Wednesday, April 30, 2008


My doctor asked me how I had felt while, as a child, I waited for my parents to return home from work every day. I remember times when I felt really sad because I missed my mother. But if I was not feeling sad, I felt nothing.

"Dazed?" asked my doctor.

It seems to be so. I was in a daze, unable to feel anything. Not loneliness, not sadness because it was wrong to be sad, not anger because I love my parents. He called it 'mixed emotions', because I was happy when they came home, but I also felt angry that they left me to be alone even though I knew it is not their fault. I never realised I was angry. I kept it inside me and defended my parents. And so I felt dazed most of the time, not really feeling anything because I repressed it all.

"Did your Mom ever take time off work to take care of you?"

"Only when I was sick, and I remember when that happened."

"Did you wish you were sick more often so that your Mom can stay home and take care of you more?"

I guess I did.

"You need to be taken care of. And you need to realise that you need to be taken care of."

Yes I do. I guess I really do.

"Will I always need someone to take care of me?" I said amidst tears.

"No, you will be one day able to eventually take care of yourself."

"But what if I never get well?"

"You will," he reassures me.

That is not to me a promise, but simply the right thing a doctor has to say. I am right now incapable of feeling anything, dazed, and if I feel anything, it is sadness. It manifests as salty tears and a dull pain in my chest. I feel I will be like this or versions of this throughout my entire life.

I really wish I could live in Naoko's sanatorium in the mountains, I really do. Where there are other lonely souls living together in peace and quiet, doing nothing much but reading writing gardening and playing the guitar. Nurses and doctors in house who really are patients themselves. Nature at its best - in quiet, away from the city. Like a spa! Why isn't there some place like that in Singapore? I want to be alone in a safe environment, not alone at home like I am now, truly and really alone, save for a dull ache in my chest, tears on my face, and a dazed sensation all over.

Fly Away.

I am not a Corrinne May fan actually. But I am hoping to be able to play this song when I next pick up my guitar. Which I haven't been doing, though I should.

This is for you.

"When will you be home?" she asks
as we watch the planes take off
We both know we have no clear answer to where my dreams may lead
She's watched me as i crawled and stumbled
As a child, she was my world
And now to let me go, I know she bleeds
and yet she says to me

You can fly so high
Keep your gaze upon the sky
I'll be prayin every step along the way
Even though it breaks my heart to know we'll be so far apart
I love you too much to make you stay
Baby fly away

Autumn leaves fell into spring time and
SIlver-painted hair
Daddy called one evening saying
"We need you. Please come back"
When I saw her laying in her bed
Fragile as a child
Pale just like an angel taking flight
I held her as I cried

You can fly so high
Keep your gaze upon the sky
I'll be prayin every step along the way
Even though it breaks my heart to know we'll be so far apart
I love you too much to make you stay
Baby fly away
I love you too much to make you stay
Baby fly away

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Love needs energy. Does a demented, catatonic or completely paralysed person have the ability to love?

I used to be more able. But I have spent it. On those worthy and unworthy of love alike. I am spent. I feel extremely tired, inside and out, it is indescribable.

I have little energy left. I feel dry like a pore squeezed out of all its sebum, leaving behind only a gaping hole which merely gapes more over time and age. Or an ox-bow lake, cut off, deadened and eventually dried out, leaving behind stones and dead plants. How is a person like me capable of giving sacrificial love anymore? I can hardly take care of myself. I am no longer an independent working gal who has her own apartment she upkeeps beautifully. I am an out-patient living off my parents.

What I need is a full-time nurse like Mom is to me. Who will take care of me when my parents go? My thoughts turn to insurance: my medical insurance does not cover psychiatric health (how archaic!) and I need to plan for my life after my parents pass on. I need to set aside money for my medical fees, and perhaps fees for a sanatorium I can live in for the rest of my life. Because, I suspect I will be ill for a long, long time. My doctor may say one year. It has been three months, a quarter of the way so far, so soon, yet I am so far behind. I hope the curve increases at an increasing rate, somewhere.

Not only does medical insurance not cover my sickness, there is also no such thing as government welfare in this country. When my parents die, I will have no where to go. Stories where one best friend or lover cares for the other unto death, only happen in fictitious drama serials and films. Such will never happen to me or in real life anywhere. So I will die, alone, eventually. It is almost funny when I think about Bridget Jones saying the same thing, dead alone in an apartment half-eaten by Alsatians. But it can almost be true.

I am not only incapable of love, I am incapable of errands, chores, work, thinking. I am thankful I can still form sentences like this, I can never be sure this ability of mine will go one day or not. Just like my ability to work, and to love. These have gone.

Who will bring me to see the doctor tomorrow, and pay for the cab there? Mom.

One day I will have no money to go to see the doctor anymore.

Monday, April 28, 2008


My hands are weak as if in hunger, as if in withdrawal, but I am not even weaning myself off any of my meds. There is no explanation for my trembling hands. I feel myself slipping away from life as it is real, but I can't help myself from slipping. I don't feel like talking much. Going out for a walk, if even just to the AXS machine to pay my bills, or to the postbox, seems tiring. I am sorry for broken promises of errands to be done.

Anything social seems tiring too. Can I not talk or start conversation threads? I don't even want to make requests or demands or try to repair anything to undo my dysfunctional interactions with others.

I feel edgy. I go to the supermarket, get surrounded by Chinese nationals, and I feel like shouting at all, all of them, to go back to their stinking country. People are tiring even when they are friends, let alone horrible strangers who don't wash themselves daily, while earning money masquerading as foreign students.

I am slipping and stationary. I cannot run to you. Or tell you things. I hurt all over, like an autistic child with ultra-sensitivity to touch, sights, and sounds. I just hurt. Any movement of mine would be movement back, away, from these stimuli.

I do not feel anything. I don't even feel sad. I am just a bundle on the ground, by the path. If I see you again I will cry. If you want to see me you have to pass by me, because I won't go to where you are. I am staying here, even if I want to move, I can no longer. I slip away from everyone.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

About Clinical Depression - 2

  1. Persistently sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
  2. Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  3. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  4. Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  5. Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  6. Decreased appetite and/or weight loss, or overeating and weight gain
  7. Fatigue, decreased energy, being "slowed down"
  8. Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
  9. Restlessness, irritability
  10. Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  11. Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

Depression symptoms may be a cause of other illnesses, so it is advisable that all organic causes are ruled out first. Anti-depressants should not be doled out on a whim without first examining other physical symptoms and ruling out other possible illnesses. Depression symptoms should also be experienced over a prolonged period before it can be diagnosed as clinical depression and not a mere 'mood swing' or 'psychosomatic symptoms of stress'.

I experienced all eleven of these symptoms when I went to see my psychiatrist.

Today with medication and trying my best, I only experience:

#1, #2, #3 during some days of the weeks, or some hours of a day, instead of every day and every hour.
#4 is better now than before.
#5 is fully alleviated by medication.
#6 is more than okay. My appetite is fine, too fine that I am getting fat.
#7 is still persistently there. I have to force myself to do things.
#8... is still present sometimes, when I think about things like, what will happen if I never get better and my parents pass on.
#9 and #10 still there.
#11 is gone, I am no longer sick everyday. I however get migraine headaches when I am in tiring scenarios such as social situations, for example when I have to spend time with a group of friends, or when I have to talk about myself or find things to talk about with people.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

dreams and slo-mo

Recently I have been dreaming in my sleep - is that a good thing? I think it means more frequent less-than-deep sleep cycles during the night. Probably not the best thing. I dream about things I should have done or should do, small petty things that hardly really matter.

When it comes to the bigger things though, I procrastinate and find myself tiring out. My mental stamina is really low. Getting better, but still low. I find myself activities and projects to do, leisurely ones mostly, but I cannot seem to bring any of them into fruition, or if I go through it, I tire.

I am not sure that if I take those silly online IQ tests now, will my IQ still reach 140. I think about studying or learning anything new, and it feels daunting as hell.

What I need is physiotherapy for my mind: constant intellectual, creative and cognitive stimulation. To bring myself back up to speed. But right now, the E of the past seems so distant. The intelligent, gifted, talented E is a thing of the past. I feel like I am eighteen years old again, struggling with the stupid A levels and no matter how much I study, I still do badly.

Slowly, slowly.

At least I am exercising again - I took a short hiatus because I fell and bruised my left ankle. Shedding the fats slowly, and regaining my physical stamina.

And, I am finally actually getting through a book - A Fortune-Teller Told Me by Tiziano Terzani. While I am not superstitious, this book is a great insight into Asian religions and beliefs, and the writer travels almost all of the Asia that I love, detailing the things that matter to me. I am at the part of the story where he is now crossing into China via train from Vietnam. I am less than a hundred pages away till the book ends. There is a stash of books awaiting me to read and devour like I used to.

All this slowness, is, I gather, a function of my depression. Yes I am still depressed, I still feel sad sometimes for no reason, I still break down under stress, I still feel tired sometimes. My medication and actions act as a life-buoy for me. I wish I didn't work myself till I am this seemingly-irreparable. I would change a lot things if and when I get better. I would be less of a workaholic. I would bitch about things more to my close friends instead of keeping it inside. I would allow my weaknesses to show, and ask for help when I need it. I would no longer turn to loner-drinking at home to cope with my daily stress. I would I should I will.

I am not sure whether I will be less depressed when I start living out my life's dream once again. I lived it out before, during the first years of Splashwurks before I left. I felt right smack in the middle of God's will for my life, and I had my best friend alongside me in it. But within a year's space I lost a best friend, I left my business, I lost a dream in a bid to pursue another one that compelled me so. I tried to pick it up again: I got a job in a non-profit, but left it when it proved of little use to my career, when I had a nervous breakdown from over-working. Splash was the happiest part of my entire working career, not just because of the dream it represented, but because I had someone alongside me in it. I still have not gotten fully over this loss. Yet, all I know, is that I need to get out there into mission work even though I do not know how and when. And with whom.

I once felt God tell me this, long ago, that I am a maker of kings. I feel happy for all the boys and men I know whom I have had meaningful acquaintance with, who have now have achieved success, en route to the fulfillment of their destinies. Kings in their own right, royalty as a figure of speech for being in a position of destiny and leadership. I feel happy that I make the men in my life succeed, or at least push them in the right direction towards it. But when will it my own turn? I want to never thirst again, just like the Samaritan woman at the well.

Mom says I need to be patient. Though the dream tarries, wait for it. I guess I am ambitious. It feels good when I work hard and achieve great things. Adrenaline rush. But my ambition is rooted in mere semi-realism and hardcore perfectionism. And I feel used, like a dish-rag.

Slowly, slowly.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


When your brain's cognitive functioning slows down, you stop thinking so much because it is not all that possible to anyway. Things become uncomplicated, by design, or by compulsion; smallish, so that you can take them in without intellectually barfing. I wonder if I have become thus dumbed-down, just so I can think in an uncomplicated fashion. Just simply.

I no longer need to come up with multi-dimensional grand plans to rid myself of the sadness of the world. I just need to let happy come to me. And so it does.

Happy felt awkward to me at first. It came in bouts of serotonin-fuelled uncontrolled laughter, many times louder than the loud E you already know. It felt strange, to not be sad, not feel merely neutral, but a completely other emotion altogether. Then I came to recognise it as being happy. I have never felt this way in my entire life, until now.

Happy is not an everyday phenomenon. Now that I know how it feels like, I know when it is present, and when it simply does not reside. It doesn't matter that being happy is not a daily emotion, because at least, sadness no longer is either.

Simple things help me alleviate sadness, like my cat, flowers, music, or writing. Best friends do too.

Now that I am less complicated, simple things will make me feel happy too. They are just very few and far between, and they cost. But I am not thinking all that much about it. I will just let things come, and let go, let my world though fallen apart, just simply be.

Friday, April 4, 2008


One thing good about not remembering things so well lately: being able to watch a film again as if I didn't know how the story went or ended. I just watched Black Dahlia again, and I really didn't remember the plot at all even though I watched it very recently. I guess I was also a little distracted the first time; Scarlett Johansson and Josh Hartnett are both really hot.

I forget other small things like whether I ate my medicine that day, or sequences of events that recently happened, or the fact that I was the one who told my mom to throw out the olive oil. I remember bigger things, but not small details like these. For appointments, dates and parties, I use Rainlendar. I see it on my desktop everyday, no way I would be able to forget now.

There are a couple of years in my life of which I don't remember either - 1999 and 2000, I think. Whatever happened then, I don't recall, be it the people I met, the things I learned, or the places I went. I only remember significant events like the fifteen-hour bridge marathon (as in, the card game) we had over the coming of the new millennium. Things like that. I remember H telling me once before, that he doesn't remember the year he was fifteen years old. Doctor told him he was depressed or something.

I hope I get better at remembering. And doing complicated things. Become useful again.

Meanwhile I soak in big things, and older memories.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

bored and lonely

I feel like I have been transported back to the time when I was about fourteen years old. I was lonely, and bored. I made a dozen phone calls a day to friends, just to chat. I watched kids' daytime TV. I felt really lonely in a quiet house with only me and my dog to accompany me till my parents came home.

Instead of Dog, I now have Slinky, and instead of living in JB, I am living where I belong now, in Singapore. But while I am in a new century now, I find myself feeling the same way as I did then - bored, and lonely.

I need to fill my day with activity, but I feel a tad lacklustre, and poor. And I have nobody to meet and nowhere left to go. I am not looking forward to tomorrow. If only it was already Saturday.

I could do many things tomorrow. But I would be doing them alone and nothing I can think of catches my fancy. It feels like I am trying to ask myself out on a date, but nothing seems to please me enough to say yes. I am supposed to find things to do that will make me happy, but for tomorrow, I cannot think of anything. The night ahead remains long. At least when I was fourteen years old, I had school, and I was capable of attending it.


a lil' dreary,
a lil' poor, and
my heart is like
the rain.

a lil' dreary,
a lil' poor,
my life is like
- a void

a lil' dreary
without --
every tomorrow
is kinda hard.

dreary, like
- the rain -
wiping out traces
of afternoon light.

dreary, dreary
-- you, or me --
the story folds and
returns to not being -


U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha

I regret renting it. It looks like an exciting plot but there is just TOO MUCH SINGING. I rented a bloody musical! Sheesh

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Watching DVDs:
Ray - loved it terribly, is on my list of favourite movies now.
50 First Dates - dreams are powerful in love.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - thanks to Daffy and DW who both have recommended this film to me before. Romantic and very true too.
Letters from Iwo Jima - I like war-flicks.
The Pursuit of Happyness - an ai-piarh-jia-eh-eyah story, and a good movie for any sales person.

I admit I was a bit slack in the last week or so, but I am going to work out for 40 minutes every other day now.
Electronica is really good to work out to. I like The Crystal Method's Drive album. I also use podcasts from Stellar and Gareth Emery, to work out to, and they usually last more than around an hour's length, perfect for exercise.

Slowly but steadily I am back on my books. My general attention spans and cognitive aptitudes are not really 100 per cent Elaine yet but I am continuously reading my current stash of books.

I took on a freelance copywriting job to help Priscilla's company out. It is not much but it is easy to do, and with some side income too.

For leisure, I would really like to drive myself towards this whole 'citizen journalism' thing here on my blog, but my recent posts: here, and here awakened people towards saying that I (a) need to 'change myself first', I guess meaning I need to 'change myself' to get out of the sickness I have. So all you who are not feeling well - flu? cancer? gastric problems? The solution is to 'change yourself' yeah, all the best on that one, and to all doctors, sorry you aren't needed no more; (b) am covering up the 'shame' of myself by raising awareness about clinical depression to my readers. I guess WHO's prediction of clinical depression being the world's number one health concern in 2010 means that we should shut up about the disease and not help out our fellow man; (c) I am a 'psychopath' for having 'tracking devices' on my blog. Raise your hands if you blog and have a site-meter or comment moderation to some extent on your blog. This gal says you are a psychopath.

In my folly I deleted these comments to clean up my blog, and to not ruffle the feathers of mine and my readers. This time around, say what you will, I am leaving your cutting and unfair remarks up here. And no I won't ban your IP address, I love people to read me, I really do. This is why I web-publish what I write sometimes, on this blog.

Other than leisure-writing on this blog, I honestly haven't been writing much else, save in notebooks, and about trite topics.

I have been buying CDs, and listening to loads of music, from classical jazz to electronica. I also tried to play Corrinne May's The Birthday Song on the guitar for my BFF Shuyi. Thankfully, it turned out to be an okay 'performance'. I will keep on singing and playing my guitar.

Shopping, and spending time with people. Ask me out or make a date to come visit me at my flat. I love parties!