“Growing up, I had a fairly uncomplicated childhood. I am the daughter of Pattukottai Prabakar, an accomplished and well renowned writer. So from early on in my life, I was exposed to stardom and wherever I went, I had my fair share of time in the limelight. But one of the most iconic aspects about my father was that he always ensured that none of us took this aspect to our heads. He and my grandfathers were people who were always rooted with humility and I grew up in a similar fashion.
As someone who got invited to give talks in different schools and venues, my dad always received prize money/ gift money which he always set aside for donating. So this thing about giving back to society was firmly planted in me from a very tender age. As the years rolled by, I finished my schooling and picked media studies in my college. Having this vision of starting my own startup, I interned at a couple of places before starting my own venture for branding, designing and also return gifts.
With time marriage came into the picture and we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. But the post pregnancy days were something that I never quite anticipated or even imagined to turn up in my life. Within a few hours of giving birth to my baby, I was filled with a strange sense of sadness, almost as if getting inside the grips of a dark monster. I couldn’t stand the sight of my baby and I was fed up with nursing her. I couldn’t sleep and I suffered from endless anxiety. At that point in time, I didn’t know that it was called ‘Postpartum Depression’, something that most birthing mothers go through. As my condition worsened, we consulted a psychiatrist and I came to be prescribed with medicines to reduce the effects of my condition.
In order to help myself out of the situation, I started to involve myself actively in social service. When my daughter turned 1, our city was hit pretty badly by the floods. So we decided to donate a lump sum towards the relief efforts for the flood affected families. And the very next year we had the Vardha cyclone so we once again donated money towards the relief efforts and this has now become a ritual for us to follow. A group of people together began to work together to involve ourselves wherever we could in the relief efforts.
I started to focus big time on my venture too and my husband shortly joined me here and together, we have been running our company for close to a decade now. When our second kid entered the picture, the conditions of PPD were even more severe than the first time. But this time, it was the lockdown period so I began to associate myself with a couple of NGOs. I started to work with volunteers to help people find beds in Chennai and Coimbatore. It later progressed to helping those who had lost their jobs in the pandemic. Involving myself in social service came as a blessing and offered me so much fulfilment and meaning. Our venture too grew along with us and currently, my team of volunteers and myself are in the process of getting our NGO registered.
A lot is still left unsaid about Postpartum Depression and I hope to bring in awareness in whatever way I can through this story. From the person who couldn’t love her own kid to growing into someone who can love a stranger and offer her services selflessly, I sure have grown a lot. Getting professional help for most of our mental health requirements needs to be normalised a bit more and I hope this journey of mine inspires people to take the required steps to equip themselves on this journey of life.”
#life #journey #mentalhealth #marriage #motherhood #postpartumdepression #motivation #social #service #chennai