#mentalhealth Tumblr posts

  • What is this? As part of celebrating Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month (May), I am writing a story a day about my experiences as a Chinese Malaysian immigrant in America. My friends and family have provided numerous one-word prompts to help me create these stories. Today’s word prompt was contributed by Carrie PE. and the word is “Belonging”. Thank you Carrie for your contribution and thank you everyone who stopped by to read my story today.


    When I was growing up, I didn’t like myself and how I looked. I had poor self-image and tried really hard to be something that others would like and accept. Whether it was for my parents, friends, co-workers or even acquaintances. I use to tell little lies or fudge details to make myself seem more than my ordinary existence. Culturally, I learned, it was more acceptable to lie than lose your temper. Losing your temper was a form of losing face (to lose the respect of others or to be humiliated publicly), especially in Chinese culture.

    Some of the core narratives in my head that struck a chord with me during my formative years and stayed with me for a long time include: “you are not attractive, if you were attractive boys would like you without you even trying” and “you are not good enough that’s why you can never win”. There wasn’t one specific moment that I could point to that led to these core narratives shaping my self-image, but an accumulation of side negative comments by grown ups and peers during moments when I had accomplished something. Moments such as when my exams results came out, I was proud of what I accomplished but would hear grown ups take pride  in their children who had straight A’s in their report cards and brag about it to my mother. In those moments, I felt incompetent and I didn’t make my mother proud to brag about my results.

    In school, there was the constant bullying by schoolmates about being better than me academically because that’s the only reason they thought I ended up in the Arts stream — I didn’t do well in my exams. Also, boys in school avoided me like the plague and would never want to be known having a crush on me. I was either too direct, had interests that nobody knew about or spoke English only; characteristics of me that boys found unapproachable. The girls in my secondary class also enjoyed making fun of me, especially if there was something that took my character down a peg or just to humiliate me. One day, my school uniform had a slight stain on the back of my skirt. One of my classmates noticed it and loudly exclaimed to the whole class that I had period stains on my skirt and started to make fun of me. I was embarrassed and I panicked because I wasn’t suppose to be on my period neither did I bring any pads with me. I asked the teacher if I could be excused to the bathroom. The girls in the class continued to laugh and make fun of me as I left the classroom. In the bathroom, I learned it wasn’t period stain it was partially dried out bubblegum stain. It was the same uniform from last week where I sat on bubblegum someone left on the seat of my chair. The stain did not clean off completely even after going through the washing machine.

    Most of these experiences fed into my core narratives, such as “if I were smarter, these girls wouldn’t be making fun of me and would be asking for help from me” and “if I were more attractive, boys would be interested in me and would have come to my defense when these girls were bullying me.” When I went to college, I had to confront many of my core narratives because I hit rock bottom where all these core narratives were working against me instead of helping me be better.
    I liked a guy with an Australian accent who lived in my dorm. I had told one of my transfer mates, Serene, from Sunway College that I fancied this guy because he reminds me of an ex-boyfriend. He caught wind of my interest in him and decided to call me and tell me to stop it. I was shocked and appalled by his actions and I learned from him that Serene had told him. I was angry and fuming about what Serene had done. Serene lived in an adjacent dorm building and I walked over to her room to confront about this. She said, “Sarah, you don’t have very good luck with boys and you’re not very pretty either. I thought I’d help you out by telling him about how you felt.” I was so angry. All I could muster up to say to her was, “Why did you do that? Now he doesn’t want to hang out with me or even be friends. I can’t hang out with our group of friends anymore because he’s part of the group.” She didn’t apologize and I stopped talking to her after that conversation.

    In a previous story, I wrote about Charlize, one of my best friend’s at the time and we moved into an apartment together. Her incessant criticisms of the way I looked and behaved added more fuel to my terrible self-image and I really hated myself. I felt trapped in a corner and I didn’t fit it nor did I belong anywhere. I felt alone even amongst a group of people. It was a feeling that gripped me at my core and refused to let me go. I didn’t like feeling this way and I needed something to change. When Charlize moved out, it was only then I started to work on myself because I had a lot of time on my hands and a whole apartment to myself. I was scared living alone the first few weeks but I started to make the apartment a place I wanted to be, my safe haven. I got my class schedule organized for months at a time and drew large scale calendars on the wall so that I had a visual on what my days would look like. I bought food that I liked from Meijer to cook at home or ordered my favorites from Campus Kitchen. I even bought beauty and hygiene products that I was curious about just to figure out how to take care of myself. It was the most nourishing care I did for myself physically.

    What helped me work through my core narratives was meeting a few good people who were willing to reflect back to me how untrue those narratives were. Some are my friends today and some were acquaintances who were really good at lifting people up instead of tearing them down. Talking to someone helped a lot too. I participated in some student counseling through a student community theater and as a working adult continued to take on additional therapy to help me unpack these narratives as well as understanding the root of these issues that keeps me feeling othered instead of belonging. Many of those issues rooted from wanting acceptance from my mother. During my 2012 trip back to Malaysia, I was able to get closure with my mother on these issues and begin the process to self-acceptance and reclaiming my sense of worth. It sounds very linear but there were many ebbs and flows that took me off track of accepting myself and not allowing these old core narratives play this vicious cycle.

    One of the best practices I learned from a therapist was to keep a list of things that I knew to be true and believable about myself and then recite those statements to myself on a daily basis as well as when my mind started to spiral into these core narratives. It was part of active participation in my own narratives to disrupt and rewrite what my new core beliefs and narratives. This process sounds easy, but I have struggled through this. I learned in this process that I need to prioritize healing myself in order for this to work well. Restoring my tank became more of a priority recently because I finally figured out after two decades that I am not my best self when my old core narratives take hold of me, which makes me incompetent not only as a leader but also as a human being.

    One of my past co-workers and friend once said to me, “I see you and I hear you.” I don’t know why but no one has ever said that to me and those words sank in so deeply into my heart. Her words reminded me of what it felt like to belong. Thank you Kelley for saying those words, it has left an imprint on me that will never fade. I continue to hear and see those words in social media posts and conversations, especially in the work I am doing on myself as it relates to my internalized racial oppression and working on what being an anti-racist is as a Chinese Malaysian immigrant living in America.

    When I shared with Chauncey the featured word for today’s piece, he sweetly shared that belonging is like a warm hug where everything melts aways and you feel like you belong. It seems like a simple analogy for such a complex process and yet it resonates deeply for me. My hope moving forward, beyond these 31 stories, is to experience that feeling of a warm hug (without having to hug someone physically) to know I feel like I belong and that feeling would start with self-acceptance as well as the continued willingness to challenge my old core narratives every day with a rewrite of my choice. It’s a work in progress and thank you for sharing in my journey.

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    Being homebound and missing my gym sessions have definitely taken a toll on my fitness regime and I have been doing a lot of thinking about it. I take comfort in hoping that it’s temporary and that we are in this together. Plus home workouts can be equally therapeutic and effective to maintain your health and condition your body.

    Let me start by saying that I have always been a health freak. Before the shelter in place order, I hit the gym five days a week, performed squats, deadlifts and hip thrusts diligently, did my abs at the end of every session, divided my arm and leg days, and the whole nine yards. I am extremely passionate about all things fitness and I tried hard to maintain it for a year and half despite my primarily sedentary job at a big four firm that demanded 60–65 hours per week or worse.

    That brings me to my experience of working as a Big Four accountant for a year and half as a health freak. It came with a fair bit of challenge and of course, I watched my body change day by day while my mental health also took a hit. Working 60–65 hours a week, staring at the screen and crunching numbers is definitely not my idea of fun or health or wellness. It can easily lead to extra stress on your body. More than the size of the pants I am wearing, however, it’s when I haven’t been eating right or gotten the physical activity my body requires that I start feeling out of sorts and uncomfortable.

    I can’t quite drill my health consciousness down to a certain “aha” moment but it probably started around puberty when most of the girls develop a certain level of consciousness over their looks and body. Either way, I haven’t looked back since. I am not a fan of the expression, “My body is my temple” but I think it’s apt to give that a mention here. That’s not to say that I don’t have my share of binge-eating days along with those party pooper moments when I’m with my family and friends, especially during holidays when everyone is in indulging in delicious food, sharing laughs and having a good time together. But I firmly believe in balance and there is always some wiggle room if you want to keep your eating habits sustainable.

    What I have realized over time, however, is that there is a tight rope to walk between being physically fit and unhealthily obsessing over food/calories with an inability to let go even when you should. The fine line between physical and mental health can also often be blurred with unrealistic standards of health and beauty that saturates the world of glamor and social media.

    What we overlook in our endless pursuit of youth and beauty are the stories behind the pictures of insta-models and fashion magazines. Their stories are often rife with personal struggles, countless doctor visits, enhancements, eating disorders, countless layers of makeup, photoshop edits and a slew of other issues. Not to mention that every picture of theirs is a team-work. Trying to match our casual selfies in sweatpants to their highly curated products is a waste of energy.

    Let’s focus on what health and wellness should mean in its true sense. Glowing skin, not from hundreds of microdermabrasion sessions but from sound health, inner radiance that comes not from the latest trending highlighter but with getting sound sleep at night, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and hydrating yourself and an inner aura of stillness and confidence that comes with surrounding yourself with the right people, exercising, and nourishing your mind with positive thoughts and experiences.

    That brings me to the lack of clear delineation of home and office after we switched to remote work. It’s been daunting for many people who are working on their computers endlessly without taking those “coffee breaks” or sneaking out for some fresh air. I think it’s more important than ever to take breaks and recharge, log off and turn off your devices purposefully in the evenings or weekends, give yourself the much-deserved mental detox when you can, make use of home workouts and try your best to stay in a positive mindset.

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  • I don’t understand what’s going on in this world anymore 😢

    God is my strength, Savior, everything!!! You help me Lord and everyone to get through situations and seasons. At the moment the world doesn’t know what to do with the pandemic(CORONAVIRUS ) and now what happened with George Floyd and others that have past due to police violence. What is really going on with all this racism and not being aware that we are all equal and the same and color doesn’t matter. God created us to be one and unite all together. Not fight with each other and destroy each other in this world. More then anything we need Jesus and we need his help. To help us come together, change our hearts and minds because if we don’t do anything about it. Then who will? We need to pray, pray,pray, pray and ask God for his help through the Holy Spirit. To help change the world.

    Psalm 34:14

    Seek peace and pursue it

    John 3:16

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    #life#relationships#friendships#reconciliation#covid 19#covidquarantine#covid2020 #prayer for coronavirus #coronavirus#pandemic#george floyd #black lives matter #mentalhealth #prayers for the world #prayers for george floyd family #equality#families #black lives count #believe in jesus #jesusismystrength #jesus is my savior #jesusistheway #pray pray pray #jesusitrustinyou#bible verse #god works in mysterious ways #christian life#christianity #relationship with christ #share this
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  • Let’s talk about how hard it is to open up to someone about being sad for no reason. Let’s talk about how hard it is to explain to your friends and family that you have this heavy feeling in your chest for no reason. Let’s talk about how hard it is to understand why you’re having a panic attack while just taking a walk back home. Let’s talk about how scary it is to feel like the whole world is falling on your shoulders and you have no idea why.

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  • Today May 31st, Marks 11 years of you in heaven with my father God 💙 I miss you each day. Your always in my heart and some day I hope to see you again. Sometimes I get those flashbacks when I found you that one day and saved you because the horse knocked you down. Your my guardian angel that watches over me everyday. I know you love me as much as I love you.

    I love you Grandpa🙏🏽💙

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  • Two reasons you might be feeling a sense of dread for the week ahead and what to do about it
    #psychologist #anxiety #depression #mentalhealth

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  • Are men emotionally stronger than others ? It is a Million dollar question which is still under debate by many people in the world.

    #menshealth #emotionalwellness #counsellingpsychology #mentalhealth #depressionhelp #ischs #appliedpsychology #indianschoolofcounsellingandhealingstudies

    Audio Credits
    Music: December
    Musician: Vadim Derepa (at ISCHS - Indian School of Counselling And Healing Studies)

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  • You are allowed to miss people who aren’t good for you anymore. You are allowed to daydream and romanticize the good times you spent with them. You are allowed to wonder how they are doing.

    Be gentle with yourself while your body and mind grieve the person who you set free

    Remember to remind yourself why things ended and how they didn’t raise you up but constantly left you on the ground and walked the other way when you cried for them.

    Remember when he yelled at you for “flirting” with a man who was hitting on you and you were scared and misunderstood so you cried? And a few days later he told me “ you made yourself cry.”

    “You made yourself cry.” A statement that summed up an emotionally toxic relationship. You made me cry actually. Instead of comforting me and validating my feelings, you denied them. Fuck you.

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  • Today I guess its time to talk about yourself first before you talk about anybody else, realize the beauty within you, and the power which is in you. I hope you can move to the mirror and see who you are. Do you know yourself? Did you meet yourself already? Or are you too busy to meet everybody else before you. Please walk to the mirror and look at you and find yourself within, try to analyze who you are and find the beauty within you. Because the creator of all creations has ensured that everybody is perfect the way they are, but maybe you are tired because you don’t live yet your true self, so now you are there not happy with your life because you are not happy how life worked out for you because you are too busy to live somebody else life instead of your own. But can you trust me? A stranger completely out of nowhere, telling you that you matter, you are beautiful and you are unique because this is the beauty of the life we are all unique, everybody is unique, because this is how we supposed to be. But you are tired, isn’t it? Please stop being tired and start waking up from the life which hurts you so bad, please don’t hurt you because all the pain you put in you is the pain which you feel deep inside, you don’t need to punish you and hurt yourself in order to feel better, you just need to start living you.  Might you want to kill yourself but why are you not killing the part inside you which is making you so sad, so drained so hurt? Why not standing up and starting to express your true self? Yes, you need to start living you! Your true self, allow yourself to express what needs to be expressed and live it. Whatever you want to be, be it, don’t hold back and move with the flow of love, the love which is inside you. Because first, you need to understand that, might the self hate you are experiencing is coming from a place where there been love; love can become hate and so hate can become love again, when you allow to forgive yourself for all the days and times you did not know better, forgive everyone who did now know better. Stop here and focus on yourself, because happiness lies within yourself only, and not in the next job, relationship, or country/city. Everything is within you, you just need to allow it to happen. Please forgive yourself today, because the world needs you, as we all don’t know how to live really plays might when you forgive yourself the universe will clear the path for you which is right now so foggy and cold because the universe needs you as you only, and once you try to be someone else the universe will ensure your path is hard enough in order to understand that you can only come further in life when you are living the true soul you are. Trust me, life is good when you allow it to be good, and once you meet yourself deep enough to live the self you are to become part of the universe and not part of the society.

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  • Solution focused brief therapy
    #depression #anxiety #bpd #bpdawareness #eupd #eupdawareness #Mentalhealthawareness #Mentalhealth #mentalillness #mentallyill #arttherapy #art #art4happy #artistsformentalhealth

    1- identify small change in mood and feelings or situation
    2- how did this happen? What have YOU done to affect the small change
    3- self praise

    So many people with mental illness are extremely thinkers,

    Solution focused brief therapy helps you identify the smallest changes

    Peter supports

    (at Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom)

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