I was frustrated at myself (what’s new?) during today’s session with my psychologist. I asked him, “When would I ever be fit to go back to work or just have a proper life?”

Most people I know have a structured week: some sort of income-generating activity from Mondays to Fridays, for 8 hours a day, a lunch break in between, and then social dinners for a few nights a week during the week, with weekends filled with other interesting entertainment.

Week after week. Month after month. Then perhaps a 2-week vacation to break it up, and the routine goes on again.

As for me, I might write for two hours today, meet a friend for lunch, and by 2pm, would be exhausted and all I could do was sit on my sofa and doze off for a nap. The next day I would drive to my doctor’s appointment and then be tired from that. By the third day I might have to cancel meeting a friend because I was so weary. Occasionally I could fit in a run down at the gym and a walk in the park with Bamboo.

So, I demanded of my shrink: at this rate, how would I be able to handle working even part time? It seems like watching TV takes up more energy than it would for most other people.

I have a question. This time I don’t have an answer.

My reader friends, do you have any experience of how your life evolved after embracing depression? I think I need a hug right now….

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, Beijing depression, Beijing suicide, Noch Noch, Bearapy,

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, Beijing depression, Beijing suicide, Noch Noch, Bearapy,

32 Responses

  1. Lily Lai says:

    Big hugssssss Nochie!!!!

  2. Guill says:

    My take on that: physical energy brings physical energy, and stress + recovery makes you grow. So move more, move out of your comfort zone, and take some good time for recovery (sleep and nap). As of “when”, there is no answer to that, you can’t control that. What you can focus on is pushing yourself, moving and resting. You’ll go up the ladder and decide by yourself when you are ready to go.

    BTW, I’ve been dealing with depression for almost 2 decades myself and now it’s my time to help people dealing with theirs. I’ll have a blog running in a couple of weeks. Maybe you’ll find some help there too 🙂

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Guill

      Oh would be great to read your experience on your blog and get some inspiration too. Yes it’s true, when we are ready, we will move.


      • Guill says:

        The idea of the blog changed to something else on the way, and it’s launched today! It’s called DailyCuckoo. Hopefully I can help people clear their issues and give some tips and advises with what I’ve learned on the way. Let’s see. But I wanted to make it a fun thing. The more serious blog will come later. 🙂

  3. Black dog says:


    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Black Dog

      Hearing that you are not doing well makes me feel sad. But also I have not been too good either. Very tired physically and mentally. Sometimes I feel myself slipping back too.
      Mothers always worry, mine also ask me the same. I think, no need to think too much in the future, let’s deal with the present moment first…

      Please hold on, each day matters, even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like that

      Big hugs for 2014

  4. Shiau Lee says:


    Here is a big hug for you!!!!

    All the way from Saudi..

    Xiao xiao

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Xiao Xiao

      Thanks!!! How are you doing in Saudi? I got your emails, sorry I haven’t replied yet. Have not been doing too well. BUt I will get to it soon I promise!


  5. vlad says:

    Hi Noch,

    Sorry, it’s been a while! I read your post and just had to reply. I don’t think there is such thing as a “proper life”. Only what is proper for you. It’s all on individual basis.

    One thing I want to tell you is that in situations like this one, it’s easy to develop a fear of missing out (FOMO). You may feel that you’re missing out on life, as compared to other people out there on the street, on TV and online. But in reality that’s an illusion. If you look at your life from a different angle, I know you will find meaning and fulfillment that already exists in your life today!

    As far as tomorrow, it will take care of itself. Don’t worry!

    Happy holidays! Vlad

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Vlad

      How are you? Good to hear from you. Sorry I have not been good at keeping in touch too…. but yes you point out something important, I always fear I am missing out on something. I had to spend the last month just on my own to try to come to some inner peace. It fluctuates, but I think, whatever is, is. And I am not living up to anyone’s expectations as long as I am happy with myself.

      THanks for reminding me that. Today I will just enjoy the sun from my windows.

      I hope you are well!
      Happy new year!
      Noch Noch

  6. Tathata says:

    Ohhhh, this one is close to my heart for I have experienced it for years and years and years (16 to be exact).

    I’ll start with something I believe in very deeply:

    Sometimes I think a persons most important work is to get up in the morning and put on their boots, show up for life, and experience what is.
    Beyond that, achievement is relative.

    For me, it goes in phases. Sometimes, like you have been feeling lately, I just am not able to live the ‘normal’ life that you described above. For two years I lived with family members, went to a lot of therapy and held only a part time job. And some days now, working full time and supporting myself, it takes everything I have just to show up for my job and sludge through the day, and on those days, I just stopped expecting anything more from myself. If I have a long list of things to do after work, I’ll let myself be pleased by just doing one of them, or half of one of them… or sometimes just showing up for work was enough. Then, some days I am surprised by the energy I end up having, even if I have no idea where it came from.

    The key for me? Don’t expect it to be a constant ‘improvement’. Some days (weeks, months…) are good for energy, some days (weeks, months…) are not.

    This mindset takes a bit of getting used to… and I don’t always succeed with it either (i.e there are some days where I sit in a corner beating myself up because I’m not ‘productive’ and ‘successful’).

    Anyhow, that’s all for now.

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Tathata

      That’s a great perspective, to not expect it to be a constant improvement. I think that is what trips me over, I get guilty just sitting on the couch, thinking I should be doing something productive. Ugh. I have to continually remind myself.
      Thanks for sharing your experience here. I really appreciate it

      Noch Noch

      • Tathata says:

        I get guilty too, but with practice just accepting what is, I think that’s where most of the improvement is, not in the depression itself, but in that I see less and less guilt over time.

  7. DK Gemini says:

    Here’s my two cents……this world wants us to believe that there’s this “certain” way to BE (ie. by age 22 graduate university, then get married, then breed, have a CAREER!, look GREAT!, always SMILE! and on and on and on). Well guess what? It’s all a LOAD OF CRAP. Everyone is unique and has their own path, their own individual flow, their own time to shine. I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I actually ENJOY being the “outcast”, the “different” one, the one who isn’t like all the other cookie-cutter sheep that roam the planet. In fact, folks who APPEAR to have all their sh** together do one of two things 1) they BORE me to tears and 2) they SCARE me to death because living for some STANDARD of PERFECTION is just asking for a nervous breakdown eventually. Anybody who actually ADMITS, ACCEPTS, and gets TREATMENT for their depression (DESPITE what the popular opinion is from those who have no understanding) is living in REALITY as opposed to some scripted go-through-the-motions-keep-up-with-the-Joneses lifestyle that is crammed down our throats through advertising, family systems, religious beliefs and other types of man-made brainwashing strategies. We are not robots, we are not clocks, we are not devices or programmed Smartphones that ring at designated times. We are humans – each individual and each healing and doing the best that we can at the RIGHT time, not the time that collective society at-large dictates. Thanks for healing and revealing. Peace out.

  8. Nigel Chua says:

    Hugs hugs from Singapore, Nochie-girl!

    One step a time. One breathe a time. One day a time. Ok?

  9. Courtney says:

    Distract yourself by helping someone who is going through darker times than you. Look at what coping mechanisms they have. You may realize your potential gifts.
    Depression limits the ability to see multiple perspectives. Ask, “what can I do right now to gain a different perspective?”
    Some people stand in their head 🙂
    Look for beauty everywhere, especially within yourself. Stretches are painful, but we need to be stretched to grow.

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Courtney

      Completely agree, we need to stretch to grow. Let’s stretch in our own time, and help those we can along the way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Noch Noch

  10. Tonya says:

    Warmest greeting Noch!!!!

    Hugs from the US. You are amazing regardless of your energy level. We can all relate to your current feelings. Hang in there…keep focusing on recovery and continue to be the great person that you are! Take care!!!!!

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Tonya, thanks for the hugs, and encouragement and reassurance. We all need a little love sometimes. Sending some back your way today!
      Thanks for being here for me
      Noch Noch

  11. […] have been overwhelmingly frustrated in the past year. It has been a year of waiting for other people to reply or take […]

  12. […] As I lay on the picnic blanket, breathing in the crisp spring breeze, laughing with my friends, an uncanny melancholy enveloped me. The cherry blossom trees seemed to be waving a warning to me with their intertwined […]

  13. […] I recently had another session for my organizational psychology course. Usually we go out for class dinners or group dinners to debrief the day after a full day’s lecture. Those who stay on campus residence tend to linger around at the bar after the class dinner for a drink. I have never joined the drinks: have always been mentally and physically exhausted for different reasons and wanted some alone time. […]

  14. […] friend and my shrink both said, what I am doing on my blog and writing for other publications about mental health is great. They said I am a good […]

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.