First year Anniversary in Melbourne

I can’t believe one year in Melbourne has already passed soo quickly in a blink of an eye 😅😅… I spent half of the time in a lockdown, but honestly it hasn’t been too bad. So grateful for the good times I have had during my stay here, the people I have met, and the food I have eaten.

Cheers 🥂 to another year to go. 😌😌😌Where will I be in one years time?

Adulting Milestones and fails

So, I spent the whole night yesterday on a wet mattress protector and hence I had a pretty uncomfortable sleep…My only quilt cover was not dry either..despite a whole day of being under the heater…my electricity bills gonna be so high :(. Gonna really try not to open the heater today.. :(. I was super mindful that I don’t want to sweat too much coz my quilt is gonna get dirty! So much stress TT. I have opened the windows and continue to dry the sheets and quilt cover on my makeshift clothes airer…

Next time, I think it will be ideal to not do all of them at the same time and do it in batches…coz,, yeah it doesn’t dry that well in the dryer..probably doesn’t get clean that much.

I’ve been trying to figure out how I can buy one week of groceries at one time. it seems so redundant that I have to make several trips to the stores in one week…and now with COVID, I am trying to do click and collect more often…however, I always seem to forget something…and then I have to wait till next time to get it..and by then I would have forgotten something else.

Other than that, I have officially almost spent an entire week living by myself and interacting with literally no one asides from the grocery unpacker when I click and collect. I am super cautious about those people too…lol…last time I did click and collect, they just left the product in a trolley and let me take it out myself. This time the kind man opened my boot and put it in bags for me in. Whilst that was very kind of him, he could have just left it there for me to pack…Because after that I had to sanitise my boot handle, bags, and everywhere he might have touched. 😦 You know..just in case.

BUT on a side note, I got for half price a set of 10 containers for only $12.50! WOOHOO. can’t wait to label them and fill them up with stuffs.. xD

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Things to do at home during a Pandemic

During this time where most of us are being encouraged to stay at home to ‘Flatten The Curve’ and to minimise the spread of Covid 19 by social distancing…it is easy to become bored. With all the chaos going around the streets…now is a great time to have a think of embarking on some home projects and rekindling some past hobbies…and this post highlights what I know people around me are doing.

It is not so bad for me because I am still working 6 days a week…so honestly life hasn’t changed much for me…except I don’t have any social activities or group exercise planned… 😦 I have been trying my best to go for a short walk around the hospital in my lunch break to get some sun and to get away from the workplace…I am quite lucky that I work in a job where I am constantly on the go and get enough steps in a day.

I miss talking and seeing my friends… so I messaged in my group chat and organised a virtual catch up with my university friends! While there was some people that ignored/forgot my invite to the conversation, I think it was quite successful getting about 6 of 9 people in a chat at once! Because we are all supposed to stay home anyways, they really do not have much excuse for not participating :P. As my sister and her family are also in self-isolation after their trip, I have been regularly video-calling them as well. I am not sure if we are allowed to visit them post isolation, unless to drop some food or supplies (which we have been doing). As most of my friends have FB messenger, that is what I’ve used to communicate with others…but I have heard Zoom is popular, Skype, or even Watsapp.

My mother an extroverted socialite and the self-imposed social isolation that she has undertaken has taken it’s toll on her and the rest of the family face the consequence of it…I keep telling her it’s still okay to get exercise and to go shopping (if you need it!!)…I think it makes you a bit crazy and forgetful when you stay at home all the time…it’s not healthy :(..I am lucky to be isolated with my family at home, but I know a few people at work who live on their own and it can be quite lonely not being able to visit friends or invite them over…unless you risk getting a fine from the police. To combat her boredom, my mum has been gardening almost all day and everyday. She’s planted new plants and flowers and have been taking care of them like her little children! She is also growing vegetables for our own consumption which is great! It might be worth learning to grow your own vegetable and fruits and further avoid the mass queues at supermarkets.

My brother has always been a socially distant person and rarely leaves his room to do anything except eat, shower and shit. So this pandemic hasn’t affected him at all. I guess if you are a gamer, this is your ideal life style?! Thanks to the internet you can entertain yourself with paid streaming websites like Netflix, Stan, etc…or for stingy people like myself, youtube is good enough XD.

My sister has been picking up her practice of lettering (or is it calligraphy) and water colouring again. Since you are going to be indoors all day, everyday day…,might as well make use of those art and craft things that you have, but rarely ‘find’ time to use and do. You can post your work on your facebook or instagram pages to show your work to others or ask for feedback. Isn’t it awesome that the internet keeps us together during this time?

Back to me again, asides from work…I try to minimise the amount of times I go to the grocery store, but if I do, I check in with my elderly aunty and uncle (who have been recommended by our Prime Minister to stay indoors and self-isolate for their own protection) to see what they may need. Helping others get their crucial supplies is a way to look after those in your community. When I do walks around my neighbour hood, I have been keeping my eye out for any elderly that I can ask to see if they need toilet paper/groceries…so far I haven’t seen many out (which is far enough-they are supposed to stay in). As I mentioned in my last post, now is the time to really strengthen that community spirit and look out for the more vulnerable people in our society. While I type this, I feel like I am some sort of politician or something…but anyways probably a sign that I’ve been watching the news too much (not good)!.

Lastly, I mentioned before, I have taken up playing the guitar again. For me, playing music allows me to focus on something else and allows me express a part of me that is only through music… even listening to good music is comforting and amazing. On sort of related side note, I just wanted to let you know, I treated myself to Apple Airpods! Since I can’t go to the gym and work outs (if I do them~!!) will be by myself at home…and walks/runs around neighbour hood. I thought it would be much better having wireless earphones! I love them! I have been using them to listen to videos for my studies and its great…kinda like listening to a podcast…Anyways, I promise I don’t work for Apple..I just really like them. The sound quality of music is great too… not that I know much about sound quality…. xD

I hope everyone stays sane during this challenging time!!!!!!!!!!!!

p.s this pandemic has allowed me a bit more extra time to write more posts and update more frequently and do a little bit on my book…..

Enjoy your indoor time~

JL

 

How I became a Germaphobe

Before this pandemic crisis, some people have accused me of being too much of a germaphobe…however, I can remember exactly why I am the way I am based on my experiences…It’s time for a trip down memory lane…..

I still remember when I was around 11 years old, I had just finished borrowing some books from my local library…and I needed to cross the road to get to our car. I pressed the pedestrian crossing button…and when I went home, it was all downhill from there.

When I went home my finger suddenly felt incredibly itchy. I looked at my finger and small yellow pimple-like pus filled bumps appeared on my pinky finger. I had to cover my entire in bandages because the pus kept leaking out…Anyways, I used this as an excuse to not play violin anymore…because whatever that virus or infection was…it stayed there! I contemplate that there may have been a small cut in my finger which meant that whatever germs was on that pedestrian button must have gone in. Needless to say, I did my best to not touch a pedestrian button from that day.  Strategies to avoid touching it include, waiting for someone else to press it.. there’s plenty of inpatient people around who will press it regardless whether or not someone has done it already :P. I can also use things (that can be easily cleaned later) in my bag to press it, i.e. car/house keys, pens, or umbrellas! This goes the same for elevator buttons and whatever buttons.


 

Fast-forward the future, I was in my third year of pharmacy school and we were doing a microbiology subject in which we investigated the number of bacteria which was on different surfaces. My friend and I both did a swab of our phone screens…A few days later when we came to see our results…My swab came back with bacteria of all colours..it was incredibly gross! However, my friend’s phone only had a few small dots of the same colour. Obviously, there was a massive difference between the two of our phones…I felt incredibly grossed out about the disgustingness of my phone…and this is when I started becoming a little obsessed with having a clean phone, hand, and surfaces if needed. I bought small single use alcohol wipes and put them everywhere, so that I could have clean hands, phones, etc whenever. If no soap in the toilet, no worries I have my alcohol wipes…I found alcohol wipes worked better for me than those small bottles of hand sanitiser because I am quite bad at putting the lid back on properly after using it and it spilt all over my bag… numerous times..

 


Few more years later, I went on a trip to Canada and I had a friend who was even more germaphobe than me! He would always take extra napkins at restaurants and put his phone down on a napkin. I asked him why he did that, and he said… “How do you know that this table is clean? Maybe they haven’t wiped down the table properly..there might be germs on it” and then your phone is DIRTY. MIND BLOWN and from then on, I never put my phone down on any public surface again…even at work I like to put my phone on my book or on a tissue… and I try clean my phone and watch at least once a day when I get home.


 

Using cutlery at restaurants…I never thought about it this way…but I had a friend who would vigoursly wipe spoons and forks at restaurants a clean tissue before use…because who knows how clean they really are… I remember when I was in China as a child to visit relatives, the restaurants provided you with near boiling water so that you would disinfect and wash all the cutlery they provide you. I now try make sure none of my cutlery ever touch the table and I really really get pissed if the waiters just throw your cutlery directly on the table.

 


Once when working in a community pharmacy, there was a little old lady that was on some anti-viral tablets (maybe for herpes() who suddenly leaned across the counter and gave me a huge kiss on my cheek. EWWWW is all I could hear in my head.. When she was gone, I literally put alcohol gel all over my face…who knew what viruses she may be spreading. I have always been super paranoid about getting cold sores, because I don’t have them…IF i share a drink with someone, I have to ask them if they have had coldsores before….because I reallllly don’t want that thanks.

 


Working in the health care made me aware that I could be encountering people with all sorts of diseases and viruses when working in the pharmacy or in the hospital. I have made it a habit to always shower when getting home and washing my hair and getting rid of my work clothes…I try to wear a near set of clothes each day…who knows what germs are harboured on my clothes :O.


The constant cleanliness that I can see in my community makes me extremely happy…I am glad others are thinking about germs now…I hope this stays even post pandemic..

I will show you some photos of places in Adelaide putting into practice social distancing and making sure that sick people don’t infect others.

Every second check out is closed to allow for social distancing in supermarket.

 

 

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This was my badminton club before they closed the gym..making sure that everyone cleans their hands while playing and yes, they are worried about people stealing the hand sanitiser.

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This was outside one of the pharmacies that I went to…They asked people with any signs of symptoms not to enter the pharmacy… Other pharmacies also had signs saying they would close in the middle of the day to clean all the surfaces. There was also hand santiser at the entrance for all customers entering the shop

 

 

This was my coles at 7am when I went there to buy groceries in the early morning which was open just to frontline workers.. Everyone is standing about 1.5 metres apart…for “social distancing”.IMG_2525

Stay safe guys! Hugs and kisses are out~ Foot shakes and waves are in.

Joy

 

 

 

Tortoise and the Hare

At the gym I go to, they were still open 24/7 over the Christmas/New Period but they stopped running the live classes…

This was a real struggle for me … as I force myself o go to the gym for those classes… so I really had no incentive to go…so I went like once a week.. and that’s mainly coz I am cheap and I hated seeing my membership fees being deducted from my bank account and realising they are getting free money…

Anyways, what I am trying to say is… I normally do not do weights and cardio work out by myself… I am someone highly motivated by having people around me working hard…hence love those classes…!

So I went to the gym twice over the holiday period.. On the first visit..I went on the treadmill… I was like .. hmmm this sure looks like a good way to get my 10,000 steps on my fitbit..!! So I started off slow 4.5km/hour speed.. up to 8.0km/h (not fast I know)… did that for about a minute or so (seriously out of breath…unfit 😦 ) and them took a bit of a break by slowing down to 4.5 km/h just to get recover my breath… coz tired..!! I did this for 20minutes… and was super tired.. I managed to do 2km distance in that 20minutes! Not bad..? For me 😂

On the second visit.. I was feeling really lethargic of late ( prob due to iron deficiency).. and I decided I wouldn’t do those speed intervals because the sprinting really takes the wind out of me… but I also hate walking really slow on the treadmill😭 I am a pretty fast walker…probably due to the fact I work in a lot of faced-paced environments where I cannot walk slow :(.. so I set it at a constant speed of 6.5km/hour.. so mid way between what I did in my first visit…

And it was great .. I didn’t have to constantly look at the little time and have to keep changing the speeds on the right up and down.. and I didn’t feel as exhausted and worn out at the end of 10 minutes.. And I did the same…! At the end .. I got the same result. 1km/10 minutes essentially!

But this way.. was better..easier and didn’t tire me out…

it was interesting how I feel like that can relate to me and how I have been living my life… I go through periods of extreme stress .. leading to anxiety, depression and mental breakdowns…to a point where I can’t take it amy more.. then I am forced to rest… my body shuts down in sickness .. and thats when I recover.. start to remember my health and my sanity again…

The reason why I’ve been working so hard for the last six months with no break (literally working 7 days a week for I am not sure how many weeks it is now)… is because I felt I was so behind in life… in comparison to my friends… those my age are getting married, have moved overseas to work… buying houses.. doing all this exciting stuff and what I feel is “adult” stuff.. and there was me… who blew my savings recklessly on an expensive holiday overseas… and on some scam medicine entrance exam course….I felt I needed to catchup by working myself to almost death -? Because I am so tired all the time, worn out… burnt out… sick so often and can’t even relax…get irritable… can’t eat properly.. don’t have time or energy to see friends…

I am asking myself..? Why do I meed to do all this sprinting to try catch up to everyone else? I am just going o get exhausted and need a really good rest-where I might have to stop work altogether for s break… because if I am constant with myself.. mot too much.. not too little.., I can reach that end goal without over exerting myself.. and still enjoy a good work out that is life…

Thanks for reading my weird analogies o life.. i literally wrote this at 4am because I woke up with blood running down my face from my nose… oops

Stay Joyful guys!

#21 How to understand how someone with a Mental illness feels going to work

I believe most people don’t like going to work…getting up early when its cold outside? No thanks! But, for those with mental illnesses, it can be torture and takes all their strength and energy to get out of bed. A typical day for me in the past in a retail pharmacy job would be something like this…before I decided to finally get help…

The thought of making small talk with people you might not really like or know is tortuous. Thinking of who will be in the lunchroom with you during lunch time is daunting too. What if your boss asks to speak to you?

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The struggle to leave the bed

Maybe you should just stay home today?? But, we can’t do that! That means explaining to your boss that you don’t feel week and that’s lying and what if they fire you? You can’t tell them you have a mental illness, they won’t care, they won’t understand, they will judge you and label you as crazy, they will think you are faking a sickie. No one is going to hire you. You worked so hard to find this job. You thought that you could join a place that is ‘against discrimination’, but we all know that the stigma still exists. It is safer to be quiet, to be silent and to fight the battle alone …for as long as you can.

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You count the seconds that you can get home

But today, it’s different, the depression comes back…it’s always been there…but you have been fighting it. You are barely able to muster enough strength to go to work. You’ve done it before, you can do it again. Counting down the hours, minutes and seconds till you are back in the comfort of your bed. Where you are safe, where no one can harm you, bully you and make you feel like you are nothing. You don’t know if you are overreacting or if it’s the depression.

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Lying that you are Fine

On the off chance, someone might ask you how you are. “I am fine thanks. Just tired” That’s the best you can come with. If they ask “Why are you tired?” …”Oh, couldn’t sleep”…Due to my racing thoughts of suicide and anxiety. But you can’t say that, can you? They are being ‘nice’, but hey I am not going to unload to some stranger…Work really isn’t the place for that. I think. Please don’t look at me. I don’t want people to notice my sadness. I don’t want to be noticed, I just want to pretend everything is okay. I don’t think you really care.

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You are not productive at work

You are surprised you haven’t broken down on the floor crying. You hold back the tears. You feel guilty…There are sicker people who come to get medicine for all sorts of terrible diseases, yet they are still smiling. Yet you, faking that smile, feel like you are dying inside. So many people are on anti-depressants, but I don’t want to get help…what is work finds out? I work full-time…there’s no time to go see a doctor or a psychologist. These things are bloody expensive as well! No one can help me. It’s just a phase…I will get better on my own. I can’t wait for the weekend so I can sleep through it.

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I can’t deal with small issues

When something small doesn’t go to plan, I just can’t problem solve anymore. I feel like there’s no alternative, there is no way. I am going to get fired for not being able to solve this. I am afraid to ask someone for help, they are going to judge me and look at me like I am stupid. It’s all my fault…I don’t know how to fix this! Why am I so useless and dumb?

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My memory becomes like mush

My brain is constantly fighting with itself, flight or fight. My heart is racing and I am sweating. So nervous… I forget things easily, wait how many boxes of Sertraline do I need to order again? Was it 2 or 4? What was the password again? Oh, I left my keys in the car again. Oh, I also left my phone at home…Why I am so forgetful? Why am I stupid…repeat above. Why do I feel like I am going to cry over this small thing?

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I feel ugly and I hate my reflection

I can barely wake up in time to get to work, let alone care about how shi* I look. My hair is a mess, it’s too long, but I can’t bring myself to get a haircut. It’s too much effort. Who cares anyway? The makeup doesn’t even hide the eye bags due to the constant lack of sleep. I feel like I’ve grown older. I stare at the mirror… Who is that soulless person that stares back at me? I don’t even know her? Why does she look so sad? Why is she so ugly?

No one is going to like her.


I feel apathetic

The normal me, before I became severely depressed, was happy, outgoing and chatty. But when I started at this toxic workplace, I lost it all. I became someone who I didn’t know. I didn’t care about the patients that walked through the door, I couldn’t handle the rudeness with a smile anymore. I just froze and fought back tears. My resilience was gone. The terror of the increasing number of mistakes made the anxiety worse. It made me even slower and made people doubt my abilities even more. I get taunted by the bully, “You are too slow! Why are you so useless?” You don’t need to tell me, I already know.

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The depression makes you stay where you are because it feels even scarier to change

Familiar is not always good. When you stay in a toxic situation, it’s like being in a room full of Carbon Monoxide, it will slowly kill you. The depression lies to you, the bullies lie to you, you can move. You are more than their taunts, you are more than what you think you are. But you don’t know this. You only find out when you leave the toxic place and realise, that a good workplace might exist.

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Well, that’s all the blabber from me today.

I am sure there are benefits from working, income, kill time, learn things and make friends…That can be another post.

Sorry for the emo post! Sorry not sorry.

Joy to the World

#20 How to isolate yourself from social media

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I took part in an experiment which measured the use of social media in a week, my randomised action was that I had to delete the Instagram app on my phone and not use it for a week. Though I was tempted a few times, I quickly asked my self, is it necessary to show the world where you are? What you are eating? Who you are with?

After some deliberation, I think not. So why do people like to post so many selfies of their face on Instagram?

I found the answer on this wonderful article on Loneliness here 26 Things People Don’t Realize You’re Doing Because You’re Feeling Lonely: *Recommend you to read!*. This is also a link to some ‘brutally  honest’ statuses on facebook…35 Brutally Honest Facebook Statuses

I have to admit, I didn’t realise that I was so lonely, until I deleted a lot of my apps, Facebook, Whatsapp, Youtube, Instagram and realised this is the way we ‘communicate’ with some many people. It is what connects us? Yet, also tears us apart. Is there going to be anyone who wants to meet up with me to catch up instead of sending a message? Truly, I am not sure if the world is closer than before or even further away.

So many people are isolated and lonely…and they can sit in front of a computer or phone screen scrolling through the ‘happy’ snaps that their ‘friends’ are posting of their ‘family’, their ‘holiday’ or their latest ‘home’ that they bought. While I am not saying these things are bad, but do you know what you are doing? Are you trying to rub it into everyone else’s faces that you have it better than them? Are you even genuinely happy or do you just want attention?

As I said, I am full guilty of this…I am insecure, I want attention, I want to fool my self that my life is happier, more interesting and better than it is. I don’t want people to see me down, to see me sad or lonely, I feel like people would criticise me…belittle me.

Recently, I have realised that well-meaning ‘friends’ have offended me greatly.  I read a quote today,

It is easier to forgive an enemy than forgive a friend.

William Blake

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It is true though…because we actually care what our friends say and when they make us feel like shit without knowing it, you ask yourself are they even your real friend? They don’t know the struggles you are doing through and are insensitive bitches. This is why I boycotted pretty much all social media. I feel like I am dead, like hardly anyone talks to me now, except family and a few selected friends overseas through Line and Wechat. When did our world become so involved in facebook? Instagram? Snap Chat? When we leave it, it’s like we are dead and forgotten in the world. When we meet someone new, we don’t ask for phone numbers or emails anymore, no we ask for Facebook accounts. SO what if I don’t have one? Are we not going to keep in touch?

It feels weird sending someone a text and them not replying and you not knowing if they have ‘seen it’…but what can we do?

Man, I am getting so hyped up typing this.

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So…. back on topic…how do you isolate yourself from social media? Just delete your apps, log out, delete and deactivate your accounts. Hopefully, those that you are actually close to, will call your phone or send you a text.

Addiction to social media is draining, stupid, harmful and time-consuming. It can definitely lead to FOMO and low self-esteem. Live life how you want to live it and stop looking at what everyone else is doingwhat happened to human interaction? When did we become part robots with phones attached to our hands?

Joy to the World-

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#19 Five ways you can help someone with Depression ; The Dos and Donts

Hi All,

I am going to off with a quote by Thomas Edison himself…The guy who invented the ‘lightbulb moment! and the light bulb too’ …

“Of inspiration one percent; of perspiration, ninety-nine.” -Thomas Edison

So anyway, the point of this quote is that sometimes I don’t feel like writing because I don’t feel inspired to write…but the thing is… If everyone waited for inspiration before they did something great, we would all be waiting around a lot longer for that season 2 of The Good Doctor (shameless plug for my fave show) or the next series of our favourite Netflix Tv Shows (I don’t have Netflix so I am not sure whats on there..). But yes, the main point I am trying to make is that I will try consistently write in this blog, whether or not I am inspired because I have a lot I want to write about but I sometimes don’t feel it is not good enough, interesting enough or it may be written by someone else better. But anyway, everyone has their unique opinion and view and I am interested in hearing your views too.

Also, shout out to ‘The Mighty’ Autism Facebook page and on the main site here for featuring my post on Autism!! I’ve never had anyone except for my sister edit my work and I am forever grateful that they made my text more readable… Hopefully, thanks to the additional exposure to a greater audience, the awareness of Autism will continue to rise!

Anyways, enough babbling from me and now onto the topic of ‘How you can help someone with a mental illness’..The dos and the don’t dos’..does this sentence even make sense? Well, you get my drift right?

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1. Please do take it seriously when we disclose to your our mental illness…

It takes a lot of courage and boldness to share about our internal struggles with the outside world. A lot of hurt, addictions and the stigma that surrounds it can prevent us from sharing. We get affected by how you react, how you might think and the way you may behave towards us after we share with you. No, it’s not just going to go away, it is there for life. Sure, we can manage it with drugs, therapy, and lifestyle changes, but it is a part of us and it has shaped us to be who we are today. So, please don’t belittle our condition, it’s not like we chose to be born with it..or for it to be part of us.

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2. Don’t compare my struggles to your own life-every story and person is different.

This is more so for the people who don’t have the mental condition you have and they try to dismiss your anxieties as something that will pass…They even might say… “I had it worse than you in my own days!” Often this is said by a well-meaning older person to cheer the sad younger person up… but it does NOT help. Your circumstances and mine are different, we are two different people and just because you can’t see my illness, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. From my own personal experience, being brought up in an Asian Christian family meant that Mental Illness is the taboo topic that no one talks about and it made me believe I was flawed and that I had to keep my struggles to myself. I have nothing against Christianity, but I do believe they need to acknowledge that Mental Illness is real as high blood pressure is and may need treatment! Back when I was going through a really hard time due at an old workplace, I finally saw a GP about my insomnia and he diagnosed me with anxiety and depression. He said I should see a psychologist and that I should start medication. I didn’t really want to start medications, so I said I would think about it. I talked to my leader at that church about it and they advised me not to take medications, but to pray to God to heal me instead. So, I continued my suffering…until it got so bad and the suicidal thoughts were real…I talked to a pastor of the church about my struggles and she was like…start the medication…You are in such a bad place-even faith can’t help you right now. Anyways, point being, mental illness is a real condition and while it cannot be cured, you can ‘manage’ it. 

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3. Do keep in touch regularly with your friend/family member that is struggling in their mental illness and don’t take it personally if they are not as ‘happy and fun to be around’ or ‘outgoing’ as they used to be

Having personally experienced multiple depressive episodes, I know the struggles and difficulties of even getting up in the morning from bed! A social gathering with many people I don’t know very well? That’s like me climbing Mt. Everest mate! That’s a lot of effort for someone with social anxiety and depression. While we don’t want to be alone, we don’t have the energy to interact with people and to pretend to be happy and nice to people when we are dying inside. I have had to cancel on numerous people due to being sick because I have been too anxious and had panic attacks… Most people don’t even know I have them, because I am usually reluctant to go out if I feel one coming on. I once went out with someone, who took my panic attack symptoms to be a joke. Literally. They just laughed at me and did not take me seriously…That…really hurt…and made me want to avoid all social contact for a while ( and avoid them)…until I started to trust and build a closer friendship with people that aren’t like them. There are people who will understand you and there are people who don’t and you don’t have to be friends with them. Eff them.  Sorry for the angry rant and bad language… What was I talking about again? Oh yes, please continue to reach out to them! Maybe you can’t physically meet up with them, but you can message them with encouragement, love and let them know that anytime they need/want to talk that you are there for them..<3

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4. Do Help them with resources to help themselves and encourage them to seek help

If someone tells you they are struggling, don’t think that you are now responsible for their well-being and to prevent them from doing harm to themselves. Yes, you care about them, but well all aren’t a trained professional therapist (that’s great if you are! keep doing a good job) and psychiatrists. So, while we can offer peer support, we can help them with real therapy and medications. Let them know about different helplines, drop in places and understanding GPs that can help point them in the right direction. If they are worried about going to their first therapy alone, maybe offer to accompany them for the first few times, until they feel comfortable going alone. Help them build a support network for themselves and this helps you as well so that you don’t have to bear the full weight and responsibility for their well-being. Recommending good articles, websites, books, music, and movies about mental health also help increase their knowledge about the disease too.

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5. Don’t stereotype people by their mental illness

I’ve touched on this in a way on my post about Myths about Autism. Mental illness manifests differently in everyone and by judging you aren’t helping the situation. Even if we have a common certain mental illness, each person’s experience of it is different. After learning that I might have autism, I have since then had the opportunity to meet many others that also have autism…and I can say without a doubt, that they come in all shapes and sizes. Extroverts, introverts, non-verbals and just your everyday quiet dude and they are mostly all interesting people. There is no point in trying to generalise, but there are common traits. One other thing I thought I may add here, is that I have found sometimes doctors don’t take a certain physical symptom I have seriously because they think it is due to ‘my mental illness’. This can include things like my asthma and recurrent migraines (oh it’s just because of your panic attacks, anxiety, and insomnia!) ..but the thing is I literally can’t breathe MADAM and I also have asthma… Also, I have ended up in the hospital due to my ‘migraines’… Hope you get my point.

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Anyways, I am sure there are many more dos and don’t do in interacting with people with mental illnesses. I am curious as to what people have said to you because of your mental illness – Please comment below.

Sorry, it is a somewhat angry post…I not only want to be angry, but I also to change the situation by writing this in the hopes that you can better support those with mental illness.

Thanks for reading!

En-Joy your day!

Article Recommendation!

What does it mean to get help once you realise you have a mental health illness? This article sums it up pretty well!

Hi,

I just read an article which helped put into words some of the things that I really want to say. Though it is not written by someone in Australia, some of the things the author experienced, I too experienced myself while trying to navigate my way in the mental health sector in Australia. If you have about 10-15 minutes, please read this article! It is quite long, but very detailed, personal and emotionally interesting. She details how (and I am also guilty of it), how mental illness has became somewhat ‘mainstream’ as in people are talking about it, but the thing is the mental health sector isn’t keeping up. There are massive waiting lists for help, the costs involved are great and the medications are expensive. When we tell someone that there is a lot of help available, is there really? I feel like we have come a lonnnng way from a 10 years ago, but there is still A LOT that can be done.

‘It’s nothing like a broken leg’: why I’m done with the mental health conversation –Hannah Jane Parkinson

Here’s so quotes from the article to bait you in!

“It’s never been easier to open up – but hashtag healthcare doesn’t help people like me…”

“Throwing a ball of wool to one another in a circle might be helpful for some people, but it absolutely wasn’t for me…”

“Amy Winehouse, voice of a goddamn goddess. We’ll allow. Kathy, 54, works at Morrisons. Not so much..”

“Enough awareness has been raised. We – the public, health professionals, politicians – need to make our actions count”

Let me know what you thought of the article in the comments! (if you want)..!

Take care,

 

Be- Joy-Filled

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#10 How to find meaning in your life

Having a reason to get up each morning is important, having a reason to eat healthily and to exercise is important…Having a reason to breathe and continue living despite all that happens is important…I hope you see my point?

So, what happens if you realise you don’t know why you are on this earth? What if you are still lost and confused and not sure why you do the things you do?

Hopefully, this post will explore some common reasons why people live and why it should be based on many things and always be evolving and changing… 🙂

1. Some people live for their children or their future children.

They want to leave their legacy and invest the rest of their lives investing in the lives of their children, to help bring them up to be good and successful adults.

2. Some people live for their career. Career driven people may forsake other loves and interests in turn to pursue being the “best” or the “top” of their profession. These people could be astronauts, prime ministers, the wife of a Prince, an actor or someone who devotes their life solely on their work. People like Einstein…

3. Some people live to do good essentially. Similar to those who live for their career, these people however live their lives spreading love and goodness to those who need it. People who come into mind is Mother Theresa or Gandhi.

4. People who live to enjoy their lives . I guess they just live to please them self? They may have lots of money and like to spend it on lavish holidays, newest handbags or latest fashion. If you live to get the newest iPhone or apple watch, that’s cool and that is totally up to you!

5. Living for a spiritual reason. Some people find solace and find peace that they were put on this earth for a reason. This could be those who devote their life to serving in their church, temple or other religious place of gathering. Some may even be called to be evangelists to spread the gospel throughout the world, I guess this could be their calling.

6. Those who live for their hobbies! Some people in their spare time or hobbies, feel like they live to do them. For example, I have many friends who are obsessed with a certain sport such as badminton, volleyball or table tennis. This is the highlight of their week, this is where most of their friends are and where they spend a majority of their time at after work or school. There is nothing wrong to want to live to do these fun things. It is a healthy way to maintain your fitness and also to make new friends.

7. Some people live to look after their pets/animals. I thought I would add this one, in case you don’t see yourself having kids, but you might have 10 cats who depend on you to look after them, that is one important reason to live.

8. Live for those who matter to you, i.e. Friends, family and those who may look up to you. Our circle of influence is wider than we think! If people heard that you did something awesome like volunteer to help kids in 3rd world countries, that story can be passed to some family friends kids nephews cousin and they may be inspired to do the same! There is nothing wrong for living to see your friends and as it has been said before, life is all about the relationships you have. Whether you have a special someone or not, really good friends you can share with make life so much more colourful and meaningful. So take care to develop and care for your friends :)!

9. Live to make a positive difference in the world. This one is quite broad and encapsulates a few points that have already been mentioned. Whether you make an invention, discover a new drug or were the first to fly to Mars, I hope you aim high! Whether it’s small or big, all of us have left our imprint on this earth in some way or other. Whether you are a mother who gave birth to child who continued the line of the human race, or you were the important garbage collector who dutifully did their job to the gratefulness of others….everyone is important, big or small, recognised or unrecognised. Can I just put a note here, that a really good book I recommend you to read is ‘The Five people you meet in Heaven’, that explains this concept well.

10.  To travel and experience different life experiences, like Sky Diving or eating delicious foods!! I personally love traveling around the world and learning about other people’s cultures and learning new languages. I hope I can go to every country before I die! It’s just so exciting and thrilling to leave on a holiday to a whole another world. Some people live to eat yummy foods around the world, just remember to check your cholesterol regularly!

These are some of the suggestions that I can think of to live a meaningful life, I am sure there are many more other reasons!

As I said, we can have more than one reason and I think it is better to have many reasons to live.

A great link that I found on this topic is this article:

Question for you guys:

What do you feel your purpose in life is? 

 

Take care and see you next time!

 

Joy

 

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#5 How to understand someone with Autism -The Myths and Misconceptions about someone with Autism

There are many myths and misconceptions about autism, hopefully this post will help you learn more about autism and dispel some myths about autism.

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*update*

Here is the Video if you prefer listening to reading!

There are many misconceptions about autism, as many people may only know about it from movies and tv shows…but what is it really? Is everyone autistic good at chess, have supernatural savant abilities or are they all non-verbal? Hopefully, this post will help dispells some common myths and misconceptions about autism.

Myth #1: Autism is like how that movie or TV show portrayed autism is for everyone!

When I say the word Autism, what immediately comes to mind? Is it Raymond the autistic savant in Rain man? Or the equally autistic savant surgeon Dr Shaun Murphy in the Good doctor? Or perhaps it is Sheldon from the Big Bang theory who displays autistic traits?

If TV shows and movies are not your thing… Maybe you have experienced a personal encounter with autism in your childhood. Perhaps, you remember that “special kid” in your class that had trouble communicating with the rest of the class or was often disruptive and non-verbal.

Those with autism are often labelled as strange, weird or quirky and often feel ostracised and often become the victims of bullying at school and also in the workplace.

Myth #2: Only boys get autism! Girls don’t!
It was believed previously that there is that there is a 3:1 ratio of diagnosis of autism in boys in comparison to girls. But, current research and efforts to improve the sensitivity of diagnostic testing for autism has revealed that the number of girls is actually higher than they initially thought. The ratio is most likely to be closer to 2:1 ratio autism in boys to girls.

Why is this the case?

This could be from a multitude of factors, but one particular factor is the difference in the way boys and girls tend to act and also the greater understanding of the different signs and symptoms of autism.

In my opinion, girls tend to live a more sheltered life with a lot of them having their behaviour modified at a young age by their mother or father. Girls tend to be better at mimicking and almost like a chameleon trying to blend in with other girls their age. They may have also grown up with ‘neurotypical’ females around them who they copy, either a sister or a close friend/relative, who then teach and mentor them to act like they are “supposed to”. Boy’s don’t tend to do that as much and hence autistic boys are more likely to be diagnosed at an earlier age and if at all in comparison to girls.

These boys are able to get the help they need to help modify their abnormal behaviours and mindsets at an earlier age. Many girls unfortunately who have pretended to be ‘normal’, seep through the cracks in getting diagnosed and thus grow up struggling to understand why they never seem to fit in with others.

Some questions they may ask themselves:

  • Why do I never know what to say or do in certain social circumstances?
  • How come everyone else knows naturally what to do or say?
  • How can I know if this person is my friend or not? Do they like me or not?
  • How does body language work and why does it matter?
  • What does my tone of voice have to do with anything?

These are only some of the questions autistic people may ask themselves…

Myth# 3: You don’t look like you are autistic! You don’t have to look autistic, to be autistic

Often people misconceptions about people with autism may say, “You can’t be autistic, you don’t look like it!” This can make us who may have autistic feel upset, angry or guilty…are you accusing us of lying and fabricating our diagnosis? You haven’t ever lived in or walked in our shoes before.

Let me ask you, “Does someone have to look like they have high blood pressure to have it? Or does someone have to look like they have kidney cancer to have kidney cancer?”

Physical appearance and attributes are not the only diagnostic markers of people with diseases and if at all for autism.

It’s like judging a book by its cover, you can assume ANYTHING about the book, but unless you open it t and read it, you will not know what is inside.

Myth #4: All autistic people are the same

Autism manifests uniquely differently in each individual and one size does not fit all. Autism has actually been redefined as the ‘Autistic Spectrum Disorder’: It could mean you could be on the more severe ‘Low functioning’ side of the ‘spectrum’ here you may not be even able to speak or communicate with others. On the other hand, you could be ‘ High functioning’ side and live a relatively ‘normal life’, like holding down a steady job, get married and even have kids.

Does that mean that some suffer more than the other? Or does high functioning autistic people not count as having autism? No… they are still autistic and they deserve the help and support that anyone struggling with autism needs.

#Myth #5: Autistic can’t communicate at all and don’t understand other people

I’ve had friends say, when I disclosed my potential for having autism, “You communicate so well and I ‘ve known you so long, surely you can’t have autism”. As Myth number 4 says, autism manifests differently in everyone and everyone is at a different place in the spectrum. Some people on the spectrum are better at copying ‘social norms’ better than others and hence they are able to imitate how to act. This may fool others and maybe even themselves that they are ‘normal’.

Myth #6 You can only get autism as a kid and then you grow out of it

Unfortunately, this is not the case, autism is a lifelong condition. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that happens from birth and at current, there is no known ‘cure’ for it, there is also evidence that it is a genetically passed on disorder from generation to generation, so it can run in families. The only treatment at the moment is behaviour modification from a young age and education for those who may know someone who is affected by autism to be more understanding. However, despite not having a cure for autism, you can still live quite a fulfilling and full life with the appropriate help and support from others.

Fact #7 People with Autism cannot be diagnosed as an adult

As I said, many people, especially females slip through the cracks and can go undiagnosed for many years by acting out their charade. However, when they get found out or if the charade goes wrong, it can lead to mental breakdowns, health problems or relationship breakdowns which may lead them to see a psychologist, doctor or psychiatrist about their mental issues…which they could eventually lead to a diagnosis of autism and this can be as an adult.

Myth #8: Autistic people do not have any emotions and they can never love anyone else or anything

Definitely not true! It’s just that autistic people may show their love and affection in different ways to the way ‘neurotypical’ people may perceive as normal. They definitely are able to love animals and pets, and pets for young kids with autism is a good way to teach them nurturing habits and pets also decrease anxiety in both adults and children. Autistic people can also get married and have kids, they may be at more risk of communication issues in their relationships, but with some work and help from others, they can make it work.

Myth #9 Autistic people can’t be successful or useful people in society

This definitely is the biggest myth of all in my opinion! There are many people in history who are suspected to have had autism or have displayed common autistic traits that may indicate they have autism. Famous people such as Mozart, Albert Einstein, and Isaac Newton have all demonstrated autistic-like traits. Well, known people of today that are suspected to be on the spectrum, (but not officially confirmed) are Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Burton. Some well-known people who have come out as saying they are on the autism spectrum is the singer and winner of Britain’s Got Talent; Susan Boyle, the creator of Pokemon, Satoshi Tajiri and Temple Grandit, a famous animal behaviour expert.

Myth #10 People with autism either have intellectual disabilities or have savant Abilities

As you should be well aware by now, not everyone has a special ability such as a photographic memory, and everyone with autism doesn’t have a learning disorder. Autistic Savants are actually quite rare and please do not assume all autistic people have difficulty learning, yes they may have some difficulties understanding abstract concepts and some learning methods, but their IQ is often normal or above average. In saying that, it is possible for someone with autism to also concurrently have learning disabilities.

I hope this post has been helpful in dispelling some of the myths in regards to autism! If you noticed anything incorrect or you want to add something, feel free to leave a comment below! Like always, follow, subscribe and like if you enjoyed or found this post useful! As this is an important issue for me-I am going to post a video with the same information too…

See you next week!

Joy

“How to” Make Friends- Video is up!

Hi! I ‘ve finally made my first “How to Video” and this is on a topic that is close to me, how to avoid or reduce Social Isolation caused by feeling lonely.

 

You can be living with your spouse, family or friends but still feel lonely…

These are some tips and tricks from friends, family and from my own experiences in making new friends.

Hopefully, you will be able to make some new friends this way!

A new blog post will be up soon!

It’s never too late to make new friends 🙂

Be sure to leave a comment below if you have tips on making new friends!

Catch you next time!