Swastika’s Quest to Find Positivity Against All The Odds

6 minutes

Swastika's story on dealing with negativity and finding positivity during the pandemic

We have often heard, “You can be in a room full of people and still feel alone”. But have you ever felt it? Ever had a feeling of running away from a family filled with people and pets? This probably sounds like something of a phase, but what someone would do when they just can’t hold it any longer. What will they do if not reach out for help? And what will they do, if the feeling resurfaces? 

This is the story of Swastika Gosavi, a 21-year-old student of chemical engineering from MIT, Pune. Swastika’s battle with anxiety is a prolonged one, where she used to feel lost and feeble-minded from the tender age of thirteen years. Growing up in a big family as the eldest child amongst three did not make Swastika endure a safe bond with the parents. 

Swastika often felt being with herself, despite wanting to mingle with others. Being the eldest child led her to feel pressured and stressed out at a young age. This pushed Swastika to fear her parents and not having mindset of positivity. So, to feel light-hearted, she started writing a diary, but soon after, her mom found it out and took her to a counsellor, as she was worried about Swastika and her negative thoughts. Sounds progressive, doesn’t it? But the hopes of Swastika shattered after an awful first experience with the counsellor who breached her privacy. “I have decided never to go for counselling again”, young Swastika’s mind was filled with agony. 

Swastika couldn't find a way out of the home negativity and pressure from peers.

Swastika grew up with a lot of anxiety but was firm on not reaching out to a professional again. But at last, when she turned 18, she moved out of her hometown, Mumbai and settled in Pune for further study purposes. She was finally able to visit a doctor or a counsellor on her own, and so she did. But alas, she encountered another terrible experience from a counsellor. So finally, she found out about YourDOST and decided to give it a try since the services were available online.

Swastika connected with YourDOST expert, Ms Reema Singh and kick-started the journey that will change her life. Reema, possessing a calm and composed demeanor, listened carefully to Swastika’s story and guided her to modify her thought process. As a result, Swastika was finally able to trust a counsellor and was under the healing process, where an unexpected situation knocked on her door.

I had Covid symptoms, but I had not got tested yet. My roommate was already angry at me and asked me to move out. I could not even think of going back home in a toxic environment.

As Swastika started showing symptoms of Covid, she began to feel even more stressed. Scared and alone, Swastika reached out to her roommate, but instead of getting help, she received yelling and blaming. Even before Swastika was Covid positive, her friend began to get angry, threw tantrums at her, and tried to push her back home. All the torture gave Swastika a hint of PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), and she went back to her cocoon of negative thoughts.

I was not scared that I got tested positive, I was scared what will my roommate and her friends do or say now? Yell at me? Hurt me?

When Swastika tested positive, her anxiety levels increased, and she started losing faith in herself again. But this time, she did not hold back. Swastika decided to seek counselling from Reema once again, and this time, she was ready to bet it all, whatever it may cost!

With an in-depth understanding and awareness of Swastika’s history, Reema knew precisely how to help and guide her. Reema suggested Swastika practice mindful meditation to give her thoughts a break and understand the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ of the matter. 

“Burning out the anger before it burns you down.”

Usually, people tend to lash out at others, be it anyone’s fault. But in Swastika’s case, the situation was askew. Swastika never used to get angry at someone, even if she wanted to, and so Reema helped her calmly channel her genuine emotions. This way, Swastika learned how not to bottle her emotions and suffer in silence. Swastika also incorporated exercises and jogging with other practices for holistic healing. 

Now Swastika knows the importance of counseling and its benefits, which helped her through difficult times.

I had learned how to talk to people, rather than feeling shy and not expressing myself to the fullest.

Swastika shares a fascinating approach to ‘let things out’ if there’s nobody around by simply setting up a video camera and talking your heart out. This way, you will have the weight lifted off your chest, and nobody can or will judge you! And there is always an option of deleting the video in case the words trigger you later.

Today, Swastika stands tall among her insecurities, fear, and self-doubt. She is exceptionally grateful for Reema and her counselling. Swastika now accepts that her past experiences are a part of her life, but they do not define her anymore.

Swastika’s Warrior Tips:
1. Counselling is not like going to a doctor. Instead, it is a divine experience of being able to share your feelings without the fear of getting judged or hurt.
2. Counselling nowadays can be provided through audio calls, so there is no fear of invasion of privacy.

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.

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