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October 23rd, 2016

09:08 am - Missing the bus
I was waiting for D for our buses and she told me there was only two she could take, 5 and 65. She would have preferred 5 but 65 would do if there's no more late buses.

So yes we saw 65 coming our way and I violently waved it down, thinking it was our last chance. I was so violent that I caught the attention of passerbys. And then, right after 65 went away with D, 5 came along...

Gosh, we didn't have to panic at all, had we known. All the more, 5 was her preferred bus! Something like this happened to me just now. I watched the bus I wanted went away, unwilling to chase after it, and right after it, another bus heading to a similar destination immediately popped up.

Granted, life doesn't always happen like this. Sometimes you bus leaves and you are left with no other easy options. But I feel that this is God's object lesson to me.

Sometimes there is something you want very badly, but it's just not within your reach for reasons known and unknown to you. Fret not, don't watch wistfully after it as if that was your only chance, no, relax, sooner or later another opportunity will come along.

Just because it feels good, doesn't mean it was the right one or it was meant to be. A relationship takes so much more effort to build than just feeling good once in awhile. It takes so much more.

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October 8th, 2016

09:45 am - My helper friend
Earlier on in my depressive spell, I had coped by watching Cesar Millan's Dog Whisperer. I felt that I could identify with the timid and anxious dog, and I aspired to be like the confident pack leader, that Cesar said we have to be. Cesar claimed that dog's issues always original in their master's incapability of leading them. I was enamoured by that.

Somehow, I don't know how, but during this period, I met a helper downstairs who walked a border collie, Jerry, and a small white dog, Picky. And she allowed me to walk one of her dogs with her. I developed a habit of going downstairs around the time I knew she would be dog-walking. I wanted to practice being a pack leader. I felt that a teacher, or a good human being in general, should be a pack leader, confident, calmly assertive, inspiring confidence in others.

We became friends. Soon, my sister got us a dog. And when we meet, we walked our dogs together. My dog is very unfriendly, and has few doggie friends... Jerry (Picky passed away shortly due to old age) was one of them. At first, it was puzzling... Why was my dog friendly towards Jerry, and another dog called Bear, but to no other dogs? Was it the size of the dogs? Jerry, a border collie, and Bear, a labrador, were huge male dogs. But she also didn't like Abby, another black labrador. Was it the size of dogs? Was it the gender? My theory is that because we already knew my friend and Bear's owner, prior to having my dog, she could sense that we were friends. However, somehow, using Cesar's theory, we had inadvertently passed our distrust of other neighbours, whom we did nto know previously to our dog, and she could also sense it.

Okay, my helper friend is going back to the Philippines soon. I will so miss her, and Jerry too.

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12:21 am
I'm tired of playing these guessing games. I've been true to you, but you haven't been true to me.

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October 3rd, 2016

08:27 am - Why is it irrational and unnecessary to live in fear of disapproval or criticism?
I am going to write my self-respect blueprint, a philosophy of disapproval. Over the weekend, I had a collapse in self-esteem and mood. I think correcting beliefs and thoughts that are unhealthy is really a lifelong process. So yes, with Dr. David Burn's help, I decided from today onward to be even more deliberately about helping myself grow and overcome my continuous need for approval.

1. It is irrational to live in fear of disapproval because it is unavoidable in this world. Most people don't have an issue with disapproving of others, nor criticizing them. Regardless what you do or say to avoid the disapproval of others, they will have their own views, own opinions, own ways of thinking (think Q Methodology), and they are going to be disapproved and criticising anyway. So why even try to prevent something that is inevitable? Why not be true to yourself, in this case, since being criticized and disapproved of is unavoidable? At least you do not let one person down, and that is yourself.

2. You lead a very miserable life where you cannot be honest to others. You cannot honestly say what you think or mean or feel, being you are constantly afraid what others might think of it or react to it. It is a life of dishonesty, that who they see on the outside is not the true you. Remember that Kurt Cobain quote? Rather be hated for who you are than loved for who you are not. Shuyi, you need to stand up for yourself. Remember, that you are the only one who can constantly love you. If you do not love and care for yourself, if you do not think you're important, no one else is going to do it for you. And please don't try to do that for everyone in this world anymore. For you, lesson number one, don't be ashamed of yourself. Your needs, your quirks, your wants, your desires... Don't put them down again and again. Be honest, be real, and be true.

3. The people you should keep in your life, are really those who still love you for who you really are, despite you showing your true colours. Yes, perhaps it is time to test some of your friendships and relationships. If people are going to treat you differently, or more unkindly if you are true and real, then think carefully about those relationships. Yes, you still don't lose anything, in a sense, by being true and real. You may deepen some good friendships, you may lose some less good ones.

4. You are worthy, you are good, you are important, even if the President of the United States disapprove of you (sorry, trying to think of the most powerful person in the world, and cannot say God or Jesus, cause He approves of me so much). Yes, even if the PM of Singapore, for whatever reason, maybe misinterpreting your words and kind intentions, or over-reading certain things, and then the whole of Singapore turns against you... EVEN IF THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS, you incur the wrath of people you respect, and the wrath of the masses... You are still worthy, good, and important. Even if others think you are a useless piece of shit. Listen up, all you out there who have been bullied in this world, you are even then, still intrinsically worthy. Who gave these people the right to make moral judgments on others in the first place?

(Ops, sorry I have gone off track. Dr. Burns said I shouldn't be rationalizing or perpetuating distorted thoughts.)

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October 2nd, 2016

09:56 pm - Self-betrayal
There is a worse deed than the betrayal of others, that is self-betrayal.

It happens when you suppress the little child inside of you, and you silence him or her.

Instead, right before him or her, you say and do things not in his or her interest.

It happens when you are so obsessed with getting approval from others that you do not care how this little boy or girl thinks and feels.

It makes you lose respect for yourself. It makes you think you're not important, not worthy enough to be considered, to be cared for.

People are not going to take care of you, maybe they are busy taking care of their own inner child, you have to learn to take care of yourself.

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October 1st, 2016

06:36 pm
Gosh, immediately after typing those, I had a very bad gastric attack. :( it is very anxiety inducing for me to relive those days.

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05:47 pm
I gained a reputation in church for being a good servant of God. Yet in return, the message I constantly received in my heart was that I was not important, my needs, wants, desires are not important. Most important was that we expanded the kingdom of God. And I should sacrifice who I was, what I have and love, for the kingdom. Yes! We must carry the cross!

You like running? Give it up.

You want to live abroad? Give it up.

You like research? Give it up.

I wish I had been more subversive to challenge my beliefs, many extreme, but as I said I had a very flawed character. There were a few things growing up taught me. Such as never displeasing the leader. In fact, try not to displease anyone at all.

Okay, by this time I realized that I am mentally quite unsound when I was young. But I was just a child. Children leading children. Teenager leading teenager. Another thing I disagree with in hindsight. We took a lot of pride in this model of discipleship.

How I wish there was an adult who spotted my weaknesses and helped me along.

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05:35 pm - A sad story
We bring our character flaws with us into the church. I don't know how effective church is in "healing" that deep part in us that had been hurt, or does that experience merely fix something superficial?

I came to church because there was such a big void in my heart. I was so longing to be loved and cherished. I so longed to have friends, to belong, to be useful, to mean something to someone.

What started out as a healing journey, slowly became an obsession. I longed so badly to be accepted, acknowledged, and seen as worthy of love and attention, plus I had an inability to critically think about my faith, but an unhealthy habit to believe everything I was told, that I developed very unhealthy habits of mind and behaviors.

First, I couldn't say, "No." Second, the things I said, "Yes," to always contradicted my nature. I was shy and timid, but I was always needed to be loud and brave. I was socially awkward, but always socializing and being the "friendly" one. I learned to deny my needs to fulfill God's larger plan. Worse still, I hated who I was and was not able to feel God's love. I just felt never able to sense God's pleasure.

Very soon, I no longer knew who I was. And I was in a state of constant anxiety and steep in dysthymia, which I was encouraged to believe was normal. I was so unhappy fulfilling others' people goals. I did not listen to the voice, to me, crying that I was tired, I was afraid, I was in pain.

That was a very painful episode in my life. That was not merely burnout. I felt I had emotionally, mentally, and physically abused myself. And to my regret, perhaps some people under my care as well.

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11:41 am - How I attempted to treat myself
1. Doing a masters.
2. Keeping marimos.
3. Going to Catholic mass.
4. Going to prophets to receive prophecies.
5. Sharing my moods with friends.
6. Blogging how I felt.
7. Using people (John, Jonah, Job) in the bible to comfort me.
8. Going overseas (China, Australia, USA, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam).
9. Running 10Ks in MacRitchie.
10. Going to another church.
11. Seeing a therapist.
12. Telling my boss.
13. Taking Western medication.
14. Taking Chinese medication.
15. Stop going to church.
16. Reading countless books, including novels (! Never used to read these!) and self-help books.
17. Speaking to a church counselor.
18. Participating actively in Quora.
19. Taking cold showers.
20. Writing letters to M.

It has been quite a journey hasn't it? I didn't know what brought me to Jesus would be the same thing that took me away from the church. The seeking of love, acceptance, belonging.

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September 30th, 2016

10:43 am - Gratitude
God was so kind to let 12 Sep be a public holiday. Or else I would have had some difficulty getting back to Singapore from New Orleans in time for class.

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