Exploring Darkness and Loneliness

This post is written by a guest contributor, Amit Kumar.  

It was 4 in the morning and I suddenly woke up by a bad dream.  There was no one around in my home and I just felt so lonely that tears started rolling, finding that there was no one to give me hope in the midst of crisis. My brother was diagnosed with kidney failure and my whole family was with him at a distant location and I was left all alone at my home. I did not know how to handle this much loneliness and sorrow. I was not able to handle all these things and negativity started to enter in my life in a form of pessimism.

2 years passed and I was in an engineering college studying mechanical engineering. Many things have changed and I had lost my optimistic attitude about life. I used to be one of the most optimistic persons you would ever meet but the crisis in my family had changed me. I was unable to find out why my brother was suffering even after being such a nice human being. My mind had become a battle ground with me fighting with all sorts of negative thoughts and I was losing the battle inside. I was too exhausted by negative thoughts that my mind will choke out at times. There is nothing worse than losing hope and I had lost hope of a better tomorrow in my life. People say “Nuclear weapon” is the most dangerous weapon but I think most dangerous are the situations/people/opposition which make you lose hope.

Once a kid asked swami Vivekananda “What is worse than losing everything a person have”. Swamiji replied “losing the hope, on which he can get everything back’.

I am sharing with you one story that made me believe that darkness and crisis in life always has a greater meaning.

I was always a good student and used to top in my school, but after 10th grade I was unable to perform and same was the case in 11th and 12th grade. Everyone had lots of expectation from me, but suddenly I was losing interest in studies. I used to have a natural urge to perform and do well always, but I was losing that. Suddenly there was a bad incident in my family and everyone had to leave home for treatment of my brother’s illness and I was left alone. I’m used to be at home and study; I did not have many friends.  Left alone at home, negative thoughts were passing through my mind.  I could not leave my home as there must be someone to look after it.  I was not at all prepared to give competitive exams and went for a year gap.  In this one year, things have changed a bit, but being lonely had a bad impact on my studies.  I was thinking negative most of the time and was unable to study.

I gave entrance after a year and did not do well and joined an engineering institute in Pune.  I knew that I’ve underperformed and must have got a very good institute if I have worked hard.  But somehow I was unable to work hard.  Classes started in my college; I had become quite a different person and never got used to study. I’m used to being lonely most of the time and I did not make any friends.  Pune was a nice place, there were around 15 colleges in my campus and the crowd used to be good.  But I was always in my negative world.  I somehow started feeling that I will spoil my life if I continued to live this way.  I could not study and nobody studies in engineering college before exam, but it was very important for me to get my concentration back and at least study during exams.  The thing which I started may look strange but was an important step going forward.  I’ve joined my college gym and started working out.  I was not working out for six packs and cool biceps but for mental and physical fitness which I lost in the last 2 years.  Things started getting better and we had our first semester exam.  I’ve used to live with three other guys and our flat used to be hangout for their friends and I knew they will spoil my exams. I’ve used to sleep the whole day and study in night so that I can concentrate well. Exams ended and I somehow passed but marks were not that good.  My flat mates had lot of back paper.  Life again moved on and I continued with my gym.  Second semester exams were nearby and things were same in my flat.  I was very scared as lot of thoughts passed in my mind about failing in this semester and also of year drop (as semester was tough, I was unable to study well).  But somehow I’ve gained confidence following my old strategy (studying in night, as day time my room was flooded with people).  Results came in and I’ve passed, but still marks were not good.  My other three roommates failed and had more than three back, so they had to drop a year and do the exams again.

I’ve changed my room and kept doing my gym and started hanging out here and there and used to waste a lot of time in my second year.  Things were just moving, but my percentage was very less and that meant I cannot sit for campus as some minimum percentage criteria was there.  Marking in Pune institutes are very bad and you need to struggle a lot to bring even 60%.  Being in mechanical, that was tougher than expected.  My second year passed by quickly and I was already in 5th semester.  I’ve had a very difficult situation to handle and I needed 68% in that semester to make my aggregate grade as 60% so that I can sit for campus.  I really needed those marks as I cannot rely on off campus.  I’ve left all the things including gym, hanging out here and there.  I started being at home and study regularly.  It was very difficult for me as I was not used to it.  But I thought I want to give my 100%, and whatever be the result, I have to be satisfied with my efforts. It was very difficult to study for me; I was having a tough time.  Preparation leave started and I just kept studying. I’ve used to study day and light, but my concentration level became less.  But I started putting long hours and I thought just one thing, “I have to do it at any cost”.  I’ve used to study less than I thought I should, but I never thought I cannot do that.  I never got even 60% in my previous semester so that was impossible in that regard. But impossible is possible if you believe in yourself.  People may judge you from your last performance, but you should know your potential and how to overcome your recent failures.  Exams started and they were going better but still I was not sure of getting 68% (I never knew how much to attempt and how to write paper to get that much), I was very disappointed as used to do silly mistakes. Exams ended and when I was just checking papers knew I could have scored 100 more marks easily.  I went back home after the exam and forgot everything. When I came back, I never thought much about it as I knew I gave my best and rest all, I left on God.  I’ve used to pray that things happen in my favor.  Results came and the first thing I did was to divide my total by 7 (it was out of 700), I got 68.13% and aggregate 60%, my friends were asking what happened and I just nodded my head that I did it and they all came and hugged me.  It is one moment that I cannot forget in my life.  I became third topper of my class and soon became quite famous because I were nowhere in the list before.  Companies came after 5th semester and got placed in 2nd company that came in my college. There was no looking back after that. In 6th semester, I was 2nd topper and I became first topper in my last year exam.

Hopelessness is not an end.  It’s a journey of finding more optimism, a journey of searching every nook and corner of your soul and filling all the dark spots with infinite light of hope. Whether you are in a crisis situation/broken relationship/health problems, all of them have a higher meaning. Don’t we always see sunrise after a dark night?

There will always be darkness in this journey of life.  Darkness like a long tunnel of your road trip which will look like never ending, but you have to keep yourself calm and soon the other end will be visible with a light peeping through it. Darkness always has a higher meaning, Failure always wants you to overcome them and work hard. It’s just you need to see life in a different light. There are things that will teach you greatest lessons, you just need to be a student and learn from the greatest teacher called LIFE.

Amit is  a software engineer by profession.  He has a keen interest in motivational books, articles, blogs.  He started writing blogs last year and was enjoying writing about his vivid experiences.  He thinks life is a great teacher and it teaches and motivates him everyday. His writings are  a reflection of various thoughts he has accumulated in his mind while passing through life changing moments.

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  1. hey, it was really nice reading ur article.
    even i am a loner without any friends whose parents dont care about me but have really high expectations.

    i loose my confidence most of the times whether i will be able to perform or not!Will i be able to qualify 4 the exam i am preparing..i am facing pressures from them all the tym..dont know what to do?What if i fail?What do i do to keep me motivated &to keep me focussed on my goal?

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