Sunday, 11 January 2015

Kintsukuroi.

Disclaimer: This post is pretty heavy and delves into some dark and serious issues so...if you wanna read my usual happy and cheerful rambling instead, please scroll to the post before this and read about my 19th birthday extravaganza teehee~
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Saw this while I was scrolling through Tumblr and I thought it was too beautiful not to be shared.


I'd never known that such a thing existed, and learning about it now makes me feel so hopeful and uplifted.

To me, my "brokenness" lies in the depression and anxiety I've struggled with in the past.

Without going into much detail,

I had a fairly abnormal childhood and upbringing.
I developed anxiety at the age of seven when I started attended primary school,
the first time I was separated from my parents to be on my own since I wasn't even fit to attend kindergarten.

Two years later in 2003, I moved to Perth to start a new life,
and I thought I'd finally be happy.
I was bullied and ostracised at school.
At home, I was overly sheltered to a point where it was unhealthy and extreme.

Moved back to Singapore in 2007, had to join Primary 6 immediately and prepare for PSLE.
Bullied by ah lians and ah bengs (gangsters, bad kids) for not fitting in.
Dumbed myself down to try and be liked.
My mother was still overprotective, if not more so than before.
I wasn't allowed to go out anywhere without her around.
No hanging out with friends.
I didn't own a phone.
PSLE was stressing me out like crazy.

In 2008 I went to a neighbourhood secondary school, aka a gangster school.
Surrounded by ah lians and ah bengs, I felt that I needed to stoop to their level in order to survive.
Started showing signs of depression at the end of 2008, but I had no idea what it was.
Brushed it off as just me "going crazy" because never in my life would I ever get depression, that's just ridiculous!
But I was so confused.
And scared.

By Secondary 2, I was the biggest ah lian ever.
I hated myself.
But at the time, I was in too deep in the act to realize it and cut it out.
For a while, I got the respect from my peers that I finally wanted.
But it was for pretending to be someone I wasn't.
I was also feared by my peers.
And I relished every bit of it.
While it lasted.
Spiralled out of control and went against my mother's overprotective ways.
Extreme angst and rebellion.
Some time mid-year, I grew tired of the act.
My depression was consuming me at alarming rates.
People started turning against me.
They showed me how they could be more wicked than me.
Bullied severely at the end of the year.
Culminated in a giant verbal attack against me while I was at a chalet with them,
they thought I was asleep but I was aware of EVERYTHING that was happening.
(kinda wish i wasn't)
Lasted for several hours all through the night.
I was so traumatised I had numerous panic attacks in my sleep for several weeks after that.
Extremely fearful of having to see them again the coming school year.
Couldn't talk to anyone because the only teacher I felt comfortable going to was also best friends with the gang of bullies.

Moved to Macau in 2010, and I thought I'd finally be happy.
Went to an international school and got bullied by rich and popular kids.
Continued to struggle with depression while living in an unfamiliar environment.

Moved back to Singapore the year after that, where I was thrust straight into Secondary 4 to prepare for the 'O' level examinations.
Everyone at my old school hated my guts for being able to "come back into the school so easily as and when I wanted".
I had to work my ass off and earn that spot back by sitting through every exam that they did.
Bullied by my old enemies and well as new people who didn't know me at all.
Got called a "slut" and accused of being "disgusting and horny around boys" even though I never had a boyfriend, never hugged or held a boy's hands in a romantic sense, never kissed, never fucked, never ANYTHING, and the only guys I talked to in school were the small handful of super close friends I had.*

*four years later, it all still rings true. i still haven't done any of that shit yet hahaha. 
meanwhile the very girls who did the name-calling and accusing are all either getting knocked up left and right or getting together with a new, random ass dude every other week...
ironic much?

Extreme stress from school work.
I also started feeling like I was discovering my true self for the first time, but I wasn't allowed to express it.
Depression worsened.
Did terribly for my 'O's.
Couldn't go to any institution except for ITE.
All my dreams went out the window.
My mother lost all hope in me.
I felt completely numb.
I broke down.

In 2013, I was in Singapore Polytechnic.
After spending an entire year to retake my exams in 2012, I was in my dream course.

But in the beginning, I still wasn't happy.

I had two major relapses of depression in 2013, but I can still safely say that it was the best year of my life so far.

Wanna know what will forever go down in my life as the worst year ever?

2009.

Aka the year I was in Secondary 2.

I didn't mention this above, but it was the year I finally learnt that I was in fact not "crazy", but diagnosed with acute depression.

I wasn't on any medication because I was deathly afraid of the side effects, and I didn't want to rely on pills to be "normal".

I lost all interest in everything that I used to like.
I hated school.
All the relationships I had with people sucked.
I couldn't sleep well.
I had no appetite.
I hated life.

It got to a point where I spent months on end thinking about suicide, ALL THE TIME.

I'm talking about nearly every waking moment, be it at school when I was supposed to be paying attention to the lessons, while I'm on public transport, while I'm staring at the television screen, as I'm lying on my bed sleepless the entire night (one of the worst parts of depression was not being able to fall asleep no matter how painfully exhausted i was, emotionally and physically. i would go up to four or five days without a wink of sleep).

I was constantly thinking about ways to end my life.

This is gonna sound laughable to you, but I went online one afternoon and searched "ways to commit suicide" and just took in all the information that was presented before me, all the way until the sun went down.

The ones which I thought about the most were jumping off a building, chugging liquids like window cleaner, Dettol, and laundry detergent, downing sleeping pills, and stepping into oncoming traffic while I was waiting for the bus to and from school.

All the above methods didn't work for me because I was either too much of a coward to go through with it, or I didn't have the necessary products.

Nevertheless, I would spent almost all of my waking hours every day either thinking about ways to kill myself, or actually acting on it but never going all the way. For example, I would sit on the floor in the toilet for almost an hour at a time with a bottle of Windex in my hand, the bottle cap unscrewed. And I would keep smelling it, and telling myself to just gulp it down if I really wanted all of this to be over.

One day, and I'll remember the day forever, I felt so numb that my brain just shut off. And my body took on a mind of it's own and wandered over to the bedroom window after lying on the bed for several hours, stiff and silent with tears spilling out of my eyes but no crying. Just tears.

I perched myself onto the cupboard below the window, slid the grills over and opened up the window as wide as it could get, and I looked down at the spot where my body would land if I were to just take one big leap from the 27th floor where I stay.

I was so out of it that I didn't even hear someone open the door and speak, only when I felt my grandmother's hands around my arm did I turn away from the window, hearing her scream for me to get down.

My family had known for a long time that something was up with me, because seemingly for no reason, I had just "stopped being happy". But that was the day we all knew something was up with me...

Over the course of 2009, and again in 2011, I would have extremely strong suicidal thoughts and on a highly regular frequency, followed by anxiety attacks that didn't last long but had a huge impact and were truly petrifying to have to go through.

My depression resurfaced in 2013, as did the anxiety which rendered me completely frozen and unable to think or just to function at all for short bursts of time.

And it didn't last in 2013, I recall having my last relapse in mid-January 2014.

All these months, I didn't want to say this out loud because I was afraid of jinxing it, but it has almost been one year since I had a (serious) bout of depression and anxiety.

But to hell with that, I'm proud of myself and I think it deserves to be shared!

I still struggle with mild anxiety almost on a day-to-day basis, and I've learned to just deal with that gnawing feeling within me that tends to intensify in varying degrees depending on what situation I'm in. Sometimes it doesn't even take that much for it to escalate to a point where I feel the need to remove myself from the situation entirely to avoid a complete nervous breakdown, but honestly I believe that I have come a really long way.

My detailing the sad and difficult stories from my past were not meant to induce sympathy, and my declaring how far I have come since then is not intended to be showing off or insinuating that I am better than anyone in any means.

I really just wanted to share my experiences.

And to let you know that nobody how shitty things may seem right now, and no matter how much you think your life has become completely hopeless, things do get better. They always do!

And I'm living, breathing proof of that.

I shouldn't even be alive...I came so, SO close to taking my own life, and for the better half of an entire year, I was convinced that there were no longer any chances of hope in my life.

And look at me now.

I now spend most of my days in sheer disbelief over how truly blessed one can be when they just give in and believe in the fact that they simply deserve all the love and happiness the world has to offer.

And I thank my lucky stars and the heavens above...that I didn't take that leap out of the window that dark and hopeless day back in 2009. If not I wouldn't have been able to experience all these amazing things that are happening to me every day in my life, and countless more unbelievable experiences to come as I continue to live my precious life.

Tying back to the topic of Kintsukuroi, I am proud and grateful for my battle scars. They were painful to go through and deal with, and they took time to heal. But each of them serve as a reminder of how far I have come, and how much stronger each ordeal has made me. They are what made me who I am today. A little bit stronger, wiser, and more resilient. A survivor.

In addition, if there's anything that I've learnt throughout all this, it's to be truly grateful and appreciative of all the good things in your life, no matter how big or small it may seem.

Growing up, I was pessimistic and constantly worrying about anything and everything. It was a terrible habit that became my lifestyle over time. And when I ran out of things to worry about, my mind would get restless and conjure up reasons from nothing at all. Ridiculous, I know. But it was a huge factor behind how I started getting anxiety and depressive symptoms.

The turning point in my life was when I started making it a habit to instead focus my mindset and energy on all the amazing things I have in life. I know the hashtag is corny and overplayed and you probably roll your eyes whenever you see it on social media (i know that i'm definitely guilty of using it A LOT), but once you truly acknowledge and believe how #blessed you are, all the worries in your life just wash away.

I also have to thank the amazing bunch of people whom I've met and surrounded myself with these past two years. The acceptance, support, and love they have given me is way beyond what I ever in this lifetime would have dreamt of having. Thank you for showing me that there are genuinely good people in this world. Friends who will stay by your side even when you're not so fun to be around. Friends who will offer you help and that extra little bit of strength whenever you're down. Friends who still love and accept you unconditionally, despite all the flaws you have, and how many times or how badly you've been broken in the past.

I love you all greatly and am so blessed and thankful for everything. You all know who you are :))

Lastly, if I were ever given a choice to turn back time and live my whole life up to this point over again, I would not change a single thing. Because every time I'd been knocked down and pushed over by the challenges presented to me, every time felt like it was the end of the road and had not a single glimmer of hope in life, every tear I shed, every ache I felt deep within my heart, lead me to this very moment.

And all the shitty, excruciatingly painful and traumatic experiences that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy in the whole wide world? Well, I'm glad I had to go through them.

Unlike the Kintsukuroi, they haven't made me more beautiful. But they sure as hell have made me a different person compared to if my life were completely smooth-sailing. Each of those experiences and hardships has changed my life and moulded me into a wiser and more resilient individual. Most importantly, it lead me to the path of being truly happy.

And for that, I'm eternally grateful.

You know how I mentioned earlier that 2013 was my best year so far?

Well...that spot has been taken over by 2014, which was just an all-round amazing year, beyond belief.

And I believe it's only going to get better :))

Sure, it's not always rainbows and sunshines. There's sure to be a ton of tricky situations and trying times, that's just life. But unlike before, when I was living life each day dreading and expecting the next negative event around the corner to come and hit me just as I was starting to be happy, as cheesy as it sounds, I'm now going to embrace every waking moment with hope and love. And in terms of the inevitable challenges in life, well. I have faith that I possess the strength to survive it all and emerge from them victorious, and it'll only serve to make me grow.

All I can do is to remind myself of just how truly blessed I am which, truth be told, isn't hard to do at all. I've living an incredibly comfortable and fortunate life with a wonderful, loving family and great friends whom I can count on. I'm lucky enough to be in my dream course studying what I love, and I look forward to going to school each day (no lie! although sometimes i do get a bit tired haha). I have everything that I could never need, and I get to have what I want. I live in a cozy home, eat delicious food all the time, get to enjoy a good sleep every night, and I am privileged enough to travel and see the world. (i'm sure that most, if not all of the above, applies to you too; more likely than not!)

With all that said, if I still weren't appreciative of all that I have in life, I'd either be blind or an absolute fool.

And thus...I am so, so eternally grateful. For everything.

Here's to an excellent 2015 ahead, and may we all remember to count our blessings! ♡


P.S -  If you're reading this and are going through some struggles and you feel like having someone to talk to, don't be shy to email me or hit me up on ask.fm if you'd prefer to remain anonymous.

I'm not a professional in any way but I'm always here to read what you've gotta say :)

Also, I may not find the right words to be able to cheer you up, but I have a folder of funny pics I got from Tumblr so there's that haha


P.P.S - Leaving this here in case any of you may need it, or knows someone who does.

Samaritans of Singapore
1800 221 4444 (suicide hotline, call them if you're in distress)
24 hours, 7 days a week

Click here for a list of international suicide hotlines.

Help is available all around you! You are never alone.

No matter how shitty your situation seems now, it will always, ALWAYS get better. I promise you. Just give the time, some time.

Sometimes it feels like it'll take a miracle, but take it from me, miracles do happen.

You are cherished and loved, don't ever forget that.

Take care, my dear readers.

And have a blessed day ❤

x

1 comment:

  1. As a teacher, my goal is not only to educate my students but to ensure they are safe and happy. I want my students to look back on their childhood and see school as a wonderful time in their lives. So, it does sadden me that you were hindered by serious bullying and anxiety. Whenever I hear about someone who didn't enjoy school, it is always a reminder for me about my responsibilities to foster a safe environment for children.

    I can relate to some of your experiences with anxiety and depression, some of it reminds me of myself when I was younger. I agree that life does get better and to count your blessings. Remember when times get tough, you need to not be too hard on yourself and talk to supportive people and make a plan to get better.

    ReplyDelete