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I felt like a monster, like a being that would never fit into a relatively healthy way of living but a person that would live forever in an environment of silence and secrecy all my life. I even had started thinking of a solitary life and I was almost certain that I would lose my sanity each time I had my depression crisis. But even before starting the process of healing, my therapist, Atul, gave me the confidence I needed. When other therapists would judge me for my actions and behaviour he would accept me and embrace me with all my flaws and virtues, then he listened and answered my questions whenever I felt scared and had doubts. This is something I will always remember, appreciate and have learned to accept in other people as well.

Before therapy my tendencies to run away and evade facing my reality resulting from my fears lead me to decide to move to another country, away from everything. My thoughts, then immature, made me believe I could walk away from myself with physical distance but after a while my depression became more frequent. I couldn’t do anything without crying two hours before and after each activity because I didn’t know what to do with my life and everything. I kept to myself. I felt tiny, weak and guilty, before doing anything; I didn’t defend myself of any offence because I felt there was nothing to protect since I already felt dirty and I didn’t see a way out of my problem other than self-isolation.

My opinion towards sexuality and sex itself was of something wrong and when someone mentioned it I felt uncomfortable in every way. I always tried to avoid the subject and adopted a childish attitude towards people so they wouldn’t talk about it in my presence because I felt that I wanted to stay as a child in my mind. The idea of being a couple was just an idea; I used to think that no one would be able to touch me again because of the self-rejecting feelings I had towards my own body and thoughts. I avoided every kind of romantic relationship because I always remembered and felt impure; in those cases I always acted defensively and I discarded every person that would approach me for that reason.

During the course of the therapy I realized a lot of things and now I’ve got a boyfriend with whom I have a trustful, normal and healthy relationship like I never thought I would have. Now I’ve been able to explore and see sex as a demonstration of affection between people that love and care for each other rather than something ‘bad’ I should never talk about.

The process of the therapy was hard. Sometimes I doubted and sometimes I was afraid of the things I was discovering about myself since I had learned to hide certain things. I learned that it’s natural to be afraid of things you don’t know. But even then I always felt I was in good hands with Atul’s support and my family’s support as well. As I said it was hard but it was worth all the effort because when you want to become something you’ve never been before you have to start doing things you’ve never done before. So I trusted in my therapy, I trusted my therapist and more importantly I trusted myself. I could say that now that I have finished my therapy, after 51 sessions of self-discovery, basically all those negative thoughts and feelings that also were unproductive for my personal growth are gone.

I feel like the strong person I’ve always been. I feel confident and independent. I feel like a person that doesn’t hide under the wing of other people or even my parents who I’ve learned to understand and love more, which also has made our family communication more fluid and open. Now I don’t lose myself in depression because of indecision, impotence or helplessness, because I feel like I know what I want to do with my life and that I’m willing to learn. Most of all I accept and love myself the way I am and I want to keep growing.

The most important thing I’ve realized is that there are no regrets about the decisions I took in my life since, thanks to them, I reached this point of great self-knowledge and I am where I am: where I could regain my voice and pride as a person. I realized that all experiences are worthwhile and important; I learned to see everything from a more positive perspective. I wish people could know and experiment the way I have, how self-loathing and self-hatred can be transformed into the complete opposite when one starts understanding the nature, the reasons of all aspects in our life among other things and start viewing life from a different perspective. I would recommend the therapy to every person who wants to deeply know and accept themselves and to people that have taken the decision to change their lives in a positive way.

Thank you so much Atul for the patience and the help you’ve been for me and my whole family, you will always remain a dear friend of ours.

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