NochNoch.com

my first talk

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A month ago, I gave my first talk at the International SOS Clinic in Beijing. There were less than 10 people in the boardroom, but to me, it did not matter how many people attended. As my husband, Timmie, and my friend, Richard, reminded me, all it took was to touch just one person that day, and to speak from within.

My psychologist started the session with medical knowledge on managing stress at work, mental health and depression. Then the hour passed on to me to share my experience in depression, what I did about it, the causes, and my reflections.

I sat on a high stool at the front, and recounted the dark days of emotional pit bottom.

I was surprised that the audience wanted to know more about how it felt and what I was thinking during the worst periods of depression. It struck me that most people do not know the extent depression and anxiety could cause damage to a person’s daily lives. For one part, we, who have experience with clinical depression, do not readily speak out about the condition. Indeed, not many would be receptive to hearing about hopelessness and anguish. So I would not blame those around us who do not understand for not understanding – in some ways it is also my responsibility to express my feelings as much as their responsibilities in laying down prejudices and understanding that clinical depression is beyond miserly self-victimization.

Most people have felt depressed at some point in their lives, but clinical depression is quite another thing – it involves a consistent period of at least two weeks with 5 or more of the symptoms known to be evidence of depression. Moreover, it is not a state that one can heal in a week with a simple dose of antibiotics as a common cold. The process is long and tedious, and often, friends and family get tired of hearing our plight after a year or two.

I shared my upbringing, my work experience, my previous outlooks on life, and how depression is making me stronger, propelling change, and a force of inner strength and awareness for me. We opened up the discussion after my sharing for about 30 minutes. It was a little awkward for a minute or so, and eventually the attendees started talking.

Out tumble their worries, their challenges, their thoughts, and their fears. A few more reticent than others, but everybody seem to have had some experience with depression, anxiety, and life balance.

Sometimes I feel at a loss, for readers and attendees all want to know how to get out of depression. The surface answer is easy to gloss over: anti-depressants, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, cognitive behaviour therapy… the Internet has no shortage of advice.

Yet, I find that the real “how” is not a set formula. No one will get out of depression in an identical way. Each one has their history, mentalities, constitution, and nature. Each one has their stories, struggles and support groups (or poisonous friends). So each one must deal with their depression in a different way.

What is paramount, is that we help ourselves, is that we want to get better, is that we know we can get better despite the relapses, the convoluted path, and the protracted time it would take. We are the key to changing our mindset, our heart, our mentalities and our thoughts.

After a full two hours, we had to end the talk. One man stayed behind to talk to me. He was the most opened about his experience and admitted he was seeing a psychologist at the moment to figure out his life and the challenges before him. We chatted a bit more and tears rimmed his eyes. I nearly cried too, for I empathize the pain and inner struggle.

So I would say my first talk went down well, and the feedback from the surveys were excellent. Since then I have done another one with a group of entrepreneurs at their training sessions.

I am proud of myself for this little step forward. I am proud of myself for touching if just one person that day.

What are you proud of yourself for today? How are you dealing with your depression?

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11 Responses

  1. Lily Lai says:

    Well done NochNoch!!!

    Your words alone on this blog have touched so many readers, what more the real you giving a heartfelt talk.

    You should be proud of yourself!

  2. jim says:

    Thank you Noch Noch.

  3. 黑狗 says:

    我们都很急于要如何从忧郁的深渊被拯救出来,因为一直处于忧郁症的日子也的确不好过,就很像被禁锢,但外人无从得知你的状况,甚至还会讶异你怎么变得如此不济呢?所以这就是什么原因我们都不愿出去见人,因为我们感觉和别人不一样了。。。
    现在我的专注力真的是很差,这包括和顾客开会时,又或者和朋友聚餐时,我会不由自主的失去专注力,又或者会感觉自己不是在此刻的状况当中,甚至昨天我去准备一些新年衣服,我会觉得很迷茫,陷入一片迷雾,也无法形容此刻的我在做些什么,我是在购物吗?身体是,但可以肯定头脑的的确确不是。。。。
    我有阅读一些文章又或者关于忧郁症的书籍,他们大多数都有强调要自我接纳,但要从而做起呢?即使照着他们的方式,但我实在没有办法接纳我这么没能力的自己。。。现在每一天也患得患失,想做些开心的事情,但又不开心,旁人也不知要怎么帮你,那么多年了,我病还没有办法完完全全断根(不知自己是不是躁郁症,因为我的情况一直反复无常,我的女朋友极力否认,但我觉得我是这样的一种情况)我的一生就是这样了吗?想要积极健康的每一天对我来说是奢侈和遥远的吗?我还在寻找。。。

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Black Dog
      I understand all of what you say. I go through that too. Still finding myself, still looking forward, wonder if this will be like this forever. Sometimes I have energy, sometimes I don’t, and just sleep and sit all day, feeling confused. Like a zombie. But on the good days, then it’s good and I can write or cook, which makes me happy. Please don’t give up. However many times you write me the same message or tell me how you feel, I will still listen!
      Happy Year of the Snake
      Noch Noch

  4. Nigel Chua says:

    Hey Nochie, I like what you’re doing. Keep touching people’s lives ok =)

  5. Tonya says:

    Noch Noch,
    I am very proud of you!!! One step at a time.

    Fondly,
    Tonya

  6. […] last few months have been hard for me. I had relapse episodes. Mood sunk. I kept up appearances for some time but eventually I dwindled. I lost energy. I stopped my exercise regime and could not […]

about Noch Noch

Enoch Li, (pen name: Noch Noch) is 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 Play Consultant for corporates interested in creative change management and employee well-being using the psychology of playfulness.