• Ishani Nandedkar

Tale 8 : Ever moving ahead, never looking back

It's June already. Six months to go till 2019. Wow, I get goosebumps every time I remember how fast time is passing. Time moving fast also means that the years that I've lived with Diabetes are adding up. It's been 15 years since I was first detected with type 1 diabetes. More than half of my entire life till now.

With each passing year, the risk of diabetes complications also grows. As you keep driving your car for many years, its engine starts wearing out, the same way if diabetes is not under control, after a few years, wear and tear starts happening to the internal organs. But, only if the diabetes is uncontrolled. Type 1 diabetics usually have 6 to 8 years less to live than non-diabetics.

Before Yoga happened to me, I was managing a design firm for a few years. I was good at my job but I wasn't really happy with the 9-5 work life. I was suffering from hyper-anxiety and playing hide and seek with depression. I didn't know this at the time because I never saw myself as a person who could ever be depressed. In my mind, depression was something that happened to crazy people, people who couldn't handle their lives. But I was handling my life with strength and dignity. The time it started taking toll on my physical health, I realized that I needed help.

I went to a psychiatrist and he diagnosed me with onset anxiety. Prescribing some pills, he told me that the anxiety was mild and I could control it with positive thinking and doing the one month course of the meds. But, how does someone start thinking positive when all that is going on in their mind is 'hell breaking loose'?

That visit felt like the sky had come crashing down on me. It was a rude shock to realize that something so impossible had happened to me.

At that moment I knew that I had to, I just had to change my life. As I started researching more about anxiety disorders, I found out that diabetics were twice as prone to mental health disorders than non-diabetics. I started getting in touch with more and more type 1 diabetics through social media and other references. That is when I got to know about how many more kids and adults with diabetes were suffering, but because of the stigma attached to mental health, were too afraid to seek help.

I knew that Yoga had rescued me once, and I didn't want to take pills for something that I knew could be overcome through a natural and holistic approach. I had mild anxiety, and after research I found out that many people had beat it by practicing Yoga. That was my moment of reckoning. I now had a purpose: recover from anxiety with Yoga and help others recover too.

I left my job, packed my bags and flew off to Rishikesh to learn the secrets of yogic practices. A few weeks into training I realized that if I could get out of my head and start paying attention to my body and breath, I could stop the decaying of my internal organs. I would never have to go through the torment of being in and out of the hospital in my 40s or 50s if I dedicate my all to this healing art and science known as Yog.

Today, it's been 2 years since my initiation into Yoga and I feel stronger than ever. Being more in control of the things that I can change for the better, and letting go of things that I can't, is my mantra now. I live by it. I get goosebumps when I remember that it's already June, not because I dread the complications that diabetes might bring, but because I know that life will keep getting better. I have yoga by my side and I can always return to it to slow down, breathe and take a moment to appreciate that I'm still here; living, breathing and moving ahead. Always moving ahead.

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