The Orchid Farm
Why did you shoot yourself?
Mike was a 25-year old construction worker, who was admitted informally, after threatening to commit suicide. A rope he had got at his job, was still in his car by the time I met him on the ward at this large county-hospital in Sweden.
When Mike was young, another boy, Marc, came to live with Mikes family, following his parents’ divorce. Marc and Mike became friends for life.
“He was like a brother. We did everything together. And now he is gone, having shot himself with a rifle. Why did he do this? Why?”
Despite being healthy and without any medication, Mike had immediately during his admission been put on anxiolytics, anti-depressants and sleeping tablets. He was considered at high risk of committing suicide. When I met him, he was slightly restless, anxious, sad and unable to cope with his inner emotions. He came across as friendly, honest and reliable, but with a touch of inner insecurity, disguised by tatoos and a tough superficial surface.
One of the two junior doctors on the ward had recently received a doctorate in genetics. He was a very intelligent young man with a very sceptic approach towards hypnosis. He found it hard to understand that such a method could contribute with any immediate change for this suffering young patient. The other junior doctor was more open minded and curious but yet reserved.
Despite the possible outcome of failure, I invited them together with a support worker to witness one LBL session on the ward with Mike. He himself was very sceptic, without any faith, but decided to try. The driving force behind his decision was of course his inner suffering. He had nothing to loose.
Initially I was probably more nervous than the patient, but after a bumpy start I was lucky to find an entrance in to his suffering mind. Mike told me that he was found of orchids, after having been to Thailand. Suddenly he was sitting in a bungalow at an orchid farm in Thailand where he had been twice. Suddenly he knew the place like his own back pocket.
“We cross the creek and now we enter this lovely bungalow. It’s hot…I need something to drink!”
“Well…let’s have something to drink then! What would you like?”
“A beer. Marc loved drinking beers too….oooh, he is sitting right opposite me now as well! How did that happen?”
“Nice! We are all having a beer. It’s nice and cool. Ask him why he shot himself?”
“He says that it was a mistake, because he was drunk! It wasn’t actually meant to happen. He tells me that the funeral was nice, and that he liked the music with Johnny Cash! He wonders why we didn’t play his favourite reggae music.”
“His funeral? Didn’t you have a priest?”
“No, we didn’t. We were not at all like that. We had people flying in from all over Europe. Marc had loads of friends. They all came to say goodbye! We played his favourite music and held some speeches. This was the way he wanted it. ”
“What else does he tell you to do?”
“Hmmm…he tells me to go out and look for other girls. Not to be shy and dependant on my former girl friend which I used to. He tells me to take care of our father. He is very down, and I need to go back home and care for him. Marc tells me to carry the banner high…he always said that! He also mentions that I need to look after my cousins. He is firm about that. And he tells me not to commit suicide. I have so many things to do….”
The session continued for 1 ½ hour. When Mike finally came back it took him a good while to regain control of his body. My PhD colleague later said:
“I will definitely reconsider my thoughts about hypnosis and the remarkable power this method has on the subject. I am stunned.”
Mike was discharged from the ward the same day, and he went straight home to take care of his family. I smiled when I looked in to his medical file and noticed that all his medication had been discontinued.
A few days later my PhD-colleague called him to check if this remarkable recovery was true, Mike told him that he was back at work and that he had even put the rope back at its place. For Mike this spiritual experience stopped him from committing suicide, and it also opened a new door in to his higher spiritual self. On top of this remarkable change, two young doctors were introduced to the power of inner healing.