Melody Sim

Saturday, 28 January 2023


a racing heart. deep breaths. clenched fists. nausea. and an overwhelming urge to destroy something- anything. left unchecked, it will spiral into an unbridled monster that consumes your every passing thought and moment.

that all too familiar feeling. hello, anxiety? no, my therapist said, “it’s not anxiety, it’s anger.”

i think there’s a thin line between anger and anxiety. the physical symptoms feel almost identical. and they both make you feel that perhaps numbness is better. perhaps feeling nothing at all is better. perhaps depression is better.

but one is directed at the past (something that has already happened) and the other at the future (a crippling fear that the past repeats itself). 

i always ask myself, though - what am i angry or anxious about? am i angry at the people who hurt me or the situations that drove me to the brink of insanity? am i anxious that similar things would happen and i might lose my mind one day? 

i don’t think so. 

i think my anger is directed at myself. for bearing the pain again, and again, and again until there was nothing left of me. for losing myself in the pursuit of something so fleeting. for not loving myself as i should have. 

and my anxiety is triggered by the fear that i’ll make the same mistakes again. that i’ll allow myself to become that unrecognisable person that i was once again. and that at the end of the day, it was because i brought it upon myself. 

no, never again.

all is vanity and a striving after wind. 

there are so many emotions to untangle. i should probably see my therapist soon. 

Sunday, 1 January 2023

my mental health journey

I wrote this in my drafts two years ago, in January 2021. 

Dear Diary,

Last night was a very difficult night and I felt like putting an end to it over and over again. In my desperation, I called out to Him - the one person who claims to understand me completely - saying, "If you are real, please help me." Silence. Even at my wits end, silence. 

This morning as I sit in bed typing this, I think about all the people I love and who love me. I think about how sad they would be if I were gone. How kind they have been to me. How tolerating. And how they don't understand me. I realised, clearer than ever, than I'm alone in this world. We all are. No one person truly understands another.

Looking back at the past few years, I'm amused by how far I've come in my mental health journey. There were countless times that I genuinely believed that I would not make it past the age of 30; but here I am, celebrating yet another year with my family and friends, and another year closer to 30. 

If there's anything I have learned in 2022, it is that you don't have to suffer alone

In the past few years, my mind was in a very dark place. There were days I would lie in bed till 3p.m. in the afternoon before finding that tiny bit of motivation to get up and face the day. There were days when the brain fog got so bad that simple administrative tasks seemed impossible to complete. 

For those who have not experienced it before, anxiety (from my perspective) feels like...

8a.m. coffee routine because you need the sense of familiarity. Settling all the admin work at once while you're okay, before the brain fog sets in. "ASMR for relaxation" Spotify playlist. Forgetting your passwords. Being perpetually thirsty. 143 unread messages. Switching playlists to find one that calms your nerves. Cancelling plans. 7p.m. beer. The overwhelming urge to crush your brain. Heavy breathing. Hands shaking. 10p.m. whisky. Telling yourself that this too shall pass. Repeat.

This was my constant battle, and I felt so alone. I didn't talk to anyone about my struggles probably because I didn't want to be a burden, I was worried about people's perception of me, and I thought it was futile. When your mind is deep in the gutter, it is impossible to see past your struggles and believe that you could ever get better. I believed that this was my fate, and the only thing I could do was to learn to live with it.

I'm not sure what hit me but in the latter half of 2022, I finally decided that I was done with barely living my life. I sought help and opened up about my struggles. My only regret today is that I didn't do it earlier. 

It has been a long time since I looked up to the sky and thought to myself, "ah, what a beautiful day". I did that today. My mind feels a lot lighter, and clearer. And I think I could almost say that I'm happy. There are still bad days, but I know that they will pass.

I decided to open up about my mental health journey today because I wanted to let those who are suffering alone know that it is okay to ask for help. There is professional help out there and if you don't know where to start, you can drop me an e-mail/DM. Things could get better. 

a passage from Yung Pueblo's Clarity & Connection that really helped me

Tuesday, 25 October 2022

This is the year I take back my power.

I’ve always been an easy-going person, never voicing my preference for things and always going with the flow. 

My therapist once asked me to close my eyes and recall a time when I was younger that I felt I didn’t prioritise myself. A memory from secondary school came to mind. I remember really wanting to go home after a long day of classes but giving in to peer pressure to go shopping instead. 

This has pretty much been my life. Never really giving much thought to what I want, and letting other people and circumstances determine my journey. I’m sure there are many others like myself.

I always thought it was a good thing to just go with the flow - everyone is happy. 

But as I grew older, I realised that not everyone was happy. I wasn’t happy.

When you aren't clear about what you want, you bend your boundaries. You compromise on your values. And it is only a matter of time that you become resentful. At my lowest, it felt like I had lost myself altogether. It felt like I was nothing but an amalgamation of all the things that the world wanted me to be. And it took a toll on my mental health.

But as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. Even through the most heart-wrenching i-wanna-die moments, there are lessons to be learned. For me, it was through those moments that I realised I was gradually giving my power away. Each time I ignored my needs and "went with the flow", I was losing more and more of myself. 

Sometimes, what you need is to hit rock bottom before you finally learn to love yourself. To realise that no one else in this world is responsible for your happiness but yourself. It was through the painful experiences that I came to see, with greater clarity than ever, the things that I want and do not want in life. And that it is my duty to chart the path that I want. 

I read somewhere that it’s fair to not know what you want in life since you only have one life and no other point of comparison. I know that the choices that I have made and will make may not lead to the best life out of all the possibilities out there. But I think that as I turn 28, I now have a better idea of how I want to live. And I'll start by taking back my power.

It takes courage but I will be unabashedly me. 

Some people may not like you the way you are but that’s okay, you're not for everyone. And to another, you might be just be the friend, confidant or employee that they are looking for.

In the words of my Gen Z sister, life is too short to not be slayyyy.

Sunday, 4 September 2022

glimpse of us

lazy sunday afternoons are my favourite.

especially when it is drizzling outside. the sound and smell of the rain calm my soul.

it is the perfect mood for reading, meditating, and sometimes writing. all the things that i love.

and you, of course. dear you, who's sitting across the coffee table, hiding behind your screen.

your presence comforts me. over the years, you have come to learn what makes me completely at ease - some space to thrive on my own, but not too much that i start to feel anxious. 

i look up at you and give you the puppy eye. you get up immediately, knowing exactly what i'm thinking about. you read me like an open book.

you hand me my cup of coffee, perfectly brewed to my liking. my heart beats a little faster at the smell of the coffee, and the kiss that you plant on my forehead.

this is perfect, i thought to myself. 

and if only perfection exists.

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Que Sera, Sera

"Only three percent of people do this jump," said the local guide. "It is quite dangerous and you need to have the right technique or you might hurt yourself. But I think you can do it - you are a good jumper."

We were on our third jump. I've always loved cliff-diving. I don't have a fear of heights but I still get that rush of adrenaline in the few seconds when I leap off the cliff and plunge into the waters beneath me.

The local guide, Wayan, observed the way I jumped from the 5 metre and 10 metre cliffs. He said he could tell that I was the fearless type - I never hesitated before taking the leap. And that I had good technique - I knew how to control my motion and land safely into the waters.

I guess I would consider myself as (sort of) an adrenaline junkie. A couple of weeks ago, I went on my very first dirt bike trail. In fact, it was my first time riding my own bike. In less than fifteen minutes, I was taught how to operate the manual dirt bike and sent to the trail, which was meant for riders with experience. Again, the local guide thought I could do it; perhaps because I learned fast and seemed confident. I completed the trail brimming with pride, but also battered and bruised from the multiple falls. At least I didn't break any bones, I thought. 

Some people say I'm crazy but I love the adrenaline. It makes me feel alive. I go about my daily life with my attention split between countless of things. I'm always, always tired. And then there's the occasional anxiety, which dampens your spirit. But when your life is at stake, every ounce of energy is focused on making it out alive, and you could almost literally feel the blood pulsing in your veins.

But adrenaline is not what you experience every day. And in the quiet moments like this - as I'm sitting by the pool in my bathrobe typing away on my Macbook - I'm forced to confront my demons. And the ironies within me become clearer than ever.

There is a fine line between recklessness and courage. Recklessness involves a disregard of consequences while courage requires the mental resilience to withstand the fears and dangers that may come your way. I think my greatest irony is that I am reckless and give little thought to most of the things that I do but overthink every little detail when it comes to matters of the heart. And almost always end up in a psychological impasse.

Dating again after two break ups shouldn't be that complicated a thing. But in spite of my fairly big appetite for risk, cowardice prevents me from taking things a step further each time I'm at the brink of something more than just 'getting to know you'. I fall fast and hard, but choosing to be vulnerable and giving someone the power to hurt you requires a different level of courage. 

Or perhaps it is not courage that I'm lacking, but the confidence that I have the right technique to fall safely. To be hurt but not to lose myself in the process. And to fully embrace the fact that whatever will be, will be.

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