Thursday, 1 May 2014

Depression And Birth Of A Blog


Today is 1st May and it is a HOLIDAY! I am feeling relaxed and happy. The last two days have been quite stressful chasing a deadline and I am glad for a peaceful day today. Another cause for good cheer is the lifting of the water rationing exercise. What a relief!

Since I have no food or cakes to share today, I want to talk about something else. Depression is not exactly  a topic that would appear in a food blog. But PH Bakes is about baking, cooking and everything in between.

And as and when an "everything in between" crops up, I will put up a post. After all this is my blog and I can write whatever I like. Or to borrow a phrase from Louiz aka Princess Ribbon - my like, my sukak. A word of caution - long post ahead.


My curry plant flowered recently. These are the flower buds.

For as long as I can remember, I experienced depression from an early age. At that time, nobody could imagine that a child was capable of experiencing depression. Childhood depression was not medically recognized until 1980 by the psychiatric profession.

I also suffered from depression throughout my adolescent years. I am hoping that this sharing of my own experience can in some ways bring comfort and perhaps help those of you going through the same thing to find ways to drag yourself out of that darkness.


This is how the flower looks like.

So what causes depression? Many things. Circumstances in your life - losing a loved one, problems with your job, overwhelming family responsibilities, hormonal and chemical imbalance in your brain, your Japanese Cheesecake sank or there is simply no good reason at all. It is a dark heavy feeling of sadness, despair, helplessness, hopelessness and at times accompanied by a fair bit of angst.


It then develops into berry-like fruits. These are still small. Photo taken this morning.

It was in 2011 that I experienced deep depression. It did not come suddenly but was built up over a period of time. Let me recall how I felt during that very difficult time.

I wake up in the morning feeling really, really lousy. I am tired, exhausted. I don't want to get up. I can't get up. I just want to lie in bed. I don't want to go to work. I can't face the day. I have so much anxiety built up inside of me.


My mint. Doing quite well.

I drag myself out of bed. I go through the motions of getting ready for work. There is a very dark heavy cloud hanging over my head. I am miserable. Miserable is not strong enough a word to describe how I feel.

In the office, the feeling gets worse. I sink deeper into depression. I look at the piles of paper and files on my desk and I feel like screaming. I cannot focus. I cannot think. I cannot even write a simple letter.

I stare at the computer and my mind goes blank. I am so fed-up. When the phone rings, I want to explode. I don't want to talk to anyone. I don't want to see anyone. I want to walk out of the office and never come back. Thinking of deadlines, I cannot breathe. I feel hopeless, I cannot cope.

I am like a harassed mother picking up toys from the floor. Lots of toys. My arms are full of toys and no sooner had I picked up a toy, two will drop from my arms. Pick and drop, pick and drop.

I am so frustrated. Some days, I retreat to the toilet and cry. There is so much negative energy and I was going on a downward spiral. This went on for days, weeks, months. Something had to be done.


Basil. I bought these from Tesco to plant. Some died.

There are many ways of dealing with depression. Some people climb up a tall building and jump right down. Your troubles may be over when you hit the ground but think about the hurt and pain you will cause the people who love you - your mum, your dad, your siblings, your husband/wife/partner, your kids, your friends - and not forgetting your favorite chee cheong fan man whose 15% revenue comes from your regular patronage. Let me share how I dealt with depression.


Kafir lime leaves/Daun limau purut. Love the scent!

The first step in dealing with depression is to recognize the fact that you are depressed. Recognition and awareness was how I took control of myself. I am depressed, fine. Next step is to identify the source. Why am I depressed? It was clear to me that my source of unhappiness was my work. I have been in my profession for 20 years and I was suffering from burnout.


My rosemary. Surprisingly easy to grow. Just buy from the supermarket and stick it into a pot.

Naturally, the third step is how to deal with the depression. Talking and sharing how you feel with someone you can trust and who can understand you is crucial. There are two people who are my source of comfort and "unloading" - my mum and my partner.

My partner was aware of what I was going through. He knew I was unhappy about something and one morning he gently asked me "Are you OK?". Well, that started it - I honestly told him "No" and promptly burst into tears. I cried and I cried and I cried. And we talked. For the first time in so many months, I felt a heavy load lifted off me.

My partner is a very understanding man and he offered me comfort and sympathy. He shared with me his own experience with depression and how he coped. Listening to a good a song helps, he told me. Watching a good movie helps too. And counting your blessings.

Right now, he told me, you are bumping on the ground. You are at the lowest point in your life, you cannot go down any further, the only way is up. I am crying right now as I write this.


Daun Kesum/Laksa leaves. These were from Aeon and I poked it into the soil. Seems to be surviving.

So, I read food blogs as a form of distraction. When I cannot focus on my work, I go blog hopping. Before you tell me that I am cheating my boss by wasting my office hours, I have to admit to you that I happen to be the boss of me. If I had been an employee, I would have gone to see my boss and if he/she cannot grant me unpaid leave, I would graciously tender my resignation.

I am not in the business of cheating my employer and I did resign from a firm many, many years ago because I did not like my job. If anything goes wrong in my present profession, I will be the first in the line of firing and I accept that responsibility wholeheartedly.

With that heavy responsibility comes the freedom for me to stay at work and at the same time do what I have to do to heal. 


Bunga Kantan/Torch Ginger plant. I wonder when it will flower.

Another thing I did was to document my feelings in a journal. I called it "Conversations with God". I imagine that I am writing to God. My first entry was on 21 March 2011, a Monday. I started off with "Dear God, today is Monday 21-03-2011 and I am extremely miserable".

And I ended that letter with "Please dear God, save me from the brink of madness and grant me the strength to carry on.  That’s all I could ever ask for now." I signed off as "Your highly disturbed and obedient servant".

Since that day, I have 33 entries into the journal expressing anything depressing when the feeling hits me and I gave my partner full access to that file so that he is aware of what is going on with me. 


See that little critter on the leaf?

I also shared my feelings with my mum. My mother is also a very understanding person and she too offered me comfort by sharing her own experience with depression.

Take up a hobby, she told me. Painting or baking. At that time my only hobby was gardening, which I abandoned when depression got the better of me. And I have to credit my mum for my foray into baking. And my auntie too as she supplied me with my first set of baking tools.

As I mentioned, I did a lot of blog hopping and I also watched baking and cooking videos. Two of my favorites are Joy of Baking and Laura in the Kitchen.

And one weekend, I bravely baked my first brownies. I was nervous as hell and though the brownie was slightly over baked, I felt a sense of accomplishment. The best part was my partner declaring the brownie as "ho chiak" (delicious) when I asked if it was OK. hah...hah...


Another shot of curry flowers.

But deep depression does not go away in a day or two. You have to be patient and not expect miracles. You must have faith and belief in yourself. If you believe in God, pray for salvation and comfort.

It is a gradual healing and even then you may not be completely free from depression. What you hope to achieve is to develop a positive attitude so that you can handle tough situations better. And the next time depression hits you, you can  take a deep breath, take control and rise above.

In 2012, I was still struggling with depression and I had to find something, something that could take my mind off my misery. That was when I decided to start a food blog. Yes, this blog! My first post was published on 1 May 2012 and today is my 2nd blog anniversary :) 


Oregano. Another very easy herb to plant.

This blog, Phong Hong Bakes, is something positive that came out of my healing process. This blog has brought me much joy and happiness. And I am happy to have known you fellow bloggers and you have delighted me and brought me much happiness through your sharing of bakes and cooks and whatever else that you choose to share. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my blogger friends and readers for your support throughout this time.

And one more thing before I go. If anyone who is depressed comes to you to pour out their feelings, listen. Offer a shoulder to cry on, be supportive. Be gentle, be sympathetic. Depression is very real and please don't simply dismiss this person and not take them seriously. This is not the time to be judgmental. A harsh or unkind remark can cause a troubled mind to sink deeper into despair. 

Your source of depression could be different from mine and my solution may not be suited for you. But if you look into yourself and take some time to reflect, you too can find a solution and source of comfort and eventually heal. And though I still get depressed from time to time, it does not come that often and when it does, I recover very quickly. It is my hope that anyone of you who is suffering from depression can eventually heal and be happy again. May the force be with you. Amen.

Hope springs eternal. Life is to be cherished. Don't worry, be happy!

59 comments:

  1. Ooooo...all those treasures in your garden. Thriving so very well. Mine all died...except the curry leaves...and ah yes! The pandan. Will have to buy anything that I may need...or do without. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pandan is not doing too well. I should transfer it to the ground.

      Delete
  2. Depression is a spectre that sometimes revisit. I am also prone to this problem because I come from a difficult family. Being an average student didn't help. Till now I have no close friends. I double guess my decisions. 2 miscarriages broke the camel's back and I contemplated suicide. Some help came in the form of counselling but rehashing it became worse.
    For a while, things got better. Then when my father-in-law got sick and I took it upon myself to care for him ( ya, I didn't know what I was in for ), my depression crept in. For almost 10 years, I saw his and own health decline. I suffered severe hypertension worrying where the money to care for him will come the next month. I had no job and caring for the sick is considered worthless. I lost my self worth. Things got better 1 year after he passed on but depression still loomed large. I could not hold on to a job and quit as soon as I started, as recent as 4 months ago ).
    I am walking out of it but am mindful depression will rear its ugly head when you least expect it. I try to thank God for everything. I try to be sensitive to positive things in the midst of disasters. I pray for goodness among grief and cling on to good memories. I refrain from reaching out to my anti-depressants though it is often within reach. An idle mind is the devil's playground,so I fill my mind with God and His word.
    I hope you with draw strength from folks seen and unseen (in blogosphere ). Depression is an unwelcome neighbour but God and those you love are always there for you. The weak spot is always there but with God, He can keep the pain down to the minimum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your story with me here. You have been through so much, more than I could ever imagine. I am glad that you have come through so far and that you are coping and doing the best that you can. Having faith in God is a major factor and you are fortunate to have found Him and can draw comfort and strength from Him. Whenever depression or anxiety strikes me, I always say a prayer and seek divine guidance. I have been praying twice a day (or sometime more) since I was young. Take good care of yourself and always remember that God loves you.

      Delete
  3. Phong Hong, first of all, Happy 2nd anniversary to your blog! Hope you will be sharing more recipes in teh future & don't you dare to abandon this "house" before me, hahaha! Writing on a blog can be so deceiving, wait, till wait I finish my sentence. What I wanted to say is that I always find you as one of the most hilarious friends whom I have known, and you truely are when you are Phong Hong in Phong Hong Bakes. Give you a big hug! If you don't share with us about your previous experience of depression, I bet no one should have a clue coz you are too hilarious for it! Give you a 2nd hug! I find that religion & friends can play a big role in the healing road so hope that you won't have a new entry again in your Conversations of God journal! Hey, I haven't seen curry leave flower b4. Also the torch ginger, what is it hah? In regard of the rosemary, I have a very old tree(the stem is much bigger than a man's wrist) but it is in a shading spot so I went to cut a few sprigs & replant on my small herb pots so far so good woh, not dying...ALL! I didn't know b4 I can plant rosemary in this way, yeah! Happy Labour Day! Strictly not thinking abt work today! By the way, our Labour Day is in Oct. It's strange that every Australia's state has a different Labour Day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jessie! You are always so sweet and supportive! I am much better now, I have managed to climb out of that dark pit. Can say that I am normal now hah...hah...but there are days when it gets bad especially when there is a lot of stress in the office. I try to keep in under control by relaxing during the weekends.

      I didn't know that rosemary can grow so big as a tree! The torch ginger/bunga kantan is the pink flower that people put in asam laksa. I am sure now you know what it is. And don't worry, I won't abandon this blog. I will keep posting even when I am 80 (if can live that long) hah,,,hah,,,,

      Delete
  4. Hi Phong Hong, if you do not write this post, I bet no one would hve thought that you experience depression at all, your posts are always on the fun side….it's good that you can talk about it to your loved ones, hope you have a good Labour Day today and God bless:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jeannie! Well, ever since I started this blog I became a much happier person. It is a good occupational therapy for me to do something I love and to de-stress after the weekdays. I love blogging :)

      Delete
  5. glad to know you have recovered, or are recovering, from your depression.. whatever it is, just like you say, stay positive and do what you sukak what you like.. in the end, you are the one responsible for yourself and your life.. it certainly is not easy to have gone through and get over depression but hey, life is short and we wouldn't know what is going to happen in the next minute, so rather let this current minute spent being emo and depressed, i guess we should try our best to make ourselves happy.. whatever it is, just allow ourselves to be depressed, to be sad for maybe a short time - but never be negative, instead look ahead and bright lights are there in front and we always look forward and not backwards.. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, SK for your encouraging words. Yes, life is short and must be cherished. No point getting depressed and sad. But sometimes it can't be helped when there are things not within my control that causes me a lot of stress. I am much better at coping now and there are more happy days now than depressed days :)

      Delete
  6. HAPPY 2nd ANNIVERSARY to your blog, Phong Hong Bakes!! and yes, if you like what you do, just share and spread the happiness to all readers too!! I certainly enjoy reading (okay, let me be frank i actually skip the recipe section because I do not bake at all, hahaha!!) and admiring at the photos of those sinfully delicious bakes and cookings!! bravo, great job, well done, and please keep it up!! desserts can make one happy, and looking at photos of nice desserts does the same great thing too!! thank you for your sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, SK! Thank you for your support and to be frank, I also skip the recipe section of blogs unless if I seriously want to bake or cook the dish :) Most of the time I also look at the photo hee..hee...

      Delete
  7. Hi Phong Hong, I just got to know you last month. Hee hee, realised that we have 2 things in common (1) get upset when people put the plates or mugs at the wrong draining racks. (2) Joy of Baking cooking videos. Your introduction about yourself, I was taken a back and my thoughts (wah this blogger is so open.. made no qualms about herself "who is slightly disturbed, stressed out and menopausal. She seeks solace from baking and cooking ...."). Well, that's truly you. I really enjoy reading your baking & cooking blogs. So much info sharing plus motivation and encouragements in sharing your experiences.

    I may not be suffering from depression (perhaps not yet) but sometimes I get upset, anguished when some trivial matters not handled well "to my expectation". Anxiety and insecurity built in me when I need to move out of my comfort zones. But from time to time I tell myself "Although I may be hitting 50 soon, still there's a long road ahead of me. Be positive and move on in any circumstances."
    Life is not always a bed of roses ... But I thank God for His blessings upon us! Happy Labour Day and happy 2nd anniversary to your blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Karen! Thank you for your warm words and support! That description of me was exactly me when I started this blog - a very honest and frank description of the blog owner hah..hah...Well, I am not so crazy now as this blog has kept me happy and sane. It has been fun getting to know people like you as we share a passion for baking and cooking and other idiosyncrasies hah,,,hah...Count yourself fortunate for not suffering from depression as I would not wish it upon my worst enemy. We need to relax a bit and not let little little things get to us. But it is easier said than done, eh? Take care!

      Delete
  8. Hi Phong Hong, firstly, Happy 2nd blog Anniversary! We have something in common, I started my blog just after I had my first miscarriage seven years ago. The blog writing is indeed a healing process for me to focus on something else and not thinking about the negative.

    Thanks for sharing your thought and a big hugssss to you as you always able to share so much fun things you did in Phong Hong Bakes! I know and I know, God healing power is with you and He indeed has special task for you to carry out here. God Blessed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tze! Thank you for your wishes and support! I am happy to know that you have healed from the unfortunate event and focussed your energy to produce such a wonderful blog. You are so blessed! So, I better work on recipes that use Milk so that I can take part in your LTU event!

      Delete
  9. Hi Phong Hong, happy 2nd blog anniversary. I can understand how it was about feeling depressed. I don't know if you believe me if I were to say my depressed feeling and experiences aren't related to problems in life. I felt nervous and fidget, my limbs were weak and I wasn't in the mood to do anything or even eat properly. The food I cooked was tasty to my hubby but tasteless to me. I had insomia and I was afraid of crowd places. When the depressed feeling came, I prayed hard. It went off and I felt better but it came back and my heart was palpitating until I had to see a doctor for an ECG. Dr said it could be because of menopause and suggested I see a Gynae. I went and the Gynae told to be selfish and give up all commitments. Medical check-up confirmed I'm healthy. I'm a happy go lucky person and speaks my mind with friends and my late Papa, then. I don't believe I can be depressed. Finally, my friend advised me to consult a medium. Reluctantly, I did. Believe it or not, I was told that my hubby's ancestors like me too much and are 'within' me cos' I have been a very filial daughter in-law. Because of the Ying-Yang forces, I felt the uneasiness at different times of the day. Some simple prayers were done and within days, I bounced back to my real self again. Unbelievable, isn't it? But it is the truth. BTW, this problem lasted for 4-5 month. Same as you, I started my blog during this 'bad' time in my life. Blogging does help and I'm thankful. Love your edible plants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kimmy! Thank you for your wishes and sharing of your own experience! Wow, that is so scary. I believe in such things and it can happen. Thank goodness that you eventually consulted the medium and solved your problem. Yes, blogging helps and I sure am glad that you started your blog because I enjoy your recipes very much! Take care, Kimmy !

      Delete
  10. Hi Phong Hong,
    Happy 2nd anniversary! So glad knowing you from blogging :)

    Wow...just like others, I would never thought you had such experience. You sound so bubbly in every single post in your blog!

    Anyway, I'm so glad you channelled all your problems to the right direction
    God is the first source of comfort. Loved ones in the family, also trusted close friends, are big help, too. Hobby, doing something you love and enjoy, is another way to escape to keep your sanity
    Count your blessings always and believe that there's definitely rainbow behind those dark clouds. Problems are just to sharpen you to become a stronger yet finer person :)

    Thanks for always visiting my blog and giving nice comments - this puts me to shame, I'm so very lacking in bloghopping!

    And also thanks for sharing about your depression. I read the above comments only to find more depressions in others. Your posting encourages others to share their own experiences. You're not alone :)
    Take care always. Keep blogging, you're good at it!
    Big hugs for you and God bless :)
    PS: If only I had time for plants like yours! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alice! Thank you so much for your wishes and support! I appreciate your warm and comforting words very much. Don't worry about not returning visits because I know you are a super busy mum! You take care too and stay happy!

      Delete
  11. Happy 2nd Anniversary PH. I started my blog because of having personal problem too...feeling depressed and down...anyway, I believe both you and me will be happy ever after.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jozelyn! Thank you for your wishes! Seeing that you say that you and me both will be happy ever after, I take it that your problem has been solved and you are no more depressed. Good for you! I am happy most days now compared to before. Thank you for your support, Jozelyn and keep blogging!

      Delete
  12. Very thoughtful and caring post, Phong Hong. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Carole! Appreciate you dropping by :)

      Delete
  13. Hi dearie, am looking forward to your post.. I was surprised you got childhood depression.. My 'attacks' started just last year, after having the second kid plus 'something else', which I can't tell.. I know the source of my 'attacks', I call it my anxiety attacks.. But I can't do much about them except to control ot and shout out loud in front of mirror 'Louiz wake up don't be a fool!'.. It helps sometimes but not all the time.. After some time it comes back..

    I also get these anxiety attacks when there's a change in environment.. Or change in routine.. Like there's a new project the next day, of if I need to go somewhere for meeting or even if hubby needs to go overseas/out station to work and I have to takecare of the kids.. As I'm typing this, I just remembered I had the attacks again last nite becoz today G is starting his first day in a nursery.. Mum is too tired and tak larat to takecare of G already, by the way..

    My anxiety attacks feels like drowning. Sinking. Like cannot breathe.. There was one day my kids were in front of me, playing.. The attacks came.. I couldnt breathe, I looked up the ceiling, my mind was blank, I was sweating.. I tried to control it and stood up, took a deep breath, ran to the toilet and looked at the mirror and shouted 'Louiz wakeup!'..

    I wrote some letters to God too. But I have deleted them.. Noone must know..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Louiz! Your depression is more on the anxiety side, yes? I have anxiety issues too but they are not as bad as earlier when I was younger. From what I know, some women experience depression and anxiety after delivering a baby. Perhaps you can find a book on this topic and read. It might help you to find a solution or ways to reduce the level of anxiety. And I understand that some very personal issues cannot be shared and that means that you and only you can find the solution. Louiz, please take care and I hope for good things for you and that you will somehow find a way out of your problem. I know you are a tough cookie :)

      Delete
  14. Hi PH, happy 2nd blogoversary! and never know you had been through depression as all your posts shown that you are a happy and fun person! thank you for sharing your experience!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jess! Thank you for your wishes. I am happy and fun now because the blog made me that way hah...hah...blogging keep me very happy :)

      Delete
  15. So sorry to hear about your depression, Phong Hong. Hope all's well now. Guess one of the ways to prevent depression is to take things easy. I'm glad I'm a happy-go-lucky person. So take care, my dear friend. Cooking & baking are certainly good ways to take the worries away :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shirley! Thank you for your concern. I am OK now. Your are so blessed to have a sunny disposition! I am learning to take things easy and not to be so tense and worried all the time. You take care too, Shirley!

      Delete
  16. Happy 2nd Anniversary to ur blog.
    PH, as a psyc nurse, I understand what u have been thru. I am glad to see u remove from the illness and manage to use distraction techniques to help u to deal with difficult time. Well done n keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Li Shuan! Oh, how I wish you were my nurse hah...hah...Thank you for the encouragement and support. I will certainly work at maintaining a calm and happy mind :)

      Delete
  17. Thank you for having the courage to share this. It's something most people will avoid talking about, or dare not talk because ashamed of it. I cried when I read this. Because it hit me what I had in my growing years is also depression. I had a difficult childhood, but was ashamed of it, dare not let ppl know, just suppressed all emotions. When I started working, my father passed away. That's when the deep depression came in. Got better when I moved to KL. the next crash was when I fall sick 4 years ago. I don't know what's wrong with me, kept it to only close friends, my family were never close, we don't talk about feelings. I could go down so deep for 1-2 weeks.. everytime when it got better, it crash again. improve 5%, go down 20%. luckily I have close friends support. I too have a diary, it helps so much when I have crazy thoughts. now i still get depressed sometimes when my condition relapses, luckily now it only last 1-2 days. It will be better when there is support. Big Hugs to both of us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shannon! Thank you for coming over and opening up about your own experience. I was very touched and I couldn't stop my tears when I read your comment this morning. You have been through a lot, and I really feel for you. I had a difficult childhood too and as a child you can't really talk about it and it just festered till I reached adulthood. I am much better now and I am happy that you too have kept it under control. Do stay positive, Shannon. A big hug to you too!

      Delete
  18. Hi PH,
    Very informative. Thank you for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kak Azie! Thank you for coming over!

      Delete
  19. Happy 2nd blog anniversary!!
    I would have never thought that you would have suffered from depression. You seem like such a cheerful person. I guess it's really hard to tell. My mother was suffering from depression after my dad cheated on her, but she's doing a lot better now. Thanks for sharing your life with us, it's nice getting to know you, even if it was getting to know your darkest times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cathleen! I am a much happier person now. Baking and cooking relaxes me. I hope that your mum is OK and doing well. It's been great knowing you and your posts never fail to put a smile on my face!

      Delete
  20. Hi Phong Hong,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences with depression. Am really, really glad that you have overcame it. From your blog posts, you always sound so happy and positive, and I love reading your posts. I'm glad to have know you thru your blog...and so glad too that you have taken that first brownie step to baking! Now we are enjoying your baking posts and your funny experiences with your bakes! You are a true baker, I love reading all the changes you've made to suit your taste and convenience!
    That's some lovely plants in your garden. The flowers of the curry leaf plant has a light fragrant aroma, similar to a jasmine but lighter, have you taken a snifff at it yet? haha! I did! The flowers will turn to small black berries but the seeds inside are poisonous. My rosemary is growing tall but not bushy! And I was looking for some other herbs plant a couple of weeks ago from the nursery, but they were not in the best condition. Will be visiting the nursery again soon. I find gardening and buying cookbooks, a real comfort to me!

    Have a great relaxing and delicious weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joyce! Thank you so much for your heartwarming words! I sure am glad that I got to know you too. We have quite a few things in common - our love for cooking, baking, gardening and of course - Indian curries! It never occurred to me to take a sniff at the curry flowers because I expected them to smell of well - curry! hah..hah...who would have thought that they smell like Jasmine! The next time it flowers, I'll be sure to take a big sniff hah...hah...Take care, Joyce! You have a great weekend with your family!

      Delete
  21. Hi Phong Hong, thank you for sharing your story about 'depression' which so many people suffer from. You are so brave and honest to share it with us, which is so kind of you to open up your feelings and tell about your private story! I also went through a very similar experience with my work, but my line of work was professional cooking (chef) for a lot of years. My health was declining, not getting enough sleep...working way too many hours, overtired and depressed most of the time. I finally called it 'quits' and lucky for me that I had a great profession...saved up enough money to retire, and enjoy my life...that's when I started my blog, nearly 4 yrs ago! I couldn't possibly stay away from not cooking and baking, but I just do it for enjoyment now, and ...take my time to enjoy life, and my family!

    I applaud you, and I know you are on the right track; once you have realized what were the reasons giving you so much stress and depression. You have a beautiful family; your mom, auntie, and a loving partner that care so much about you. So glad you opened up to share these feeling with them and with us. You are so blessed, just keep thinking positive; even when it's so hard...especially when bad things happen...which does happen to all of us! Gardening is such a wonderful healing process, and so is cooking and baking for enjoyment! We are 'kindred' spirits...even though I wasn't experiencing the same symptoms as you have been, but in my case...I just stayed inside for days at a time...not showering, brushing my teeth or eating properly...just LOST! We must pick ourselves up, get busy, confide in our closest family, a friend, and not be ashamed to share our story with others who have experienced the same feelings. As for clinical and serious depression seeking professional medical help is the best way to deal with depression. Faith in God is the 'best' healing...unfortunately some persons have not been able to have the spiritual strength...so we must pray for them!

    Happy 2nd Blog Anniversary, dear friend...a big((( HUG))) for you for sharing!...and hugs, we all need!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Elisabeth! Thank you so much for your warm, encouraging and supportive words. I truly appreciate it. And thank you for sharing your own experience. Somehow it is comforting to know that you and others also experience depression and have managed to come out of it too. Some are still struggling and I hope they too can see the light in time to come.

      I am really happy to have known you through your awesome blog and you are always so warm and supportive. You never fail to put a smile on my face with your super positive comments! Thank you again, my dear friend! God bless you and stay happy!

      Delete
  22. Hi Phong Hong, Sorry I'm late. Happy 2nd Blog Annervisary! You have a pair of green hand, flowers and herbs all are well-grown. Well done :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Esther! Thank you and no, you are not late at all :)

      Delete
  23. Hi Phong Hong,
    So sorry,I never would have guessed that you once had depression. As I once told you, I find you a very humorous person, and I really enjoy myself when I visit your blog. Anyway, I can see the rainbow shine after the storm clouds. Gambadeh! :)
    Happy 2nd Anniversary!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Aunty Young! I am OK now and I try to keep myself happy through cooking/baking and blogging. I am lucky to have my family's support and yes, there is more rainbow than storm clouds now hah..hah...

      Delete
  24. Thanks for sharing your incredibly journey. Happy blog anniversary and I hope there are many more to come!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear! I will blog until I drop hah...hah...

      Delete
  25. Hi Phong Hong, Happy 2nd Anniversary!
    I enjoy reading your blog and you came across as someone very cheery, with lots of humor and yet very humble from the self mockery way when you relate your stories. I am so glad to know you have found an avenue to heal and recover from depression.
    with lots of hugs,
    HHB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi HHB! Thank you for your wishes and your warm compliments. You have really made my day because today is a crazy at the office! Thanks for cheering me up :)

      Delete
    2. I meant "today is a crazy day at the office" :D

      Delete
  26. omfg, this feeling is almost similar to me, thanks for your sharing and i do read this post from office, check out my depression post too,.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Happy Walker! Yes, I read your post on depression and I am glad that you are OK now :)

      Delete
  27. you write beautifully.

    thank you for sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, sgrmse! I wanted to reach out to others who may be suffering from depression to let them know that they are not alone. And that they can rise above the dark clouds and find peace and happiness again :)

      Delete
  28. Hi PH, reading your story about depression and just wanted to say thanks for sharing and keep strong! I love your stories, and lets all continue to share our food knowledge and stories. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Yen! I am a lot better now than before. And yes, I will continue blogging and sharing as it gives me so much joy!

      Delete
  29. Hmmmm there is depression the kind every normal human suffers from when things all get too much, or your job is no longer satisfying or rewarding, the children drive you insane and finances are bad, the wife has left you. This kind of depression we just have to fight through, we owe it to ourselves our families and they owe it us to maybe help pick ourselves up and carry on whatever the odds. It's part of being human. It's not easy but it's a fair playing field and the possibilities exist that we can triumph even when we think we cant. Some also succumb under lifes pressures, yes, no moral judgment, it happens and medication can be of temporary assistance to see you through, once through you wont need medication again.

    Then there is depression, the kind that creeps into our heart like a black shadow on a perfectly good day, we really don't have control, we don't even know we don't, there is nothing to know but despair. Lifes good three happy children a rewarding job...what ever makes ordinary people smile or just us, this is our ife until it isn't. Its the type where no manner of kindly words or visits to the temples of our religion can alter quench or extinguish. Its not a fight we can win, we are at the complete mercy of a chemical imbalance in our brain. We need for others to recognise the symptoms and get help for us because we cannot (or very rarely so), simply mentally unable to recognise it as an illness in ourselves. This is almost diagnostic.

    We dont cry tears and seek the kindly shoulder of a primary care giver, we just succumb and sink into the ever falling abyss.

    The first time anyone who is familiar with us sees this in us they will recoil in horror, they will know all is not right, they will or should easily recognise medical intervention is necessary.

    Its very important to distinguish between the two depressions, both can be dangerous but the last is lethal, its not caused by our jobs or anything that can be altered by self will alone.

    How I beat depression, true depression and won is a bit of bogus wishful thinking. Once diagnosed a carefully monitored medication regime is the only way to beat true depression. You are sadly never cured, medication is ongoing. Its just not helpful to think or extoll otherwise because that would almost certainly lead to tragedy unless picked up by another person and in time. It's difficult enough as it is living with the illness for everyone involved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi River P! Thank you for your insight and thoughts on depression.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...