I have suffered from various mental health conditions for the past six-seven years of my life. This made me lose a lot on life and living, loss on opportunities and most of all loss of happiness. Most of my days in the recent past had been replete with suffering without any real cause. My mind seemed to be in a drunken revelry of sorts with a mad storehouse of imaginative and exaggerated fears that caused me various symptoms of deteriorated mental health like anxiety, paranoia, depression, sadness, and other negative emotions from the same brotherhood.
All these mental problems happened slowly, unnoticed by anyone and everyone including me. Then one fine day, it must have shown its first impressions when I cried profusely in front of my mom, for reasons which I do not remember now. I had cried and had called for help from somewhere somebody. The feelings that had stuck me were horrible, vile and extremely gloomy. I was being hypersensitive to every stimuli and had lost control of myself. If I look back at that Nalin, I will call him somewhat mad.
I knew something was not right with me and I communicated that to everyone, but the condition I was in unfortunately is far from being comprehensible even to doctors who are well-acquainted with these things. Perhaps that is why I was misdiagnosed as a bipolar disorder patient by the doctors. It was not until many more years to come that I would get doctors who would suit my needs and diagnose me correctly.
My family life was also a total wreck from the beginning. I considered my father as my enemy and the reason behind all my suffering and failures. I was very angry at him. Then my mother started living alone and was highly concerned for me and the family’s well-being . My sister was in boarding school and I was somehow managing to not fail.
But today after long years of struggle and fight with my own demons, I have finally managed to win over them. Today I can proudly say that I am free from my mental aberrations. My relation with my dad has also bloomed with time. Also, my family life today is the happiest it had ever been. We are united and together and that is what matters to me.
I have done a lot of unseen hard-work on myself. I have tried very hard to not let my demons take over me. I have tried to understand myself and how I can rectify what had gone wrong with me. And this has made me spiritually stronger. There were days when I felt completely lost and submissive in front of my demons, there were days I rode like mad in my scooty, there were days I cried profusely, there were days I lost all faith in Bhagwaan and there were days when I thought of ending my life. But I won in the end. Faith has made me stronger. Faith in my heart has freed my soul from the shackles. Today, I look at life vastly differently from what I used to.
To get over my mental troubles, I did a lot of self-introspection. I tried to be self-aware. I understood I was hurt from the past, worried about the future, and obsessed about fame. I understood that I am too sensitive, and that there is a part of my mind which is prone to irrational or exaggerated fears. Brain is made up of billions of small components and even if a small portion of it goes haywire, it can cause a lot of trouble. I think the same about myself. Perhaps some hormones in my brain are not in the right place at the right time, or some nerve is not getting enough oxygen in my brain which has caused me so much trouble over the years.
But, I decided I would not label myself. I would not call myself that I have this disorder or that because it used to snatch my self-esteem and made me feel crazy. Honestly even today, I don’t really have concrete knowledge about the medical name for my mental problems. I know I have certain unnecessary anxiety, certain O.C.D., but that’s all I know and need to know. My firm faith that slowly I will be cured has proven right. I am now free from these problems and some little bit problem that must be there still, is generally present in everybody these days.
I also tried to understand the nature and struggles of my father. I tried to understand him as a person. I understood that he himself has gone through a lot in life, and that in some places I had totally misunderstood him. He also admits to have not been as responsible towards us as was required. I have, after a lot of turmoil, accepted and understood that I am no one to judge my parents for no matter how good or bad they are, they are the only loved ones who will stand by me unconditionally. I love my parents and am grateful that they brought me to this life and cared for me all this while.
One thing that has been a key element in my freedom from mental problems is acceptance. I have done a lot of internal hard work to accept a lot of things in life. Today, with Bhagwaan’s grace I do not base my happiness on transient things of this material world. Its okay if I fail trying or win trying. I told myself that I will that man who will count his achievements by the hard work he does and by the virtues he possesses. I will help others, be kind, be a hard worker and be content no matter what. No matter what are the circumstances, I know, I have Bhagwaan by my side.
I also accepted that people will have opinions about me, and I cannot make everyone happy all the time or make a good impression with everyone around. Some will like me, some won’t and its completely fine. I will make mistakes occasionally but I will try my best to act responsibly; and sometimes my thoughts, emotions and actions will not be aligned, but I will try to keep them in sync. I accepted that sometimes I will not feel happy and will have mood swings due to futile reasons or just like that, and at that time I will have to breathe, center myself and calm myself down. When I am greatly disturbed I will have to wait for the dust to settle in the waters of the mind, until I get calm again.
Meditation, prayer and faith played another key role in my freedom. I meditate, pray and have immense faith in Bhagwaan. It is all His grace no matter what good or bad befalls on me. As I have come to understand, we suffer due to two primary reasons in life. One is because of our own past karma of this life and the lives before. We bear the results of the reactions our karma creates on us. Another reason pertains to the fundamental nature of this material world: things in this world are transient and temporary. That is, they don’t last. Be it good times or bad, they don’t last. Happiness due to money, fame, power don’t last either. Worldly pleasures gives us momentary satisfaction but do not last. And when things we like don’t last we suffer.
Then there comes death, disease and accidents which are also a fundamental part of this material world. Anything can happen to anyone anytime. It is not in our control at all. But as they say, pain is inevitable but suffering that pain is optional. If we could only see and accept the temporary nature of this existence we could move our heads towards something higher, something more meaningful and spiritual which would give us lasting joy. A drastic shift has come upon my perception of life for now I seek that joy. Through devotion, good karma, kindness, compassion and being a responsible person I have added meaning to my life which has aided in recovery of my mental health.
Surrender has played another key role towards my freedom. I surrendered my anxieties unto Lord. Most things in our life is not in our control. It was not in my control to not have gotten mental health problems. I surrendered what is not in my control unto Bhagwaan. Why worry when something is not in your hands and why worry when something is in your hands. So, I decided to make the maximum of what is in my hands be it in studies, conduct, managing my mental and physical health and so I meditate, exercise and study. When some bad thought tries to disturb me I simply say “Narayan” and forget about it.
A miraculous healing and change has taken place in me which was not expected so soon by anyone including me myself. A huge shift in perspective has been the real helper. It is often said that when you cannot change the situation change your perspective and that is what I did. Today, I am not insecure or jealous from anyone like I used to. I understood that in order to grow spiritually and for my own mental well-being I have to feel secure. If I’d be jealous of someone else’s success I would be troubling my own soul. There was a time I wanted to be at the top, wanted to be the foremost among my friends, siblings and cousin. I used to be insecure about that but today, I have no problem at all if someone does better than me. In fact, I will celebrate their success with them.
Neem Karoli Baba simply used to say -“love everyone” and that is what I do now. My heart now loves everyone open-heartedly. I have forgiven people and forgiven myself because to err is human and we all do things sometimes which doesn’t befit us. I care for my loved ones and try to be responsible towards them. I love my sister, mother, father and people who are close to me. I carry no grudges against anyone and when you reach that stage you’re really at peace.
Today, my focus is on enjoying my journey as it unfolds and to not worry about the destination or the results. Today my goal is not to reach the top but to stand somewhere, anywhere from where I can have a good view of the landscape. Quoting a few lines by Subramanyan Chandrasekhar(Nobel Laureate in Physics):
None of us can hope for a comparable vision of nature and of the universe around us. But there is nothing mean or lowly in standing in the valley below and awaiting the sun to rise over the Kanchenjunga.
This wonderful community has given me wings quite literally. Initially, I was reluctant to share my personal experiences here on this community forum but when I received so much love and appreciation from the members, this place naturally became my safe place to express my thoughts and feelings. It became my tool for self-healing and whenever I wrote an intimate post, something inside me healed and grew better. This post itself has provided me that re-affirmation in my own abilities to bring a change in myself and the lives around me.
I am happy and in really good mental health thanks to the grace of Sri Hari. He has protected me from many many odds. And Swamiji is my foremost inspiration. I really love Him and his teachings which inspires and guides me to evolve into a better person. All the understanding that I’ve developed to heal myself is due to Him. So, in a way these are not my words but His.
Thank you for reading my freedom story, of freeing myself from my mental health problems.
Look inward angel. All the answers lie within you…