The Detour: From UPSC Aspirant to Addict, and Back Again

The Detour: From UPSC Aspirant to Addict, and Back Again

The Dream Destination: UPSC

Hi, my name is Raj. Growing up, the words "UPSC" resonated like an anthem in our household. Aspiring for the Civil Services was not just encouraged; it was almost a way of life. Drawn to the prospect of meaningful change and societal impact, I too decided to tread this path. And so, I found myself in Mukherjee Nagar.


The City's Many Faces

Mukherjee Nagar is a place of duality. On the one hand, there's an air of intellectualism, a collective ambition to serve the nation. On the other hand, there's a murkier, hedonistic underbelly—a haven for vices that offered fleeting respite from the immense pressure we all felt.


The Spiral

Slowly, the latter began to lure me. At first, it was just a drink or two to unwind after a grueling study session. Then it escalated to cigarettes and eventually, late-night parties became the norm. I convinced myself that this was my way of "blowing off steam." But let’s call it what it really was—an addiction, a coping mechanism gone horribly awry.


The Wake-Up Call

The repercussions were immediate and catastrophic. My mock test scores plummeted, attendance in coaching classes dwindled, and my study hours decreased dramatically. I began to miss deadlines, skip revisions, and even start lying to my family about my progress.

An Old Friend’s Wisdom

Seeing my decline, my friend Sameer stepped in. He had always been the sensible one in our group. "Raj, this isn't you. Have you considered online counseling?" he said, offering me a lifeline I hadn't thought about. At that point, I was desperate for anything that could steer me back on course.


Virtual Salvation

With a cocktail of skepticism and desperation, I initiated my first online counseling session. The counselor, a seasoned professional specializing in addiction therapy, didn’t mince words. "The alcohol, the cigarettes, the parties—they're not your release; they're your shackles," he said. That was the first dose of bitter truth I had swallowed in a long time.


The Road to Recovery

The sessions became my weekly refuge, a platform to discuss my progress and setbacks without judgment. My counselor equipped me with coping strategies that were healthy and constructive. As I started to practice mindfulness and self-discipline, the desire for those damaging crutches weakened.


Rekindling the Lost Passion

As I gradually emerged from the quagmire of addiction, the fog around my UPSC preparation lifted too. I began to rediscover the joy in learning, the thrill in problem-solving, and the sense of purpose that had drawn me towards civil services in the first place.


Gearing Up for the Challenge

The UPSC exams are still ahead, and I've lost valuable time, but something fundamental has shifted within me. Armed with newfound mental clarity and emotional balance, I am eager to make up for lost ground.


A Victory, Not Just a Recovery

While I have not yet faced the UPSC examination, I feel like I've cleared a different test—a test of self-will and emotional fortitude. The online counseling not only pulled me out of my addiction but also handed me the reins of my life again.

Today, I’m not just a UPSC aspirant. I am a young man who has looked into the abyss, confronted his darkest tendencies, and emerged wiser. The challenges that lie ahead may be manifold, but I'm facing them with a resilience and self-awareness that I never knew I had. And that, in many ways, is a victory in itself.


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