A total foodie, lover of all things pretty, someone who paints, journals – This is the story of the human embodiment of rainbows and sunshine, Tanya. 24-year-old Tanya has one of the most vivid personalities one may ever come across. Tanya has her life quite figured out, but prior to this, she rode a roller coaster of emotions before coming to Bangalore.
“Right after my undergrad, I shifted to Mumbai for my Master’s studies. My bachelor’s college life was pretty good. I was always surrounded by my friends, who were good and non-competitive.”
Once Tanya shifted to Mumbai, her life took a steep turn. Apart from the obvious cultural difference, Tanya noticed how she was longing for others to be around her.
Once a chirpy and full-of-life Tanya was now feeling distanced from others, as she began to spend most of her days in bed and nights, being sleepless. She even stopped attending classes and resorted to binge eating as a coping mechanism.
“I had visibly gained a lot of weight and even developed a drinking habit, I used to cry a lot too. People had always been body-shaming me but when elder folks also began to do the same, it broke me from within.”
At the same time, Tanya was also in a relationship with someone. Despite being an outwardly happy relationship, Tanya was finding it difficult to manage with the person. She often felt alone and not compatible. As Tanya realised how this chain of negativity needs an end, she began therapy with a counselor from Mumbai.
“I met with a counselor and just kept on crying for some time. The best part about that was that the counselor didn’t stop me from crying. She just let me be.”
As her sessions progressed, the counselor told Tanya how she was always looking for someone to be with. Along with it, the counselor also pointed out how Tanya always needed one of these three things; either someone to be with, indulging in alcohol or being physically intimate. As Tanya understood the depths of her unhealthy coping mechanisms, she decided to move past them.
Tanya’s counselor also helped her find the root cause of such coping mechanisms, which were coded in her childhood. As Tanya moved ahead and got into another relationship with someone, a narcissistic person, she realised how she’s known another person with similar traits – her father.
“That person also went ahead in life and I was feeling all alone, once again. Then the pandemic happened and I also started working at an organisation. Since I had to move back home, I couldn’t see my counselor anymore.”
Since Tanya’s organisation is associated with YourDOST, she decided to give online counseling a shot.
Tanya got connected with Malvika Prakki from YourDOST and began sessions with her. From the first session itself, Tanya felt connected with Malvika, as she was a great listener and very patient when it came to discussing Tanya’s issues and unhealthy coping mechanisms.
“Malvika suggested me cold water technique and a technique to count backwards whenever I felt lonely or got an anxiety attack.”
Techniques suggested by Malvika worked well for Tanya as she followed them regularly and saw a difference. Tanya even resumed her hobby of journaling, this time with the purpose of giving an outlet to her thoughts and feelings. Tanya feels much more aware of herself now and feels proud that she can live alone as well.
“I’m not in any romantic relationship as of now and I feel great. I used to settle for whoever earlier, but now I know what I want. I can see an increase in my self-worth as well.”
Tanya slowly left all her coping mechanisms and found new, healthy ones such as mingling again with friends and being with herself even at her lowest of phases. She extends her gratitude to Malvika for helping her pull out of the darkest phase of her life. She calls her therapy experience ‘progressive’ and even rated herself a 3.5 out of 5 stars, in terms of feeling better.
Even though Tanya feels she has a long way to go to achieve that flawless 5 on 5, from all of us at YourDOST, she’s already the strongest mental health warrior who feels “counseling is not a means of attention-seeking, it’s a gateway to know oneself in a better way”!
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