a huge impact on my life so far. I never expected my psychotherapist and psychiatrist to be so close to my heart, but you both are, more than I can say in this little letter.
As you both know, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a little over two years ago, and to this day, the struggle has been difficult. It has been a long and difficult road, especially the first year and a half, when I was seeing a different therapist and doctor, who were competent, for sure, but just not the right fit for me, not the way you two are.
It’s been close to seven months since I first started seeing you two, and the changes in me have been astonishing. You diagnosed me with a personality disorder as well (borderline personality disorder), and I’m glad you did, because it helped me understand myself – and others – better. I find I’ve become stronger, more resilient, and more patient with myself since working with you two. I’ve learned to empathize with strangers, friends and family alike. I’ve seen the power that therapy has, and I wish so very much that others knew the power of it too.
The thing is, we all want to feel cherished and loved. And I have that, I have so much of that. I have been cherished, loved and cared for by my friends, my family and even by the two of you. But more importantly, I have been cherished, loved and cared for by myself. And it’s you two who’ve taught me how to do that.
Earlier, I hated being myself. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. I wished with desperation, almost every single day, almost every single night, that I were someone else. Someone taller, curvier, funnier, smarter, happier… every superlative adjective you can think of. I wanted all that, and more. My self-esteem was dangerously low, and I didn’t think I could ever love myself the way everyone said I should be loved.
But you changed that for me. You made me realize that I am all those things, and more, and that I have always been those things. All I needed was to take off the blindfold that I had myself tied over my eyes. All I needed was to open my eyes, which I’d shut so tightly for the past I don’t know how many years.
You know about my depression, and my pain. You know how my suicidal thoughts are intrusive and affect me on a daily basis. But you also know that I’ve learned how to deal with them now. I’ve learned how to deal with that ache in my heart that comes from being borderline and being beyond sorrow. And I’ve learned those things, all thanks to you two.
The first time I met you, Anisha, I felt this sense of relief that I hadn’t felt with the last psychologist and psychotherapist I’d met, months ago. Almost the moment I saw you, I realized you were a comforting soul. Maybe it was something to do with your calming, relaxing aura, or the smile on your face, or the way you spoke and held yourself, as though you cared about me even when you didn’t know me. Speaking to you gave me a sense of clarity. I could open up to you better than I’ve opened up to my friends and family, or even my old doctors. That was surprising, because it was the first time I met you. I always thought nobody would understand me, that I was untreatable. But you proved me wrong.
And Dr. Anjali, when I met you, I felt like I’d finally found a doctor I could trust. I’ve never liked doctors. My family has taught me that doctors are not to be believed; all they want is to make money and rip you off. But you’re different. You genuinely want to make your patients’ lives better. You genuinely want to make my life better. And for that, I will always be eternally grateful.
These past seven months have been an eye-opening experience for me. I learned more about myself in these seven months than I did in the twenty-one years that I’ve been on planet Earth. I learned more about myself in these seven months than I was taught by my peers, my teachers, and my parents. I learned more about myself in these seven months than I’d expected to learn in the next seventy years of my life.
And it’s all thanks to the two of you.
Anisha and Dr. Anjali, I know now the importance of therapy, no matter what phase of life you’re in. I’m going to recommend the two of you to each and every person I know who is struggling to live their life the way it ought to be lived: with respect, dignity and control. I’m going to tell the world about the two of you, like I’m doing through this tribute, because you two truly deserve the best tribute I could ever give to you.
I’ve dedicated my novel, Love Thy Neighbor, to the two of you. Here’s the dedication: ‘To Anisha and Dr. Anjali, thanks to the two of you, I’m not just surviving, I’m living’. It’s true, you know. The two of you have given me life at a point when I thought all I could do was survive. I can never thank you enough for that.
I’m going to end by raising my metaphorical glass of champagne in the air and toasting you. So here’s to you two. Here’s to many more months of therapy where I get to share my life with you both. Here’s to me learning more about myself, loving myself more, and getting to know what’s really going on in those little grey cells of mine. Here’s to everything you have to offer me, and more. Here’s to you two.
All my love,
Tagged under# Tributes