Afshan Yasmeen

Things need not always remain

bleak if there

is right advice

Bangalore: It is a new life now for R. Joseph (not his real name), a 31-year old businessman, who was a shattered man till a year ago.

A very bad patch had left him depressed and frequently contemplating suicide. But thanks to the counselling and moral support that he got from volunteers at Sahai, a counselling centre and suicide prevention helpline, Mr. Joseph is today a changed man. “I sleep peacefully, laugh heartily, dress properly and even shave frequently now,” said Mr. Joseph, whose problems started when he realised his marriage was not working out.

With Sahai’s help, he takes in his stride what life gives him. “My life has changed so much after being counselled by Sahai volunteers that I sometimes even meet my wife, who now lives separately, and we catch up with things as friends. “I don’t blame myself for everything now and I look at life in a more pragmatic way. I now have a list of things that I cannot compromise on. I have learnt to say ‘no’ when I want to say it. I am happy for what I am now,” he says.

He does not think about long-term future; he lives for the present, taking each day as it comes.

“I am happy enjoying the small moments of life. I was so fed up I used to wear the same jeans again and again. But now I feel I should dress neatly and look good.”

The small joyous moments now mean cycling, travelling or even sleeping. “I had not slept properly for a long time,” he said. Mr. Joseph is indebted to Anita Gracias and Lata Jacob of Sahai.

Mr. Joseph said: “Thanks to these two people, I have realised that most problems can be solved by talking it out.”

Mr. Joseph, who is not sure whether his life will fully be on track again, said: “But today, my estranged wife and I are very good friends. We will continue to remain so all through our lives without blaming each other for what happened in the past.”

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