People don’t read anymore

And this makes me wonder why I still write. Maybe I’m hoping too much for a good change. I wonder how many would read this post of mine…

People get turned off when they see anything that’s more than 150 words. Did you know that a first-grader could write a 100-word composition about their family? 

Reading a 1,500-word article enlightens and empowers a person so much more than a 30-second video advertisement that’s just tempting you to spend money on things you don’t need. The word count required for submission to magazines like Nat Geo and RD is 4,000 – 6,000 words per article. I wonder who reads these nowadays. 

Having said that, there’s also the kind of reading materials that people would rather go for. It seems that articles written for trashing individuals, organisations, and governments are more popular than pieces aimed to uplift, build character and morale, and help with social, emotional, and mental ills. People would rather gossip about than help one another. That’s just sad. And you’re screaming about that guy over there not contributing in making the world a better place… 

Also, do first-time parents spend their nine months reading parenting books these days? (We did that a lot years ago before the Internet came about.) Or do they just wait for the baby to pop up and decide what to do with it? This is alarming. As real as it is that your parenting wisdom may come in a package with your bundle of joy, you also need adequate prior knowledge and information from every source you can get before hearing your baby’s first cry. It’s no wonder why parents these days get so ‘overwhelmed’ by their first parenting experience that they are terrified to have more kids in the future. Equip yourselves before you pop. Your newborns won’t be able to wait for you to watch a five-minute YouTube video on how to change their diapers when they’ve got black sticky poop stuck to their bum-bums. And yes, first poops are black and sticky. It’s actually body hair they shed from their body which the baby consumed while in your womb.

*Originally posted on my Facebook page on 20 May 2017

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Of suicides, depression, and the man with a haunting voice

My thoughts on the article Twitter Wants To Protect Eddie Vedder At All Costs After Chris Cornell’s Death.

A bit too soon to talk about it? Maybe. But it’s not just about protecting the best vocalists, grunge icons, or legends anymore. We’re talking about protecting precious lives everywhere. And it’s never too soon to raise awareness on supporting and helping one another out of anything that could lead to self-inflicted injuries or suicidal thoughts. 

I recently wrote an article for a local youth magazine on the issue of teen suicide and depression. As usual, as I would in any of my writings, I did not only research on people who have committed suicide or tried to take their own lives; I made myself one with such character. 

It wasn’t very difficult, given the fact that I’ve journeyed through depression before. But I realised that you have to be in so deep, buried under so many layers of self-hatred and be completely devastated of any self-esteem in order to be wading through dark thoughts of hurting yourself to the point of death. 
“It’s like walking around with a giant lead blanket on you.” – Jonathan Davis, Korn

“I looked at all these beer bottles and saw they were kind of like a metaphor for my life. I was just an empty shell, something to pour alcohol in and was ready to break at any time.” – Randy Blythe, Lamb of God

Whatever it was that Chris Cornell and all these precious souls were going through, whatever it was that was going through their minds moments (and maybe even months or years) before they decided to end it all, I believe there were tiny windows of opportunities for them to climb out of the cold and dingy room they kept themselves locked in. 

There are many people who have come out of this. And they are all out to help those who are going through what they’ve been through. (You can find out more on You Rock Foundation.) Because at the end of the day, we all need to help one another see that “[t]here is always light at the end of the tunnel. It’s all temporary. Pain is temporary; depression is temporary. You are stronger than you know…you can get through it.” – Corey Taylor, Slipknot

Jonathan Davis says that “[i]t takes time. Sometimes, it takes medicine. Sometimes, it takes re-arranging your whole life and doing things differently but it does get better at times and those are the times [he lives] for.”

All of us will fall into some kind of self-rejection or anxiety at one point or another in our lives where we will find it hard to focus on climbing out of a nasty situation. (I’ve got to tell you that it gets kind of cozy all wrapped up in the blanket of depression at times that you just don’t want to get out of it.) But there is something we all need to remember before we decide to get into an addiction, self-hurt, or entertain suicidal thoughts: we are all accountable for the lives of everyone else as well. Whatever we do to ourselves, it affects other people more than we know or care to admit. It affects our loved ones, the people we are destined to know in the future, and the people who would stumble upon our life stories. 

At any time, seek help. Even if it’s the smallest of things. You are never an inconvenience to anyone. You will never be a burden to anyone with your problems. Regardless of how alone you think you are, there are people you can reach out to, who would be honoured to walk with you through it all. 

Despite everything, I still hope and pray that Chris Cornell and all those precious souls who have given up too soon will find the peace and liberation they were looking for wherever they are now. 

“In my shoes

A walking sleep

And my youth

I pray to keep

Heaven send

Hell away

No one sings

Like you anymore.” – Black Hole Sun, Soundgarden

… because seriously, no one sings like Chris Cornell.

*Originally posted on my Facebook page on 19 May 2017.

Grateful thoughts on my 18th Mother’s Day

For years, I haven’t been able to properly celebrate Mother’s Day. Even after I’ve had so many children with my husband. Deep down, it will always seem incomplete because the reason for the first time I became a mother is never here with me on this supposedly very special day. 

I remember how I celebrated my very first Mother’s Day – so many, many, many years ago – confined to bed because of a pregnancy complication. Three weeks later, I was rushed to the hospital with excessive bleeding due to placenta previa. I was only in my 28th week. 

As I was lying there in the maternity ward (they didn’t think I would be delivering any time soon), the entire hospital cot soaked in red, I was more concerned for the life of the baby than anything else. That, and the fact that I had promised this bundle of joy to a sweet couple who had been waiting to have a child for ten years. 

By some miracle, the baby and I survived. A C-section was carried out – following only a nod of my head as consent before they pushed me into the OT – to save both our lives.

Not a day has gone by when I do not think of this baby, now almost a young adult, whom I had to give up because I was too young to provide all his needs. 
I am deeply grieved that I couldn’t nurse him to make up for the ten more weeks he was supposed to stay in my womb for his growth. They told me I shouldn’t form a bond with him. 

I am deeply grieved that I couldn’t hold him so he could be comforted by the familiar sound of my heartbeat, which he had been listening to for the past 28 weeks. But instead, he was left to cry alone in the strange and frightening incubator for a month, again, because of that bond they were afraid I would have with him before he was given to his adoptive parents. 

I am deeply grieved that I was not able to watch him take his first step, say his first word, and make his first friends. 
But I am thankful that I was able to bless that couple with the very thing that they had yearned to have for such a long time, to complete their family. When I first met them, I knew they would be able to give him the life that I couldn’t even give to myself. 

This Mother’s Day, I am especially grateful for the man with whom I’ve been blessed with eight beautiful children (and four who will always be in our memories even though they never made it). I couldn’t ask for a more loving and caring husband who is just as loving and caring to our children. This Mother’s Day is dedicate to him for his acceptance of my past, for being my pillar of strength every day, and for being my best friend and partner in this parenting business. Without him, I would never have found the joy of motherhood after all that had happened to me years before I met him. 

And to all my children, including P, it is a privilege, a blessing, and an honour to have you in my life. I thank God for choosing me for that role of being your mother.

*Originally posted on my Facebook page on 14 May 2017.