for me the bells toll – taking a break, getting married


[16 May 2012 update: I know I said I won’t be online these few weeks and I have been doing quite well keeping my promise. However, May is Mental Health Awareness Week and I would like to offer my modest contribution in support of the Mental Health Blog Party organized by the American Psychological Association.

So I decided to come mid-way: I am now updating my blog to participate in the Blog Party – but not with a completely new post in agreement with myself to take care of my health and sanity.

Therefore, please excuse the fact that I’m updating only to direct your attention to a post in the archives, “10 things not to say to a depressed person.” Nevertheless, this article tells my story, and hopefully does its part in explaining depression to those who don’t understand it and in relieving the skewed perceptions some people have of mental illnesses.


And for now, I’m going back offline to allow myself to focus on myself, especially with only THREE days to go before the wedding!]

I have been down with a humungous migraine this week. Despite my warning to myself with mini headaches in the last few weeks, I was obstinate and tried to push myself an inch further. I heard my body’s warning signals, but did not listen. And so, again I was bed bound.

There was nothing I could do except play with my bears and my dog Bamboo. I got worried and more frustrated at my migraine for it prevented me from writing and fulfilling obligations – I had promised at least three other websites I would write them a guest post by the end of last week. I don’t like failing people’s expectations. It was ;a vicious cycle, the more annoyed I was at myself, the worse my migraine became, and I’d get doubly upset at my weak physique.

We have also been busy preparing for our wedding. Timmie and our wedding planner friend have been doing most of the work for they knew I was not in my strongest state to do much, but I wanted to take part in the planning. Thus I was overwhelmed with decisions to make in addition to my non-writing state.

Yes, Timmie and I are getting married.

what is your body telling you, health, inner peace, warning signals, recover from depression

Mid-May four years ago, I had just finished my exams for a Masters in Law degree while working full time. I was in my mid-twenties — my omnipotent, invincible years and at the peak of my career. I hosted a house party for friends just because I could and wanted to. I had about 100 guests and I bumped into one of them at the dining table. I did not know him but he had come at the invitation of a mutual friend. I greeted him politely and sauntered off to welcome other guests.

Serendipity had it that we never crossed paths prior to that house party even though there were multiple opportunities given our mutual friends. Fate also dictated what I thought would be a two-month fling became a long-term relationship. I was supposed to be leaving Tokyo right about the time I met Timmie but instead I stayed on longer for work, and eventually we moved in together, and moved to Beijing together for my work three years ago.

I saw him through some of his difficult times in this career path, and Timmie made sure I stayed alive and every day he is gentle towards my depression. Many times we thought we would break up because it was overbearing on our psyches. Yet, each time we managed to find a way to break the spell. We went for couple therapy and pre-marital counseling, we argued, we debated, we joked. We even got a puppy together.

In exactly 14 days we will be husband and wife. In two weeks, we will exchange vows to promise our undying will to annoy each other for the rest of our lives.

And so, I have decided that wedding planning – and resting – will come first for these next few weeks. Writing will have to take a back seat despite it being therapy for me. It is not enough to simply reflect but not change any of the habits I have decided to change.

My apologies then, my dear readers, that there will be no updates on this blog for a few weeks and I may not be able to respond to comments and emails promptly.

One thing at a time.

First off, take a nap for my migraine.

The bells will toll for me.

Wishing you all well.

Be me.

45 Responses

  1. MW says:

    I wish you and Timmie The Very Best!!! Happy Wedding Bells!!!

  2. Leslie says:

    Congrats!!!! Wishing you a beautiful and non-stressful wedding! How wonderful to have such an enthusiastic and supportive partner.

    Sending you hugs from Chile!

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Leslie
      Thanks so much! It was slightly hectic but was a wonderful weekend. Lots of laughter and fun!!
      Noch Noch

  3. Claudia Chan says:

    Wishing you and Tim all the best! We will be thinking of you guys on your wedding day!

    Hugs and kisses from Vancouver

  4. The Vizier says:

    Hiya Noch Noch,

    That is a lovely story about how you and Timmie met and got together. It is amazing how that special someone just comes into your life, hangs around and goes on to exert a great amount of influence on you.

    I especially like the bit about seeing each other through thick and thin. It is always nice to know that there is someone by your side you can depend on through thick and thin. It is comforting, reassuring and empowering.

    It is clear that you two have been through a lot together. Adversity forges strong bonds that are hard to break. And probably no one understands the two of you better than each other. I do hope that you have a wonderful marriage and many happy years and memories together. It is a blessing to find such support and happiness!

    All the best! 🙂

    Irving the Vizier

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Irving

      Yes we do have a bond and a connection. I will remember to treasure it at all times for I know it is something very precious. Thank you for your well wishes and I will slowly ease back to life here!!

      Talk soon

      Noch Noch

  5. Lily Lai says:

    <3 Wishing you and Timmie a blessed and joyful marriage!! Don't worry about us…this blog can wait!

    • nochnoch says:

      Hahah thanks Lily – I’ve actually missed blogging and my readers. Just slowly resurrecting into action, but still taking it easy. You are right though, this blog can wait while I recuperate! 🙂
      Noch Noch

  6. Annie says:

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. I hope it all goes smoothly and as stressfree as possible for you. My daughter suffers depression and i have found your thoughts to be very helpful in my understanding of what ahe is going through. Thank you for being so brave and sharing with me, someone who you dont know but have helped enormously. Ripples amongst us. All the best nochnoch, much love and good wishes from someone you dont know but who feels she knows you and her own daughter better because of you. Xo

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Annie

      Thanks for the sweet message. It’s encouraging to me to know that I might have been able to inspire someone. I hope your daughter will journey through this challenge and find herself through this agonizing experience. Yet I feel more empowered and courageous to be who I am after this. Had a great wedding weekend with lots of friends and love. Slowly easing back into writing.

      Stay in touch! and Keep well
      Noch Noch

  7. Wendy Wong says:

    So happy to hear you and Timmie are getting married soon! Congrats!

    It’s been a long time since we last met in Beijing… Miss our old times. Hope all is well with you. Take care!

  8. Nigel Chua says:

    Hey hey Noch

    It’s time to relax a little from the writing, and enjoy the process of getting married – it’s both fun and tiring at the same time!

    Let the wedding bells call to ye,
    It’s time, it’s time to marry
    Be blessed, be happy
    It’s time to marry =p

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Nigel

      hahaha thanks for the little rhyme
      yup just popping back to see what’s going on here and still taking a break!
      talk soon

      Noch Noch

      p.s. I finally watched the video clip you sent me!

  9. Benny says:

    Congrats!!! Very excited for the both of you.

  10. Jonathan says:

    Love is a beautiful thing. I’ve been with my girlfriend for 2 1/2 years. We have been together and like you, seen each other in times of tribulations. I do hope you get better because your writing makes me (us) happy. I hope you know, you come first. Therefore, I think you haven’t failed anyones expectaions. You’ve got a lot going on; and focus on the wedding, first.

    Congratulations! And, I hope you have a beautiful week! You deserve it!

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Jonathan

      Thanks for the reassurance. I do have to take care of myself. Was tired out from the wedding and so still taking it easy. It was a great wedding weekend and I truly felt loved! My husband is a precious one. And I’m sure your girlfriend is too. Enjoy your moments together. Tribulations make us stronger!

      Take care for now. will be back soon!
      Noch Noch

  11. Kathy says:

    Perfectly acceptable time for you to start laying low. And laying down! Good luck with the next few weeks and congrats!

  12. Kimbundance says:

    Nice blog post. Congrats we are excited for you! Love the layout of the blog too very simple but elegant.

  13. Congratulations Noch Noch!

    This is indeed wonderful news and I wish and your to-be all the very best. And don’t worry about the blog- all this can be taken care of later.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Harleena

      Good to see you here again. Yup I suppose the blog can wait ahah. I came by to check it out whilst I recover from the hubbub of the wedding weekend… more to come soon! Was so much fun. I’m waiting for the professional photos!!

      Noch Noch

  14. srini says:

    Hi! E Noch Li

    that is an excellent news and very nice to hear of you and Timmie marrying. We will wait for you to come back and send us the marriage photographs.

    Hey, god bless you and wish you a very happy married life

    take care Nich

  15. Russell says:

    Congrats! And the best of luck on the big day 🙂

    Wishing you every bit of happiness together…

  16. k∆rl says:

    Dearest Enoch,
    Wishing you and Timmie all of the very best, always.
    Have fun and enjoy being with each other.
    With Love,
    Karl & Padma

  17. […] NochNoch – for me the bells toll – taking a break, getting married […]

  18. Congratulations once again, Noch Noch! =) What a beautiful story you and Timmie share. I’m so glad you have each other. Your commitment to each other is thoroughly inspiring. I’m also learning from you bit by bit on how to prioritize better. =) Wedding first, right? =) Can’t wait to see pictures! But those adorable teddy bears will do for now. =)

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Samantha

      Hehehe I’m waiting for the professional photos to come but will give you all a sneak peak next week with some of my friends’ photos. Was wonderful and truly felt the love for each other. Timmie is the best for me. and I’m glad you have found your partner as well!!!
      I’m finishing off these replies then back to relaxing!!! Need to keep reminding myself of priorities 🙂

      Noch Noch

  19. srini says:

    Hello! Noch

    why don’t you accept the fact that you missed us all so much that you came back on line again.

    good.have fun.cheers.

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Srini

      I came back online to update for the Mental Health Blog Party – hope you joined too! Will be back to update my blog once I’m done with rejuvenating and resting from the wedding hubbub

      Noch Noch

  20. Marv.n.Jo says:

    Congratulations E Noch and Timmie! We’re so happy for you to start on this new chapter of your lives together! Best wishes for you both and we wish you well as you embark on a new journey as husband and wife.

  21. Annie Andre says:

    congratulations to you and Timmie. i absolutely loved hearing about how you two met. I have a similar story of serendipity with my husband. Funny how fate works…

    I wish you and Timmie many many many years of happiness together and lots and lots of grandchildren, or cats. Or BOTH…

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Annie

      Hahahah thanks – fate yes has it’s own way of working… As for Cats, not sure our dog will like that but why not ahhaa

      Noch Noch

  22. […] to my dear wife Noch Noch, I know you don’t like to listen to me, so I decided to write this in a post […]

  23. […] uplifting stories, anecdotes on how I overcome recurring depressive episodes, treatment methods, how my husband deals with me, and advice on helping themselves or those around them who […]

  24. […] sipped the coconut, took a photo of Timmie snoring under his book, rearranged Lurkie to become my pillow, and closed my […]

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.