24. A slim hope

30 Sep 2017

I just realised that in my down state, I forgot to update on the blog that I’d met my boss and my senior near my office earlier in the week. Again, they were really kind, and have reiterated their focus that I get well first. They have left the decision to me as to whether I should quit or take no pay leave instead, and in the words of my boss, it isn’t fair to ask me to make a decision when I’m still unstable.

I’m thankful, but as before, I struggle because I don’t feel worthy of the kindness.

This day marked the first time I upped the dosage of my mirtazapine, as prescribed by my doctor. That’s the new drug I mentioned in my last post. The higher dose does seem to have an effect – I’m not as groggy upon waking up, though the energy levels still have a long way to go.

My kids switched to afternoon school due to the PSLE, and I managed to get out of bed just in time to send them off to their school bus at 1130. After I made my slow way back home, it still took me a good hour before I could get out of the house to go for lunch.

Along the way, I messaged a fellow depression sufferer and good friend I’d made at the ward. We chatted back and forth for quite a bit. To summarise our conversation, we wondered why we couldn’t accept the whole persons that we were. We see positive traits in each other, and we accept our positive assessments of each other. Yet taken as a whole, we struggle to accept ourselves. For some reason, the “dark” portions of ourselves seem to eclipse the “bright” portions in our own eyes. I suppose that’s something I’ll need to raise to my psychotherapist or my counsellor to see if there’s something that needs to be worked out.

Another thing I raised to my friend was that we need to work on our pride.  We’ve been too harsh on ourselves, and we need to let others around us – whom we care for – be our judges instead. That was how we had to grow up, somehow, but as I told him, now that we’re formed, we may need to relinquish that hold on being our own judges. I don’t know how far we can do that, but it’s something to work on. I guess part of the problem is that we judge ourselves too strictly, hold ourselves to standards that are too high, and overestimate how badly dark we are.

I managed to make my way to the Chinese Gardens MRT station. After I’d made my way into the gardens, I decided to try looking for a bicycle to ride around. Obike, Ofo and Mobike are bike sharing companies that have been established in Singapore, so I looked around for their bikes. As an aside, Obike’s bicycles are really badly treated, and Ofo bicycles don’t have baskets in general. I couldn’t find a serviceable Obike after trudging around the gardens looking for the reportedly available units. They either weren’t there, or vital parts were either broken or missing, such as missing pedals, or crooked handlebars.

I gave up and trudged back to the MRT station. I think I’d walked about a km by now. There were a few well maintained Mobikes there, so I chose those instead. After paying a deposit on my mobile phone, I was off.

I cycled through the Chinese Gardens, and into the Japanese Gardens. It was gloriously peaceful, only slightly marred by a young man who was training on his bicycle. I’d cycle to one spot, see some scenery or bird I’d like to take a shot of, get off, get my shot, and get back on again.

I covered quite a lot of ground this way, a few rounds around both gardens. I felt free. The wind was cool, and my bag was deposited snugly in my bicycle basket. I’d bought a bottle of water, and there were water coolers around both gardens that I could use.

In fact, I felt so free, I ignored the trembling in my body and limbs. I cycled this way for about 2.5 hours. It was only after I’d parked the bike at the MRT bicycle park that I started to regret my choice.

My sisters were happy with my pickup in mood, but my eldest sister was worried about a potential crash. I made sure I ate and drank enough for dinner, but my sister was proved right, when my energy bled out really fast, despite what I felt was a solid portion of food, including a fruit platter with a piece of agar-agar (jelly).


I made my way home by bus, feeling more cheerful than I’d been for a long while. Alas, it wasn’t to last. My energy had drained so much that I’d end up talking softly and slurring my speech because I just couldn’t focus my mouth around the vowels clearly.

I still ended up having a serious discussion with my wife over something I can’t share here.

But overall, it was a positive blip in the landscape of things. I think I’ll do it again – with an energy bar or chocolate in my bag. Soon, but maybe not so soon.

My case manager called too. I’ll be attending a peer support group come Monday before my psychotherapy session. We’ll see how that goes.

Thankful for prayers and for any improvement. Thank God for bicycles and man-laid-out nature.

Oh. And we’ve decided to abandon Project Guinea, sad as I feel about it. We just can’t afford the time and money to take care of two guinea pigs. Please pray that they’ll find better owners than we can probably ever be.

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