I am sitting in a hotel room in Maastricht. Cool breeze is flowing in from the window. There are some people outside in the street. This street is right beside the train station so it’s quite lively. I can’t sleep because my mind is racing due to work related and personal issues.

But something is different today compared to a what it has been like until a while ago. I am stronger. I am comfortable being in this room by myself, which is becoming a normal thing for me nowadays, but still, it’s worth mentioning here once again. I am troubled due to multiple reasons but my mind is not seeking support from others. Instead of having the desire to talk to others and to ask what they think, I am talking to myself. I am building trust in myself.

I am enjoying being with myself. I came back from dinner around 22:00 h because I was feeling sleepy. The hall and the garden was filled with people. I went to the garden for a few seconds to see what it’s like. It was nice. Cool breeze, open sky, nice weather, many people. A lot of things I like. But I had no desire to stay there any longer. I had done enough socialisation throughout the day and also had fun at dinner.

I wanted to come back and relax. That’s kinda new. That’s unlike what I have been like especially in the past one year and maybe also before that. I was stable when I was in Mumbai but I was not this strong. I used to spend a lot of time with myself to reflect on my thoughts back then as well, but I always had a friend with me, albeit on phone, to share and discuss. Every time I had some trouble, either because of my own recklessness or because of others, I thought of her. I wondered what she thought of the situation. I wanted to know her opinion. I would share with her what’s going on and we would discuss. I needed affirmation. I needed approval. I needed support. I needed love. Apart from her I had many other friends to talk about different aspects of life – academic or personal.

The support structure changed some time after I came to the Netherlands. I made new friends. I was emotionally and socially dependent on them. I wanted to share with them. If something went wrong, I sought their opinion, approval, love, and support. When that was not enough then I also reached out to my friends from India. I was never completely with myself. We can say that I was too vulnerable. I was in a new country. I was trying to get used to a completely different way of living compared to before. I lacked the social support. I didn’t have enough close friends here, and the ones I had couldn’t provide (rightfully so; I am not complaining…) the amount and the kind of support I needed. Yes, all these things are true, but I had almost all of these things when I was in Mumbai and I still lacked the same thing back then – confidence and comfort with my own thoughts.

Today I came back to my room and I just wanted to be with myself. As I am making it a priority to spend more and more time with myself, I am starting to cherish it. When I came back, I was happy and satisfied. I was alone in the room, of course, but I was also with myself mentally. The whole day I was having some troublesome thoughts due to multiple issues. My mind was still racing when I came back to my room but I didn’t think of sharing it with anyone. I just asked myself how I should handle all these things and how I am doing so far in handling them. Maybe it is because I don’t have anyone who would listen to me, but I am kinda okay with that. And I am becoming more and more comfortable with that as the days pass.

I am not experiencing this for the first time, though. I felt this for a couple of months two years ago when my relationship started to fall apart. I was completely with myself in those months even mentally. I did not seek support. I did not seek approval, love, or affirmation. I was fine. I was strong. I was comfortable with myself. Then it actually fell apart one year ago and I was almost as strong and independent. I was almost comfortable with myself. I say almost and not absolutely because a large part of my efforts was focussed on getting used to my new life here in the Netherlands. I couldn’t reach to the absolute level due to lack of time and awareness of its importance.

I did not get the time to work on my hobbies and projects. These things give me strength and confidence. They provide me with the mental stimulation I need to function properly. I am an ambitious person. I like to learn. I strive to become better in personal aspects of life and of course also at work or studies. I like to be pushed. I like to do intellectual activities. I can bear a lot if I keep my mind stimulated. I start to think more rationally. I realise now that I was not fully aware of this back then. I knew that I loved to do such things and that I feel happy and satisfied by doing them, but I did not know how much damage I would have to bear if I stop doing them.

Now these activities are helping me get back on track just like they helped me two years ago and one year ago. About two months ago my situation was so bad that I wrote to the psychologist at my university to ask for help. They weren’t available so they put me on a waiting list until June. I had to handle it by myself.

I am doing it, and I am doing well.

As I sit beside the window, I am seeing the houses on the other side of the street differently than what I would have done some time ago. As I sense this cool breeze on my skin, as I hear the chatter on street, as I see the stars in the sky, I feel good, and I don’t want to share this feeling with anyone. I am content.

I have come a long way. I will never forget the lesson I learned. We can’t go too far if we don’t take care of ourselves.

time taken to write this: almost or less than 2 hours