This Ride is a Wild One

I like the song “Missing You” by All Time Low. It’s about mental health. The lyrics address some issues relating to it.

The first words are, “I heard that you’ve been self-medicating in the quiet of your room, your sweet suburban tomb.” This is the first time I find a song that talks about self medication. Attention everyone, this is important: psychotherapy is not a joke. The medicine for patients with psychiatry condition is not like paracetamol that you can just buy without prescription and you’ll be okay. If you want psychiatric medication, see a psychiatrist.

I like the lines,

“You’ve come this far,

you’re all cleaned up,

you made a mess again,

there’s no more trying,

time to sort yourself out…”

Those lines talk about recovery and relapse. For those who experience this, I believe you can go through this, even when it seems impossible.

I’m also impressed with the line, “Hold on tight, this ride is a wild one.” That line describes the journey with mental health: it’s not always easy, it’s wild, but as always, we can pass it.

And come the lines with strange power,

Grit your teeth, and pull your hair,

paint the walls black, and scream, ‘Fuck the world,

’cause it’s my life, I’m gonna take it back,’

and never for a second blame yourself.”

I really like the part, “…. it’s my life, I’m gonna take it back,” because damn, it reminds me that no matter the circumstance, I have the power to take my life back and have control over it.

There are still some parts of the lyrics that I haven’t mentioned in this post. Another post, maybe?

I guess someday if I have to explain about mental health, I would also recommend this song because why not, this song is well written and it talks about important issue.

“The Most Asian” Novel: My Experience with the Kite Runner

Few weeks ago, I read the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and it was amazing.

I will not spoil much but I will tell about my experience reading it. First, reading this novel in public place was a mistake. I brought the novel during my night’s watch duty in hospital and I had to hold back my tears many times. So I was happy when I could finally read it at home because I could cry ugly tears as I wanted.

Second, this novel is probably “the most Asian” novel I’ve ever read. The “Asian things” come in many forms: Asian pride, parent-and-child relationship, our attitude toward people of different ethnicity or religion, the gender biased norm, marriage, the taboo stuff, etc. Then I realise something: regardless of ethnicity, location, and religion, Asians are Asians. Some proud creatures we are. Well, maybe not all Asians but I live in another part of Asia and I can relate and understand those things.

This is one of my favourite quotes in the book which is also one of “the most Asian” quotes, “Because history isn’t easy to overcome. Neither is religion. In the end, I was a Pashtun and he was a Hazara, I was Sunni and he was Shi’a, and nothing was going to change that. Nothing. But we were kids who had learned to crawl together, and no history, ethnicity, society, or religion was going to change that either.”

I guess those “Asian things”, aside from the story line, are what make me love this novel so much. Because I could relate to it. Because it makes me cry and say, “Yes, right.”

Ugly Moment in Hospital: Death

I like fiction and fanfiction. I have a thing for fiction that takes place in hospital. I don’t know why. Perhaps because I’m a medical student so I like hospital setting. However, it changed recently. I’m a co-assistant and I’ve just spent 3 weeks in department of pulmonology. Those 3 weeks changed my perspective about hospital.

In fiction, there is this moment when a character dies and because this is fiction, we read some beautiful description that messes our emotion. In reality, death is … death, and it’s not beautiful. There is no narrator saying words describing the situation. It’s an ugly process which, in department of pulmonology, starts with worsened shortness of breath. Then the breathing stops, the heartbeat stops. Dead.

Another thing: last word. Often in fiction, the character says a word or two before death. I have never seen that. The person is too busy to try to breath. No last word before death.

No attractive face, either, I tell you. In fiction, you can imagine your favourite character as you want but many real people look miserable when they’re dying. 

So here is some “moral of the story” that I can give (which usually I don’t): while you’re still alive, attractive and breathing easily, speak. Do not wait until the last moment of your life to say things you’re supposed to say. However, also remember, choose your word carefully. Ah, it’s difficult, isn’t it? On one side, we don’t want to regret that we don’t say the thing, on the other side we will regret if we say it the wrong way. Oh wait, that’s a topic for another post.

And here I am, comparing death in fiction and reality while looking for good fanfiction to read before going to bed. Duh.

Lawful Wife and Mistress: Talking about Medical Study

Recently, I just found out that Anton Chekhov, the Russian author, was also a doctor. One of his famous quote regarding this was, “Medicine is my lawful wife, literature my mistress: when I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other.”

My friends and I laughed at that because never have we ever found medicine-related quote like that before. Now is the thing: every medical student that I have been close to has this kind of “mistress”, this thing that we spend our time with when we’re tired of our “lawful wife” in the form of medical study. One friend’s “mistress” is drawing, another one’s is cosplay, someone else has literature as mistress.

However, there is a problem when you’re constantly tired of your “lawful wife”. That’s what happens to me. Medical study is often demanding so I spend a lot of time with my “mistress(es)”: literature, fandom, and other things.

I think it’s time for me to remind myself that no matter how excited I get when I see my “mistress(es)”, it is my “lawful wife” that I made my vow to spend my life with.

On Hufflepuff and Justice

In my previous post, I talked about how people often forgot about Hufflepuff’s justice. People tend to think that Hufflepuff is a house of sweet innocent dumb people. Sorry, that “dumb” part is rude. 

We Hufflepuffs are kind, loyal, and hardworking. However, we are also just. Now I confess that even I forget that “just” part sometimes. 

Hufflepuffs value justice. This is why many Puffs helped fight Death Eaters during the Battle of Hogwarts. They couldn’t stand the injustice that would have happened if Death Eaters had ruled the wizarding world.

However, why don’t we, even the Hufflepuffs themselves, talk more about this “badass” trait? I’m not sure why but I remember something said by Miwako Sato from Detective Conan series, “But kid, remember one thing. The word ‘justice’ isn’t a word you can involve in any occasion. It’s something we must hold secretly in our hearts.”

Justice is not something to boast about.

On Hufflepuff and Kindness

In Harry Potter books we know that Hufflepuff values kindness, loyalty, hardwork, and justice. Sounds too nice, huh? I mean, compare those traits to Slytherin’s ambition, Ravenclaw’s intelligence, or Gryffindor’s courage.

I’m a Hufflepuff and believe me, I once thought, “What ‘badass’ quality does my house have?” The answer to that question is, “Maybe none.” If you insist, I can say that Hufflepuff’s justice is badass but people often forget this one trait when they talk about Hufflepuff.

When talking about Hufflepuff, we often talk about kindness, loyalty, and hardwork. The harsh truth is some people view kindness as weakness. I need to learn more neuropsychiatry to find out why. Perhaps because kindness is associated with a child’s innocence. That possible reason is, in my opinion, what makes Hufflepuff precious. This house understands that Hogwarts teaches children.

I found this tumblr post a while ago and I shivered with a little pride. It said, “Children. They were teaching children. Rowena, Godric, Salazar; they tended to forget that. …. ‘I will take them all,’ she said. …. ‘I will teach them how to be the backbone, the heart of this world. I will teach them how to stand steadfast, when all hope is lost.’ …. No, she knew theirs would not be an easy path, or a glorious one. They would have no songs. No great tales in books. No laurels. No consolation, no thanks. But they would be the reason why, when darkness finally came, all of them in all their different colours would stand shoulder to shoulder and draw their wands as brothers in arms. ….” I also recommend you to read the tag, seriously. Some of the tags say #and this my friend is why no one is quite sure what a hufflepuff really is #the answer is: everyone.

And that, my friends, is why I like being in Hufflepuff, being a Hufflepuff.

Don’t Need to Fear a Hand for Help

A while ago, I discovered a song “Where I Belong” by Ryan Ross. You can listen to it in soundcloud. I also find fan-made lyrics video in YouTube (turn on the subtitle).

If you read the YouTube comments, you will see that many of them talk about the line, “I know I should’ve never left.” They think that perhaps he regrets leaving Panic! At The Disco and they get “feels” from that line. I admit, at first I also got “feels” from it.

However, as I listen to the song over, I got hit by the line “Don’t need to fear a hand for help.” Damn it, Ryan Ross.

That one line reminds me of myself. Many times I find myself in big problem and I don’t ask for help. I usually think, “It’s not a big deal. I’m fine. I can solve it.” When I finally can’t solve it, and the problem reaches crisis, that’s when I ask for help. Often I get asked, “Why didn’t you just tell me earlier?” Difficult question. I can’t answer that. I really don’t have valid reason about why I don’t ask for help earlier. Maybe it’s because I’m emotionally reserved, or I’m secretly afraid of something wrong that might happen if I ask for help. Maybe I just can’t trust people easily. 

Well, I guess I need to gather courage to ask for help with some unsolved problems because, as Ryan Ross said, “This war ain’t gonna fix itself.” 

When You Lose Your Playful Mood

I haven’t felt well lately but I have been in playful mood. I studied for comprehensive exam then I made something like cubeecraft or flower crown. I was just excited to make crafts that I felt okay despite the illness.

My mood changed when I heard a bad news from a friend. A friend of mine, also a medical student, has been lost since Saturday. By “lost” I really mean that no one sees him or hear anything from him. He didn’t even bring his phone.

It’s sad. Now we, all of his friends, are worried. His parents have informed the police and we try to contact and inform as many people as possible to help us, just in case anyone sees our friend.

The illness almost doesn’t bother me at all now because this bad news has bothered me enough.

Boggart and Sexual Assault

In Harry Potter series, boggart is an amortal shape shifting non-being that takes on the form of viewer’s worst fear.

Hermione’s boggart on her third year was Professor McGonagall telling her that she failed all exams. Molly Weasley’s boggart was the dead bodies of her family.

When I was at school, I thought my boggart would be like Hermione’s since I was quite an overachiever. After I entered medical school, I found out that failure in exam was not that scary so I guessed my boggart would be the dead bodies of my family or friends.

Then I was sexually assaulted and I understood what fear was like. It was worse than failure in exam, even worse than losing a loved one. I’m fine with bad grade in university. I can deal with losing a family member or friend quite well. However, sexual assault is different.

There are countless times I regret the assault. It’s irrational, though. I’m the victim but why would I regret? I just can’t help it. I think about “what if” and “I should have” even when I’m fully aware that it was not my fault and I can’t turn back time.

In Harry Potter series, we say “Riddikulus” to combat a boggart. While saying the charm, we need to concentrate on something funny that the boggart will change shape into.

Sadly, everytime I think about those who assaulted me, or any kind of sexual assault, I think about the scene in Game of Thrones where Arya killed Meryn Trant, the cruel knight who was also a pedophile. In that scene, Arya stabbed Meryn Trant several times in his eyes and chest then finally slitted his throat. I sometimes imagine myself doing that to those who assault me but imagination is imagination. I can’t do that. I don’t do such thing.

I haven’t got any idea of something funny to change my boggart into because there is nothing funny about sexual assault.

Opening Up about My Mental Condition

On the last few days I experienced burnout and worse, it happened when I had to finalise my thesis editing and write scientific article. Worse, the registration for graduation ceremony in June has been opened. Worse, my mom was anxious and she told me to hurry up and finish everything so I could graduate in June.

 
I don’t really like it when someone tells me to hurry up, especially when I get a bad case of burnout.
 
That time, I decided to tell my mom, “I can’t think and work quickly like I did when I was at school. Now it’s easy for me to get mentally exhausted and when it happens, I can’t do anything. I just can’t.”
 
It was relieving to say that. Seriously. Finally I told someone of my family about my mental condition and I felt great. It doesn’t mean that I got better right after I told my mom. And my mom may not take me to psychologist or psychiatrist. I’m just happy from the fact that I finally opened up about my mental condition. 
 
After I said that, my mom answered, “Well, let’s just hope that you can finish it well.” I think she understands.
 
I told my friend about it and he said, “I guess all you need is emotional support?” That response hit me because I never really cared about emotional support. Maybe because, in my opinion, being in this condition for a long time, I’m used to feeling it alone. Burnout after burnout, sometimes even depression, and I don’t tell my family about how I feel. I often think to myself that I can deal with it alone because that’s how it works for me: burnout or depression comes, I suffer, and it ends then I live normally, after that it comes again, I suffer again then it ends, and the cycle repeats many times.
 
That day I learned that telling someone about my mental condition doesn’t heal me right but it does make me feel better, even just a bit.