Depression: My Story.

A year ago, I suffered from depression.

It was not due to any impactful events in my life. I had not have any breakups nor did I lose someone during those period of time. It just happened. It attacked me when I least expected it.

I was still struggling to complete my Degree, half-way through. Being abnormally underweight (but not anorexic or bulimic), I did not care about eating at all. I remember just eating anything edible, anything I could scrap for nearby, for lunch and dinner (I skipped breakfast a lot), such as biscuits and junk food. Not because I was on a tight budget and most definitely not on a diet. I just didn’t felt like eating, no matter how hungry I was. I had some urges to eat, like all of a sudden I felt like eating spaghetti. But the saddest part of it was that, I could only take a small bite and I’d lose my appetite, just like that. I lose it all.

So, I ended up with an ‘epiphany’ that ‘People are gonna die anyways’. Even if I eat healthily and consistently, I am going to die, someday somehow. So, I stopped caring like it was the end of the world for me.

From the thoughts of not being able to enjoy eating, it attacked my will to study. I was constantly thinking ‘Fuck this shit, the world is temporary, nobody has the right to judge me based on my academic achievements, it all wont matter when I die’ etc. I had all these negative thoughts about life and I couldn’t be happy. I felt soul-less, like something/someone came out of nowhere, grabbed the living shit out of me and left me empty.

I attended my classes feeling unhappy and somewhat languorous. It somehow showed inadvertently with my moody face and my refusal to talk to anybody. I had a Law class where the lecturer was always saying the ‘happy’ word like, ‘That happened and everybody turned out happy’ or ‘It ended up to be nobody’s mistake, so it’s a happy ending’ etc. I was so depressed that every single ‘happy’ word she uttered was like a knife jabbing all over my body and I ended up posting a status on Facebook about how ‘the word happy loses its meaning when it’s excessively used’.

As a reserved and private person, I did not think that anyone would give a shit. It’s more like I hoped nobody cares.  I was strolling around KLCC, after a visit to Kinokuniya for a ‘mood relieving session’ which was usually effective but failed for that particular day, when a text came up on my phone from a classmate, asking if ‘everything is okay lately’ and that he and a bunch of our friends will be there if I needed anything.

I responded, typically, that I’m okay. just had not have enough sleep which explained my tired and somewhat swollen eyes. When in fact, I cried the day before, while texting one of my close friends about how ‘I could not do this anymore’. She thought I was talking about my studies and gave me some encouragements about it. I ended up not telling her the whole damn story about being depressed and stuff.

Tired of feeling miserable and pathetic, one day I decided to join a couple of friends for dinner (which I oftenly didn’t). We were just chatting away about bunk unimportant stuff when suddenly one of us made a joke and we laughed hard till our tears fell down.

And that’s the starting point for my road to healing.

I did not go for any counselling nor did I tell my parents and family about what I’ve been through. I was afraid of the judgement of my peers and the people around me, because being depressed is often related to poor spirituality/faith, which is NOT ENTIRELY true. Regardless, I kept everything to myself like I always do about most things even when I know the best way to deal with it is to tell someone I could trust, that could give me sound advice and support to carry on. But with my trust issues, there was no way I’d tell.

A year passed by like the blink of an eye, while I fight against being constantly pathetic and sad. Fighting alone was hard and challenging. What I did was force myself to think positively every single day and do things I knew would make myself at least happy, even if its for the littlest bit. I learned to watch movies by myself and treat myself to good meals once in a while. I learned to laugh by watching comedies. I learned to join my classmates for lunch and sometimes, dinner. I spent some quality time with my family. I learned to be strong when it seemed like the whole world was trying to bring me down. I learned to believe and love myself even when nobody else did. I learned to always be kind to everyone because they might be fighting a battle I know nothing about. And most importantly, I learned to put my strongest faith in the All-Mighty.

Whenever I read any depressed/suicidal post on Tumblr, I’ll try my best to give some advice in relation to my own limited experience battling with depression. It may not be much, but I make sure to make them feel better because I know what it’s like to be in their shoes. And I wish to be the person I never got to meet when I was suffering like they do.

I’m healed, maybe not completely. But I try to be by strengthening my faith and every part of my soul that are still weak. The road is indeed long and winding. I wont ever stop running to the end.

 

 

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Mandarin: How I started.

I have just discovered another singer I actually fancy after rummaging through Youtube for songs that would probably suit my ears. And he’s 周興哲 Eric Chou.

That actually got me thinking that maybe, I should write a post about it. So here goes.

I am bilingual, fluent in Malay and English. I’d love to proudly proclaim myself as a trilingual, with the proficiency in Mandarin, but I guess I’m not at that level of fluency in the language yet to proclaim myself as such.

However, I can speak and understand Mandarin, moderately. Or maybe just the basics. I cannot read and write the Chinese characters though.

I remembered attending an interview for a job, where the interviewer actually conducted the interview session in Mandarin, considering the fact that I included Mandarin as my ‘possible’ medium of communication in my resume. Well, that was a great experience for me to be honest. Because truthfully, I dont speak the language on daily basis and I’m not a native speaker. I got that job though, but I chose to accept another offer. Not going to get in depth on it.

I did not study at a Chinese school or SJKC. I get this question every single time I showcase my ability in understanding the language. The only ‘legit’ Mandarin class I attended was for three consecutive semesters when I was taking my Degree, in our ‘Third Language’ class (which was not daily, more like once a week). And we studied how to write, read and speak in Mandarin, just the basics though (writing, listening and oral test). It did not help much as compared to those who study 6 years in a SJKC. But it did help, depending on the student’s willingness to learn.

Let’s just say I had it easier than most, because I was born in a mix-cultured family. I’ve been listening to people conversing in Mandarin and Hokkien ever since I was a kid. That definitely helped in my adaptability to the language and most probably was the major contributing factor to how I can easily understand and mimic the pronunciation of several basic Mandarin phrases. Besides that, in high school, I was placed in a class with the majority of students being Chinese and listening to their daily conversations help me catch up easily. Now that I’m working, I tried to listen to my colleagues conversations and they speak to me in Mandarin too, occasionally.

Oblivious to the fact that I can somehow use Mandarin to my advantage, I only started working on brushing up my communicative skill when I was 15, when I could have started way back when I was younger. I guess the starting point for all of it was listening to my high school seniors rendition of Jay Chou’s Cai Hong (Rainbow) in the school hall 8 years ago. I was literally smitten, to the point of no return as right there and then, I started listening to Mandarin pop songs daily till today. Some of my favorites are Jay Chou, Rainie Yang, JJ Lin, Wang Lee Hom, Fish Leong, Hu Xia, Hebe Tien and of course the all time favorite Wu Yue Tian (MAYDAY).

From listening to songs, I watch Taiwanese TV series and moved on to films such as You Are The Apple of My Eye and Our Times with the help of subtitles since I’m not an expert yet to understand the spoken words fully and clearly.

I’m still in the process of learning the language in depth. Taking things in my relaxed and inconsistent pace, songs are my biggest motivation so far. There is no other path to take except forward. And forward I shall go.

Here’s the song that has managed to capture my heart, just recently.

To those learning the language, I wish you all the best! Jia you to me and to all of us 🙂

CR: Another Country by Helene du Coudray, page 65/250.

Unfortunate.

So, yesterday I was at Larkin Sentral, JB. Had to buy a bus ticket to KL since I had to work today (obviously it’s Monday).

Anyways, while waiting for the bus, chilling inside Dunkin’ Donuts, a girl about my age, suddenly came in looking extremely panicked and started approaching me, asking if I could help her call her phone because apparently it was missing (or got stolent prolly). She was actually sitting at a table nearby and all that while, I did not notice her. Maybe I was too indulged (is it the right word though) chatting with my Mom (yep, my mom was present too).

So what happened was (according to her),

She was sitting there, and she went out for a little while to throw away some rubbishes (and accidentally left her phone on the table) and when she got back, her phone was nowhere to be seen. She lose her bus ticket as well as she placed it together with her phone. It was 3.00pm and her bus probably left. The only ticket that was available was around 7.00/9.00pm (could not remember) and she was to travel to Kuantan.

A small Chinese family who was sitting at the table in front of her did not notice her phone. But they did noticed a ‘Mak cik’ with a little boy who was at that table a little bit earlier. I actually noticed that too, the little boy was wearing a hat and the ‘mak cik’ was acting peculiarly by taking a plate of leftovers from the table and bringing it to a table much further for reasons I could not fathom. And a couple of minutes (maybe even seconds) later, she was seen with some bunch of ‘take-away’s and left with the little boy.

It was just then, that the girl who lose her phone came in looking and approached me. So I let her use my phone to call her phone (it was ringing every single time she called it and she did not put it on vibrate/silent) and notify her mom and she was really panicky, shaky and in tears in the process. And the Chinese couple sitting nearby advised her to find that ‘mak cik’ as she might still be lurking nearby or around the Larkin Sentral area (if she was the one taking/keeping her phone). And they left to search for the ‘mak cik’.

I saw her again a couple of minutes later with a lady, most probably helping her calling her mom or something. I was already in the bus at that moment.

I know she most probably wont read this, but I hope she is doing okay. I wish I could stay and help her further but I had to rush back to KL. That was unfortunate but ada hikmah behind all that has happened, pretty sure of it.

So, to Kamilia (that’s her name apparently), have patience and I pray that the Lord ease your journey to Kuantan. InshaaAllah.

CR: Another Country by Helene du Coudray, 64/250.

Inspire.

Let’s just say that I’m not an inspiring person. Or I’m most definitely, not at that level (yet) to inspire or motivate anyone. Personally, I’ve always felt that motivation and inspiration comes from people who are successful and well-known to be one. Or maybe that’s just what I thought.

For my 23rd birthday, I decided to do something good for once. And I chose to express the deed in writing, because honestly, that’s like the only thing I’m actually good at. If you know me well, then you’ll agree with me when I say that I don’t express myself well physically, especially physically. I have an unhealthy amount of awkwardness when it comes to ‘skinship’. I don’t do hugs even with my girl-friends (I do not have many anyways). I’ve had difficulty when it comes to soothing people or being soothed, even towards and from those I’m closed to. Although, I’m improving on that, which is a good thing I guess.

What I did was I submitted a confession post where I listed down 23 things I’ve learnt in life, through my blurry eyes and inadequate experiences. I did that without thinking thoroughly, it just came to me unexpectedly and without noticing, in an hour I’ve successfully written the whole post. Everything flows through me, the emotions and the literal expressions.

To be honest, I never really read the IIUM Confession page, I only chose the stories shared on my feed on Facebook, the ones that tickled my fancy. I’m not even an IIUM graduate to begin with, neither have I ever stepped into UIA. However, considering that the readers there are most definitely in greater amount than my Facebook friends, I decided to post my writings through that medium, where my ‘mission’ would be more ‘successful’.

I never thought that people would actually, genuinely read what I wrote with an opened mind and warm hearts. The reactions I’ve received was both surprising and overwhelming at the same time. And I am extremely happy and thankful for the outcome. Glad the post served its purpose.

Nobody knew I wrote that, except for my best friend. And you. I’d like to stay discreet, in fact I’m the best at it.

I made my second post on improving English through the same medium. Hopefully, I’ve managed to reach out to those who needed help on the respective subject.

I’d say that I started my Day 1 as a 23 year old with positivity and motivation to keep on writing. Here’s to spreading more good vibes around the world!

ps: K.A.S stands for Katerina Alexandrovna Shcherbatsky or most popularly known as Princess Kitty in Leo Tolstoy’s famous book, Anna Karenina. I actually hinted at it when I wrote the ’23’ post.  😉