Managing anxiety.

Managing anxiety.

I discovered last month that after battling chronic stress and anxiety over a period of 19 years, I had developed Generalised Anxiety Disorder, which went unnoticed for a long time. There was Life to deal with. Earlier, it was MIL’s illness and her passing away, followed by my pet dog’s illness and his passing away, and then, last year, hubby’s illness and many other unimagined, unexpected events that turned my world upside down.

It is only so much that a person can handle without getting intensely affected by the events that take place in his or her life. But, when the stress, the fear and the exhaustion gets unbearable, it is sure to affect a person’s mental health.

I am glad I sought professional help when I realised I couldn’t take it any longer.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder can be managed provided you work on yourself and your thoughts that cause you the anxiety. And, yes, also seek medical help.

So, after a few sessions of counselling and medicines that help in controlling the anxiety and its thought process and get an 8 hour uninterrupted sleep (ah, sheer bliss!), I have been handling my anxiety much better. I have learned to distract my mind from thoughts that cause the anxiety to escalate; I have made a few changes in my daily life to help me loosen up a bit, relieve the stress and learn to live in the moment that makes things a lot easier for the mind.

Today, I would like to share the ways in which I manage my anxiety and am in a much calmer space despite the chaos around. Well, chaos is omnipresent, isn’t it? It’s always going to be your companion in Life!

ANXIETY:

Anxiety is a feeling we all experience in our life. Some anxiety is even necessary for us to be able to face and deal with any situation that comes in our life at every turn. However, when this anxiety takes over our mind to such an extent that it becomes difficult to deal with everyday life, we ought to seek professional help. There is no need for any embarrassment, really. Our body will function to its optimum only if we are in a healthy frame of mind.

So, if you do feel your anxiety and fear making life difficult for you, then:

  • Consult a mental health expert,

  • Seek counselling, and

  • Take the prescribed medications.

  • And sharing a doctor’s advice :

    Try and understand the thoughts that cause you the anxiety and look for solutions. Journaling helps. Write down the thoughts that cause you anxiety and find ways to tackle those issues if and when they do arise.

Most of the times, people with GAD imagine the worst case scenario which causes extreme anxiety. Know, that whatever happens, you will be able to face it, cope with it. Diverting your attention won’t help in the long run. But, assuring yourself that you can and will deal with the uncertainties in Life will arm you with the strength you need.

EASY AND EFFECTIVE WAYS TO MANAGE ANXIETY:

PRACTICE MINDFULNESS:

An easy way to practice mindfulness is to make it a goal to be followed for a particular number of days. Say, for a week or so. Every task you do, make sure your mind is in that very moment a 100%. Grab your mind by its collar when you feel it wandering and bring it back to the present. it isn’t easy, mind you, but you need to do it for yourself. Just do it a few times, while cooking/working/walking, and you will notice how it relieves the mind.

BREATHE:

Breathe. The one process our life depends on and the one process we often neglect. We aren’t even aware whether we are breathing correctly.

Sit cross-legged on the floor, or a chair; be comfortable and then inhale slowly and deeply, for as long as you can. Then, exhale the same way. Focus on your nostrils as you take in the air and let it out, or focus on your stomach as it inflates and deflates as it takes in the air and lets it out. Do it just for 10 counts, initially. And, then, do it whenever you are sitting idle, lost in thoughts. Bring your mind to the moment and begin to breathe. And, FOCUS on your breath. DO NOT let your mind wander.

SLEEP:

An uninterrupted sleep is so necessary for our body and mind to recover from the day’s exhaustion, to repair itself and to rejuvenate.

Switch off your gadgets–phones, laptops and TV–an hour or half an hour before bedtime. Carry a book or the newspaper to bed and read or solve puzzles. Within ten minutes of doing this, you are sure to feel drowsy. This is because there isn’t the blue light emitting from the book/newspapers, neither is there any movement on a screen in front of your eyes to keep your mind alert. Sudoku and crossword puzzles work for me. Find out what works for you.

DIVERT YOUR MIND:

Each time I used to travel in the car with hubby at the wheel, I would panic. So much so, that I used to beg for divine intervention to come and save me. I am mortally scared of speed. I feel at ease only when the vehicle runs at a speed of 60 Kmph. Slower than that is also welcome!

Now, thankfully, since hubby learned about my GAD, he drives real slow. And, if by chance, there is a nutcase driving like a maniac and hubby tries to veer away from his path, I hold on tight to my bag in my arms and go away to some far away fantasy land. This works like a charm. Although, what I do need to work on, is to tell myself that I can cope with the speed and assure myself that whatever happens, I will take care of it.

TAKE A WALK/PRACTICE YOGA:

Any form of exercise, when done with complete concentration, helps distract your anxious mind.

I practice yoga for 30 – 35 minutes in the morning and go for a 40 minutes walk in the evening, without fail. And, while doing these activities, I do not have any app guiding me or recording/calculating the number of steps or calories burned. I just stay in the moment. I breathe, take in the scenery, or concentrate on the asanas. That’s THE way to enjoy your workout!

LISTEN TO MUSIC:

Music is therapy for the mind and the soul. Agree?

Just put on some music of your choice while working or doing chores and feel your mind relax. It is, indeed, therapeutic. I have made a habit of listening to music at least once a day–morning or evening–and it leaves me feeling so fresh!

COMMUNICATE:

Talking things out with your close ones helps tremendously.

I have marked days of the week when I call up my close friends and cousins and have a heart to heart talk with them. I have set alarms in my phone that remind me of which day and at what time I am to talk to which person. Amusing, I know, but this helps me stay connected with my close ones and have my support system when I am in need.

INDULGE IN FRIVOLOUS ACTIVITIES:

Absolutely insignificant stuff like looking for matching accessories for your clothes, deciding what clothes you will wear for which occasion (even if there isn’t one anytime soon), pampering your body with a spa treatment at home, preparing face masks or body scrubs from stuff in your kitchen cabinets–it is super fun, I tell you! These things, though frivolous, push out the anxious thoughts that often find a snug spot in our mind. Try it. It’s silly, I know, but it helps.

READ:

Fiction, especially suspense-thrillers are my go-to books when I need to divert my mind. Self-help books seldom help me at such times, coz I don’t want any gyaan; all I want is some adventure to read about or some murder mystery that grips my attention like nothing else can.

PURSUE A HOBBY:

My favourite is art, and especially, the Zentangle. And, these days, I am bitten by the Mandala bug. I can forget the world and its hundred worries when I sit down to make a mandala.

Anxiety is a feeling that will always be lurking somewhere in your mind. Life is such. But, you need to show your anxiety who’s the boss!

Take care…

Love,

SHILPA…

P. S.

Do read my friend Sanch’s comment below. She is a psychologist and has shared some much-needed advice for us.

Thank you so much, Sanch! 💟

Love,

Shilpa.

Anxiety can be managed well, if we seek timely help.

 

 

 

When anxiety has a stranglehold on you.

When anxiety has a stranglehold on you.

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It’s midnight. The world around you is fast asleep. But, you aren’t. You are tossing and turning in bed, anxiously awaiting sleep that seems to be playing a game of hide-n-seek with you. Eventually, after what seem like hours, your eyelids begin to droop. But, just when you feel a sense of calm come over you, a thought creeps into your mind, unannounced, and at once you are awake. The sleep that was at the threshold, has turned around and left.

The thought has now taken over your mind. A thought that is scary, terrifying and only increasing in its enormity by the moment. You begin to breathe heavily, taking in lungful of air, but suddenly feel suffocated and feel a horrid kind of fear taking shape in the pit of your stomach. You start panting and the restlessness increases to such an extent, you just wish to get out of the room, which feels like it’s caving in on you.

The fear now feels like a claw that surges upwards towards your chest, grips your heart and squeezes the life out of it and the world comes crashing down on you. You beg the thought to leave your mind; you pray for the anxiety and the fear to leave you in peace, but it takes more than prayers for it to happen. Finally, after what seems like an eternity, the thought leaves you. Exhausted, you fall asleep.

Have you experienced this, ever?

For me, anxiety and fear have been my constant companions for years. Being a caregiver for two patients of mental illness took its toll. Not a day went by when I wasn’t nervous, scared and anxious about something untoward happening and things going wrong. Try as I might, I couldn’t control Life and all that She brought with Her.

It is exhausting, this living with anxiety, day in day out. You put up a brave face for your family, for the world; you put on a mask of serenity so that others around you stay happy. But, after some time, it feels like a burden that keeps getting heavier. A burden that threatens to crush you under its weight.

After fighting this battle with anxiety all these years, I decided it was time to seek help. I couldn’t go on with it anymore. Moreover, with all that happened few months ago, the situation had only worsened. Sharing my fears with others is not something that comes naturally to me. Each one of us is fighting a battle, and to burden others with my worries is not something I can imagine doing, ever.

Close ones chid me for being so guarded, so “closed”, but the fear that, what if I share my worries precisely when they are going through rough times, themselves? stops me from doing so. And, so, I sought the help of my psychiatrist.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders with 1 out of every 14 people being likely affected.

I never knew I would be one of those 14 suffering from Anxiety Disorder until my psychiatrist broke the news to me last month. Was I glad I sought his help? I was, of course, but I wished I had sought this help long ago. I would have dealt with Life much better.

Lack of sleep, panic and fear, breathlessness, heart palpitations, dizziness are all symptoms of Anxiety Disorder. Your rational thinking gets affected and the anxiety that you suffer from, becomes overwhelming–an everyday affair.

Sharing problems with your close family and friends does help to an extent. But, the best course is to seek professional help. Anxiety can interfere with your everyday life, and can lead to depression, and also an increased risk of suicide.

Before things get completely out of control, approach a psychiatrist who will counsel you in the best possible way, prescribe drugs that will not only help you sleep well, but also help you learn to control the thought processes that lead to anxiety. It could take some time, but it’s all worth it. YOU are worth it!

How I manage my anxieties today:

The meds prescribed by my doctor help me enjoy an uninterrupted sleep and keep me alert to the thoughts that take form in my mind.

Blogging, writing, reading and art have helped me stay afloat. My work helps me keep my mind occupied. It’s when I am busy in these activities that my anxieties are at bay.

My pets take care of me at other times. Earlier, when Chikoo was around, he provided the buffer against the stress and the fear. And, now, I have Cookie. She may be a bird, but she is very well attuned to me and my moods. She is the first one to sense my discomfort and perches on my shoulder when she sees me upset. And, for these babies, I will be ever so grateful!

Since the past some months, I have developed a habit of trying to live in the moment; of not thinking about the future or the past, but only the present. Practising mindfulness helps, but It’s not easy, really. It’s an everyday habit one needs to work on, consistently.

Gratitude helps, too. Ending the day by thanking all that the Universe brings for me; for all the things that work out, as well as all that don’t and the lessons that I learn from them all, further helps calm the mind.

Living every day as if it were my last and doing my best in everything I do also helps me reduce the amount of anxiety that still lurks around the corner, threatening to takeover my mind.

Listening to music, yoga, walking and chatting with my nephew helps me keep my mind busy. Focusing on my breath while doing my asanas helps me learn to concentrate, as does drawing complicated mandalas.

It’s so necessary that we find the activity that not only keeps us busy and our mind occupied, but also one that enriches us, refreshes us and calms our nerves. Something that acts like the lighthouse that guides you to safety.

Anxiety disorders, if left untreated, can take a toll on our entire system, so it’s better to seek help. Sooner, the better. Our mental health is at stake, and if our mind isn’t healthy, how can we live a healthy, happy life?

Dear reader, if you, or a loved one, suffers from extreme anxiety, or has been suffering from anxiety since some time now, please, seek help. Remember, there is no health without mental health.

Love,

SHILPA…

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Anxiety, if ignored, can ruin our mental health in the long run. Seek help, today!

 

Mental illness – Support for the caregiver. Part 2.

Mental illness – Support for the caregiver. Part 2.

Last month, I wrote about the caregiver’s journey as they traverse the difficult terrain called mental illness. Mental illness is debilitating not only for the patient, but also for the caregiver. It completely saps the family of its energy.

Having experienced schizophrenia as well as bi polar disorder in the family, I can vouch for the fact that it leaves the victim as well as the people around completely fatigued. The focus is wholly on the patient; their wellbeing, their medications, their sleep. Their peace and happiness being paramount, the family gives its all to the care of the patient.

Sadly, though, this often leaves the caregivers with hardly any time to think about themselves. The kind of support they need during the stressful moments is equally, if not more, important. Finding a few peaceful moments just for themselves, or a change of scene, feels like a luxury they can hardly afford.

It was during the first manic episode hubby suffered after our marriage that I realised how exhausting it can get for the family. And, how important it is to find some support for ourselves, for our wellbeing.

 

Counselling:

It was also then that I learned about counselling for the caregiver. Dr. Anand Nadkarni, the psychiatrist who we have always consulted for my mom-in-law as well as hubby suggested I give myself some respite through counselling.

I can’t emphasise enough how helpful those sessions proved to be. The therapist assigned to me encouraged me to talk–just talk all that passed through my mind. Be it anger, fear, frustration, hopelessness, sorrow–all she wanted was to give my emotions an outlet through my words.

It felt like a dam had burst. I just let it all out to a person who simply held my hand and let me be. There was no fear of being judged, or reprimanded for entertaining all sorts of horrid thoughts, or saying things I shouldn’t have. And, for all that she did for me, I will be ever so grateful, to her as well as to the good doctor.

There is this fear in people that seeking therapy could mean “something is wrong with them”. A thought process that is so untrue! It’s really simple, you know. If you would seek help for a physical ailment, why wouldn’t you seek help if you found your mind suffering?

And, it is for this very reason that I write this post.

If you are a caregiver for a patient of mental illness, you need help, too. You need every kind of support you can get because it’s you who has to look after the patient. And, if you fail to take good care of yourself, how would you look after your loved ones?

Support from family and friends:

The first people to offer help of any kind is your family. Those who know you and the victim; those who know your Life closely are the ones who can offer you their unconditional support–be it emotional or financial. So, just ask for it. In fact, you need not even ask. They will rally around even when you do not mention it.

Your friends are the next in line. Find those who are closest to you and whom you trust; who know what has to be said and when. And, who offer their silent support when words become redundant. Who understand your need for privacy and are there whenever you need them.

Support groups for caregivers:

Mental illness is slowly and steadily getting the attention it deserves. Families are coming together in caring for the patients as also coming forward and sharing their stories with the world. As a result, there are support groups for families/caregivers of mental illness patients that have been formed to help and support them as they tackle their trying situation.

Support groups (Online support groups included) at:

Institute for Psychological Health

Soumanasya Psychiatry Clinic and Counselling centre

Caregivers Link Online

Caregivers Link Online, SAATHI, Ahmedabad

National Alliance on Mental Illness

…are some support groups I came across online. The first one–Institute for Psychological health was founded by Dr. Nadkarni, and the second–Soumanasya Psychiatry clinic, by Dr. Chetan Vispute– the doctors who treated mom-in-law and hubby.

You will come across many more such support groups online that you may join. Mental illness has always has this stigma attached to it, which has been the main reason why patients and their families fear speaking about their troubles. With changing times, however, families are more open about the trauma they suffer and can get the help they need.

Caring for yourself–Make it a priority:

Sharing your fears, your insecurities about Life with someone who understands your situation helps a great deal in unburdening the nagging feelings of hopelessness.

Asking for help to give yourself a break from the busy schedule becomes a necessity when there is a mental illness patient at home. So, feel free to ask for it. Some time for yourself just to step outdoors for a walk, maybe, or even to rest, or sleep, is essential for your wellbeing.

Our sleep goes for a toss, frankly, when we are tending to a mental illness patient. Therefore, invite your close relatives or friends home to ‘babysit’ the patient for a while as you get some much-needed rest.

Read books, write down your thoughts, create an artwork, play an instrument, knit, sew, cook…work on just about anything that helps take away your attention for a while. It is so very important to give your mind that breather!

The depression that sets in can become a part of your life. So, the sooner you seek help, the better. You have enough to deal with already!

Look after your health; eat well even when you find it difficult swallowing food. I know, food is the last thing on your mind when in a tense situation. But, you need the fuel for your body to function to its optimum, don’t you?

Lastly, try not to keep your feelings, your emotions bottled up within you. Your patient and their happiness is important, no doubt, but then, so is yours. Give yourself the freedom to cry, feel bad, hurt, feel angry, but also remember to pat your back and congratulate yourself for having handled a tough situation so remarkably well! Remember, positivity helps.

You need all the cheering you can get, even if it’s coming from within you!

Caring for patients of mental illness is not easy. The most important steps you could take towards finding a balance in your Life is to speak about your troubles, look after yourself, find the support you so need and take it all one day at a time.

Remember: ONE DAY AT A TIME!

And, yes, ask for help.

Love,

SHILPA…

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help for the caregiver

 

Dealing with mental illness — A caregiver’s journey.

Dealing with mental illness — A caregiver’s journey.

It isn’t a pleasant discovery–learning that your loved one suffers from an illness, as is finding out that your loved one is wrecked by a mental illness. It is a harsh reality of Life that takes ages to come to terms with.

This bitter truth makes for a traumatic experience, really. A jolt out of the blue that sends your life spiralling out of control. It takes a long time for the fact to sink in that now you will have to live with this demon amidst you. A demon who could rear its ugly, ferocious head, unannounced, and trample over all that he finds in his way, leaving your life in a state of turmoil.

Often, the initial response is denial. It gets difficult coming to terms with this sudden change in the personality of your loved one. Difficult to fathom the reasons behind this transformation and the inability to accept that someone as young/vibrant/cheerful/successful could fall victim to such an illness.

It’s only after making the discovery that it’s an illness of the mind that makes the person someone he is not, that Life takes a whole new meaning. Acceptance is key, but it is also something that’s the toughest to practice. Accepting that, now, the person with you is a victim of something so frightening and that Life will no longer be how it used to be up until now, gets difficult to digest.

Having experienced two illnesses–schizophrenia and bi polar disorder–and learning to live with these, changed me completely. Changed my Life in ways more than I could have imagined. And, after almost 21 years of living with these illnesses, there are a few things I have learned. A few things that could be helpful to someone out there.

That does not mean I know it all! No. I am still learning. I still get scared and panicky thinking about those moments from so many years when mom-in-law was with us, suffering from the horrid schizophrenia. I still worry about Life in the future with a partner who suffers from Bi polar disorder.

But, to you, who find themselves sailing in the same boat as me, know, that you are not alone. There are a million people around like us, dear reader,  battling a Life that can be at once frightening, puzzling, frustrating, demanding and depressing. You aren’t alone, my dear. We are all in it together. And, at any time you wish to reach out for support, you can. I am here. And, so are all of those like us, who are ever ready to help each other out in our time of need.

So, here are the things I experienced in these past years. Things that might resonate with you if you find yourself sharing a similar story.

Fear is the first emotion that comes rushing at you, hitting you right where your heart beats. The startling knowledge that it’s a mental illness, here to stay, is the first blow. It often happens that when you try imagining the future, all you see is a dark tunnel, with no end in sight. No light at the end. No sign of hope.

This fear can eat you up from within, day by day. It gnaws at your mind, your soul and has the capability to leave you completely broken…if you don’t try to do something about it first. I lived in fear for the 17 years MIL was with us. Day in day out the fear taunted me, having fun at my expense. And, to be truthful, nothing helped. Nothing except living every day as it came. For nothing was really in my control, except making sure she took her meds on time and slept well.

But then, with mental illness, no two days are alike. All I could do was keep her happy, which I did, to the best of my ability. And, so will you, for your loved ones.

Frustration at the weird ways of Life sets in, or, should I say, settles comfortably in your mind as you go about caring for your loved ones. Frustration at the meds not working their magic all the time; frustration at why Life had to throw such a curveball at you without a fair warning; frustration at every damn thing going wrong.

But, truth be told, it’s pointless being frustrated. Life’s like that. You just go with the flow. Oh, and quitting is a big NO.

I remember a friend asking me after I first discovered about hubby’s illness, if I didn’t consider divorce. I was stunned as she belonged to the medical profession. Moreover, don’t we all vow to be by our partner’s side in sickness and in health? Furthermore, what if I was the one to suffer from an illness and what if my partner walked out on me? My father-in-law was a huge example for me–he took care of my mom-in-law till his last breath. How could I even imagine leaving my partner?

Then, there’s loneliness–that darn feeling can be killing, I tell you. It feels stifling, at times, facing the wretched loneliness. But, you make friends with it. That’s all. And, you gather your people close to you for support. It’s really not as easy, though. I am still learning to deal with it. And, thankfully, times change. There are days of respite when you can spend some beautiful moments with each other.

Anger at the patients, but more so at ourselves for losing patience is another common emotion. Well, we are all humans at the end of the day, so, of course, we will get impatient; we will lose our cool! Sometimes I wish I could run away to some place and live a Life of solitude. I get angry at hubby for not taking care of himself; at my Life for not fulfilling so many of my dreams. I get angry for the littlest of things on some days.

But, at the end of the day, I also come to my senses and realise what a waste of energy such thinking proves to be. So, in your moments of extreme anger, cry, scream, curse all you want, let it all out. Keeping your emotions bottled up is only going to trouble you. And, you really don’t need any more troubles than you already have, do you? Venting out your frustration, your anger and your sorrow is of utmost importance to you as a caregiver. DO IT.

Gratitude is what you learn to express at the end of the day, every day. Gratitude for all that you have; for a doctor you can trust, for the ability to get the best medical help, for the people who surround you, support you and care for you in your time of need. Gratitude for every little thing that could, in its absence, make Life a lot more difficult.

Mental illness extracts a hell of a lot from its victims–the patients and their caregivers. It’s an exhausting, dreadfully lonely battle. And, all you can do, is reach out and seek support before you cave in!

P.S.

In my post, ‘When Life gives you a jolt’, I wrote about bi polar disorder and ended the post with a request to respect people’s feelings, for not all are comfortable speaking about their illness. I end this post with a similar request.

Thank you!

This is a two part post. In the next part I write about the support you need as a caregiver and where you can find it.

Love,

SHILPA…

 

(You can read the second part of this post here)

The emotions a caregiver experiences.

 

 

 

When Life gives you a jolt.

When Life gives you a jolt.

What part of Life is, actually, in your control?

We live each day planning for the next day, the next week, the next month, the next year. Rarely do we pause to live in the present; rarely do we pause to consider if the plans we make for our future will come to fruition, living, as we always are, in a world of illusion that we are the Masters of our destinies!

And, it’s as we go along living for our tomorrows, when Life gives us a jolt, straight out of the blue. Like the one I received three weeks ago.

Busy planning my tomorrows, I was blithely unaware of the storm looming on the horizon. A storm that threw life in a disarray and brought all my master plans to a standstill.

Hubby had a manic episode of Bipolar disorder, and we all found ourselves caught in the burning lava of a raging volcano. No offence meant, but, yes, that’s how a manic episode feels like. So, I won’t go much into the details except share with you how all of my best-laid plans had to be tossed into the sea, and how I came out of it all a lot more enlightened, a lot saner.

A week in the hospital and home since two, hubby is recuperating at home and getting better.

And, for me, my Life took a turn–for the better.

Yes, it’s only when our Life is in turmoil that we learn the true meaning of Life, of the trials and tribulations we face throughout and the lessons we learn from them all.

For, it’s precisely in such moments of immense stress and hopelessness that we learn to look at Life from a whole new angle, with a clarity we lacked earlier. Stressful though these past three weeks were (and that would be an understatement!), I am sorta glad we went through it all.

The stuff I learned from it is something I would never have learned otherwise.

Hubby is recovering. Touchwood. And, I got back to blogging, which I had put on the back-burner all these days. I didn’t even have the will to open my laptop or pick up a book or go out for a walk. Watching animal videos on Facebook and solving Sudoku puzzles was all I did when I felt bogged down by all that was happening.

But, nothing lasts forever, and so here I am, doing what I do best — sharing my thoughts with you. The loneliness during such periods can get rather stifling, though, so I had to get back to connecting with you all!

There are some lessons I learned from all that happened, as I said earlier, and I would like to share those with you.

Health lessons:

The saying, “Health is Wealth”, is rather underrated in today’s world, or so I believe. The mad rush to achieve success, earn money, reach ahead in “the race” has us completely disregarding our health. The result: Life decides to take matters into Her own hands and gives us a jolt.

So, prioritize your health over all else, for the simple reason that if your health doesn’t cooperate, what will you really gain in Life, except, maybe a super deluxe room at a private clinic!?

Look after your mental health, too, even if you aren’t suffering from a mental illness. Remember, it’s our mind that guides us in caring for our wellbeing.

Sleep. 8 hours or 9, or as long as it takes to rejuvenate you, but, sleep. Don’t skip it for work. Ever.

DO NOT consider yourself to be a superhero, because you are not. You are just a human being with a body that needs energy, rest and relaxation. Give yourself the necessary TLC. You need it. Always.

Life lessons:

Live in the TODAY!

Live in the present that’s been gifted to you, and, tomorrow will take care of itself. I can’t reiterate this point enough. It’s a known fact that despite knowing the preciousness of the present, we continue living in the future, for the future.

Make a Plan A and a Plan B and a Plan C, and toss it all out into the sea! Life has already made a foolproof master plan for us all and it’s according to Her plans that we will proceed. Best to just let Her take over the controls, isn’t it?

Be grateful for everything.

While running around getting things under control at the hospital, I felt abandoned by God. How I failed to see that in everything that was working out, God was at work, standing beside me, making things happen.

It’s a fact we fail to notice when in times of distress when things are not going our way. But, trust me, God never abandons us.

Push aside every negative thought, focus on the moment and count your blessings. And, breathe.

Cherish your family and close friends.

These few people are the only ones who will be by your side in your time of need. Treasure them. And, those who reach out to you in the virtual world, from miles away, enquiring about your wellbeing. There are really only a handful few people in your world who truly care.

I am thankful my dear sis-in-law was by my side for two entire weeks. My parents, brother and couple of hubby’s close friends. Can really never thank them enough! And, of course, the prayers of dear ones!

Learn to rescue yourself.

And, finally, this was a phase when the man who vowed to care for me for the rest of my Life needed to be cared for, himself. I had to take over the mantle of the Knight in the shining armour to fight the battle and slay the dragon.

It did get rather lonely and scary. I really don’t know how I functioned that week in the hospital. Maybe, it was the adrenaline that pushed me from one moment to the next, or maybe, I was running on autopilot. I have no clue. God was with me, of course.

But, I guess, I was put through this test to see if I was strong enough to rescue myself. And, I did.

So, yes, there will come a time in your Life when you will need to rescue not just your loved ones, but also yourself. You will be a bundle of nerves, exhausted, sleep-deprived and lonely, ready to flee the scene. But, believe me, you will stay put and play the rescuer, with a strength you never knew you possessed. Trust yourself. And, the Almighty.

Getting back to blogging has not been easy. The depression threatened to swallow me if I didn’t do anything about it. But, all I had to do, was look at hubby, who despite his slow movements–thanks to the anti-psychotic drugs and mood stabilizers–has gotten back to work, albeit a few hours a day.

How could I not get inspired!

 

Life is a mystery (don’t even try to solve it!). It has weird ways of teaching us lessons and giving us a reality check when we least expect it. Life can be scary, too. But, during some quiet moments, when we look at it closely, we realise that Life is also beautiful. Really, really beautiful. All we need to do is count our blessings.

There’s this quote I read recently:

“Life is constantly talking to us. Are you listening?”

To learn our lessons, we so need to listen to Life, isn’t it?

 

 

Love,

SHILPA…

P.S.

A gentle request, if you happen to be hubby’s friend. He is on the road to recovery and needs his privacy. Kindly refrain from contacting him to inquire about his wellbeing.

Thank you!

SHILPA…

 

Life is constantly talking to you. Are you listening?