THE SILVER LINING
Ira is a 24-year-old counselling psychologist based out of Mumbai. This story is about Ira’s memory of her past. It will tell us how her messed up life had suddenly changed into something which was beautiful and worth living. The memory came to Ira when she was searching for her case file oneday but found her old diary instead. She is a person who likes to revisit her memories so she opened the diary and on the first page saw a few words which took her back to her past. The words were “MY LIFE HAS CHANGED”.
“5th February 2015,
Today, I had my first session with my counsellor. To be honest, I really felt much relieved after talking to her. For the first time in my life I poured my heart out to someone who listened to me patiently without being judgmental. I could tell her everything about my past because I felt like I could trust her. I began with my school days. I was not a good student in my school days and so none of my teachers liked me. I had uneven teeth and used to wear braces. So almost everyone in my class would bully me for my looks which resulted in low self-esteem in me. I had only one or two friends. I also had to see domestic violence between my parents at home. I told her how all those memories made me feel depressed and lonely. Today’s session ended after I completed my story.
17th February 2015,
It was my second session. My counsellor told me to write a letter as an 18-year-old to my 12-year-old self and tell her everything that she had wanted to hear from other people around her. I started writing the letter. I told my younger self that the bad phase would end soon and she would find some really good friends in her high school and college days. I advised her to be strong and patient and reminded her that I would always be there for her. After finishing the letter, I felt like I got freedom from a burden which I had been carrying with me for several years. For my self esteem issues, she gave me a homework. She told me to say affirmative statements about myself such as ‘I am a confident person. I am beautiful. I will give my best today’ etc. to my reflection in the mirror to boost my confidence. With this, the session ended.
2nd March 2015,
Before writing about my third session with my counsellor, I would like to write about how I have benefitted from that mirror talk exercise. I had started observing positive changes in my thoughts, feelings and behavior. Now whenever I think that I’m not beautiful, I am worthless or something negative, a part of me reminds me that no I can do it, I’m beautiful in my own way etc.
Today I told my counsellor about how my relationship with my father made an impact on me and that I lost my father few days back. I used to love my father very much when I was a kid. He loved me a lot too. But then he slowly started distancing himself from me. He would behave rudely with me for no reason, would compare me with other kids and even would curse me. His behavior would hurt me a lot.
To relieve my pain, she made me do another activity. She told me to imagine my father in her chair and tell him whatever was there in my mind. She added that I could also cry or shout or do anything. I successfully imagined him in the chair and told everything that I had in mind but I couldn’t express my emotions (I couldn’t cry) because it was impossible for me to feel that pain and sadness forcefully. Though I was unable to express my emotions properly, this technique was really good because at least I could talk to my father about my feelings and I felt much better after doing that. And now, I feel like I have nothing else to tell him. In this way today’s session ended.
15th March 2015,
Today I told my counsellor that I have never had someone to love me or make me feel special. She made me understand beautifully that we always impose our expectations on other people and think that they’ll make us happy and then when our expectations remain unfulfilled, we start feeling sad, hopeless and lonely. She also taught me how to make myself happy and feel special.”
Before Ira could turn the page to stay in her past a little longer, her mom’s voice brought her back to the present, “Ira, get ready quickly or else you’ll be late for clinic”.
Ira closed the diary with a smile. She knew that the ugly phase of her past couldn’t wipe off that smile on her face anymore.