WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING

Challenges are a part and parcel of our life which also bring fear with it. Also,I would say that these are very subjective and temporary. Something that is very challenging for me may not be as challenging for you and same goes with the fear.

So, in this small life of 35 years, I have come across many small and big challenges but the one that consumed me the most is being a mother. You may ask, why so?

We all think that’s its very natural to conceive and there is no rocket science in it. But it was only a few years back that I realised that conceiving was a BIG science.

10 years ago:

I was newly married and had some discomfort with my menstrual cycle. Hence doctor had asked me to do some tests. He said they were routine and normal. Once the reports were out, the first thing he said was, “You can never become a mother“. These words sound straight from a movie.. like ..  “Tum kabhi maa nahi ban sakti” but at the time it deafened me. I still remember the outburst I had after reaching home and poor Mr Husband didn’t know how to handle my emotional turmoil. Since starting a family was not an immediate thought because we were just married, finally I settled down after a lot of convincing that it won’t happen like the doctor said.

8 years ago:

By then, we were trying very hard to start the family. But failed every time. Doctors were consulted, horrifying tests were performed and we were asked to time the intercourse as the body was mapped to record the ovulation. Every effort failed! We could not conceive. We were then sent for an IUI. I am not going to go in depth with explanation of this process but do google it. Just understand that I would need to do a sonography every morning and then at the time of ovulation, I would need to visit the gynecologist to perform a medical procedure which will help me conceive. All this, with an extremely demanding corporate job was tearing me apart.

Finally a year later, we conceived! I was on cloud 9. I thought all the hardships are over. But I was wrong. It was a chemical pregnancy and it didn’t sustain.

Similar chemical pregnancy happened again in another cycle. By this time I was shattered. I could see all my perseverance go in vain. My body had gone for a toss because of innumerable injections and hormonal medicines and all that it got me in return was pain.

We took a break from medical treatments. It was much needed. It meant, we can experience the pleasure when we really feel like it and not when doctors asked us to! It meant we could go on a holiday and not worry about our sonography dates. It meant I needed not make my arms and thighs black and blue from the injections.

After a year, we returned to the treatments. In this time, I cannot forget to mention the continuous probing from the relatives and family about how can we have kids, how we need to visit an astrologer, how we need to do this and how we need to do that. Anyway, the IUI saga continued without any results. We made about 13 attempts with this procedure. After that we lost it completely.

Then came the time of a battle between mind and body. Mind wanted a baby and the body was tired. All through this journey, I had cried equal to make a sea of my tears, even thought of ending my life (only thought, i am glad i didn’t do it) and had slipped deep into the depression.

Then came a hope in 2017. It was 8 years to our marriage. We had our first consultation with an IVF specialist and she showed us some hopes. IVF meant draining a lot of money and preparing my body for even tougher medical procedures. We were game for it. I wanted to conceive and give birth to a live child any how! Please do google and read about what IVF procedure is. That doctor held my hand took me along the path of motherhood step by step.

Finally with a lot of hardship, in March 2018 I gave birth to Aarnav. I felt like I am the King of the world! I am ready to die now, I have got all that I ever wanted. I am a mother now!

I cannot miss to mention that my immediate family stood by me like a rock during all these years. They pulled me out of depression each time I slipped. They cheered me each time I have cried and they have assured me each time I had doubted about this whole pregnancy and birthing thing. I am forever grateful to them.

Also, I thank God everyday for giving us our baby. It wouldn’t have been possible without his blessings.

I could overcome this challenge because of God, my family and my will power. I am glad I came out of it alive. I now truly understand the meaning of the phrase

When going gets tough, the tough get going” I am glad that I was tough enough to face all this and come out being what I always wanted to be – A mother!

 

 

OVERCOMING THE UNWANTED PREGNANCY

Isn’t it true, we all carry the tendency of “UNWANTED PREGNANCY”! Metaphorically, we all feed some or a big amount of bad habits (imperfections) in our life since they are fun-filled and primarily we are enticed by their heroic personalities, whereas each of the bad habits we embrace finally results in kissing guilt and shame. Identically every human being, I was and is holding some amount of the tendency of Unwanted Pregnancy.

While in primary school, I observed some of my friends are using some foul languages and signs, which resulted to shut their counterparts up while fighting. I started learning and using those languages and by the time I passed my Board exams, I was well-versed with those bad languages and their meaning. Though often I behaved using it unintentionally, the truth was it was actually not so, since I knew what I’m quoting to the other person. I was so cunning that I was never scolded by any of my family members since they thought I didn’t know what is a foul language even. Gradually, towards my University days, I was already entangled with another awful habit that was “eve-teasing”. Chasing and passing on bad comments had become fun stuff for me. Somewhere I lost the sense of how hurting it must to them.

“If you give sin a foot hole it will one-day become your graveyard. But blessed are those who listen to good counsels and draw the line within the due time.”  

While being entangled with these bad habits, there will always be a voice either from inside of us or from outside of us that convicts us for our deeds. Exactly, in those days time and again I was reminded both in the Church sermons and by the godly people around me – foul language destroys your own character and it is an illicit pleasure. It was towards the end of 2008, my elder sister had to move to Delhi for her professional demands. Alongside missing her, every time as I pass-on bad comments to a girl my conscience convicted me – “how would you feel if someone does the same to your sister?” This daunting question put me into the cubicle of self-introspection.

American-Canadian-Indian author Dr. Ravi Zacharias rightly says,

“Any pleasure that jeopardizes the sacred right of another is an illicit pleasure.”

We may carry differences of status, religious views, influence, and political opinions yet one truth is absolute and holds each of us – Each of us has a sacred right to live life with due honor and it shouldn’t be hampered to treat our selfish and unmitigated pleasures. We are designed to exist within human society. As we put self in the first place the hurt of the victim of our Unwanted Pregnancy can be better felt.

Bad habits are easily learned but it takes a protracted period to break its chain. Though the protracted period consistently convicts us with the guilt of our failed commitments yet it has a lot of possibilities of overcoming it. Imagine the hurt of the victim of my foul words and eve-teasing, every time I made the commitment “NOT TO DO IT AGAIN”, yet often I failed. The tendency of failing happened not just once or twice but was almost for a year. With the years of inclination to sin and carrying the weakness of self-pleasure within, failing again is obvious but God searches our INTENTION. Perfection never comes one-day at a time. In the Bible LORD God says,

I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind.

Emblematically, the Unwanted Pregnancy (imperfections) has many faces – as we try to clean one the other one sprouts up. The closer the mirror is the more visible the pimple marks and blackheads are! As a kid, I had the bad habit of biting nails and as I tried to overcome it, I was stealing pencils and chalks from the classroom. When I started overcoming it I was subjected to malpractice in the exam, done and dusted overcoming it I was using foul languages… then eve-teasing… then illicit relationship… then addicted to cigars… then corruption… then addicted to porn… then extramarital affair… then lie… then cheating spouse… the list never ends. The inclination towards Unwanted Pregnancies refers to the existence of the tendency of sin within us. Sure enough, that has deserted us from the Perfect Being – GOD. As we realize and confess the tendency of Unwanted Pregnancies (imperfections/sins), our relationship with God restores. The closer this relationship, the more unwanted Pregnancies we operate. Overcoming brings perfection and perfection is the process to be PERFECT resonating the God-image within us.

 

MY THEN BIGGEST CHALLENGE, MY TODAY’S STRENGTH

It’s What” and not “Waaatt”. When will you ever learn to pronounce it correctly? It’s high time you learn English”, my friend mocked at me. Morning conversations with her, while waiting for the bus, every single day was torturous. Allowing her, to let myself down had become a part of my daily life. A person who studied in English medium school yet unable to speak in the language fluently, was instantly shamed. An introvert by nature, all I wanted was to run somewhere and hide myself.  

She was excellent in her communication skills. I thought, my language would improve, if I would talk to her on a daily basis. Nevertheless, I was proved wrong. She seemed to be more interested in pulling my leg than actually helping me get out of this situation. 

What if my grammar is incorrect? What if she makes fun of me again? I could be clowned. These were my inside thoughts, before starting a conversation with her. I was scared. I feared, I was not good enough for her or anybody for that matter.

Until, one day, I decided to break my shell, by challenging myself.  I didn’t want my story to end like this. Heading towards the College library, for getting a membership, remains one of the best decisions of my life till date. Reading turned out to be my favorite hobby and Alfred Hitchcock, my favorite author. I still remember how my mother would scold me for reading till late night, but all I wanted was to continue reading and finish the books as soon as possible. Gradually, reading became my favorite addiction and English my favorite language. 

At home, I requested my parents to communicate with me and my sister in English, as often as possible. Watching English movies with subtitles, listening to Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias’s songs, had become a part and parcel of my life.  After school, my younger sister, would come running to me to help her in her essays. No wonder, her teacher was amazed by her writing skills. My confidence was boosted, and I no longer shied away from speaking. 

English was my disability and today I have conquered it.  Yes, I am still in the learning process and not an expert, but the fact remains that, it is one of the biggest challenge I have overcome.  Today, when I look back, I have a smile on my face. My challenge to myself has made me reach so far, that today I am also known as a writer, who writes poems and quotes in English.   

Allow me share with you the lessons I learned in the process, that helped me overcome my challenges.

1. Now, that you have challenged yourself, remain committed to the same. No matter how difficult the challenge looks, if you are tired, pause but do not give up.

2. Even if no one motivates you or pushes you, BELIEVE in yourself. As the saying goes, “If there is a will, there is a way”, so find it yourself. Become a self-motivator.

3. Stay away from people who give you negative vibes and remain focused on what you want to achieve. Do not let their perceptions break you.

4. Now that you have achieved what you needed, remain grounded. Help those, who are in the same shoes you were in before. Become a candle in their darkness and let the light spread. 

5. Thank each one of them, who provoked you to take this up. If it were not for them, you wouldn’t have built your own ladder.

So, let me conclude by a quote written by me,

WA6z3465
(A product of Archana Dipu @YQ)

Keep reading and Take Care!

(Visit Ms. Archana Dipu’s personal blog at INKEDTREATS )

MY JOY OF OVERCOMING CHALLENGES

The day a child is born, it faces challenges of life in bits and pieces. When it is a small baby its challenges are negligible in regards to the challenges that it faces later in its life. And as the days progress the challenges keep increasing.

But those who have faced those challenges head on, they have actually succeeded in whatever avenues they got into. Challenges in life build our characters. As someone said, “God allows suffering to make us, not break us”. He allows challenges for us to confront and be the winner.

Do words have any value until they were culminated in actions?

Let me enlighten you with a challenge in my life which I dreaded the most but was desperate to overcome it…

I studied in an Oriya medium school in Cuttack. I was a good student yet apart from English all other subjects were in Oriya language. When I joined college after my tenth, I felt I was in the middle of the ocean when everything was in English.

Guess what!!!

I scored just 58%, second class without extra optional subjects. These extra optional subjects kept my izzat (my image) that year and in the certificate “First Class” was written. I had big problem getting a seat for B. Com, in the same college, Ravenshaw College (now it’s a university). But thank God, in graduation I managed to score better than before. Yet, I failed to learn speaking and even writing good English.

I remember, one time, I wrote a letter in English to my best friend, Binod Sharma who went for further studies after our college. I had to write in English as he could not have read in Oriya and I could not have written it in Hindi. I was so happy after I finished writing in the Inland letter. I read it 10 times before posting it.

When I started working in Cuttack, I started to writing poems in English though they were not so good but I tried. I was happy that I could able to at least write something in English.

When I came to Kolkata in 2001, I picked up Bengali within six months’ time but even when I was in an office set up and in one of the metro cities of India, I was struggling to speak English properly. My cousins and their Mom helped me a lot to rectify my pronunciation and grammatical errors while I started to converse with them in Or-Ben-Lish.

Khristina taught me how to chat on Yahoo messenger. There was not any Facebook, forget about Whatsapp. She created an email for me and taught. And my personal entertainment started as I was all alone for next three years till, I got married in 2004.

You may be thinking, why am I sharing my secrets with you all? It is because, Chit-Chatting on random people on Yahoo Messenger helped me to speak correct English. And slowly, I picked up after coming across foreigners and different official guests etc.

In 2006, I started Candles (not Online) and there was no looking back. I kept on learning and learning… I am still learning to speak and write good English even if I lead a team of wonderful writers.

When I look back, I wonder how amazing was my journey while I overcame this difficult challenge of learning English so that I can express myself to the whole world.

The second challenge that I overcome was riding a motor bike. My grand father and my father were carrying the stigma of not riding even a bicycle in their whole life. And I didn’t want to carry the same. But I had the biggest drawback – my health condition. I was restricted to ride a bicycle and a bike was simply out of question.

When I completed my post-graduation, I started a grocery shop at my home alongside my father as he was retrenched from his company. And I aspired to buy one scooter, at least second hand so that I can learn it and ride it.

But how will do that?

How can I balance it?

Why bike has two wheels only?

Just one more wheel will make my learning easier…

These thoughts popped up in my mind when a neighbor started helping me to learn. I never fell from the bike while learning because I was too cautious. I took time as I had never learnt or ridden a bicycle in my life. After 10 days I lost patience and told that brother who was helping me to stop. He did encourage me but didn’t force me considering my health. After couple of days, I again felt like learning it and I remember the feeling when I raised both my legs and saw the bike rolling without getting imbalanced.

Deepak Bhai, I can balance now… I didn’t put my legs down even a single time.” I shouted back looking at him who was standing at a distance watching me riding it with my spread-eagled legs in the air (not arms thought). He smiled looking at me and encouraged to keep doing that.

(Image Credit: Google Inc.)

I learnt riding a bike on the historical sea shore at Cuttack where the historical Baaliyatra Festival takes place every year before winter.

After someday, I hit the road with my green coloured Secondhand LML Trendy. Fortunately, I found a picture of it on Google as I wasn’t expecting a picture of an obsolete product. I enjoyed it for a whole year or so till I joined work at Kolkata.

I didn’t really ride bikes much afterwards as I didn’t have any scope for it but the joy of overcoming this challenge in life was in leaps and bounds.

In closing, I just wanted to quote a Bible verse that has always strengthened me whenever I faced any challenge:

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear; I will help you”.

I haven’t mastered anything, but I wasn’t much behind anyone and anything. I give all the glory to my Lord God for letting me overcome these challenges in my life.

How about you?

As we keep writing on the challenges that we have overcome in our lives, you stay safe at your home and keep reading them…

Stay Blessed!

FEARS AND CHOICES

Fear is very unpleasant to all who experience it. It makes oneself very vulnerable to the world, and no one likes the same. This week, we are discussing the different kinds of Fears and Phobias, and today I am going to share one of them. I would like to talk about a fear called “Claustrophobia”, which is an extreme and irrational fear of confined spaces. The person experiencing this, when stuck in a confined space, experiences dizziness, blackouts and severe panic.

I, myself have never experienced the phobia but I am going to share the experience of my husband. Recently, we were going to a friends place for a visit. While going to the elevator, the watchman came running and told us that, at times the elevator does get stuck in the middle and you have to push some button to make it move again. We stood there for some time thinking if we could just climb the stairs. But to the top floor!!! It wasn’t really a good idea as we had our baby with us. We took the lift, and I was subconsciously asking God to take us directly to the top floor. And just then the lights went off! And we stood there. We weren’t even halfway through. I told my husband to call our friend and I just looked at him. He was in shock! All frozen, sweaty and he couldn’t even pull his phone out of his pocket. Before I could tell him anything, the current came back and the lift started moving. Only after we reached, did he take his sigh of relief. 

It’s not only lifts that makes these people feel so uneasy. It can be a simple bedsheet covering the head or getting locked inside your very own room feeling stuck. Even the mosquitoes nets, a long tight hug, no windows in a room, or an MRI machine, etc. Its all in his head and he loves to keep it. Well, it is his fear! Similarly, for me, I am scared of accidents and it is called “Dystychiphobia”. I am in a panic every time the vehicle touches a speed of 60 and above. I do try to control this fear but many a time I surrender to the panic.

I personally feel that sometimes surrendering to the panic and going with the flow always soothes us, and later it calms us as well. If we do not do anything about it, it might haunt us that we could have fought back. It is in a way, we fighting with our own self to be less vulnerable to others in keeping the sane mind intact. It is when we try too much and fail to control those emotions, that we expose the most intricate and raw self of ours.

Many people are strong enough to control their emotions and fears, and give life a chance. Many aren’t that strong. But God always helps us find our peace of mind and also help us find ways to avoid situations. Facing fears and running from it are the choices life gives us. But only God can help us choose what is good for that situation. It is what the great leader Nelson Mandela once said, “May your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears.”

FACE YOUR FEAR

“I can’t sleep alone in my room mumma” said Saksham my 6.5 year old whom we are trying to sleep train alone in his room, “monsters trouble me, so I can’t sleep alone”. “Face your fear son and you will feel strong, that’s the only way to accomplish things in life”. He did understand whatever 30-40 minutes chat we had and he did sleep in his room. He had a broad smile on his face the next day morning – “I did it mumma, I faced my fear”. Next we went to Adventure Park, Saksham was not allowed on one of the roller coaster because of his height, and I was too scared to even give it a try, “I can’t do it Saksham, mumma is really scared of rides”, Saksham took my hand in his and looked me into my eyes and said “Face your fear mumma, you can do it!”, and I did it and me and Saksham celebrated the overcoming of fear with a smoothie. It was such a great feeling of accomplishment.

That’s when I realized how important it is to face your fears. Sometimes life throws situations at us that we are just not ready to face, but we have to overcome the fear and face the situations in order to walk ahead in life. There are many fears that we have – as a toddler we have fear to fall but we learn to walk only when we overcome that fear. We get hurt in the process, bruised at times but then we accomplish it and walk ahead with head held high.

There would have been someone who would have had fear to fall from the sky, yet they invented airplane, someone would have had the fear to sink, yet they would have achieved depths inside the ocean, someone would have been afraid to climb the mountains, yet they faced the storms and reached the peak.

To sum it all up, sky is limit for any of us- just face your fear and March ahead in life with head held high and leaving footprints behind and creating wonderful memories through the journey!!!

OVERCOME YOUR FEAR – JUST FACE IT

“Hey! You missed the U-turn!” Startled, I told Anuj. It was one of those pleasure bike rides which Anuj and I used to take whenever we had loads to talk about or on the days when there was simply nothing to chat about. We used to head towards the Rajpur Road in Dehradun and take a u-turn when the road diverged. The straight road headed to Mussoorie , a hill station and so was a hilly terrain.  Anuj knew I was scared of the zig-zag bends and that too on a bike was just off limits for me.

But today, Anuj was heading straight and it seemed my voice was falling on deaf ears. “Since you are afraid of hilly terrain on bike, I am going to remove that fear in you today”, he said finally. I sat, stunned and thought it’s going to be the last day of my life! My heart would sink on every blind turn that we took. We had crossed the halfway to the hill station and I thought this mad guy is going to take me to Mussoorie. But, to be honest, I gradually had started enjoying this adventurous ride. The cool breeze and the picturesque view faded away my fears. When I told him that I am not afraid anymore, he stopped the bike to return back.

Years later, when we came together in the wedlock, we had to take a flight. Yes, that was my another  fear- fear of flying! I dreaded vomiting and nausea feeling. But, even during the turbulent weather, I was perfectly fine (though I didn’t leave Anuj’s hand and kept chanting my prayer)!

One thing that my life partner has taught me is to overcome a fear by facing it.  You are afraid of your fear because you don’t know what it is like. The moment you experience it, you overcome it.

You will laugh if I tell you that I was afraid of getting pregnant because of vomiting throughout and the labor pains at the time of delivery. Yet, I managed to overcome these fears and had 2 normal deliveries!

There’s a brilliant bollywood movie- Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara which inspires you to overcome your fears by dealing with them. It tells us that we have, but one life, so don’t be afraid, just let it go…