Sereena came to see me three years ago. She was suffering from depression and the psychiatrist had prescribed medication to manage it. She told me that her grandfather, whom she was very close to, had suffered from cancer and that nursing him had taken its toll on her. When her Nana-ji died, she sank into depression, and took to her bed. She refused to go out, lost her appetite and barely communicated with her husband, who was at his wits’ end.
According to Sereena, depression had very much been her way of life from the time she was young, when she was shuttled back and forth between her parents and grandparents because her father had been diagnosed with manic bipolar disorder. It didn’t help that the psychiatrist she started seeing after her grandfather’s death told her that she would very likely suffer from the same condition as her father. Sereena felt condemned to suffer from a deteriorating mental state for the rest of her life.
She came to see me prompted by her aunt, who had attended a course on Neuro Linguistic Programming and Time Line Therapy and experienced great transformation in her life. “My aunt said you would be able to help me,” Sereena told me listlessly. I studied her closely. Beyond the lank hair, baggy clothes and lifeless demeanour, I sensed that there existed a beautiful, intelligent and vibrant woman with tremendous potential. I told her to sign up for my course, the same one her aunt had come for.
She was sceptical. I was her last resort, she said. “I need to get out of this state I am in and move on. I don’t want to be reliant on medication for the rest of my life.” Then she signed up.
During the NLP and Time Line Therapy practitioner certification workshop, I saw the transformation happening in Sereena day by day. Her physiology changed – she began to stand up taller, she stopped hunching, she made more eye contact with her fellow course mates and started to engage with them. She even went out after the sessions for coffee and study time with them.
“I had a lot of ‘Aha’ moments during the course. I used to blame others and God a lot, for the way my life was.
The biggest learning was to realise that everything that had happened to me in my life was because of me and my choices and not because of anyone else. As the days progressed, I felt myself becoming calmer. My resentments died out. My husband and family members noticed the difference in me,” she shares.
The culmination was on graduation day, when she came to class in the morning. The baggy clothes had been replaced with a stylish suit, the geeky glasses with contact lenses and the lanky, long hair had given way to sleek new bob that complemented the skilfully made up face. She radiated joy and confidence.
Her classmates were stunned. Her husband couldn’t take his eyes off her. In her graduation speech, Sereena brought tears to many eyes when she confessed, “I used to wake up in the morning wishing I was dead. I used to ask ‘Damn, why am I still alive?
Today, I wake up and I want to live. I want to embrace the day and experience life. I know now that I am in charge of my results and that all responsibility for my life lies with me.”
Today, Sereena is a completely different person from the person who first came to see me three years ago. She and her husband share a wonderful, romantic relationship. She exudes optimism and has renamed herself Sereena Joy, because she embodies joy in every area of her life. She doesn’t need medication anymore – her drug is the joy of living. She’s gone back into the workforce and is a source of great encouragement to those around her, even coaching people who come to her with problems.
How did Sereena get her groove back?
Just by immersing herself in Human Equation’s eight-day transformation workshop. The invaluable tools she got helped her take responsibility for her choices and her mental state and to get her marriage back on track. It’s also given her the confidence to go back to work and to forge healthy, productive relationships with new friends.
By Sheila Singam