Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Lee Yoon-Hyung, the Samsung heiress has just committed suicide in New York.

Well! That kinda debunks the general myth that money makes the world go round and money makes you happy. It seems that she was depressed. A pretty girl born with a golden spoon in her mouth with her life beautifully laid out in front of her (she was only 26)…..what else could a person ask for.

It’s sad that I had just written about depression, falling into it and escaping from it and here we see someone who was not able to find the strength to climb out of the rut. If you remember an old cartoon, can’t remember the name of it but once in a while it shows the wife sitting in her ‘Well of Sulkiness/ Petulance/Peevishness/Moodiness…..’; after a while her husband will come and try to get her out of it, sometimes she’d acquiesce, sometimes she’d not and well (pun!) in her bad temper for just a wee bit longer……

It can seem funny in a cartoon strip but when it comes to real life, it is serious business!

Below please find the 9 classic symptoms of depression (from the University of Pennsylvania) and always remember: ‘When a depressed person talks about suicide, it’s NOT a joke!’

1. Depressed mood for the day (sadness or despair or irritable or tense)
2. Disturbed appetite or change in weight
3. Disturbed sleep
4. Psychomotor retardation or agitation (an abnormal slowing of movement that is directly related to brain activity)
5. Loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities, inability to enjoy usual hobbies or activities
6. Fatigue or loss of energy
7. Feelings of worthlessness; excessive and/or inappropriate guilt
8. Difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly
9. Morbid or suicidal

Please also be aware of masked depression”It is possible for people to suffer from major depression without their friends and loved ones realizing it. Their depression may be masked because they don't talk about their low mood. Instead, they may complain of various physical problems (e.g., indigestion, heartburn, muscle or joint pains, and chronic headaches). Further questioning may reveal that depression is responsible for their symptoms.”

Anyway, no more sad stories - look out for miracles next!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Taiwan, land of......what?

I honestly cannot say what I really liked, found fascinating about the country I visited for 6 days. It was supposed to be the best time of the year to visit - Autumn......temperature was in its mid 20s (read: hot as hell)! And we went to beautiful places like the Blooming Oasis where some Korean movie shot their scenes......alll 5 patches of blooming and almost blooming little flowers. Then we went to the Master Bear resort where we could try out hot pools.....yeay! It rained and there were gigantic earthworms all writhing on the earth which disguested the heck out of my little bare toes!

Oh yes, we also went to the Ah Mei Store which sold powdered fetus of deer which is
guaranteed to cure asthma, we went to the Taroko Gorge which is allegedly one of the wonders of the earth (!!!!) with its huge long bed of gravel.....I'm told it's a more awesome sight when there are typhoons and the Gorge is filled to its brim - well, unlucky me who wasn't there during a typhoon!

Ummmmmmm, food was always rice and dishes - pretty much the same soup, vegetables, pork and chicken. There was one night of wonderful dining though, at the gorgeous and unique Tree House Restaurant - it's shaped like a tree house on the inside with its furniture looking like it was simply carved out of wood and cutlery and plates and mugs that look like they belong with Fred Flinstone.

The fried oysters and wan than mee were supposed to be good there but oh so bland! The stuff you buy from road side stalls were nothing much to shout about too though the Taiwanese seemed to enjoy 'lor bak pooi'and 'or mee'(Hokkien).....

Visited the 101 Tower of course, KLCC is much better-looking and awe-inspiring. Although I saw (and spoke to!) the most gorgeous looking Chinese man I have ever seen in my entire life! He was tall enough, big enough, beautiful enough and spoke English like a native tongue - what's he doing behind the counter at Bvlgari????

The one thing I can honestly say I enjoyed were the night markets - namely the See Men Tong in Taipei and Shih Lin Night Market which are quite large and sell fantastic shoes, bags and fashion. Knowing me with my penchant for shoes, I came back with six pairs - well actually only 5 and mum gave me a pair she bought.

Knee high suede boots for only 390 New Taiwan Dollars = RM46.40 (of which I have 2 pairs), high heels for the same amount, espadrilles......OOOOOOHHHHHHH!!!! though some silly spoil sports on the tour always wanted to only spend 2 hours at the night markets because, the wimps!, wanted to go back to the hotel and sleep - STAY AT HOME WHY DON'T YOU!!!

So, that was my Taiwan trip - those of you thinking of using CTC (Commonwealth Tours.....or something) from Singapore - DON'T! Those of you who have Joanne as your tour leader.....buyer beware......
OK, second part to my very sloppily written story of Tubby, Beautiful and Singer Dolphin. I do firstly, want to apologise for the atrocious way I wrote the story but it was the best I could do at that point in time.

Nobody's come back to me to say how they'd like for the story to end so here I go, making my own ending up.

Tubby Dolphin sees the real sunlight in spite of the temporary, false light he saw when he met Singer Dolphin and obssessed about her.....not for long though and he misses everything he's ever had the good fortune to build with Beautiful Dolphin. But The Great Sea Whelk says, "Everything will become clear in time, no matter how bad it seems now, no matter how good it seems now, in the end, you will see what was meant for you".

And so, life goes on in the Undersea World of the Dolphins.....Beautiful Dolphin comes out a little ragged around the edges, perhaps more jaded but also thankful that The Great Sea Whelk stepped in to save the future. Tubby has his life to lead and Singer has her own life to lead - neither are important to Beautiful anymore and she can live with that finally.

Sometimes it's hard to see the truth when you're too deeply embroiled in it. But when you do see it, you realise it was right all along. The Great Sea Whelk doesn't lie and is not wrong - only sea mammals make that mistake for love, for greed, for inconsideration.....

I personally believe that Tubby Dolphin did not, does not and perhaps never will realise what he's lost - be it in terms of love or friendship or genuine care and mindfulness for him, but that is something he has to learn for himself.
Hi All,

I realise that it's been almost a month since I last wrote. For those of you who are interested in knowing, things are definitely getting better. I am no longer so emotional, I no longer get bogged down by obessive thoughts, I don't wake up in the morning ANGRY at certain thoughts and I don't go to bed at night still consistently wondering and getting upset.

I was in Singapore recently, prior and after my 'holiday'to Taiwan.....which, sorry to say, was not to my taste. Firstly, I couldn't understand the language that well (which is entirely my fault I know) but also the sights and sounds and food that we were able to partake of and in, I was not impressed with. Gosh, was it worse than Singapore - this question to those of you who know how much I actually dislike Singapore!

That aside for Singapore, there were all these signs which so caught my attention - they kept asking "Do you feel like staying in all day?", "Do you feel that nobody cares?"......etc (Malaysia has recently started it on radio too but somehow, I feel the Singapore campaign gets to me more because it more accurately describes the feelings of a depressed person. When I saw the campaign, I felt like I should call because even though I DO NOT feel suicidal (not in the least), I wondered about feeling some of the symptoms! (Gosh, can't believe I'm writing this here for everyone to see!)

Another eye opening experience in Singapore, people who are depressed will identify very closely with the protagonist in 'Prozac Nation' - a book I had never read before then and a movie I have not seen in its sister says the girl (I forget her name) is pathetic - yes, she is......and she can't help it. That's probably what people never understand, it can't be helped - at least not for the time being.

I only hope that whatever I experienced, it makes me a better stronger person, more able to help others in need of my experience, my coming out of it, my strength, my maturity. I don't know if I feel hope - it seems to be the right thing to say, but I don't think I feel that.

Abraham Lincoln said "Most people are only as happy as they make up their minds to be" (so accredited the Singapore Her World or Female magazine) and that made my mind up for me. I think time also helped......time does heal.

And also, when someone has hurt/disappointed you so badly time and again, you forget how to feel for that person anymore. It's a defense mechanism your heart and mind adopts because it's a survival instinct, I guess for those who still have the will to survive.

I also learnt that though other people may have undergone what I have undergone, some worse no doubt, my pain is my own and no one, no matter how much they want to help, can help me. Perhaps it's because of the person I am, I have to learn myself and I have to solve my problems myself, I keep it all inside - hence my surprise at me writing this out on the internet (but perhaps it will help someone).....I think it's fine if I am this way, wanting and needing to do it all myself, as long as I never reach the bottom, as long as I never feel worthless, I can always climb out of the well. Those who can't, should reach out for help but sometimes people don't know how to help - which is why we have organisations like Befrienders!

I have a friend who's gone through depression once, didn't help me much so I myself am not sure how writing about this can help anyone else because though the experience may be similar in itself but the pain and the healing process is different for different people. (think I am just rambling now) I feel I have so much to say, most of it may be nonsense but....

I honestly, must say though that the days don't always start and occur and end happily, sometimes I have my down moments but generally, it's better because I don't obssess anymore and by not doing that anymore, I don't allow anyone to hurt me so much anymore.