poisonous secrets


We all have secrets. Some secrets we tell some friends, others we tell other friends. But some, we keep only within ourselves, and eventually poison ourselves with them.

Secrets are secrets because we don’t want to tell other people to avoid their reactions: maybe they will laugh at us, sneer, tease, or worse still, dismiss us completely. Perhaps we don’t want to share because we feel embarrassed about what we have done or how we feel.  We are not sure how others would react. Maybe they won’t understand. Maybe they will get angry. Maybe we will send them into shock.

Yet, these deep and dark thoughts is an invisible poison that seeps through all corners of your mind and before you know it, you are possessed and obsessed by it. You lose control, you lose “rationality” (however it is defined), and you lose yourself. You do things and say things that most “normal” people would not be able to empathize and the vicious cycle begins. The more they don’t understand, the more we keep to ourselves. The thoughts snowball. And then we tumble aimlessly with the snowball once it is set in motion.

So many times I’ve spun out of control, just whirling with my own poisonous secrets as if they were the reality and the truth. To exacerbate it, I’m the kind of person who likes to think and think and over analyze things so my dark thoughts only get more engrained in my head and entwined with my mere existence. It has become me, and I believed them to be my reality.

I’ve kept to myself for a long time, and put up the happy front for everyone else so that no one, absolutely no one could suspect that I was thinking what I was thinking.

Then one day I lost it. I was burnt out. I was stressed at work and I ended up with migraines. My migraines interfered with my work and every day life and I got even more stressed at work. I abhorred myself for needing to take so much medication for headaches, migraines, pains here and there. Slowly, my secret hatred for my life and the work I was doing everyday catalyzed my self-destruction. Hidden thoughts in my head burst out with each thump of the migraines. The end of myself unfolded before my own eyes. I had no more energy to keep my secrets in.

I lost it. I broke down. And then I hid from the world.



I could not bear to face all the people who were fond of me and thought me as such an energetic and positive person with my poisoned soul. I was afraid at what they would think. I didn’t keep in touch or reply to emails for a long time. Even in the depths of my despair I was worried about what others would think of me. My depression became a new poisonous secret and I was humiliated by my suicidal attempts – so much so that I couldn’t even face myself.

Yet in the last 2 years, I slowly, albeit with such a huge delay, realized finally that opening up isn’t all that bad. People actually understand and can sympathize. In fact, some of them might be going through the same thing and can support me. They didn’t laugh at me, nor did they find me “weak”. They didn’t stop being my friends. They didn’t judge me.

And only with opening up was I able to face myself again, and look myself in the eye in the mirror reflection, and tell myself: “it will be ok”. Only with opening up, was I able to find the support that I didn’t realize I needed to get me through my challenging times.

There is no need to hold it all in. Before your soul is completely contaminated, talk to someone.

Whatever is troubling you, whether you are “mildly upset” or “very depressed” or whatever the circumstances, there is definitely someone out there who will listen to you. You might drag them down in mood but they will be there for you. I’m lucky to have not one, but a few people on whom I could offload.

And I know you have your friends too – if you tell them and they spite you, well de-friend them on Facebook, they are not worth your time anymore, at least not now. You need to take care of yourself first.

Trust me, someone WILL listen to you and shoulder your secrets. Last resort, there is me.

Don’t let your secrets poison you to death.

8 Responses

  1. […] its forces and reminds you to not forsake your inner zeal. Mine came with suffering from major depression, and giving up my life a few times. A necessary evil. After all, Sylvia Plath wrote her best works […]

  2. […] of when my mood starts to sink and try to do something about […]

  3. Have you heard of Frank Warren and PostSecret? If not, it’s a fantastic resource/community/movement to check out.


    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Kate

      Just reading up about it… very interesting and thought provoking. Maybe I will try that too – have you?

      Noch Noch

      • Hi Noch,
        I have yet to send a secret of my own in to the project. At times, I feel like I could fill a room with postcard confessions and at other times, I feel like no one would be interested in or care about my secrets. I find that a lot of the secrets that people send in really resonate with me, that I too hold a similar secret… the similarities bring me comfort that I’m not the only one, and for now, that’s enough. It’s on my list of things to do while I’m in recovery, but I’m not ready yet. I am still doing battle with my inner critic and perfectionist… 🙂


        • nochnoch says:

          Hi Kate

          I keep battling with my overly harsh, self critical, perfectionist self too all the time. And there are secrets only my diary knows. I think we all have secrets, and we can all use our own ways to deal with them. Thanks for sharing your story with me here 🙂

          Noch NOch

  4. […] asked her to reconsider. I told her what it was like for me in depression, why I thought those irrational thoughts, how I felt, and also what it was like for Timmie to look after […]

  5. […] asked her to reconsider. I told her what it was like for me in depression, why I thought those irrational thoughts, how I felt, and also what it was like for Timmie to look after […]

about Noch Noch

Enoch Li, (pen name: Noch Noch) was born and raised in Hong Kong and Australia. She has also studied / worked / lived in the US, France, UK, Japan, The Netherlands, China, and has travelled to more than 40 countries. She loves travelling and her curiosity in foreign cultures and languages has led her to enjoy her life as an international executive in the banking & finance industry. However, she was forced to take time off work in 2010 due to her illnesses and after spending time in recovery, cooking, practising Chinese calligraphy, reading and writing – in short, learning to take care of herself and letting out the residual work stress, she has transitioned into a Social Entrepreneur and founded BEARAPY to help corporates make workplaces mentally healthy, and support executives to become more resilient.