Saturday, 7 December 2013

Who Broke You?

So who broke you?

I'm sorry, what?

You're broken. Who did it?

What makes you think that I'm broken?

I can see it.

What do you see?

I see the way you smile sometimes. The way you stretch the edges of your lips as if it's the hardest thing you ever have to do. 

I see the way you laugh. You laugh a little bit louder, a little bit longer, as if you're afraid that you might not get to laugh again.

I see the way you hug people. You hug them a little bit tighter because you are secretly afraid of being the first one to let go.

I see the way you walk. With your face towards the ground because you're afraid that people might catch your eyes and they can see right through your walls.

I notice how you are in a room full of people. How you put yourself in one corner of the room and you secretly wish you're somewhere else.

I also notice the things that you write. It's beautiful. In a way that only broken people can write.

But most of all, I notice how you didn't deny that you are broken when I asked who broke you.

You noticed a lot about me.

I guess I can't help it.

So... who broke YOU?

Now what makes YOU think that I am like you?

Broken people desperately look for others like them, people who would understand.

You think that we look for the ones like us because in order for people to fit into our lives, they themselves must be broken, too?

Because two broken people, together, can finally become complete.

And isn't that a dangerous thing?

To become complete?

No. To admit that you can only be complete if you are attached to someone else.

Because then it means, if they ever go, if they walk away, you are left broken once again?


So what do we do?

I guess, we kinda forgot that the broken pieces of ourselves do not lie in other people.

It's somewhere inside of us. It's just that after so long, we forgot what it looks like. 

Something like that, yeah.

How can we find it?

I haven't figured that one out yet. I'll let you know once I do.


So... who broke you?

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Of Blogging and Erectile Dysfunction

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother blogging. Like um... no my life isn't that interesting to talk about which kinda explains why my blog is almost never about the things that I did or about the places I went or the funny things that happened. 

It's much, much more about the things that keep me awake at nights, those voices inside my head that just won't shut up.

But more than that, I wonder why do I even blog because... maybe i kinda, a teeny-weeny bit, regret writing the things that I wrote. 

For example, I Whatsapped a friend of mine the other day:

Me: Had a bad day in class today :(
Friend: What happened?
Me: We were learning on the reproductive system. And the lecturer mentioned a few drugs that can cause erectile dysfunction. Apparently antidepressants are one of them.
Friend: So?
Me: Remember i wrote in my blog about me taking Sertraline? Yeah. Now the whole class probably think i have erectile dysfunction.
Me: It's not funny okay!?
Friend: Do you?
Me: Do I what?
Friend: Have erectile dysfunction...
Me: NO!
Friend: Prove it!
Friend: HAHAHAHA!!

So you can understand why sometimes, just sometimes, blogging the things you think about isn't a good idea. Haha.

But you know what makes it all worth it?

When you get the randomest people pm-ing you on Facebook just to say thank you for writing the things that you wrote.

People telling you how they are thankful that they finally found someone who they can relate to.

People asking you advices, people asking you how did you do it, people asking you how the fudge do you keep on smiling when they can't even find the reason to wake up every day.

I am not saying that I am glad these people have similar problems as I do. 

But you know like how when you're Googling for a really random question, and the search result comes up and someone already asked the same question on Yahoo and you're like oh god thank you you just saved my life?

It's like that. You're glad someone is going through, or has gone through, the things you are going through. You feel like your problems are validated, they aren't just in your head, they're real. I understand why people appreciate that.

When I was battling severe depression, I couldn't find anyone who I can relate to. I was alone. Not physically, though. Mentally and emotionally. Like I cannot for the life of me imagine anyone else going through similar things as I was going through.

But I survived. And I vowed to not let that happen to anyone else. So I write the things other people might not want to write about, or things people might not want to even read - because if I can make someone, even if just one person, feel like they are not alone, then it's worth it. 

It's worth every odd stares that I get from the people I meet.

It's worth the whispers they think I cannot hear.

It's worth that sad, pity look they give me every time they talk to me.

It's worth every word.

And a personal thanks to a friend of mine, who gave me a link to her blog, detailing things that she has gone through as well. I woke up randomly at 4am the other day, and i felt extremely lonely. And I asked God to give me the strength to keep on going. And a few minutes later, my phone beeped and it was her, she messaged me a link to her blog. And I read it, and I cried. What she's going through, I can really, really relate to that. And for the first time, I found someone I can look up to and know for a fact - I am not alone in this.

Thank you. You know who you are. Allah bless you. :)

And as always, have a good weekend! 

Monday, 11 November 2013

I Forgive You, I Forgive Me

I think the hardest part was not in forgiving people. The hardest part was to forgive yourself. To understand that it wasn't your fault that you got hurt. 

That no matter how much people told you that 'You should have known better' - you didn't. You make mistakes, so you have to pay for them. You have to learn from them. But more importantly, you have to live with them.

So I forgive you. 

And I forgive me.

Forgiving them doesn't mean you still want them in your life. No. Sometimes, you have cut them off so that they can't come any closer to hurt you again.

Just because they said they're sorry, doesn't mean they've changed. Doesn't mean they won't do it again. 

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

So cut them off from your life, if you must. If you can. If you are brave enough.

You were perfectly fine before they came into your life. You will be perfectly fine without them.

When God takes away people you never imagine losing, He will replace them with people you could never imagine having.

So if you're reading this, I wanna say I'm sorry. For refusing to stay friends because friends don't hurt each other like that. For refusing to pretend nothing ever happened because it did.

I'm sorry that you're hurt. But don't put the blame on me. You were the one who walked away, I only close the door.

So goodbye. Thank you for being such a great chapter in my life. But I'm burning away that book and starting new one.

Wish me luck.


Saturday, 19 October 2013

Of Sertraline and Serenity

One part that I find to be the hardest when it comes to blogging is to come up with a really good intro. I really feel like the hardest part is to start. The introduction has to be interesting because... I am not good looking enough for you to keep reading this if it's not. Hahaha.

And I do understand that lately I've been writing on things that are... well... unhappy. And it confuses people. Because when they see me or when they talk to me, I am probably one of the happiest people they know. I can make them laugh till they feel a six-pack coming. (really I make such a good workout who needs gym heh?). I can make them smile even when they don't want to. So I understand how people can even ask me whether I was being real. Are all my laughters and smiles fake? 

The short answer would be, no. 

I wanna tell you guys something. Something that I've been meaning to write for months now. Things that definitely changed me. Things that still haunt me to this day. Things that make me realize that I cannot go back to the way things were.

It was about two months ago when I quit blogging. And I honestly thought I will never blog again. Not because I was tired of it, not because I hated it. But because I've stopped wanting to connect with people. 

I also deactivated my Twitter, Instagram and Keek. All because I was trying to cut myself off from the world. If they can't reach me, they can't help me. 

I had a mental breakdown. The worst I ever had. It was painful to even breathe, it was painful to live. I locked myself in the room for two days. I rejected phone calls and ignored messages. 

I have no explanation to why I did all those things. And I wish I can tell you what really happened but it involves so many people that I still care about, telling you guys would affect them, too. 

It is enough for you to know that when it happened, I stopped trying. I stopped praying, I stopped thanking Him for waking me up every day. Every morning I would sigh with regret wondering why I had to wake up for another day.

I was scared. Of what I was capable of. And I knew if it kept on going, I would lose it. 

So I called my parents, and I told them that I had to go back home. 

Only a handful of people knew I went back to Malaysia during a lecture week, and fewer people knew the reason why.

My depression didn't start two months ago. It started when I was 12. From my insecurities, to my family problems to me not being sure of who I was. It stemmed from me not knowing who I want to be, and from people telling me that I was doing it all wrong.

And because going back home, even though I was supposed to have class affected my attendance, I had to provide a medical certificate or else I would be barred from taking the Semester One exam.

And I didn't have any medical certificate to give.

And I told the Dean of why I actually went back. And she suggested that I go to a specialist, to get me certified for an actual clinical depression and to produce a legit medical certificate.

I was reluctant to go. I was scared. But I had to do it.

It was three days before my exams when I went to the hospital, alone. I was nervous. What if my friends from college see me? What if they started asking what was I doing in the Neuroscience department? What do I tell them? What will they assume?

After I have told the Doctor everything about my situation, he asked me what I wanted from him.

I told him all I wanted was the certificate. All I wanted was to be able to take the exam. I don't want any medication, I don't want any therapy. 

He understood. But he told me that they have amazing drugs that could help me overcome my depression. Drugs that can make me feel better. Drugs that can make all these, tolerable.


I was scared to take it. What if I get dependent on it? What if I get addicted to it?

What if I can't live without it?

The doctor assured me that the chance of that happening is slim. The drug will be given in small doses, and limited to only 15 pills and I were to come back every 15 days to get new batches of those pills. This will control my intake, as well as to monitor my compliance. 

And above all, to make sure I don't abuse it.

But the idea of taking drugs absolutely terrified me. I feel crippled. Like when everyone else is capable of being happy by just thinking happy thoughts, I wasn't. 

I feel like an absolute fake because my happiness would be the result of a chemical reaction between my receptors and the drug. 

"Antidepressants don't cure depression. They manage it."

I understood that. 

But I went back home that day, with 15 Sertraline pills in my pocket.


That night, after dinner, I took one pill and put it in my hand. How does this actually work, I wondered. How can this tiny pill make me feel happy? 

I took a deep breath. Put the pill in my mouth and swallowed. 

I don't know what I expected. I was half-expecting to see unicorns suddenly jumping out of the walls and dance merrily around me. Or maybe suddenly the world is made of candies and diabetes is something that is fictional and I can eat all that I want. 

But it didn't feel that way. Instead, I feel numb. And it wasn't because of the drug. The effect will only start the next morning. So I realized, that I was numb because for the first time, I wasn't thinking of the things that made me sad. I wasn't thinking. Period. 

And being numb felt so good.


When I woke up the next day, I was sure that I feel no different. Was I overjoyed? No. Did I feel like dancing naked in the field? No. (Partly because that would get me arrested.) 

But I feel... okay. And 'okay' is a start. I hadn't felt okay in a long time. 

It wasn't until the third day of taking the drug that I realized I hadn't cried myself to sleep. I've stopped thinking about the things that make me sad. I could even smile without being sure the reason why. 

I felt... perhaps... happy.

And that kinda makes me feel sad. Because a small part of me wonders if I was being really happy. Was it the drugs? Or was it me? 

And what scares me was that I was starting to get slightly dependent on it.

Not addicted. Dependent.

I didn't take more than one pill per day. I don't feel like I NEED to take it. But I know that if I don't, I will have another breakdown. 

So that scared me. A lot. 


I was packing my bags for my 8-days trip to Kashmir when I realized that I only had 5 pills left. And I was to leave the next morning so it was impossible to go to the hospital to take more.

The very idea of not taking the drug was enough to make me feel sick. I was on the drug for 10 days then, and I forgot how it feels like to be sad. I was terrified of what will happen if I don't take it for a few days.

On the first day, at the airport, I didn't take the pill. I figured that the journey will take the whole day so even without the pill, that would keep me preoccupied and distracted.

And it did. I wasn't sad or depressed because I was too excited for the trip. So far, so good, I thought. 

But that night, when we arrived, I felt a sudden surge of emotion hitting me like a sumo-wrestler. I felt like the walls were closing in on me. I knew I was having withdrawal symptoms. It's uncommon with Sertraline, most probably not due to the drugs, but because of my own negative thoughts.

I believed not taking the drugs would make me sad, so it did. 

But I told myself that I have to get through this. That I am stronger than I thought I was. 

That night, I slept, thankful that I survived the whole day without the drug. 


Kashmir was my drug. Turns out I didn't even have to take Sertraline because being in such beautiful places with amazing friends made me so happy, the happiest I've felt in years. 

Kashmir was exactly what I needed and Alhamdulilah, for the rest of the trip I was smiling.


So I've stopped taking the pill now. 

And I am sure you have a lot of questions in mind.

"Are you okay now? Are you happy?"

If happiness is defined as wanting to randomly sing Disney songs in the middle of the forest with squirrels and chipmunks, then no. 

But if happiness is defined as being thankful of all the things that I have, feeling loved by friends and family, and feeling that I am lucky to be where I am right now - then yes, I am happy.

"Are you still depressed?"

Depression is something I would have to live with for the rest of my life. It comes and goes. When it does come, it hits hard. But the good thing is, I become stronger each time. And I've stopped feeling sorry for myself. I started each day with a smile, and I end my days with thanking Him for all the good things that has happened to me.

"Why are you telling us this?"

Because I want you to know that that boy that made you smile today could be depressed. And it's okay. Depression is not the opposite of happiness. The human emotion is complex. Happiness is not the absence of sadness but it is the sense of gratitude and love of yourself and others.

When you can accept your own flaws, when you have forgiven those who have hurt you, when you can look into the mirror and like what you see, when you can be thankful for the things that you do have, when you feel loved by those who matter - then you are happy. Even if you're sad, you're still happy. Does that make sense?

I also want people to know that sometimes I won't be in a good mood. So please forgive me. I do try to smile to everyone, everyday. But sometimes I can't. I do hope people don't have this high expectation of me to be always happy. Sometimes I get down. But trust me, I will always get back up. I promise.

"Are you writing this to gain attention?"

The reason that I was so reluctant to write this in the first place is exactly because I was so scared that people might think that I am writing this to beg for sympathy or to appear like I am a victim and I should be respected for being a survivor blablabla.

I do want attention. But not for myself. I want to bring attention on depression itself. Often I hear people correlate depression with something that is negative. That everyone who admits that they are depressed are doing it for attention. When in fact, most of the time, they are actually asking for help.

Depression is common. The extend of depression varies from people to people. And while depression is manageable, unfortunately however, it is not fully treatable.

Depressed people are not always suicidal. We don't blame everything that has happened to other people or to God. We don't look at the glass half-empty.

We smile, we laugh and we are sincere about it.

One thing that being depressed has taught me is how to appreciate those small happy moments that life has given us. I learn how to let go of people who leave, and I learn to hold on to those who stay. 

I learn that families are not those who merely share the same DNA as you, but those who stayed when the situation gets difficult.  

I learn that I have a lot to be thankful of and that everyone has their own sets of challenges in life. 

I also learn that happiness is not the destination, it's the journey. Full with obstacles, detours, u-turns and forks. But it's how we walk through it, and who we walk through it - determines how happy we are.

I wish I can say that this post has a happy ending. I wish I can assure you that I will always be happy.

But that's not what life is all about, is it?

How can you appreciate joy if you've never experienced sorrow?

Am I happy?

Yes. Yes, I am. 

As always, Peace be upon you all. And thank you for reading this ridiculously long blog post. 


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Love and Attachments

When I was younger, I watched a few documentaries on turtles and how they mate and lay eggs and etc. And I would always wonder what the mother turtles feel about leaving their youngs unattended. 

'Mom, don't the mama turtles love their babies?'

And I remember being confused when I first learn that most animals don't mate for life. I honestly thought that animals do get married and have their own little ceremonies and live in one family in their own little house. I blame Disney for this. Haha.

I remember being confused because I thought in order to make babies, you must love. And if animals love their partners, they would stay together till forever, right?

'Honey, look. The mommy turtle is crying.'

12 years later, it finally make sense. People say that turtles cry when they lay eggs because either a) it's painful or b) because of the sand.

But what if, it's because they love? Or they're scared? Or both.

Now that im 21 i finally realize that love does not equate to attachment.

Just because you love someone doesn't mean you have to be together.

And just because you're not together, doesn't mean you don't love them.

For all we know the mother turtles are constantly thinking about their 1000 babies... but life goes on. 

And animals mate with different partners for survival.

And sometimes being alive trumps being in love. Being attached to someone for life can be harmful for the survival of certain species.

I guess.

So... how are we different?

I guess I finally understood that love is never about physical attachment. But understanding it doesn't mean it gets any easier. 

Sometimes loving means letting go. If not for your survival, for theirs.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

I Do.

Have you ever been so sure that the person you like, likes you back?

And you walk towards them and you're like all ready to tell them that you like them.

But before you could say it, they like, 'I have something I wanna tell you.'

And you're all like, in your head, Omg is it what i think it is?

And they're like, 'I like someone'.

And you're like, in your head, Please say it's me.

And they tell you.


And it's not you.

And they say, 'But that person doesn't like me back'.

And they like continue, 'You have no idea how it feels to like someone who doesn't like you back'.

And you're like, in your head:

I f*cking do

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Of Quiche and Quitting

I was at the counter looking at the cakes and pastry they had displayed in The Upstairs Cafe when my phone rang.


"Ari!" It was my dad. "Where are you?"

"Out with my friends. Why? Are you home?"

"No. Listen, you're free on the 9th?' And before I could reply, he continued, "We're going back to Kelantan."

He told me a week before that he'll be having a meeting over there and suggested we go visit my grandparents.

'"Oh, okay. Sure, cool." I mumbled as I admired the cafe's red velvet cakes.

"And I already booked a place for us on Pulau Perhentian. I was thinking we can go there on the weekends."

"Oh?" I was caught of guard. I guess I didn't answer him in time because my dad then asked "Is that okay?"

"Well... Uh..." I stammered. "It's just that... Mom was planning a trip to Singapore on the same weekend."

It was my dad's turn to be surprised. "But I've booked...."

My heart sank. "I know. But... you didn't ask me whether I'm free on that day..."

"You SAID you were free..." he said.

"Yeah, but only on the 9th till the weekend. Mom had planned this..."

"Okay, fine then. I'll just cancel the booking then. Don't want you to get mad at me."

I didn't know what to say. I just kept quite and he hung up on me without saying goodbye.

I was about to cry there and then. 

"I'm sorry, sir. Would you like to order?"

Can I have my family back?

"One quiche, please."


That wasn't the first time I was forced to make a choice of which parent I must disappoint in order to please the other. 

I guess it comes with the separation. My parents had been separated for more than three years now. It wasn't a secret. I just don't tell people.

I mean, if people were to straight up and ask whether my parents are still together, I would say no. But nobody ever asked. Why would they?

I guess I don't tell people coz I don't wanna make it a big deal. Once people find out that your family isn't that perfect they'll start to look at you differently. They'll treat you differently. They promise they won't... but they do. I've seen it. I've felt it. I hated it.

'Hey, do you know his parents are separated?'

'Omg is that why he's been acting so weird?'


I'm not saying the separation doesn't affect me. In so many ways I was forced to realize that life isn't a fairy tale. 

I have parents who are no longer together, but they're not divorced. When there's no closure, I guess, as the children, we're trying to find the definition of our current situation.

You don't know how to define your parents' relationship. And thus you don't know how to create boundaries, we have no clue how to enforce rules and we have no idea how to act.

Are they staying together? No.

Do they still love each other? I don't know.

Do they still speak to each other? No. 

Are you happy about this? I don't know.

In so many ways I am glad they got separated when I was 17. In other ways, I was not. It happened just before my SPM. Not enough that I had to see my dad sleep on the couch every night, I had to see them walk pass each other like they're strangers.

But I guess the worst part was that the whole family pretended nothing had happened.

But I'm glad that I was matured enough to understand that it wasn't anyone's fault that it happened.

I was old enough to not let it affect how I feel about both of them. I was wise enough to know they still love me no matter what and nothing has changed.

But still.

I remember crying at nights. I remember having to fake smiles when people are talking about how perfect their families are. I remember being afraid to fall in love. I remember feeling like I was walking on mine fields and at any moment I would make one mistake and explode to pieces. 

I guess the worst part is not having anyone to talk to. It's not that I don't trust people, it's not that I don't think they can handle my problems.

I knew that if I tell them, things will be different. Not in a bad way. But I hate different. I hate changes. 

So for as long as I can, I will try to make my friendships as less about my problems as possible. I mean, who cares right? Who can help anyway? Who would listen?

So what am I doing now? Why am I writing this? I guess this is a cry for help. I can't do this anymore. I can't please both parents and I can't make one happy without disappointing the other.

I can't be at two places at once. I can't pretend to be happy anymore. I'm tired of trying to make everyone laugh just so that they won't think I am unhappy.

I'm sick of laughing when I can feel the tears welling up inside. I had enough of pretending to be someone that I am not. I cannot afford to wear this mask any longer.

I'm taking it off.

Mom, Dad. I know you're reading this. And this is me saying that I'm sorry. I'm sorry that this happened. I'm sorry things aren't perfect. I'm sorry that I cannot make you both happy. I'm sorry about everything.

I'm just so... tired.