consider it progress. happy new year.


I went for my regular psychologist appointment the other day. The receptionist remarked that she liked my outfit – a simple floral dress and pink Ugg boots with a pale pink scarf.

Surprised and flattered, I grunted a word of thanks, paid my bill and hurried on my way.

Three years ago I would go to the appointment dressed in yesterday’s clothes. Usually an old t-shirt, jeans skirt, stockings and black Ugg boots. The colour of my outfits was in shades of black and grey. I did not brush my hair since I would be rotting at home everyday, so when I went for the appointments I would simply pull it up into a ponytail with a frayed elastic band. I wrapped a navy green duvet jacket around me, hooded up, and a scarf covered the rest of my face. I stared at the ground as I dragged my feet to the clinic, up the stairs and to the waiting areas outside the doctors’ offices.

I never looked anyone in the eye when I talked. I mumbled. I was agitated at the nurses and receptionists. I slouched on the sofa whilst waiting my turn for consultation.

I had no confidence in my existence. I wanted to melt into the wall so no one would see me. I felt like a hindrance to everyone.

I did not take care of myself. I had no energy to. I was unmotivated to.

So today, I consider the easily overlooked fact that I picked an outfit, matched it with a necklace, and coordinated the colours of my scarf and ugg boots, a small step of progress in my recovery.

Pat on my back.

Take it one step at a time – depression will take a while to heal, but it will heal.

Happy New Year my dear reader and blogger friends. 2013 will be a good year for us all!

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19 Responses

  1. Amy says:

    Happy new year Noch Noch! I just read all of this…it’s inspiring. I love reading your blogs! In a way when I’m feeling agitated or lonely, this kind of perks me up, to know that you went through simular things.

    • Amy says:

      I don’t mean that I’m ahppy you had to go through this. You probably knew I didn’t mean taht anyway! XD (Sorry I babble! D: )

    • nochnoch says:

      Thanks Amy, glad you like my writing 🙂

      • Amy says:

        Thanks for the reply! 🙂 I take keyboard lessons, been doing it for weeks, I can play keyboard since the age of 15. It keeps my mind off things, though it easily goes back to wondering. I’ma very curious person so I’ma lways digging deeper than I should with my mind and about other peoples motives!

        • nochnoch says:

          Oooh keyboard! I wanted to learn that too. I’m learning the gu zheng now. Music helps take my mind off things too. Hope you continue to cultivate the interest!
          Noch Noch

          • Amy says:

            Hehe, yeah the keyboard is really fun because it’s so versatile and you can play any song from any genre on there and make it your own, not as easy with other instruments. ^^ Ooh nice! Is it easy to play? x3 The only issue with music or any interest is motivation and it can come and go. You’ll feel really motivated one week, then the next two weeks just feel like not practicing! >.<

            I saw a new Shrink and she diagnosed me just by looking at me with OCD and BPD. Turns out the depressed, anxious and angry feelings I've been getting all link to that. I always knew I had unstable moods, my relationships with friends and family always unpredictable and I'm impulsive. I feel relieved in a way. 🙂 This new shrink was literally like a mind reader, she just knew me by looking at past notes and by how I spoke! I used to have a very dark view on shrinks, but this one made me now think of shrinks in a grey area! 🙂

          • nochnoch says:

            Hi Amy

            Woo-hoo! ahha at least you got a grey area shrink :p
            Glad you found one you like finally and have an accurate diagnosis!!!!

            I have always wanted to learn the keyboard but my musical ear is not that good…. I can only follow musical scores…


  2. anon says:

    Hello Nochnoch,

    Thanks for your reply in the other post… I’m glad you’re making progress… It gives me hope. When I was in the hospital I didn’t take care of myself either.. Being in hospital was good in the sense that the nurses made sure I ate, at least. Since leaving (I couldn’t afford long term so I asked to be discharged) I’ve had to pull myself through each day, but sometimes I can’t even be bothered to eat or shower or anything. Right now I’m in the process of packing my stuff so I can go to stay with my friend (I have a lot of stuff and am going to have to put in storage)… in the meantime I’m having trouble motivating myself to even pack my things and tie up loose ends here. I have to do this if I am going to survive…. never experienced this degree of debilitating apathy… I go through strange moods and some times I feel like I do care, but most of the time all I want to do is sleep and never wake up. Last night I slept for more than 12 hours.. I dont’ know if I will ever feel normal and functional again… I know I have to in order to survive as nobody can take care of me long term. I can’t help but feel that if I were to sleep and never wake up it would be a blessing… This is such a depressing comment.. I know I should be positive, I hsould be grateful I have even one friend who is willing to help me through the next few months…. and grateful that im not on the street (yet). Just so tired…. and all I do is ruminate endlessly about why I am a loser and envision my future alone, jobless and homeless!! Sigh… how did i go from functional and effective to being this negative thinking useless loser mess…. i wonder if one ever really heals from depression…. but i hope we can. my frined told me, this will pass. i don’t know if i believe it but that is what she says.

    happy 2013 noch noch… take care.

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Anon

      I a glad you have a friend to take care of you. And everything you wrote here, I felt exactly the same for a long time. Yes it will pass. But when going through it, it’s hard to believe it will pass. But hope you can look at me and see an example of ‘it is passing’. Hope that will give you hope. I hope your friend will be patient with you.

      Try to remember what you used to like doing as a kid, that might help you pass your time doing those things again, and take your mind off some spiraling thoughts. Dr Seuss is always a good book haha

      Noch Noch

  3. Lily Lai says:

    Hi Noch,
    Pat on the back indeed!
    Yes, let us all take one step at a time.

  4. Nigel Chua says:

    Hey Nochie

    Happy new year! I believe 2013 will be your best year yet! =D

    Lotsa fuzz


  5. Anniebe says:

    Hi, dear NochNoch!
    I’m so glad you’re making a progress!
    You made me sad, you made me smile, you made me feel the same, you made me thoughtful, you made me more aware of myself and others last year. I’m very grateful you exist in my life. I admire you.
    It will be a time of chasing pavements, I hope so.
    Wish you to move in your own rhythm and feel good inside! Keep going!
    All the best to you this year!

    • nochnoch says:

      Thanks Anniebe

      I am happy to know I was able to encourage you in some way or another. I am glad I’m not writing into thin air ahha
      Hope you keep going too! We can find ourselves sooner or later 🙂


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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.