Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's the last day of the year.
I'm trying to recall what I was doing last year.
I recall going to the gym, doing Body Combat and dancing Zumba.
I recall being invited to supper / countdown by a gym friend.
She teased me about wanting to go home early instead.

I went home and listened to this song with the sound of fireworks at the background.
What will I be doing tonight?
Anyway, I'm really proud that I have changed the geographical/environmental setting this year.

Monday, December 29, 2014

KOTA BARU: When the deadly tsunami struck Penang in 2004, survivor Tan Poh Choo (pic) lost all her four children.

“It is something that will always stay in my mind,” she said teary-eyed when recalling the incident on Boxing Day that year.

Since the disaster, Tan said she had not been able to move on and always felt depressed.

“Every day, all I could think of is my children. However, after looking at the flood victims in Kelantan, I am inspired to help them,” she told The Star after distributing aid at SMK Kubang Kerian 2 here yesterday.

She said the memory of her children was her main inspiration, adding that her humanitarian activities had turned her life around.

“It has helped me move on and I keep myself busy by helping others. I hope that the lives of the flood victims will return to normal,” she said.

Tan was among the hundreds of volunteers under the Buddhist Tzu-Chi Foundation who distributed humanitarian assistance at several relief centres across Kelantan.

Finally !
I have fulfilled my dream of eating English scones in Cameron Highlands !

Friday, December 19, 2014

Heartbreaking: Man embraces wife's body for 2 hours after she collapses on street and dies
"Don't bury your writing talent."

I was rereading some of my old posts.
I have forgotten most of them.
Good thing I have this blog.

Dang... some are really good.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

There are jokes going around the office about a male colleague - S and myself.
I must say, it IS funny.
They try not to make those jokes in my presence, as they sensed my shyness, but well, the workplace is small.

S is seemingly nice.
But I keep reminding myself of what happened the last time.
I need to.
There's something wrong.
In my last meeting with my counselor, I kept repeating that there's something wrong with me, that I'm different , that I'm abnormal.
This thought is weighing my self-esteem down and is self-sabotaging.
He tried very hard to convince me otherwise, but I couldn't follow his trail.
Hence, he gave me an exercise to do - something to convince myself that I'm OK.
I'm halfway into it, and still I don't feel I'm normal.
But I have a feeling, he can help me through this. We might meet in the middle.
I'm lucky that this counselor is helping me the way the previous one did.

After my lymphatic massage, there are bruises on my body. really scary blue black. (the bruises will disappear very fast)
They remind me of my self-harming days years back.
The scarier part, it's a comforting sight.

There is something very wrong with me.
I'll be sure to bring this up in my next session with the counselor.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Incident one.
A few weeks ago, I went for a traditional lymphatic massage.
In case you are not familiar with this, I can sum it in two words.
This massage is NOT designed for relaxation but rather to 'unclog' the blockages in the body.
Apparently, I had many 'blockages'.
I left the place in blue black - which is common.
Later, I heard from a mutual friend that the masseuse commented I had very high tolerance for pain.
Quite impressive for a first timer.

Incident two.
My report confirmed that I have H. Plyori in my stomach.
The treatment requires heavy dosage of antibiotics and some funny nauseating medicine.
After a week, I went back to the clinic.
The nurse and doctor complimented me.
"Wow. Most people can't stand this."
*But after the 9th day I really can't take it so I'm now self-medicating instead of following the prescription.

Point of my stories?

I have proven tracks of my high pain threshold.
So for those who still believes that depression only affects the weak .... shut up .
Every morning I will bump into my neighbour who picks up his father for his daily visits to the government clinic.
I would hear,  "Pa!Open the door! " followed by the sound a squealing wheelchair.

 I would make every effort to make eye contact and try to be neighbourly friendly.
Unfortunately, this was awkwardly one-sided.
I guess, in urban places, it's common that people would rather keep to themselves.
Still, I wouldn't give up.
I will still greet them with a smile despite the cold awkwardness.

Today, he smiled back.
And he asked me if I'm going to school, or work.

Jing ! Jing ! Jing !

I'm bloated with pride !

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I had an episode yesterday.
Really bad.
Took the pills to calm down as usual.

Today, as I was walking home after alighting from the bus, I saw a man (I presume homeless) sitting at the side of the road eating a packet of rice.
He was very hungry indeed, wolfing down as fast as he could chew.
He took breaks to sip his milk-tea from a makeshift cup, a broken can of tin.

I felt very ashamed.
The man was cherishing the moment, eating his meal with such gratitude and joy,

This Bible phrase came to mind,

25"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

Friday, December 05, 2014

Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, a psychiatrist at the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says that meditation makes perfect sense for treating anxiety.

“People with anxiety have a problem dealing with distracting thoughts that have too much power. They can’t distinguish between a problem-solving thought and a nagging worry that has no benefit. Meditation teaches you to recognize, ‘Oh, there’s that thought again. I’ve been here before. But it’s just that—a thought, and not a part of my core self.’”

Taken from
“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing;
 wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing;
 there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”
~ T.S. Eliot

Due to last night's event, I read this news like a dark comedy.

I don't mean to sound insensitive.
It is tragic.
But I empathize with eerie proximity.

Truman Capote: "It's as if Perry and I grew up in the same house. And one day he stood up and went out the back door, while I went out the front."
Met up with mother and sister.
I knew it would be stressful but hadn't braced myself for such shitty outcome.
I came home crying.
Had to take a pill to chill, LITERALLY.

Woke up this morning with bloated eyes, a heavy heart and a cold soul.

I was early for work so I decided to stroll at the corner to see the old breakfast-delicacy-bakery run by a group of old people.
Honestly, their products don't suit my taste, and their are somewhat overpriced too.
But I always enjoy seeing them at work.
They are really old, but they have the enthusiasm of  5-year-olds.
They may move slowly, but their faces lit up immediately each time they interact with their customers, even when no purchases were made.
The presence of positive energy is unmistakable.

I bought this.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Heroes are the ones who go out of their way to do what is right.
Inconvenient, difficult, self-sacrificing and most of the time, trouble-seeking actions and choices are what differentiates them from the rest.
Why do they still do it?
They respect and obey their own conscience, that’s why.
To the man who spoke out in the public bus today.
I salute you.
You made a difference.
"Valuable? I'm expendable ! When one is about my age and has no where to go, I have accept whatever circumstances that may take place in my employment," said the veteran staff with a mixture of regret and bitterness.

"But sir, we are in the business of preserving history. The older, the greater the value."

I wish I had said the above.
Instead, I merely gave a sympathetic smile because I wasn't ready to farther this conversation, or what that may follow.

Monday, December 01, 2014

I was absent for work for 4 days consecutively.
The doctor gave me MC because my stomach was causing problems.
Perhaps he suspected it's stress induced, hence the generous flow of MCs.
His surname is actually Tim.
It's my first time addressing a Chinese doctor, Dr Tim.
What a cool name.
He was very empathetic, and eager in his profession.
The constant stream of patients in his clinic proved my opinion was shared by many.

For me, uneasiness in the physical goes hand in hand with my emotional state.
It was quite bad.
My new friend (my sis told her my mental state) actually advised me to take the antidepressants again.
She can't seem to comprehend my struggle with the side-effects.

Today is my first day back at work.
Everyone is so cheerful.
I always look somewhat lost when they are laughing.
I always wonder,
"How is it that they can take life so much better than me? Surely they have their troubles too. Where are their monsters?"

Monday, November 24, 2014

I was surprised that they would celebrate my birthday.
I had a birthday song sang at workplace too.
Even my housemate remembered.

"So what did you wish for?"
I smiled.
It kinda came true already.

Last night, I was alone in the house.
It was raining softly.
As I was chewing my sandwich and sipping my coffee, I stared at my laundry hung at the window.
The wind was blowing softly.
Looking at laundry being in the midst of getting clean or dry has always been therapeutic for me.
Suddenly I realised something.
My wish has finally came true.

I'm in a peaceful place.
I'm finally here for me.
I'm finally me.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Weeks ago, I stumbled upon a homeless man who had many plastic bags with him.
It looked like he had gathered unwanted materials from the trash cans and decided that they worth keeping.
It was clear they are now his private property.
At first I thought it seemed rather silly to take all the trouble to gather and keep such worthless things. I believe he'd carry them with him whenever he needs to move around.

Suddenly, I realized something.
We are all like that too.

We love to gather, keep and carry things that we think are important to us.
What makes them important?
A matter of opinion.

Friday, November 21, 2014

I am Grateful for...

1. Just when the darkness began to cling on stronger unto me, my most cheerful colleague called me over the intercom to invite me to McDonald's for lunch.
Two days ago, we had this conversation.
 'Do you eat fastfood?" she asked.
"I try not to, I fall sick easily." I answered.
 "Ah! You lack the fast food nutrients in your body, that's why you lack the army to battle the illness !" she joked.
It's much funnier in Hokkien, the native Chinese dialect here which I'm excited to learn.

2.After a long time of searching, finally found a Chinese Sinseh (traditional medical practitioner) who helped my 'loosen' my muscles. It's extra bonus that he's young and handsome too. **blush blush

3. A very Helpful colleague S called me, (despite being on leave) just to give me the number of her relative who sells 2nd-hand car. She recently got a very good deal on her 2nd hand car purchase and she hoped that I might follow her lucky stride.
Also, the other day, she saved me a packet of nasi lemak, when there were leftovers from the meeting. Later, I learnt that the leftovers weren't enough to go around.

4.Colleague K gave me a small tumbler of home-made banana shake this morning. Earlier, she gave me some vitamins for my stomach too.

5.Colleague CS, the IT guy, remembered to come to my desk to check on my hardware despite being so busy with his workload.

6.Colleague KY gave me a small bear, telling me it's for the newest staff to keep until the next one comes along. I think the person who initiated this tradition is not only creative, but kind at heart.

7.I have reasonably friendly housemates who would initiate conversation. Sometimes, just talking about the weather does make one feel better.

8.Witnessed child A, who played on his father's customer's motorbike. He was playing the motorist role so well that he even stepped on the clutch and breaks when his imagined journey required him too.
Witnessed child B this morning who was so excited when the bus arrived. The bus I take to work everyday. I should emulate some of his excitement, perhaps?

I am blessed.
Looking for a counselor was among my priority in my to-do list when I had decided to move here.
I googled.
I was very lucky to have found a non-profit based organisation that provides this service.
I even called to make an appointment even before I got here, fearing that a counselling slot may be hard to come by.
I wanted to make sure I was in queue.
So, I've met Ernest (great name) twice.
He had been very helpful.
I won't hesitate to call him again when the need arises.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"Your head will go where your eyes are looking,"

"You must do this self-care exercise EVERYDAY. This is important,"

said the chiropractor.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Taken entirely from

Obituary from Shenzhen Evening News, including Xu's departing poem
by Li Fei and Zhang Xiaoqi
10 October, 2014

“On My Deathbed”

I want to take another look at the ocean, behold the vastness of tears from half a lifetime

I want to climb another mountain, try to call back the soul that I’ve lost

I want to touch the sky, feel that blueness so light

But I can’t do any of this, so I’m leaving this world

Everyone who’s heard of me

Shouldn’t be surprised at my leaving

Even less should you sigh or grieve

I was fine when I came, and fine when I left.

-- Xu Lizhi, 30 September 2014

Shy, quiet, introverted, solitary

In 2010, Xu Lizhi went [from his home in rural Jieyang, Guangdong] to work at [a] Foxconn [electronics factory in Shenzhen], beginning life on the assembly line. From 2012 until February of this year [2014], over 30 of his writings were published in Foxconn’s internal newspaper Foxconn People (富士康人), including poems, essays, film reviews, and news commentaries {…} Xu posted the titles of these writings on his blog in a post called “The Maturation Given to Me by a Newspaper,” indicating his gratitude for this platform for his literary aspirations. The first time his friend Zheng (pseudonym) read Xu’s poetry, he was astonished to discover that this young man could be so talented. Henceforth, Zheng always looked for Xu’s writings in the newspaper.

Zheng’s impression was that Xu was a shy boy, “of few words, but not silent.” “Xu asserted his convictions, but he seemed quite solitary – very much the air of a poet.” When Zheng heard of Xu’s suicide, his entire [week-long] break for [China’s] National Day was shrouded in grief. He could not go outside for days.

Turning feelings into poems; fearing they be read by family

Most of Xu’s early poems were descriptions of life on the assembly line. In “Workshop, My Youth Was Stranded Here,” he described his conditions at the time: “Beside the assembly line, tens of thousands of workers [dagongzhe]1 line up like words on a page/ 'Faster, hurry up!'/ Standing among them, I hear the supervisor bark.” He felt that “Once you’ve entered the workshop/ The only choice is submission,” and that his youth was coldly slipping away, so he could only “Watch it being ground away day and night/ Pressed, polished, molded/ Into a few measly bills, so-called wages.”

At first Xu Lizhi found it difficult to adapt to the constant switching between dayshifts and nightshifts. In another poem, he described himself by the assembly line “standing straight like iron, hands like flight,” “How many days, how many nights/ Did I – just like that – standing, fall asleep?” He described his working life as exhausting, “Flowing through my veins, finally reaching the tip of my pen/ Taking root in the paper/ These words can be read only by the hearts of migrant workers."

Xu once said that he never showed his poetry to his parents or other relatives, "because it's something painful; I don't want them to see that."

Failed efforts to get a job related to books 

Although Xu lived in Shenzhen for only a few years, he identified deeply with the city. "Everyone wishes they could put down roots in the city," he explained, but most migrant-worker [dagong] poets write for a few years and then return to the countryside, get married and have children; Xu hoped to avoid that fate. He tried setting up a street stall with a friend, but failed. He also tried transferring from the assembly line to a logistics position, where he would have more freedom. He understood that very few such poets could get out [走出来]: "[we] have to constantly fight for our lives [为生活奔波]; it's hard to go any further than that."

In February of this year, Xu quit his job at Foxconn and moved to Suzhou, Jiangsu. His friend explained that Xu's girlfriend worked there, but apparently things did not go well for Xu in Jiangsu. He told Zheng that he had trouble finding a job, but he did not go into detail about what happened there.

Half a year later, he moved back to Shenzhen. In an earlier interview, Xu had said that he loved this city, that he derived great pleasure from its Central Book Mall and public libraries. If he were to return home [to rural Jieyang], there were only a few small bookstores, and "even if I tried to order books online, they couldn't be delivered" [to his remote address].

Due to his love of books, the first job application he submitted upon his return to Shenzhen in early September was to the Central Book Mall. Zheng recalled that Xu had told him, while working at Foxconn, that his dream was to become a librarian. Unfortunately, he did not get the job, and Zheng thinks this was a major disappointment. Two years earlier, Xu had applied for a position as librarian at Foxconn's internal library for employees, in response to a call for applications, and Xu had been turned down then as well. {...}

Returning to the workshop for one day prior to the incident

Xu was running out of money, so after these disappointments, he returned to Foxconn, beginning work on September 29, in the same workshop where he had worked before. This should have been a new beginning, but it was not. That evening he mentioned to Zheng via online chat that someone had found him another job, so he might leave Foxconn again, but Zheng did not consider this anything special, figuring that Xu would not leave very soon, having just resumed work at Foxconn.

The next Zheng heard of Xu was two days later, when people forwarded the news of Xu's suicide on WeChat. Zheng could not believe it: "Hadn't we just chatted two nights ago?" Later Zheng learned that Xu had committed suicide only the morning after they had chatted, not two days later as the media had reported.

Refuting online rumors that Xu was an orphan

[Although it has been 10 days since Xu's death,] when it is mentioned, Zheng still cannot bear the grief. He thinks that Xu's suicide resulted from both internal and external factors: not only the disappointments he had undergone, but even more so the solitary poetic spirit in his bones.2

After Xu's passing, some online obituaries claimed that as a young child he had been orphaned, neglected and insulted until a poor old women adopted and raised him, and that this foster-grandmother had died a few years ago, leaving Xu alone in the world.

Zheng [refuted these rumors, pointing out that] Xu's writings often mentioned his mother and homesickness. His second poem published in Foxconn People [for example], was called "Summertime Homesickness."

Xu's poetry is cold and pensive, directly facing a life of misery. His poems trace a trajectory in which the scent of death becomes more and more pronounced. He had already rehearsed death hundreds of times in his writing, so the final act was merely a small step over the edge.

Selected Poems by Xu Lizhi


They all say

I'm a child of few words

This I don't deny

But actually

Whether I speak or not

With this society I'll still


-- 7 June 2013

"I Fall Asleep, Just Standing Like That"

The paper before my eyes fades yellow

With a steel pen I chisel on it uneven black

Full of working words

Workshop, assembly line, machine, work card, overtime, wages...

They've trained me to become docile

Don't know how to shout or rebel

How to complain or denounce

Only how to silently suffer exhaustion

When I first set foot in this place

I hoped only for that grey pay slip on the tenth of each month

To grant me some belated solace

For this I had to grind away my corners, grind away my words

Refuse to skip work, refuse sick leave, refuse leave for private reasons

Refuse to be late, refuse to leave early

By the assembly line I stood straight like iron, hands like flight,

How many days, how many nights

Did I - just like that - standing fall asleep?

-- 20 August 2011

"A Screw Fell to the Ground"

A screw fell to the ground

In this dark night of overtime

Plunging vertically, lightly clinking

It won’t attract anyone’s attention

Just like last time

On a night like this

When someone plunged to the ground

-- 9 January 2014

"A Kind of Prophecy"

Village elders say

I resemble my grandfather in his youth

I didn’t recognize it

But listening to them time and again

Won me over

My grandfather and I share

Facial expressions

Temperaments, hobbies

Almost as if we came from the same womb

They nicknamed him “bamboo pole”

And me, “clothes hanger”

He often swallowed his feelings

I'm often obsequious

He liked guessing riddles

I like premonitions

In the autumn of 1943, the Japanese devils invaded

and burned my grandfather alive

at the age of 23.

This year i turn 23.

-- 18 June 2013

"The Last Graveyard"

Even the machine is nodding off

Sealed workshops store diseased iron

Wages concealed behind curtains

Like the love that young workers bury at the bottom of their hearts

With no time for expression, emotion crumbles into dust

They have stomachs forged of iron

Full of thick acid, sulfuric and nitric

Industry captures their tears before they have the chance to fall

Time flows by, their heads lost in fog

Output weighs down their age, pain works overtime day and night

In their lives, dizziness before their time is latent

The jig forces the skin to peel

And while it's at it, plates on a layer of aluminum alloy

Some still endure, while others are taken by illness

I am dozing between them, guarding

The last graveyard of our youth.

-- 21 December 2011

"My Life’s Journey is Still Far from Complete"

This is something no one expected

My life’s journey

Is far from over

But now it's stalled at the halfway mark

It’s not as if similar difficulties

Didn’t exist before

But they didn’t come

As suddenly

As ferociously

Repeatedly struggle

But all is futile

I want to stand up more than anyone else

But my legs won’t cooperate

My stomach won’t cooperate

All the bones of my body won’t cooperate

I can only lie flat

In this darkness, sending out

A silent distress signal, again and again

Only to hear, again and again

The echo of desperation.

-- 13 July 2014

"I Swallowed a Moon Made of Iron"

I swallowed a moon made of iron

They refer to it as a nail

I swallowed this industrial sewage, these unemployment documents

Youth stooped at machines die before their time

I swallowed the hustle and the destitution

Swallowed pedestrian bridges, life covered in rust

I can't swallow any more

All that I've swallowed is now gushing out of my throat

Unfurling on the land of my ancestors

Into a disgraceful poem.

-- 19 December 2013

"Rented Room"

A space of ten square meters

Cramped and damp, no sunlight all year

Here I eat, sleep, shit, and think

Cough, get headaches, grow old, get sick but still fail to die

Under the dull yellow light again I stare blankly, chuckling like an idiot

I pace back and forth, singing softly, reading, writing poems

Every time I open the window or the wicker gate

I seem like a dead man

Slowly pushing open the lid of a coffin.

-- 2 December 2013

"Upon Hearing the News of Xu Lizhi's Suicide"
by Zhou Qizao (周启早), a fellow worker at Foxconn

The loss of every life

Is the passing of another me

Another screw comes loose

Another migrant worker brother jumps

You die in place of me

And I keep writing in place of you

While I do so, screwing the screws tighter

Today is our nation's sixty-fifth birthday

We wish the country joyous celebrations

A twenty-four-year-old you stands in the grey picture frame, smiling ever so slightly

Autumn winds and autumn rain

A white-haired father, holding the black urn with your ashes, stumbles home.

-- 1 October 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Last night, I was recalling a childhood memory to my housemate.
It was very nostalgic indeed.
I ended my narration with these words.
"Weird isn't it? It is the incidents that were somewhat inconvenient and challenging that we tend to remember best. The every minute detail of it. The feelings, the weather, the colors, even the very scent of it."

This afternoon, during lunch, my colleague shared her family's past at the table.
I was and still am very impressed that she'd feel comfortable sharing such personal details.
Her story was so interesting that no one dared interrupt her for the next 30 minutes.
When she finished, a colleague commended, "Wow, this would make an excellent tv series indeed."
Everyone agreed.

Indeed, we wouldn't remember incidents that were easy and comfortable with such detailed description.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Taken from Lessons From Roald Dahl Books That Prepared Us For Adulthood
1. Learn lessons from those who are different from you

In “James and the Giant Peach,” James befriends giant bugs who become like family to him, after longing to belong and be loved. The same goes for Sophie in “The BFG,” who takes a chance and befriends a giant, whom she comes to have an incredibly rewarding relationship.

It’s important not to rule out friendships with people who are different from us.

Moral of the story: Variety is the spice of life.

2. It’s okay to be different

Many of Dahl’s strongest characters certainly don’t fit in with the crowd. Willy Wonka is an extremely eccentric man; Matilda’s family only enjoys watching TV, while she prefers reading; James’ aunts have nothing in common with him, and he longs for something more.

Moral of the story: Being unique can be magical.

3. Independence is key

Many of the child protagonists’ parents or guardians in Dahl’s books are cruel and crude. This is true for “James and the Giant Peach,” “Matilda” and “The Witches,” to name a few. In these tales, the children have to take situations into their own hands to find enjoyment in life.

Dahl teaches us that we won’t always have parents to act as our infallible role models.

Moral of the story: We need to be able to support ourselves.

4. Reading is good for the soul

Matilda teaches us that people can escape through reading, as she struggles to understand or be understood by her own family. A great quote from the book reads,

The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling.

She traveled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.

Moral of the story: Reading can transport us to imaginary respites that can bring us much joy.

5. Sometimes, dreams do come true

Charlie longs for a golden ticket to get into Willy Wonka’s factory. Guess what? He gets the ticket and, eventually, the entire factory. Matilda’s family mistreats her, and she longs for a nicer family; eventually, she ends up with her loving teacher, Miss Honey.

James longs for playmates and a nicer family, too. He ultimately lives in Manhattan in a giant peach pit, with friends surrounding him.

Moral of the story: The things for which we wish become reality if we do right by others and by ourselves.

6. Two wrongs don’t make a right

In “The BFG,” the Big Friendly Giant refuses to use violence against other giants, even though they’re violent against humans. Instead, he talks to the Queen of England (diplomacy for kids!), and together, they devise a way to capture the giants and punish them humanely.

Moral of the story: Making good is never achieved through acting badly.

7. Appearances can be deceiving

The giant in “The BFG” is, in fact, a big friendly giant. In “The Witches,” the witches take on the appearances of totally normal-looking, attractive women. In “James and the Giant Peach,” James befriends giant bugs, which upon first glance, seem terrifying.

All of these Roald Dahl books point out the importance of making character-based judgments, rather than appearance.

Moral of the story: Don’t judge a book by its cover (pun intended).

8. You should always be confident in your abilities

Mr. Fox from the “Fantastic Mr. Fox” oozes self-confidence, and because of this, he achieves a lot. Of course, it’s not right to reach the point of arrogance, but this character proves that with enough self-assurance, great things can happen.

Moral of the story: Believe in yourself and in your dreams.

9. Make the best of your situation

Many of Dahl’s characters are in extremely unfortunate situations. Charlie’s family is devastatingly poor. Matilda’s family is horribly mean to her, and James’ aunts barely feed him and keep him locked in his room all the time.

These three do the best they can to make the best of what they have. When they realize it’s not good enough, they try to change it. This ultimately leads them to more fruitful lives.

Moral of the story: We can break free from bad people and bad situations if we put our minds to it.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

It was one of those rare dreams where you'd remember even after you have long awaken.

It was in the house where I had lived for 20 years.
The entire neighborhood was destroyed for the railway construction.
The huge futuristic train arrived but only the privileged few can board.
No one said anything.
It was understood by all.
It's so strange that all of us had accepted this cruel fact without any protest.

And I was to be married to a man I didn't love to have a baby I didn't want ?
Wow, what movie did I watch before I fell asleep?

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Out of boredom, I checked my phone.
Surprised to see a missed-call notification.
It was from Sw.
Called her back immediately.
Was relieved that she answered.
Her voice was trembling but she remained courteous and asked about my day.
And I asked about hers too.
And if she is struggling.
She was embarrassed but she told me the truth.

I really hope she'd see the light soon.
No matter now faint the glimmer.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Musashi, the greatest samurai & a deeply feeling student of the Buddha, set down 21 Rules to Live by. Here they are.

1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
11. In all things have no preferences.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
21. Never stray from the Way.
Taken from

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I woke up early to do a test run on how my mornings would be on a work day.
I planned my walking route to the bus station, and took note of the waiting and travelling time of the bus.
The moment I got up the bus, I was delighted to see a friend I got to know from church. (*I'm not a Christian.)
I thought, wow... this is a good start for the day.

Despite me deliberately leaving the house very late, (**It is a test-run afterall.) I was in awe when I was at the front of my office precisely at 8.30am.
This test-run has indeed relieved a lot of anxiety.

I had breakfast at a nearby place until the public library opened and I watched the movie, Lady in the Water.
I have seen this movie before and yet, it had captivated me once again.

Below are the memorable quotes.
Story: Man thinks they are each alone in this world. It is not true. You are all connected. One act can one day affect all.

Story: [holding Cleveland's journal] Your thoughts are very sad. Most are of one night. A night a man entered your home when you were not there. He stole many things and killed your wife and children. That is when you stopped being happy. You were a doctor. I am very sorry for you. You believe you have no purpose. You help all that live here.
Cleveland Heep: Anybody can do this job, Story.
Story: You have a purpose. All beings have a purpose.

Mr. Dury: This world is about finding your purpose, right? And the only way is to find your own voice — you told us that. I don't feel like an interpreter. Is it possible that isn't my purpose? I don't see anything in these words — and I didn't before. Finding one's purpose is a profound thing. Sometimes it isn't always what it seems. What if these young men are not the guild? Look at what happened at the party. These things haven't seemed right since the beginning. Why are you so certain that I am the interpreter and they are the guild?
Cleveland: He was so sure.
Mr. Dury: What?
Cleveland: I asked someone, he acted like he knew.
Mr. Dury: What kind of person would be so arrogant as to presume the intention of another human being? Who has put this young girl's life in jeopardy?
Mr. Leeds: We can't just stand here playing make-believe. I wanted to believe, more than most. I wanted to be like a child again. I needed to believe there was something more than this awfulness around us, but at some point, we have to stop.
Young-Soon Choi: Mr. Leeds, it's time we prove that some stories are real!

I came home and I went grocery shopping with my housemate.
Had dinner, did laundry.
Chatted online with KL friend Sw and PG friend Shannen.
A friend texted me and invited me to shop with her in tomorrow's night bazaar.
It has been a good day indeed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"You're very brave and independent. I wish I were you."
"Hahaha. I never thought I'd live long enough to hear these words being referred to me."

Since my relocation here, many people did comment that it requires courage and an independent mind to do what I did.

Well, I've seen better.
I'm merely learning.

View from my room

View from the stairway

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I decided that lying on bed will just worsen my anxiety.
"Let's find something to do," I told myself.
1.Went to the hospital, registered myself, saw the GP, got the referral letter, got the appointment.

2.Donated blood.

3.Searched for the public library. Unimpressed, but at least I have another hang out place. Borrowed a book.

4.Registered myself for the public bus monthly discount card.

>>>the above was today. Below are what I have done so far.

5. Viewed 13 rooms. Chose the 13th room.

6. I arranged and met the counselor at the community service centre. Will call again when my work has started.

7. I found my way around with public transport.

I can do this.
My friend Wf texted me, "You will have enough space to reinvent yourself."
Another friend encouraged me, "You are the most mentally strong person I've ever known. You have been through so much. Don't let other people's negativity affect you."

I've got this.
My memory was severely affected.
I have become very unsure of my past.
I always ask myself - "Did it really happen? Or was it just an imagination?"

After this experience, I am now certain of one thing.
I didn't imagined it.
She IS a real bitch.

Everything happens for a reason.
I came here to self-search.
Now, I can eliminate one huge part of my self-doubt.
It really DID happen.
How do I know that?
It is now happening again.
Saturday, 18th October 2014
Alas, I'm here..........

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Entire text taken from 6 Mistakes We Make When Depressed or Having a Panic Attack
By Nikolay Perov

1. Resisting.

When we feel a bad mood, depression, or panic coming on, our first wish is to get rid of it as quickly as possible, to change the “bad” mood into a “good” one. This is natural; it’s how we’re made. But all too often our attempts just make everything worse.

Resistance forces us to think constantly about our condition, to focus all of our attention on it, to feel bad because it won’t go away, to wait tensely for relief.

But the simple truth is that you can’t control everything. Attempting to get your condition “under control” often leads to extra stress and unwanted bad feelings. It’s sometimes best just to relinquish control and cease resistance.

If we relax and let our depression or panic come without trying to control anything, accepting that they’re only temporary feelings which will pass in due course, things become much easier.

2. Feeling bad about feeling bad.

We start to have thoughts such as “I’m going to die or go crazy,” “This’ll never end,” and “I hate that I can’t enjoy life like other people; I feel utterly miserable.”

Our mind starts to add new fears and negative emotions to the depression we already have. And, as I saw for myself, these fears and feelings end up constituting the main part of our condition.

It’s actually your mind, not the depression and panic themselves, which makes each episode so unbearable.

If you don’t believe me, try this experiment: The next time you’re overwhelmed by an attack, try to simply observe it without getting caught up in or assessing it in any way. Just watch it in its pure form, without any thoughts. Try to notice which parts of your body you feel it in and how it comes and goes.

In this way, you’ll remove your mind from the formula of your distress. You’ll notice how much weaker the attacks become when they’re no longer supported by your thought processes. Give it a try, making notes of the results if you like. Would it be true to say that it’s not all as terrifying and dreadful as it seemed at first?

When you stop feeding your depression with fears and thoughts it becomes much easier to shake off.

3. Comparing.

“Everything was so good when I wasn’t depressed! What an amazing time it was, and how awful it is now. Why can’t I go back?!” These are the kinds of things many people think, me included, but such thoughts bring nothing but harm.

If you want to beat depression or panic, you have to stop comparing. Forget that there’s a past and future. What’s happened has happened. Don’t dwell on it, and instead live in the here and now.

Start with what you have, and don’t think about how it all was before. Learning how to live in the present moment will make your depression or panic much more bearable.

4. Asking pointless questions.

Many people spend hours asking themselves all kinds of questions: “When will this end?” “Why me?” and “What have I done to deserve this?”

To make use of a well-known Buddhist parable, these questions are as much use as trying to figure out the source of the arrow which blinded you: it’s just not that important. What you need to know is how to pull the arrow out.

Questions of the “Why me?” ilk just make your condition worse, forcing you as they do to complain and be upset about something that’s already happened. Focus on what will help you get past your depression and don’t bother with questions which don’t serve this purpose.

5. Believing your fears.

We think that because we experience such fear at the idea of going outside, meeting people, or going on the underground, it means that something bad is going to happen. There’s nothing surprising in this, because nature has made fear in order to warn us of danger. We’re made in such a way that we instinctively believe this fear and respond to it.

But our fear hardly ever arises due to a real threat. For example, the fear of losing your mind or suffocating during a panic attack is simply fallacious. Stop believing this fear. Whatever it is you’re afraid of at these times isn’t going to happen.

Fear is nothing more than a feeling, a chemical reaction in your head. If you’re overcome with terror when you go down into the underground, it doesn’t mean that something horrific is laying in wait there. It’s like a malfunctioning fire alarm—just because it’s going off doesn’t mean there’s actually a fire.

So stop listening to your “inner alarm” every time it goes off. Don’t pay it any heed: go out, meet your friends, get on a plane, and let the alarm keep ringing. Nor should you try to “switch it off,” as this doesn’t always work. Just ignore it. In other words, stop taking your fear as something real.

6. Seeking reasons for your depression in the outside world.

This is another mistake I made myself. I thought that my malaise was linked solely to the way my life and work were going. I believed that if I could just change that, I’d be happy.

But then, with meditation, I realized that everything I needed to be happy was inside me, and likewise what was causing me to suffer!

I was so edgy, anxious, feeble, caught up in bad habits, undisciplined, and irresponsible that even if I’d succeeded in changing the external circumstances of my life, the traits that had given rise to my depression would still be there.

In order to get rid of my depression, I had to get rid of the internal reasons that had caused it.

So don’t keep telling yourself, “If I get a new job, everything’ll be smooth sailing,” or “If I get rid of everything I’m scared of, there won’t be anything to be afraid of any more.” Your depression and fears reside inside you, so wherever you are, they will be too, projected onto the outside world.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t strive to improve your life. First of all, though, you need to direct your efforts inwards.
I couldn't hide my shock when she showed me the scars.
I knew that she loves wearing cardigans but I didn't realised this was the reason.

She shared with me her darkest hours and most wicked of demons.

My poor poor friend.
She told me her fears at night, just before bedtime.
So, I texted her a message.

"I understood every word you shared with me earlier. I know how the Darkness can torment us, all those convincing lies, over and over again. But you are not those lies. Look how far you've come. We fell and got back up. I know I will fall again, but I will find my way back again too. We are both survivors. I know it's hard for you to believe this, but the day will come when you feel , --Hey, I've got this."

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

I had a very dark, DARK morning.
I woke up at 4am and I tossed and turned till it was time for me to get ready for work
I have been very nervous for the past few days hence, I took half a Lexapro two hours before bedtime.
Perhaps it did help me sleep but it also made my stomach queasy.

My heart was palpitating and my head was filled with scary thoughts.
"People hate you."
I was very tempted give in and stay in bed.
But I know giving in will only make the darkness stronger.
I would feel guilty and ashamed.

I got up.
Indeed, I was right.
The day got better.
I got better.

I am getting better at this.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

I arranged for a group dinner last night.
Mn, Cc, Sw, YL , LC and myself sat at the Secret Recipe restaurant near workplace.
Just as we chose our seats, I can't help but was reminded that YL, LC and myself  sat at the same place during our dinner with CLY months ago.

Anyway, LC was very nasty.
I don't know what got into her, but I'm truly disappointed with her.
I really need to pay attention to my instincts.
I must believe in myself.
This Saturday will be my last BodyCombat session with Ax.
I've been attending his classes for approximately 18 months (my gym contract duration).
Today, during class, I looked around at my gym acquaintances.
I don't know most of their names, and yet, I said my silent goodbye-s to them.
Gosh, I'm so sentimental !
I asked Mn how she handles her workload.
"Your work is so demanding. And you have so much family issues on your plate too. How do you NOT get overwhelmed?" I asked.
Mn inhaled and gave it some thought.
"Well, I guess I don't think about the stress per se. I just focus what I need to do at the present. Mindfulness, you know..."

Thursday, October 02, 2014

I went to Sw's place to look for her.
In our last conversation, she was in quite a mess.
I saw Prof.M and decided to ask her about Sw's well-being.
"Is she around?" I asked, but I seem to have hit a nerve.
"If she's there , she's there ! How would I know where she is? Do you have something urgent with her?" chided the annoyed professor.
"I'm asking as a friend, as she seemed quite depressed when we last spoke" trying my hardest to placate the professor's emotion.
It seemed to have worked, as the professor went on explaining her agitation.
Apparently, Sw didn't make any effort in hiding her depressed mood at work and the professor is utterly disappointed with her.
"I know I sound very harsh, but she needs tough love !
There is much more to life than to just have a man."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"I was carrying a steel pipe at work, and it brushed up against an electrical wire. When I woke up, I saw that everything was gone, and I just started crying. It's like I'm a kid again. They clean me, they put me to bed, they wipe my butt, and they even hold my birdie when I pee. I've been begging for money in this same spot for 20 years. All that I can do is try to get my bread every day until God decides to take me home."

(Mexico City, Mexico) Humans of New York

Sunday, September 28, 2014

I'm grateful for....

(1)I was about to leave the gym when suddenly I had the urge to chat with Ivy.
"Maybe I can just let her know about my plans of moving next month. She'd definitely notice my absence in the Zumba classes," I thought.
My relationship with Ivy has always been on Hi-Bye basis.
So, I was rather surprised that she invited me for dinner after I prompted the chat.
At dinner, I learnt that she is still recuperating from her 6-year relationship breakup.
We chatted about positive energy, books, and of course gym.
I have to say, among all my attempts in socialising with gym friends, this has got to be the most successful one.

(2) Sw came over to my department to tell me that she is able to make it for the group dinner next Friday.
"Yipee ! That's great ! That makes everyone then! *I counted with my fingers** So, now there's 6 of us!"

(3) I had a very good dinner with M and Mn. M joked about being able to hear if the Asian spices are ready using the pestle and mortar. Her exaggerated expression made me choked.
Mn shared with us her challenges at workplace and we recounted her 4-year milestones.

(4) I was quite bored at the staff lounge when suddenly 3 male colleagues greeted me from behind. I didn't realise that they'd remember my name and I was very pleasantly surprised.

(5) My cousin X gave me a very nice Esprit watch.

(6)Attended a public forum on suicide prevention. I am in awe how many people are willing to volunteer their time and effort for the betterment of others.

(7)Went for a run with SY. We had breakfast too.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It was so good to see my cousin X again I've not seen him in more than 10 years.
X has a very charming and amiable personality.
I'm always in a better mood whenever he's around.

X had a very traumatising childhood.
However, he hardly brings it up.
It was through my mother that I know some details of his history.
By sheer grit, he overcame it all and is currently doing very well for himself.

I gave it some thought.
How did he managed to beat all of the odds?
I think...
despite all the physical, emotional abuse and neglect, he knew from the very beginning, he deserved better.
He never doubted his self-worth and he went on becoming the man he is today.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I was clearing my wardrobe and getting rid of my old clothes when I came across this pair of slacks.
Back when I was overweight, this was the only pair of pants I could wear that was really comfortable. It was my favourite pair to wear to work.
I decided to keep it. All can go, but I shall remain sentimental with this.
It means a lot to me.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I was happy to see that Max is online.
" Hey, why the long silence? "

He told me that he was warded for manic symptoms. From his choice of words, or rather the lack of it, I sensed he was feeling rather down.
"Please keep in touch, k? You'll always be one of the fewer ones in my books who aren't defeated by the illness. You rise above it."
"What? But I've had so many relapses."
"And you got back up EVERY single time. That makes you a warrior."
"I'm a survivor."
"Yes. You survived the fall, the attack. 
Every one of it. Only warriors survive. 
Not all battles are fought with weapons."
"I'm a hero then."

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cute Incident One
He looked at me puzzled.
I tried again, in Mandarin this time.
He pointed at the table, puzzled again.
I laughed.
I thought, "Oh dear, I really need to work on my Mandarin. My pronunciation is so off that my 'author' sounded like 'table'.
He couldn't understand what amused me so much and was very confused.
"Can you speak Chinese?"
I laughed even harder.
"I am speaking Chinese," trying really hard to hold my giggle.
I wrote down what I have that can help him.
He understood but was still confused .
He asked, "Are you Chinese?"
I laughed, "Yes."
That poor chap was so confused.

Cute Incident Two
It was 30 minutes before the 'special closing sale' in the bakery.
I smiled sheepishly at the salesperson who was busy packing the pastries into the plastic wrappers.
I was hoping that she could have 'pitied' me and bend the rules a bit.
But nope.
So, I stood there shamelessly looking at my potential choices of unsold pastries on the counter.
A lady came and ordered her pastries.
Just as she took out her wallet, I told her, "You know, if you wait a few more minutes, it's 'Buy One Free One'".
"Really?" She looked at the salesperson and said, "I'll come back later."
I realised that I had caused some profit lost to the bakery and looked at the salesperson sheepishly and said, "Oops? Err, perhaps she'll buy more when she comes back?"
Salesperson smiled at me.
She allowed me to buy two of my favourite muffins at the price of one, 10 mins earlier.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The foreign student was so rude that I was literally shaking with anger.
I didn't realized the extend of my anger until I saw that my fingers were shaking.
I was so overwhelmed that I walked over to him and gave him a piece of my mind.
He said something but I walked away, ignoring his words just like how he ignored mine previously after his 'drama'.
I was really pissed.

I vented to my friends via Whatssap. They were sympathetic of course but were worried that there might be repercussions.
"Careful when you deal with people like that. Obnoxious people do obnoxious things.
He is after all, student of this private institution.
And we are staff of this institution."

I was really upset because they made a good point. The safe professional way was to have let it go.
But the silly naive careless sense of justice in me just couldn't let that rudeness slide.

I went to yoga and had dinner with a friend.
Chatted jovially on a wide myriad of things.
Her brothers' health, the many others suffering the similar illness, about our own health, food, work, how to get along with the people at work.
It was fun.

I gained back the positive energy and now I am able to see the prior incident in clearer view.
I had foolishly followed that foreign student's trail of negativity.
I allowed his rudeness rubbed into my own ego.
I had the power to be the bigger person and let it go.
Not because I'm condoning that behaviour.
I shouldn't have let it affect me personally.
I should have viewed the whole incident as his problem.
Indeed, his rudeness is HIS problem.
Hence, I shouldn't be affected.
“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. 
Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” ~ Pema Chodron

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. 
Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ~ Brené Brown

Friday, September 05, 2014

“I wish I could tell you it gets better, it doesn’t get better. You get better. You think it’s been easy? I’ve gone up, I’ve gone down, I’ve been bankrupt, I’ve been broke, but you do it. "
“If you laugh at it, you can deal with it, and if you don’t, you can’t deal with it. And don’t start telling me that I shouldn’t be saying it. That’s the way I do it. I would have been laughing at Auschwitz.”

-Joan Rivers

Qian Hongyan, the so-called "basketball girl," has become something of a celebrity in China.
Qian lost both her legs in a car accident in 2000 when she was just four years old. Growing up in rural Luliang county, southwestern China's Yunnan province, her family had to improvise.
However, Qian found other opportunities. She joined a local swimming club for the disabled, the first of its kind in the country, sponsored by the Yunnan Provincial Federation of the Disabled.
At first, she found it difficult.
"I had to give much more than other kids when I learned to swim," Qian told China Daily in 2011. "It seemed there was no way I could float in the water. I was choked."
However, she went on to become a successful athlete, training for four hours every day. She hopes to one day win medals for her country in the Paralympic Games.
 Reports on the progress of her artificial limbs make national news. Her fame has even spread abroad, with photographs of her becoming viral sensations on Facebook.
 Her success may mark the changing fortunes of China's disabled. "In the past," Her coach, Li Ke-qiang, told the BBC in 2008, "people despised the disabled.
They thought they were all beggars, just asking for money." "But now, when they see disabled swimmers like these, they can see how hard they're driving themselves. And that's a start." 
Entire text taken from written by Adam Taylor

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Whenever I'm physically sick, it takes a mental-emotional toll out of me as I get very depressed as well.
For some reasons, I feel very guilty for getting ill too.
Maybe because I try my best to eat healthy and exercise constantly, I feel I shouldn't get ill this often.
Perhaps my immune system is down when I'm depressed? It's a chicken and egg thing.
I don't know which part of me collapsed first.
During this time, my physical activities and my communication with people are limited, hence, the Darkness takes full advantage of this vulnerable phase of mine.

I was walking towards to Employee-Attendance-Thumb-Print area in the morning when I noticed a very animated lady talking to her friends.
Her hands were gesturing excitedly.
I was behind her and had to move to her side to print my thumb on the machine.
It was that moment that she reached her climax of her story.
Her whole arm swung directly at me and she slapped the back of her palm on my face.

She apologised profusely and both of us were equally embarrassed.
But it was so funny.
What a great way to start the day.
*Thumbs up.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

This article by Matt Walsh - that Robin Williams didn't die of depression but of his own choice made many valid points.
Excerpts below -
It’s a tragic choice, truly, but it is a choice, and we have to remember that. Your suicide doesn’t happen to you; it doesn’t attack you like cancer or descend upon you like a tornado. It is a decision made by an individual. A bad decision. Always a bad decision.
Joy and love. There might not be much else for us on this Earth, but these are the only two things that matter anyway. These are the forces that brought the whole universe into being, and these are the forces that sustain it, and us, and all life.
Life. Life exists, and we are made to live it.
To quote Robin Williams playing a character quoting Walt Whitman:
“What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here — that life exists.”
If you are thinking about suicide, don’t keep it inside. Tell someone.Never give up the fight.There is always hope. 
Read more by Matt Walsh here

Friday, August 22, 2014

Scene One
I forgot what prompted this following conversation.
"But you ARE a success story." said Ml.
Wf nodded when our eyes met.
"Wow, I would have a hard time believing that, had it been anybody else. But I know you."

What a compliment.

Scene Two
Sw is still unconvinced that moving to a another state will make me happier.
I smiled.

We discussed about her favourite movie Legend of 1900.
I took this opportunity to make my point.
"See? I'm getting off my ship.
What if's... is a terrible way to end a story."

Monday, August 18, 2014

Osaka; 37-year old Hitoshi Ishikawa, has attracted the attention of a lot of people recently, after being credited with certainly one of the saddest records in history, after surviving his jump from the Chitose bridge in the Japanese metropolis. The organization of the Guinness Book of Records recognized today, that this 113th unsuccessful suicide attempt constitutes a new World record.

The fall of more than 120 meters into the Taisho Inner-Port almost killed the poor man, breaking both of his legs, one his arms and several of his ribs. He was rapidly recovered however, by a doctor and his wife  aboard a recreational boat. The couple rapidly took Mr. Ishikawa back to land and called an ambulance. He was taken to the Osaka University Hospital, where after many hours in the operation room, the medical personnel were miraculously able to save him.
 After he jumped from the roof for the second time, Mr. Ishibawa’s employer installed some anti-suicide nets around the office building 

His latest attempt is only one of many spectacular suicidal actions of Mister Ishikawa that attracted attention from the media over the years. On the 17 of January 2014, he had attempted to jump in front of a train at the Yoboyabashi station of the Osaka subway, only to be rescued at the very last moment by a bystander. In 2012, he had jumped in the tigers’ cage at the Kamine Zoo in Hitachi, creating a serious commotion but exiting uninjured.

His case is not as unique as it seems in Osaka, Japan’s third largest city by population and the second most populated metropolitan area in Japan. It is also one of the largest in the world with nearly 19 million inhabitants. This very high density of population creates a lot of competition on the professional market, especially among younger adults. Suicide attempts are therefore, not rare in the city or in Japan in general, as the country rates 8th in the World in terms of suicide rate. The case of Mr. Ishibawa seems however to have attracted a lot of attention on the subject, which is usually rather taboo in the Japanese culture. - 

Entire report taken from world news dailyreport

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Self-Care Practices

I really love this phrase by Danny Baker, author and mental health advocate,
"It's really hard to beat a mental illness, but it's even harder for a mental illness to beat a person who never gives up. Recovery is possible, but you have to take responsibility for it. Every night before you go to sleep, ask yourself, "what steps did I take today to help me recover from my illness?" You should always be able to have at least one answer."

He created a list - 14 Self-Care Practices That Can Lead You To A Happy And Healthy Life

1. Don't worry about things that are beyond your control
2. Don't speak badly about yourself - because you're listening
3. Surround yourself with positive people as opposed to negative ones
4. Treat your body like a temple - eat well, sleep well and exercise frequently
5. Don't be a prisoner of what other people think
6. Be assertive
7. Don't live in denial
8. Work at letting go of your anger
9. Recognize that your career is not the only thing that matters in life
10. Have goals and strive to achieve them
11. Ruthlessly eliminate excuses
12. Congratulate yourself when you do something good
13. Don't victimize yourself or ruminate on things that go wrong
14. Take responsibility for your health

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Setting : The staff lounge.

Me : I noticed that you look rather sad lately. Is everything all right?
Bn : *looked very distant. What me? No.

I decided not to let it go
Me : I saw you walking towards the gate sometime last week. You looked so tired.
He hesitated for a moment.

Bn : I just got back from my one month MC.
I didn't hide my shock.
Me : One month? What happened?

That was when I found out his troubles. I inquired if the medical expenses are still bearable, but he seemed reluctant to talk about it.
But I'm glad that he has a brother who cares.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

"Our volunteers also paid a visit to Fred who is now working and living a steady life. He was stranded for a few months until he came to know about KSK. We are very happy for him."
Taken from Kechara Soup Kitchen

Friday, August 08, 2014

Taken from Kechara Soup Kitchen
I find this very inspirational. The soup kitchen staff found Nathan a job.
And today is Nathan's first day at work as a security guard.
He must be very nervous.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Scene One
I was chatting with SW at the corridor as our favourite place, the staff lounge, was closed for an event.
Just then, Cc appeared with both hands carrying various things.
She saw how delighted we were to see her but she didn't slow down her pace, "Busy busy busy. Talk to you another time." Her tone was as monotonous as her hurried footsteps.
Both SW and I smiled at her amusingly, waving our hands, as our heads slowly turned, catching the last glimpse of her before she disappeared at the corner.
"She's so cute," Both of us came to agree.

Scene Two
I patiently taught the autistic student how to use the photocopy machine.
Bless that child.
That girl from Malacca can't read emotions and neither does she possess the ability to be irritated nor offended.
In this two years I've known her, the only time I saw her 'not smiling' was when she misplaced her things.

Scene Three
"Why do you look so upset?" "Nobody is ever upset to resign from this place. What? You're going to miss all the stress and working through the holidays?", I teased LC.
LC gave a defeated smile.
"I'm going to miss the people here."
I smiled too.

Scene Four
I gossiped excitedly with my colleague about a talented Communications Lecturer.
Both of us admire her tremendously as she seems to be playing a real life TV character.
Humourous, very likable, pretty and she possesses a Doctorate in her field.
"Oxford? No way!" My colleague went on Facebook to check out her equally TV star-material looking husband.
I was quite occupied but I couldn't stop talking, to the extent I continued typing on the keyboard while chatting with her.

Scene Five
A friend who also works in the building came by to say hi. She updated me on her baby who had recently said his first word, "Bird."
I've always liked her. I love how genuine she is.
I love how her smiles reassures me that "it's not all that bad."

Scene Six
I was at the cashier paying for my groceries.
As the cashier was about to scan my favourite snack, bite-size white chocolate oats wafers, he commented to his colleague that this snack is absolutely delicious.
I smiled at him.
Immediately I tore off the packaging and gave him two of those wafers, "Here, we can share."
He smiled back, "Thanks, Ma'am".

Last Scene
My last scene that I'm sharing here is actually the first scene of my day.
The morning.
The scene where the Darkness is at its strongest, while I'm at my weakest.
My deepest sorrow,fear,shame and guilt torment me to hide in my corner.

I must remember that the above scenes are my achievements of the day,
simply because I got up.
Oh, I went to gym after work.