Countdown – ten days to Mission Red

So I’m now counting down to my period, and taking some hormone replacement therapy pills. I’m really excited about the prospect of the functional cyst going away within the next couple of days. I’m staying positive no matter what.

Blood is thicker than water

I flew to Kuala Lumpur yesterday at 7:30am, to catch my appointment with the gynecologist at noon. Other than having a functional cyst, it looks like it’s all systems go. A little source of concern is the delayed cycle, but otherwise it’s all good.

The past couple of weeks, in preparation for the IVF, have been a little stressful. Ann wants me to move to Bangkok in order for her to co-parent. She also calls me stupid for not thinking of alternatives to IVF. She thinks that since IVF is unlikely to result in success, I should have thought through the alternatives (adoption, or her five different alternative ways of doing IVF). She informed her parents about the IVF and their reactions have been less than spectacular.

This morning I told my mother about my plan to undergo IVF again. If you understood the psychosis, it’s about buying a bit of hope to have a baby. I’ve known all my life that I’d wanted to be a parent, and this is my only way to be a parent.

I’ve decided that I’d rather be alone on this journey than to have to undergo more stress with Ann and her unkind words. I’m a bit too caught up with my own plans and my life to have to deal with unnecessary grief. On the bright side, my friends and family are supportive of my plan to have a baby. While it seems unlikely, given my age, the state of my ovaries, and my past experience last year, I’d still give this a shot – it’s my best bet so far, and it’s something to look forward to.

Abilify

Over the past year of seeing my doctor in Bangkok, I was prescribed a low dose of risperidone, an anti-psychotic. Risperidone has the unfortunate side effect of making me bitterly hungry, and putting on a whole load of weight. The weight I put on totalled 13kilograms within a year.

Continue reading “Abilify”

A Thousand Years

I listen to music frequently now that I work in an office and I need to zone out the noises around me. From time to time I hear a song that reminds me of the past, including but not limited to my wedding event, falling in love with someone a long time ago, sad emotions experienced because of an event in the past.

One of these songs is Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years, which I played during my wedding six years ago. I watched a video by Oprah Winfrey this morning, saying that sometimes, when you hit rock bottom, when you get to the point in your life when enough is enough and you’re ready to get out of it, it’s a way that life is ready to take you to where you really should be, for change to happen.

I remember walking up the stairs to the poolside for my wedding dinner and the celebrations with fireworks going off for a spectacular event. Back then, I was embarking on a new journey to become a new person, and here I am again, singing a new tune, embarking on yet another journey.

Back to Business

Life is slowly getting back to where it was before. I’m hopeful for the progress that Ann and I are making within the past two weeks. We’re on the road to mental, physical and financial stability. Once we get our life sorted, I’m pretty sure we will thrive.

I’m excited that Ann is coming to Singapore and has interviews lined up for jobs here. She has stellar credentials and while the market is a little muted, I’m pretty sure she will get headhunted easily.

We’re getting back on track with the plans that we had a year ago when we first started out. It’s been a tough one year together but having gone through all that we did, I’m glad we are all the better together now. I truly feel like I’m a part of a team with Ann.

We have so many good things going – we’re both good people who are honest and smart. We both have many talents and are really versatile people. Most of all, I am a very different Anne from who I was a year ago – for the better. I’m more patient, humble, human, present, real, equanimous person right now, a lot less arrogant, a lot less subject to emotional rollercoasters.

I am now ruled by love and no longer driven by power. I prefer the current version of me – a version that would not have been possible had I not gone through the journey of the past twelve months. A year ago, I was about to undergo the biggest trauma of my life, a journey that would take me to where I am today.

And so it’s onward and upward from here. We’re back in business.

Committed Action

Ann had therapy and today she posted a picture of her committed action worksheet. I thought it may be a good thing for me to do the same – to commit to actions that strengthen what is important to me in my life.

So here goes…

A component of my life that I value is Mental Health.

My intention for this component is to fight depression.

The committed actions that I am willing to take include the following:

  1. Medicate
  2. Keep myself busy and active
  3. Continue to meditate on equanimity

That wasn’t so bad.

A component of my life that I value is Love.

My intention for this component is to show my love to those who I care about.

The committed actions that I am willing to take include the following:

  1. Tell and show the people I care that I love them
  2. Be present with the people that I care about
  3. Be honest with myself and with those around me.

Ok, I’m getting a hang of this. I’m learning that human suffering is caused mostly by ourselves, through our attachments to ego, pride, materials, thoughts, opinions. I’m learning that all these are impermanent and humility can go a long way.

My strength is coming back, the confidence as well. I’m on the path to recovery together with Ann, and our current outlook is positive. I’m taking steps to unwind the past and right now things look a lot clearer for me moving forward. I hope that the next two or three months go well and the horizon gets clearer day by day.

Today I hope to get another email from Leo, who I hope would be my new boss. He seems quite keen on me being the person that he would hire, so let’s see what happens next week. I’ll meet his cofounder, Nicola and hopefully we will be able to wrap things up next week and I can start the week after. The sooner I start, the better – I’m already in the process of changing every thing that I need to change and life is looking much more positive for me.

In my head, I’ve been replaying again and again the thought that as much as there’s a grave of good intentions, there’s also a larger grave of good relationships. I have learnt that sometimes people are a lot more practical and love isn’t quite enough to save a relationship from going down the drain.

I am mindful that I am now in a committed and mature relationship with Ann. She’s a lot older than me so I guess a part of me has to mature since she’s got a lot more experiences in life. I think I underestimated her a lot when I got together with her, but I’m thankful for her love and understanding – I hope this relationship works out for the best.

With her love and support, and with our families both behind us, I am confident that we will have a good future together and that we will have a strong relationship.

Of breakthroughs and renewal

The past two days have been nothing but amazing. Difficult, yes, but definitely a bunch of progress has been made. I’m close to closing in on my new position in a company that I feel is ahead of the financial curve in the region, in a position that has growth potential and leverages on my experience, personality, and leadership.

Ann’s been having breakthroughs of her own and I’m so proud of her. I’m getting a lot more active now and losing weight. My diet is getting on track right now and I’m feeling much better for it.

Today I met with Adrie and I’m so happy to see that she’s doing well. I’m excited for her future and to see a wonderful girl in Arya, who’s growing up well.

Things are much better now, I am winding up the investments that we have had and I’m reclaiming some of the payments from dissolved companies. Thereafter I will wind up the companies and close the accounts. I’m changing my addresses and running around administering matters and working on a good momentum.

Most importantly, the veil of love has been lifted and I see Rachel for who she really is. I’m thankful that our paths crossed, but there’s no love lost now that I have come to discover the real person that she is. I’m glad that I’m moving on with a wonderful person who is on the road to recovery and walking right beside me, even at my lowest.

Ann said that we’d just hit a rough patch and started out bumpy. I think she’s right. I’m feeling a lot more positivity and hopeful for the future that is coming. I will rise again, surely.

Being a daughter again

I've moved back home for a while. My old bed creaks and the springs sometimes hurt my knees. I put on the sheets today after a month of sleeping on pillows without sheets. My sheets fit the mattress much better. My mom told me to put them on.

Mom made dinner tonight. I washed the dishes. She is on medical leave from work yesterday and today. I have had the wonderful experience of enjoying my mom for two days.

I get bouts of psychosis – violent thoughts which I learn to accept and let go of on a regular basis. But it gets tiring. Unrelenting thoughts of death, violence, darkness. I've learnt some tools to deal with them. Tools like fact checking my thoughts, or accepting that my mind is not always right in it's formulation of ideas.

Today I had to fact check if I were a burden to my mom. I'm unemployed and she's financially supporting me at her age. It's not easy I'd think. Mom says I'm not a burden. I am a worry. She asked if I need her to stay with me if I'm suicidal. I told her that I'll take my medicines and I should be fine.

Of late it's becoming darker in my head again. It's been a few weeks of darkness this time and while I'd had a few good weeks prior, I'm just hoping to get through this month alive.

But back to mom. I'm grateful and very appreciative of the mother I have – if you look past the complaints she has to let off steam about, she's supportive of her children. She went on a walk with me and we went to the supermarket to purchase all my needs at home. We spend the day talking and working through my work and then she makes dinner.

I just wish I have more time with her. Her health is declining and she is aging faster than I would like her to. Her voice is softer than before. She struggles to remember things sometimes and sometimes she remembers her youth and tells me stories.

There is a constant battle between my darkness and my desire to be a better daughter to my mother. I'm doing my best. I hope that one day I wouldn't be a worry for her.

Edge of Dreams

I’m on edge. It’s a hard day. Rejections and failure, starting all over again, I’m tired. It’s been a long road and it’s got no end in sight. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, and I don’t know why nothing is getting better. I feel like a failure, like a loser, like I’m unworthy.

I’m reeling from today. Today as an event. It feels like there’s never enough hitting while I’m down. I can’t catch a break.

Locked up abroad

My cell mate has been here two days and will be released in another two. I think it’s horrendous how they have no empathy in their way of treating each person who, in their mind, have done nothing wrong. 

I’d been coming to Bangkok for a while now. I stay here up to thirty days and then I go on a visa run. I didn’t know that wasn’t right. Apparently I had come in way too many times. Finally the system flagged me as having spent too much time in Bangkok. Apparently that’s a crime. 

I’m thinking it’s the lady I upset the last time I was here. She was the same lady who didn’t want me to enter the country because I was sick. She got her way this time. She was the attending officer who turned me away. 

It’s important to talk about our feelings while being here. It’s the first time I’ve been really locked up, in a foreign country, and had my liberties taken away. I want my bed, my laptop, and most of all to see my pet Charlie. 

I worry about Ann being alone without me. I wonder what mom is going to say. I wonder if there are any other ways to get me out of here. I wonder a lot. But I’m slowly calming down. 

I meditate. Thanks to Steven Goh who suggests this. It calms me down. I am happy to be here. I get on the phone and chat with everyone I can reach out to. Friends text me out of concern. Martin Perez has been dealing with bootstrapping a startup and dealing with visa runs and staying the night in cells. He does research and tells me there are visas for five to ten years. It sounds flimsy but I’m keen to follow it anyway. 

The lady who is my cellmate is from Uganda. She cries. She hasn’t been locked up before. Me neither. I can tell she’s taking it harder than she should. She’s a long slender lady. She’s tall but she reminds me of an African paperweight someone bought for me in my teenage years. Long and slender. 

I give her my chocolate milk. I’m not really into it anyway. It comforts her and I pray for her well being. She sleeps. Then wakes up to watch some African soap opera. She has a lot of calls. I get the feeling that she comes from a place of strong community ties. 

I watch TED talks. The room is cold. Under my thin sheet, I think my cellmate wouldn’t be feeling better than I would. 

Charlie’s messing the house up. There’s a bird in the house terrorizing Ann. I don’t think she’s doing well. She puts on a brave front for me though. She tells me she will be fine. 

This experience leaves a bad taste of Bangkok. It’s a hot dusty city that swallows you whole and spits you out. I’ve to start making lists. There is much to do once I get back to Singapore. I’d like to be productive. 

It’s hard to get rested. Various people walking in and out of the cell to use the toilets, my cell mate’s obsession with African soap operas where most women seem to like talking all at the same time and men need to speak loudly in order to assert their manhood, the smell of the thin sheet that covers me, the constant light in the room, the cold of the walls. Don’t let the walls get to me. 

I recognize that everyone is trying to help. I’ll not let this get me down.