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struggle - Singapore Mental Health Film Festival

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.

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.