Tag

family

Stay, you are needed

I was recently diagnosed with clinical depression, anxiety and OCD. I am still learning to slowly accept my diagnosis because when the doctor said I have these illnesses, it was a confirmation of my deepest fears yet a sense of relief and consolation that what I’m feeling is real. 

 

I grew up in a messed up home where my parents were either not home at all or when they’re home, they would verbally and physically abuse me. They are really successful perfectionists so they expect perfection from me as well. If I don’t live up to their standards, I know I would be in deep trouble. 

 

I didn’t think much of all the abuse that was happening because I thought it was normal. I only came to a realization when I entered a local school where teachers questioned beating marks on my body. This happened throughout middle and high school. I hated myself and I wanted to die. 

 

In the 21 years of my life, I have attempted suicide 3 times, all unsuccessful. I felt worthless and a burden to everyone around me. I felt like I didn’t deserve to be at church because people at that particular church were judgmental and topics about mental illnesses and suicide were all avoided. I felt all alone in this world because I had no one to talk to about feeling down. I lost all my faith in God and I stopped going to church. 

 

Around 2 years ago, a friend of mine invited me to her church near my house. I am so glad I went and got to know the people there. They were so loving and friendly, and they were the family I never had. I found people that have helped me realize that it’s okay not to be okay and that it’s okay to feel my emotions, and not bury them. 

 

I am also very grateful and thankful for the guidance of my therapist and psychiatrist for helping through rough times when I felt like I couldn’t go on, and for bearing with me when I have outbursts in sessions. 

 

Today, I am still in the process of learning how to love and be kind to myself. Even though I am still going through a dark time, I am glad to have people that listen. Their very presence brings comfort to my hurting soul. To those who feel alone, please know that you’re not alone. I am here, please do not give up, I am living proof that you can survive this. Stay, you are needed. 

It takes a village

They say it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to overcome depression. 

 

To all my ex-bosses, kind colleagues, family, friends, counsellors and random strangers who came in the form of angels who encouraged and believed in me (even when I couldn’t believe the light within myself to get up again), thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart. 

 

It wasn’t the job’s condition or situation was bad that made me leave my previous jobs but it was a question of existence I struggled with daily. What do I want to do with my life now after from recovery phase one of being catatonic? (a severe depression state where my doctor told me in layman terms that “it’s like my brain was away on a long vacation”). It was an extremely hard period for me as I was in a disheveled state as I could not move, eat, sleep, bathe, or even groom myself as I was very much unaware of myself and the surroundings around me.

 

When I started having movement in my limbs again, gradually with the help of medication, my neighbour started asking me accompany for Zumba lessons. I remember I would tear when the music started playing and I could actually move my limbs. It felt like a miracle that these feelings actually still exist even after the 4-6 months of existing in what I felt was an empty void. 

 

So fast forward many years since I had catatonia depression in 2012 till now, while the journey has been long and arduous (with some memories I rather forget, sometimes), I’m really thankful for a current stint in my life where I am now able to experience positive feelings daily (mostly!) and live happy to the best I can with a little craft home business I started. I may not be making mega million dollars, but I’m thankful for the daily treasures of simple joy, laughter, love, family, meaningful friendships which has made me rich beyond measure. 

 

If you’re someone who’s going through depression, I just want to say don’t give up. Those layers of scum and gunk will slowly erode away as we take positive steps to allow our hearts, mind and soul to heal. It’s okay.

I felt so pathetic and immature

You would think that life is unbiased. You would think that life is fair. Yet, everything crumbled when I found out that one of my closest friends was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder and depression while the other had suicidal tendencies brought on by stress. 

 

I felt so pathetic and immature as I embarked on a journey to study psychology in an attempt to ‘help’ them, but I honestly felt it was nothing but a ruse to lie to myself as if I were truly helping them. Although learning about psychology helped me understand and be more patient towards my friends and supporting them in their recovery, nevertheless a part of me still resents my childish behaviour and I feel nothing but regret and helplessness for my friends. Why couldn’t I be there for them? But yet, them assured me. They broke through their own barriers to help me, someone ‘normal’. Who says the mentally ill are weak? 

 

In my eyes, they are my pillars of support, the strongest people I have ever met, breaking through one obstacle by other, slow, but always steady. I’m so thankful they are part of my life, and if you do have friends or family who are the same, always remember that they are just like us and as humans, they will always pull through, even if there are days that they don’t seem like they will. Each of us have our own struggles, but what makes us human is the power to persevere on.

It isn’t my fault

The past two years of my life have been really hard for me. I’ve been struggling with social anxiety since I’ve entered secondary school. Things haven’t gotten easier because I didn’t seek help when I needed to and chose to bottle up my feelings instead. This would result in random outbursts at my peers or family and they never understood why I acted this way or another. I’ve had bad friendships and felt insecure about myself and felt unworthy because of the things people would say or do.

 

They call me stupid, ugly, bimbo, and criticise me because of my religion. As this carried on, I’ve started to feel just terrified of all the people in this world.

 

Around the end of the year, I attended a camp and experienced my first two panic attacks. It was then I realised I needed help. 

 

I decided to tell my mother and sister about my anxiety, and even though they didn’t really understand at first, I think they are beginning to understand me now and I am currently seeking help. 

 

It’s a hard thing to talk about but I’m glad I did. And even though I’m not okay yet, and I still am uneasy, I trust God that with time, I can learn to overcome this and be happy again. Because I deserve to be happy and it isn’t my fault that this happened.

 

You are worthy of love

I had a rocky childhood: My father was abusive and unfaithful, and my parents divorced when I was 9. My mother never fully recovered from that trauma. I grew up believing I was a burden to my mother, and had my first major depressive episode in my teens. 10 years and countless episodes of depression later, I finally ended up at IMH after coming close to completing suicide. Now, after over a year of therapy and trying three different antidepressants, I can finally say I’m stable. There are still awful days when I feel utterly hopeless and the suicidal thoughts return, but I am now better equipped to handle them. My only regret was not seeking help earlier because I was convinced that how I was feeling was my fault, not something to be remedied. To anyone else struggling as I did: you are worthy of help, you are worthy of love! Don’t hesitate to seek help!

I’m going to seek help

I was so desperate. I thought I found a confidant. We once said we would tell each other if there was anything bothering us. I was going through parental, marriage and health issues. I thought I was going to leave my kids behind. I broke down in my doctor’s room. I thought my family was breaking. I couldn’t talk to my parents. I didn’t want to worry them. I felt my world was collapsing. I stood by my window looking down, thinking if I will ever do it. I broke down and I confided my deepest hurts and secrets to someone whom I thought I could trust. It takes so much guts to pour it all out to someone. What a terrible move it was. The responses I received – “I’m superb because I’ve a big heart!”, “You’re like that because you focused on your kids”, “Others have it worse than you”, “I’ll go a long way with people who believe in themselves”. Ouch! It hurts so bad to hear those words. Made me feel even lower, pathetic, worthless. What happened to the trust and respect? It was suddenly all gone. I avoided that person. How does one continue to stand next to someone who feels it’s alright to say those words? I couldn’t do it. So I treated her like a stranger. Those around us who don’t know exactly what happened probably assume she’s the victim. I get curt remarks from others too. I don’t go near those people anymore. I’ve no energy nor wish to defend myself in front of them. I’m on my own trying to heal. It’s a daily struggle but I will do it. I must. I want to watch my children grow up to be empathetic, respectful and trustworthy people. I will continue to be the Mum they love, the Mum I’ve always wanted to be. I get chest pains, nausea, insomnia whenever I hear those hurtful words in my head. It’s even harder to overcome those words from someone I trusted. At times, I still break down crying. I’m mentally so exhausted but I smile as much as I can. I’m going to take the next step to help myself. I’m going to seek help. “We’re not trained counsellors”. That’s what another person told me, defending the one with hurtful comments. My take – “If you can’t show empathy, don’t say a word. Your words can destroy a person.” For those who are caregivers to the elderly and the young, I hope you’re able to share your struggles with people who are empathetic. For what it’s worth, my heart is always with you.

No one has to go through it alone

One day after my 18th birthday, I started self-harming. It started small, using pens or needles to slash my wrists. It hurt, and I wanted to stop, but I also felt… nothing. I did it the first time to stop crying when my father was hitting and hurling insults at me, and I didn’t want him to see me crying to prevent more beatings.

 

It started to get worse, of course. I used the kitchen knives in my house, and I would cut almost every now and then. I wore jackets to school so no one could tell, but at times I did take my jacket off so everyone could see. 
I didn’t really care at that point. I didn’t have friends, and I was quite used to being judged anyways.

 


It got better for me for a moment, until I had a fight with a friend and I tried to end my own life – overdosing on paracetamol but too scared to stab myself with the knife I had in hand. 

 


That was all one year ago. I still have those memories playing in my head like it was yesterday. 
I’ve gotten better at my own recovery. My self-harming has decreased and I am finding the support I need. And even though I still don’t have as many friends, I know there are people I can rely on.

 

For anyone suffering through their struggles, I just wish to say that I am proud of you. No one has to go through that struggle, and I know each and everyone of us going through this is strong and capable in their own way.
 I say, keep fighting. Keep fighting through every hardship and setback you face. I wish someone told me that when I first started, but now I only want to help anyone struggling through that too. 
No one has to go through it alone.