black snow

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When we open ourselves up to others, we inherently make ourselves vulnerable. We open ourselves up to the possible criticisms of others, the stigma surrounding our actions, or at times, blatant abuse. I don’t really talk personally to many friends about the intricacies of my everyday life as a result. I keep most things to myself. Accepting that my mind is not impenetrable to the criticisms of others is something I’m getting used to. I actively seek to protect my own mental health. I give away bread crumbs now. Not many of my close friends really read this blog, in fact I’m not really sure anyone does. It’s why sometimes I can be cryptic or allusive in the way I write.

I’m frustrated and lonely. I have never felt this alone in my life. I’m confused and scared. I want to be grateful for this life and in so many ways I am. I am lucky and I know it. Sometimes I feel this incompleteness within myself.


Love is weird. Love is amazing and tragic. We hold on too tight and it can be suffocating. Sometimes we don’t care enough and then we neglect the person we love most. It’s a balancing act. I think there’s an element where I prefer to distance myself, it’s easier to let go if you never fully invested into someone to begin with. It’s harder to let go when you envision a future. It’s harder to let go when that future becomes tangible. The possibility of moving in, getting married or starting a family are all a lot harder to let go of when it all becomes tangible. No longer just hopes and dreams, but something that could come to fruition. I don’t think in actuality we ever let go of our trauma, we just learn to live with it. It’s like a shard of glass in the body, you don’t ever really get rid of it, you just learn to live with the pain.


The world is changing and so is my body. It’s all so scary. Perhaps because the world really isn’t ‘getting better.’ The world has been experiencing a chronic cold for the past century. However, I don’t think the term ‘cold’ quite really conveys the gravity of what’s been happening. From the Holocaust, Korean War, Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Rwanda, 9/11, Iraq War, Syrian Civil War and now the Ukraine Invasion, as well as a whole bunch of natural disasters like hurricane Sandy, the Tonga Tsunami or flash flooding in Yemen, needless to say our world is a sh*t show. Nothing is normal. It’s like the world keeps fracturing itself, maybe even purposefully. There have been no attempts to heal the wounds of the past.


Therapy Session 3 – 04/03/22

So I talked with my therapist about a lot of different issues which have popped up over the past few months. Here’s some of my notes taken from the session..

Boundaries: I seem to continually violate others boundaries whilst also not putting any in place for myself. My therapist mentioned how it’s often easier to pick out others problems and as a result of my own expectations, I form my own judgements which surface. In relation to a really specific incident, I crossed a few boundaries when someone had opened up to me, causing me to lash out as a result of my own judgements and being unable to ‘catch’ myself. My therapist had mentioned how I’ve got to work on catching myself and being mindful. In order to do this, I’ve got to have space in order to center myself in moments like this.

Red Flags: My therapist recommended that I write down a list of red flags. I’m supposed to ask myself what pulls me to an individual and what deters me from them. With space and time, I should be allowed to process if our values are aligned. I was recommended to ask myself if what I’m asking for is being provided. She suggested that if I’m basing it from a friendship foundation, I should create a list of my values and tick it off if they’re being met. On a friendship level, if the person is being transparent, non-dismissive, respectful and recognizing me for who I am, then despite all the other differences, if those basic values are met then a ‘bond can form stronger over time’ since we are able to work through those differences. We talked briefly about things like chemistry, familiarity, comfort and love languages which was something different.

Dating: My therapist recommended that I give myself at least 3 months before I start dating again. This is because I’ve got to give myself time to process through my feelings of anger and so I can experience the grieving process of ending a relationship. She said there’s a cycle where you get depressed, angry, you start self-doubting and I’ve got to allow myself to process through those emotions and allow them to surface. During this period, I am supposed to allow these emotions to surface, name them and make peace with them. We also talked briefly about how this is a period of post-traumatic growth which was a term I’ve never heard before!


This is just a brief summarised overview of everything we discussed. I found it pretty valuable. Although I haven’t really written out my red flags checklist, I do think I will eventually be able to get to it. It’s been a pretty rough time and honestly I didn’t realise how much work I had to do and how much I was suppressing.

There’s a lot more I’ve been wanting to talk about with my therapist, mainly being that I am a poor listener. I genuinely believe my inability to truly listen to those around me negatively impacts my friendship and relationships. Although I do think I’ve improved with my overall communication and tried to listen more to others and their issues, I do still think it’s fundamentally an issue. In fact, may be to the point where I sometimes myself can’t put in proper boundaries and become a primary support mechanism for someone else to rant to. The weird nature of this is truly perplexing.

I’m not exactly sure if I want to date again. It’s been something that’s on my mind but I feel so discouraged after my last relationship. I think being in therapy and feeling invalidated about my progress in my past relationship negatively impacted my own self-perception about my development and progress in therapy. I really thought I was doing well and attempting to address all criticisms that I received but perhaps that in itself was insufficient. Feeling inadequate makes me feel pretty sh#t about myself. No matter how many books I read or how many therapy sessions I go to, I suppose I will never be the perfect or ideal partner.

One other massive issue I wanted to tackle with my therapist is my often crippling anxiety. Crippling to the point where I avoid going out and enjoying myself because of my fears around COVID or getting sick again. I guess no one really knows what my hospital experience was like other than myself. I can still remember the excruciating back pain which made it near impossible for me to sit up or walk. I am really thankful for my health even though I do experience chronic pain. I am so thankful that I can walk. Perhaps one thing I need to add to my green flag checklist is needing someone who isn’t flaky. I do need stability. I need stability and faith in someone when I’m sick and scared sh#tless or hope that they will be with me even when things aren’t going great in my own life. I feel like the entire purpose of a relationship is to work towards eventually getting married. Marriage is the ultimate form of commitment, especially because it is legally binding..

I have learnt a lot from this experience though and it’s YOLO. You only live one. Say what you need to say, do what you need to do because this really is the one life that we get. I feel a little more ease in the future choices I want to make, especially with my future studies. I’ve come to realise that I do genuinely want to help people and the only way I can do that is by potentially switching fields in order to maximise my skill set. I suppose I will have to revisit this thought at a more appropriate time.


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It’s been quite rainy these past few days. I really love it. I miss going on long drives at night in the rain. In many ways it was a different kind of therapy.

Moving on is difficult. I no longer play the songs that remind me of anything painful from the past and I believe this effort has paid off to some degree. I haven’t played Bennie and the Jets for years. I loved that song. I think now I can play it and finally embrace it for what it is, instead of having the painful reminder and memory along with it. Some wounds are more recent than others and I know it’ll take time for them to properly heal. All things do get better with time and may be I will too.


I remember when I was 19 in The Netherlands. I was on a train from Leiden to Rotterdam. Surprisingly, the public transport system there is amazing. I remember the beautiful greenery on that trip.

Now I’m alone, there’s nothing left just endless thoughts and memories, some which will finally be put to rest.

Social Media Break: From an Anti-socialite

I love this photo. It speaks volumes about how even with COVID-19 restrictions lifted, we (society) cannot find ways to get off our electronics or social media. After my health issues this year, I slowly started realising more and more about myself and how all of my passions that used to define me, eventually slowly started my mental health decline.

My passion and love for politics, my love for my university studies and my desire to change the world rapidly changed over the past few months. After studying The Holocaust for an entire semester, my outlook on life was bleak. I genuinely believe in all my heart now that even if a newer generation of young politicians find themselves in government, radical, systemic change is unlikely to occur.

Political, religious, ethnic, sex or class divides are too deeply entrenched into global societies. There will never be peace in Israel-Palestine or in Myanmar. Religious values encroaching upon governments can, will and have restricted women’s rights to easily access contraceptives or abortions (although this is not true for all countries).

I once defined myself by learning about global issues in an attempt to change them, to create a more unified global community. The realisation that I alone cannot do it hit me like a basketball to the face. Maybe it was my youth and naivete that drove me to such conclusions, either way, I don’t regret it. Although I realise now I’d much rather clean up the mess of politicians then to be one myself, it opened my eyes up to the hardships others experience and how I am lucky in the coin toss of the birth lottery.

I used to yearn to understand the lived experiences of others, others in Third World countries, those living under oppressive regimes or people who have experienced war or famine. I now understand that I will never be able to comprehend others, their heartbreak, loss or grief unless I myself am put into these extreme circumstances. How could I ever understand what it is like to slowly lose my child to famine or cholera? Simply reading about it is inadequate.

I have a deep appreciation for my degree. Although it is not complete yet, it has truly given my life so much more meaning. Knowledge is power. I will never take for granted all that I have learnt.

What I realised however, was that all the media do is post negative stories. Everyday, everywhere, my feeds on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook were full of only the bad events occurring. There were minimal signs or posts of positivity, eventually the thought of waking up made me feel dreadful. I do believe purging myself from social media has helped immensely with this.

Although I do not pretend there aren’t real issues in the world, I do believe taking a step back has helped me to take greater care with my mental health. Breaking out of bad habits which negatively impact my life will help. It already has.

Life is too precious and fragile to keep expecting change without working for it. As cliche as it sounds, my new goal is to live in the moment and embrace each day as it comes by.

Lessons learnt from being hospitalised during the COVID-19 pandemic

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After falling sick in August, during the COVID-19 pandemic in Melbourne, Victoria, one of Australia’s worst performing states in regards to COVID cases, I was hospitalised.

With fevers, chills, muscle aches to the point where I couldn’t sit up without being in excruciating pain, needless to say it was the most emotionally draining time of my life. During this period, I had a total of 7 COVID-19 swabs, all of which came back negative. Despite having at the time, 2 negative COVID-19 swabs, hospital doctors decided to put me in a COVID-19 ward, obviously where COVID positive patients were residing.

At this time, restrictions were tough and no family members or friends could visit patients. Although the view was amazing in the COVID-19 ward and I am genuinely thankful to all the doctors who helped me, I still have dreadful anxiety.

From August to September, I spent a total of around 20 days in hospital, watching too much daytime TV like Charmed and getting excited for FRIENDS episodes at around 6-7pm. After having multiple tests like an ultrasound on my legs, MRI for my brain, spine and legs, a PET Scan, CT scan and getting poked multiple times a day for blood. Additionally having a bone marrow biopsy, skin biopsy and lastly a muscle biopsy, needless to say the whole experience was exhausting emotionally for both myself, my family and loved ones.

I was forced to defer from my degree in order to manage my health issues and I lost 6kgs, to eventually gain back more weight due to depression and anxiety about a potential autoimmune disease diagnosis. What’s the worst part of it? There was no clear answer. I live with the anxiety that it could happen again and have to learn to embrace life and all of it’s uncertainties.

My anxiety spikes when I go out and see people without masks on, this overwhelming fear washes over me and I’m consumed by it. Fear that I will end up in there again, alone. Although I do not consider myself fully recovered and still have to deal with the colossal mess which is my life, it taught me a great deal about life.

Getting out of depression is like rock-climbing without all the safety equipment. You’ll most likely fall multiple times back into that empty chasm. You just have to keep trying. To all my fellow book-lovers out there, as Susan Jeffers would say, ‘Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway’.