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Month: November 2023

“Have You Recovered?”

“How are you?”
“Have you recovered?”
“Ok tak tu?”
“Kak Mel ok?”

I have been getting a lot of these kind of questions lately. It is expected lah kan, since I have been absent from my (public) Instagram account for almost a month now.
While I am grateful for people who are genuinely concerned, it’s a real struggle for me to answer truthfully, specifically to those who do not really know what’s going on.

Most of the time, the response that passes through my head immediately is “No.”
But that would just open up room for more questions I do not want & have the energy to entertain.

And all this while, my automatic answer to the general masses is “Alhamdulillah, OK.” even when things are not. I guess these days I am just tired of faking it.

Especially today when I was asked whether I have recovered.

I immediately felt annoyed.
And thought to myself, “Do you think this is something I can just snap out of??”

But then, I quickly realised that the person meant well and probably thinks I have been experiencing some sort of a physical ailment. πŸ˜…

How do we actually answer these questions?

A close friend suggested that I reply, “In progress, InshaAllah.” – which I did and I think that’s a pretty good answer!

Because, that is the truth.

I am a work in progress.
It is not something I can just get over. (note to self)

But I am learning that there are many things that I can do to help myself navigate through this experience (of depression and anxiety) which I plan to write in another post, InshaAllah.

Have I recovered?
I am in progress.


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Curled Up

I had so much I wanted to write yesterday but I ended up being curled up in bed the whole day. In the morning, I woke up with a heavy chest, felt like my tears were somehow stuck inside of me. Hate it when that happens.

Khayla needed to be in school in the morning – she was chosen to be the emcee for a school event, Alhamdulillah. And Mr. Sunshine had to be with Khaleel at his swimming practice. So, I had to put on a mask & gather strength to drop Khayla off at her school.

I was not kidding when I said I spent the whole day curled up in bed. Even my watch reminded me to move. πŸ˜…

Why was I feeling so blergh?

Well, there was a business recognition event held yesterday. I was supposed to attend, but my psychiatrist advised that I take a step back from the business for a bit.

Has it been easy? HELL NO.

Because I have been programmed for years to push push push and push myself. Pretend that everything is OK.

Yet, I felt nothing I did was ever enough.

What more can I do?

Until it came to a point that every post & story I saw about the business was making me feel that I am not good enough. That I was being left behind. I am incompetent.

It was building up day by day that I had to mute a bunch of people’s posts & stories at the end of October when I thought I was already at my lowest low.

Little did I know that a lower lowest low was about to come when I received my official diagnosis…

And yesterday, I muted more people.

A close friend of mine reminded me to allow myself to feel whatever I was feeling yesterday. It was kind of challenging (and exhausting) because I still had to put on a smile in front of Mr Sunshine, Khayla & Khaleel. Oh, and not to forget Marlene, Marc & his family during dinner.

But if I were to list down my thoughts & feelings, these were among them…

Thought: “Why am I like this? Why am I not normal?”
Feeling(s): Helpless, Worthless, Inferior, Embarassed

Thought: “Everyone is happy & moving on without me.”
Feeling(s): Insignificant, Worthless, Inferior, Excluded

Thought: “I will never be as good as (insert names).”
Feeling(s): Inferior, Inadequate, Worthless, Embarassed, Helpless, Jealous

Thought: “I suck as a mother & wife – just lying down here like a loser.”
Feeling(s): Disappointed, Worthless, Annoyed, Embarassed, Frightened, Worried

Thought: “They are only friends with me because of the business.”
Feeling(s): Disappointed, Ashamed, Isolated, Abandoned

Thought: “How do I do this? I need the income.”
Feeling(s): Helpless, Frightened, Worried

I I could go on & on but let’s just stop there. Now you know why this exercise got me even more depressed in the beginning? πŸ˜…

This thought monitoring exercise actually requires me to not only notice each thought, but to think of an alternative thought. But I honestly wonder – does anyone ever have the time to do so for EVERY SINGLE THOUGHT?

I know I know, I have to help myself. But in my defense, there are other things I am working on too – so one step at a time?

You might be wondering, if it was so bad not to attend the event, why didn’t I just go?
Oh boy, that would have been a whole different nightmare. πŸ™ƒ

Until my next ‘thought diarrhea’, bye!


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Campaign of Misery

I am halfway through a podcast episode of On Purpose with Jay Shetty. His guest speaker is Mel Robbins and they are talking about how she has been engaging in her own ‘campaign of misery‘ for 50 years.

campaign of misery

I loved how Mel mentioned that she is a positive & optimistic person but if you put a speaker on her head and broadcast the things she said to herself, people would get her checked into a hospital.

This totally resonated with me, because I believe that I am a pretty positive person on the outside, but the thoughts that run through my head about myself are not very pretty. This was made pretty apparent when my psychologist gave me a homework to monitor & write down my daily thoughts – an exercise that initially made me feel even more miserable and ramped up my anxiety.

Boy, I am really the president of my very own campaign of misery.

“This is terrible. I have really nasty thoughts.”

Melissa Raffur

Another thing that resonated was when they talked about life not being binary – it is not 1 or 0.
Most of the time we think we need to make a choice.
You either gonna be a hustler or be peaceful
Either a winner or a loser.
You either gonna be filled with wisdom & zen or be materialistic.

This is exactly what I have been struggling with.

Through my BodyTalk (which reminds me, I want to go back & reflect on my sessions) & psychologist sessions, I have realized that I have been spending most of my life looking at myself as only able to be on either extremes.

I am either lazy or productive.
Either a good wife/mother/sister/friend/business leader or a bad one.

I struggle in finding the middle ground.

Fuhhh, this post got really heavy, huh?

This is just me lately I guess – been doing a lot of self reflection when I can (there are a lot of moments I really, really cannot a.k.a spiral).

Although I realise (and I hope many more people do) that depression goes deeper than this – in the words of the sister, “It’s literally a chemical thing kan.”, I believe there are certain things I can try to do besides the drugs to help me live with it.

So, gotta be more aware of this campaign of misery I am championing & try to not give it so much power.


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