Rise like a phoenix

From being a back-to-back full attendance awardee to facing detention due to short attendance— a stark transformation that mirrored the toll our surroundings can exact upon us.

I’ve lived a life governed by discipline, righteousness, sincerity, and dedication treating my schooling and graduation more as responsibilities than some chapters primarily supposed to be about fun. Going against the norm where parents force their kids to go the school or the university, looking at my habits, my family urged me to take breaks, but I never wavered, as if addicted. I was felicitated with multiple full attendance awards, citations, and positions all my school life, which tells me I must be in the good books of the teachers. Adding on to reasons of me being a social butterfly yet, amidst being everywhere and known by many, the irony was stark—I had many faces around me but no real friendships for the longest time.

If you’re everywhere, you’re actually nowhere.


An extroverted soul, I thrived in leadership roles, eager to sow seeds of positivity wherever I trod. Being a firm believer that expectations always lead to disappointments, my guiding principle was simple: do good without expecting reciprocation, and, leave a place better than you’ve found it. And I tell you I’ve always loved it. University life saw me pouring my heart and soul into various roles, dedicating time, energy, and ideas to make that difference. But in chasing enjoyment and contributing endlessly, I lost sight of my core purpose, my core self.

A good doesn’t remain good forever, a good isn’t always good for all. A good for one can be an absolute evil for the other. It’s all about perception.

Amish Tripathi in Shiva Trilogy

Despite giving my all out there, I failed to notice the depletion of my energy and that what I was exerting, was just the reserve. I was part of high-stature events back-to-back, not that I was not enjoying but all while neglecting the signals my body and mind were sending—signals of fatigue and strain.

The tipping point probably arrived when my efforts were not reciprocated in the form of acknowledgement, appreciation, or say, basic support. When all was taken care of, and when I was finally done, I realized inside a volcano was about to erupt- a massive burnout. Anxiety became my constant companion, draining my vitality, triggering social anxiety, and eroding my once vibrant spirit. I spiralled into a state where sleep was my sole refuge, and my health, studies, and creativity suffered gravely. The chirpy social butterfly now sought solace in seclusion, desperate to shield herself from the deepening roots of anxiety, from the constant reminders of not playing her best version.

Despite strides toward healing, I couldn’t return to myself, for I still was held captive by the aftermath of exhaustion. The weight of unmet expectations suffocated me, leading to a breaking point. I couldn’t be myself; I wasn’t myself. The pressure became unbearable, and I broke under its weight.

My journey led me to the depths, where vulnerability and extremes intertwined. It led to me being in positions I hated all my life- to be helpless, unresponsive, to not work, and to be useless. It was only after almost a year that within that darkness, a glitter of hope emerged—a beacon guiding me toward understanding and self-compassion.

Phoenix is referred to a bird in greek mythology, which has the power to regenerate or reborn from its ashes after dying. From this I learnt that when you go down and you think it is the end, that is when you start rising. You can't go lower than the lowest, for the only option left is upwards! 

When the bare minimum feels like a task to you, when your basics start taking a toll upon you, I think that’s when you need to completely pause & reflect. So when you speak about the stark transformation in my very basics, that’s because I am drained, and this includes the expectations I’ve carried on my shoulder throughout. Recognizing the toll of overburdening oneself and external pressures is a pivotal step. It was here that I started realizing the importance of prioritizing self-care and seeking support during times of distress. My family and friends have been that support and I couldn’t be more grateful about it.


To all the bright souls out there, the champions of kindness and positivity, I implore you—save yourselves from yourselves. The world doesn’t hold the responsibility of saving you; that task is yours alone. I believed in others more than I believed in myself, and yes, that’s been part of the problem. Believe in your potential, cherish your efforts, and prioritize your well-being above all else. The journey toward self-betterment begins with self-care, appreciation, and a commitment to your own upliftment.

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.

Maya Angelou in Letter to My Daughter

Embrace the journey back to your true self, knowing that it’s okay to take things at your own pace. Please remember that you are your own responsibility and if you do not take care of yourself before marching towards a better tomorrow for the world, probably you’d be good for none. A good friend told me & I repeat— the sun marks the end of the day, it’ll guide you.

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