Snippets about my mental health recovery

1) For the past few weeks since my last blogpost, I have been enjoying my experiments with teaching English to pre-school children. The truth is that I am not a very experienced early childhood educator but I have been receiving assuring feedback from my work seniors on how to improve based on my personal potential or personality. That’s why I feel at ease with a sense of control. Since I have no temper at all in front of everyone except my close family members, I find that the mysterious and out of commonness kind of teaching contents that stir up the kids’ curiosity suit me the most, as advised by my work seniors.

2) Another main thing besides teaching is none of the others but my doctoral study. Though I am still a few more steps before achieving the readiness for proposal defense, I have been making steady progress week-by-week. The good sign is that my crying spell has subsided and my heart feels lighter despite the occasional heaviness that I always easily dissipate with some time on the treadmill or comfortable lying places at home. Healthy and nourishing foods sometimes rejuvenate my body and soul. Almost every week, I can find a few days to be allocated just for my doctoral study.

3) I am mentally better but one day two weeks ago, I felt obvious discomfort in my stomach as if it was burning. It was not painful but burning. A few toilet trips were not helping at all. I sensed blood stain on my panty and thought that it was menses. Then, I felt worried when I suddenly started to lose my hearing ability when the surrounding became quieter and quieter. My vision turned brighter as if I was going to faint. I could feel that my brain was shutting down soon. Walking as if I was floating, I quickly sat down at the dining table to have my dinner just bought. And I made a cup of steaming hot milo, thinking that it would give me a boost of energy. After taking in some food and milo, everything turned for the better. However, it was not menses. My menses came only a few days ago. Since then, I make it a habit to take a nap whenever I need it when the coffee doesn’t help much. I still stay up late as I feel I can write most productively when I skip my Olanzapine and take a cup of coffee instead. Then, I usually wake up later the next day to compensate the lost hours of sleep. I just listen to my body and mind. When I feel that I’m in the mood of writing, I will put everything aside including sleep then write. However, sometimes my mind just won’t work even with a cup of coffee so I will instead take a nap then write. 2.5 km of jog and roughly 10 minutes of body shaking on the fitness device at home always act as my reset button when I feel like a meltdown. I have lost at least 3 kg since my job change.

4) My supervisor has been supportive towards me and her knowledge and experience are certainly of my great help. During our last meeting that ended with a heartwarming hug, she shared with me not to forget how to enjoy my postgraduate life. She has got me feeling enthusiastic by saying that while doing research, one should also take some rest and enjoy hobbies and life in general. Hmmm…she is right. I should watch my self-care habits, seeing that I almost fainted at home not long ago. Coupled with the invasion of Covid-19 almost everywhere we go, I think it’s high time that I take care of my immune system by getting sufficient sleep, physical exercise, body nutrients and water.

5) Recently, I luckily got the invite to attend Toastmaster Club meeting from a spiritual family member. Considering that I am taking a break from my lecturing life, I think I should give myself a try to harness my public speaking skills since a pair of shoes unused will easily get broken. Same goes to my public speaking skills which are considered just average. I think the minimal fee is tolerable. Hopefully, Covid-19 will subside soon and their meetings will go on as usual. I have been very quiet recently in the sense that I only talk to my students. Besides, I have the tendency to hang up calls from people including those from my supervisor though I did write her a text message after that. It takes a longer time for me to read and reply messages. I feel as if I am in the mood of being a hermit, thinking that I can feel calmer by being cut off from the world. Talking seems so laborious for me now and social media seems boring. With the warnings related Covid-19, I find even more assurance to just stay home except the occasional errands to be run for my family. I don’t feel lonely but am just enjoying the solitude. Maybe this is my real personality.

6) At school, I enjoy the happy moments with kids. There is one kid who has a special attachment style. He loves to randomly hug me, either from the back or front. And he loves to peek into my bag filled with teaching materials, just like other students. One unforgettable moment is when he kissed my self-harming scars out of the blue. There have been students asking me about my scars and I always just shrug off the concerns with a smile. Talking about that student, he loves to get closer and once he squeezed my cheeks for a kissing expression but I always try to keep some distance for hygiene. A little commendable point for him is that he is always among the earliest to finish his artwork of the day. Once I reached home and found that my Christmas hat used for teaching was pasted with his name sticker straight and right, I had the hilarious thought that it was his job. I will never forget his angry faces when he threw tantrums just because I am seldom in the class since I work part-time. Besides him, there are many other happy moments. Despite being a hermit, I can feel the social support from my students. I feel that what we need is not something that lasts forever but something that soothes us right at this passing moment.

7) Besides social support, I am lucky enough to have found another person for my expertise support, other than my supervisor. He is a psychiatrist who I met again for the second time during my first Toastmaster Club meeting. The first time was last year when I attended his talk about depression held in Jing Si Bookstore, Tzu Chi. Meeting him again has helped me to rebuild the connection. If not mistaken, he is doing his duty in the clinic when I receive my daily medication. Due to the long queues in the clinic, I could hardly remember any consultation with him. The most important thing is that he is willing to go through my work whenever I need it. This humanistic doctor has shared some insights and words of encouragement. Being a doctoral student, one should always be humble and inquisitive in seeking guidance from the experienced. And I am indeed lucky to have such an expertise support system.

8) Though I am not a very active WordPress user, I appreciate some WordPress friends who still sometimes randomly drop by to give some post likes on the days I were not posting anything. I do notice a few regular visitors from Malaysia all this while even before I display my blog address on my social media sites. Although I do not know you, but thanks for supporting my blog.

That’s all for now. WordPress is like a punching bag for me whenever I feel like a bit of a meltdown. After writing and posting here, I always feel well rested and renewed for the next little right thing. Having been busy preparing for our parent-teacher meeting and other teaching-related matters in the past few days, I can now dive right in for my research in this one week of school holidays.

Photo by Madison Inouye on

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