I could not accept the fact that 20th. Sep.1980 was the day when my father was no more in this world due heart failure. The shock caused such a strange impact on my brain that even after burial of his dead body I was expecting his come back home for about a month or so. I was mentally not present in current time thus my interaction with the people around me was intermittent and a little abnormal. I used to take medicines advised by a psychiatrist of an International repute, repairing televisions & VCRs as a hobby whole night and driving car to my permanent job in the morning. I was working as Aircraft Engineer in Pakistan International Airlines where I used to check and certify avionics components while used to troubleshoot the snag if technicians were not able to find. This routine continued for three years and there was no complaint against my responsibilities or workmanship by my subordinates, colleagues or seniors though I was absent minded most of the time. I was dealing with my family life, with four kids, quite satisfactorily except felt some memory loss and developed some unknown fears of my death which then converted in to multiple types’ phobias, like falling of ceiling fan on me while in bed. I was not able to sleep for about a month and used to go out of my house in the street, but used to come back after a while with a fear of break open of the street and buried under the earth. One morning I was supposed to fly from Karachi (My base station) to London for a training course with Smiths Company, but as the doors of airplane closed, I started shouting to open the doors and let me down due to the fear of plane crash. My panicky request was well understood by Captain of the flight and I was off-loaded. I came out of the plane and felt as if I got a second life to live. This news spread in organization like fire as well as at home. All my seniors were disappointed and my wife’s blood pressure shot up to a level of high risk.
Even with all above happenings I didn’t lose hope to live and kept on fighting with alternate methods of treatment like homeopathic, herbal, spiritual and what not. You know a completely helpless person can go for anything suggested to him in search of resolve to his problem. Finally I restarted reading Holy Quran on daily basis and five times prayers as prescribed in Islam. I was almost broken up as my hair color changed to grey as a whole and all my teeth became so loose that twelve of them came out during eating normal bread. I am not sure neither doctors could determine, including my psychiatrist, which particular approach brought me back to Normal Life and I travelled to Singapore on vacation with family after three years. I came to know by the report of a Medical Board of Civil Aviation constituted for the final decision of my retention or firing from such a sensitive job.
The report stated “Mr. Syed Musarrat Ali suffered a disease called Schizophrenia, persistency of anxiety caused Nervous Breakdown and resulted in Airplane Phobia. Fortunately no loss/damage is done to Airline during his illness of three years, but from now onward, he must not be assigned any responsibility related to aircraft components, rather should be deputed to work on Ground Equipment only, keeping in view his above average performance throughout previous nineteen years of service”
Later on I proved my excel by designing and fabricating 52 manual test benches to testing aircraft components and saved a huge amount of foreign exchange. An appreciation letter signed by M.D. PIA was placed in my Personal File.
I have learned following lessons from my true story:
- Accept the reality ASAP.
- Build the trust level within as no one else can judge it from outside.
- Never ever lose the hope to live.
- Stretch out the muscles of “Will Power”, the more they get stronger, the more fluids will grow in the brain. Remember that unlimited fluids can be produced needed for re-generation of dying cells provided the thought process is Positive. For details read First Article of My Life published on-line at Tibworld.com and Pakistan Times Malaysia. .
- I and you can do anything we wish if we have conviction to overcome hurdles come across and have Trust within.