I want to die (don’t worry, it’s just a sensational title for effect)


When I stood at my friend’s balcony on the 24th floor, tipping my toes up and leaning over to see the garden he was pointing out, I heard the siren of thought in my head: “lean further over, fall off and you can die and be done with it all.” Someone remarked at the neon lights in the garden and I was jolted out of my reverie. I backed into the living room with numb toes, poured myself some lukewarm water, and dived back into the chatter around me….

I am not writing this post to talk about my suicidal ideations. Nor am I going to burden you with some dismal thoughts I have on the inutility of life.

The question I have, is, whether I dare publish online some of the bleak and gloomy notions I have. How honest can I be with my vulnerability?

More traffic is coming to my blog from all around the world, and I get readers’ emails supporting my writing, encouraging me in my quest for self-awareness. Most of them find solace and refuge in my experience as they are lonely in their struggles with depression and are yearning for empathy, which my blog can hopefully provide.

However, with the readership increasing, I feel a sense of moral obligation to be a positive source of strength for my supporters. I might be imposing the responsibility on myself, but I presume that people who come to read my blog want to feel “better” after leaving the website. They would prefer 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 suffer.

Therefore, if I describe my indifference towards life (despite my love for writing), the people with who, I have lost touch as a result of the illness (despite some good friends’ continual concern), the urge to stop living (despite seeing hope and light for the future), and the persistent low mood swings (despite finding ways to cope, at least some of the time), it might leave my readers in worse spirits than before they stumbled on to my meager muses.

More importantly, I am concerned that my expressions would send some people over the edge; especially those who suffer from severe clinical depression and already have suicidal thoughts. This is definitely not what I want.

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Some days, I am so consumed with indifference and lassitude, philosophizing with the meaning of life and the lack of, that I wonder about the purpose of continuing to breathe. Of course, I can tell myself I should be grateful and others have it worse; yet I am certain many out there would also agree with my defined-by-society-as-negative thoughts. Thus, combine a few downbeat forces together, and we become self-destructive on impulse.

Therefore, I came to the conclusion that I had best suppress those contemplations for my private journal instead of publishing it online, for I am realigning my thoughts through writing and to make sense of my own emotions and behavior, and not seeking attention for help. I am fortunate to have a loving husband and a relentless psychologist who would not give up on me, however many times I return with seemingly similar issues.

I appreciate an intellectual discussion yet do not want to risk being the impetus for someone else to jump off the balcony. So best to shut up.

Still, I sometimes ponder, if I say I have to be true to myself, my thoughts, and be confident with what I am doing and who I am, then why should I hide such thoughts away?

The blog’s very purpose is for me to stop creating an image and reputation I assume others would prefer and like, but for me to show the less desirable bits of me – and be comfortable with the criticisms. Thus, if I conceal those neural associations in my brain that would be classified as “negative thoughts”, then in effect I am not being me, and defeating the very reason I created the blog.

I am interested to know what you, my readers, think about my dilemma?

Forget the suppositions of how I should look at the bright side of things blah blah blah….

The question is, whether I should show you all the vulnerabilities? Where do the boundaries lie from your perspective? 

Leave me your thoughts in the comments. It would help us all.

Be Us.
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25 Responses

  1. Guill says:


    This is your blog, no one else’s. Stop presuming what others might want or might do, this it out of your control and therefore this is NOT your responsibility. Focus instead of what you can control, and write for yourself first.

    Healthy boundaries are about taking responsibility for our own actions and emotions while NOT taking responsibility for the actions and emotions of others. You are showing weak, unhealthy boundaries here.

    Furthermore, I think that through your experience of living for others you know already that the way to recovery is to be honest with yourself first. Without honesty towards ourselves there is no connection, there is no self-esteem, there is no self-respect, there is no love, towards ourselves, others and life. Some people are more sensitive to that than others, it also gets balanced with time and experience and you’re not there yet.

    So here are your 2 choices: don’t be vulnerable, hide yourself, write what people want to hear, lie to yourself, and get back to square one; or be vulnerable, express yourself truly, show us all of your rough edges cause we all have them anyway, show us the real you on YOUR blog, and walk the path to recovery (and big side-effect win: you’re giving the best example to your readers).

    Just my 2 cents.

    Also, for those you will find in me a cold bastard:
    1. As adults we are responsible for ourselves and our children as long as they cannot take care of themselves. That’s it. Out of that, everyone is responsible for having their own needs met. This is strong, healthy boundaries. Don’t be stuck in dramas.
    2. The above is written in the understanding that this blog is to help Noch Noch herself. If this is a professional therapeutic psychology blog to help others, in that case, no need to share every single thing. This is not being dishonest with oneself, but there is just no point sharing everything to everyone, even less in a professional context.

    So total is 2.5 cents.

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Guill

      I appreciate your direct and honest 2.5 cents. You are write, it is a blog for me, for me to understand myself, be myself. I still mind too much what other people think. Priority is to be honest with myself. Added value is if others take inspiration from it.
      So unless I am honest with myself, there is no point going on.

      Thanks so much! And I don’t find you a cold bastard. I prefer direct feedback than sugar coating it


  2. Nigel Chua says:

    Hi Nochie

    ===============Your main questions===============

    Still, I sometimes ponder, if I say I have to be true to myself, my thoughts, and be confident with what I am doing and who I am, then why should I hide such thoughts away?

    The question is, whether I should show you all the vulnerabilities? Where do the boundaries lie from your perspective?

    ===============My thoughts===============

    That’s a very good and very interesting dilemma here, brinking on health ethics/social responsibility and personal journey.
    You need to always be true to yourself, your thoughts and be confident in who you are, there’s no need to hide such thoughts and vulnerabilities…

    “Influence is power”

    In the same light, as you’re true to yourself, let’s extend this knowledge of truth of self to the truth and awareness of the society we’re in. There is an extension of the community who consumes your writing, your thoughts, your ideas. You may or may not have started this journey for them, but you realize that you do have a following of readers, who cares about you and what you say.

    In a way, it’s for them that you need to always write what’s true, your thoughts and be confident in who you are, and at the same time, you will need to be a little more cautious of whatever you say and publish.

    Nochie, I think what you’ve started is a good thing. Let it stay and grow as a good thing. You realize that whatever you place on the internet, it’s not hidden, unknown or invisible – it’s open to the entire world wide web. And words have power, of both life and death. I’ll recommend the path of life…though at times, we ponder over the other side.

    If you don’t mind me sharing, I think a blend of writing both for yourself and your readers is ideal – yes, this blog is really about you and your journey, and seeing and experiencing things through Nochie’s eyes, heart and head.

    I agree, I want you to be as bold as you can with your expressions, thoughts, experiences…yet, end each articles with a positive or neutral element on it that will leave not only your readers with a positive or neutral take on it, but also in a way, encourage you to see things you experience with a positive or neutral approach.

    Why the need to do so?

    No real need, but some things to consider doing it is because it may help your readers, and I think it may help you too, in this journey. In the larger schema of events, it’d be nice to know that you’re brightening other people’s lives.

    At least to me, that’s important =)

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Nigel

      Indeed, influence is power. And that’s why they say sometimes the pen is mightier than the sword. I think as long as I am sincere, as you say, in presenting my journey and how I see things, others will take for themselves what they need at their own time. I feel sometimes there is too much positivity in the world, and it makes those who are frustrated / depressed / anxious feel guilty for feeling so. I think they also need to know it’s okay to feel so-called negative emotions sometimes. And who’s to judge what’s negative or not? The important thing is that, there is a way out, like in my experience, and yet that way out is super bumpy, but that’s also okay!

      Thanks for being here with me since the beginning of this blog!


  3. Patrice Boulais says:

    Good Day Nochie…

    Our real strength resides in admitting and accepting our ephemerality and fragility… fragility is what your blog is all about and we can only be grateful to you Nochie for being so transparent at sharing a vulnerability that we all experience in our life journey…

    We all have and need our “rainy days” once and a while…Without rain flowers slowly wilt and reach a so called “Permanent wilting point”…We have to let this rain come and be so we can become…

    Thank you again Nochie…

    • nochnoch says:

      Bonjour Patrice

      Good to feel your presence every now and then 🙂
      Thanks for the encouragement. You are right, we all have our rainy days, and there is nothing wrong with having them. I guess sometimes, when we share our rainy days with each other, we find the strength and support we are looking for. I will continue to write to my heart’s transparency. You are right, this is what people will appreciate. Thanks for affirming my doubts and turning them into sunny days 🙂


  4. Angela says:

    Hi Nochie,

    I actually would love for you to write the more vulnerable part of yourself. I believe many others would also draw strength from realizing that we are not the only ones who experience relapse in our conditions. This is especially important since most of my relatives and friends would very much like to see a single projectory towards complete recovery that I sometimes hold back on filling them with thoughts and feelings that may appear to retrogress. It comes down to feeling not alone. If you are writing for yourself, then it is even more important to put your own health first and not be obligated to carry others burden.

    Be healthy,

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Angela

      I like what you said, that i need to put my health first and not be obliged to carry others’ burdens. You are right. I’m not a “rescuer” in that sense. And if my relapses and down moods can be strength for others, even if a solace of “you are not alone”, I am happy I have inspired a few people. Though, priority is to look after myself first. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it.


  5. TszKi says:

    I think the best writings are those regardless of your intention to convince / make anyone happy other than yourself. I love to read because I see people’s minds which are genuine and pure, to fit into his / her shoes and learn a different perspective. so as long as you are writing the truth of your moment, it doesn’t matter. don’t care how your supporters feel when they read what you write of a particular moment. the best way to care about your supporters is to care about yourself.

    I wonder if you have heard about this blog before. I love reading random passages from this site:


    • nochnoch says:

      Hi TszKi

      Always nice to have your voice here. I saw the website you suggested. I enjoy it too. Maybe I Can try to submit some thoughts there 🙂

      You point out something that I am trying to do “truth of the moment” – I always forget to stay in the moment. I think too much. So right, I will care about myself first 🙂


  6. Susan says:

    Finally! Someone who tells the truth and doesn’t say “how they got better”. There are a lot of us who are “success stories” by being here but still have depression and feel like failures because we aren’t “better”, so thank you for your honesty. Reading your blog makes me feel normal…finally!

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Susan

      I feel the same. I feel down sometimes just because of all these “Success stories” out there, and I wonder, “errr… why am I still plodding along?” Then I remember, behind their strength is the fragility too. We forget that sometimes, so I hope I can make a difference in the voices

      thanks for reading my blog!

  7. jim says:

    Yes, be vulnerable. If only to your self. Life is so much richer when lived with the courage to be vulnerable. And as others have commented, doing so allows we readers to learn and enrich our lives.
    Keep doing what you do.

    • nochnoch says:

      Thanks Jim, I will continue doing what I am doing. I’m learning to embrace my vulnerability. Sometimes it’s scary, but I have this blog and my readers like you to go to for refuge too 🙂
      Your presence and your support also enriches my life!

  8. Michelle says:

    Please be vulnerable, and let we readers react as we will. While searching out something, anything, online that will help me feel less isolated in my own depression, I found that sites on recovery were not what I wanted to read. When I’m that down, I need to know I’m not the only person out there that feels it. Because of the stigma of both mental health and negativity, it is hard to find places where people speak honestly about thoughts when depressed. So maybe I’m sick and wrong like I feel others imply, but I feel better knowing I’m not alone in my pain. Maybe another time I will want to read about how to recover, when I’m in the right space. But when I’m really down and feel I can’t talk to anyone about it, knowing I’m not a rare loon from another planet thinking drastically dismal thoughts is helpful. It’s nice to know there are some people that DO understand, and that perhaps I’m not an alien from planet doom. ( ;

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Michelle

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving me a message. I will continue to write how I feel. Yes indeed, sometimes when we are in pain, we don’t need to know it will be better, we just need to know we are not alone. I hope I can reassure you of that through my writing 🙂


  9. Nom D. Ploom says:

    I don’t feel you should censor yourself unless it is because you want too. By reading your blog I found the words for what was ailing me, I just want the pain to stop. It gave me the understanding that just because I shouldn’t feel desolate does not mean that I will stop feeling desolate. So, I became self-aware and went to the doctor for medication for depression because I was no longer coping on my own. I’m in physical pain until I die, so it makes death ever so tempting. So since my physical pain never will stop I’m not sure how sucessful I will be at managing my deep depression. Had you censored yourself, well I am not sure how my circumstances would be right now. When I feel your stark honesty about dying might cause me to lust for suicide I just stay away. I have a child whose vulnerable with special needs. But still, only I’m am responsible for any actions that I may take in regards to ceasing my existence on this level.

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Nom

      Wow. what a powerful story. thank you for sharing, and thank you for encouraging me to write from my heart. I am glad I could help in some way, and that I could inspire you. Thank you also for reassuring me that I am not responsible for others’ actions. I will continue to write what I think, and I hope what I write can give you some comfort in some little way.

      Noch Noch

  10. zhiv says:

    I’ve only just come across this, and it left be breathless because in 2004 I had the balcony moment, too. I think it’s important for you to tell your truth, without wondering how it might affect those of us reading it. After all, we came here looking for support, nobody dragged us to this website kicking and screaming! In any case, reading about depression won’t make anyone depressed. Reading about suicidality won’t make us want to kill ourselves. Does my reading about your baby’s birth make me want to get pregnant? Of course not! Congratulations, by the way. Reading your stories is helpful, to me at least, and as a suicide survivor, when I’m feeling suicidal, I actually want to find a safe space where I can connect with someone else’s experience of feeling suicidal, simply to know that I am not alone, that here at least there is someone who isn’t going to patronise me, scold me, dismiss me or ignore me through their writings because they don’t wish their ‘support’ blog or website to deal with ‘unpleasantness’. I can come here and read your writings and feel that yeah, this person gets me, they know how I’m feeling because they’ve been through it and written about it in an honest and self-caring way. Write what you want to, not what you think we want to read. It’s your honesty and sincerity that keeps me coming back. You take care of yourself, and we will take care of ourselves. Peace.

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Zhiv

      Thanks for the reassurance… and also for interacting with my readers on my blog. I haven’t been able to post so frequently these days because of taking care of the newborn. I am more confident now, to write what I think, because like you say, we can express what we want, and others will take what they need from it.

      Take care!

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.