A Very, Very Close Call

Monday 8 October, 2001

I awoke at 2am with a new pain – sciatica in my right leg. It was more acute than the dull sciatica I have had in recent weeks and it kept me awake. I decided to have a shower and a shave in preparation for a visit to the doctor’s and phoned Karaj to let him know of my decision. I went back to bed and slept until 7. I left the house at 07.15 on my way to Rugby to see my hometown doctor. I was in pain on the way to the bus stop and considered turning back, but I did not want to give up that easily so I persevered. The pain had eased a little by the time I caught the train.

At the doctor’s I could only make an appointment for 11.20, so with nearly two hours to spare I went along to George’s school to see if he was free. When I found out that he was teaching all morning I felt temporarily sad and alone – it would have been nice to have spent an hour with him. I phoned Karaj on the off chance that he would be available. I had left two messages for him since last night and I wanted to keep him informed. As it turned out, that phone call saved me.

Unbeknown to me, Karaj had left three messages for me this morning, after I had already left, urging me to contact him before I did anything. When I finally spoke to him from Rugby, he told me that I was at a critical point in my work with him. I had isolated myself, I had excluded Karaj and I had returned to Rugby, the scene of all my pain and problems. If I had kept the appointment with my doctor, I would, in all probability, never have returned to Karaj’s again, because that is my script. I cancelled the appointment and returned home immediately.

On the way, my thoughts turned to my two-year cycle. I never last longer than two years with any person or any thing or any place. I recalled Sunil’s words from a few months ago on this subject. He told me that when I walk out of Karaj’s life after two years – as is my script – I will have been given no choice, just as with my football injury. So, here I was, giving myself little or no choice but to be looked after elsewhere because of the pain I was in. Script, script, script.

It had been a very, very close call. Karaj explained to me that for some reason I had not phoned him on the office phone on Sunday evening. Had I done so I would have connected with him and three of the men because they were all there until gone midnight. At the time I had thought (assumed!) that no-one was there, that his mother’s phone would be plugged in, and the last thing I wanted was to speak to Karaj’s mum. This is how I isolated myself. Nevertheless, I had phoned again, albeit in the middle of the night, I had wanted to turn back on my way to the bus stop, and I had phoned Karaj from Rugby. All this meant that there is a big part of me, which does not want to leave, even though there is clearly a very strong and determined part of me packing its bags.

Karaj left me for half an hour to contemplate this dilemma. Do I stay and become responsible or do I leave and start again as I have done so often in my life? I have always left, moved on, run away. Now is the time to change all that forever. I am able to justify anything to myself and I could easily justify leaving: I have learnt what I came here to learn, I am able to cope much better with the outside world, and I need exposure to the outside world which is very limited at present. Furthermore, there is another habit of mine which is applicable here. When working on projects I tend to get disillusioned, bored and finally so resentful of the work that the only way out is to walk away. I would rather walk away than get on and complete the work.

These are all weak excuses but I could still convince myself of their credibility if I walked out. That is not going to happen though. I know that this environment is the best one for me to be in. I am surrounded by people who want me to succeed. Their jealousy of me and my relationship with Karaj is normal and natural, but fundamentally, they are all good people and they are all there for me. And as for Karaj, he is always there for me and he will never give up on me. He wants me to win and he will do everything in his power to make sure I do.

Ever since Sicily – and Karaj is at pains to point out that I made Sicily happen by not allowing him to postpone it – I have shown an increase in responsibility, initiative and leadership. This has been brought into sharp focus over the last two weeks and has given me a goal to work towards. A wholly worthwhile and achievable goal at that. With this in mind, it makes sense to me that my script has chosen now to mount a most powerful attack on my being, because if it does not act now and with such force, then I will win. Karaj told me that staying means the pain will get worse. I’m staying. [Karaj: This is a simple but most powerful statement.]

Related post: Changing Patterns | It’s My Script

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