As a school going child, I was average at everything. It was nothing that bothered me of course; not until I entered my 12th standard. As I struggled with my board year, the harsh reality of choosing a career hit me. Ironically though, more than me, it was my family and relatives who were going ga-ga over my future.
“Ab aage ke kya plans hain?” was the only question my life revolved around. People would nag me and label me as someone with absolutely no ambition in life. Like most parents, even mine wanted me to choose between medicine and engineering – neither of which I was interested in.
Thanks to them, I felt as though students giving JEE and NEET exams were the only ones who were productive in life, or rather the “good” kids with “real” aspirations. I began to loathe myself, and felt like an absolute loser each time I would look into the mirror. Nothing seemed to excite me anymore. I would even skip meals to avoid family interactions at the table.
Over time I lost weight, looked sickly, and always wanted to be left alone. I felt that only a miracle could save me from losing my mind back then.
The Turning Point
One day, I had my cousin brother visit us. He had been through the exact same situation, but was a successful architect in today’s time. My conversation with him was an eye opener – nobody but I could help myself. Only I could make that miracle happen for me. Despite the realisation, I was yet low on confidence, and that was when I got in touch with a life coach to help me work through things.
I wrote to my parents.
Yes, I was living under the same roof as they were, but I decided to chuck the option of speaking to them this time. Writing to them allowed me to pour my heart out completely, and also helped me avoid any arguments in case they would cut me in between to put their points across.
Organizing my thoughts
There were multiple things I needed to take care of : improving my health, choosing a career, and working on my confidence. I designed ways of approaching each of these goals by penning things down. This not only made me feel a sense of direction, it also made my objectives appear more achievable.
Seeking help regarding my choice of a study program
Because of my depressive state, I had cut all ties with everyone. Asking them for help was not an option, because they would judge me; so instead, I went online and posted my queries anonymously on portals such as Quora, and to my surprise, I had many people come to my rescue. The internet had never seemed more useful until today!
Talking myself into eating well
I knew that in order to get better, I had to improve my physical health. I talked myself into refraining from skipping any meals. My mother was smiling again, as she saw her son take a liking towards eating after a long time. It was difficult initially, but over time I managed to restore my eating habits to their healthy state.
I began to exercise
Being a person who could not follow monotony, I would take turns in going to cycle one day, swim on another day, and also visited the gym to build up on stamina. Other than physical, I also felt emotionally strong. My confidence was coming back.
Now that I was in a better place, I began reaching out to my friends, and apologized for cutting myself off. Being people I had called my friends for a while, they not only understood my situation, but also warmly welcomed me back! It was a great feeling to be able to connect with them after so long. Better late than never, right?
Lastly, the person who helped me get here – my life coach introduced me to the concept of mindfulness. I was made to realize that it is not just about thinking positive, but aligning those thoughts with your feelings and action. Something that contributed greatly towards my ability to practice mindfulness was meditation. I had looked up a few tutorial videos online, and as tough as it seemed in the beginning, I eventually managed to meditate once every few days. It was not something I did too religiously since I would get bored of it, but I can safely say that meditating brought me closer to myself.
What I gained by connecting with my Life Coach:
I received a lot of encouragement and motivation to overcome my depression. This made me feel confident enough to take initiative and try in the first place
My thoughts were organized – I viewed my wishes as my goals that had to be fulfilled, and was made aware of my strengths and abilities which would help me achieve them
Beyond all judgements and personal biases, my life coach always pushed me to at least try, because without trying I would never know what the outcome would have been like for me
The importance of emotional and physical well-being was made clear to me, and this helped me to not give up, and maintain perseverance
Lastly, my life coach always left me gentle reminders about a universal truth – Nobody chooses depression, but the decision to overcome it can always be a choice that one makes!