Path to one’s successful career has never been a straight line. Imagine the kind of pressure students may go through, trying to have it all ‘figured out’ with regard to their career, with burden disguised as frustration and anger.
What may further add to that confusion is new relationships. As beautiful as this phase of life may seem, it can often leave one in a dilemma of balancing it with career. Ajay, a 21 year old design student, faced it too.
“I was confused as to what to do and what not to do in my relationship.”
Ajay felt as if his entire life was revolving around uncertainty. He found himself in a constant pool of self-doubt, not sure if he was making the right decisions be it about his career or relationships.
“I wasn’t feeling good about what I was doing with my life. If I was heading in the right direction. After a certain point, I started feeling anxious.”
Ajay was already overwhelmed with the lack of purpose and what added to it was his partner’s concerns. She was going through some of her own issues and everytime she vented out, he’d listen patiently until they started overburdening him.
“Imagine bearing your partner’s burden when you’re not in a good state of mind. I tried to be there for her but after a certain point, her problems started affecting me, to a level where I started avoiding my own mental health.”
Things changed gradually between Ajay and his partner. On one side, she was bothered with her workplace issues and on the other side, Ajay was trying to fight his own. This led to misunderstanding which further distanced them from each other.
“I asked myself if I had done something wrong.”
Problems tend to knock at our door at unusual intervals and the same happened with Ajay. While he was still trying to fill his relationship gaps, things started bothering him at work. Although he felt happy, he realised that his efforts weren’t appreciated enough.
“I like my work. But I found it hard to showcase my work to other people fearing judgement. Some people would make fun of me and there was this one time when my team leader took credit for what I did.”
With a team leader who’d make others do most of the work and take credit without adding any value, Ajay felt frustrated and started developing anger issues.
“I started to react immediately to anything I felt was not right. My rage began to reflect even in project meetings.”
It was when Ajay attended one of orientations by YourDOST, emotional wellness coach for their university, that he understood something wasn’t right. He learnt about various psychological issues such as anxiety, depression and knew that he had to seek professional help.
“I connected with the counsellor Niranjana who helped him work on my anger issues, decision making and overthinking.”
Ajay shares that with Niranjana came with the hope that he could be better. He started unfurling the meaning beneath his emotions.
“Anger is a strong emotion which might need time and effort to keep it under control. I slowly worked on it by writing down what exactly I would feel and what all I wanted to tell the person he was angry at.”
He also started asking for others’ opinions on how they feel about his anger and what they would do in the same situation. With practice and effort he was able to channelise his anger and choose assertiveness over aggressive ways. I also learnt the importance of setting boundaries and prioritising myself.
With Niranjana help, Ajay was able to see his issues from different perspectives and how different decisions will have different outcomes. By means of this, he could make a decision based on what would work best for each situation.
“I would overthink a lot. For this, Niranjana asked me to prioritise and schedule my work by writing in a calendar and break work down into smaller parts. This has helped me get clarity.”
Ajay found his expert’s tips really helpful and practised them till he was able to see positive changes in himself. He recalls how he was a little skeptical initially until he attended his first session and grew more comfortable talking about all his issues.
All of Ajay’s hard work has paid off today. He has not only been able to maintain his own boundaries but also manage his temper better. With this, he strongly believes that one and every person should seek counseling.
“Think of it like you are talking to a friend and don’t think that you are talking to a counselor. Just take one session and it might help you understand if it helps or not.”
Ajay points out the bias that one may have to face while talking to a friend or a family member as they know you. He recommends YourDOST to everyone highlighting the ‘bias-free’ space.
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.