Archive | April, 2019

When Its Time to Let Go

24 Apr

Ending your marriage is one of the most difficult decisions to make.

How do you know that its time to let go of a bond that you thought was forever?

Despite your best intentions and hopes, carrying on in a disconnected marriage can be painful.  Is divorce then the best option for you?

One can never really tell. As a therapist I have seen relationships heal, couples rebuilding their lives together and unexpected shifts happening between two people.

Beyond the obvious – that is Communication and Counselling, there are, in my opinion, two other factors you need to consider before you throw in the towel on your relationship.

Firstly, your deep down intent to revive the relationship.      In the midst of all the toxicity, if you are able to see some positivity in the relationship and willing to work at healing the relationship regardless of the challenges, only then will you be able to move from what you once defined as irreconcilable differences to a new connect laced with empathy and understanding.

‘Conflict’ doesn’t always equal to ‘end of a relationship.’ Its what you do with your conflicts that matter. Both of you need to revisit your areas of struggle, keeping in mind that your spouse also wants to be in this relationship as much as you do. Give room for imperfections and allow healing to take place.

The pain and its scars can be glaring but are you both willing to work at going beyond it? That’s what matters.

Secondly, take some time off to introspect – how much of the problems are due to the relationship and how much due to you and the phase and stage of life that you are in.

Being in a satisfying relationship requires you to take care of yourself emotionally. Do things that boost your self- esteem. Do you have a fulfilling life outside of your relationship? What are your trigger zones?

Spend some time alone to rediscover and reconnect with yourself. Figure out what exactly you are looking for in your marriage. Maybe all these years you haven’t tended to yourself. Start now. Journaling is an effective way to bring clarity to the mind.  As you write you will be sorting out your thoughts, identifying your non- negotiables [needs] and determining the areas where you can be flexible. This clarity and self awareness will help you know and understand yourself better. It will help you to express yourself and your expectations more authentically.

Self awareness can change the dynamics of your relationship which could lead to you putting in more energy and effort to revive your relationship or drift apart realising that you have reached a point of no return.

Sometimes after all the soul searching you come to the conclusion that divorce is the healthier way out. Oftentimes walking away from a marriage can be the best gift you can give yourself especially if there is addiction or abuse. But divorce isn’t easy, it brings about intense emotions like hurt, anger confusion and even guilt. Make sure you have a safe space to sort out these emotions in a safe space.

 

 

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A Well Deserved Break

3 Apr

I come from a subcontinent where the customary belief is, that for any kind of personal success, top grades in school are an absolute necessity.

Top marks is just one of the criteria, there is of course the added expectation of having to participate and succeed in sports, music, debates, all of which go to measuring up in the admission game to the popular colleges.

As a result, the final year in school whizzes by, with tuitions, classes, homework assignments, studying for tests and so on. If you are good at sports ..which translates to – playing a sport for the school /state, then you would then be one of the lucky ones who could include play in your weekly routine, else, at this point life beyond text books doesn’t really exist.

For so many students the day begins early with extra coaching classes even before school hours.

A well thought out menu is put in place to cater to carrying additional eats beyond the usual lunch and recess snacks.

The day then steadily plows on with regular classes, homework submissions, lab work, and a scramble to complete the tuition assignments.

Classes are never done even after 7 hours of school done – Post school hours, students have yet another parallel study center to attend.

These study centers demand rigorous work, charge steep fees, have periodic evaluations, teach you easy methods to remember formulae, and instill just one mantra – Push beyond your limits; Nothing but stellar performance will be rewarded.

Back home after more than 10 hours of poring over various subjects, one would think this young person would be entitled to just laze around …but there’s homework submissions to complete and if that’s not there, then parental reminders about not wasting precious time force children to get back to the books they have barely put away.

Not only parents- uncles, aunts, neighbors, family friends all have just one piece of advice- ‘Your parents are doing so much for you …so all you need to do is study well and not let them down.’

For most students …..this is a year of constant stress. There are times of respite when one set of exams are done or when a submission is turned in, but then again that comfort is promptly overshadowed by thoughts of the next test or homework.

Their busy schedule reminds you of factory workers trying to wrap bar after bar of soap as it speeds down the conveyor belt

Is it then any wonder that so many of our teens today go through the best years of their life with increased anxiety, eating disorders, self harm or being sleep deprived?

Finally, when the exams are all done and joy is throbbing through their veins, some of the immediate exclamations made by these hollering youngsters include –

“It feels like a great grey load has been lifted off my shoulders”,

“I feel like I am finally off a treadmill”

“It’s a terrific feeling to finally feel free”

One young man actually went on to say – “I now need a nap year – A year to recover”

As I watch them, I can’t help but wonder if this board exam paranoia is something that’s so woven into our system that it is a predetermined path our youngsters need to take.

Right now, none of these thoughts matter to these delirious highschoolers. Their immediate focus is on the new 3 R’s – Recover, Recharge and Reset.

To our youth ide like to say – Go ahead release that playful child that has been lying dormant for over a year. Sleep till late morning, invite your friends over and binge watch all your favourite films, Swim, dance or whatever else you feel like. The current empty space in your lives use it to learn more about yourself. The only statutory warning being – Not a thought about the results!