Depression : A Story of a Mother’s Immutable Fear

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Mental health. A condition we’ve become more aware of and try to better understand. Many are making an effort to be heard despite the stigma that accompanies their admission. 

I am here to share others’ inspiring stories in the hope to keep the flame going for mental health awareness.

This is a mother’s story.

“Kate Spade. Anthony Bourdain. Causes of death: Suicide by hanging. Three days apart. Unbelievable but true.

Depression does not discriminate. It can affect anyone, whether you are rich and famous or just an ordinary person, like my child.

These recent events on mental health have brought me back to a phone call that I will never forget. It was from my daughter who tearfully revealed that she was on medication for depression.

Since then, I have been living my life in constant fear of the worst.”

Suicide?

”Yes. I couldn’t even bring myself to say the word. And because my daughter was living away from home, that fear was compounded by my guilt of not being able to physically protect her. If it were up to me, I would have encouraged her to come home. But of course, that was not feasible. I cannot tell her to abandon everything, come live with me and then what? Make drastic changes to her career path and her future plans? I simply can’t do that. Besides, I knew such decisions were not up to me.

My Anger

Then it dawned on me. I actually did not know what to do! Yet, it was happening! And to someone like me who least expected it. I was caught off-guard and felt like I was thrown into a battle which I was not ready for. I was at a loss. I got angry! What was I supposed to do?

I felt helpless. I found myself wanting and needing for depression to be a physical entity, so I could see and determine how to fight and keep it away from us.

While I groped for answers, I suddenly realized that I was seeing it all wrong! This was not about me at all.

Acceptance

It was about my daughter, my child…

I relegated my own concerns, my anger, and especially my fear, to the background. It became a bit easier from then on. It paved the way for me to focus on the real issue and accept a painful reality; my daughter has depression. And she’s got to cope with it for the rest of her life. But, while I’m here, I’ll make sure she won’t have to face it alone. Ever. We are going to deal with it, together.

My Daughter

A friend has said to me. “You know, your daughter is admirable and smart. When she recognized that she was having problems, she did something about it. She decided to fight.”

I never saw it that way until then.

Indeed, when my daughter was struggling and having thoughts of ”it was better for everyone if I’m gone”, she knew she had to seek professional help. And I am incredibly grateful that she did. A life has been saved. My daughter’s.

I could imagine how difficult it must have been for her to make that phone call and open up to me. When she did, it has changed our lives forever. It has also brought forth a promise of unconditional love through whatever would happen as we live through this.

I still have that fear. All day. Everyday.

It is true. You can not fully understand until it happens to you.”

To follow: A Daughter’s Story

Please read: The Onlookers’ Story

and   The Gamer’s Story

My Blog is Two Years Old!

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I barely even noticed its first anniversary. Yet, it’s still up and running on its second year. That notification above is quite right,too. It is an achievement especially for someone like me who was unable to blog that much in a span of two years.

Good blogging? I am not sure about that. Apart from the stats confirming some long periods of inactivity, I must admit that I have quite ignored my site. Why? The concocted answers are in The Kind of Writer I Am, I would like to think that I penned it to know more about myself and not because I was making alibis. Whichever, it helped me to realize how my writing habits affected my blogging activity.

‘Opinions Matter’ has become a blog about anything. Because there is no limit to what I can write about. A lot of ideas could stem from the daily routine at home and at work, from a chinwag with a neighbour or from a meeting with a friend over a cup of coffee. I was able to incorporate my travel experiences, (Summer in and Around LLandudno), and yes, there are more to come!

The movies and TV programmes we watch and anything we read are also lucrative sources of blogging information. Not to mention those meaningful encounters with strangers (One Day, Two Stories).  It is fascinating when these circumstances inspire topics that become alive in anyone’s blog.  They can motivate, uplift and help raise awareness (Depression and Anxiety).

At one point, melancholy has not spared my blog and it was poignant in a poem,  In My Arms.

The point is, and I say it again, the world we live in has so much to offer to the blogging world.

Two years ago, I knew very little about blogging. I started it to feed my passion for writing. Today, it still does.

Two years ago, I created Opinions Matter because I know I have something to share about life itself. I have never been and still is not driven by stats but every notification of likes, comments and follows I get brings forth a genuine gratefulness from my heart.

Well, you’re welcome WordPress and thank you for letting me fly with you. Though it’s a turbulent ride for me, I intend to fasten my seatbelt and enjoy the journey!

Depression and Anxiety: The Gamer’s Story

When depression or anxiety affects a work colleague, a friend, a friend’s family member or someone dear to your heart, it becomes surreal. Somehow, one begins to truly understand the kind of battle these individuals have to fight everyday.

May I share some stories of people I personally know who experienced these feelings or condition. Each story is individualized and as such, each person coped differently. I write these to help raise awareness. That’s all.

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Photo by Soumil Kumar on Pexels.com

The Gamer’s Story:

“Did you know that I may have had depression?  A few years ago, I left home due to a family misunderstanding. It was then that I started to be overwhelmed with feelings of being useless and that I was a ‘good-for-nothing’ human being. There were times when I found it difficult to get out of bed and do just about anything. Everyone thought I was just being lazy. I was hesitant to talk about what I was going through. I assumed that it would be dismissed as “just one of those days.”

It became worse when I was often left on my own in the house.

It hit me.  I was all alone. Loneliness got real.

Thoughts on ending my life? They did cross my mind. But I could not bring myself to hurt my loved ones. Not that way. I could not let them suffer picking up the pieces and live with unresolved guilt forever.

I had to force myself instead to try to live a normal life amongst those around me. Life became a routinary blur of work to house and vice versa. During this time, I immersed myself into online gaming.  Looking back, it has, in a way, diverted my mind off miserable thoughts. It still does. Suddenly, I was not alone anymore. I was talking to people. Online. But, I was communicating. More importantly, there was something to look forward to the next day…and the next.

Today, am I better? Maybe. My online gaming turned into a live streaming channel and has built a considerable number of followers. Some gamers became my friends. I was able to travel and meet them in person. To this day, we have kept in touch constantly.

I am back home. I still have those days when I get glued to my bed, but I would like to believe that I am now better equipped to deal with that. I have opened up to my family in the hope that they will have a better understanding when I fall into the dark again.”

The other stories soon to follow. The Onlookers’ Stories

A Photography Journey: Finding My Place

Definitely, an ongoing exciting journey.

My interest in photography has developed over time. It took awhile before my photo collections found their categorical place on my social media accounts.

I call myself an amateur photographer. I don’t use any sophisticated gadget but my mobile phone camera. Still, I take pride in what I was able to put together; my snapshots, my edits, my own perspectives.

Below is one of my photos on Instagram.

I recall a verbal English proficiency exam years ago when I was randomly asked about photography. The question took me by surprise.  My reply was simple. Basic. “Photography starts with the use of a camera as the foremost tool for taking important images. These images are embedded with memories of a lifetime. Photography has made it possible for these precious memories to be printed-off and be filed in a photo album.”

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A travel snapshot shared on Google+

Photography became a passion when I was able to travel more, even halfway around the globe. I could not simply ignore the scenic views and the magnificent panorama that I thought I would never have the chance to see with my own eyes! I needed to document every experience and my camera made that possible.

I was cynical when the DSLR cameras first came out as they were huge and heavy. It was kind of unsettling because, for someone like me who isn’t tech savvy, they looked complex to use. All I wanted was to take photos with less fuss and fiddle.

However, times indeed, change. Social  media sharing became rampant. I, too, was caught in it. Who wasn’t?

The mobile phone companies smartly embraced this change and the smartphone invasion became unstoppable. Of course, I jumped into the bandwagon and thank heavens I did! I ditched my other camera(not totally, I still use it from time to time) for the more convenient, truly handy and user-friendly mobile phone.

The ease of taking photographs with my smartphone has immensely kindled the hobby more. Also, with the advent and continued availability of free, easy-to-apply photo editing applications, photography has never been more fun to explore. I, for one, can say that the innovation of the mobile phone camera has made the art of photography more accessible to a lot of amateur enthusiasts like you and me. So, let’s keep it up and click away!

Here’s what inspires me:

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Do visit my photos on Instagram

My photo collections on Google+

This journey continues:

I Got Blocked!

Two Sides

 

do not believe what you hear

you are oblivious

to how things are

one side, that’s all you’ve got.

 

yet you say those words

you deem right and kind

you mean well, of course

but senseless to a betrayed.

 

aim to understand

before you make a stand

what you do now

is intrusion, no doubt

 

Back off,

demand for truth

listen, speak-up

exactly with facts.

Seating Arrangements

It matters (a lot) to some people where they sit and with whom when attending any gathering.  Have you ever thought of declining an invitation to a party because you were dreading the seating arrangement?

How about the person who is assigned to allocate seats?  It must be daunting because the person in charge of this task gets the most flak if perceived to be wrong. (my sympathies😊)

Notwithstanding all its positive intentions, seating arrangements can be alienating for some. If you’re seated with people you barely know, you’ll have to worry about what to talk about and it might turn awkward if one is unable to maintain a free-flowing conversation.

When a group of  friends is made to seat together and you’re not with yours,  the thought of being treated unfairly kicks in.

Seating arrangements can also be deemed by others as degrading. When colleagues are seated with VIP’s and at the front, you, who are seated with strangers at the back or in one corner, would perceive it as being undervalued. Would you attend similar events again?

For those who are not bothered about seating arrangements, they’d appreciate the  idea that they ought to get know more about other people. They can worry about who they are going to sit next to but at the same time, they get excited in anticipation.  They are aware that they have to adapt and just look forward to that part of the party when the music starts and everyone abandons their seats with pleasure to freely mingle with anyone. That part of the party where the goers just let their hair down.

Well, sod the seating. Just be yourself and have fun,