my story


I am an ordinary person. I am no celebrity or self-help guru. So you might wonder why you are even bothering to read this blog. I want to share my story, in the hope that somewhere, somehow, someone who comes across my page accidentally, can find some solace, encouragement and strength for whatever troubles and challenges they are facing.

Also, I hope to serve as a wake-up call for the many of you out there who are under the illusion that you’ve got it all together–when in fact you are just living and working robotically to fulfil society’s expectations on yourselves at the expense of your own health and mental well-being. It’s never too late to make changes and yes, it’s very scary to do so, but if an insignificant being like myself can make them, so can you.

Beginning November 2009 I got physically ill, to the extent that I was in the hospital every 2-3 days, and all I could do was lie around at home with no energy to even read a book or watch TV. The pain in my head was excruciating, like a million jackhammers pounding on me.  Extending from the physical side of things, I spiralled down mentally and emotionally till I sunk into severe depression. For almost 3 years, I trudged through what seemed like never-ending darkness.

As I struggled to stay afloat – and indeed tried to give up a few times – thoughts and reflections whirled through my head. Looking back, I now see how an accumulation of stress destroyed my physical health slowly but surely, and how depression was already breathing down my neck – and yet back then, I refused to ignore all the warnings and signals. I thought I was young and invincible, and I could always push further, hang on longer… after all, I said to myself, “I’m a high-flying international executive in a large multinational corporate with lots of responsibilities, I can cope with all of this, it’s healthy pressure that I thrive on.” Little did I know, that this pressure was corroding me little by little, until it became stress…

End of 2009, my body had enough, and everything exploded. I came to a complete breakdown.

Most blogs talk about new things/events day after day, but mine will be more retrospective in order to recount my experience during the period of sickness, thoughts and reflections I’ve had throughout, and all the different kinds of medical treatments and therapies I went through in search for a better lifestyle, healthier life.

I do not intend to blame anyone or any event for what happened to me – the only reason I am looking retrospectively, is to understand how I reacted and felt in those circumstances. In the process, I hope to gain more self awareness, which should hopefully, lead me to make peace with myself, and move on in life being true to my inner thoughts and emotions. Gradually, I am beginning to feel free from the bondage of the obligations and images that society imposes on us.

I’ve learnt to embrace all the bad qualities I have been suppressing over the years in order to build up an image that would be loved by the society. I’ve learnt finally to take care of myself, to love myself first, to stop pleasing everyone else at the expense of my own well-being. Surprisingly, I’ve also rediscovered my passion for writing and stirred up some creativity I never knew was in me.

Throughout the years of writing and reflecting, I have been able to sort out my thoughts, emotions, and desires, and have recreated a new career identity that combines what I love with personal experience.

It’s time to be me, to be natural.

So this is my little story, one where I learnt that quitting is not a sign of weakness, and not to deny anything I have achieved in my life as meaningless. Image and reputation are really not that important compared to health and being happy simply by being ourselves.

This is thus, my blog for self-discovery, muses, thoughts and reflections for more self-awareness. I am not aiming to write a “how to” blog, but merely to voice out my muses and hopefully give you some food for thought.

Maybe you can  find some inspiration – before it is too late.

The past year was extremely tough, but it was for the better.

Thank you Sickness. Thank you Depression.

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.