The above quote from the Atharva Veda can be interpreted in two ways, a war that we wage outside in the physical reality and the other one that we knowingly or unknowingly wage against our own selves. The second war through the ages has been regarded as the tougher one, as the final victory over one’s own mind has been cherished by philosophers and practical men alike.
For me it had been a much more difficult task as ‘Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)’ has been an unpleasant companion from the early teens. Earlier I had only minor symptoms such as having the urge to wash my hands frequently and the tendency to check and recheck things. As I grew up, I got rid of these symptoms by the constant application of my will and by 18, I thought was free.
Well, I was not. The second phase of this condition came when I was 20, and collided with the most disastrous event of my life. It was back in 2012, when my family business went through a devastating time and we were almost on the streets. I was 20 years old had just graduated that very year, being from an affluent family, I had never worried about my financial security, but it all changed in just two days and I was forced to go on a journey that took away a part of me.
The OCD gradually grew worse over the years and resulted in unpredictable and unwanted thoughts followed by unpredictable behaviour such as violent outbursts, throwing people away from life in matter of seconds. These thoughts intensified so much that they started to have a voice of its own that soon became the reason for my sleepless nights. To make it worse, this coincided with betrayals by people who were close to me. I reached a point when I became insensitive and unemotional. I could not trust anyone, being even suspicious of people who had a friendly approach.
I bunked three appointments to different psychologists in 2015 as I could not gather the strength to open up to someone. In early 2017, it grew worse, and I knew I needed help.
I remember my first session with Charvi, I was, as expected, very skeptical. But as the session progressed she made me so comfortable, that I could not resist opening up to her. I shared with her all the ups and downs which she listened without interrupting. But the end of the first session, we made goals on what we were going to work upon. We prioritised working on my ‘intrusive’ unwanted thoughts in the next couple of sessions, by means of various tasks that Charvi would assign me.
One of the tasks interestingly, was to schedule an hour to let my thoughts wander instead of entertaining them throughout the day. Every day I would have to reduce the wandering time by 5 minutes. With this technique I was able to stop my thoughts when they occurred and keep the focus on what I was doing.
Another technique that really helped me was the mindfulness meditation; it helped me to be aware all the time, to be in the present moment without thinking about the past or the future. Charvi also helped change my perspective about how I saw myself and my life. I started to be more grateful and proud of the fact that I survived it all and stood tall with all the scars. By the 6th session I found myself completely in control of my thoughts, and rediscovered the peace which had been a myth for the last five years.
I got saved by Charvi not only because she is a wonderful therapist, but because there was something in her that made me open up to her, and it was the most important thing, as I am not a very easy person to work with. My journey had turned me in to a suspicious tough nut that was very hard to crack, but Charvi managed all of it so efficiently and relieved me from my misery. She now has a very special place in my journey.