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Sunday, 25 October 2020

26.

26.

I thought that
by now
I would have been

sipping wine in my own balcony.
writing things that people want to read.
living life to the fullest.

But here I am

lying in bed wondering where did all that lost time go.
constantly reminding myself that life is still worth the living.
.
.
.

Maybe I’ll get there
by the time I am
36.

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Falling like the s t a r s


Theirs was not an earth-shattering kind of love. 

They would probably not have given each other a second glance if not for...
Two broken souls, buddies, two pints of beer.

She was a train wreck, and he never let anyone in.
But he picked her up at her weakest, and she became his strength.
It's not like they filled each other's empty spaces.
They were broken people, in ways that could probably never be fixed.
But in each other, they found a home for their wandering hearts;
A place to stand naked, and be embraced for the wounds and the cuts.

With each other, they experienced in its entirety the other faces of love - jealousy, obsession, insecurity, and lust.
But in spite of that, they tried their best to remember that love is patient, kind, not easily angered, and keeps no records of wrong, so that they could be together for a very, very long time. 

And that is how the not so earth-shattering kind of love became one that made two broken people find the courage to love again. To find that passion that once burned so brightly within them and defined them - as a woman full of faith and a man of big dreams. 

Just that this time, it burned for each other. And this time, they won't let go.

Thursday, 1 October 2020

do u still love me? pt. 2

It has been a long time since he saw his mates. I must put on my best suit, he thought.

The dinner was perfect, as always. Charles always chose the best wine and no matter how long it has been, the boys always caught on like a house on fire whenever they met. 

"How's Gwen?" Charles' wife asked.

"She's great! She just published her third book. I'm so proud of her," he replied.

"Why don't you ask her to come over and say hi?" 

"You know how she is, she's really introverted. She'll come over when she wants to." I wish she was a little more sociable, he thought.

He was exhausted after a long night of conversations. As much as he enjoyed catching up with his mates, he appreciated the long and quiet drives home with his wife. They would listen to whatever tunes were on the radio, and admire the night lights as they drove through the city.

When they got home, he took a nice and warm shower, and crawled into bed beside her. He took out his phone and scrolled his newsfeed. That was his way of winding down for the day.

Before drifting off to sleep, he remembered how beautiful she looked in her satin dress. Far more beautiful and elegant than the girls in crop tops and miniskirts these days. He had the urge to hold her in his arms and close the gap between them. But he saw that she had turned to her side and gone to sleep.

Maybe tomorrow, he thought. I'll tell her how beautiful she looked tomorrow.

Click here for pt 1: her pov.

do u still love me? pt. 1

She glanced across the room and saw him at the other end with a glass of red wine in his hand, chatting and laughing away with his old friends. 

He still got it in him, she thought. Her mind drifted back to the days when he pursued her like nothing else in the world mattered. She didn't quite know who he was back then. He was one among the many suitors that she had. But in his relentless pursuit of her, she started to see his charm. He knew exactly what he wanted in life and would stop at nothing to achieve them. He had a way with words, and never failed to catch the attention of his audience with his fascinating anecdotes and effortless choice of words. In no time, he became the anchor that she needed, in that carefree and directionless life of hers. 

Their journey back home was like any other. He put the radio on. She hummed to her favourite tunes when they were on air. Except that this time, she tried to strike a meaningful conversation. 

"How's the gang? You guys seemed to be having a really good time," she started.

"Same old," he replied.

"I remember how you guys were back in the days..." It was a cue for him to continue with the reminiscence.

Silence. He must be tired.

"The boys orchestrating the whole wedding proposal... It was really something."

"Yeah it was huh." The rest of the ride was silent, except for the songs that were playing on the radio.

Back at home and tucked in bed, he was scrolling through his newsfeed like he did every other night. Occasionally, he would show her something interesting that he came across. She appreciated it. It made her feel that she was somehow still his closest confidant. She read her book, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver, until they were both tired and he went to turn the lights off.

She longed for his touch that night, more than any other night. He had looked ravishing in that navy suit of his. She reached out for his waist but drew it back before her hand touched his skin.

She turned to her side, shut her eyes, and for a long time, wondered if things with between Charles (her husband's best man) and his wife were the same before finally falling asleep.

Click here for pt 2: his pov.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

How I cope with anxiety

In response to my previous post, some of you have asked me to share about my own experience in coping with anxiety. Like this,

and this.


And I thought that it was a great idea! Of course, I have to caveat that I am no therapist and whatever I'm going to say is entirely based on my own experience, which frankly really ain't that rosy. Nonetheless, I'm still alive and kickin' so, here goes.

1. Understand what makes you anxious and ask yourself if it is rational

As someone who thrives on the right brain, I am not exactly methodological in my thinking. Yes, we are known to be creative and intuitive but the downside is that we are largely driven by our feelings - and sometimes to our own detriment. As a right-brainer, I catch myself occasionally on a downward spiral of negative emotions, without actually knowing why I am experiencing them.

I read about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) recently and found that their approach in dealing with anxiety and other mental health issues is very helpful. What is CBT? TL;DR, it is a type of therapy that helps you identify the unhealthy and inaccurate thought patterns that you may have, so that you can correct them and lead a happier life ☺

In the context of anxiety, the first step in CBT is to understand what is making you anxious. For me, after many, many years of dating, I finally figured that what makes me most anxious is when my partner is upset, as I automatically associate it with myself and my short-comings (very non-feminist of me, I know). When he has a bad day and is awfully quiet or accidentally lashes out at me, I wonder if I did something wrong. And then I spiral. When I make (in my opinion) a small mistake and he gets upset, I wonder 'what did I do so wrong' and make a mental note never to do it again. As a result, I end up walking on eggshells around the one I love and feel small all the time - which really isn't in my (confident and free-spirited) character. 

After understanding what makes you anxious, the next step is to ask yourself if it is rational. Instead of constantly second-guessing what my partner feels and why he feels that way, I learned to communicate. And I realised that sometimes, a simple 'are you okay?' does the trick. I find out that he's actually not upset with me and I'm then in a better position to offer a listening ear. On occasions when he is upset at me, I've learned to reflect on my mistake and assess whether the proportion of anxiety and guilt that I feel is rational and justified, rather than spiralling immediately. And I realised that most of the time it is not. He is also human and there may be other reasons for his insecurities or the way he reacts. It is not always completely my fault. After coming to that realisation, I'm also in a better place to apologise, make amends, and care for both him and myself.

Of course, this takes conscientious effort and I understand that sometimes, we're frankly too tired to give a damn. This is where point 2 comes into play.

2. Find your modes of escapism and make sure that they are accessible

Ever since I studied in the UK, travelling has been my utmost form of escapism (and I recognise that it is a very privileged thing). When the going gets tough, I think about my upcoming trip and it gets me through the days. COVID-19 has taken that away and I found myself a little more depressed than usual. How did I cope?

Along the coast of California, taken by Yours Truly

I found accessible substitutes that motivate me to get through a difficult day and give me some form of reprieve. Yesss, for me it was Gin and Tonic. I always looked forward to a nice glass of G&T after a long day of work. Of course, I recognised that alcohol has its detriments and that's why I've lately been substituting G&T with a refreshing cup of iced latte (with a pump of sugar syrup) from Huggs Coffee, which seems to have been brewed to perfection for my tastebuds. I hardly go a day without my iced latte (even on weekends) and most of the baristas remember my order now. 

It is the little things that keep you afloat sometimes.

3. Find space to express yourself

Writing (usually using allegory) is my way of connecting with the world, and letting other people know what I feel without actually saying it. 

In most human relationships. you don't always get to express yourself freely unless you bulldoze your way through your conversations. I realised that this can cause a lot of frustration over time and to keep ourselves sane, we need a platform to express how we truly feel. And those who care will make an effort to try and understand what you're trying to say through your unique platforms of self-expression.

Whether its through literature, fashion, art or music, I think self-expression is an important way to keep one's sanity in this pretty insane world. I write dark fiction not to propagate depressive thoughts but to release the pent up frustration that all humans will have at various points in their lives. And I always end up feeling better.

-

This year has been a really tough year for many people. But I'm grateful that amidst all the hardship, mental health is becoming a topic that is more commonly discussed. We are all human - from the President, to the Generals and the Average Joes like myself. We all have some form of anxiety that we will have to deal with at some point of our life and it's okay to do what it takes to make life a little more bearable. So, let's be kind to each other and slow to judgement, yeah?
© Melody Sim | All rights reserved.