Brush

I don’t see myself as anything special. I’m not on this epic quest to build my kingdom, and you are not one of the forgettable comrades that I merely passed by to reach nirvana. Neither I am, to you.

Instead, each of us are these little dots in a very big circle full of dots. We go through different stages of life brushes off one another, transmitting a kind of energy everytime we do so.

Why do I keep meeting people? As much as I am charged up by making friends, I can’t help by wonder what’s the point of it all if they are going to leave me anyway? Especially when they got into a relationship, their priority changed tenfold. As sad as the truth is, I know that that’s actually the right thing to do, and someday I might have to do it as well to my friends. Not doing so would be unfair to my significant other.

Though I can’t really tell. I never know how if feels like to love someone much and be reciprocated. The thought is so foreign that I ended up crying because I just couldn’t imagine.

Have we become so self-absorbed? In this relentless pursuit of happiness, have we become so selfish that we put too much weight on the ‘I’? I need to be happy. I need to love myself. I need to do it not because of what others expected me to. Me, me, me.

What if I put myself in the shoes (or turban) of a pious man. God above everything else. No love for man should be put above Him. Then would I be free? Would I not be sad anymore? Yet if I haven’t go through all this journey of self, would I even be strong enough to turn to Him?

It doesn’t matter

It doesn’t matter what I think. I don’t matter here.

Wait, I do matter. At least to myself, and myself alone (and people do care, I know). It just doesn’t matter as much of what I am thinking at the time because it might or might not be true. Regardless, it’s my current bipolar phase that’s going to eventually determine how I will react to triggers. If I’m good, I would just brush it off my sholder. If I’m not, nothing I will say will make me stop from thinking too much.

I’m in the low point of the plotted graph right now. Trying to just let go of what I’m feeling, what I want. I’ll just say it out loud in my head. No suppressing, no holding back. All dialogues happens only within myself, nothing communicated to outside parties.

While always being aware that this is just another phase that is going to pass very soon. Many more like it will come again, and I will always be ready.

Tough night

Don’t give up.

It started with something really small, one thing lead to the other, and I broke down. Wrapped myself in the blanket. Felt like smashing my head with a jar of glass so I can quit thinking for a moment. Cried it to sleep.

This is crippling. I lost my attention during the day and broke down at night. Nothing get done.

Though I’m not giving up. Grateful to God that we still have day and night, for every time we wake up in the morning, we wake up with a renewal of hope.

Cyclothymia symptoms

Every now and then I find myself peering over the cyclothymia information on the web, looking for something that could help me in any way, though I am not quite sure what would that be.

Here I’ll list down the symptoms of cyclothymic disorder from Wikipedia. Most of them have been happening to me, except for the ones that are crossed out.

Depressive episode:

  • difficulty making decisions
  • problems concentrating
  • poor memory recall
  • guilt
  • self-criticism
  • low self-esteem
  • pessimism
  • self-destructive thinking
  • constant sadness
  • apathy
  • hopelessness
  • helplessness
  • irritability
  • quick temper
  • poor judgement
  • lack of motivation
  • social withdrawal
  • appetite change
  • lack of sexual desire
  • self neglect
  • fatigue
  • insomnia

Hypomanic episode:

  • euphoria
  • extreme optimism
  • inflated self-esteem
  • rapid speech
  • racing thoughts
  • aggressive or hostile behaviour
  • lack of consideration for others
  • agitation
  • massively increased physical activity
  • risky behaviour
  • spending sprees
  • increased drive to perform or achieve goals
  • increased sexual drive
  • decreased need for sleep
  • tendency to be easily distracted
  • inability to concentrate

Another thing to note: according to this, this and this – the symptoms are persistent, with no more than 2 symptoms-free months in a row. God, that is too frequent to be real, but that’s exactly what has been happening to me.

Balik kampung

“Abang Khairul sekarang dah ada rambut baru, makin hensem, makin sombong pulak”. Tasha mengadu kepada Haziq.

“Tak puas hati betul”. Ah. Ini yang buat hati saya cair.

Kedua-duanya sepupu saya. Beza umur kami lebih 10 tahun, namun inilah kawan-kawan yang saya cari bila pulang ke Negeri Sembilan. Dengan mereka sahajalah saya boleh mengarut boleh merepek. Terutamanya dengan Tasha. Cerdik dan banyak bicara.

Bagaimana dengan sepupu yang lainnya, yang dewasa itu semua? Entah. Tak tahu nak cakap apa selain daripada “Belajar di mana” atau “Kerja di mana”. Kemudian (pura-pura) terkejut bila dapat tahu yang masing-masing duduk di KL, bolehlah singgah bila ada masa. Jadi kami bertukar nombor telefon, dan setahun berlalu tanpa sesiapa menghubungi sesiapa. Bila jumpa lagi berulanglah perbualan yang sama. Bosan.

Sudah maklumlah yang balik kampung itu bosan. Lebih bosan daripada makan tengah hari bersama rakan sekerja atau perhimpunan semula rakan sekolah lama. Kerana apa sahaja persamaan yang ada di kampung selain daripada pertalian saudara?

Kami lebih rapat sewaktu kecil dahulu. Bermain dan keluar beraya bersama-sama. Tidur sebelah-menyebelah. Mandi pun pernah sekali. Entah di mana sewaktu masing-masing membesar, hubungan itu semakin renggang.

Kadang-kadang saya ada mencuba. Cuba wujudkan perbualan, atau melawak sahaja. Tapi kalau dah saya seorang sahaja yang mencuba, lebih baiklah saya sambung mengarut dan merepek, bersama Haziq dan Tasha.

Getting better at it

During this low episode of my cyclothymic disorder, I find myself crying at random intervals. Sometimes it can be without a reason, most of the time it is triggered by a cause. To name a few, the causes can be guilt, loneliness, or even simply by recalling past episodes of depression.

There is a slight difference on the way I handle it this time around. I acknowledge that it’s just the disorder causing some sort of chemical imbalance, not necessarily the trigger itself. So I allow myself to cry my eyeballs out, knowing that I’ll feel better in a minute.

I have also unsubscribe to the notion that being sad again means a failure to all the months I’ve spent making efforts to be happy. I accept the fact that this personality disorder can’t be instantly cured, but rather, I can train myself to handle it better.

I spent the past few days doing some writing, and it helped. Some of them are juvenile, gratitude log so I can emphasize on positive energy. Some others are on topics that I’m genuinely interested in. I have also bought an iPod to listen to my two favorite bands – El Ten Eleven and Ratatat. I love their music. When things get heavy I’ll just put on the earphone and let myself drowned in the sounds.

Execution

Every day we learn something new about ourselves. Case in point: today I’ve learnt that my spiciness tolerance is actually higher than the average human male. This is a shocking discovery considering my household wasn’t much of a chilly fan due to my dad’s gastric which was conveniently caused by eating too much chillies. Yet being the by-product of Pahang and Negeri Sembilan made me the man I am today — one that can consume a considerably high degree of spiciness.

On a more serious note, today I have reaffirmed the fact that I am excellent at brainstorming. I know my field quite well and I am confident in voicing out my opinion. I didn’t have much chance to do this in the previous workplace since it was a sales-driven company which I wasn’t much interested in. How I am glad to be back to a small web development house.

What I lack is the habit to make the ideas concrete. Often it would go unwritten and lost in void as I resume my daily, somewhat menial tasks. Even if they get jotted down, no follow-up action was taken. I need to be more proactive. I need to have more execution. Perhaps I’ll be suitable for a managerial role where I delegate tasks instead of executing, but then I need to have more sense of ownership myself.

Speaking of menial tasks, I also get easily get bored with same role after a while. My attention span is short, sometimes the ability to concentrate will diminished completely and I’ll just stare blankly at the screen. It’s another thing that I often feel the need to tie up everything I do to a higher purpose, so I’ll always ask myself what’s the point of what I’m doing, will they benefit me in the long run. That can be good, but not when it’s being done too quick and too often. There’s no such thing as “Learn programming in 10 days”. Mastery requires patience.

TL;DR version: I’m a man who can vomit ideas. What I need to complement that is more execution, execution, execution.

Sushi

Such a joy it is, to hear news of a friend’s achievement. Did you know that Marianne’s video “Alone, Forever” has gone viral, reaching over 140K views? She’s so cute in it. When I watched it for the first time, I gave her some credits for good acting. Then she told me that the entire video was done frantically in only one day, and I went whoa.

Alicia got a straight As in her STPM. That’s crazy. Insane. Inhumane. During my short stay in Form Six, one chapter of their textbook equals to one whole semester of college’s. Hence my short stay in Form Six.

That’s it for the good news of the morning. I’m going for lunch. I don’t always go for lunch, but when I do, I eat sushi. Isn’t wasabi the greatest invention the Japanese has ever made.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Let’s start the day by being grateful. I am grateful for all of the women in my life. My mom who repeats the same story every time I go back home, and I’m grateful that she has started telling me stories. Along whom I consult professional matters to, you are getting married soon and that’s the best gift you can give mom and dad. Angah my partner-in-crime, my comrade, my best friend, I’m glad that you are moving up in your career.

For my women friends, they are a lot. Michelle, oh do you even have to ask why. Joanne, you changed my perception towards films, that they are not a time-waster but a very significant tool of culture and linguistic. Gaelle, who supported me through this journey of self-discovery. Melanie, because I just love you so! Audra, I’m becoming the man that you wanted me to be (the horror). Xin Xin, aren’t we grateful for modern commodities such as MSN Messenger and WhatsApp? Syakirin, I miss you. Ruby, let’s spend hours talking at Picadilly because you are a friend that I can talk for hours with. Marianne, that goes for you as well. Yen, my best-film-buddy. Jolene, you are a cool person like me hence we should hang out more. Nirah, for caring, for understanding. Celine, for all the times we had, and will have (and I love you, I do).

For myself, for being half the woman I am. Ha. Okay that joke is getting old.

I have so many kind, smart and good looking female friends. Aren’t I the luckiest guy alive.