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Hello World

Funny how I used to be able to write so much, when I was younger. Now, all I feel is wanting to erase everything off, straight after I write them out. Mainly due to the fact that, I don’t want people to know any more than they think they know.

But, it’s time to blog, again.

I can try to evade the topic, but, the reality is that it’ll pull the curtains aside. Thus, I wouldn’t be able to hide from it, even if I wanted to.

I had… have depression. There wasn’t a cure. I wish there is. But, there isn’t one. It has always been a matter of how well I handled life, with all its evil glory of life tests thrown at me.

I’m a suicide survivor and within my post, I’ll mention it as an “episode”. Simply because, I see it as a chapter of my life.

This is my story. This is what I have been and will be doing. This is in no way for anyone to replicate or think that a “one-solution fits all” will help.

The Suicide

I’ve mentioned that I didn’t seek for a psychologist until a decade after the episode, because, I needed an external help to pinpoint the problem to the recent event.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to. I’d be lying if I were to say that I didn’t try to seek help, back then.

Before the episode, I was already going insane. The brink of what was left of my sanity. The war in my head was tremendously too much to bear. It grew so loud, that I wish I could just destroy it to silence it.

My friends… somehow… were not there. My bf was giving me problems. Bff was gone. My mum… she thought that depression is a “sad phase” and I should just pray to God to get better. But in all, she was already upset with me due to other family problems (I’m the black sheep of the family).

I had no one to turn to. I was already a person who doesn’t open up, until I can trust them and that takes years to earn.

I couldn’t help myself, then, because I was bogged down with too many problems and I was drowning in the noises in my head, to be able to even step back and try to clear my thoughts.

Then… bam… the episode. My suicide attempt.

I was brought to the hospital and I remember being asleep… waking up once to see myself being ferried off somewhere. When I woke up, I was being questioned by a doctor on what had happened. I don’t remember what I replied.M

My parents came to visit me at night. My mum was crying, while asking me what I was thinking… trying to end my life. I wondered if she ever listened, because I had tried to reason with her and ask for help, many times before.

I explained, the best that I could. She understood… some parts of it… I suppose. She apologised and told me that she loved me. Made me promise not to do it again. But I’d like to say that she still doesn’t truly listen, after.

In the morning, a group of university students and a psychiatrist came to my bed. Introduced themselves and asked me the most mundane questions. For one, I hated the feeling of being a study subject, involuntarily. I was still mentally exhausted to fight and be given a choice not to be a guinea pig. So in order to end it quickly, I gave answers that they wanted to hear.

I mean… I’d probably know more than these students, even when I’m probably around their age. I was a deep thinker since I was 6 years old. I was already asking questions about life and understanding concepts about society, at a young age, on my own. I knew too much for my age, because of my curiosity. I know what people want to hear or rather do.

Note: I’m not lying or masking anything here, though. No reason to.

They left, probably feeling accomplished that I would leave, as a healed individual. Funny how the lead did not ask any further. It’s so obvious that people like me would’ve mastered at not showing my real feelings to just anyone. Many depressed individuals smile and laugh around others, but, is dying on the inside.

I was discharged on the same day, a few hours later.

A few weeks later, I had the urge to go into suicide mode again. My brain was overworking. I was going insane! This time around, I went to a government clinic and told the doctor that I needed a reference letter and book a psychiatrist, asap. There were 2 nurses in the room. While the doctor was busy checking on , left the room, the nurses started to joke and laugh about the topic of depression. I grew frustrated at them. I did not have the strength to say anything. I was dying inside. When the doctor came back, she said that it could be scheduled 3 weeks later, at the earliest. I was going to kill myself and you’re telling me that I have the luxury of waiting 3 weeks!!!??!

I was fed up. With the mocking of the nurses and the doctor that did nothing to help, further. I said to “forget about it” and left.

It was then, that I realised that relying on someone was a waste of whatever time I think I still have (at that time). I was so angry at so many people that I resolved to fix my own problem, on my own.

I do have fleeting suicide thoughts, once in a while, all throughout the years. It’ll last for less than a minute and it’ll disappear. I won’t be able to recall what I wanted to do, after.

Positivity

It is NOT easy to be positive, when you have depression.

After the episode, one of the things I had to change, about myself, was my mentality. I was this confused individual, who had a mind-boggling war playing like a broken tape recorder, up there. I was either a pessimist or a neutral individual.

It took years of practice (constant self reminders) to be where I am. I became quite a optimist and opportunist, after. I can still fall under the neutral category, honestly, but I’m mostly the fore.

Being positive includes things like shaving off negative relationships, may they be friends, colleagues, even family members (close or distant). If it can’t be salvaged, after I’ve done my best. It’s over. Walk away and move on. Being positive includes noticing the world, the way normal people do not see. Those simple breaths of fresh air while walking. (I love walking long distances!) Noticing that there’s a nest on a tree… the routine of a cleaner and saying thank you and smiling… saying great job to a team member, whether they’re of a lower or higher position because you’re genuinely happy and proud of them… giving that stray cat some food… singing a little nice song in your head… yeah… all those little stuff!

After the episode, I realised how short life is. How much I haven’t done and I was still young. That was why I grew daring and took up chances. Why I left people who’s purpose was only to bring others down. Travel! Meet people! Try new things! Learn a lot and quickly! My bucket list of things to do. Most of all, love myself before loving others. Ensuring that I am happy, before anything else and listening to my inner self.

People told me to work in a certain industry to build a good monetary foundation, before going for my passion. Travel later and save now. If I was someone without depression, maybe I would… I don’t know.

But I was always sad when I wasn’t doing something worthwhile. How am I going to ride all the awesome roller coasters if I’m already 50 years old??!! I wouldn’t have enough genuine happy memories to make me happy when my lowest point decides to pay me a visit. Forcing happy thoughts aren’t helpful, for me. True happy memories and feelings are. Because they are genuine… and they make up most of my life… as much as I can squeeze them into this short lifespan of a human being.

Being positive is being thankful and blessed for what I have. For learning through the mistakes and problems. Being positive is to forgive (but, never forget what you’ve learned).

Being positive isn’t a end-all answer. It helps, and minimises the amount / lower the level of depression. I’m still positive that things will work out.

Depression Project

Many people still don’t get it. At times, I just don’t know how else to explain to someone who either is stubborn to their own concept of depression or someone who can barely understand even the simplest of an explanation in simple words.

I’ve mostly been in the green and orange zones, for a decade. I’ve been in the red zone way too often, this year. There are so many things occurring at the same time. No, I’m still unable to pinpoint what triggered it or what I’ve lacked or slowed down in following my usual “mental health routine”.

This red zone. When I feel overwhelmed… exhausted… the anxiety… helpless… angry… sad… It’s knowing what exactly is happening to me, yet, I do not have the strength to fight it or do anything.

I’m not weak. A lot of people would know who and what I’ve done throughout my life that even the average human being would be too afraid to jump into or do or handle.

I’m not lazy. I’m the exact opposite of that! Even asking for more things to do at work and completing tasks at home to ensure everything is in order. An overachiever, that I was able to jump up the ranks in such a short time.

I’m not talentless or useless. I can pretty much learn anything and be pretty alright with it. I’ve played musical instruments (mostly self-taught) and sung and been in competitions. I won stuff in school for literature in 2 languages and arts. Even my English teacher thought that I had plagiarized someone’s story, once. I was one of 2 students in my school to take up fashion design and I was always an A student in science and maths, because I loved those. Even when my teacher told me to drop a subject because I hated it and kept failing her tests, I self-studied and got a B for the finals to go to my number one spot in tertiary. I was in martial arts outside of school. I wrote poems (an ex boyfriend used some for his band music) and my own music. I played video games, used to blog a lot on the games I played, got too known and closed it because I had people trying to hack into my accounts, cyber bullied me non-stop and tried to destroy my irl relationship.

I’m too honest and stand by my ground for what I think is right. Even when I know I’d get into trouble because the majority are siding with the bad guy. I’m sorry… I need my conscience to be clear, so, I will stand my ground to what I think is right. I can be so brutally honest that one might get hurt. Some like that about me. It means that they’ll know where they go wrong. But everyone knows that in reality, society prefers “actors” who wear masks.

I’m not seeking attention. If possible, I’d keep to myself and maintain my mental health routine to minimise the occurrences, on my own. Seeking a professional psychologist, a decade after the episode (I have depression since young but didn’t know it until that day) was only because I couldn’t find a solution, on my own. Not disturbing anyone else, except being with those I’m very close with. If I wanted to seek for that, I would’ve continued with my past gaming blog life or reveal myself here instead of being anonymous.

I’d probably still point someone to this blog if I need to explain something on this subject.

Travel the blues away

This is… the continuation of yesterday’s post.

It seems that travelling can either cause positive or negative effects to different individuals with depression.

The point that needs to be talen note of, for me, is that my depression was under control for years. It does fleetingly come to hit me, once in a while, but nothing major except for that one event, weeks back.

Travelling can be a daunting experience for one. If you get anxiety and feel too weak to do the planning, packing, etc., it will feel “too much” for one to handle. For me… I actually love this part as much as the travelling part. Especially since I tend to travel alone, I can select where I want to go. Not of someone else’s preferences. So much so that some would ask for my itinerary, when they plan to travel to the same place, later on.

I am very introverted. I do avoid people a lot, but, it does not necessarily mean that I am actually shy or hate human interactions. I only open up to those I know I can trust. It takes ages to reach that stage. But since I can feel negative auras, I do not mind talking to nice strangers, when need be. I just don’t like empty or superficial talk… most of the time.

Thus, in those years of travelling, I’ve learned quite a bit about people from all over the world.

That taxi driver in London, who said that he was thankful that my ex-organisation had helped him when he was a young orphan. The sweet bus driver in Liverpool who helped me even though it was chockfull of people waiting for the bus to move. The grab driver in Jordan who told me that my name is in Arabic, meaning, to go home. People singing in a tightly-packed the tram that only costed 10 cents to ride, in Ethiopia because a friendly soccer game was being held, a few stops away. The lady who was always smiling and so nice to me in Philippines even when she could speak very little English. The kids, from anywhere, who are always happy to see us… from my ex-organisation (I was working in a global non-profit organisation).

I don’t even get to feel this amount of warmth from people in my country. But, that’s the cause and effect of how my country has been and is.

Yes, I have met those of the opposite of these. The ugly side of humans, which I rather not touch upon. But, I’ve gotten a fair share of being a victim. Especially since I tend to travel alone. I’m a rather petite South-East Asian girl. Racism… being a girl… going solo.

While some, who have depression, may have a post-effect of getting worse when they return home, Mine is positive, although, in a weird way.

Memories. I get random flashes of travel memories. Of random places. Of random events. I’ve noticed that it’s not triggered by any current event or smell, etc. Just… random. It’s positive, though. Makes me feel happy. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I yearn to travel. I figured that it’s some sort of mechanism to keep myself happy, on my own. You know… the kind where some people force themselves to say “think happy thoughts”, as they try to remember happy events? Mine tend to come naturally… and randomly.

As much as I love travelling (even when I travelled 6 times, within a year, during one of those years), I do look forward to going home. Sometimes, I become more thankful of how much we have, in my country. Many things that we take for granted. From transportation, to cleanliness, to the home and work system, the system of a minimum age of kids working, etc. A lot of times, I miss my own kind of food. XD

Turning back time

Once in a while, I wish to change that one part of my past. That maybe… I’ll be somewhere better.

But if that changed, I wouldn’t have been blessed to work at that one place. I never dreamt of travelling to so many places. It helped to move me out of the beautiful places of MMORPGs (gaming)… one of the reasons why I played that genre. My escape.

So, when I was given the opportunity to travel, it always feel like my much needed escape from everything, once in a while. In fact, I love travelling solo. I could plan and do what I wanted. Have my me-time all the time. Yes… I was always happy. My happy pill. The adrenaline being in different places by my own… trying new things and most of all, seeing gorgeous architecture. My fave!

Also, where else would I meet genuinely down to earth and lovable people from all over the world and be able to work with them. I can feel negative aura even if they don’t talk to me, and these group of people do not have such auras! So blessed. I’m an introvert, but, I appreciate being around warm people.

I learned so much in such a short time. If knowledge is a food, I’d be overweight!

Eventually, I’d conclude that I wouldn’t need to change anything, even if I could. It was one of the best times of my life.

These are the two things that I miss the most, right now.

These made happy. Did I lose something to have maximised the risk of having my depression back? The travels used to be around 2 to 6 times a year. So, I could switch off for some time. Just be somewhere else. Now, it’s only down to once a year, on my personal accord.

Noise

I didn’t have the mood to go to work. I wish we’re given one mental day and one period day per month!!!

It felt like having 5 different radio stations being played in an empty room with me in the center. The annoyance! I still went out, but, to see the doctor and then, to the vet because, my kitty is sick.

So, I wasn’t in the mood to wallow or wanting to stay in to do nothing. I just didn’t want to go to the office. Well, I allowed myself to sleep more and take my time to do the usual chores. It was much better when I was working from home, during my last job.

I do remember that before the episode, when I was much younger, I went through times where I didn’t want to do anything and just sleep as much as possible.

I know that being in the sun helps and when I couldn’t get the luxury not to go to work, I’d walk as much as possible… in the sun. Rather than taking a train, when it’s just a few stops away.

So, yes… I do not like the rain, unless I’m at home and do not need to go out. When I was in UK (work trip for a few times) I was actually feeling gloomy whenever it rained.

I, however, so remember that during the toughest times before the episode, I would write poems to release my pent-up feelings. That I wrote something between the lines of my head always being in a huge mess. It was always noisy, up there. It’s like having a war every single day and no one can hear or see it. No one knows, except a few exceptions. Mentally killing me.

I wrote an earlier post about forcing myself not to overthink or even think as much, if possible. That helped. But, I think that I’ve unconsciously overthink about a few topics on my current life.

It has gotten a bit too noisy, up there.

Walking Alone

It was after the episode that I realised the importance of walking alone.

I’m not referring to pushing society away, altogether. It’s about knowing when to listen to yourself. Finding time to assess your being, be it what you have done or will do.

I knew that I was different, even before I was in kindergarten. I was a deep thinker. I didn’t want to fit in anywhere. But since I’d prefer not to attract attention, I’d try not to stand out, either.

I truly accepted being different, only when I was much older, though. In fact, I learned to love it. I didn’t care much for having to fit into any mold. When I knew I was right or something was the right thing to do and although not many would accept the truth, I would be that lone ranger standing up to the facts. Even when I knew I’d be in trouble. Though, I’ve been lucky to find a small handful to have the same amount of belief/trust/faith.

I had went through years of being told what to do or where to go. Their reasons are similar. It’s more of them, being afraid of the future (changes) aka thinking that the “safe path” would be better, overall. They have a mentality of being afraid of so many things.

They didn’t put into the factor where I would rather go to where I want to be. It was because I wanted to be happy. I needed to. If I didn’t, the other side might come back.

After the episode, I wasn’t scared of as many things. I’d be lying, if I said thag I wasn’t afraid of anything. But the risk appetite is higher than of your average Joe.

It’s okay to make the change, to be different, walk by your own… as long as you have that faith in you to stay strong and go on, no matter how tough the road might get.

You’re walking at that perfect pace of yours. Not at someone else’s pace. There is no need to compare what others have that you lack in. They may have bigger problems than you do, and society tends to only show the good sides of their lives to the open.

Don’t let others scare you with their mindset. They probably do not have the skills that you do (which you may know or not know yet that you have). Look… back when I was selecting my degree, they said that the finance sector would always flourish. Look at all the financial sector cutting people out, especially those who have been working in a company for decades!

I went into something people were unsure of and they’re having a shortage of us, globally.

So, who’s to know the future? Things change. Sure… call it luck… but, my main aim was to be happy. To do something that I enjoy.

Maybe the ones in those sectors were happy, too, who knows? But I knew that it wasn’t for me, after wasting years to complete that useless degree.

It wasn’t easy. But, it was worth it.