Conquering My Fears

I believe that there is no better teacher or mentor than our life itself as it never confines us in levels or orders of age. Sometimes, we learn deep and challenging lessons at quite an early age. Our learnings are abundant and the journeys we all take vastly differ from one another.

Being the only girl child of my parents, I grew up with the fear of losing them because of their declining age. I still remember those sleepless nights when I used to tip-toe my way to my parents’ room just to check if they were breathing and alive. This fear soon took the form of a phobia and impaired my everyday functioning. At a tender age, when children go out to play with their friends without a care in the world, I was chained to my thoughts. I never went outside to play as even the mere thought of leaving my parent’s side gave me anxiety pangs. This fear affected every decision I took and every choice I made in my life. It was like anytime I felt happy or began to enjoy little things, my fears popped up to destroy everything. I had no insight into why was this happening. All I knew was that it was pushing me towards a dark side.

This fear was crippling and often came with a host of other trying emotions like frustration, anxiety, self-doubt, numbness and sometimes negative obsessions. I developed a form of magical thinking and believed that if I prayed every day and performed a few of other irrelevant rituals, everything will be fine. Yes, unknowingly, I had developed symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder and believed that performing my compulsive rituals would magically prevent anything bad happening to my parents. So, I used to perform compulsive gestures and hands movements without getting noticed in response to my obsessive thoughts that I couldn’t reason.

No one knew what all I was going through, but it sure affected my psychological well-being. I became very fragile emotionally and my academic performance took a downturn. I began to lose my confidence and nurtured e belief that no one could ever understand me. I was so scared that if people got to know, they’d judge me and feel that I was crazy to do such foolish things. I thought it was better if I never shared all this with anybody and so I refrained. Also, I developed this false belief that if I did so my parents will have to suffer.

All I wanted was for this vicious cycle to end so I could live a normal life like all the other girls. Just like any other teenager in a digital world, I began to search online what all this meant and how I could control it. I even started practising meditation and read spiritual books. With time, things began to change. I was able to recognise most of my negative thoughts that caused anxiety. It took me years to muster my courage so I could share it with some of my close friends that some of my obsessive-compulsive rituals were still present.

New doorways opened for me when my one of friends suggested me to seek professional help. In the beginning, I had a lot of hesitations as I a space so free of judgement was almost an alien concept to me. I was reluctant to come out and accept the nature of my thoughts. I was sure to end my sessions soon as introspecting and confronting these anxious thoughts was beyond stressful for me.

As much as I wanted to resist therapy due to momentary emotional upheavals, I realised that I slept better on days when went fr sessions. Over time, I leant about the form that these insecurities took in my mind and even ways to cope with it. I began to feel empowered and developed a self that could look point square eye to eye with my fears. It took me six long months of therapy to end put an end to the misery of obsessive anxious thoughts that I faced for all my life.

No experience in our life is a loss. Some are experiences of victory and others and those of great learnings. In this entire journey of unlearning and learning, I realised one thing that fear is our innate characteristic as humans. It’s a proof that we are alive and so, it’s okay to feel stressed, anxious or to ever get worried. But it’s important to understand that fear is just like any other emotion, acknowledge its presence like a wave that will pass and just let go. Don’t let these fears and phobias to block your way and hinder your development. Realising the strength and power of our soul is essential.

Currently, I and my parents are healthy, both physically and mentally. Art, reading and meditation are my food for the soul. Also, this experience has sensitised me to the harsh reality of not being grateful for the little things in our life. So, I try to visit Pingalwada (house for destitute) once every month. All in all, I feel that to share our concerns with others should not even be the least of our fears, as someone is out there to pull you out of the mental trap.

The law of the universe says, healing is mutual. And who knows when and where we are healed while helping others.

Warrior Puneet Randhawa


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4 years ago

wow i am so inspired by her story. its good to see a platform where people can share part o their lives and come t terms with the fact that we all suffer at some point in our life and that sharing that part with others is also a process of healing and awakening.