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Half a solution to my woes…

May 31, 2013

Unbeknownst to me, I’ve been suffering from bipolar disorder since high school. It wasn’t until 2 years ago that I was diagnosed with it. I’ve been fortunate enough that I stopped taking anti-depressants for more than a year, but that’s not to say I’ve completely recovered. There are times when I do feel down but never as severe as before. I will never know how much is normal but I believe I’m strong enough to fight this without medication.

Today I’ve been pondering about my triggers. It all started when I felt fine yesterday during work, but today I couldn’t focus nor concentrate and it ended up pissing my boss off. The only thing that is common between every ‘bad’ day I’ve had are mostly guilt-related.

I’ve realized after so many years that guilt is the biggest trigger towards a spiral of depression. At which point I have no energy to do anything nor to think either.

I start to ponder when this started… In an attempt to understand the origin of this, I began to dig at my memories. There seems to be a direct correlation between the two, where I am no longer certain if my bipolar came first or this correlation. Nonetheless it certainly explains my fluctuating confidence levels.

To go even deeper, was this a consequence of my perfectionism or was this AND my perfectionism a consequence of something more fundamental? I have a strong suspicion that this has something to do with my childhood where everyday was met by scolding or beating by a sibling, which remained unbeknownst to my parents.

Nevertheless, because of these experiences I am very aware of my own actions in front of my own daughter. I am even more aware of the environment I create around my family. However, what I am afraid of is that even though I know these factors… I may be the weakest link as even I am unsure of my own weaknesses, let alone address them.

I know this is a battle I cannot lose. But at the moment, I have no idea how to win. And my shoulders are getting tired, my arms are trembling, and my feet are crumbling. It’s now a race against my own mental strength, and failure is truly not an option.

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A thought a day – fleeting thoughts

December 25, 2012

When I first started this ‘a thought a day’ series, I gathered that I could write anything and everything that came to mind. Little did I expect that the challenge was not to come up with things to write about, but to be able to hold onto those thoughts until I get a chance to gather my logic and actually type it out.

It frustrates me somewhat that the lifespan of these fleeting thoughts are so short. Perhaps this is a measure of my ability to concentrate? When did I become a goldfish…?

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A thought a day – simple pleasures

December 11, 2012

As I have recently been promoted to fatherhood, I never knew that my precious little daughter was going to teach me more about myself than me teaching her to communicate. From the gut-wrenching pain my wife went through, to midnight feeds and nappy changes, to understanding the little needs and complaints my little angel tried to express, I learnt more about my role as a father and a husband than I had ever imagined.

I have always been a boring person. I never enjoyed parties, I never needed a social life. I was content with working hard and earning enough for my family. However I realized that as a husband and a father, there were far more important things than to provide for the family. I believe earning money is the simplest of achievements.

The challenge was to find simple pleasures. As a father, I now have a lot less time to myself as getting off work would mean I take over looking after my little angel so that my wife can rest. Some may believe that this is a chore but I find it refreshing and rewarding that I am spending some bonding time with my little angel.

I realized that simple pleasures are essentially the result of a change in attitudes. As long as we are willing to look at our roles and responsibilities with a different attitude, there are countless simple pleasures in our everyday life. From giving regular foot massages to the love of my life, to cuddling my angel to sleep to give my wife a good night sleep, these are the simple pleasures of my everyday life where I can care for the woman I love and spend time with the angel I adore.

As a father, husband, and more importantly, a man, it is our duty to provide for our families. Most importantly, it is our attitude towards this role that bears the most influence to our loved ones. There is no pleasure in becoming miserably rich, but there is a world of pleasure in understanding the value behind doing simple, everyday chores for people we love.

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A thought a day – past crossroads

December 10, 2012

At some point in our lives, we will look back at our past crossroads and ponder what will become of us if we had chosen the other path. We tend to compare our current situations with imaginative ones. It is only human nature to be curious, especially at times of unease and hardship.

What we tend to forget is the circumstances surrounding those crossroads at that instance in time. Would we have made the same choice with or without our current knowledge? Perhaps. But what is certain is that whichever path we choose at a crossroad, that curiosity remains.

More importantly, rather than pondering what could be, we should focus on why did we. In our journey through life, it’s not the right decisions we make that makes us who we are. It’s not the right decisions that we will remember at our deathbeds. And it is certainly not the right decisions that our next generation will remember us by.

What makes a decision seemingly ‘correct’ is our determination to see through it no matter what happens. Turning a seemingly bad decision into a good one through perseverence is how we make our marks in life, and in this world. Finding meaning to life doesn’t mean you look for a difficult crossroad or a well-defined crossroad. It’s about recognizing where each choice takes you, and how you walk each path without looking back.

At the end of the day, the end of our journey, when our flesh has dried and our bones lay bare, we are not remembered by which school we attended, what degree we graduated with, who we married, the number of children we had, the wealth we amassed… We are remembered by how we persevered, how we cherished our partner, how we loved our children, how we lived our lives.

What defines us is not the decisions we make, it’s our attitude towards it.

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A thought a day – Reality

August 21, 2012

One of my colleagues, whom I consider as good a friend can ever be and whom I believe I owe my life to, is interviewing for a job that I also applied for.

While we are colleagues, he is 2 years my junior. To see him landing an interview whilst I never made the shortlist has brought up a mix of emotions. The story was that I never believed I could land that job anyway as my track record was nowhere near spectacular. I applied for it anyway expecting failure whilst he said he wouldn’t apply for the job since it may send mixed messages to the potential employer if two people from the same workplace applied for the job at the same time. When I realized yesterday that he also applied for the job, and has thus landed an interview, I was angry at first.

What I realized was that I wasn’t angry with him. Far from it, I wish he would land this job because he has suffered so much since graduation in job-hunting, and due to my lack of connections and networking, I couldn’t alleviate his problems by giving him leads. I was angry at myself… At that moment, 2 years worth of work reflected upon me. I realized, that in reality, I have done very little to advance my own career, when I was looking after someone else’s.

Was this a consequence of my personality, or a consequence of my inability to place my own interests in priority? Or is it simply because it’s easier to identify and solve other people’s problems than my own? Regardless of this, it was a sobering moment when I finally saw what reality is…

Wholeheartedly, I wish him the best of luck with the interview, and wholeheartedly, I wish to thank him, whether intentional or not, for allowing me the opportunity to reflect upon myself and re-evaluate my stance in life.

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A thought a day – responsibilities

July 4, 2012

My English teacher once said “The ability of one is directly proportional to the responsibility one must shoulder”

While I never believed that I had any abilities beyond the common man, I find myself inundated with responsibilities beyond my job description, and is costing every inch of my future. While I look on, simply because i once took on such responsibilities, there is now precedence such that I can no longer choose to pass them on.

It has come to my attention that for one to succeed, one must be selfish. To be responsible does not necessarily equate to being responsible to others. It simply means to be responsible for ones self. From now on, I will relegate all responsibilities not associated to my future or my job. I need to become selfish to become successful.

I need to shift my responsibilities to those that matter in the long run. I have been such a fool to expect rewards from such mundane and pointless issues.

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A thought a day – relativity

June 7, 2012

Humans are fascinating animals. We preach fairness and equality yet we practice the complete opposite.

We are beings that thrive on relativity. Disproportionate amount of praise is given to a small good deed done by a criminal than a good Samaritan. Conversely a small slip by a consistent human being is ostracized more severely than a criminal committing murders.

It pains me to see and acknowledge such ridiculous hypocrites. It severely discourages those who are genuinely focussed on doing what’s right.

Why bother being a goody-two-shoe when the world is just waiting for you to slip up. Just be an asshole and lower everyone’s expectations then do something mildly satisfying. It’s a hell of a lot easier to live like that.

Fuck being nice and responsible. It’s a dog eat dog world and nothing will change that.