Power Isn’t given to you. You have to take it.
Anisha knows this too well.
Anisha Sharma, 20, a soft spoken but incredibly confident individual, is a B.Com (Honours) student at the prestigious Shri Ram College of Commerce, DU.
Anisha happens to be a tremendously talented singer as well as an excellent storyteller. But until a few months back, she was battling some of her darkest demons, something that she approached us for help with in Nov 2019.
This is her story.
People say it’s not real. Anxiety is just in your head. Lack of patience, memory issues, racing heart, panic attacks, headache, troubled breathing, tension in whole body, crying for no reason at all, difficulty in sleeping- I experienced them all and I knew how real it was.
Anisha had no idea what anxiety was, not until she joined college. But she felt distressed by the air of over-competitiveness that she sensed.
It made me think less about myself. I felt the need to overachieve to be considered intelligent or smart. I started hating myself for not meeting other people’s expectations.
Anisha found herself worrying excessively about failure which severely affected her concentration. She would sit with her books for hours but felt that she grasped nothing from them. This led to some unfortunate consequences.
I once scored a zero in a class test which completely shattered my self-confidence. After this incident, I developed extreme exam fear. I threw up before every internal assessment or external examinations. The horror story is that I mothered this anxiety for two and a half years.
This exam fear only got worse and one incident particularly affected Anisha. Influenced by the fact that her peers were planning to write CAT, she decided to do it too. But she had taken too much onto her plate.
At this time, I was also heading two societies in college which required too much of my time. I am a vocalist and I participated in many singing competitions across Delhi University. I couldn’t manage college studies, societies, music and CAT all at once.
Anisha ended up writing CAT, unprepared. During the exam, she started feeling a very strange and unpleasant feeling.
I found it difficult to read the questions altogether. I was seeing things in black and white. I reached out to the invigilators who proved to be of no help. I created a scene in the exam hall by puking twice in the span of 3 hours. I felt jailed and wanted to run from the hall as soon as possible.
Anisha felt so alone.
Due to the stigma attached to mental health issues, I refused to speak about it with anyone. I was worried that my parents would call me home if I told them this.
She didn’t even speak to her friends about it. She feared that she would sound whiny and irritating to them. But Anisha had realised one thing – she needed to seek help asap. She booked an appointment to meet with YourDOST Expert, Mr. Aditya Sisodia, an accomplished career counselor and life coach with over 10 years of experience in the field
When I met Aditya Sir, I had nothing figured out about my life. Over the next few weeks, he helped me organise my thoughts and made me understand what my strengths and areas of improvements are. He gave me assignments to work on my areas of improvement.
The improvement that Anisha has shown is absolutely remarkable.
Now, I am a relatively more sorted person. The self-confidence which I’ve gained is unparalleled. Aditya Sir has helped me get better with my LinkedIn engagements and made me understand what job roles I am better suited for.
Inspired by Aditya, Anisha also decided to take up a fifty video challenge on Instagram to showcase her music skills.
This is helping me get better with my mental health, one video at a time.
Very recently, she also participated in an impromptu storytelling competition for the first time and bagged an opportunity to get the story recorded by “Tape A Tale”- a platform where one can submit their audio recorded personal stories for others to listen to.
Until then, I never knew how good I was at it. This was a massive progress for me. I overcame the never ending worries of being judged and the stage fright.
We asked her if she had any word of advice for others who might be struggling like she was.
People will constantly tell you that anxiety isn’t real. Don’t trust people when they say Anxiety is just in your head. Don’t bottle up your feelings. Vent it out. Talking is important. It really helps you organize your thoughts.
Hats off to Anisha for sharing such a personal part of her life. She is truly an inspiration to all of us, and we wish her all the best.
Are you someone who has gone through a difficult phase and emerged stronger and better, with some professional help? Share your story with us to encourage thousands of others who might be struggling. Click here to submit your story.