Coping with despair and loss

Pooja Bedi

Pooja Bedi represents the uninhibited, strong willed, personally and professionally successful modern Indian woman who has donned many hats. Her prolific career spans the worl

Pain, tragedy, anger, grief, personal and professional loss, struggle and despair aren’t exclusive to any one individual. It’s everyone’s reality as they go through the cycle of life. What separates everyone is their individual response to what happens. The same situation may occur to two individuals and one may get crushed under the wave, while another one will ride it. One will take on the role of victim and the other the role of a victor. It could be a divorce, a financial downturn, loss of loved one…. The fact is such realities are part of life. Our coping mechanisms and our attitudes are largely determined by both our childhood and social programming and in the current crisis also shaped by the collective fear and grief that surrounds us. You can choose to be sucked into a vortex of helplessness and tragedy and bemoan the statistics that show infection rates and death rates, or you could say, “What can I do to make things better?” or “what can I do to make my reality, my journey and the journey of those whom I care for, better?” It’s understandable that the situation seems grim, and people are naturally afraid for their own lives and the lives of those they love. But when is fear ever the answer? A Deer has the speed of 90km an hour and a lion has the speed of 50km an hour. But every time a deer gets caught by a lion it’s because the fear of the lion made the deer constantly look back and reduce it’s speed. What everyone needs to do is look ahead. The virus will not just disappear, it will continue to exist and mutate and so you have to focus on what your road ahead should look like. Build your health, build your immunity, build your happy quotient. If you give importance to the numbers who died, give equal importance to those who lived.

Perspectives change when you realize that under 2% of those infected died, (and that too a majority of those were with co-morbidities) but 98% went home fit and fine! If you despair a lack of good leadership, go and vote in the next elections. If you want good health, it’s not possible to have it just by dodging the virus by sitting at home. If you want a job, it’s not going to happen by waiting for lockdown or virus to go away. If you want love, it’s not going to happen if you’re still nursing the past. You have to go out there with a go getter positive attitude to manifest whatever you wish to have in your life. You can choose to live with despair and amplify it or choose to live with positivity & hope, to count your blessings and amplify it. The choice is always yours.

1. My girlfriend and I are facing anxiety issues. Evenings and the weekends are the only times that we would meet. With weekend lockdown and night curfew in place will it be tough to keep the relationship intact? Losing the physical touch is bothering us a lot, in times like these how do we keep the relationship strong?

The good news is that if you can’t have physical touch with each other, neither of you can have it with others as well. So there’s no reason for insecurity on that front. The lockdown can’t last forever, what will last is the strengthening the relationship by keeping each other happy, strong and positive and sensitivity is crucial at this point. Simply think of our armed forces who stay away from their families for months on end. The commitment and love overshadows time and distance.

2. When I was a kid, I had older cousins who would touch me inappropriately. I didn't know good from bad touch. I let it go on for years. Eventually, those cousins grew distant and life moved on for me too. But lately, I get these strange flashes that I was being used for sexual pleasure even without knowing about it. Is it too late to tell my parents about it? Do you think it will strain family relations?

It depends on how old the cousins were at the time. If they were adults, then you must bring it to the family’s notice. However, if at the time they were young, confused and not fully understanding the implications of what they were doing then I’d suggest you do age regression to release any anger, guilt, violation, shame that you may be storing within, as the most important first step is to heal yourself. It’s obvious that they too will have a great degree of guilt buried within them as well, and that’s their cross to bear. Once your healing is complete you could have closure by telling them that you remember everything but you have healed and moved forward from the confusion and trauma, and that you hope they heal and release it as well.

3. I am a professor at a  college and since the past few months I have developed feelings for one of my students. I think she likes me back too. But is it right for a teacher to fall in love with a pupil? Should I take this forward? Please suggest.

It is completely unadvisable to do so. It will cloud your judgement to her academic performance, and in the eventuality of it not working out, it will impact her adversely. If she responds to your overtures out of fear for her grades being affected if she rejects you, then you could be in big legal trouble as well. There is no win-win in this situation.



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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