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Leather Restraints

In the psychiatric hospital, there are times when we have no choice but to put an intensely violent, out of control patient in seclusion.  Sometimes we may also have to tie their arms and legs in strong leather restraints.  I will then order shots of medications, like Haldol and Ativan, to try to calm them down.


This whole scenario is abhorrent, but necessary.



I have wondered what thoughts and emotions one goes through when one is restrained, or stuck, in solitude. An extreme example comes from Herman Melville’s epic novel, ‘Moby Dick’, when a cabin boy named Pip falls into the sea and finds himself surrounded by the open ocean where  “the awful lonesomeness is intolerable.”  Pip ultimately is saved, but the damage has been done and sends him into “madness.” 



Certainly we all need moments to embrace solitude, the beauty of quiet and meditation, the time for internal work.  Private time.  We all need that.



But we would go mad if there seems no hope for interaction, if we were tied up, if we were left forever in the bobbing waves of the ocean.


This is because we all crave connection…



Let us pray for the hostages in Gaza. 


And bring them home - now.

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