Thursday, October 28, 2010

I wrote this 3 months ago as assigned by my counselor. She asked me to write down what would be the reason to live.

*************
I think finding the reason to live is just like finding the right time to write this essay. I have been thinking, pondering, dwelling on this simple question ever since it was put unto me. I've given it much thought, but still have not the faintest clue on what to write. I knew,that if I continue to wait for the 'magic' moment to arrive, this essay will never be written.

Therefore, I suppose it's also like finding the meaning of life. If I wait for the answer to arrive, I will never be able to live a fulfilling, UNdepressive life. I can't demand for the answer. Even if there is such an answer, I don't think my mind and my heart will agree on it. My mind would demand logic and my heart would demand compassion.

Life, just like this essay, requires me to first make the effort to write it out and then perhaps I might be deserving to have a little peek at the divine answer.
Life requires me to live it, not question it. I may conclude life at my own terms, at my own understanding but, I still have to make much room for self-editing.

Life is too big and much too old for me to understand.

*************
Later, my counselor requested me to expand it.
And this is what I wrote.


##############

16-10-10
In my last essay, I equated how I felt about the title with my attempt on writing the essay itself. Although I had sidetracked from the title, I did express vague hope for what that might still be in store for me.
This assignment has given me unexpected outcomes. Firstly, I never expected compliments. Upon reading the last word of my essay to my counselor, I looked up to expect a blank look from her. I had thought that I might need to explain myself as I didn't know how to approach the essay at the first place. Instead, she complimented me. "Don't bury your writing talent."
Her approval prompted me to show my essay to a good friend M. She too complimented me, "I wish I wrote this." She even reread it because according to her, good phrases are deserving so.
I sat there in front of her, as she was reading, "Is my essay that good?Why am I not seeing it?" When I first attempted to write this essay, I had no clue on what to write and was doubtful of its purpose. Though I still can't see if my essay was good but I am definitely pleased that I have written it.
Life, again like this essay, may take many unexpected turns. I had anticipated criticisms for the essay but I received positive response instead.
My life, like this essay might be just as good if I take a different perspective.
Perhaps one day, I can learn to appreciate my essay.
Perhaps one day, I can learn to appreciate my life, and myself.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I had a very fruitful tele-conversation with a friend last night.
She admitted to me that she no longer wants to waste time doing UNproductive activities.
"I want more in life, I've wasted too much time already."
I've heard many inspiring quotes before, but for some reason I can't fathom, I was particularly taken by her statement.

Methaphor=
I know what a strawberry ice-cream is.
I've seen it, tried it and it's advertised all over.
But when I heard my friend say, "I want some strawberry ice-cream!"
For some reason, I want it too!
It's not about the ice-cream.
Not even about getting the ice-cream.
It's about having the appetite for the ice-cream - alas!

Only people who had trouble eating would understand what joy it is to finally have found an appetite.
Even Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat Pray Love mentioned about finding her appetite in life.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bitching Therapy

Yesterday, I was very disturbed by a horrible co-worker.
He made me feel bad the entire day.
This feeling persisted till this morning.
I tried to rationalised myself out of it.
Telling myself that I should be above all that nonsense, and that I shouldn't let that petty person influence me.

It didn't work.
I was still upset.

Finally,this afternoon I bitched about it to another colleague.
Now, I feel much better.
When all those motivational lessons don't work, we just gotta use our instinct to solve our emotional problems.
Yup, bitching sometimes is the solution.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

When I typed the earlier title,My Big Clothes, My Good friends, I had another type of post in mind.
I wanted to say that my big clothes are like my good faithful, non-judgemental and always comforting friends.
Especially now that I'm under a different circumstances, they're still by my side, not like my other usual wear which turned away from me because we're no longer in the same league.
Everytime I put on a big piece of clothing that fits, I can feel the clothes comforting me, , "There, there, we're here for you."

Although my self-esteem occasionally do get affected, but I'm not bitter that I can't wear the pretty,body flattering clothes anymore.
I've come to learn that it's just clothes.
If it doesn't fit, then get another one.
I'm not defined by the clothes I'm wearing.
I'm more than that.
I think it's maturity, not bitterness.

That's right.
I'm not talking about clothes anymore.

Friday, October 22, 2010

my big clothes, my good friends


**This is a shirt I almost bought.Really liked the pattern but not suitable for formal wear>**

Psychiatric drugs make you fat.
That's a fact.
Since 2008, I've gained a stubborn weight of 10kg (at least!)
95% of my clothes don't fit me anymore.
For a lady in this 'skinny is pretty' era, that's an adjustment quite difficult to swallow.
Even most male patients STOP taking the medications due to the weight gaining side effects.
But like many other areas in my life, I have accepted it as part of me that can't be changed.

Now, I take great joy in purchasing XL clothes, as they are hard to find!
Oh, the joy of finding one that fits my budget, fashion and size!
It's very fulfilling. ^_^
And I'm glad that I feel this way because it shows that I have began to be comfortable with my new size.

Today I wore a new XL pastel T-shirt to work.
I liked the color very much as it's very feminine.
As usual, Mother had to give me my daily criticisms .
"Fat people like you shouldn't wear shirts like this"
Mother always had to remind me that I'm fat as often as mother's asking if their little kids have done their homework.
Apparently she's afraid that I might forget.
After a series of counselling, I finally learnt that I can 'shield' her hurting comments. So I ignored her and left for work.

When I reached the college, I still felt good. Not so much about the shirt anymore, but because I wasn't affected by that piece of criticism.

Michael Buble's FEELING GOOD, was playing in head.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


This heart-rending story and photo is taken from http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20080424_1.htm
##Each morning, the grandpas and the grandmas showed up at dawn to queue up for copies of the free newspapers. Sometimes, they beg passer-by's to procure copies for them. On the day before yesterday, our reporter went to several distribution points to check. Out of ten copies, three would fall into the hands of this army of newspaper collectors.
According to one grandma, "Some free newspapers can be had without entering the MTR system. Sometimes, there are no workers watching the newspapers and I can take as many as I want." Many of these grandpas and grandmas took a copy, and then went to the end of the queue to line up again for another copy. They did so repeatedly until all the newspapers have been distributed.

Meanwhile, at the Olympic MTR station, another group of grandpas and grandmas were imploring passengers to bring the free newspapers to them. "Brother, can you help by bringing me some free newspapers from over there?" Whenever a passenger was about to come out, the grandpas and grandmas would beseech him. Most passengers are sympathetic to these old folks, and they turn around and fetch copies of the free newspapers on the stand inside the station.

The grandpas and grandmas will also check the public housing estates and private malls to look for undistributed free newspapers. They even take the free English-language newspapers there. Anyway, they are not going to pass on any opportunity to seize free newspapers.

Over two days of observation at Olympic Station, the reporter saw that the grandma named Ah Mui was the hardest working among all the grandpas and grandmas present. She stood in line to wait for the free newspapers, she begged passengers to bring her copies and she even checked the garbage bins for free newspapers. Since she does not have the physical strength to carry the load, she uses a pushcart. By working non-stop, she gets the biggest number of free newspapers.

At 830am, most of the free newspapers have been distributed. At the recycling center, the worker weighed her load and found that it weighted more than 20 kilograms. At HKD 0.13 per kilogram, Ah Mui earned more than HKD 20 on this day (at an hourly wage of HKD 10). She smiled and said: "I don't make a lot of money. I worked hard and I only got twenty something dollars. It is enough for a breakfast meal. I'll treat this like a birthday present."
##

If I were to be Hollywood-ise

Many times when I was asked to describe how I felt back in the dark times, I struggled with words.
The words DEPRESSED, ANXIOUS, WORRIED,INSOMNIAC, NAUSEAUS, SUICIDAL hardly came close to the horror I felt in the year of 2004/5.

Of course I did try to make myself better, but no motivational tactics were effective.
Knowing what I know now, I wished I had taken more extreme measures.
I should have seeked counselling and medical help earlier.

Then again, there are no 'IFs' in history.

Winston Churchill described his struggle like a black dog constantly following him.
The movie A BEAUTIFUL MIND had illustrate John Nash's struggles by using 3 'living people' who constantly follows him.
In my case, if I can describe my dark experience ala Hollywood style, the person who followed me is somewhat like below.

**for illustration only. No demonic connotation intended**

What followed me definitely was no black puppy.
Look at this picture and you'd understand better that advice like, " Try to be more positive" is no help whatsoever.

Now, it's a light shadow that is constantly behind me.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Excerpts and photos from http://raddblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/phone-box-library-westbury-sub-mendip-somerset-england/



A traditional red phone box has been recycled into one of the country’s smallest lending libraries – stocking 100 books.
Villagers from Westbury-sub-Mendip in Somerset can use the library around the clock, selecting books, DVDs and CDs.
Users simply stock it with a book they have read, swapping it for one they have not.
“It’s really taken off. The books are constantly changing,” said parish councillor Bob Dolby.
He added: “It is completely full at the moment with books. Anyone is free to come and take a book and leave one that you have already read.
“This facility has turned a piece of street furniture into a community service in constant use.”
A resident dreamed up the idea when the village lost its phone box and mobile library in quick succession.
Westbury-sub-Mendip Parish Council bought the phone box from BT in a national scheme for a token £1.
BT has received 770 applications for communities to ‘adopt a kiosk’, and so far 350 boxes have been handed over to parish councils.
Phone boxes have been turned into art installations, a shower and even a public toilet.

Sunday, October 17, 2010



I visited my friend at the same hospital again.
Each time I walked into the ward, I get the feeling as if the rollercoaster ride is about to take off.
I was excited - because I'm about to see my friend.
I was scared - because this is the key reminder of my darkest monsters.

My friend had a lot of company around her bed, both visitors and newly made ones from the ward.
We all talked, shared food and enjoyed each other's conversation.
Just when I thought 'maybe it's not that dark afterall,' a new patient was wheeled in.

She came in unwillingly, with her hands bound to the bed.
She was crying, and cursing everyone.
She felt that everyone was ganging up against her.
Afterall, how many of us are comfortable being put into the psychiatric ward?
In future, when we have to fill up application forms, how do we answer to the question,
"Have you been hospitalised? If yes, for what reason?"
This experience is a permanent scar.

Many of us around my friend's bed was reminded of their similar experience.
Everyone had different medical backgrounds and experience but we agreed how hard it was to accept.
We all knew that none of us can say or do anything to help that poor lady feel better.
She has to learn to cope it herself.
We were all certain of this.

Friday, October 15, 2010



I'm a very sentimental person.
Whenever I come across old things, I will take notice of the date and imagine that specific period of time.
I will ask myself, "What was I doing then?"

The nostalgic feeling is even stronger when I come across with my own old writings.
It's very personal.
The moment I see my style of handwriting, I would be able to decipher, in a heartbeat, my emotional state at that time it was written.

Not that neat handwriting means good.
Nor messy handwriting means bad.

It was the way I had slanted my words, how I curled my 'Y's and 'G's, how much gap I had left in between my words, how big I had circled my'A's and 'O's and how hard I had pressed my words.
My handwritings had scripted my mood very accurately during the time it was written, as clear as crystal.
They expressed my feelings better than any words I could have used.
That's why it's important for me to WRITE my journals the good old fashioned way.
=)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I've always admired diplomatic people.
They always know
-what to say,
-how to say it,
-who to say it to,
-when to say it
without much effort yet can cause impact to the situation.
Such influence!

My colleague and I made a mistake of eating at the most inappropriate place.
We had mistaken that it'd be alright because it's lunch time.
In retrospect, I'm now shaking my head wondering how could we be so foolish.

The Head of Department was appalled to see us but didn't show the slightest bit of anger. He had to position to tell us off but didn't, instead he said,
"We have a very nice pantry just inside. Come, let me take you."
He did and continued, "Here, you can make coffee and tea, much more comfortable compared to where you were sitting."
I was so embarrassed! I'm still smacking myself for being so thoughtless!
But the Head was so cheerful, smiling at every word.
It didn't even feel like a reprimand though I darn well deserved it.

W-O-W
Talk about having diplomacy skills......

Friday, October 08, 2010


excerpts from http://stage-v2.wtopnews.com

Alwan is among a growing number of young Iraqis who have turned to competitive sports to learn to live with the physical scars and emotional trauma of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and sectarian bloodshed it unleashed. It's not easy in a country still suffering from daily violence, and limited help for handicapped people. Alwan and others like her are determined to persevere.

I'm rereading this word again and again.
DETERMINED TO PERSEVERE

Ever since I saw this poster at the cake shop opposite my workplace, I've planted a glutton ambition to utilise this promotion during my break at 4pm.
After 2 months, that glutton ambition became impatient and I went in yesterday.

The environment is very comfortable compared to the other hot stuffy eateries that I usually go.

(1) I sat.
(2) I sipped the coffee.
(3) I nibbled a bit of the cake.
(4) I looked outside.
(5) I scanned through the magazines.
(6) I eavesdropped on the gossiping young students next table .
(7)-I repeated steps (2) till (6) until it was time to go back to work.

On the scale of 10, I give this activity 6 points =)

Kudos to counsellor who recommended me to intentionally include enjoyable activities in my daily/weekly/monthly life

Thursday, October 07, 2010

I know a blogger who went through the darkness almost similar to mine.
Therefore, I truly can understand why he created a whole new blog.
He explained, "Most of my writing back then was when I was going through a bad patch in my life, I've moved on from that patch."

I choose to keep this blog even though there are many many entries written when I wasn't well. Many of them don't reflect who I truly am.
Chills are sent down my spine each time I reread them.

Yet, I'm choosing to keep them to remind myself that a relapse of that bad patch is highly possible.
The medical statistics have proven that the odds are against me.

I need to be very alert of that dark shadow that will be with me all my life.
Very dark indeed.

Monday, October 04, 2010

I watched the movie Eat Pray Lovealone over the weekend.

Despite the bad reviews, stating that it's a very self-absorbed narrative movie, I enthusiastically went for it anyway.
I was not disappointed.

There were many phrases which I can relate to.
As I was saying to my friend, "Perhaps only abnormal people like us can understand her despair. Normal people would just find it pathetic and just about ME ME ME".

Just as these words escaped me, I wondered.
Is there even such a thing as a normal person?
Or did we just confused that word with a successfully conformed person?

Friday, October 01, 2010

I have just bid farewell to my foreigner co-worker who is going to London for greener pastures.
I really admire his courage to take such a big step, leaving his comfort zone.
For the past few weeks, I felt his anxiety as he was facing a lot of problems with the visa application.
But he persevered and was not at all deterred with the paperwork obstacles nor the financial difficulties that he will face for the next 3 years.
He is absolutely certain of his choice of path.

Tonight, as I shook his wife's hand, she said;"We have to live by faith sometimes."

I wish I had some of that kind of faith. Afterall, my mind can't make sense out of life most of the time anyway. =/