A creative soul with a passionate mind – this is how we describe Swati! She is a very active and artsy student from the school days, who is often found with her sketchpens, probably drawing tattoos on her hands, with her mind full of hope and faith. Evolving from pen and paper to a digital artist, Swati is now a third-year Fine Arts student. Nowadays, she lives a very relaxed life, sitting at home, bonding with family, and of course, learning new skills each day. But, life wasn’t always grateful to Swati. When Swati was in her second year of college, she started feeling uneasiness and doubts with her then relationship and ex-partner.
“I got involved with my best friend. I didn’t know what love is, and so I never really understood the relationship. It just happened, because of the emotional bond we had.”
Soon after getting into the relationship, Kiritka began to feel confused with all the overwhelming emotions, and she even started questioning her partner whether the companionship is long-term or not. Months passed, but heaviness was not leaving Swati, and when she encountered her first anxiety attack. Alone and confused, Swati did not know what was happening to her, and to her surprise, she had a panic attack. Swati realised something is not right with the relationship.
“My partner was getting more insecure day by day and that led me to lack clarity. He began to get into my private space and when I confronted him about this, he simply did not acknowledge my feelings.”
The whirlwind of emotions and inability to cope up with it left Swati heartbroken. Her relationship was going south, and she started losing focus on her goals. The relationship went on and off for some time, but when Swati decided to end this toxic relationship, she was not prepared to face the emotions that followed. She mentions, “I was unable to let him go. I started getting regular panic attacks and began to cry out loud. People around me started getting worried for me.”
Swati has a very loving and supportive mother who suggested not letting the emotions dominate her. It was at this moment when Swati decided to seek professional help.
Swati reached out to her friends about her issue, but alas, they were not supportive of her and even did not encourage her to seek guidance from a professional. So finally, Swati decided to take matters into her own hands and reached out to YourDOST.
“I was scared and triggered with every little thing around me. When I contacted YourDOST, I chose to seek counseling from Ms. Madhura Saha, and that was one of the best decisions I had taken at that time.”
When Swati started counseling with Madhura, she was a naive girl who did not understand herself well. Madhura helped her by acknowledging her emotions first and then trying to modify them. “I felt liberated and relieved after my first session with Madhura,” says Swati. Even Swati’s mother was able to see the difference in Swati’s behaviour and thought process as the sessions progressed. Madhura helped Swati regain her confidence in herself by letting her know that therapy is not just for people with mental illness or those with an onset of a mental disorder. This nudged Swati to open up and speak about all of her issues.
“Madhura gave me the courage I needed. I was able to see behavioral patterns of mine and was finally confident that Yes! I can do this!”
Madhura suggested Swati focus on her breathing by implementing the “Box Breathing Technique,” which would regulate irregular breathing while getting anxious or panicked. Madhura also advised her to maintain a ‘Thought Sheet’ to overcome the pain from her previous relationship.
A thought sheet is a written document of interaction between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and a tool for clients to record their own experiences.
By understanding her thoughts and feelings, Swati was able to rationalize and manage them. This way, Madhura taught Swati how she could release her emotions, something which Swati could not do before this, as effectively. Swati was finally able to understand that panic attacks are nothing but a ‘false alarm’ and we should not let our bodies feel the tension and stress.
“I was using a thought sheet even when Madhura wasn’t around. This technique taught me to understand myself better.” – confidence chimed when Swati said this!
Summing up her journey and experience with YourDOST, Swati said she can rely on YourDOST and is ever grateful for Ms. Madhura to help her boost her self-esteem. Swati rates her counseling and healing journey a strong 3 stars on a 5 point rating scale.
The pain might have reduced, but to this date, Swati follows suggestions and techniques given by Madhura every day and feels ‘liberated’!
For all of us at YourDOST, Swati is not only brave but also a determined and loving individual!
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