A die-hard Bengali, hailing from the suburbs of Kolkata, Sitasri De is a 27-year-old multipotentiality. She was grown in a protective environment and had a wonderful childhood coloured with the literature, culture and rich music of West Bengal.
Her plethora of hobbies include playing instruments like guitar and ukulele, painting, watching movies, reading books, and playing sports. Additionally, she has achieved distinction in classical music for 7 years and has her own blog where she often expresses her thoughts on various topics. She is currently working as a Pan India Operations Manager in her company.
She completed her schooling in her hometown, but after she got married and shifted to Ahmedabad, she started facing language barriers in communicating with people and began getting lured into the spirals of self-doubt and underconfidence.
Problems were resurfacing when they shifted to Mumbai after marriage.
“I am from a highly protective family and a small town where everyone knew me as Mr. De’s daughter and not by my name. After we moved to Mumbai, the cultural change and the new married life began to change my personality.”
Otherwise an open book and a straightforward person, Sitasri started understanding the new family dynamics and found herself restricted to her house walls. She got immediately married after her post graduation and that did not give her time to explore opportunities related to her career.
She was unable to excuse herself and leave the house on her terms, being a social person and unable to interact with people outside started causing anxiety in her.
She likes to live a fast-paced life and seeing her husband work started making her feel jealous for not having a job or a work routine.
She feared missing out on things and began strongly wondering as to the value of her marital relationship.
“This insecurity was building up day by day and I was losing myself as I did not have any other scope other than the fact that I come from this state and married to this man.”
Her identity seemed like a distant shadow that seemed more and more blurry as she stood and saw her life going by.
After arriving in Mumbai, Sitasri was determined to shatter the unwanted thoughts and break away from the negativity that was turning her into someone she was hating. Her anxiety also gave birth to a habit where found herself cleaning excessively and keeping things in the right order to maintain neatness to perfection.
The major stress factor in her life was the cultural change out of her marriage and in addition to that, the new environment of people and social interactions with them. But, she could not blame anyone else because she had made all those decisions by herself.
“My anxiety was a parasite to my self-doubt, it was eating my confidence and making me weak. And when I did the most unimaginable thing I thought I would not do, I realised I needed an intervention.”
Sitasri reached out to YourDOST through her company’s association and was ready to speak transparently from day one. No stigmas around mental health counseling bothered her. She was afraid to tell her parents and friends about her sessions, it was solely because she believed that those sessions were for her and nobody else.
She was comfortable with investing time in her mental health as the platform provided chat and audio sessions at the convenience of her home.
She got connected with her counselor, Bhrashvi Gada, and found herself to be more relaxed after the first session.
“My counselor was very warm and welcoming, she is a great listener and has always encouraged me to speak to my heart’s content. Maybe I connected with her quickly as we are of the same age group.”
A number of techniques were involved in her sessions. Starting from the most popular technique of journaling for channelising her insecure thoughts and frustrations onto a paper and organising her feelings after reading them.
She was also introduced to various breathing exercises to ease her anxiety. The 5-4-3-2-1 technique of activating her sensory organs in times of panic attacks.
She was able to follow these and started seeing positive changes in herself. Untidy things don’t bother her as they did earlier. She learnt to trust people and regained her momentum on making friends and going out in public alone, started reading more books and got reconnected with her old hobbies.
“I thank my counsellor from the bottom of my heart for listening to me with her undivided attention and facilitating my growth in terms of building my confidence and identity.”
The journey has seen more downs than ups, but Sitasri is committed to improving herself one day at a time.
She rated herself 3 out of 5 in terms of getting better for she sees herself as a ‘work in progress and has a long way to go. With her newly built confidence, she is ready to conquer the challenges that life will throw at her.
Sitasri’s Warrior Tips:
1. Stop fearing the judgement people have towards you, you are responsible for your own happiness and growth.
2. Put yourself first, because nobody else will.
3. Mental health issues are more like a war than a battle, don’t lose hope, there is always light at the end of this tunnel.