"But it’s not so bad"

Chronic depression is not something that I’d like to discuss with my friends. It is not because I’m in denial. I am not. I fully aware of it and have been living with it ever since I was in my teens. I tend to not talk about it because, well, people equate it with being an attention seeker. 

God bless those who try to nurse me into full recovery. I just hope they’ll realised that it’s not as simple as scaring the bejesus out of someone to cure the hiccups (not sure if that even works). I might never be freed from its grips. But, the comfort lies in the fact that I’m able to learn to cope with it, finding out ways to ease it and most importantly, get used to it.

But, Jakarta is not a friendly city for people like us (or at least for me). Back in Singapore, I’ll just grab a sweater and head out into the empty streets in the wee hours to contemplate (whenever I’m hit with the “waves” of depression). Few days ago, the air was chilly after a brief rain. I thought I’d just head out for a walk, lusting over cold breeze to bites into my cheeks.

But I stopped dead at my track. Not that I’m not feeling ‘adventurous’ enough to stroll the unsafe streets of Jakarta in the middle of the night. My mind dove straight to my loved ones and how it will grieve them if something bad were to happened to me. (I guess being loved comes with responsibilities as well). In the end, I settled on toughing it out within the concrete walls of my room.

I was just reminiscing about the impromptu midnight walk while in the cab ride home few hours ago. After what seems like an eternity of silence in the car, the taxi driver decided to switch on the radio. A male voice was mumbling unintelligibly and the only word I’m able to catch was “Jesus”. I thought of how great it would be to have Vertical Horizon’s Best I’ve Ever Had to accompany me throughout the rest of the ride.

The driver switched the station and the next thing I know, the latter chaperoned me home. Every second of it. I wish I could put into words about how I exactly feel. Though, I don’t think there is an English word for it. But if I have to force myself to describe it, I’d say it’s a cross between getting the exact present you wished for your birthday and losing the most precious memento that you hold on so dearly at the same time.

To make it more digestible, it’s pretty much like the realisation that I might never be cured of Chronic Depression but conscious of the fact that I’ll learn to cope with it eventually. Still, just like what the song said, “But it’s not so bad.”

Night Terror

You have no idea how many times I’ve been marching this sentence forward only to swallow them back into a blank page. I’ve been finding it so hard lately, to string words together to form something coherent, no something decent. I don’t need the exalted poetic ethics, for at a time like this, I’ll gladly choose prose over poetry.

Yet, nothing seems to work. It pains me not because I can’t compose something acceptable for tomorrow’s deadline, but because writing has been something that I’ve hold dearly. Something that can even be more lethal than spoken words. I know I can’t be waiting for the right moment for only present exists in every moment.

That’s why I’m writing right now. Hoping it will take me somewhere. Hoping it will bring some peace to my mind. Hoping to ease the night terror. 

Hoping to make my current existence bearable, at the very least.

arpeggia:

Matin Zad - Stoic Virgo, for New Wave Men’s Editorial, 2011 © The Ones2Watch

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Photography – Sam Bayliss Ibram

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Exclusively for Sang Bleu

Styling – Jayson Hindley

Photography – Sam Bayliss Ibram

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Modern Weekly China 2013 editorial 

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Quiller Daniel
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Eyes as Big as Plates, by artist Riitta Ikonen and photographer Karoline Hjorth.