Indra started losing interest and motivation. Even when he did perform well and receive good feedback, he was no longer celebrating. Mustering the energy to perform on each call was emotionally draining. He felt like he was putting forward a false version of himself.
Then, it happened.
“I thought I was having a stroke”
It was a day like any other. The sales floor was humming.
Indra was on a call doing a demo, just like he’d done countless times before. Besides himself and the prospect, there were two others listening in.
Meanwhile, his anxious thoughts continued their vicious loop. Indra ignored the mounting sensation of pressure at the back of his mind.
He was mid-demo when he stopped abruptly.
“My brain suddenly went blank. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t register or comprehend any words. I felt like I was going to faint. I thought I was having a stroke.”
Indra handed the headset to the person next to him. He stood up and said to his manager, “I think I’m going to pass out.”
Indra’s manager was alarmed to see that he had turned grey. He called an ambulance and took Indra to the garden outside the building. He tried to calm him down and help him feel safe.
“I just started breaking down. I still couldn’t speak properly. I started crying because I thought I was about to die. My brain was so dissociated from reality that I couldn’t even figure out if he was real—or if anything was real.”
At the hospital Indra went through a full battery of tests, but there was nothing amiss. He went back again the next day, still convinced he’d been having a stroke. Again, the tests came back fine.
It would take Indra several months to figure out that he’d had a panic attack.
“It was the lowest period of my life”
Indra returned to work a few days later, but he found it overwhelming. He couldn’t concentrate, and the constant pressure in his head refused to go away. He also couldn’t find the support he needed.
“The company wasn’t proactive about having support structures in place. I was on my own—sorting out the paperwork and ringing their medical insurance to find support. The process was really stressful, especially when I was already not in a good headspace.”
Indra ended up having to take several months off work. He struggled with anxiety and self-doubt. He couldn’t sleep. He didn’t feel motivated to do anything. He worried about having another stroke-like episode.
“It was the lowest period of my life. I felt alone and isolated. I didn’t know where to go. I was just told: use this directory to find a therapist. I was basically left to my own devices.”