Last week on Mental Health Friday, I shared the story of Rahul who was diagnosed with Vitiligo (which is white patches spreading on the skin as a result of decreased pigmentatio). He was going through a rough patch; what with the stigma surrounding vitiligo, low self esteem and suicidal ideation. Today’s story continues from there…
At that time, My Mom & Dad had many long conversations with me, where mom was obviously tender while Dad pretended to be little tough but, they both had the same motto – not to let me fall into depression. In the meantime, I got a counselling call from NIT kurukshetra (kurukshetra is my hometown as well) for Civil engineering. After another marathon session with my Dad and my brother, it was decided that given my state of mind at that time, I should straightway join NIT and not even think of dropping a year to prepare for IIT again. And that Ladies & Gentleman proved to be a great decision as the things stand today –> #Moving on is sometimes the best option available !
Hey wait! Story is yet to finish. Few days into the college, I realized that it’s not like school, it’s different here. The way you dress, the way you look matters utmost here, especially during the first two years. And so, by now my favorite enemy, the inferiority complex was back to haunt me. I remember one day crying heavily after returning from college. When inquired by my parents, I uttered “No one will marry me!” And my Dad gave me a look which clearly said – you moron, you are have just turned 20 and you have already started thinking of marriage and who knows, may be about kids also!!
Jokes apart, I had this insecurity that no one would like to be friends with me and that nobody will even invite me to their parties because I look so uncool with these white patches.
After quite a few bad days, finally, one winter morning while sitting under the sun, I gave it a thought – why am I so unhappy and so ungrateful to God all the time despite having such a wonderful family, a wonderful college, some really great friends, no financial worries, availing best possible treatment available etc.
I further pondered that actually no body was pulling me down, no one was hurting me, and nobody was treating me as an inferior guy. If there was anyone who was probably doing all this to me, it was I, myself: through my wild & completely unnecessary imaginations.
As for the vitiligo, well I was at least having a painless disease while people around me were unfortunately not so lucky. I realized that I should or rather, I must be grateful to God .–> #One should always be thankful for all that one is having!
Eureka!! Yes, it was no less than a eureka moment for me because that fateful day and those thoughts literally turned my life 360 degrees for good. My smile, my confidence and my zeal were all back. And it did wonders in all spheres of my life, I started enjoying life, my friend circle expanded.
But just when everything looked hunky-dory, my mom passed away leaving us all shocked. All hell broke loose. Besides other things, I feared that since my emotional support was gone, vitiligo and related thoughts will make my life miserable once again for the umpteenth time. But by her blessings and thanks to my Dad’s & brother’s support, this time I didn’t let circumstances get better of me.
Over a period of time, I reorganized myself and started facing life boldly.
I started accepting things, especially bad things happening to me more easily. I was more at peace with myself and that reflected all over. During campus interviews in the final year of engineering, I got placed in one of the dream companies, NTPC Ltd, further boosting my self-confidence. Though I had heard it countless times earlier, but I realized it myself that its 100% true – It’s all about training your mind! –> #Thoughts do become things!
And luckily, the whole working culture here at NTPC is very amicable and people are of understanding nature .Colleagues support you whole heatedly, especially when it comes to health issues. –> #Try to be around people with positive or at least neutral thinking!
One last time when this issue of white patches resurfaced was when I was going to meet a girl (now my lovely wife Nishtha) for the marriage proposal. After all the basic mutual talks & forced laughters among parents & relatives (a typical start to a probable north Indian wedding ), there came a moment when both of us were left alone to have a talk. ”Do you really want to marry me, considering the fact these white patches might spread later on to my face as well?” I said in a little reluctant and insecure manner. ”What if this might have happened to you after marriage? It’s not an issue at all.” She said calmly. These thoughts of her really made me feel lucky that day to have met her. –> # Don’t just imagine other’s opinion about yourself, it might not be that bad, let them speak.
So guys no matter what, just keep going, keep fighting. Believe me, circumstances will change and change for good. They did for me, they will do for you. When things are not going your way, just keep reminding yourself –> # Just as good times didn’t last for long, even these bad times won’t!
While the vitiligo still stands tall , but I have grown taller over all these years. And looking back today, I still remember that day as an “unfortunate” one when my mom witnessed my first white patch , not because of vitiligo though but because of cricketing failures which virtually ended my probable glittering cricketing career :).
Thank you very much Rahul for sharing your story of hope and resilience with us. Do check out his blog at Thepassportsouls.travel and say hello
If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’ld love to have you. Let’s join hands to talk about Mental illness and blur out the stigma associated with it. You can contact me on My email address: firstname.lastname@example.org