High and Lows

This track, as catchy as it is, is both depressing yet familiar at the same time, because it used to illustrate the reality I lived in.

Hopefully, it's something I've left behind in the past... had to take all those baby steps out of hell, which gradually built up to leaps and bounds, when I'd grown strong enough to accept the notion of a fulfilling solitude.

Nobody tells you a dependency for drinks and drugs doesn't have to be because both are physically addictive - because they aren't really in most cases, it's that magical feel-good-and-forget-you-feel-like-shit factor that cultivates the habit in addicts.

To be honest, most of us never quite quit a reliance on things that make us feel good. Jolts of dopamine, everyday, from delicious food, from a good cup of coffee, from chocolate, from that cigarette... or maybe the adrenaline and endorphins from outdoor activities. It's pretty much just up to how you manage things, how you keep the things that give that momentary rush in check and not affect the rest of your life detrimentally that matters.

Even a love affair... it is interesting how the cessation of one affects a human brain the same way a withdrawal to heroin does.

I'm going to initiate a twelve-step programme today, and come to terms with the idea of you leaving the sphere of my existence, eventually. They say, c'est la vie, and que sera sera; all those clichéd terms that I hold on dearly to, right now, as complements to the Zen Buddhism philosophy on impermanence and acceptance.

I did have fun. I was happy. I was a little bit in love with you. I did harbour hope. But life happens.

Until we meet again. =)


Something Good

There are some really good mornings. I've been having heaps of those recently, where I wake up feeling nothing but gratitude and appreciation for how even in the darkest moments, I've found really amazing things that make it all worthwhile.

It's never easy to live with these fluctuating moods, but I am pretty blessed, I think, for having friends, family, even lovers that stand by me waiting to catch me if I should ever need it. I often cry that it's just a bit too much to live with all the time, but the fact is, at the end of it I always find more reason to cherish the positive aspects of my life.

Also, I want to say this, I know many of my friends worry about the decisions I make sometimes in regards to my relationships, but honestly, in that aspect I have never, ever been happier and contented about things. My personal life is a beautiful, uncertain mess that I wouldn't have any other way. Since the beginning of this year, I've been meeting wonderful people who love me and accept me so fully I sometimes want to pinch myself to see if I'm just dreaming it all up.

Maybe it makes up for all the years of hurting, I don't know. I definitely think that I must have done something good, somehow, to get so lucky this way. 


And there are days I feel like I should be saving everyone from myself.

Can't shrug the feeling that everything I touch just turns to dust.

I wish I could give away what I often feel I have little need for... more time.


O Captain! My Captain! May You Rest In Peace.

Robin William passed away today, after a life-time of battling depression.

I feel like I've lost a friend, even if I never got to meet him. There were times when things were too hard to take, my perspective on people too cynical, my view on life too jaded, and then, not intentionally, there would be a movie of his screening on the telly, and his heart-warming antics would make me smile, if just briefly.

Mrs. Doubtfire brings back warm memories - I went to watch that at the cinema with my family, and despite my scepticism at the title (I was eight at the time, and anything "Missus" sounded like school to me), it was a good outing out. My mother was in an uncharacteristically good mood after watching it, and we all laughed through the entire screening of that movie.

Patch Adams made me reconsider my bitterness towards people in general. Not all people are bad, and there are many who strive very hard to help others. I laughed, I cried, and I decided to shelf my cynicism for a little while, and notice the goodness in people for awhile.

Bicentennial Man made me appreciate my own humanity, and instead of distancing myself from my emotions like I was always wont to do in times of distress, I learnt that to be able to feel, to love, to laugh, to hurt... was a gift rather than the curse I thought it to be.

Those are some of the films he appeared in that come to mind first when I think of him, but there are many others that have moved me and cheered me up and made me feel, if just briefly, that life is not all darkness and unhappiness.

I'm feeling so devastated today. It's so ironic that a man who made so many people laugh would eventually succumb to his own demons, the ones he had been trying to out-run for so many years. I wish someone had been able to do for him what he did for so many of us.

Rest in peace, funnyman. If there IS an after-life, I hope you're in a better place now; I hope you're no longer hurting anymore.


Partial Remission

I'm sure many of you who know me in real life, or have been following this blog for a few years already, are very aware that I've been diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder for all of my adult life. I suppose many of you are under the impression that I'm already "cured" or "fixed", simply because I seem to be, on most part, functional most of the time.

The fact is, this is a condition that you learn to live with, for the entirety of your existence. It gets easier with experience and acceptance, as with most other things, but there will most likely still be many episodes where I lapse back into despair.

I guess I just want to say, I'm mostly happy. I'm pretty contented on the whole. There are aspects of my life I do wish I could change or improve on, but I'm in a better place than I was, a decade ago.


There are dark days too, like the past couple of weeks. I've been growing increasingly moody and dispirited, and I know it's yet another depressive episode descending upon me... and you know what, it's so fucking hard. To admit. That I have a problem here.

It's just hard to tell anyone, or even admit to myself, that there will STILL be shitty days even though I've managed to crawl out of the self-destructive, self-imposed emotional abyss of the past. It's just really really really difficult to admit, yes, this is a relapse.

But I suppose I should probably learn to accept that this too, will pass, and that what everyone else thinks about this shouldn't matter as much. That "OMG that girl is never going to improve" or "she's always having one of her episodes anyway" or "meh, just ignore that emotional crazy talk she's spouting, it's a recurring thing anyway" are just words people who don't understand, cannot see from my perspective will say.

Also, it's a little bit overwhelming to have to deal with the burden of concern from those who give a shit, because it's not that I'm going to break down or fall apart again... this is like, something "normal" for me, and I just need time and space to deal with it myself.

It does hurt though. And today feels really awful. It's a whole combination of factors, from my brain's inability to regulate my happy hormones, to the recent injuries to my shoulder and foot (which are depriving me of activities that keep be outdoors and boost my endorphins), and all the shit that went down recently, and the people in my life that affect me emotionally, and a minor moment of existential crisis... you get the picture.

And yes, this is just a little rant to blow off some steam... because honestly speaking, I'm feeling really alone this whole week, and I miss you and you and you, but I'm just too exhausted from battling this temporary down-swing to have the initiative to reach out and make contact.

Dog Days

I suppose I still don't quite know how to feel about you.

I wish I could care less but the truth is, I still do.

No, I won't make any more excuses to pardon your mistakes - my rage is justified when I have to bear part of the burden of your foolishness.

But I do miss you. And it never feels good to have to be cruel to be kind to you.

I like to think that on some days, you still do think of me, and you feel the same too.


Maybe If We All Gave Each Other Little Chances

I don't watch the television much, and I'm not one to go for movies often, so I guess I am two years late to the party on the topic of Lana Wachowski's male-to-female transition. One of the most beautiful things I've read recently, was this transcript of her speech when she received the Human Rights Campaign's Visibility Awards. I was touched by the candour, humour and eloquence in her delivery, and marvelled at the courage it must have took to speak up on the topic in public, despite her natural inclination to be private about her personal life.

My mother comes from a very different culture and generation, one less educated and aware on these things, and she's always been rather homophobic, and I know she is often discomfited by my friends who don't quite fit the mould when it comes to genders and sexuality, but I guess in her own clumsy, confused way, she has been trying to understand, especially when it's only become apparent, over the years, that as unconventional as my those friends of mine appear to me, they are as human as the rest of us are, and vulnerable to the same emotions we are all susceptible to.

We live in interesting times, where there are vocal calls for the shift towards acceptance of the various aspects of human sexuality on one hand, and the staunch refusal to abolish views that are sex-negative and archaic on the other. Take the news of the Japanese artist arrested for selling 3D printing files of her vulva for one, ironically in a country that celebrates an annual penis festival... it frustrates me that these things aren't changing as quickly as I want them to.

On the other hand, there was this story that made the rounds a couple of days ago, the one about the fifty-one-year-old cross-dresser in Tokyo that dresses up as school-girl, and is nevertheless widely accepted as being an inspirational spokes-person for individuality. While quite heart-warming to read of, it was my mother who surprised me, by broaching the topic suddenly, after weeks, months, years of dispute with me about how unnatural these things were to her.

"I think you young people are more accepting. He said he is comfortable being himself. Maybe he is right."

I don't know if she realised how big a thing it was for me, to hear that for her. Previously, out of exasperation at her inability to absorb all this "New World" thinking, I'd written her off as being bigoted and judgemental, but maybe I was the judgemental one, by assuming that she wouldn't be able to change her perspective on things, without allowing her more time to process it.

So today I'm emailing to her the link to the transcript of this amazing speech that made me cry (it's the time of the month and my emotions are barely kept in check), and maybe, despite our differences, maybe she would at least, one day, be on the same page as me, at least on this topic.

An excerpt from the email, edited for clarity:

I suppose by now you would have realised that your daughter is a fervent (and very vocal) advocate for the acceptance of those who identify by genders and/or sexual orientations other than those that have been assigned to them biologically, and I figured that you might still not quite understand why.

I'm sharing with you the link of one of the most amazing things I've ever read in awhile, and I thought that if you read it too, maybe you could see from the perspective I do (no - I'm not gay or transgender, although those are all just labels - in case you've ever wondered, I just have this... inherent warped sense of social justice, and an over-active ability for empathy, that I have to struggle constantly to distance myself from).

And I hope, maybe, even if you and I were to never get along, maybe you could learn to empathise with these people I call my friends... and look beyond the shell that their spirits inhabit. I am lucky that I can pass as "normal", despite my unconventional attitudes and outward expressions of individuaity, but I know for a fact these people I love will never be quite accepted the same way I am, with the prevalence of current attitudes. 

In an ideal world, I think, we'd just learn to look at our similarities, instead of dwelling on the disparities, and not keep trying to impose those pre-conceived notions of normalcy onto others.