No, you can’t always get what you want

Udaya Pillalamarri
2 min readJul 31, 2021

I drove to the ER last evening. With the last ounce of energy I had left.

I caught a viral infection few days ago and the flu like symptoms had drained my energy. In the age of coronavirus, this could be quite scary and the mind when weak can leap to disastrous consequences. Thankfully all tests came back normal, few hours on IV fluids had me feeling like I could be my own person again. I slept for the first time in three days, able to enjoy this morning’s clear breath and the kiss of sunlight on my walk with Allie.

Just before I was able to get a hospital bed, one of the late night nurses yesterday inquired if I could provide information of an emergency contact. That question so seemingly innocuous raised a storm of angst within. I had driven myself to the ER and hadn’t really informed anyone but my ex. There had been hope of some one special but that had not come to pass. I felt alone. So very alone.

Our heart and mind can be at such odds with each other at times. I believe the needle of our heart’s compass always points towards the true path. Many a time our hearts know the way forward in an instant well before our minds can convince us otherwise. Heart’s way is simple yet breathtakingly hard. My heart grieved yesterday when that question was uttered. For all it had wanted was to find a once shared path and reach out for help. Instead it forged a new one forward.

It’s hard to count your blessings when feeling weak. It’s important though to never lose hope even in those dark moments when your mind’s negativity decides to reign. Was I truly alone? No. Because the minute my mind’s fog could clear just a stretch, I reached out to friends and family. A close friend stayed on the call till my IV was in place and offered their shoulder while I cried. Yet another berated me for not telling her sooner and supported me with home cooked meals so I could recover sooner. My parents on FaceTime, my sister ready to fly over at a moment’s notice and my soul sister by my virtual side till I was discharged. Not alone. Not for one second.

“No, you can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need” — By the Rolling Stones

By dawn’s light I had found my emergency contacts. I may not have a true partner by my side, perhaps that’s the way it shall be for a long while to come. I do though have everything I could possibly ever need. This gratitude prayer on my lips is for the people who have actively chosen to be in my life and are my moat. I hope I’m able to pass it forward and be that for many others.