Long Update

Hey guys,

I just wanted to give you guys an update and explain why there hasn’t been any blogging.

Life has been an up and down for me since last year back when I posted here. Even before that, it’s been a roller coaster as I was dealing with other things and I’m not sure if you guys remember me telling you that 2015 had so many ups and downs.

Well, this is the first time I’m telling you guys this as it’s very personal but back in August 2015, my auntie passed away and it was a big shock because it happened suddenly. I’m not gonna go into details but when I was told my auntie passed away, I felt surreal like if I was like in a dream and didn’t want to believe it. It took me a few minutes for the news to sink it and then I realised that she was gone forever.

Ever since then, my life has never been the same. Some of you guys know that I don’t deal with losses at all especially to death and with this one, it had a really deep impact on me (and also my family) because I was very close with my auntie as she was like a second mother to me. Back in primary school, she would always look after me and my two sisters whenever my parents were busy. She’d take me and my sisters to swimming lessons or take us out for afternoon tea or even the movies.

I had many fond memories but the hardest thing that hit me is my auntie asked me to promise her that I would take her out one day for an outing but I never fulfil her promise. I’ve been so caught up focusing on my own life because I’ve been dealing with my own problems. In my auntie’s final years, I didn’t get to see her a lot for a few reasons which I won’t explain but I felt like I let my auntie down and I wish I would have spent more time with her but after talking to my close friend, I can’t dwell on the past and there’s nothing I could do about it. She got me to remember the good times with my auntie which I’m trying to do.

My auntie’s funeral was one the hardest funeral I’ve been to (along with my grandma’s). I was asked to take part in the funeral and be one of the pallbearers and as well do a prayer at the funeral which I was honoured to do but I was very nervous speaking in front of people because I’m not good with public speaking. Somehow, I was able to get through it without getting too emotional.

Towards the end of the funeral, out of nowhere, I broke down in tears and I’ve never done that before at a funeral. It was embarrassing because I did in front of everyone and had to go outside to calm myself down but luckily my mum was there for me. After spending some time outside, I went back inside and I broke down…again…which I feel like an idiot. As you can see, I was such a mess and the funeral director came to support me which I’m grateful that she did. After the service, there was the burial and at the conclusion of the burial, we release balloons into the sky to remember my auntie and it was a nice thing to do for a tribute.

It’s now been more than two years since my auntie passed away and I feel like I haven’t been able to move on completely which sounds stupid. Anything that reminds me of her makes me feel more emotional and it hasn’t been easy. Though it did get easier when time went and I don’t think I would have been here without the support of my family, friends and support network.

At the end of March last year,  it was the tenth anniversary of my first dog’s (Sweety’s) death. Ten years, wow that’s big…it doesn’t feel that long and I can still remember what happened on that day. It was a very traumatic experience to go through and probably something I’ll never get over. Occasionally I get these dreams about Sweety which I’m confused and gets me emotional but I think it’s a subconscious thing because I’ve been missing her heaps.

2016 was a busy year for me. Because I was at home most of the time the as I wasn’t working or studying at that time, I tried getting out of the house more by reconnecting with old friends by going to church and meeting new people through them and as well school friends. We would meet up once or even twice a week and it was great fun as I felt like I was part of a group.

I also started leading Boys Brigade (aka Boys Scout) which I never thought I would do, though, I was a bit hesitated to do it because I had no experience of being a leader (except in Year 6 when we did peer support group) but I’m so glad I decided to do it. Looking after the small boys with two other leaders and teaching them craft, do devotions, organise games and getting supper for them, it’s a rewarding job and great fun!

Throughout last year, I attended these different short cooking courses that are run by the community and a college. It was a great experience as I got to cook lots of yummy food and learning new things like healthy eating, what to eat more and less and it was mainly more to help me be more independent. However, the courses I was in was for people with intellectual disability meaning the cooking was too basic for me so one of my teachers suggested I should be doing something more advanced like in TAFE.

In the middle of May last year, I went to Hong Kong and England with my dad for a holiday. It’s always great visiting family and friends in Hong Kong but the main highlight of our trip would have to be England as I never been there before. Went to a lot of the tourist places like the Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and Stonehenge to name a few. The people are very friendly and chatty to talk especially because we were tourists and they were surprised that we came all away from Sydney.

We also went to the friendly football game between the Socceroos (Australia) and England at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland which was epic. Also met my primary school friend whom I haven’t seen since high school and I finally meet one of my pen pals for the very first time. We’ve been pen pals since high school and can’t believe we’ve been in contact ever since! It was great meeting both of them! I was hoping to meet one of my internet friends but had no time and that was disappointing so I’m hoping to meet her next time as we’ve been friends since I was in high school.

After I got back home from my travels with my dad, I was feeling jet-lagged because of all the travelling I had to do with the different time zones. I also became sick with a viral infection and it wasn’t the best experience to go through. I had to stay in bed because I was feeling so weak I couldn’t even eat or drink, had this bad cough which made it hard for me to talk and swallow and I felt dehydrated because of all the throwing up (eww!).

At the same time, I had an ankle injury that kept flaring up and this wasn’t new because it’s an old injury I had all the way back from Year 11 when I sprained my ankle on three different occasions…on the same foot. I had to see my physiotherapist to get ongoing treatment because my foot was very swollen and it was hard to walk.

After about three weeks, I almost fully recovered from my sickness and got to get out of the house for the time! It felt great being out because I feel like you’re trapped at home and can’t do anything except watching movies all day. My ankle injury was getting better but still had to get on-going treatment (which is now all healed!).

Anyway, I celebrated my two-year anniversary of being out of hospital which is the longest time I’ve been out for and I was really ecstatic that I broke my record because I didn’t think that I could do it. I’ve already posted in Two Years Free From Hospital so I’m not gonna explain again. After my recovery from my viral infection, I went back to my normal daily routine but when the weeks went by, my mood went downhill. Nothing bad happened or anything but I felt physically and mentally drained probably because what I went through…it took a big toll on me and as well my depression.

I tried to keep busy by getting out of the house more but it didn’t really help most of the time. I also tried pretending that everything was okay to people which did work initially but it didn’t always work. So it got to the point where I wasn’t coping anymore and had to tell my support network and then I had a relapse…breaking point. This relapse probably happened after my last post.

My support network suggested to be admitted into a psychiatric hospital and at first, I was against going in because if I go in, I feel like I’m a failure as I was going so good without needing the support from hospital for that long and I actually did feel like I failed. But after talking to my support network again, they made me realised that I did need a break after two exhausting years and I agreed to be admitted into hospital with the support from my parents. Being out for hospital for more than two years is an achievement.

I didn’t tell you guys but one of the triggers for my downhill episode was one of my medications stopped working because I was on it for a long time so my doctor wanted to change medications and monitor me in hospital in case if I have any side effects. Because last time they changed my meds, I had a very severe manic episode where I was hallucinating and had high/low mood swings which weren’t a good experience.

I won’t disclosed my hospital stay for privacy reasons but I was in there for two and a half weeks and I have to admit, it was tough being there at first mainly because of all the changes they did in hospital and I had to adjust as I haven’t been there for two years. I was feeling so lonely because of that but it did get easier by each day with the support I got in there. My parents would visit me every day even when they have work on that day and they’d cheer me up. They really sacrificed a lot for me and without their amazing and loving support, I wouldn’t be here.

The day groups were actually helpful because I learned new skills and also remember old ones I’ve learned from past admissions even though I’ve been to the groups so many times. Halfway through my admission, my doctor was happy with my progress and how my medication change was going as I didn’t get any side effects which was a relief but he did tell me it would take a month to see the effect of the new medication to happen.

In the final days of my stay, I had a lot of mixed emotions leaving. I was very anxious about going back to the real world on how I’ll cope without hospital but I was excited to go back to my old life seeing family and friends again. I also felt sad because I’m leaving the support behind because they’ve been fantastic to me and won’t forget them. I did leave them a farewell letter which they did appreciate and it was emotional saying goodbye to them as I’ve learnt a lot from them.

After being in hospital, my parents and I went to Hong Kong for a small family reunion. It was great everyone again as we don’t get to see each other a lot. I also managed to catch up with a high school friend and I don’t even remember the last time I saw her but it made me happy seeing her again as she’s one of my close friends so it was a great reunion. Even though my trip was short, it was good to get away from everything but with all the adjustments from getting out of hospital to going overseas and then going back home, it didn’t really help me. Also, I was still getting used to my new medication as well.

Anyway, things did get better towards the end of last year which was a year ago and at that time, I had been doing a lot of planning for this year. The last few years, I’ve been looking for work but it has been very difficult for me because of my disability (even with support from my support network and the work experiences I’ve done) and I realised that I was going nowhere. Remember how I told you guys one of my cooking teachers suggested me to do another course? Well, that’s what I did. With the help of my parents, I applied to do a course in retail baking at TAFE for this year and it’s the best thing I have done.

I’m now back at TAFE again which feels a bit strange because I haven’t studied since I graduated back in 2012. The course I’m currently in now, I actually had no plans to do it but I’m having the best time of my life and it’s probably even better than my Multimedia course (which I did enjoy though). So it goes for 1½ years as I’m doing part-time because full-time stresses me out and one day a week but it’s quite long hours which you have to get used to. The things we have been learning this year has been incredible and wouldn’t imagine learning. We’ve learnt how to bake pastry, gateaux cakes and tempering chocolate

Tomorrow is the last day of TAFE for this year and I’m pretty excited because we get two months of summer holidays after this but I have a practical exam which I’m very anxious about! I don’t know how I’m gonna go but hoping I can get through it. Thanks to those who have been supporting me through this year with TAFE because it’s a challenging course but can’t believe that this year has gone so fast! I probably do another blog on my course in a separate post when I have time.

Before I forget, I have to let you guys know that all of my posts that I publish takes a lot of work to do and I spent a lot of my time and effort doing this as I know you guys enjoy reading my blog. Though, sometimes I feel like that’s not enough and there are people who may not like I write (I had a few bad experiences because of my depression) and then I ask myself again, should I still keep on writing or should I just stop? I dunno if it’s just me or it’s my depression making me think like that. Also because I’ve been so busy this year, I haven’t had a lot of time to work on any of my posts so that’s why my blog has been pretty much dead.

Anyway, I’m gonna end this post before it gets any longer and thank you guys again for reading this update and I apologise that it’s long but I just wanted to let you guys know what’s been happening especially because it’s been more than a year since I was on here.

Be random but stay safe! ^_^

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