how are you?

HELLO WORLD, and my fellow TSW friends, how are you all doing?
in the past 7 months, i’ve moved back to Hong Kong, spent lots of time with my family, started my new job, resumed making videos, swam for the first time in a decade, and even got my heart broken in the past 2 months.

SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED!
there were also times when i did nothing much, which explains my long absence from this blog.
with the highs come the lulls.
it’s all part of life i suppose! Continue reading

Advertisements

2018

/23 JAN edit/

forgot to update the other time that photobucket has recently cut off the older paid plans, and stopped offering 3rd party hosting unless i pay 400USD a year. i used to pay a small amount of money (28USD) every year to host images i share on this blog. to relocate and re-link them would require a lot of effort and i haven’t thought of a clever way to do that yet. i will not be paying 400 a year as it’s ridiculous. in the mean time, you can actually still load the images by right-clicking on them and selecting “open image in new tab” or “open link in new tab”. it’s a hassle and i apologise for the technical inconvenience.

TL;DR: a lot of my older pictures might be unavailable until i find a better solution.

another year has passed! much has happened since the last time i blogged.
most importantly, i think my energy is returning. i’m willing to do things again.
i actually am excited to do things!
my energy/motivation has been in waves the past year, not sure if it’s because i’m too much of a lazy bump.
but once i got moving, i keep moving.
i want to keep pace.

i went back to HK for 3 weeks last december, and i noticed my skin on my body felt a lot better in the cooler and drier climate.
BUT, my body has changed somehow. i can’t stay warm for long unless i keep eating.
did i forget what life used to be like in winter because i’ve stayed in tropical singapore for way too long?
or is my body weaker than it used to be?
my hands turn cold so easily, so does my feet! i hate that feeling!

other than that, i have a lot less bumps on my body. it’s a lot smoother too!
maybe all that long sleeve top and long pants have helped me gently exfoliate away the dead skin while i’m out all day, so when i’m home all i feel is brand new smooth skin!
i still shed quite a lot even in HK, so that part is constant.
i just see lesser redness/blotchiness/rashes on my body and limbs.

it’s a different story for my face, hands, and feet though.
for some reason the skin there is really thin, always dry, and god forbid i exfoliate it a little harder..
it’ll form scales over the next few days as though in an angry protest.
fuck my life! how long has it been since i stopped steroids? almost 7 full years.
i’ve also been on TCM for the past 2 years, and for some reason my recovery is never as fast as what it was in 2013.

lots of questions with no answers.

anyway, just a short update to let you guys know i’m still alive, living, but not optimally.

i’ve begun to do strenuous exercises again.
HIIT and weight lifting to build some muscles, and boost that bloody metabolism that have been hibernating for so long.
also experimenting with a lot of creams at the moment.
finally bit the bullet to get avene and la roche posay while i was back in HK because i found better prices there 😀
started using soap in my shower routine for a week and m skin is changing. some favourable, some appears unfavourable right now.
also made an effort to not stay home all day long, forcing myself to head out, breathe some fresh air, get some free air conditioning in the library.
and having been actively using a dehumidifier in my room to keep the relative humidity between 60-65%. it used to be 80+% and i wonder if the high humidity contributed to my always itchy skin.

so i believe there will be a lot of things to report in time to come.
fingers crossed!
i hope they’ll be good!

signing off with a photo taken when my face wasn’t as red and dry. thankfully i wasn’t allergic to my cousin’s cat 😀

WEEK 77

once i got past the 6 year mark, i don’t really remember how many months its been anymore.
maybe it’s because everyday is about the same to me, it’s like a blur when i try to recall exactly how long it has been.
so this is week 77 (i only figured that out after referring to previous posts), but i’d like to call it..
THE WEEK I FEEL LIKE I’M LIVING AGAIN. Continue reading

[brain fart] what’s beauty?

not that i have any actual credentials to be a true connoisseur of beauty,
i sort of developed this idea about beauty through my years on earth.

before TSW, i’ve always been happy about how i look.
on the spectrum of self hate and self love, i think it was pure self love.
i never noticed any perceived flaws, because i was too focused on what i deem as good qualities on myself.

when we are young, we tend to see things in black and white.
it’s either all good, or all bad.
people either hate themselves or love themselves, it’s as though there is no in between.

things changed over the years though.
social media was growing at a time when i was dealing with TSW.
losing what i prized and valued while others show case their best self online did things to my mind.
i started noticing what i don’t have, or the differences between me and my ideals.
whereas in the past, i never had ideals before. i was me, unique, and special.

that was the beginning of the story about me losing my self love, and the quest to find it.

the thing is, i would be fine without self love.
it was the loss of self love, and the presence of self hate that tipped things off the balance.
i guess most been through that phase of “URGH i hate how my skin is right now!” when things got bad.
i felt like a monster, i think i looked like a monster.
i have no love for the person i see in the mirror, at all.
what’s that thing staring back at me?

i think that was how my self esteem began to tank.
which made it really hard for me to function like i did because i was so confident before that.
navigating through relationships was like swimming in a brand new sea.
except, the sea is pretty much the same, it’s just that now, i’m without my proper protective swimming gears,
so my fear of being attacked or getting hurt grew, so much so that they took over my decision control.

quoting rupaul, if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?
it made so much sense, because of something called projection.
how i interpret my actions towards myself is also how i interpret other’s actions towards me.
what happens when i see nothing but hate through my eyes?
that others don’t actually love me, because even i don’t like myself!
and why would i want to love another when all i think i’ll receive is pain?

learning to love myself was a journey in itself.
it took months, and months, and months.
imagine me swimming in the sea, finally getting more accustomed to it,
no longer thinking that everything is out there to kill me,
a fucking iceberg appeared out of no where and i swam right into it, kinda like what titanic did.
for a while, fear and panic took over again, until i talked my mind out of it as i grew more confident.
“hey, that didn’t actually kill me yea? and now i’m better at spotting ice bergs from afar, i can better avoid them!”.

the cycle repeats itself.
first it was iceberg, then it was airplanes diving from the sky.. it seem to get progressively worse.
but that’s not the actual case.
the usual stuff still pops up, like a drift wood, plastic trash, potentially deadly bacteria brewing in the ocean, but over time,
i’ve learnt that can’t bring me down, so they go pass my danger radar.
each day, my self esteem grows a little thanks to my constant effort to practice compassion

you know, being kind to others is ultimately an act of kindness towards ourselves.
none of that “pay kindness forward until it pays you back” BS,
but simply, projection.
if i do not harbour any mean motive towards someone else, i wouldn’t think others are harbouring the same bad motive towards me when a similar action is done onto me.

our biggest enemy is indeed our self.

in my practice of self compassion and cultivating kindness for others,
i came across this cute little birdy called rhea.
she has the beak and feather disease which caused her to be featherless.

i remember how i felt when i first saw her – a sense of familiarity, because she’s just like me, having an issue that affects her appearance.
except, she is much cuter even though she’s featherless.

the thoughts that went through my mind was what helped me chase away self hate.
“even though she looks different, but she is still loved. heck, i still find her cute and adorable! wait a minute…. if that’s the case.. if something broken can still be loved and adored by others, does that mean i can be loved too?”

and that question lifted off that smoky haze that’s been clouding my mind for a while.
in loving a broken bird, i was able to learn how to love and appreciate myself and my perceived flaws.
and with that self love, i now deem myself worthy of someone else’s love.
what that means is, my insecurities aren’t as rampant as before, the voices in my head no longer tell me the worse case scenario of getting my heart broken when things didn’t go according to my expectations.
and if they do, which is much rarer than before, i am able to tell it to fuck off, because i can tell fact from fiction.

can’t always trust my mind sometimes!

rhea looked cute before when she still had all her feathers, but being naked doesn’t make her any less cute!

being judgemental/critical kinda suck,
because when i’m not judging others, i’m busy judging myself.
but love, kindness, and compassion is the antidote to that.

just a little brain fart that’s been sitting around my brain far too long.

let it go

last week i was going through yet another cycle.
no big deal, just some minor rashes on my arms and legs living the time of their life..
they’re dying down now, and will not be missed.

i didn’t feel too bothered by that.
after going through the manic phase of trying whatever i can do change things,
only to find out things are actually out of my control,
i’ve learnt to let it go.

trying to influence things out of my control is a futile effort.
initially it made me feel empowered, like.. I CAN DO THIS! I CAN CHANGE THINGS AROUND!
well, looking back, it’s a false sense of empowerment.
when i realize nothing changed because of what i did, i felt twice as bad.

is it worth it?
i don’t think so.
that’s why learning to let go is so important.

letting go is freeing.
giving up control rids you of responsibility.
religious people say “you already tried your best, now leave the rest to god”.
if you don’t believe in a god, then “things are as they are” works too.

letting go isn’t the same as giving up, even though the action one take is often similar.
the difference is in the motivation.
you give up because you feel hopeless, frustrated, angry even.
but you let go when you’ve come to terms with reality – the inability for us to have complete control over every single aspect of our lives.
you’re at peace, perhaps even happy, to finally let things be the way they are.

the need for control in itself isn’t bad.
you need a certain degree of authority/autonomy to get things done.
yet, we often forget that our range of control is very limited, as compared to the vastness of this world.

people often say the only thing we can control in life is how we respond to it.
even then, we do not have complete control of ourselves, let alone to control others/events.
we can barely control our own emotions, which has a weather schedule just like nature.
sometimes it just happens.

i think i’ve given up almost all control over my health,
and by that i mean i no longer try to force my health to align with my ideal within a stipulated time frame set by yours truly.
we can’t have it all.

by seeing my TCM doctor, i put my health in his hands and let him be the captain.
i stopped reading literature trying to figure out what’s wrong with me, or what i can do.
i continued my new plant based diet, but no longer using it to directly affect my skin. i’m continuing on because this diet makes me feel happier as i have peace of mind that i’m not eating unhealthy animals.
i continued taking strolls as a light form of exercise, but not because it benefits my heart and lungs. i just enjoy the night breeze, and the blurry night lights (as i don’t wear my glasses).

letting go allowed me to be peaceful.
and peace of mind, as i’ve come to realize after battling TSW for 6 years, might just be the most important factor in healing.
anger is my mom telling me to do the chores, i do them out of love and respect, but she’s just going to see it as me following her orders.
peace and love on the other hand, it’s me offering to do the chores for my mom because i know she’s tired from work, and she knows i’m doing it because i love her.
both elicit the same result, but one leaves me grumpy and feeling unvalued, and one leaves me feeling like a god damn saint.

my favourite phrase now when a new rash pops up is
“we’ll see what happens!”.

it might be just me, but i feel like my skin has been calming down even more after i consciously remind myself that i’m actually ok with the way things are.
that encompasses a lot more than what it seems – it means i love myself, i love my broken skin, i love my healing body, i accept it for what it is right now, even though it’s not where i’d like to be.

i definitely don’t feel this way when my skin was way worse.
but now that it’s not as bad, it’s easier to love it.
and maybe that’s why i feel like things have been getting even better.
that self love might have helped 🙂

letting go is a process and not an over night thing,
especially when it’s intangible stuff we’re talking about.
it isn’t as easy as taking out physical trash – out of sight, out of mind.

something to think about.