Updated: Jun 19, 2021
They woke up every day with unkempt hair, fallen pillows, an unclean bed, an empty bottle of wine, and a broken wine glass. You’d wonder why a broken wine glass? I am not sure either. It was maybe because they felt that a wine glass reminded them of their previous lovers, or it was because of how futile wine glasses were; wine could be consumed directly from the bottle when the aim was to empty it in a day.
After identifying as an individual belonging to the LGBTQIA++ community, they started denying “love”. They felt that love is nonsense. It’s an idealistic concept that does not exist in the real world. For them, love was synonymous with dystopia. Each time they fell in love, people questioned it, disrespected that relationship, and bullied them. That’s when they decided that the only way they can experience the “high” that love brings with it would be through the “high” attained after drinking a bottle of wine.
The lockdown was lifted when it had been 40 days since they started emptying a bottle of wine every day. One of their friends came over to their place for a get-together after five months of the lockdown. Little did she know about her friend’s recent routine of emptying wine bottles. She was shocked at the number of wine bottles she saw as soon as she entered the house. There were 40 wine bottles arranged in a line. Jacob’s Creek, Sula, Myra, Fratelli, Grover.
Some were decorated with lights and candles, whereas others were just empty or broken from ends (just the way they felt, too).
She was so shocked that her excitement of seeing her friend subsided. Ignoring this feeling that she had, she tried to initiate a conversation with them. Even while they were having some random conversations about life, admissions to colleges, work from home, family concerns, she couldn’t stop focusing on those wine bottles. 40 minutes into the conversation, she couldn’t help but address the amount of alcohol they had been drinking.
To that, she received the response that, “A bottle of wine a day keeps all doctors away.”
To give you a little background, they ‘came out’ to their family one year back and told them about their relationships. The response they received was alarming. The family refused to accept that their child belonged to the community. They did everything to make their child “normal”. They called priests, conversion therapists, homeopathy doctors, and psychiatrists who could provide medications to change their child’s gender identity.
Currently, they live alone in a flat near their college. They couldn’t return back home before the lockdown. And they preferred it that way. During the beginning of the lockdown, they were happy and relaxed since they didn’t have to go back home and initiate any other awkward conversation regarding their gender identity. Gradually, their feelings were quite tormented and they felt uneasy. 40 days back, they reached their peak of emotions. Their emotions became intolerable and they couldn’t see a way out of them. For them, mental health professionals did not seem like an option because of the fear that developed in them regarding getting “converted” to become “normal”. That’s when they found a bottle of wine to be their source of comfort, solace, mental peace, and sleep.
Their friend sat down next to them and informed them about the mental health profession and how it is different from what they think it is. She introduced them to some queer affirmative therapists and requested them to take a step towards bettering their mental health. Even though she experienced a lot of resistance and retaliation from them, she emphasized the need to begin therapy at the earliest.
She, herself, did not know a lot about therapy but had a strong belief in it because of how mental health concerns have been receiving increasing importance in today’s generation. She encouraged them to obtain resources and do their research on mental health concerns. She ensured them that she would do her best to be there and support them throughout their process of healing. She also emphasized that through the process of healing, they may gain more confidence and support to explain themselves and their identity to their family members. Research would give them an opportunity to understand more about their community, about others in their community, and grow a stronger group of allies and social support towards a better lifestyle.
She told them that, “A bottle of wine doesn’t keep all the doctors away, but they, themselves, along with a lack of understanding about their own community, mental health concerns, and the mental health profession have resulted in keeping confidential, convenient, accessible therapy and qualified therapists away.”
When you find yourself or your loved ones engaging in behaviors that are harmful to them and for those around them, encourage them to seek professional support. Don’t discriminate based on their gender identity, sex, age, nationality, caste, color, or any other demographic variables. Mental health is as important as physical health. Book your Initial Consultation with us on https://www.themoodspace.com/freeconsultation or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Take a step towards bettering your mental wellbeing because you deserve it!
Written by – Virachi Chaudhary