Many years back, we were newly married and I moved from living in an 850 sq feet apartment in bustling Mumbai with my parents, sister and grandmother to a 1600 sq feet townhome in an area quiet as a cemetery. No matter what window I looked out of, apart from lush green lawns and a beautiful lake and a road, I couldn’t see anything else. Add to it, the fact that I am a major darpok, and whenever P would leave for work, I would be terrified even during the day! So you can imagine my condition when he started traveling for work! I have spent many a sleepless nights imagining horrible serial killers and rapists suffocating and torturing me.
Finally I realized I have to turn to myself to make me strong, I started reading the Seven Habits of Highly Effective people and willed myself to make those changes in my attitude and my life. In one of my management classes, the professor defined Fear as Fantasized evidence appearing real. Isn’t this definition awesome? It’s so true!! Sometimes you freak yourself out so much over something not real or which has not yet happened that you truly experience the emotions of that terrible thing happening to you. You know how there are those stress management techniques via which you imagine your stressful situation and mentally walk through it – like presenting before an important audience etc and then the technique promises you to be calm and prepared for the actual event. I have used it many times with success but feel that it can’t be applied to fantasy fear situations; then it just depresses and freaks you out even more. Anyways I tried and tried and it helped and slowly I got better with handling my fears and actually even started sleeping through the nights peacefully.
Until you experience something worse than your current troubles, your current woes seem the world to you, don’t they? It’s so true, when they say – what doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger, but again that’s true if you let it make you stronger, if you choose to sulk and mope around and wallow in self pity and not learn something from it, dust yourselves off and stand up and walk again, it’s never going to make you stronger. Well, I became a stronger person by taking the first step – learning to adjust to solitude. From being someone who was never ever alone even for a second in her life, I went to being alone for days on end. And I survived….