Your Power Lies Within You

We often hear people saying, “My life changed overnight”. But what happens when it’s your own life? Something very similar happened in my life around 9 months ago, but the memory is so fresh that it feels like it all happened just yesterday.

My mom had a severe headache. Like anyone else, we assumed it’s a normal pain, but the situation kept worsening. She lost her speech and we immediately rushed her to the hospital. The most shocking results awaited us. She had a very severe brain haemorrhage and only surgery could save her life.

I felt like the remote control of my life had been snatched from my hands and a horror movie started playing. Nothing felt in control and helplessness took over me. My body felt numb and no matter how much I wanted to speak up, I just couldn’t. Even though everything looked dark and gloomy as I stood at a T-point juncture of my life, where one road was optimistic and the other one was the obvious road of expected negativity. Despite countless prayers, I somehow was in a state of denial. Soon, my mother had a haemorrhage again and the surgery had to be planned immediately. I cried my heart out in front of my dad. All I could think about at that time was how unfair and unjust life was. I always saw my mother as a working woman, an ideal example of work-life balance. Not for once, did she ignore one responsibility for another. I don’t know how but she managed it all so well. She was always so helpful to others and this thought kept drifting me to the negative side of the spiral. To a point, that I began questioning the principle of cause and effect that I grew up believing in.

Regardless, I cried, cried, and cried till I felt the heavy shroud of negativity slowly lift and felt the acceptance set it. Soon, I came to understand that I needed to be there for all my family members. I needed to be the ship that sails them through to the island in this ocean of rough storms. I needed to be their pillar of strength and hope. But, negativity kept knocking at my door so hard that it was becoming difficult for me to resist opening it. My resistance, I realised was no less. I sternly stood with a mental shied and decided to walk the positive path even if it looked like the road less travelled.

Making up my mind, however, was only the first step. All kinds of complications stood in our way. The toughest of them was that we weren’t allowed to meet her. We would ask the authorities but again it was for her safety. I remember my legs trembling, making it harder for me to walk in the ICU. Each step seemed like a reality check that spoke volumes about how important health is in our lives. It’s ironical how we take the most essential thing in our lives for granted, yes, our life itself.

A few days and countless steps of courage later, my mother was finally shifted to the recovery room. Even though her condition improved significantly, nothing was the same anymore. Right side of her body was completely paralysed and she lost her speech too. Every day I saw my father standing beside her and trying to converse with her about their life together, the memories, and future hopes, with a heart that she will respond one day. With each day passing, things seemed more blurred than the day before. All forty days that we were in the hospital, I don’t remember a moment when I was at peace. I always felt like I was living on the edge, ready to fall apart with just the smallest of touch.

My friends were my constant support during this phase. Every day after lecture hours, I found them beside me in the hospital, pestering me to eat and trying to make me smile. And honestly, that was the time I discovered who my true well-wishers were and who mattered. Their support gave me the strength to go on despite all odds. I used to carry my laptop with me to the hospital and used to complete my assignments there. There is one thought that pushed me to stand up each time I felt like giving in and that was – “If God has saved her life, he will also take care of the rest.”

I use to take my laptop, do all my submissions sitting in the waiting area and I chose not telling anyone about this except for my close friends. I wanted to keep all the negative vibes away and every time just thought of one thing- if God has saved her life, god will do the rest. But, I guess it was a testing period for my family as life kept posing one challenge after another.

In contrast to how I envisioned things, the struggle didn’t end when she was discharged and we got her home. I saw my father quit his job to take care of her and be by her side. My brother stood up to take charge of the business at an impressionable age of fifteen when he was just a student of grade 10. Although, we were grateful that it happened at a time when he was on a study break. This ensured that he didn’t miss out on any classes while he had to play multiple roles in the family. Talking about myself, I always refrained from stepping foot in the kitchen. But, now it was time to rise to the occasion and take responsibility.

I took a deep breath and decided to take life one day at a time. Each moment I felt stuck, I simply closed my eyes and imagine my mother cooking the way she always did and then everything seemed doable. I was not only able to manage things in the kitchen, but I became so tough mentally and emotionally that I did all of it without a flicker of begrudge. It was around this time when my exams were near, my mother was still in a lot of pain, and sadly, I too got down with dengue.

All of it appeared to be tougher than before. My dad had to handle everything, literally everything. My maternal uncle tirelessly supported us at every step during this time. I decided to take up my exams. But I could hardly study for an hour a day. Every night, I used to cry myself to sleep as I couldn’t bear the pain of missing my mom, even though she was right next to me. Our roles had now exchanged and every time I interacted with her in the hope that she’ll respond or say my name, or just scold me, I felt a part of me break as she couldn’t. But, I always told myself that she was saying a lot of things and was listening to me. And, this gave me tremendous strength.

Gradually, her condition began to improve and things started running smoothly in the house. Then, lockdown happened. Internally, I was glad that this would allow me to be around her and it would also be a break for me. But again, I forgot it meant no domestic help too. This gave me bouts of anger and resentment. I spent abundant time wishing that she was fine and that my life was completely normal. I cried a lot. A lot. Feelings o anxiety and guilt were on its peak, but whenever I saw my dad doing everything with a huge smile on his face, I felt power welling up inside me. It made me believe that if he can, so can I.

I started to overfill my plate to ensure that I was always busy and got no time to think about the problems. One of the best things is that I am pursuing Psychology in my under-graduation and studying this subject has been one of the greatest help in my life. It helped me understand my thoughts, feelings, and actions better and gave me insight into all of the things I experienced.

Thankfully, now things are way better. Even if there are days when I find life to be difficult, I can manage a lot. I pray every day to be so courageous that I can create value even in this bleak phase of my life. I pray for my mother and often envision her to be that same person, that workaholic, and ideal mother, which she always has been. I want her back. Independent and thriving. Having said that, I don’t let this feeling overpower the hope and positivity that resides in the virtue of my patience.

With utmost hope and faith, I believe that she will be fine. And, I never bottle up. I stay connected to my friends and family. I talk to them. I discuss with them. And, if I ever feel like, I cry to my heart’s content. I know that crying isn’t a sign of my weakness, it’s just my way of emptying my cup for more space to go around the next couple of days. It makes me feel stronger. This has been, in fact, one of my greatest learnings. Vulnerability takes courage and strength. And so, it’s my power. The power to regulate my emotions and keep a tab on my feelings so I don’t feel overwhelmed. Sometimes, I talk to my mother too. The way she responds through her expressions and the way she tries to say so much without even uttering a single word, motivates me to move ahead with a hope that it’s just a phase and it will pass soon. It’s indeed true that positivity, hope, and perseverance provide a road map for victory.

The idea is to just keep moving.

One step at a time. Just one step at a time.

And, remember, you can ALWAYS do it!

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Sanchita Khajuria
Sanchita Khajuria
3 years ago

My girl I am so proud of you. You are the strongest and bravest and you really are a motivation for everyone dealing with a bad phase. More power to you Chameli !

Ann
Ann
3 years ago

The idea is to keep moving forward 👍💞

Theresa
Theresa
3 years ago

Admire your courage to speak up 🙂

Ms. Stranger
Ms. Stranger
3 years ago

It must be very difficult for you and your family and I can’t even think the pain you guys are going through but can tell you one thing,”Hiding pain under a smile is not easy. It can be one of the hardest thing to do. You do it when you care about others more than your self….BUT REMEMBER! … smile can hide anxiety , fear , pain sadness but they reflect one main thing… INNER STRENGTH!”

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Ms. Stranger
Ms. Stranger
3 years ago

From the starting of clg I only knew you as a positive and happy person but today your article add the other category in my impression and that
is ,”MENTALLY STRONG!”
Don’t lose your self Daman…I’m very happy that I got a chance to know ‘ the mentally strong” you;)

Shraddha
Shraddha
3 years ago

More power to you and your family!👏🏻🌼