Total 47 Stories

  • 20 Dec
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Sleep Walking

    Sleep Walking

    I was the epitome of calmness. No incident was bad enough to anger me beyond control or impulsively. We underwent huge financial crisis and I lost my mom and dad, and of course, I cried like any child would, but I had a grip on myself and was back to normal pretty soon. I surely felt it all inside me, but I was able to study and work just fine.

    It was only me and my brother and bhabhi at home now, with my parents gone. One morning, I woke up to find myself not in my bed but on the lobby bench. How did I get here? I was really puzzled. The next day, I woke up with a knife in my hand.

    I and my brother were really worried. He said I used to get up in the middle of the night and go out. He was scared for my safety so he had double-locked the door. Angry at the locked door, I had picked up a knife from the kitchen. My brother tried taking it from my hand, but that just made me angry, so he gently put me in bed with the knife.

    First we thought this may be some black magic or something paranormal, but later we decided to see a doctor first. We were sent instead to a psychologist specializing in sleep disorders, and she told me that I had sleep walking disorder. She said it was triggered by all the stress I went through, plus being a closed sort of person I did not confide in anyone and so it came out like that.

    Slowly, in therapy I expressed all my doubts and fears and sorrows, and cried bitterly. But I got better. I slept well and gradually the sleep-walking stopped.

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  • 20 Dec
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Worry

     Worry

     People talk about stress and worry all the time. However, quite a lot of them are able to forget their stress and worry quite easily when they go home to engaging hobbies or loving family or funny friends. That’s not how it was for me. I worried constantly. Each morning, I was scared to look at the newspaper. Of all the crimes and deaths and traumas reported in the newspaper, I was scared. Whenever I met my friends and family, I worried about them. When I sat to study, I worried about my result.

    I was starting to think that something had gone wrong with me. I was not always like this. What had happened? I do not remember much from before the time that mom died. Mom used to worry a lot about dad’s health, because he used to travel a lot for work and it would take its toll. Along with that, the changing weather and food, not to mention the risks of some of the commute modes, would keep her in thoughts for hours. She was always worrying about how we would be safe in dad’s absence.

    One day, I came back from school and saw that our door was open. Inside, mom was lying with… her throat slit. Some thieves had come, and when she had made a lot of noise, they had killed her… I was so shocked I could not speak for days. That time has passed and dad married again. My new mom is okay. At least she does not harm me.

    She told me that I should speak to a counselor about the worries I was having. She suggested a friend of hers. There I came to know of my anxiety disorder, triggered by mom’s death. My brain was thinking that unless I worried and took care of everyone, they would pass away like mom…

    Slowly we worked through my beliefs in counseling and I worry much lesser now. But there’s a long way to go…

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  • 20 Dec
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Couple therapy-how we rekindled the fire

    couple therapy

    Love is one of the most beautiful human experiences. My story of love was fairly typical. She was someone I met in college.  With some hesitation, I approached her, but soon, we were friends, and then in a relationship.

    There were the usual obstructions of career and family, but we glided through all that, to a marriage in our late 20s. Slowly, the monotony of daily life and the pressure of work crept in.

    We no longer had the novelty of a new relationship, nor the goals like ‘convincing parents’. We were done with all that, and now it was just the two of us.

    That’s what’s wrong, we thought. We should have a child. We did, we had two children. For a while, we got busy with them, but then later, that too became routine.

    The odd thing was that we hardly ever fought. We had just fallen out of excitement and intimacy for each other. I longed for those days in our youth when we just couldn’t wait to see each other.

    Now, we had hardly anything to say. I was getting tempted by other, younger women in the office.

    Many of my male friends told me this is normal and that I should take a ‘chance’ when I can. I could have gotten away with it had I wanted to. But I believed in our love and wanted to figure a way out.

    I went to a counselor. She explained to me how the roles of mother, wife and office-goer put so much stress on my wife that she hardly had any energy left for me. She said we did not have fights simply because she did not have the energy to express her anger and disappointment in me.

    I was shocked. When had I become like every other typical man? I was resolved to make things better. I started participating at home, and also took equal part in upbringing the children.

    I bought my wife too and we underwent couples’ therapy for better communication skills. Things were much nicer now, but one thing was still lacking: excitement. We decided that the dream we had of travelling is what would unite us again.

    We made a plan of budgets and started ticking of destinations one by one: first the Indian ones and then foreign countries. On some of these trips we took the children, and on the rest, it was just the two of us. And that’s how we rekindled the fire.

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  • 20 Dec
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Friends are not always the best

    Friends are not always the best

    I was a bright student in college. I sat for extra lectures and seminars, with a genuine thirst for knowledge. I was also a little nervous. No matter how much I knew or tried, I would always blank out in exams. I was standing with yet another sheet of bad results in my hand.

    A boy came and stood next to me. He said that he also had trouble remembering, and someone had told him that all the anxiety in his mind is what interfered with him remembering what he had learnt, And then he had been given a medication that calmed him down so that he could remember well.

    I was quite amazed! All it would take to solve my problem was a pill. I went to his house the next day, and there was some sort of party happening. I asked him if he could give me the pill or at least the name, so I got a prescription.

    They all started mocking at me and laughing at me, and gave me a powder sort of a thing to have. I didn’t know it then, but they had gotten me into a powerful drug.

    I wanted more and more as days passed by. My performance in studies reduced drastically and I started to steal from home because of this habit.

    I was horrified at what I was doing, and I took more of the drug to escape the guilt. It was a vicious cycle and I was caught in the middle of it.

    One day, tired of it all I was about to kill myself, when my mother walked in. she ran and hugged me and told we would sort it out. I was sent to rehab.

    They did not use a lot of medication there and it was mostly activity-based. I had a good counselor who understood my problems and told me that the main issue here was underconfidence and nervousness.

    Together we worked on it and I’m much better now.

  • 20 Dec
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    The nights go by

    The nights go by

    There is nothing remotely romantic about staying up all night. If you can sleep, youshould. Nothing is worth losing sleep over: not a romantic partner, not a job, nothing. Ask someone who can’t sleep even if he wants to. I don’t remember the last time I slept peacefully for days on end.

    I was a football player, but that doesn’t pay well in this country. I was too young torealize that I should join an under-18 club outside in some foreign country to have a real chanceat the game. A friend of mine invited me to play a private tournament, because I thought: what could go wrong?

    It turns out that everything could. I remember each moment of it. I saw as my knee turned the other way around, and I heard a snapping voice. I lost consciousness after that. When I woke up, I was in a hospital. My family told me that I needed an expensive knee surgery.

    Whether I could play or not is out of the question. I only heard the word expensive. And I was right. They reminded me day and night in their ‘helpful’ way about how much they had paid and how I couldn’t pay them back. Slowly, I got bitter and better. Lost my cheerfulness. Lost my friends. And lost my sleep.

    Little by little, the hours of the night would crawl away. Before I knew it, I had insomnia. Around that time, a suicide helpline was started. I really needed to talk to someone. I called them up.

    Slowly and steadily, some of my tensions were resolved. Football as a career was not possible, but I got a job as a sports analyst. I moved out of the house, my family wouldn’t change. I still have some sleepless nights, but it’s much better than it used to be.