“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”
“I live every day as it comes and the main goal I have for myself is to be satisfied with what I do. One of the purposes I have in life is to help people be heard and support them through their journey of life.”
This is the story of YourDOST’s in-house expert, Elisheba Ponukumatla. Elisheba joined our YourDOST’s team of experts during the 2020 nationwide lockdown and has been passionate about the field of psychology since her school days.
“When I was in high school I was sure I wanted to get into any field of social sciences because I wanted to serve my community. Once I got into college, I picked psychology as one of my majors and by the end of my Bachelor’s degree I knew Counseling Psychology was the path for me.”
This was when Elisheba joined Sampurna Montfort College, a prestigious college in Bengaluru to pursue her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. Her time in college was the best time of her life. She was a part of many extracurricular activities in college and was doing well in her academics. Elisheba finally felt like she belonged to a place where people were extremely supportive of her skills and abilities.
“Montfort opened various avenues for me. I was on a roll during my time there and I felt I was the best version of myself, but by the middle of my third semester I knew something was not right.”
Elisheba was doing so well that eventually, she pushed herself towards burnout. All of the expectations of keeping up her grades, handling her extracurriculars and maintaining a social life were excruciating. She continued her ongoing therapy which was part of her curriculum but in her fourth semester, she was diagnosed with clinical depression and was put on medication. This was the lowest point in Elisheba’s life, as she felt helpless and was suggested to take a break from course work.
“The break was extending month after month and went on for two years, and once covid hit, the process of finishing college got delayed. During this break, I was pushing myself to finish my practicum hours and I finally completed my degree in 2020. This was possible only with the support of my family, friends and teachers who gave me the love and space to get well, and I am so grateful to them.”
This incident almost made Elisheba give up on her career as a Counseling Psychologist, but with encouragement from her college and family, she decided to start practising as a counsellor, which was when Elisheba came across YourDOST.
“I was so close to giving up on the field of mental health but my friend suggested that I apply for Counseling jobs and I ended up landing my current role at YourDOST. It changed my life for the best. The job encouraged me to build my routine and continue to work on myself.”
From feeling hopeless and bleak about the future to taking care of herself and pushing herself according to her pace, Elisheba is an inspiration to all of us. She made sure to prioritise her mental health before everything and every day has been a journey of self-discovery.
“I do not feel guilty anymore when I need a break to focus on my mental health. I am grateful for a supportive family and an amazing team at YourDOST who have allowed me to do so. Even though I am doing less, I know that I am putting my efforts into it and at the end of the day I am satisfied with my life and the things I am doing right now.”