Misfortunes and setbacks build a person. It makes one fight all odds and acquire success. My story is no different.
Being extremely skinny, a mere 27 kg (59.4 pounds) at 22 years old, I was body-shamed, no holds barred! I became conscious of my image, losing my self-confidence and suffering from severe depression, even as I battled jaundice, becoming weaker, slimmer and paler by the day. Isolation made me feel safe. So I cocooned myself into a shell, estranging myself from my family and friends. I stopped talking and my anxiety level rose in geometric progression, making me lose focus from work. I even quit painting.
Becoming the butt of every joke exacerbated my problem. I was diagnosed with acute anxiety disorder, and put on medication and weekly therapy. Sleepless nights due to insomnia and emotional instability during the day, left me exhausted. Every day, I felt, I was failing miserably!
Come whatever may, life must go on. So I continued working at TCS, despite anomalies. During a Toastmaster’s Session in the firm, I heard someone talk openly about depression and his transformation journey. That was all I needed to metamorphose!
Knowing someone similar to me, gave me enough confidence to break out of my shell and seek help. With renewed hope, I became determined to overcome this obstacle. A new hobby of yoga and meditation helped me regain my lost health and weight. My focus at work returned and I was promoted to the post of Systems Engineer. Following a crisis, I joined my family business and led several teams to achieve exceptional results.
Today, I am a confident woman – optimistic and courageous. I take risks and boldly deal with challenges, because I don’t fear failure anymore. I know that success built with sweat and blood, tastes sweeter. None of this would have been possible without the indomitable support of my family, friends and colleagues.
Globally, more than 300 million people, across all ages, suffer from depression. As someone who has overcome physical and emotional limitations, I aspire to build a strong global community to fight this disease that slowly gnaws into our existence. Today, as an active member of the NGO, Turnstone Global, I mentor, guide and counsel children and young women like me, to overcome such mental obstacles.
It is this positive energy and unmitigated encouragement that I promise to bring to all my teams in INSEAD.