There are those days when you feel like nothing is going to work again. Like the world is over. Like you’ve lost everything.
I know I do.
It might just be the traffic. Or a tiff you had with your mother in the morning. An exam you failed.
Or it might be a break-up.
The end of a significant relationship is one of the most life-altering experiences one goes through in one’s life. It breaks a lot of people. Makes cynics out of the rest. But for a tiny fraction of people this painful and heartbreaking experience becomes the catalyst to a new life, new dreams and a renewed belief in their own abilities.
Subhendra is one such individual. Subhendra had had a devastating break-up some time back. I first got to know him when he wrote to me asking for help with the what he was going through. We kept in touch. A few weeks back I received a happy surprise in my Facebook inbox – Subhendra had got himself a seat in a prestigious management school – something he’d always dreamt of.
I was completely blown away. Here’s a guy who was a crushed, heartbroken mess only a few months back. And today he is an epitome of success – having achieved his dream through sheer hard work, dedication and willpower. I felt proud to have helped him. I also felt eager to share his secrets of this mind-blowing turnaround with all of you. Here are some excerpts from a recent chat I had with Subhendra.
#1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a very simple person and I like other simple people. Chatting with friends energizes me like anything. Well, I’ve got only a few. But the ones who I call friends are a true life-force to me.
I take success seriously. I want it. I do what I can to achieve it. The more successful I am, the more confident I feel. The more confident I am the more motivated I feel to do more. That’s the recipe for my success, really.
Oh and btw – did I tell you about my new girlfriend? Here she is.
Oh yes. She’s the curviest, sexiest, most romantic and most caring thing on earth. I love the way she longs for my touch. When I’m with her, I forget everything else. J
#2. You were in a relationship. How long was it? Tell us a bit about it.
Ah yes, my relationship.
We started as friends really. And surprisingly, it was she who took the lead in turning it into something more. I gave in. I fell.
Love is every bit as crazy, euphoric, beathtakingly happy as they say, you know? I’m glad I’ve tasted it, if only for 4 short months. Oh yeah – that’s how long she stayed. Then she called it off. Just like that.
#3. Subhendra you had a shocking break up some time back. Tell us how it happened.
Needless to say I have no words to describe my feelings in the months that followed the break-up. For a long time I couldn’t believe it, really. Especially because she never offered any explanations. I begged.
Eventually I came to know that she had gotten engaged to someone else. I felt may be it was the lack of a formally spelt out commitment of marriage from my side which had broken her trust. To make up for this I confessed everything to my family and got my father to talk to her over the phone. I even invited her to my home to meet my parents (yeah I know how lucky I am). She said she was embarrassed and of course, never came.
I’m crazy I know.
#4. How did the break up affect you?
It has been more than a year since then. I used to feel very lonely. I’d force myself to date other girls, but my past would block everything and my heart would grow cold as I got to know them. I had become a bit of cynic. I felt every girl I met was pretentious and driven by ulterior motives.
I was tired of the so-called positive “pep talk” from people around me. “You can choose to be happy”, and “one day you’ll meet the love of your life” had become meaningless dry platitudes to me. There was no strength, no happiness, no stability in my mind.
#5. What all did you do to cope with your break-up?
My friends were a great support system, to a certain extent. But tell you what – no one can really know what you feel. Hence deep in my heart I was walking alone.
I’ve learnt a lot from my past. I’ve learnt about myself, others and the “real world”. I’ve learnt to focus on myself, to care for myself, to value myself. If I hadn’t started appreciating and believing in myself more, I would be nowhere near where I stand today. All in all, I daresay I’ve learnt to be a bit more selfish – it always helps. :D
Needless to say, Sulagnadi’s counselling and articles gave me some very good guidance. They helped me ground myself in reality, to see life for what it was, without any rosy or pessimistic lenses. They helped me think of life in a rational, structured way.
Also Sulagnadi, I know you don’t recommend forcing yourself to hate someone you want to forget, but that’s what worked for me. Hatred is the exact opposite of love. I mean – just like love is that magic potion which brings two people together, hatred is the one that draws them away from each other, naturally. Well, to tell you the truth she’d given me plenty of real reasons to hate her too. I found out many of the moves she’d made during the break-up (and also during the relationship) were predetermined – all part of her plan for her own life. It was bizarre. In hindsight I feel maybe she wanted a guy who was better settled (financially). She knew I was not going to take up a job within the next few years. May be that’s what put her off. At least that’s what I believe. And that has helped me deal with my own feelings. You know, I even called her once and said, “I’m glad you’re not with me anymore. Breaking up with you has taught me a lot, it has leased me a new life. I’m confident I’ll get a better partner than you one day.” ;)
#6. I’m really happy to know you’ve overcome your mental turmoil and have scored a major achievement recently – namely, cracking B-school admissions. Tell us how you feel.
I’ll never forget that moment. The one when MAT results were released, that is. 94 percentile. I almost couldn’t breathe when I saw that number against my name.
It took some time to sink in. All I could feel was, “Is this really happening?”
As of today I’m glad to know I’ve been able to create something for myself worth creating. That’s a huge confidence booster for me. This achievement tells me that I’m finally free of my past. That I’m ready for the future. The institute I’m about to join is a really great one. I’m looking forward to the start of a new life.
#7. How did you get back your zeal for life, your motivation and your desire to be happy? Most people reeling from a recent break-up struggle with these and would benefit immensely from your answer.
It was not easy, to say the least. Depression has been a constant companion to me for the last one year. Life would feel meaningless from time to time.
What helped me really … was the desire to feel better, to move on, to be happy. I wanted to find a solution. I took to reading inspirational literature. One of my Favourite books is The Secret. It helped me gradually break free of my negative attitude. It helped me hope again, and to believe in myself. I came across the concepts of Dianetics. It helped me immensely in truly believing in my own power to control my life. When you control your mind, you control pretty much everything in your life.
#8. How did you discipline yourself into doing what it took to crack the admissions? Give us some tips.
This is really ironical, you know. I have never thought of myself as a good student, and never expected to be giving out study tips. This is really amazing.
You see, I just had to prove me to myself. I had lost my strength, my confidence, my belief in myself. So I was really, really determined to give myself a new opportunity for the future. I set myself the goal of getting admission to a good institute of management studies.
After that it was the usual rigour to get the MAT score I needed. Solving previous years’ papers regularly, setting aside time for specific practice activities everyday etc. If I had to share just one principle of success with an aspiring student it would be this – manage your time well. Effective time management is the key to achieving any goal you set your mind to.
#9. Any message for Love in India readers? Especially the ones struggling with the end of a significant relationship?
A couple of things, really.
- A break-up is painful. But it’s a part of life. Be aware that you’re not alone.
- It’s a great opportunity to learn about life, about the real world and to change yourself for the better, if you want to.
- Tough times don’t last. Tough people do. Yeah the old adage is damn true.
- Your significant other is (was) a part of your life, not your life itself. Trust me – your purpose on this Earth goes much, much beyond finding happiness with him/her.
Lastly, I want to wholeheartedly thank you, Didi (Sulagna Dasgupta), for doing such awesome work for all of us. Your help means a lot to a lot of people like me. I wish Love in India becomes ever more popular. My heartfelt best wishes are always there with you.