Ep21: When I made some progress with my mental health only to have Shams undo it later

  • Time 4 min
  • Date October 10, 2020

“My parents would have had a fit if they knew about me meeting a counsellor.”

I walked into the counsellor’s room not knowing what to expect and walked out an hour later, feeling calmer. There was a new sense of confidence, I finally felt like I could deal with this situation. Right at that moment though, my attention shifted to Shams. Why was she here? And more importantly, why was I in the dark about it?

Did Becca know?

Megha — You free???

Becca — Stranded!!!!

Left house keys at home.

Hanging out at Shams

Megha — Will be right there.

As the taxi crawled through the crowded streets, I wondered about Shams’ story. Why had she kept a secret for 3 long years, maybe more? The Shams I knew was chilled out, she had it all together. It was just her and her mum, who unlike mine was quite progressive. Shams was pretty sorted with finances too. What could blemish her picture-perfect life?

On the other hand, I was happy I had met the counsellor. My parents would have had a fit if they knew. Coming from the old school, me seeking help for my mental health would have been unacceptable. They also hold an unshakable belief that counselling is a money-making racket.  They would have insisted, “There’s nothing wrong with you. Just act less recklessly.” My dad would have added his ‘don’t think about it’ quote. Divs would hear me out first and then would most likely conclude that she too needed to see a counsellor. Nope, out of the question. I’d rather focus on the few lifestyle changes that the counsellor had recommended. Let me see…


“20 minutes later, I was neither calm nor patient. I was infuriated.”

Limit digital consumption… I know, I know, I must. You remember my late-night rendezvous with Dr.Google, right? Each article more vicious than the other. Plus, it’s not like the blue light was helping my skin either. Yeah, better to tune out often.

Instead, write your heart out. Letting my feelings pour out on paper instead of my phone is pure therapy, methinks. Gonna order that gorgeous journal… my thoughts need style too.

Let go of toxic people — Hmmm… can I label ND toxic, you think? Naaaah. Not yet, anyway. And how do you dump your boss? My thoughts drifted… did Shams get similar advice. Dumping Samar would certainly do good to her. Does he know her secret? Bile rose in my throat. She’d better not have told him.  Relax, Megha…. take a deep breath, just as advised… and then another. I felt better.

Work that body… I should never have missed those Zumba classes! I could feel my body crave happy hormones. Does this explain Shams’ OCD with CrossFit? Was she using it to fight her demons? This was crazy, everything just kept taking me back to Shams.

Positive vibes only… from the world and from yourself. Appreciate yourself a little more.

I smiled as I thought of an article on mental health which was quite ready in my head. I could pepper it with experiences and personally endorse it. Hah! Was I feeling good or what?

I felt more equipped to deal with Shams. My mantra was ‘be patient, be calm’. I kept repeating it all the way to her place.

20 minutes later, I was neither calm nor patient. I was infuriated. I had dropped a zillion hints for Shams to come out and tell us about what was ailing her. But that woman did not let out a peep! When my frustration could hold it no longer, I blurted, “Why are you seeing a counsellor?”

Shams gave me an icy look.

“Counsellor, really? How do you know this?”, asked Becca turning to me.

“Because she visited him too”, pat came the reply from Shams.

What! How did she know this? Had she seen me and pretended not to? I was furious. Saint Megha had left the room!

Megha’s self-pep tricks:

  • Get off the phone (and laptop)
  • Maintain a journal
  • Goodbye, toxic people
  • Sweat it out
  • Good vibes only