“so this is Christmas…”


Last weekend I went to my friend’s home for Christmas dinner. Of course, Christmas songs play in the background. I heard the familiar lyrics: “So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over, another just begun…” And I had a sudden moment of disappointment at myself.

Indeed, what had I done this year?

In flood a dreadlock of items I had not done: I had not completely recovered, I did not do my exercise, my head still hurts, I did not finish my e-book, I did not revamp my Bearapy website, so many blog drafts I did not finish… I did not, did not, did not… I did not do anything!!!

I started to mumble and groan at myself.
My friend asked me what was wrong. I told her. Her eyes bulged as she walked an inch closer, and stated into my face, “What do you mean you did not do anything? You got married

Oh, oops.

Then I started to make a list in my head what I had done: I maintained my blog and wrote a few guest posts for blogger friends, I did my taichi almost everyday, I practiced calligraphy and meditation, I had a few new bears, I baked, I cooked

But one most important thing I accomplished this year: I stayed alive.

So to all of you out there who struggle with clinical depression, anxiety, bipolar, illnesses, or whatever it is, kudos to you too!

That’s all it matters. That’s all you have to do. You stayed alive. You are still going on.

Happy New Year. Tomorrow will be better.

depression, recover from depression, how to get out of depression, suicide, international executive, expatriate life, self awareness, finding yourself, balanced life, overachiever and depression, burnt out cause depression, stress cause depression, prevent suicide

16 Responses

  1. 黑狗 says:

    ha, i really like your bear, so adorable, your words have given me some encouragement,keep it up! even it’s hard!

    • nochnoch says:

      Thank you, you have also helped me a lot. I remember you we’re one of my first readers. Thanks for your support for another year Black Dog! 加油!

  2. jim says:

    Yes, you stayed alive. And so did I thanks to people like you. Merry Christmas

  3. Neha says:

    After reading your blog, I felt that i was so stupid that I was searching for help to overcome depression.. After reading to what ever you have written I felt that its all in my hands and I need to do something that I liked, to overcome this state.. Hope I could do something for me and overcome this state.. It has ruined my life, my dreams and my profession and now ruining my relations 🙁

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Neha

      Sorry to read about your sad experience but glad you found your self-awareness through this challenge. Yes, do what you love. There are of course medical solutions too which I also went through (taking anti depressants and therapy) and I think it’s a combination of all these methods that give me the strength of mind now to find my dreams!

      Noch Noch

  4. Neha says:

    Merry Christmas to you.. Have a great Christmas Eve and a Beautiful Christmas… Enjoii you festival…

    By the way this time even we decorated Christmas tree. 🙂 🙂

    Hope Santa bring lots of happiness to everybody’s life…


  5. Robyn Major says:

    Hi Noch,

    Is there any possibility of advertising my website on yours, and I’ll do the same for you too.


  6. anon says:

    Hi Nochnoch…

    I don’t think you remember me, but we went to school together in HK years ago. I found your blog recently and it really strikes a chord with me because I recently reached an all-time low… and was hospitalised in a mental institution because I had suicidal thoughts. I hated myself for it and still hating myself for it… I haven’t told any of my peers and at the moment there is only one family member that I keep in touch with, because I had a terrible row with them years ago. But that family member has lost patience with me as well. I’ve been away from HK for so long, that I’ve basically dropped off the radar and am fearful of approaching anyone because of being a burden.

    Worse still, I’m in debt and unemployed… I have some money that I can live on for a while, but I know I will have to find a job soon. A friend of mine who has been a strong support for me since I was a child, is kind enough to let me stay with her for a time and to arrange for counseling. But her resources are limited too and at the moment I am really struggling to make it through each day. I used to be able to focus and work hard on things, and I was a very good student. Now, even leaving the room is a challenge and I am failing to take care of my basic needs.

    I am/was in the early stages of a relationship… the first I’ve ever had in my life. But I wasn’t able to tell my partner about the problems I’d been having for fear of being ridiculed or despised. Now I am leaving the country and I feel if I told my partner the truth, the relationship would end before it ever really even started, because I keep pushing people away and isolating myself.

    A few years ago, I had a job that people envied and was making very good money…. I made some financial decisions which weren’t very smart, but still on the surface I had a life that others envied. I smiled when I read what you wrote about vanity. I hate to think of myself that way but you are right. A lot of this rat race has to do with vanity.

    A few months ago, I was embarking on an adventure, a new stage in my life where I thought I would be pursuing my passion and my dreams. But either my attitude was wrong (the passion was there, but so was the vanity…), or I wasn’t cut out for it, and I burnt out, hard.

    Now, I’ve lost interest in everything, and feel I no longer have a purpose or direction in life….I thought I was finally pursuing my passion, but instead ended up putting so much pressure and expectation on myself that I ended up having a nervous breakdown.

    I don’t know why I’m writing here, I guess… I am so afraid of speaking of this because I feel ashamed that I couldn’t handle myself better, that I wasn’t able to push myself harder, that I was so weak that I would let myself be affected by suicidal thoughts. Recently I’ve been having horrible dreams as well.

    There really isn’t a point to this I suppose… Anyway… It looks to me like you are doing ok, despite the struggles you have gone through….. I hope you and I can both make a recovery. Thinking about the hole I’ve dug for myself isn’t helping me, but it weighs on my mind terribly… I don’t think it is a migraine, but the headaches are definitely there… and sleeping irregular hours.

    I hope you had a good new years… I don’t know where I will be 6 months from now or even tomorrow. But I really want to believe that I can take care of myself again, and not be a burden to others… and to be able to show kindness to other people. I don’t set out to be unkind, but as of late I have not been able to care about anything… and then I hate myself for being so ungrateful…. it is exhausting. I just feel so dead inside, and my social interactions are terrible because I am so paranoid that everyone is judging me for being so negative.

    And now, even though I know I will click ‘submit’, I feel some crazy desire to apologise for this post… Oh well…

    Please take good care…. x

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Anon

      Thanks for writing and sorry to hear of your struggles. I feel bad you are facing so much sh!t so to speak. If we went to school together I’m sure I will remember you but if you prefer not to tell me I won’t pry into your identity

      No problem about the long post, and don’t apologize. The fact you are writing is a good sign I think. It means you are looking for a way out and that’s a good step towards healing. I remember when I was extremely sick I didn’t even think about these questions. I was just a lump lying around. Only when I was starting to recover did I start to think about all these. And it was sooooooo painful. So tormenting to think. I would cry and suddenly fly into a rage. It was horrible. But it was inevitable stage of the recovery. It took a long time. I was impatient which made it worse again. Slowly I learnt to let myself embrace the pain but not suffer. Slowly search forthe answers

      We all have different lives and personality. Today I am doing better than last year. But I also have a long way to go in terms of my physical and mental health. And I wish one day doctors think I will be ready to work again or be productive. So I hope you will also go this long way. Tough, but we are all here to support you. Try to break down your ‘problems’ into little bits and solve them one by one, little by little. In the process you may find the new you

      Write to me any time,however long or short,whatever language


  7. Neha says:

    Hi NochNoch.. 🙂

    You are helping me a lot in getting rid of this. Earlier I thought I am the only person who thinks this way now I got to know its not my fault. Actually, I was very strong before this phase so I used to have a guilt. And its the same which every one faces the same.

    But indirectly or directly your blog is helping me a lot 🙂

    Thanks dear..

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Neha

      I am glad to know I can help a little from afar. Makes me happy to hear that. I used to be strong too. Then I hated myself for being “weak.” Then I discovered having depression does not make me weak. Crying does not make me weak. Looking at it as a bigger picture, it just makes me stronger than before, because now I am more self-aware, more empathetic, and more humbled 🙂

      Take care and good luck

  8. Mattress says:

    Greetings! I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Texas. Just wanted to tell you keep up the great job!

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.