Monday, February 08, 2016
Suicide watch @ Mt E
Today will be day 4 of my hospital stay. I am no longer soaking tissues with tears and the painful sadness that is depression, augmented, is back at the recesses of my library of feelings, stowed away for now.
Like I told my doctor I don't feel 'happy' on this new med, Stablon, just - not sad. To me it is good enough. He says, "But I want you to be happy!"
I don't think it is possible. My brain is just not capable of producing the happiness feeling. I have come to terms with this probable fact.
It doesn't matter.
Sunday, January 31, 2016
sleeping is bliss; trying to sleep, a chore
Told my psychiartist that I wanted off olanzapine. It made me obese. Not even through making me hungry; the weight gain just occurred and morphed me into marshmallow man. But now, I keep waking in the middle of the night again.
It isn't even waking me into a sleepy stupor that I can use to coax my body back to bed. I am sleepily -awake-.
I am at the level of consciousness where I could do some productive work. But I'm mentally exhausting, so tired inside and out.
So, so tired.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Recently read that journalling helps with leadership development - promotes introspection. So here I am, awoken in the night, failing at resuming sleep, trying to introspect.
I have many failings. But I am too tired to work on them because I spend all my effort managing my life around managing my fibromyalgia. When my fatigue is overwhelming, I need a few days' worth of rest for a day of work. The economics of my life.
I can't help but fall short every time.
I am really tired of being on the run, chasing productivity and self-improvement. Yet I keep trying, and tire myself even more. I am simply never good enough for the standards necessary.
I won't be giving up, despite feeling this weary. I just feel I owe it to everyone to be a better leader and manager. I -will- always fall short of the standards; maybe effort alone counts too?
- there, I've just journalled.
Friday, December 25, 2015
25 December is the date most of the modern world delebrates my Saviour's birth, but 26 December, the day after, holds triple personal meaning for me. It was when my first cat Slinky died, which broke my heart to a million pieces. It was the day my cat rescue group got legally incorporated 2 years ago. Now, it is also my wedding anniversary, and we are actually going on holiday on that day this year. Which I secretly hope will become a yearly tradition.
I have never been able to step away from my cat work long enough, till the later half of this year, when the leaders were chosen, stepped up and were built up to work without me. Be it because I needed the rest, or because I have been incapacitated by illness.
I don't actually earn an income so I quote-unquote bought J Calvin Klein boxers and generic black socks that will be easy to find matches for in the laundry because they all look the same. I also got a new silver and ruby ring made that is more suitable for daily wear, and the silversmith who made it did it for me for free, as a donation. She is known as Mei's Creations on Facebook.
We are going to Cameron Highlands tomorrow which is the kind of weather I like being in; I am usually sweating right after I take a shower in the daytime, in Singapore weather.
I hope every Boxing Day will be a holiday for me. Slinky would want that. As long as we put out enough clean litter and kibble and water for the days we will be away. My youngest, Splotch, will be going on a sleepover with her biological brother during the time we will be away, since she is still small.
Labels: pleasures, state, status
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
2016 and writing
I wish I could write well enough to have a Patreon account. Or maybe the missing element is time and not talent. But who, anyway, would commission me to write a poem for them. Nobody pays for poems.
But I am resolute: I will write more. Fight anhedonia, indulge in hobbies. Writing, and reading. Am now reading Margaret Atwood's The Heart Goes Last. Can't be good at writing without reading, can't be a full lover of words without doing both.
Labels: share, status
Sunday, December 06, 2015
I just woke up. I probably slept two hours. My nose is runny and sneezy and i have "flu' like symptoms" plus I just shat myself. Yeah I am not even able to fight off a simple bug.
Emotionally I am a train wreck. No, more like a plane crash and nobody can find the black box. I feel like I might breakdown any minute unless there is pharmaceutical intervention. Sometimes though, I can barely get up. go to the pills, consume them.
Is this an emergency yet? May I ask for permission that you help me in an emergency? Wait, may I have permission that you treat me like an emergency?
Sometimes the harsh 'no' is a stab wound to my broken heart.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
dimalam pakai bicycle pergi kerja? (tak boleh tidur)
I woke up at 1am. Started again on improving the notebook experience on the new tablet phone J got me for my 36th birthday.
(I also did my daily Gratitude Journalling).
Wrote the Big 5s of Saturday -and- Sunday and suddenly, an urge to go into cattery to work, where my laptop is now. I came here to write so I can mull over such a rash decision.
Nak pergi kerja, tak pergi kerja?
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.
I could feed the cats that missed one medication and because of me.
I might even be pain free enough to cycle there. Haven't cycled in a while, am getting fatter and I need to clock cardio for fibro management.
I'm in the tail end of a pain flare though, .'twas 5-7/10. I am not sure the flare has broken after my night meds and supposed sleep.
Maybe I'm just having a mild manic behavioural state.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
guilt of the workaholic
Awake, when it is way past bedtime.
Because I knocked out in the day and slept from post-breakfast to 7pm. Had to work so I downed a small mug of coffee.
So I'm on my tablet doing things instead of sleeping.
I think it is guilt. I wasn't very productive, so, I feel I haven't had my workaholism hit for today.
But then now I feel guilty about not sleeping.
Saturday, November 14, 2015
renewing my love for books
This is my birthday month so my parents are giving me money.
I decided to use it to renew my love for reading and bought books.
Friday, November 13, 2015
A Wishlist Item I Really Would Benefit from
MedCenter (70265) 31 Day Pill Organizer with Reminder System
to write and read myself to sleep
I can't sleep. It is past midnight, I have taken my meds, and an antihistamine for flu' too, because I am nursing one. Still, I remain up. Like my day is not done yet.
Hoping to write myself to sleep.
I regained interest in reading even more now, but non-fiction, for professional development. I feel like doing that now to tire out myself maybe, then sleep. It will be tiring reading because I will take notes and stuff too.
Hoping to read myself to sleep.
Maybe, with some ginger tea too.
Monday, November 09, 2015
/cast Grounding Totem
/cast Grounding Totem
Having an anxiety streak now and feel like l will dissociate if I don't find the grounding totem l need to firmly grasp onto.
Saturday, November 07, 2015
EIaine, remember these things from the weekend
I am writing this for myself, because in the coming few days, in fact, from tomorrow I might forget it all.
Tomorrow I will be back home from this 2-night stay at a hotel in town. All of what I am protected from just like when I am in a hospital, I will be exposed to. Triggers, when I am now still feeling more vulnerable than usual, hidden in plain sight. I am a bit afraid. This is cheaper than staying at the psych ward but I still can't stay here forever, right?
So here is where I remind myself things, what will be different when I emerge from this retreat.
I will have daytime cattery help. For two reasons: new intern soon, and volunteers volunteering to do more than their usual night shifts over the next few days, as they already have started to do for me. Because my psychiatrist said that my work-sleep-work-sleep routine was a sign of burnout. So now, I can start to unburn, and then burn again but slowly.
I have rested. I am not properly rested actually, because I spent most of today doing work on my tablet in bed, while J was studying at the lower level of our hotel loft. Then I tell myself that it means I will have a better night's sleep. (We will find out soon enough.) Also, I will not be jumping straight into burnout mode again - see paragraph above.
I had worried that I haven't unstoppered my horrible anhedonia, where all I enjoy is work and sleep, then I realised that right here, I have regained one of my hobbies already: writing, on my blog.
Friday, November 06, 2015
Checking ourselves into Studio M Hotel this weekend for interesting reasons
I suggested to J if he would like to book a hotel for stayover so he could study for his upcoming exams. For myself, it would be like, as my doctor said about the strong drowsy meds he gave me, "enforced rest." Enforced rest, outpatient style. I will spend most of the time sleeping and J will be studying.
We are going to Studio M Hotel. I am bringing my laptop for J to use, because I can work with my tablet for most things, and he will definitely have breaks. Yes, I do intend to do work during my enforced rest aided by medication.
Even if I had been warded, I would have done exactly the same thing.
I guess, it is enforced rest from dealing with the rescue cats day in day out with barely a halt. The volunteers are covering my medication rounds for them in this period so I can time out.
The best part is, when I come back, I will have a new intern too, so that daily medication of the cats will no longer wield such a heavy burden on me every day.
I wonder, if my PTSD flashbacks will disappear after this interesting staycation. If so, knowing what caused them will be easier.
Labels: state, status
alone in the middle of the night
My psychiatrist suggested that to combat the triggers of traumatic feelings like neglect and abandonment, I should purposefully cherish the alone time and do things that are enjoyable alone.
I don't believe it will help when I am deep in a meltdown. But I didn't get a PTSD breakdown when I awoke at past one o' clock so here I am, awake too early and aside from some browsing, I have been doing work. The quietness of the night at this time is optimal for strategic level planning, emailing, scheduling social media posts.
But I got a headache from trying to read small words on screen; with or without glasses on. So I will stop a while.
It is quiet, humid. I do enjoy this alone time. But also, there are no triggers. So, obviously I am not melting down. Maybe the extra meds I am currently on have helped.
I might continue the night working or reading, or take more meds and go back to sleep. Whichever it is, I know for sure that - being alone - in itself is not the trigger.
Thursday, November 05, 2015
coffee and mood and consciousness.
I think I am only conscious of my mood when I am fully awake. It is morning now, I am on my fourth coffee and feeling my moods waking up. I suppose this is somewhat like the opposite of taking a sedative when having a mental breakdown.
I am not sure what moods I will feel as I awaken with this jug of coffee. Will write them down as I sip along.
I usually wake up feeling neutral, say, a 3 out of 10. 4 out of 10 is a good mood score: I can function normally, go about being productive, and I guess if I can hit a 5 it is a good workday. 5 out of 10 isn't a normal score though, I still hover at 3 or 4.
At present on my fourth coffee I am at a 3, and I just want it to not go down further, given that the last few days it was almost a nil score. When it comes to severe clinical depression you can't "choose" to be happy. But you can choose other things. Choosing to believe your loved ones do not feel you are a burden. Choosing to be grateful for shelter. Choosing to ask for help. But no, when the mood dips, you can't choose to elevate that dip by sheer will. Our brains are far more complicated than that.
I am awakening more now, no longer so sleepy that I can only slump and grunt. Never liked the sunrise but I appreciate daylight, it helps us go about our lives after a night's rest. A new start, even if we can't undo the consequences of yesterday's choices - but now everyone can try again.
Those are conscious, mindful thoughts. Looking inwards, now I have awakened more, the truth is I am still sad. Yes, I know I am sad every day, but I don't think this sadness is the usual functional level I operate with daily. It is the kind where I might cry at the psychiatrist's office again. I still hope it will be better than yesterday, and yesterday was already better than the day before. Hoping for an upwards trajectory.
More coffee is poured. The sky gets brighter. I wait before I write my next few words.
It is becoming apparent that this low mood of today requires extra medication. So that I can be calm, think rationally, continue to take care of myself, make it to the doctor's today.
What the extra meds I took for this low mood might do to me: make me sleep again, thus undoing the awakening of myself with the five coffee servings of the morning. Or it might just eliminate the possibility of a full-on depressive anxiety crash. As I now become as awake as the morning is, I know that a crash today is not unlikely. I -am- indeed really feeling down right now. About nothing, about everything; no specificity.
I will have to now adjust my expectations of what I can achieve today. For someone who always likes to outdo herself, this is not fun at all. Today will have to be one of those days where showering twice a day, making it out to the doctor's and back, plus taking medications, are the only things I should expect myself to achieve. Anything more is a stretch goal, "If you can't manage to do those, it is okay."
You know what is laughable to me? That I have to be reduced to this sometimes, still, after so many years of living with depression. And I am supposed to celebrate those achievements too: "I showered! Yay!" I am a fucking founder of a nonprofit, for 7 years almost, and I still have to be reduced to this disabled patient mentality. This feels to me like I have to rest on my laurels and that is completely not in my personality to.
Last few sips of coffee. Tears are threatening to arrive. Am beginning to desperately need encouragement from somewhere. Being awake is akin to torture when you have no ability to feel the effects of positive neurochemicals. I have been fighting this torture every day now, for as long as I can remember.
The coffee mug is empty now. I feel alone. I've spent too much time in my life alone in fighting this disease. I know outpatient treatment involves a lot of self care, but I am just too weary these days to be my own caregiver. Self care, self-therapy, yeah sure, but I am feeling depleted. I know God gives rest for the weary like me, but even if my spirit will never be crushed, good Samaritans and angels in disguise I still need. Not that there are none in my life; so many give monetarily for my medical expenses. I am bewildered at the fact that these friends want to give me so much, so tangibly. In awe and full of gratitude for gifts I do not deserve. But - am I crude for saying this - friends who care are truly few and getting fewer, especially those that once did, but stopped, and those I offered friendship in concern, but did not reciprocate.
I don't think I have cared about this before. I have always been more of a homely person whose favourite activities aren't social. I guess I care now, because of how tired I am of "self care" and because I am disappointed that not everyone reciprocates care and concern. So I unfollowed on Twitter those who either never cared, or stopped caring. I don't feel angry that people don't reciprocate in kind when I tweet concern. I just want to stop being passed over because I need the opposite of that right now. I want to be treated like a real human being behind @avalon just like how treat people I follow as real human beings too.
The coffee is long gone, consumed. Mood is awakened as is my consciousness. It is time to get this day going.
Labels: state, status
Monday, November 02, 2015
Depression is a lonely disease.
It started with a mood dip. The usual thing that happens to people who have depression.
I tried to fight it, but failed.
It remained pretty harmless, until a news tweet triggered a severe bout of welschmerz.
- painful, unbearable sadness.
Nothing could stop the tears. Not even medication, not even expressing my thoughts through tweets. I reached out to J, he said, this pain will go away eventually. It still hasn't.
It became worse. The more I externalised how I felt, the lonelier I became. I reached out to a friend, and although, like most people who are -not- mentally ill, he didn't know what exactly to say, I felt comforted. But it was not enough. I still felt lonely, and as that feeling dwelled no matter how I tried to expel it, it turned into a sense of abandonment.
Again, a PTSD flashback feeling.
It made me hyperventilate, hide in a corner of the bed in covers; the tears continued. I felt unsafe. Nowhere is safe anymore.
Depression is a lonely disease. Friends will leave. Some people are hard for us to open up to, so the distance grows. New friends rarely appear, stay. Even in a socially connected world, a psych nurse is more likely to notice your tears than your 200 friends or your 1,400 followers.
I am so broken, can I even be fixed, so I can move on and fulfill my calling? If I die today, I will never know. Yet I am so alone in this pain I cannot rid, death would be a release. And I would rid the world of a burden, economically, socially.
Saturday, October 31, 2015
[POEM] do me
coerce me, to love life
in spite of shit-hail -
never can be shovelled
clean for a walkway.
inspire me, to love words,
again - I have lost it.
no life-blood to devour
the art of words.
fuck me, to make me high
that I may misplace all -
pain, feelings like death.
even if for a moment.
cut me, open my veins
that I may bleed and see -
I am Human, fallible
To ail is Human, indeed.
comfort me, I am alone
confidantes - infrequent
or unsuitable, or need
nothing that I can barter.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Darkness Before Dawn
Back to scribbling with a pen, or in this case, stylus.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
I crave, with my everything
Saturday, August 22, 2015
A Mistake In Love
Warm may be your heart, at times,
But now it be ice-cold
To me; in words.
You broke me time and again
Cut through to the vein
I bleed tears -
Into a cavalier heaven
Of orgasmic pleasure
That goes deep in me
Is never - Ice-cold
Will not - Break me
And I bleed - only -
To tolerate a lack
Of the selfsame thing
You offered in loads before,
To tolerate - til when?
When, a dream in common,
Fulfilled? Alas -
You ratified, saying no more.
So - no plan in sight
To know how, where, when
While I face your coldness
As I bleed in broken pain
Will peace return? - Or
Maybe it was never ours,
Because - a mistake in love.
Sunday, August 16, 2015
I recently gained some insight into how sex is a mental thing for women, and for men it is a core function, a basic need the body craves.
I feel more like a man sometimes, in this regard. Maybe it is because of my age; women in their 30s are just extremely horny. Partners of the same age, if they are men, can't keep up, because their prime was in their teens. So with this disparity, won't there be frustration?
And because while I feel that core, manly basic need, it is still mental in some way because sometimes I crave intimacy, not sex alone. I want a long makeout session maybe, if intercourse cannot last that long - the average duration across men is actually sadly short, between 10 to 20 minutes as I vaguely recall.
Either scenario will leave me wanting, sooner than later, too soon for one single partner to recover and provide. If he is not in the mood to be kissed or sucked, it becomes a trigger for an argument, or at best, it is putting unfair demands on him. I don't want him to be annoyed or pressurised.
Tonight I feel this frustration palpably. And I am not ashamed to say so, because just as we need food to eat, we also need sex. I am hungry, and that is perfectly natural a state of want to be in.
One day I will solve this issue to some extent, be it in a theoretically correct manner or in an unorthodox fashion.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
You are a secret
I write because you enter me when I am between sleep and consciousness. Yet I cannot acknowledge your arrival, for you do not know the secret.
Monday, May 25, 2015
Did I trade down? I wanted a man with the same vision as I had. I settled for somewhat-same. My life is about doing charity. If yours isn't, don't marry me.
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Fibromyalgia - how it almost destroyed everything in my life
Things got to a point where I had to do something about my constant lethargy, and the frequent aches and pains I got after long work days. It started to affect my sleep, my productivity, and my mood crashed with every energy low.
It got so bad one particular night, the aches and pains, that I couldn't sleep. I went to the A&E and got painkillers for a pain score of 6/10, Thereafter, my productivity came back. But after awhile, the painkillers didn't make my pain go away, merely lessening it. The pain level was getting worse.
So I went to the neuro, and it turns out I now have fibromyalgia. I started on a chronic pain management antidepressant, which solves the neuro-chemical aspect of my body's pain receptors. It helped a bit, but did not make the pains go away. I was then put on another chronic pain medication. Things got only minimally better. It seemed I was right smack in the middle of a fibromyalgia flare
During this time, I tried to rest as much as possible, wanting to reverse the damage that I had done by overworking myself. My work suffered as a result. My volunteers had to do everything in my stead, and for those that needed my input, I was slow, delayed things, or never did them.
Finally, yesterday, I got referred to see a pain management specialist. I got an IV painkiller jab, and things became so much better today. But not before scaring everyone in my committee that I was so sick I might be warded and everyone had to do my work on my behalf, which was a near impossible feat.
I have worked myself in to a job which depends on me too much, even with maximum level of delegation possible at any one time.
Because of this disease, I am now even more of a burden to J. He has been there for me from the start since we got together, and even for the most patient of men, I had worn him out to bits with the addition of another chronic condition than depression and anxiety. The timing I came down with a fibromyalgia flare up was all wrong too; J's mom had just lost a battle to cancer.
To ease his compassion fatigue, I have to learn to manage my sicknesses on my own, without involving him. I have to try and act normal. I have to lessen his work burden in our cat rescue group too. Which means my own work burden grows bigger, but it is either that or my marriage gets further affected. All I want is for him to be happy, I view his unhappiness as my fault.
It is a critical time in my work because we have just moved to a bigger, more expensive place. I have to up the ante, and do more - take care of more cats, recruit and manage more volunteers, raise more funds. Now is not the time I should fall gravely ill, but I did. Up until yesterday, I had very little physical strength to go on, but I hope the effects of yesterday's jab made a difference. J has booked for me an appointment with a government hospital pain specialist too, so I know if things get worse again, I can turn to that. And I have to really manage the level of my physical exertion. I have to be less workaholic, rest even more.
Labels: me, state
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
It has been more than a week now, this all-draining fatigue that renders me slack and discouraged for it. It is so -tiring- to be tired all the time.
I suppose I should be grateful that I will soon be seeing an NUH specialist to check out what is wrong with me, what metabolic disease I have. Am not sure if it is an endocrinologist I will be seeing. We will find out.
For now, I just keep sleeping.
I feel a lot of guilt for work I am not doing. But I am just not up to it all, all the time. With fatigue running for more than a week at a go, this makes me full of anxiety that shit goes undone and even if done, sloppily so.
My hanger-on is that God is faithful. This hymn has been playing in my mind and I am not even a very 'hymn' type of person. But the promise of faithfulness is so important to hold on to when one's world is very dreary. I will keep on holding on.
Things will get better.
Respite will arrive.
I will rise again like the phoenix.
Labels: state, status
Saturday, November 29, 2014
I am on a leave of absence, a nice way of putting it. 'It' being I have a nervous breakdown and need to recover from it. In this time I am tasking self to try and recover, and J has tasked me to cancel as much work as possible.
For the past week I slept all morning, all afternoon, waking in between but doing very little else besides sleep. Wednesday night I went about my feeding and medicating duties for the cats and caught a panic attack. Thursday I refused to leave my room. Friday I went to see the doctor.
The doctor wonders if I have a metabolic disease that causes me to crash after I overwork (which was last week). He took some blood, advised me to take as much motivation-boosting fatigue-busting Wellbutrin as possible. Friday I managed to sleep a bit less. Today I managed to do more and stayed awake in the afternoon (which is now).
But, despite my lessened workload I can't stop thinking about work. Not doing it doesn't mean not thinking it. Trying my best to relax with music and essential oils. So far, ain't working much. Yesterday I tried to read, I couldn't focus. So here I write.
I do feel overwhelmed by the amount of work still, which means I am not back to capacity. Normally I would be able to handle every task no matter what. Now I just feel like, why isn't there someone to substitute me? Why is it all down to me?
For now, I guess I have to be resolute and keep to the leave of absence. Do as little as I can. And not think of grand ideas. Don't be an entrepreneur, just for a while. Can I do it? Help me.
Friday, August 29, 2014
Reigning madness, like-
Off the edge of the map
Perceived such as:
It thrusted a shard,
Into my being
Displacing where life does
flow like blood-
through an artery.
I will bleed life out,
Because of pain thus intense.
Stab me for real,
It won't differ.
Blood through my nose,
I go into shock,
and will no longer respond,
as I curl into a
Then, no more intense pain-
for I give in to it.
Take me, break me, eradicate-
Whole, swiftly. for-
My life- it hurts-
Saturday, June 21, 2014
I feel like a failure.
I cried in the morning and again about to, soon. For too simple a reason: a fever that won't subside.
It makes me feel like an invalid when I am physically unwell.
I feel like I cannot meet the standards I set for myself (I am not competitive with anyone else).
I feel like a failure because I get depressed when I have a long bout of the flu'.
I feel like I try my best and I always end up just being average.
What did I do wrong?
Recently I got to know someone who speaks in a condescending manner, not sure if just to me or to everyone else. But it was noticeable by J, who is very people-oriented and forgiving, so it isn't just me who feels this way. Like gangrene, the words and tone of this person, and as with gangrene, it ought to be amputated. Regardless, although it will save the body, you lose a toe or a foot. And getting diabetes that caused the gangrene was your own fault for not eating well in the first place, it is not the toe's fault for being necrotic in nature.
Evil is evil, you either cut it off or bar entry in the first place.
Encounters with such people, plus the fever and flu' symptoms, add them all up, blend and get a mug of sadness.
Friday, May 30, 2014
I don't know once again why I am here. It is morning and I have had my caffeine doses. I still feel somnolent, even though there are always things to do. Perhaps it is due to interrrupted sleep again, 4 am this time. There is always something.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Sometimes I don't know where else to put my words except here.
I thought I was just having the flu' (I am) but somehow I also feel disconnected, demotivated, alone. More of all those feelings, like a shroud of darkness that wants to accompany me for a while.
Yet however I feel alone, I only want to be alone.
Sunday, May 04, 2014
anxiety, you shall not return
Feeling chockful of anxiety and I haven't felt this way since my last rushed visit to the A&E. This is not a good sign. Medications are not helping very much. I am worried about tomorrow's work, well, today, since it is approaching sunrise. I don't know if my people are ready, they don't seem to know how to screen adopters, they will need my help for pre-event prep and I hate events.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
my journey with a new chronic illness. fibromyalgia
Have been quiet here lately because something not too good unravelled.
I have been diagnosed as having fibromyalgia
. It is a chronic pain condition that is accompanied by other symptoms. The accompanying symptoms I get are dizziness, blurry vision, talking to people in half-sentences, a blank brain of sorts that disallows me to do things efficiently. I also have the sudden hot flushes, and lousy sleep.
The catalyst that led me to see my GP was when my legs hurt so much suddenly - I could barely walk - and all the painkillers I had, even the strong ones, were not working. My pain score was at about 8/10. I felt like someone took a baseball bat and swung it hard against my legs.
The GP did a physical check up, turns out my knees have no injury or inflammation whatsoever. After the physical check up, and since he knows I have depression (fibro and depression are all linked to the brain), he knew that what was causing my daily excruciating pain was fibromyalgia. We sorted out a medication regimen that would help for now, one including increasing a dose of one of my psych meds, which he told me to communicate to my psychiatrist. He also said that my psychiatrist would be able to manage my condition. He is on leave right now but I have been updating him on my fibro journey via email and he also called today. At first he said I need to see a neurologist but I don't want to, I cannot afford it. My doc said okay, I reckon he means that he will help me with this new illness.
Everything has been so far so good - take my meds, and wear my specs throughout the day even though I actually only need it for reading, otherwise I can't see properly.There are some side effects and symptoms I must eradicate. I have to have a clear mind, be able to communicate, remembering things well again, and being mobile (not splayed on the floor crying in pain). For this to happen, I might get dizzy, for which I have medication for it, or drowsy, but I need to be mobile with a sound mind for me to carry out the management work required for our cat rescue work.
I still haven't really come to terms with this diagnosis of -another- chronic illness though. Even with the fibro symptoms being managed it is difficult to bear without tears. But soon, I will be more positive more often, and am more than sure I will get through this.Been making sure my mood is stable.
I will share more updates on Twitter (@avalon) and on my Facebook page
. Also, am sorry if this blog post is haphazardly done, I still have blurry vision and am very drowsy from meds and terrible sleep last night.
Labels: me, state
Thursday, March 20, 2014
sometimes delegation is more work for me, so how?
So the word came down again from my psychiatrist very firmly that I need to stop overworking. Because there is no other way to prevent serious panic attacks requiring emergency visits to the clinic or hospital.
I don't intend to scale down LKP in any way. The only way to make things work out for both my health and my organisation, is to improve my management and leadership even more.
Delegation. That's right. I have been doing so, but to be honest, not everyone in the group of volunteers nearing 30 people are ready to be delegated to without more work on my end. Which defeats the purpose of me having to delegate to improve my health and decrease my workload. Some people just need more coaching, more time to do things delegated, more supervision, more correction. How then does more delegation become a way to reduce my workload? It will increase it.
I suppose training is an answer. Yes, I am thinking aloud here, writing in the stream of consciousness. If I can conduct more training in groups, I will be able to do more delegation with less worry that every person is inept for being delegated that specific task.
I will think more, as I go along this whole re-working my management style and protocols. But in the meantime, there is one answer already.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Using my medical fund for outpatient expenses for the time being
I mentioned my medical account DBS eSaving Plus 003-6-105219 was saved for A&E and hospitalisation emergencies.
Unfortunately, because I have been suddenly so ill of late, I am going to turn to those funds for my normal outpatient payments. Financially it has been bad (the credit card declined at clinic type). We are drowning in debt and I am spending way more than budgeted for my medical fees every month.
If you would like to help me out, you know my account number, and my tel is 90880675.
Friday, March 14, 2014
am I getting worse, or better? I don't think it is the latter.
Things might be turning worse instead of better.
My mental health. I have been getting panic attacks like how people grab food at buffets. I don't know how to describe it, it is just... very bad.
I have seen my doctor about it and he switched me from xan*x to val*um but I just got a panic attack and took both. I cannot remember if he said I should stop the xan*x or not.
I fear the worst. I am doing mad things like crouching on the bed, telling my thoughts to go away, and when I am lucid I work well and fine, but when I am not, I just become a psychotic person.
Saturday, March 08, 2014
a bad anxiety attack, crying in to cat's fur despite medication. that's how bad.
Feeling a complete mess but not like the usual kind people feel when say, cramming for an exam, or having a deadline. Just, far worse, physiologically. I have taken all the anti-anxiety meds I can take and more. And am still crying into Sayang's fur. They say exercise helps. I haven't been able to, because of the flu', exercising gave me vertigo and nausea. Today I did a little and it didn't make me feel like puking, but it made me very depressed. Whoever said exercise helps depression and anxiety never saw the anomaly that is my brain. It all started last night, when I thought about today and what we have to do work-wise, and though I am excited I am also feeling all the physical symptoms of anxiety. A complete dichotomy from what I think, feel, and and what I bodily experience. Will just keep medicating until symptoms subside, and working on ways to make the challenges for today, easier. Even then, as the "boss", the burden is never light. The government shall stand upon His shoulders, but we need to still stand, innit? Not crouched on the floor crying or just feeling terrible with no respite, still. A broken reed He will not despise, but I feel like a dried out shattered reed beyond much help. And I feel so alone. Join me on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chiam-Elaine/1454607614753888?ref=hl&bookmark_t=page
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Lying in a mess
That cannot be cleaned,
Really, for -
Some travails reside
Only variably, in
Pain and suffering.
I am still, I am,
Knowing He fights
On my behalf - amen
But this stillness
Is veiling what flounders
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
New social media places to find me
Decided that my personal life and my 'public' profile or branding if you would like to call it as such needs to start splitting up.
So I created a Facebook page
. I don't like adding random people as friends on my Facebook account and want to keep it to real friends and my volunteers only. Public page to make it seem like I am not some unfriendly bitch.
And a Vimeo account
, as a vlog to accompany the Facebook page.
Follow me on those links. :)
Medical account update after hospitalisation over CNY
|Also + $50 from J credited to another account|
Medical Fund Balance as of date is: -$516.08
|Had to transfer funds from medical account to this account as the former has no NETS|
(as I only transferred $600 of my angpow money to my medical use, and I still owe V $500 for the hospital deposit)
NB: If you note any discrepancies please inform me so I can check and correct them.
If you would like to give towards my Medical account which is for A&E and hospital fees only, my account is
Labels: state, status
Saturday, February 01, 2014
Crowdfunding For My Salary Q12014
Thursday, January 30, 2014
SOS: I have been warded, and need your help. Please RT/share
[Update over time for any changes]
For the past few days I have been stressed over preparing for the new year break. It means a whole slew of logistics and CNY has always been a trigger for my depression. My doctor tried his best to help me outpatient these past few days: calls, extra visits, extra medication. Yesterday, those measures didn't work anymoreif you beliebe in me. and I have been admitted. This is the third time I have been warded over the CNY holidays because outpatient works at other times except this time. My first suicide attempt was over the Chinese new year in 2008.
Yes, it might come as a shock to many of you that I am -really- this sick. When I'm without such external pressure, I am well medicated and cope well and look fine, apart from having a whole slew of psychosomatic ailments. But, I am not. My depression is actually classified as moderate-severe, with severe meaning hospitalisation. I stayed out of the ward in 2013, and managed to get life and work going in, taking it slow every now and then of course. This is how I can get by, and got to where I am and moving forwards, I will be even better.
Unfortunately, this obstacle. The LKP volunteers are supportive and covering for me. I am grateful for that. My parents have understood this has happened and said it is okay if I can only see them after new year.
But it is a financial scary obstacle being hospitalised.
As of now, my dedicated medical account used for A&E and hospitalisation is not enough to cover this current hospital stay.
So, I will neither be able to pay the deposit fully, nor the full payment when I leave, which will be about $600 more than what is reflected because of the doctor's fees.This brings the total to $4,880.  Edit: the $2,000 has been paid, so the outstanding is an estimate of $2,880 or more.
My dad and mom are giving me a $500 angpow which will go to this bill. Andy (Jian) may be able to help a bit on his credit card but we are not sure how far that is possible considering when i am outpatient again that card is used for my medical fees.
As such, I really need your gifts to help me tide through this hospital stay. You won't get anything in return from it. I could say you will know I will then be back to working harder at our cat rescue business. It could be said you are filling the lack of medical insurance on psychiatric ailments when I was first diagnosed In 2007. You could think you are making up for the broken communication between private specialists and government hospitals. You could say you are covering the healthcare deficits us with no safety net suffer from.
But those things won't mean much if you simply believe in my recovery.
How you can help:
Please help me by depositing a sum of any amount to my medical bank account DBS Savings Plus 003-6-105219 And text me at 90880675 so I can tally it and report back here.
Thank you so much. This matter is giving me a lot of anxiety which was one of the main reason why i got warded in the first place. I am now on a temporarily higher and new medications and there are people to watch me and my doctor is on call. I know this will make me feel better and get up and go again soon So, please spread the word if you believe in me and want to help me out of a tight and incredibly stressful situation.
Latest update as of 9:45pm 30 Jan
There has also been a cash gift of $200. The $900 debit was to go towards my deposit that was due today.
Latest update as of 5:30am 31 Jan
Latest update as of 12:20pm 31 Jan
The bill is cheaper than if I were in ICU for an attempted suicide...
[Image removed under doctor's advisement] A kind friend V helped me out with the $2,000 deposit, and I still owe V $1,100 after repaying what I could from my previous medical account balance. Thereafter the bill was $515.83 which my current raised amount this round of crowdfunding has just nicely allowed me to pay in cash instead of credit card, which we sincerely worried whether the credit limit was enough at first. I thank you all who have given and this has really brought me a relief of stress. Now I just need to repay V $1,100 which I hope I can with more funds from you coming in (thank you so much) and my parents' CNY angpow. So please do still consider helping me out so that I can repay V for what is my medical fee. Thank you for being with me through this scary episode of health and resultant financial stress. I promise I will work hard as I always do, if not more, as my gift back to this world.
Will post a full DR/CR tally when all the funds raised are in as some have been pledged but not yet deposited, or are coming from other banks.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Elaine is on Elaine's suicide watch
I am now on suicide watch, with option of being admitted to hospital not far away if things don't improve soon. I feel weird because I have dissociated: I am trying to manage my physical self's health condition, as if my physical self were a patient separate from me.
Medicatikn protocol for such an emergency has been activated. Now it is rest and monitor.
What would make me feel better apart from dying to kill this gnawing internal pain? Other things that wouldn't work either, like a long pull of a cold beer, the company of a cute young boy, and so on.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
weary and stressed but 'unjustifiably' so
I find myself in this slump every so often, one which makes me feel weary about the work that I love. Even the truest and most committed loves have their down and out moments. But even if it is normal, it is weary to, once again, feel too fatigued to care about the cause you serve.
In writing this, I realise it is anhedonia that I also feel. I don't feel up to doing anything I am supposed to enjoy doing. If work is one of my hobbies, I have no interest in any of my hobbies.
What am I supposed to do about it? Time's a'wasting. I need to get going soon. Rest, exercise, eat healthily, and? Having a protocol for restoring myself sounds weary to me too. But I definitely see symptoms of compassion fatigue and stress in me, the recurrence of flu' aside. I guess I shall just have to keep 'trying' and know it will work out.
Meanwhile, everything looks like a yellow-tinged grey to me of late.
Friday, January 17, 2014
We the mentally ill are among you
Unless we are in danger to ourselves, you can't lock all of us mentally ill up in wards. We are among you. 1 in 4 of you is one of us. Trying to lead a normal life to your expectations. For many this will be possible, because medication and therapy are now advanced and proven. But rest assured we the 1 in 4 who try so much harder to be normal are going to fall short sometimes, often. Just as you don't begrudge one with a broken limb for falling over more often than someone with intact legs, cut us slack.
It won't be easy to. Because many of us seem okay to you. You try to give layman advice that most of the time it is just the thought that counts. (Breathe more! Do more exercise!)
Then how? Cover me, carry me, understand my condition, realise I will need more sick leave just like someone who has another chronic but manageable illness, like kidney failure, diabetes, asthma. What do you get in return for having the back of a mentally unwell colleague? Nothing. Because we all need to carry the social burden of the less privileged, it is the right thing to do.
But some of us, will give society back more in return. I cannot promise you at the net worth of what I do for this world will be greater than what you give me. I will try till I die, and till then, please accept that I won't always be 'well' and 'on' 7 days a week.
(I really admire the healthy who can do so much more than I can. It makes me feel ashamed. I also want to work 12 hours a day 7 days a week and not fall short. I want so much to be a functioning workaholic not just an aspiring one. But every day I am humbled by my illness, and some days I cannot overcome its symptoms. It is agonising. If you find it hard to accept the oft-sick in your workplace, trust me, most of us find it harder to be normal enough for you to accept us.)
We are among you, some merely silently. Plesse cover us when we need it.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
I contemplate quotes on bettering ourselves
When faced with a myriad of strengths and weaknesses that I intuit in the people I work with, I get contemplative. Because people matter to me. It is probably for selfish reasons that they do, because I like to better people, because I see their success as my success. And in some cold way, because I see people as projects to work on. I just want people to grow. Thus I get up to penning quotes that might help whoever reads them.
Don't maintain the status quo just because the impossible hasn't been done yet.
Don't ever think you have arrived, there is always a higher high.
Skill is nothing without character, so always aim to be above reproach.
Be both intrapersonal and interpersonal. Knowing your strengths and passion is of utmost importance, as is learning from and serving others.
Don't care too much, you'll burn out. Don't care too little, you'll become jaded. Recognise the signs of both compassion fatigue and apathy, and realign yourself repeatedly.
Have friends in high places? Seek to be one of them high-placed people instead.
Never flaunt a good deed unless it is for a greater cause.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Medical emergency crowdfunding balance
Dear everyone who shared, gave, and supported me when I was ill enough to warrant an emergency visit to the hospital
To those who gave, your generosity inspires me and I am really moved, because I did not anticipate such a huge response. I don't think I am deserving, and I am not trying to be artificially humble in saying so.
I did not have to be warded after all, something I wouldn't have known until I actually went to the hospital. So there is a balance of funds, which I will move to an emergency medical account. I have set up a new bank account, DBS Savings Plus 003-6-105219 and this is where I will place the balance of $971.69 shown below. This fund will not be touched unless I go to hospital again, which is to say it acts as my Medisave in proxy, since there are 0 funds in my Medisave.
Here is the total, I have abbreviated the givers' names in case you wish to be anonymous, and one is actually anonymous because I cannot find the SMS of this giver and it might have been a tweet mention which I do not have the record of anymore.
Once again, thank you. You have inspired me to keep getting better.
Labels: me, state, status
Monday, December 16, 2013
SOS: I need help going to a&e today
Dear everyone that I care about:
I am suffering from what my doctor calls an acute anxiety attack that has been going on since Thursday till now. Medication protocol prescribed has not worked except to sedate me for a while. So far the best treatment I got that was an effective stop gap measure was a jab I got on Friday.
My symptoms include: restlessness, inability to stop working, moving fast and talking fast uncontrollably, poor appetite, high heart rate of 90-100+ per minute at rest, anhedonia, thoughts in my head (you know you talk to yourself in your head?) are very LOUD or various streams flowing at different frequencies at the same time, also loud. Like an overflow of creativity. I feel irritated. I find it impossible to rest and relax. It makes me stressed out to feel this way and sometimes I will break and cry.
After consulting with my doctor over the past few days, he suggested the next critical step to take would be A&E. He says apart from observation, tests need to be done to determine why am I having this sudden onset of acute anxiety. (I have never experienced acute anxiety attacks before, only panic attacks.)
A bit of background about hospital care I will need. My doctors are based in Novena Medical Centre. They are attached to Mount A and Mount E. Mount A does not have a psych ward though. In order for me to see a doctor at the A&E that already knows my case in and out, I have to go to the hospitals they are attached to, if I go to a government hospital, I have to relay my entire 6 years's worth of case history to them and what I have been experiencing for them to have a rough idea what is going on. This will derail my treatment and the emergency case that I am will not be treated as such. (I once waited a full hour for a jab when had very severe panic attack, at, of all places, IMH A&E.) A CGH doctor once made me cry because of their interview process, then scolded me for it. It is unfortunate that when at a government hospital, the doctors there will not listen to the patient's primary care physician simply because he is not a government doctor. He will not even be allowed to co-consult with the government doctor. At the hospital my doctors consult at, none of these things will happen and I can get actually better, faster.
I am trying to hold off going to the A&E, taking the medical protocol that doctor has been advising me to. It helps a bit, but I am fast running out of meds anyway, something needs to be done soon. But I have to hold off A&E as long as I can because I cannot afford it.
I am thinking, I will go to the A&E at Mount E if I can raise some funds first. I do not know how much it will cost eventually and whether I need to stay in, (I hope not, but nonetheless will prepare the catty stuff the rest of the volunteers can do in my absence.) I probably only have about $200+ in my back, and Andy has less than 1k for both of us for another 3 weeks. I have 0 medisave left. I really -really- need your help to get treatment. Maybe a buffer of a few hundred more will suffice for me to make the trip down to Mount E asap.
Can you help me get treated today? I have cat work that needs to be done, and I really want to go back to being more functional without these acute anxiety symptoms that actually caused me to pass out yesterday. I feel seriously terrible, and I will continue to be unless my doctor can think up something less costly (so far no, A&E is his strongest recommendation.)
If you can help me, today, this morning,
Transfer a sum of any amount to my account
Then text me 90880675 or tweet me @avalon to tell me, so I can tally, and when a safe buffer of a few hundred (say $400-500) is reached, I will immediately rush to the A&E. After I am there, I will continue asking for help, firstly from my parents (who haven't responded yet, and are in Malaysia.)
If I cannot achieve a buffer, I will deal with it from home alone.
(No, my medical insurance didn't cover psychiatric illnesses, so I terminated it, in case you were wondering.)
Current heart rate at rest: 112.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Shit happens, we are overcomers despite, but damn...
Adversity presents opportunity that otherwise might not be revealed.
I know that.
But I fucking hate how down and out I feel when in situations that can be considered adverse. Like right now. I am physically sick, and keep having episodes of anxiety and extreme low moods to the point of being incapacitated. No cash or credit to see the doctor before scheduled appointment, time running out on plans that need to be executed to completion. Sure, we are overcomers of shit happening in our lives, but I sure wish this shit pool doesn't feel like one that pulls me in to drown me.
Friday, December 06, 2013
annoying fatigue that annoys me and everyone else.
Every time I think about writing, I think about writing on how tired I am feeling. It is like a cheap refrain that goes on in my head, that I feel, cyclically, through to my bones.
Fatigue and perpetually feeling physically ill - the most annoying symptom of clinical depression for me, at this time.
There is so much work to do! Can you feel my annoyance through this screen, how much I want to do things, accomplish much, build, but am infirmed and cannot be all that?
Tired refrain is that annoyance, like that old man who is egged on by his physiotherapist to get up, grab the rails and walk, but cannot, falls, and goes into a fit of rage about wanting to give it all up.
I am not giving up though.
Because, Fine! Let it be so that I am weaker than most in my strength, but I shall do what I can anyway, and perhaps finally leave this frustration aside.
Fuck this exhaustion.
(In more ways than one.)
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
One day at a time
I seem to have become more introspective of late, but that is to be expected when there are any major changes happening. In this case, preparing the rescue group for registration, preparing for 2014.
Yes, it seems to be all about my work. But that is what fulfills, validates, makes me.
I do feel worn and almost beat. Which is why we have planned a staycation next month. Prioritise rest, because that is what we do: put things down on a to-do list so that it gets done. I also have to plan a visit to see my mom and dad soon. Levees are bursting with a flood of priorities.
But it is okay, for I go one step at a time, one day at a time.
Every so often I am reminded starkly that I am not well. These reminders make me feel weak, discouraged, and sometimes I wish I could die, but because I cannot, it frustrates me.
So never mind then. Perhaps that sounds resigned, but I knew from long ago that if I waited to get well before I did anything of import, I would never accomplish anything. I just need to work through the sickness.
And sometimes it is all I can do. Just keep going. Despite.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Courage and conflict
If we all waited till we felt ready to do something requiring bravery and the unknown, we would never accomplish anything.
But this kind of courage, the belief that everything can be made possible, at such a time before a big leap is required, shoots arrows of conflict with innate self doubt and insecurity.
There is such a huge fight within me now. I know courage will win out. But that does not mean the conflict does not exist.
A lot of forgiveness within myself is required too, when I make a mistake, which with the unknown will be inevitable. My worry is others won't feel the same way. I feel that I am expected to be near perfect.
That expectation, perhaps approximated that I should be 98% on target, is amplified by myself, that I think people expect 99%. In a world where the big boys and girls play, that 1% is a huge deviation.
People expect more. That is how we can grow. More fruit than this, less failed crops than this. Increase the flame, build up the pressure in the pot, make a better stew.
With all these vectors of betterment that I need to ride and control, how do I not crash every now and then? And when I do, who will catch me?
Friday, November 22, 2013
frustration and management of a corpus of vectors.
Am feeling a lot of frustration at my disturbed sleep over the past couple of days and the flu', again. It is annoying to have fatigue and illness cause me to lose steam, when so much needs to be done.
As for what needs doing exactly, to simply term it, managing a cat rescue group. The managing aspect is getting to be more critical at this time, seeing that we are about to get registered. A lot of unknown factors, things left undone, finances there but unorganised, new people. Like a matrix of variable vectors.
Courage to lead in the dark, that I do have. I fear not that we will be led into a lair, but that before we accomplish our mission we might self-destruct. Leadership always carries that fear.
When people are bound together in corpus, it is a union like marriage. It grants power, and power can destroy or build, a double edged sword. Like riding a horse, the one at the helm needs to respect the animal, yet rein it, so that both horse and rider are as one, moving along together to their destination.
What if, the horse disrespects the rider?
What if, the rider is not skilled enough to lead the horse?
All the what ifs. I don't doubt I am a good leader. I worry others won't acknowledge that. I know I can win people over, but it might be work that is a stretch too challenging!
I am not COO material, operations is not my main strength. I can design excellent workflow, but am terrible at executing it. I am not CFO material, I know the finances inside and out, but I can only direct the CFO in line with the vision.
Like an artistic director who knows nothing about the technical aspects, or does know, but is terrible at it herself. I have never been artist material, I am curator instead.
I can only do my best, and keep making that best even better over time. If God does not build this house, the labourers labour in vain. Much of the leading I do is but following where God has designed me towards. He might think too highly of me, how am I ready for this? I lead by unction, the pursuit of peace, through the consult of my partner who is my wise counsel. God shall be the thread that will keep these vectors in union without implosion.
And that means, reliquishing control. Like a height activity in an obstacle course, one must let go to grab the bar or rope, or step off a ledge, knowing that the design of the obstacle is such that you absolutely will not fall, that someone is below belaying you.
I am scared, but it is a good kind of fear. As for fatigue and illness? I guess that means I have both frustration and fear to contend with for now. Annoying as hell, this fatigue and illness combo that surfaces too often.
Right now, due to waking up automatically at 4am, I am already tired out. I hope the flu' is gone today, but it mightn't, and I will have that weighted on me. I hate being humbled by the fact I am a weak human being. I hate how it makes me a crabby person to those I actually appreciate. I can only keep going, recalibrate to ensure an adequate amount of rest, and sincerely hope that those who follow an unworthy me will not despise me for being weak.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Flush with frustration internally, bubbling over in bouts of irritability. Have no inkling why this is happening. To top it off I am also losing my steam and motivation.
Maybe I am just a boiling pot running over because the flame is on too high.
Whatever it is, I need to sort it out as soon as I can find out how. For the sake of everybody, and the cause. Following the deeply arced whims of my emotions has always been my weakness. I have been told I only am helpful when am not in a bad mood. I have been told I am fierce. But the flux of my emotions should not affect others in those ways.
Granted, I - have - improved. Compared to the rash nature of my younger self. Compared to when I wasn't on medication too perhaps, which meant then that my mood was lower than neutral almost always.
Actually, I thought writing this would have helped me figure it out by this paragraph. But I am still clueless as to why I am not bubbly and loving and all that.
End of my tether? I doubt that. The game isn't over till we've won.
I need to see this with a management point of view. When staff are unmotivated or discontent, what the problem and thus solution is. In this case the staff being me. I would prescribe a time out, and ways to make my job less tedious. Perhaps when I feel less worn out, I will. I cannot afford not to, right?
Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps.
God, you led me to this. And now as I keep on going I feel broken and in need of repair. But I am not sure where. This is a roller coaster ride now, with no time to stop and fix myself unless it stops for me and thus for everyone. So, you do the fixing, okay?
Monday, November 04, 2013
distractions and a silent ego
They tell fashion models to make love to the camera. I suppose one who ought to write, must do the same to their laptops and such.
I look at my hands splayed across the keyboard. They look aged. Must be from washing, and the sun perhaps. This calls for some lotion on these hands before I continue.
I guess that was just a convenient excuse; anything to distract from putting words on canvas in proper expression, abstract or otherwise. I have been distracted by everything. I go for the trivial and inane, and language is truncated to tweet-glish, Singlish, anything that is succinct for making an irrelevant point. Work and rest distract me from reading. When we don't read, we cannot create better things.
Maybe I have lost my ego. We write because of our ego, but I don't feel anything more than a pawn in the part of claiming my inheritance, my destiny. It seems paradoxical, to see myself as a small part in - my - destiny. Like a cog in a wheel that is still me. I am not sure where or how I should place myself to be more egotistical. Without wishing to propagate our own ego, we cease to propagate ideas and thoughts through words.
And so, I fell silent. Distracted and small, I just stopped making abstract expressions through words. I merely make sounds, "tweets" and curses under my breath. I trudge like one of a tired pack that needs to move but also has to conserve energy, so verbal intercourse ceases. It has become just about putting one leg in front of the other, watching the terrain, planning the route and rest stops.
Because the best of what I write often stems from pain, I reckon silence might be a good thing too. It means the absence of unbearable pain, the type that cannot be assuaged, that writing cannot heal but we try anyway because it hurts so badly.
Most of what occupies my mind now instead: the economics and science of managing a startup non-profit cat rescue group. I think of little else. I am inspired to this, and therefore it fills my mind. It is probably boring to most people, working on pathways to destiny. Dream-talk excites bystanders, but the journey excites only the traveller and his companions.
Thus I have nothing to inspire you to with this post. Except, that even if you feel like nothing you are experiencing is worth writing about, you are wrong. Look: I just wrote paragraphs on having nothing worth writing about. Look at your hands on the keyboard, and start there.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Fatigue and destiny
I am so tired. I have been here before, this level of tiredness, but it always is effective in making me feel a tad weak. I am sleeping badly, awake for too many hours because I wake up in the wee hours pre-dawn once or twice per night. Nothing helps: not naps, not exercise (ha, that's a joke, tire yourself out so as to not feel tired), not coffee, not protein. I am going on sheer willpower, which is like one processor running a dual-core. Okay that may not be a perfect analogy since I have no idea the heck about computer hardware. But you get me. I am running on the back-up generator, and it is costly and needs to rest intermittently. And it looks like the power might not come back on, ever.
I suppose this is what, "When I am weak then I am strong," means. The weaker you are, the more energy you need to churn out in order to function. But for a while now, this weakness has been the status quo. Would like to have a normal, not depleted, level of energy every now and then. It would be wonderfully relaxing.
Yes, being busy with work I love makes me feel good, of some worth. Nothing can replace that inner conviction, that drives activities of purpose. Using wisdom, talents, passion, knowledge, for the fulfilment of destiny, that sort of unction cannot be replaced by anything visible in this world.
But as always, the spirit when willing and even able, encounters the weakness of flesh, in this case, my physical condition itself. Depression has never really left me, and it is still present, manifested in symptoms like this chronic fatigue. Looking back, even in childhood where I would scamper about energetically, I don't recall not being repeatedly tired out. I was and still am constantly on autopilot simply fuelled by mental strength or numbness to the fatigue.
So, what really is the solution? Nothing. Rest is always followed by further toil.
God has just promised me that he will strengthen my weakness. That I do not need to be afraid I cannot keep up with my calling. If he says it, I believe it, so be it. And this belief is where an even deeper level of inner strength resides, in my core, my spirit. I will go on.
Still, some 16 hours of uninterrupted sleep would be nice. But that will need logistics, delegation and planning. Guess we will just have to see how it goes.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
one day at a time
I don't have a good excuse for why I haven't been writing here. Reasons, yes: I have been busy, I have been micro-blogging in tweets instead, I simply haven't anything new to ponder over. Apart from trivial things, I have nothing substantial to put in paragraphical sequence.
Maybe, I have been less melancholic, and thus less creative. We all know poets have a high rates of depression and suicide, and if I am less so, I am less creative with my words.
So, what do I feel? It feels like maintenance mode for me most days. I am pulling through flu' bugs and gastric problems, I am getting by on a daily basis and not thinking too far beyond each day. I set goals for work, fitness and diet, and try my best to achieve them. Every bedtime I reset the clock and go through it all again at dawn. The aim is to survive and be as fruitful as possible despite my limitations. It is all very boring.
I haven't been sleeping well. I wake up in the middle of the night, or very early in the morning. When the flu' bugs hit, I become very weak and lethargic, double whammy, since I am not completely rid of the somnolence that depression causes to begin with.
As of right now, I have been up since 4am, I have exercised and had a somewhat healthy breakfast. I am about to start my work for the cats for the day. Do I look forward to bedtime tonight already? Yes. Between all that, I have my psychiatrist appointment. I will be going cycling today, via commute to and from the doctor's. If there could be no repercussions I would rather be in bed the entire day. I feel nothing much, my mood is the usual 3 out of 10, 10 being very happy and 0 being suicidally depressed.
The paragraphs above sum up the days since I last wrote here. That is all, nothing much to it. I believe writing should go beyond informing, and should inspire.
What does this report inspire, then? That, like in Alcoholics Anonymous, we who are infirmed inside should take it One Day At A Time. Like cardiavascular exercise, it strengthens our muscles, in this case our brain, to form good habits, that will make it easier to do each day we repeat it. We might never feel happy doing any of this, but it makes us that bit stronger. Despite being handicapped, we can be strong again. Just as someone who uses a wheelchair would have stronger arm and finger muscles than one who, all things remaining equal, walks for mobility, we as the mentally weakened can strengthen ourselves just by repeat each day with a good habit. Just pick one. Sleep hygiene improvement, exercise, feeding the pets, writing. It doesn't matter. And if we fail that day, it doesn't matter too. There will be tomorrow. Most likely, anyway, we aren't that lucky to die and be rid of this all so easily innit.
Yes, another final reason why I haven't been writing, is perhaps the interest for it hasn't been on fire. Anhedonia, the simple explanation. But, writing is not my only interest, and I can turn to other things that seem easier to ignite interest in further, for now. We cannot change our core so easily, so if I love writing, it is not likely to just go away, chemical imbalance in the brain or not.
I will see you tomorrow if you are on Twitter, and then, we can go through the cycle again. One good habit a day, a day at a time. It doesn't matter if it makes us happy, if you are like me, nothing will make you happy. But it will make you a tad stronger even if you feel nothing.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
I believe in Jesus as my saviour. I am not ashamed to say I am a charismatic Christian, and have been since 1995. I will never give my faith in God up. I believe no one is without sin except Jesus. I believe no one has the right to cast stones at another, or judgement of any kind. I believe in miracles. I am baptised by water and of the Holy Spirit. I know I am not perfect, but that God already loves me anyway. I believe in the bible. I believe in human rights. I believe the bible says that the door to our hearts opens or closes by our own will. I believe God respects everyone's right to choose. I believe the law of the land should reflect this. I believe that criminalising anything that does no harm to another is in itself casting stones no one has a right to. I do not believe in 'gay rights' but I believe in human rights, and they are the same thing.
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
One Day, I Will Say, "I Am The Executive Director Of A Non-Profit Organisation
I have reached a point where I cannot grow our cat rescue group further without incorporation and staffing, so, that is what we are working towards right now. All of it may not happen sooner than 2014, but it started before today.
Charity work is my career choice, but it is indeed a career, a profession, a job. It is not out of pure altruism that I remain in the path of the non-profit organisation; it is because this is my dream industry, for life.
Help me nudge my dream forward even more in the years soon to come, by clicking this today: http://igg.me/at/elainechiam/x/3820832
And when you click it and it brings you to a new webpage, I hope it will make you either act on it, or talk a lot about it.
Labels: share, state
Friday, June 21, 2013
Pablo from Hougang at Love Kuching Project
Monday, June 10, 2013
Sophisticated Online Bullying
I am not quite sure what to make of today's social media culture. Bullying has taken a new form, and the proponents of it don't even realise the impact of their actions. One would be able to research a whole thesis' worth on today's internet subculture; different from the 90s and noughties because of how sophisticated human behaviour has evolved.
The lower caste bullies take the form of 'haters' that have no logical sense to their destructive comments. Referring to the kind that lurk on STOMP and Yahoo, that basically find reasons to spew hateful words rather than speaking up because something is truly and logically wrong. Lower caste bullies do not understand what is truly wrong and what isn't because logic eludes them. Self-policing might eventually solve this problem. For those that refuse to change their hate-for-hate's-sake stance, they will likely just gather in an echo chamber of similar folks and then be cut off like an ox-bow lake. Well, one can hope.
No, I am not actually feeling resigned about lower-caste bullies today. I am concerned about the sensible and intelligent ones. Those that propagate truth. Yes, there are such bullies.
These bullies are so sophisticated in that they find one pearl of wrongness in a tweet, Facebook post or YouTube video - you name it, they are everywhere - and correct the person it originates from. The correction might be justified but the impact is not.
In real life, if someone were to say an equally wrong statement, the correction from the people who hear it is simply not as harsh. It could even be easily ignored as just a human quirk, or will be seen in the light of its context and the originator's entire personality and character. This is not to discount that said comment really could be insensitive or obtuse. We are just kinder when faced with a real person, body language and all. We generally fight mild injustices in the form of flawed statements with more kindness for our fellow human being.
Kindness almost eludes us when we are on online platforms. Unable to see or feel the other person entirely, it frees us up to be more critical because we cannot feel the other person without any imagination on our part.
In business and other discussions this is good because the socially-sensitive will be able to speak up with fewer repercussions. Online platforms where anyone can freely have a say is the internet version of, "May I speak to you in private please?"
But when it is a simple whine-and-opine post, does it really need so much scrutiny and correction? Perhaps it does because compared to a comment said aloud at a dinner table, online stuff goes much further. But in doing this kind of police work, aren't we forgoing the type of kindness we would display if this really was said at a dinner table? Because it is so much harder to intuit a person's feelings, character and personality online, we pretty much subconsciously discount all of it about a person and he becomes an avatar.
Yes, because we do have an innate emotional intelligence quotient, we intuit subtexts of what people are saying in real life. The EQ parameter online is simply lowly weighted - fact.
And this amounts to sophisticated online bullying that breaks my heart. Not just because I feel for those being bullied, but also for the bullies, that they have become so keenly aware of all the tiny injustices online that would otherwise be insignificant. Suddenly, everything is something wrong that needs to be corrected, online police work becomes so busy they never have any rest as bullies now.
How do we change this culture of sophisticated online bullying? Perhaps we need to put the emotional intelligence back into our social media apps. It means feeling harder, trying to find clues about subtexts otherwise plainly intuited in real life, and seeing real people around our dinner table, instead of displayed avatars.
Sunday, June 09, 2013
Humanity My Respite
A quaint evening -
I see it murky
Eyes veiled by gauze
Of glass against me;
I hardly feel it
No matter! For -
Love. For you,
Others crave coffee
I crave to comfort,
Bear your pain.
You ain't heavy.
Tuesday, June 04, 2013
I aspirated on my own life and died. Trying to take it in to survive for that is the order of society and the need of those around me. But I perhaps have no ability to consume it without choking and perpetually being on the verge of death. So I gave in and breathed.
The posture that one should maintain when trying to encourage others that you will get better, is like putting up a Christmas tree in your flat and decorating it. Not only are decorations of no functional meaning, the tree is plastic, and worst of all, Christmas ain't even about the damn tree. It is all a farce.
People will have their own opinions as to whether I should or should not die. None of these matter when I am not able to feel these opinions anymore. I never did care. I try to care about those for the shouldn't camp. But right now, I don't really. I just want to minimise the pain of the memory of my death for these people and hence will die in the least gruesome way that I can. A show of consideration.
On my way home this evening I told myself I will write more poems. Songs rather than snorts of my thoughts and feelings. Poetry is just a better way to present words. I now have not a single word of poetry that wishes to swish through me; hence, this is no poem.
Let's try other things than all that has been penned here. I've taken my medication, consumed flaxseed oil and soy protein and two bites of chocolate. I'm banking on the two fluanxol tablets I took to make me elevate from this brink. To resuscitate me from aspiration pneumonia. It may work yet, if so, I'll be back, and maybe by then a song will arise.
Monday, May 27, 2013
to all the men who inspire me with your art
You inspired me with your poetry through words and images; inspiration spurred so deep in, I almost fell in love with you right there. As I am the flower fading, you believe yourself to be but a wave on the ocean, transient and minute in the vastness of eternity. Yet to me you spoke with what seemed like vastness of eternity itself. Time almost halted when I listened to you.
I doubt I was meant to be the sole audience of your thoughts.
I wonder if you think of her, as I think of him, maybe too much like a refrain of Love Me If You Dare. But I wouldn't trust you otherwise, had you not been heartbroken before, lonely in a crowd, missing the wondrous moments you had with her. If I fell in love with you, I want to be a better version of that memory, but I can only be better, if you had that memory to begin with.
If you ever were to help kiss my tears away, I know mine won't be the first taste of salt on your lips. I only hope that my tears will not remind you of your own. But if they already do, selfishly I want for you to make art of it, because when you are so passionate, even if as a broken man, you are a wonderful artist. All of you - your words, your images, depending on which you you identify with - inspire me even more when you create out of brokenness. Come to me thereafter if you can, I will then kiss those tears away in return for your art.
I see what you create - every piece an immortal work of art. I want to have a stolen moment with you, to kiss you deeply, to feel you and taste you and make you vulnerable. Perhaps your art makes me want to consume you. Again, I know that none of you create your art for me, only, but this is what rises out of me when you create. I want to make you senseless, lose all restraint, and be for a moment a heap of nothing but flesh, moisture and deep breaths.
After which, you will go into the sunset, as they all do, because a man as great an inspiration as you are, will always leave me, to continually be inspired - and I will let you.
Saturday, May 04, 2013
So many means we have today of communicating words. Most words we spew often generate response and then we need to reply to those responses. Aren't you tired of replying already? And so I revert to writing on a blank canvas that is 'Compose' on a blogging platform.
Truth be told I was forced into a mobile silence today because my phone is not really working. It shut down and then refused to start back up. Which is good since I am still sick with the gastric flu' and ought to rest. Will deal with the repercussions of mobile silence later.
Without needing to constantly reply to things on the Notifications panel I guess we need to go back to basics and speak without prompt. Yes also without being stoked by news and whines and opines we see on Timelines. This is harder than you would think.
But we already are so critical of reactive versus proactive moves by anyone. So why not try and not be stoked into response for a while too yea? Try it. Be introspective, deeper than usual. Strip away humour and all things trivial that are the cover-ups of what lies deeper.
It is as if your boss (or yourself if you are the boss) gave you a day off without any emails, messages, phonecalls, meetings. What would you then do about it?
This hypothetical question which I saw on a nonprofit management tweet, made me immediately reply: spend time with the beneficiaries you manage the nonprofit and raise funds for. Nothing beats going back to basics and getting feet deep in the mud again to revive a sense of cause and passion.
I would venture further then to ask, what would you do for yourself if you had a real day off without neediing to reply to any form of communication?
Wouldn't revival also be a good motive for such a day?
Sit with yourself. Contemplate all the agony and emptiness. Feel the pain but know it will pass. Listen to the urban silence. Then realise you can choose to not answer to anyone but yourself for a change. Big relief. Now all is right with your perspective again. You are not a cog in a wheel. You are not just a replaceable part in a bureaucratic machine. You are not a daisy in a chain of flowers even.
You are so unique words fail to describe.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Sometimes I forget
I egg myself on to do work: my cat rescue work, freelance work and its related tasks. Then I keep stumbling, and get frustrated. It then hits me that I am not wholly well and I forgot that fact. Perhaps like when your legs fall asleep but you don't realise it but still get up to walk like one usually does, then you fall. At this point I recognise that I stumble because I am handicapped, then get frustrated that I am not normal.
(Oh, rest, you say? It is one of those anhedonic days. I have no mood to do anything leisurely like watch TV shows or even eat.)
Which is why this post is shitty, and for now, I will just not bother about it.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Every day is a defeat
Every day is a defeat, I wake up to its reality, for it is committed as the daily sunrise. Thereafter it is all about trying to overcome the defeat's by-products. Be it sickness of body, exhaustion, unable to make self un-sad, or lack of motivation. Nothing changes this, not even the fact that I am an overcomer who can get over this. I can, of course, perhaps not every day, but the net defeat overcome. But this already means that the premise of every day being a defeat from the get go, is truth
Sunday, April 14, 2013
How to make a proper vegetarian soup stock
I am not a vegetarian but I have been trying my best to cut down my meat consumption. I decided to because of health and environmental reasons. Meat is fattier and no, it is not the good kind of fat. If you have already been eating less meat, eating animal fat now will likely give you digestive upset, so it is best to eventually cut it down to nil if you want to reduce consumption of unhealthy fat. Also, it costs the environment a lot to produce meat for our consumption, and I like vegetarian sources of protein anyway. For cooking, I don't need to worry about food contamination from not handling meat properly. So many rules for cooking meat safely, such as not cutting vegetables on the board that was used for cutting meat, making damn sure it is cooked fully. Plus it isn't difficult now to eat less meat because we have so many other protein and calcium choices.
So of late I did a search on making vegetarian soup. Soup is a healthy food choice because it is full of protein without having to eat so much as it is filling. Plus, I really love soup.
Alas the vegetarian soup solutions I found via Google were dismal. Firstly, It always seems to involve miso. I like miso soup, and have just ordered some miso too so I can cook with it. However I am Chinese, so I can't do without my Chinese soups too. Then the internet prescribes hot and sour soups and similar as my Chinese option. Must I? I don't always feel the need for it, and I am Teochew, our soup is clear, not starchy. And J doesn't dig spicy soup anyway. The third option was using coconut milk. I don't see how this is a good idea, perhaps an angmoh
notion of Asian soup. The last option I found seems to produce a weak soup that resembles the kind you make with vegetable waste. So, I had to go do some soup inventing.
No I don't know cookery, and I don't follow recipes well. I cook by feeling, and the way I judge my cooking in terms of taste is whether it has all the notes, like in music where you need a variety and bass and treble. So, this is my disclaimer if you don't find my soup invention at all professional to read and follow.
There were a few vegetable soup preparation rules which I read online and followed. 1) Start with cold water. 2) Cut the vegetables in smaller pieces so that there is more surface area from which the flavours can escape. 3) Mushrooms are important, they are the secret ingredient to making flavourful vegetarian soup.
To me, Chinese soup must be herbal to be good. Chinese herbs add flavour of a different kind than vegetables which tend to be light and sweet. So this was one new rule I created for vegetarian Chinese soup stock. Herbs I chose include star anise, dioscorea
, red dates and qi zi
. You can also try others of course, such as apricot kernels. I do not know the health properties of these herbs. But you should know that star anise is a good addition to vegetarian soup stock. This is because unlike the other herbs, it is not that sweet. Vegetarian soup stock as I discovered tends to be sweeter than meat based soup. So star anise is a good herb to balance that flavour out.
The vegetables that are good for making vegetarian soup stock include cabbage, tomatoes, carrots. Tomatoes obviously make the soup more tangy, whereas cabbage and carrot make the soup sweet. Cut them into small pieces to make the soup more flavourful. I also like using pear or apple, the kind from China. It makes the soup cooling, has a unique flavour (also sweet) and it is delicious to eat when cooked. Other vegetables you can use are more the sort that you cook with, last, before your meal itself, so that it doesn't disappear into leafy bits with no edible girth.
Mushrooms, without a doubt, must be shitake. I buy fresh ones normally, because I also use them in salads and pasta dishes. You can use dried ones. Add mushrooms generously!
You also need the basic Chinese soup ingredients like ginger and garlic. Onion if you eat it too (I don't because it gives me gastric pain). I use whole garlic cloves smashed beforehand, with the skins on.
For seasonings, I added dark soya sauce, pepper, and a dash of salt. The salt is truly optional, but I like my soup less sweet and more savoury, so it had to be. I also added in a Japanese mix of red pepper, roasted sesame seeds, orange peel, chilli flakes, seaweed and ginger. You can buy this pepper mix from a Japanese supermarket like Sakuraya or the Japanese food aisle in Cold Storage. It is the kind you find at the seasonings tray in Jap restaurants next to the soy sauce and wasabi or ginger. This could possibly be one of the best secret ingredients when it comes to soup seasoning.
I reckon you can make your soup more savoury and spicy without using these seasonings, by adding preserved vegetables to it. Choices like sichuan vegetable, preserved mustard (kiam chye
), tang chye
, sour plum. I didn't want to go the preserved vegetable route so I didn't try, but you can if you want to! I guess the rule applies too for kimchi.
Put all the tiny pieces of chopped vegetable, garlic and ginger, herbs, mushrooms into a pot. Fill it with water. Boil over low heat for as long as you can. The tomatoes take a while to make the soup tangy, so if your soup isn't sourish yet, it isn't done. When I filled my pot with the ingredients and water it was full to the brim. The soup stock was about 60% of the pot eventually. As it boils the depth of the stock's flavour starts out light and sweet, then moves on to the richness of fish stock, then chicken, and finally the full rounded depth of your regular pork stock Chinese soup cooked by our parents.
So now the soup stock is done! I hope you like it. What to eat it with?
You can make a no-carb soup meal by cooking the stock with tofu, enoki mushrooms, other green veges like spinach and sio pek chye
, tomatoes and a little water. You can make a noodle soup too. If you want no-wheat noodles, try buckwheat noodles without wheat. Impossible to find in supermarkets though, so I get them from iHerb
. You can also opt for gluten-free quinoa macaroni
which will make your soup meal like the macaroni soup of our childhood. If you do want to try buying from iHerb, use my discount code AVA985 and get USD5-10 off your first purchase. If you are not avoiding carbs or are avoiding processed foods then you can eat your soup with rice of course. Add ingredients and the soup stock with some water and boil a nice hearty soup to eat with your rice (think yong tau fu
soup you get from the food court).
I totally feel good about this vegetarian soup stock idea. It is as awesome as pork based soups, but it is healthier and lowers my carbon footprint.
Labels: pleasures, share