At a bus stop, she sits for half an hour.
Where am I? She asks, her throat sour.
I don’t want to go home,
But 17%, says the life of her phone.
What are these, these hot streams of liquid,
Copiously blanketing the scarred canvas,
Are they the proceeds,
Of feelings never spoken?
Where from did these emotions come,
When did the old ones depart?
She punches in some words,
Unsure of what to do with the racing beats of her heart.
A mentally-checked list of the signs
Tells her what’s going on.
At least she knows now,
How to carry on.
She grumbles in baritone,
As time passed unbeknown,
1%, says the life on her phone.
Here we go.
I think I have depression.
Shocking news? Shocked that I have depression or that I’m writing about my mental state so openly and unreservedly?
Or maybe you saw it coming.
I didn’t, however.
When the salon destroyed my face, it didn’t extinguish my fight and resolute in getting well again. I aligned my thoughts and emotions and focused on positive thinking to get my skin to how it is today.
Then the nasty started.
I saw the evil things people would do – turn a blind eye to facts, twist facts, spin tales – for the sake of riding on the wave and creating weird versions of my story, and/or retaining and protecting a name.
All these started to creep into my soul, slowly eroding the good cells previously formed from thousands of messages of love and support sent my way that kept me going.
Perhaps I didn’t do a good job in flushing out completely the bad thoughts that lingered when I looked like a decaying underwater object, didn’t execute a total barnacle annihilation. Perhaps the remnants manifested themselves and snowballed with ensuing issues.
Like the MedLife Clinic & Surgery issue.
I think receiving the letter of demand from MedLife was the catalyst to a potential bonfire.
I am the striking surface of a matchbox. MedLife is the matchstick, with flammable chemicals on one end, that struck my rough surface that contained and released all my suppressed emotions. SSHHZZRRACCHH!!! (I don’t know how to spell the crackling to the birth of a new flame. Lol.)
I do not know how long the flame of this matchstick will last.
As I sat at a bus stop I had randomly alighted (but was coincidentally near home), I messaged a close friend.
Me: Eh, I have depression
Friend A: Wah don’t scare me. I think you need to learn to relax or do things to distract yourself.
Me: I’ve been Googling on the signs, symptoms of depression, and doing tests. I have depression
Friend A: Why wanna confirm you have depression or not? Instead you should be Googling on ‘how to stop myself from being depressed’
Me: You first need to know what is your problem before tackling the problem. You don't want to take Po Chai Pills for a cough. Now I know I have depression.
Friend A: Ok so now you know. How you want to tackle?
Me: I don’t know know. Write about it. But I scared people say I drama
Friend A: You need to stop thinking about what other think of you
So here is my post.
Because I shouldn’t care about negative commentors. Whatever nonsense they say, I will make sure I don’t see myself through the eyes of those who don’t value me. I know my worth, my words and pictures speak the truth; I will not let them dim my light. Sucks for them that they do not have the capacity to distinguish between fact and falsity. Poor souls.
On the other hand, thank you to all of you who have stood up for me against crazy people. To have readers who do not know me personally emerge and speak on my behalf, I am extremely touched and grateful. BIG HUGSSSS!!!! =DDD
Mr Mode reminded me that there are also plenty others who feel for me and want to reach out to me but don’t know how to express themselves with words. I love you guys too. =D He knows best because he isn’t good with written words either.
I know that no matter what I write, or how obvious the truth is, some people are too birdbrained to understand. So I'll just write for those who do.
This Is How I Look, Depressed
I don't look like I have depression right! HAHAHA! However beneath that smile, it was the beginning of me becoming a shadow of my former self. (This was taken 3 weeks ago when I was still interested to dress up for a gathering with friends. No face makeup on. Just very good lighting and a good friend who took this shot.)
It wasn’t an AH-HA! moment when I speculated I might have depression. I didn’t just decide to sit at the bus stop for an hour and starting Googling on depression. It was slowly over time, and took some courage to admit to myself that I might have depression.
I feel irritated by the smallest things, I get annoyed at everything. Tolerance level is extremely low, temper short and everything just gets on my nerves!
And then sometimes I feel nothing. Just emptiness. Like I’m living life in a black hole and everything around me is a blur. I would take walks by myself and wonder if I stuck out my leg while waiting to cross, some car might just run along and hit me. This is rare though, my level of depression is not so severe yet.
I don’t want to go out and meet anyone. I cannot remember the number of event invitations I’ve politely rejected simply because I feel I’m not in the right mind or mood to socialize, nor to feel any emotions about makeup and beauty. A lipstick is just an object to me now; it looks almost as exciting as the bamboo pole my mum uses to hang clothes.
Ever since the facial incident happened, I haven’t felt like blogging about anything else, other than my skin and case development.
I don’t know how to blog, what to blog, or when to blog anymore.
My blog is an extension and a reflection of my life. How could I pretend that I'm living my life as before? It is especially weird to talk about makeup and product launches after a post as serious as the MedLife's letter of demand post.
All I want to do is stay at home and watch Running Man. I knew things were getting worse when I realized I found it increasingly difficult to laugh even when watching my favorite variety show. I would stare at my screen, my thoughts in outer space. I would fall asleep watching Running Man.
I cannot find the energy to do ANYTHING. I don’t feel like doing anything.
I don’t want to discuss my cases (HAHA! Case-s because I have two of them under my belt – MedLife and the facial salon) with anyone other than the people who have been with me since the start of the cases, and only because it is necessary.
I don’t bother dressing up. I just packed away three large bags stuffed to the brim with clothes brand new and worn once/twice to be given away (they deserve a better home). I buy more, but they don't motivate me to dress up.
When I do go out with friends, I laugh when other people laugh, I make people laugh, I act as normal as I can. Sometimes I’d have a really good time, I’d be on a high after a good shopping trip, I’d feel satisfied after having a good meal, then after that I would feel bad that I had a good time. Then I would feel empty again.
People thought I was great fun and I seemed cheerful. But in all honesty, I haven’t been truly happy in a long time. I have successfully fooled people perfectly well that I'm 'normal', whatever that is.
I thought those negative thoughts and feelings would just go away. They never did.
After I received the lawyer’s letter, my depression escalated so much that my condition became more apparent to me.
I’ve had people telling me that ‘it will be better soon’, ‘get over it’, ‘everything is going to be fine’, - because everyone gets down at some point in their lives. I feel like slapping them. With a frying pan.
I would fall asleep from exhaustion from doing nothing really, only to have my eyes fly open 3 or 4 hours later in the middle of the night and never get back to sleep. Sometimes I would lie in bed for 7 hours and not be able to fall asleep at all. Some other times, I would sleep for 15 hours straight.
I’ve been eating a lot. I can feel my waistline and thighs expanding. Not excessively, but enough to feel an extra layer folding down when I sit, and obvious chubbier cheeks. A change of more than 5% of body weight change in a month is considered significant weight change. I’ve gained 7%.
I experience plenty of aches and pains on my body, almost every day.
This was after a 15 minute gua sha session - a bodywork technique to 'scrape' the toxins out of your body. Only 15 minutes.
Some days, at random times, I start crying. After that I feel empty again.
I wonder if I had committed any worldly sin so great that I not only had a facial salon destroy my face and thus halted my career, and have had evil people misunderstand me no matter how honest I have been in sharing my experience and conveying my opinions.
The grievance of getting blamed for things beyond my control and were never my fault has been hard to swallow.
I feel helpless in my predicament. I want to run away. But where can I go to escape myself?
So I started to read up on ‘depression’.
I read many articles and did many tests to ascertain my condition. From having many items checked on a list and my test results showing the severity of my depression, I can almost confirm that I do have some form of depression.
I never imagined, never in my life entertained the thought that I might some day be associated with depression. It is a scary yet liberating realization.
Only when you fully embrace your condition can you move on to find solutions. There is no point in hiding anything from YOURSELF.
I want to discuss about depression because either you suffer from it too and I want to share, or you don't and I want to explain a few things.
You and I, have at some point of our lives, said ‘Oh I’m so depressed over this, this, this!’. Let me tell you that that is probably NOT depression, it was just sadness, disappointment or mood swings. Just the blues making you feel like your day was horrid and everything was going wrong.
Depression is when emptiness and despair have taken hold of your life and these persist for a prolonged period of time. If it lasts for more than 2 weeks, you’ve got a case. Depression makes it tough to function and enjoy life like you once did. Just getting through the day can be overwhelming.
Kind of like… being sucked into the abyss of the darkest of darkness and making home there.
Different people experience different symptoms of depression and I’m gonna share what I can identify with from a list – ALL OF THEM. Hahaha!!
If you (touch wood!!!) identify with some of the signs and symptoms, and they DO NOT GO AWAY, you might also be suffering from clinical depression.
Symptoms of depression may include the following:
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Neglecting responsibilities or personal appearance
- Crying "for no reason"
- Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness
- Irritability, restlessness, anger
- Negative thoughts, no matter how hard you try
- Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
I seem to fit the criteria for all the above.
Friend A: I just think you think too much. Think about what made you happy before
Me: One symptom of depression is losing interest in activies one used to enjoy
Friend A: Just think back what made you happy before
Me: Makeup doesn't even seem interesting anymore
Friend A: But I don’t feel any depression from you
The general misconception people have about depression is that sufferers must ‘look depressed’. If you’re smiling and give a happy vibe, you can’t be suffering from depression, can you? Wrong. I go out, I smile and laugh, but inside I feel nothing.
Depression is not about being extremely sad. It is more like a feeling of nothingness. Yet at the same time, it can also be a persistent sadness, among many other emotions. It must be persistent. You don’t just feel sad for a few days and then feel better. It’s a curious mix of sadness and nothingness, of despair and emptiness, of anger and violence, and it lasts for weeks, months, years. Mine has been for 2 months.
It is the ignorance of the general populace that is more of a problem than depression itself. When people only think of a sad face and slouched shoulders when they think of depression, there is pressure on the person with depression to ‘look depressed’ or ‘behave depressed’. I realize I am able to mask my feelings very well. I don't need to put in effort to mask my condition in the presence of others, it just happens.
It must come as quite a shock to you that I'm confessing I have depression because I may seem happy all the time. But it's been a while since those happy feelings were real.
Me: I might want to write a post that I have depression
Friend B: You are so drama!!! HAHAHA!
Friend B: You know there are more serious problems in the world than yours
Me: Ya I know, but why do I have to compare? This is what I'm going through. I have the right to feel what I feel. (It's like saying you should STFU about having your house burnt down because there are millions of homeless people in the world =.=)
Friend B: That's true.
Don’t just brush it off when a friend or colleague or family member tells you he/she has depression. Don’t think of him or her to merely be a ‘drama queen/king’ and tell him/her to ‘snap out of it’.
This stereotype can lead to more isolation for someone with depression. It takes courage to admit that one has depression. Instead of having your kind intention shrink the person’s worries, you just managed to enlarge the hole into which this person will fall deeper into depression.
As much as people with depression want to get out of it quickly, they can’t.
How the people around a depression sufferer react to his/her confession may affect the sufferer's decision in seeking help. Friend A and Friend B's reactions are typical of people who just got confessed to by a depressed person. I don't blame them, because most people do not know how to react to such confessions of mental health.
I'm not ashamed to say I have depression. I didn't do anything wrong; I'm not afraid to share.
I never knew all of these until I started researching. I was once ignorant about depression too (just as I was ignorant about skin conditions).
Looking back, I cannot pinpoint when exactly my depression started. The unwelcome changes in my life triggered this depressive episode, one event led to another, and then it just dawned on me that I have it. Unlike physical injury, it is not obvious. Depression is not rational, it is insidious and illogical.
Don't think that only losers or people down on their luck can be depressed. Depression is NOT a sign of personal weakness, or a condition that can be willed away.
Do You Know Anyone Who Has Depression?
I think we may be all aware that depression is a mental issue but it's very hard to know what to say or do with a person with depression. THAT is the problem. If a friend told me she has a depression, I wouldn’t know what to do either.
From reading up a lot recently, I realized that 1 in 5 people actually suffer from depression. If you are among the lucky 4, you can help by understanding it better. Don’t tell a person with depression “Yea, I was totally depressed the other day too.” It’s like telling a cancer patient how much you suffered when you had a paper cut on your pinky.
More importantly, DO NOT RUN AWAY from a depression sufferer like the person has a contagious disease. Don't be over-sensitive and give the person the sympathy eye. We are not dying from a terminal disease, just going through.... something. Just be normal around the person because the person CAN behave normally. You could try talking to the person about the condition, but if you suck at talking in general, don’t bother.
It really depends. Some people find it easier to talk to a stranger, some to close friends and family. For me, I’d rather not talk to people about it.
When people try to reach out to me, I get even more upset and bothered. I hate it when people say ‘you think too much’, because that’s not the case. At least I know it's not that now. I also hate it when they patronize me with words such as 'it will be fine', 'it's going to be okie', 'it's no big deal'.
If you read the conversations I had with Friend A and Friend B, the underlined sentences are just some things I hope friends dealing with people suffering from depression would STOP SAYING. If depression can be put off with distractions and can be detected and cured easily with words like 'It's going to be fine', there wouldn't be so many suicides associated to mental health, or rather, the imbalance of it.
That’s why I wrote this post.
I don’t want to talk to people about it. Because when I write it and people read it, I don’t see the person's face, nor the condescension in the voice that I'm just 'making a big deal out of it'. I don't have to explain anything. If you leave an encouraging comment, it may help me. If you are an idiot and leave a comment with the intention to hurt me, my readers will bite you and you will burn in hell for eternity.
I wrote this post to make myself understand my situation and in hope that people can be a little more aware of this mental state called depression. (Hohoho, I seem to be adept at creating awareness on topics people usually don't talk about!)
For some reason, it's easy to see someone with a physical injury and feel empathetic. But when someone has a mental health issue, people immediately pass a judgment, like you're crazy, unreasonable, lost your moral compass, a drama-rama queen who just wants attention.
That's why even though depression affects so many people it is called the common cold of mental illness, many choose to deny having it due to social stigma. But let me tell you that depression is no joke. If left untreated, it can lead people to very dark places.
You might recall seeing a similar picture in More Than A Pretty Face – Update On My Skin Condition #2.
What I want people to know about depression is that is a very subjective experience. You may not even know if you have depression. But just check against the list of symptoms I mentioned above. Remember that they must exist for a prolonged period of time and you can't seem to get out of it.
Far too many people are oblivious to their own deep sadness or simply refuse to recognize it. By ignoring and denying it, depression will come back and kick your ass harder when you do finally own up to it.
This is my way of acknowledging depression - writing on a global platform. By embracing and not suppressing it anymore, I know I'm on my way to recovery. Owning up to it and writing about it publicly makes me see that I CAN cope with it. One day at a time.
Please don't feel that if you talk about having depression, you are weak. Quite the contrary, actually. People who are willing to confront their conditions and actively research on what to do about it, are ALWAYS the strongest. Fess up to how you really feel, only then can you conquer your inner demons and fight on.
It seems like I'm known to write topics rarely discussed. Bahaha! Like my Asian VS Caucasian Eyes comparisons, my horrific facial experience, and now DEPRESSION.
Now that I know what's wrong with me, I can go and research on what to do to help myself. Some people in forums mentioned talking to a GP. I personally am quite scared of going to GPs now, obviously because of the MedLife incident.
Let's help one another.
Have you had depression? Do you know anyone who has expressed depression? Share with me your personal experience or if you know the story of someone who has successfully triumphed depression or is going through it now.
Also, do you think it's odd to have posts on makeup in between serious posts about case developments?