Category

Personal Stories

I felt alone even though my loved ones were just a call away

I was embarrassed to tell people about my self doubt and insecurity. Almost everyday, I would scroll through social media and look at girls to see how pretty they look or how cool they dress up. I wanted and tried to be like them, but I know that I was just being pretentious, being someone that I’m not.

This self consciousness is also stopping me from pursuing my passion; how I feel that I’ll never be good enough. I feel like a useless and unproductive zombie everyday at work. In fact, I feel that I’m not good at anything at all – in my career, in my passion, in my relationship, how I am awkward around my own friends. I feel useless. I was prescribed antidepressants and I went back for it a few times. This went on for two years, until I had a bad episode and was diagnosed with depression. I was referred to a psychiatrist whom I avoided. I felt like I was troubling my loved ones with my own internal issues and I hated that.

Things went downhill within a few months, and my thoughts were eating my brains. I started overdosing on pills. One, two, three times. I liked how it made me feel lost, dazed and sleepy and it took away my thoughts. However on my last overdose, it led me to harm myself further by slitting my wrist.

I felt alone even though my loved ones were just a call away. I felt stuck in the moment but I needed to snap myself out of it and get help. I brought myself to IMH where I was diagnosed with adjustment disorder. When my antidepressants were my main coping mechanism, I wasn’t allowed any after being discharged from the hospital.

Till this day, I still struggle to cope with my thoughts and not having pills to depend on.

Christmas Was Not Always Merry For Me

Christmas was not always merry for me. 8 years with eating disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and borderline personality disorder, Christmas was an awkward, depressing and lonely time to me. I didn’t know what it’s like to laugh heartily. I didn’t know what it’s like to freely enjoy food with loved ones. I had mixed feelings seeing lovers because I believed I was ‘not lovable’ and so ‘romantic relationships are not for me’. 

However, secretly, I longed for joy and to be free to enjoy food with my friends and family. I longed to love and be loved by someone special. But my fear was greater than my dreams. I didn’t date for 12 years until in 2015, I tried #Tinder and went on quite a number of dates. But attracting all the men who weren’t good for me.

My turning point was in Oct 2015 when I wrote a 40 page intention/declaration journal to myself —

“Today, I declare to the universe, that I’m resolute and committed to love Valerie more every day. I’m loving her more than anyone else, anything else. I take care of her Whole Person – body, mind, heart and spirit.
Let’s do this and enjoy this life quest – this Love Quest!
So Val, I love you! You are my favourite person. You are my best friend. Thank you for staying with me – through it all.”

And I wrote as detailed as I could what kind of relationship I was going to have with myself. Then I wrote what kind of relationship I wanted with someone special.

2015 was my first truly Merry Christmas with myself and loved ones. I was excited about 2016. And I attracted priceless gifts of life in friendships and a beloved. My life was never the same again.

Bottomline: When you truly love yourself, the choices you make for yourself will change for the best – health, friends, romance, career, money… I wish you warmth, love and joy.

It’s difficult to explain

I used to have severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). There is a huge misconception that OCD is all about making sure that everything is squeaky clean. This is not true. Many people use it inappropriately in their comments about themselves, “This chair is not in order! Sorry I am OCD”. This simply means that they like to be neat.

OCD is more complex than merely wanting to keep clean and neat. Going through OCD is a real struggle because your brain is just permeated 24/7 with intrusive thoughts that feel very real. For example, being afraid that you will kill your family if you leave the gas tap turned on when it is already turned on. Afraid that you may have illicit sexual affairs with people you randomly see on the street when you have no sexual attraction for them at all.

OCD is about the inability to break out of irrationality. It’s difficult to explain it to people who don’t have OCD. They just dismiss my concerns as “you are too worried.”

They don’t understand that it is excruciating to have these worries that are constantly being repeated in your head.

Not everyone is kind

I still keep my old expired antidepressants in my drawer as a reminder to stay where the light is. I was 14 when I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anorexia. It was an extremely difficult and painful phase of my life, especially at such a tender age. I didn’t eat and cried my weight in tears.

Starving myself was a slow death the voice in my head had masterfully orchestrated. And, everyone around me had front row seats. I still remember vividly how my peers would recoil from me with disgust/shock/fear, the looks they gave, the callous remarks said behind my back. I was a painful spectacle and was utterly helpless to it all. It hurts to think about it even till this day.

Being afflicted with a mental disorder doesn’t make sense, it is unlike breaking a leg. How can you hurt when there is no wound? How can you be sad when your life is ‘perfect’? Because an affliction of the mind is like internal bleeding. I bled in pools of desolation, self-hatred, anguish for years, simply waiting for death to whisk me away.

Today, I’m beyond lucky to have recovered. I’ve spent a lot of time and effort trying to undo and bury my past. Because the stigma behind depression is very real, and not everyone is kind. At 22, the prime of my youth and beauty, I am unrecognisable from the girl I was when I was 14. But I know the only way to end this epidemic is through vulnerability, empathy, and openness.

My pain has given me so much perspective. I wouldn’t be who I am today without it. It’s time I embraced my past and paid a tribute. I wouldn’t wish to hide behind a cloak of anonymity forever but it gives me anxiety when people know too much.

Healing Takes Time

Word of advice, if you’re suffering because of your mental health, please get help. I started showing signs of clinical depression and anxiety at the age of 13, I had panic attacks almost every day but I didn’t know what they were. By the age of 14, I went to my first therapist for my depression and I didn’t feel comfortable so I never returned. Sometimes it takes multiple tries to receive help that suits your needs. By 15, I had been through multiple tests to check for the reasons behind my breathing problems and got diagnosed with clinical anxiety instead. I started going for therapy since. At the age of 16, I started showing symptoms of ARFID(eating disorder) and dissociation. Sometimes the battle isn’t easy, it can get worse, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the road. The road to recovery is difficult and anything is a step forward as long as you’re trying, even a relapse counts. Your life is worth fighting for. You are loved whether you feel it or not. And most of all, anything you feel is valid. Don’t forget that. Pain is pain and healing takes time. Self-care is important so please learn to be kind to yourself, and know that you are loved.

Christmas was not always merry for me. 8 years with eating disorder, OCD and BPD, Christmas was an awkward, depressing and lonely time to me. I didn’t know what it was like to laugh heartily. I didn’t know what it was like to freely enjoy food with loved ones. I had mixed feelings seeing lovers because I believed I was ‘not lovable’ and so ‘romantic relationships are not for me’.

Secretly however, I longed for joy and to be free to enjoy food with my friends and family. I longed to love and be loved by someone special, but my fear was greater than my dreams. I didn’t date for 12 years until in 2015, I tried Tinder and went on quite a number of dates, attracting all the men who weren’t good for me.

My turning point was in Oct 2015 when I wrote a 40 page intention/declaration journal to myself – “Today, I declare to the universe, that I’m resolute and committed to love Valerie more every day. I’m loving her more than anyone else, anything else. I’ll take care of her Whole Person – body, mind, heart and spirit. Let’s do this and enjoy this life quest – this Love Quest! So Val, I love you! You are my favourite person. You are my best friend. Thank you for staying with me – through it all.”

And I wrote, as detailed as I could, what kind of relationship I was going to have with myself. Then I wrote what kind of relationship I wanted with someone special. 2015 was my first truly Merry Christmas with myself and loved ones. I was excited about 2016. And I attracted priceless gifts of life in friendships and a beloved. My life was never the same again.

Bottomline: When you truly love yourself, the choices you make for yourself will change for the best – health, friends, romance, career, money… I wish you warmth, love and joy.

I used to have severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). There is a huge misconception that OCD is all about making sure that everything is squeaky clean. This is not true. Many people use it inappropriately in their comments about themselves, “This chair is not in order! Sorry I am OCD”. This simply means that they like to be neat.

OCD is more complex than merely wanting to keep clean and neat. Going through OCD is a real struggle because your brain is just permeated 24/7 with intrusive thoughts that feel very real. For example, being afraid that you will kill your family if you leave the gas tap turned on when it is already turned on. Afraid that you may have illicit sexual affairs with people you randomly see on the street when you have no sexual attraction for them at all.

OCD is about the inability to break out of irrationality. It’s difficult to explain it to people who don’t have OCD. They just dismiss my concerns as “you are too worried.”

They don’t understand that it is excruciating to have these worries that are constantly being repeated in your head.

I still keep my old expired antidepressants in my drawer as a reminder to stay where the light is. I was 14 when I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anorexia. It was an extremely difficult and painful phase of my life, especially at such a tender age. I didn’t eat and cried my weight in tears.

Starving myself was a slow death the voice in my head had masterfully orchestrated. And, everyone around me had front row seats. I still remember vividly how my peers would recoil from me with disgust/shock/fear, the looks they gave, the callous remarks said behind my back. I was a painful spectacle and was utterly helpless to it all. It hurts to think about it even till this day.

Being afflicted with a mental disorder doesn’t make sense, it is unlike breaking a leg. How can you hurt when there is no wound? How can you be sad when your life is ‘perfect’? Because an affliction of the mind is like internal bleeding. I bled in pools of desolation, self-hatred, anguish for years, simply waiting for death to whisk me away.

Today, I’m beyond lucky to have recovered. I’ve spent a lot of time and effort trying to undo and bury my past. Because the stigma behind depression is very real, and not everyone is kind. At 22, the prime of my youth and beauty, I am unrecognisable from the girl I was when I was 14. But I know the only way to end this epidemic is through vulnerability, empathy, and openness.

My pain has given me so much perspective. I wouldn’t be who I am today without it. It’s time I embraced my past and paid a tribute. I wouldn’t wish to hide behind a cloak of anonymity forever but it gives me anxiety when people know too much.

Things never got easier, I just got stronger.

I’ve been struggling with self- harm for 9 years. I don’t even know if I am or was ever depressed. Because I never could afford the money to see a doctor, people said I was just seeking attention, that I’m an emotional freak.

Little did they know all the battles that I’ve fought within myself, all the pain I was trying to take away. I tried to call for help, but help never came. I just kept on putting bandaids over my wound, and all these wounds never healed.

If I could save myself, I would have. There’s still a tinge of faith within me, wanting to save and help myself. It’s been 9 years, things never got easier, I just got stronger.

Thankfully I found a way to seek help without my parents consent

When I was 10, I started hating going to school and would pretend that I was sick so my parents would bring me back home and I didn’t have to face ‘him’ anymore. All I knew, that ‘him’ was my older sister’s classmate and that he and his group of friends would always laugh and joke about the rabbit tooth that was sticking out of my mouth and that was something I felt really upset about.

I told my parents about how I felt, I was really really upset, I was embarrassed when I was made fun of in front of everyone else, I was scared to go to school. I didn’t know what I was thinking, but occasionally, the thought of suicide came once in awhile as I questioned my worth. Neither my parents nor my friends stood up for me. I was sad. But my parents brushed it off, I felt worthless.

One day, I told my form teacher in primary school about my ideations, she highlighted it to the discipline master and he called my dad. When I spoke to my dad over the phone, he immediately dismissed my feelings and told me to tell the teachers that I was just kidding and was saying things I didn’t mean.

At 11, I felt lost. It then started to become somewhat like a falling into a dark hole where nobody could see or hear me. I don’t know if I wanted to be heard, I gave up on myself. I was approached by the school counsellor, but my parents again found out that I was creating these issues again and told me that I should stop and never see her again. They felt like I didn’t need to see her. They said I had “no issues”.

Then I entered secondary school, I was happy and carefree till I met this guy that was new to my class, and I started to fall back again. That guy was mean, he commented on the way I looked and questioned about my weight almost everyday. He would use vulgarities and mean words that was never supposed to be said to another human being. He made me feel stupid. I hated him and I went back hating myself.

Due to the exposure of social media and the internet, I taught myself how to hurt myself and found harmful ways to deal with the internal pain that I was feeling. I started from metal rulers, then to staple bullets then to penknives where I eventually found the thrill when looking at blood. I knew I wasn’t myself but my parents told me I was. I got confused. I really felt like I was at the closest edge of suicide.

Again, I was alerted to the school counsellor and again, my parents were brought down to see the teachers to talk about my case and how to move forward. And again, my parents rejected and restricted my access to help. I was in their control, I didn’t know who I could go to. My parents told me I’m okay. Eventually, with them constantly telling me that I was okay and there’s nothing wrong with me, I believed them.

It came to a point where I could not recognise what pain was and everything seemed painless to me. When I hurt myself, it’s not pain. When I see blood, when I bruise, I don’t feel pain. I got confused so often that it gets very difficult for me to know what pain actually was. And if I am causing pain to other people.
I’m 18 now, and I feel okay but still broken at times.

Thankfully I found a way to seek help without my parents consent, and hope that I am getting better. It wasn’t easy and was definitely a long wait to get this far.

I’m still alive and am proud of myself.

I was afraid of telling others

I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety for over a year. Throughout the year, I was afraid of telling others about my condition as I am aware of how people around me viewed mental illnesses. Now that I have found people who support me in my journey, I sincerely hope that others who suffer from mental illnesses would not have to feel as afraid, or even more than I did. The world and people around them should help in their recovery, & not make it tougher for them.

Good things come to those who wait

I was 15 and suicidal. Depression had taken away my ability to communicate and anxiety had gotten the best of me.
I hadn’t been able to go to school for the past semester because I just couldn’t function. I’d received special permission to stay home and be homeschooled, but after a single day of attempting to follow a measly study schedule that I’d drawn up, I gave up and resigned myself to lying in bed and crying all day.

I felt so incredibly useless and pathetic. My girlfriend had broken up with me because I was “too troublesome to handle”.
My friends stayed away because I was too negative, and though I knew it was the better for both them and me, it hurt. It just hurt. I was all alone.

My parents called me a burden, telling me I had made life difficult for myself and had no one else to blame. I was the one who decided to be a lesbian, to be depressed, they said. I was the one who could just choose to stop at any time. And so I took their advice and decided to stop living. My very being was toxic. What was a little more poison inside my body?

But then I survived. I cried and cried, but to no avail.

I wanted kindness. My parents screamed at me, hit me and offered to drive me to a cliff if I wanted to die so badly. I wanted warmth. My helper sat by me and tried to pray the devil away from me. I wanted acceptance. My brother shrugged, saying, “well, you’re the one who brought this upon yourself.” It was the worst night of my life.

The fourth anniversary of that day passed recently. I’m still horribly anxious. I can’t do a lot of things myself and hate myself every day for it. I’m negative and slow and wish I could be someone else, anyone else. But I’m doing my best. I can go to school now, even if I have to take days off sometimes. It’s hard to bring myself to do things, but I can at least start every now and then.

My relationship with my family has improved, and they’ve learned to be more understanding and accepting with the help of my therapist. I have kind friends who are open and I am so, so grateful for them.

Some people see those with mental illness as ‘freaks’. But they’re not. Sometimes some people need a little more help than others, and sometimes they need a little more effort. Nobody chooses to have health issues and nobody asks to be born a certain way.

If you don’t understand, try and make the effort to learn. See things from different perspectives and help one another. And if you’re suffering from a mental illness, or are in a dark place right now…..know that you’re not alone. I believe in you! You can do it!
Improvement will always take time.

Good things come to those who wait, so hang in there, lovely reader, and do your best to wait a little more.

Mental health should not be taken lightly

I was gossiped about. People hated me. Others threatened me on social media; my own friends started leaving me. That was the point where my life just dipped to its all-time low. All I thought was, “What did I ever do to deserve this ?”. I have felt suicidal and self-harmed long before all these things happened. It was a constant struggle to keep myself afloat, especially when things got really rough. Eventually, I found my way out of this through the true friends I have and through my religion. Mental health should not be taken lightly. It really is a matter of life and death.