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Shakti perspectives: Chaturi

My relationship with mental health

I had always known that I struggled with my mental health, seeing multiple counsellors as a teenager, and having my fair share of experiences with anxiety and depression. It wasn’t until I was 18 that I was diagnosed with Bipolar Type 1 and this experience changed me for the better.

I was finally able to get the support I needed and was able to prioritise my self-care in many ways. This looked like being able to make decisions that nourished my whole self rather than succumbing to external pressures, which I am grateful for. I got a reality check for what was important to me very early on and I think this has been a blessing.  

This experience has humbled me and made me more compassionate towards others, as I understand that under the surface, we really do not know what others are struggling with. It has also shown me that I don’t need to take the ‘safe’ path in life.

Follow your own path.

I really believe the circumstances I was faced with despite being tough, led me to follow my own voice. When I was in Year 12, I was unable to sit some of my VCE exams due to being hospitalised, which was devastating. Attending university, I had similar experiences that led to tedious things like redoing subjects from scratch.

However, on the other side of it, I was able to see how irrelevant the things I thought were important, were. I had to take a bit of a different road to my peers; but I still got my ATAR got to study things that were meaningful to me, all whilst looking after myself. I understand that disability in any form cannot hold you back and doesn’t define you. Following these experiences, I also have been able to start my own business to support other people that are now going through the same thing. In 2021, I hope to continue to offer workshops that bring people together and promote healing.

Trusting the process  

I want to remind people my age to take life slow. I know that university and work pressures can mean that you become very stressed, but there is so much more to life. A healthy state of mind and happiness is worth so much more and I think is something that everyone should prioritise on the way to kicking their goals. There is so much help and support out there.

About 5 years ago I was probably at one of the lowest points in my life. It is only now that I can look back and join the dots to see that life was always leading me to where I was supposed to be. Trust your path. Just know that whatever you experience will only make you stronger and a brighter light for those that come after you, even if you cannot see it right now. 

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