To be honest, it took me a long time to gather my strength not to write this article. For months I thought about how I would sit down at the computer, take a deep breath … and not write anything I had planned. Because the topic is painfully difficult, complex, dangerous, on the verge of a foul. But everything comes to an end. More precisely, the result. Let it be intermediate.

This is how you would react if a man with a stern but noble face approached you on the street, took out some hardcover book from his pocket, opened it and showed the place where your last name is on the left, and the mark “2” on the right (“unsatisfactory”)? He showed and even voiced, they say, are you a name? So know you got a deuce! Said and disappeared, evaporated. Leaving you to wonder why “failed” and why “failed”.

Strange picture, isn’t it? But in life, very often this is exactly what happens. They say that any illness is given to us for some kind of sins, misconduct, the consequences of which can only be redeemed by moral and physical suffering. And a person will get sick until he drinks the whole cup to the bottom. Or until he understands exactly what his sin is, and does not repent – sincerely and wholeheartedly.

The trouble is that we, as a rule, do not know the reason, we do not understand why exactly this punishment befell us. That is, in general, everyone knows that yes, they are sinful, we lead the wrong way of life, we deceive, we envy, we are rude and all that. But everyone suffers from this, so why doesn’t everyone get sick? More precisely, why does one have a runny nose, and the other has meningitis? Why did one fall and only plant a bruise, while the other broke his spine?

Three and a half years ago, I registered with our local oncologist. With a hematological diagnosis. Hematology seems to be a completely independent science that studies blood diseases. But for some reason, we have it, like a small nesting doll, hidden inside a large one. And everyone who passes through the relevant diagnoses falls into the close embrace of oncologists. True, a large nesting doll, as a rule, is quite far from the problems of a small one, although it is obliged to supervise patients of both profiles.

I will not describe my condition for several months, while the diagnosis was established, I will keep silent about how difficult it was to accept it. I secretly wrote about all this all over the world on my blog, and not for some kind of hype, but so that I could share with someone, get support and good advice from someone, and most importantly, for myself, in order to understand how to all this to live. After all, people with similar or very similar diagnoses, with whom I was in the hospital, told a variety of and, alas, rather sad stories, describing the gloomy prospects for the development of the disease itself and the sensations after chemotherapy.

Then there was a year, during which I had to periodically go under droppers. And another two years of maintenance therapy – also droppers, but much less frequently.

A few months ago I was told that I was free for the time being: “Now you will come not once every three weeks and not once every two months, but only twice a year, and even then to be examined for the presence or absence of new tumors. This is not yet a complete recovery, but it is no longer a disease in its classical sense.

What has this epic taught me? Not to say that now I am completely different from what I used to be. Some conclusions, of course, for themselves made. Tried to get rid of something. Buy something. Something to learn. If before I lived as if there was an eternity ahead, now they made it clear to me: here you walked along the edge, almost falling into the abyss, but it’s not a fact that a smooth and smooth road lies ahead of you to the very horizon.

But what do I know about the causes of my illness? Nothing. Indeed, even those hematologists with whom I had the good fortune to communicate for a long time over the years honestly admitted: alas, medicine has not yet reached the level of understanding why all this appears! We may have learned how to treat (I personally was lucky with this, the course chosen by the doctors turned out to be successful), but so far there is no way to predict and predict. No one can give absolutely no guarantee that no one, including myself, will have the same thing tomorrow, and in the same way it is impossible to say in advance how it will all proceed.

… In the novel by the American writer Irwin Shaw “Tolerable Losses”, the main character, an employee of a literary agency, begins to receive threats over the phone. And he cannot understand who and why is doing it. And then he begins to stir up the past in his memory, trying to find the cause of his current troubles there. And gradually it turns out that many could have had reasons to threaten him. Just for the time being, he did not think about these people at all, because there was no reason. And now there is a reason. Yes, what…

Have you ever thought that you once did something that hurt someone, in a way that you didn’t even know existed? I understand that if you think about it all the time, you can go crazy. Moreover, in the pedagogical environment it is very fashionable to say the phrase “Do no harm!”. Many even declare that they base their entire professional activity on this principle. And some even live in accordance with it. Although “Do No Harm!” – this is about our meaningful words and deeds, but what about everything else, when we either simply didn’t think, didn’t take into account, let it go by, didn’t notice, ignored, and someone suffered from this and considers it guilty us? This is how you live, not knowing grief, until you meet someone who will remember all this and tell you. And after that you walk around shocked at the thought that a person held a grudge against you for so long, concealed evil, and you are neither a dream nor a spirit. Or did he know, but did not want to think about it? ..

They say you can’t live with past grievances, you have to forgive and / or apologize, forgive and / or say goodbye. And if you constantly take out some relic grievances from the old chest about what happened to your ancestors before such and such a knee, and blame modern descendants for all this, those who harmed your ancestors, this is at least unproductive and unconstructive, We must live not in the past, but in the present. But there are other points of view, they say, it is on the platform of historical grievances that everything is held up in our country, it is worth destroying the foundation, and everything will collapse. And how to live in a new way, we do not know.

… The protagonist of the mentioned novel by Irwin Shaw, as it turned out at the very end, just became a victim of some kind of psychopath, to whom he did not actually cause any harm, but because of which he was forced to get so nervous and change his mind.

Could it be the same with diseases? Maybe the disease, like in roulette, strikes people according to the principle of that very (or any other) children’s counting rhyme: “They sat on the golden porch: the king, the prince, the king, the prince, the shoemaker, the tailor … Who will you be?” Or like that joke about Sigmund Freud: “Sometimes a cucumber is just a cucumber”?

And it’s not just individuals who get sick. And now I’m not even talking about the coronavirus pandemic or any other infection. Countries, nations, peoples, states are sick. They get sick and suffer. Some are cured by enduring hardship and adversity. Someone dies, unable to overcome a formidable disease. And someone, having been ill, acquires immunity. Although even in this case, the realization of why and for what all this was given to them does not come to everyone.

Catharsis is purification through suffering. The question is: is suffering so necessary?.. But how to accept a situation in which you are sentenced and not told why? Search for the article by which you are being judged?

Parable about cholecystitis

The man’s side hurt. He went to the doctor in a regular clinic. The doctor examined him, concluded that this is a typical cholecystitis. He advised me to eat less fat and gave medicines for the liver. It helped at first, but then it hurt again.

Then the man went to a folk healer on the advice of his friends. The healer listened, felt, touched and stated that cholecystitis is a consequence, and the cause of the disease sits much deeper: poor posture leads to numerous pinched nerves emanating from the spine, which in turn has a detrimental effect on the work of a number of systems, primarily digestive, hence the failures. He prescribed manual therapy for him. Helped. But only for a short time. Again, it hurt under the right rib, even climb the wall.

A peasant trudged to the Buddhist lama, who was passing through from unknown lands. The first thing he asks is: “And what exactly is the problem, dear man, that oppresses and crushes you, if your spine is so bent? That’s when you find and isolate it, then come, but until then there is no point in treating you. But when you find it yourself, then you can manage without me. The man, it was, cheered up, but then he realized that he did not understand anything, and again twirled. And the disease is getting worse and worse!

Then the peasant gathered his last strength and went to a distant skete, to a monk who was revered as a saint. He barely crawled, and the saint from the threshold declares to him: “All your sores are due to the fact that you live incorrectly. Hence the problem that oppresses you, bending the spine, causing disruption of the digestive system and, ultimately, cholecystitis. Learn to live correctly – and you will become immortal!

Then the saint smiled blissfully and disappeared, instantly transported to paradise.

And the man died because he did not understand how it is to live right.

And, of course, he went to hell.


Vadim MELESHKO, photo by the author


Message Guilty! first appeared on Teacher’s newspaper.