I am a doctor. I was working day in and day out during my internship and taking care of my body. I was having good number of friends, had enough money to go out and buy things that give me happiness. But still it all felt superficial. I noticed some people slipping away from my life and it felt like it was my fault, that I didn’t do enough. I have seen my emotions spiral out of control and blamed myself for every thing that goes wrong in my path.
It was never this obvious before. I had many insecurities. I used to think it was normal. Not everyone had everything and it is normal to feel incomplete. Till then, I spent years thinking that I was incomplete and bad in all aspects except my academic achievements. Insecurities about body, behavior, social life, financial situation, peer pressure handling, unable to make decisions on my own, etc. You name it, I have it. But this time, it was all mixed up and I was unable to differentiate them. It felt like all the bad feelings that I had suppressed inside for so long, were finally catching up to me.
I had knowledge about importance of mental health in general, academically. But I didn’t know I was going through something that wasn’t right. The way I was being mean and harsh to myself was not right. Then I tried to describe my feelings of loneliness to one of my long lost friends, who suggested I try therapy. It felt cool, as if in movies, that someone would decode all your thoughts and show you things that you didn’t know yourself. So I booked an appointment, without even knowing an exact reason what my problem with my life was. I just knew that something was wrong, just didn’t know what.
As I was speaking in the first session, I felt like crying. Telling everything out felt too much. It hit me all at once and I couldn’t stop crying thereafter. After that session I was scared to continue. It felt like the life I was leading, the relationships with my friends and family were all on the line. Everything might change. Some for better, some for worse. But to me, it would always be about finding my authentic self. Listening to my inner feelings and healing my wounds which were left unattended for so long, thinking that expressing emotions was a sign of weakness. It took months. It didn’t happen so easily. The moment I realised what was the root cause, I felt my body shaking. Both out of fear and out if relief. Fear because I never thought something like that would happen to a supposedly confident and strong person like me. Relief because now I finally know. Finally, I can understand why I was the way I was.
It took a lot of Unlearning and Relearing, applying what I learnt in therapy to my life and the difference baffled me. I am clearly not the same person I was. I can speak out my mind, I have more meaningful relationships with my friends and important boundaries which I can explain to anyone clearly. I slowly started understanding others emotions more. The thing with therapy is, it makes you more sensitive to people who need help. I could clearly see if anyone needed help much earlier than others. I could talk to them, offer them help or the means of help as soon as possible. I was lucky enough to have insight and seek help when I needed. But not everyone has that. Understanding myself better made me understand others better. It wouldn’t be exaggeration if I say it changed my life in a positive way and I could make that happen in others lives too.
Life feels much more fulfilling now. My journey with therapy might have ended for now. But I know whenever I need help, I would seek out the required help without hesitation. There is no greater happiness than healing your inner child and accepting yourself, with all your flaws and insecurities. On the outside, nothing might have changed much for me. But my closest ones could see the difference. The important part of all this is, even if nobody knows, even if you can’t believe it yourself, don’t underplay your mental health. Take care of yourself. Also, if you need Mental health resources, I will be just a text away to provide you the details of help for you or your loved ones.
Dr. Kodam Sree Kruthi.