Monday, May 11, 2015

How to deal with Depression and My Personal Story

Depression stories are popping like mushrooms on my Facebook timeline.
I am suddenly inspired to write this post.  
It has been such a long time but my memory is crystal clear.  I've been meaning to write this very personal post for a LONG time but I just don't have the heart to do so.  Like I said, TOO PERSONAL.

But why do I finally decided to break my silence?  As much as this is a "beauty blog", you all know that Beauty for me is 100% skin deep.  The more you have a beautiful heart, the more beautiful you are on the outside!  That has always been my mantra! So being beautiful inside doesn't always mean sharing monetary goods or material things to others, instead, give them the best gift of all!  The gift of your precious TIME. 

So before I share this super long story to you, I want to let you know that it pays to be considerate to other human beings, it pays to be sensitive on your friends' or family members' actions.  It pays just to be there, to listen, to people who are crying for help!  

I'm sure some of you are new to this blog so you probably haven't read this "Temporary Hiatus" post year 2009.  Several days before, my mom was in pain and she was advised by doctors to go through surgery for her gallbladder stones!  As much as I don't want her to rush on decision-making, my mom is secured with her decision to go through the surgery that weekend because she was in extreme pain (take note: Mom has high tolerance to pain so imagine how painful that was!)
 How to deal with depression.

Fast forward to the night before her surgery, my mom and I bonded over TV inside the hospital room.  As I walked pass her, she said: "Your cheeks look glowing!  You are so beautiful" (FYI: I was using Mineraux Beach Tan Bronzer back then)  I got a bit nervous with her statement because I almost never heard my mom say I'm beautiful!  Seriously, she's a typical Chinese mom who isn't vocal with her feelings.  Pushing those weird feelings aside, I thanked her and we stayed up all night until around 2-3am sharing stories about LIFE in general.  She told me stories about meeting dad, how she miscarried 4 babies and how she was thankful she didn't push through aborting me!  (She actually planned on aborting me because I was an "unplanned one"!)

Comes 5:00am when the nurse came in and asked me to remove my mom's nail polish, I have this uneasy feeling again but I tried to stay positive and brushed everything aside.  The nurse wheeled her out around 7:00am and I can't accompany her to the operating room because the hospital room doesn't have a lock and I need to look after our valuables.  I just remembered shouting out: "Ma!  Don't be scared!  I'll be there at the recovery room when you wake up!"   I'm not even sure she heard it!   I was told by the nurse that there were tears in my mom's eyes when she was wheeled out!  I felt so guilty!  She's probably scared as hell and I wasn't there to hold her hand :(

Fast forward to post-surgery, you probably knew the surgery didn't go well as planned!  My mom nearly lost her life because she didn't wake up 9 hours after the operation!  I've seen that crazy  "TV SERIES" moment of seeing a FLAT LINE and can literally felt my heart dropped on the ground.  Everything went blurry but I remembered calling my husband and murmured: "si Mama, si mama....."

As team of doctors and nurses were in the room trying to revive her, all I remembered was shouting "ma" on top of my lungs as huge tears rolled down my eyes.  After more than 3 hours of trying, she finally made a small movement.  My mom "seems safe" but unstable.  She was in machines for almost a week but we never stop fighting!  My mom was a fighter as well!  She fought through being machine-dependent and learned to breathe on her own with us (siblings) as her cheerleaders.

I can still remember the first time she opened her eyes with a blank stare, I brushed those aside and all I care for was..."My mom is alive!"

My mom, survived the ordeal but when we brought her home, that's were the real problem started.

My mom was a different and difficult person to be with!  Instead of getting better days after days, she gets worst!  She was prancing around the house, she worries about all the tiny things like "cooking", she can't sleep, and was literally shaking most of the time!  The cheerful, perky "Nikki-like" mom was gone!  I knew there is something wrong so I went online to do some research.  ONE WORD popped.


To make this long story short and a depressing story SHORTER (lol, sorry trying to keep things light!), My family, at first didn't believe me.  Mom was probably just tired from the surgery, maybe, her body is still recovering.  But you know what?  I don't take those as an excuse!  I know my mom so well and she is a fighter!  Giving up is not part of her dictionary!  So I had to do more research and all the symptoms are becoming clear.  She really has depression!  (The doctor finally coined it as Clinically Depressed.)  

We literally had to drag my mom to hospitals to meet with Psychiatrists!  The most painful part?  When your own mom, your closest in the world would say: "What kind of a daughter are you?  You think your mom is crazy? If you keep on doing these things I'm going to end my life!"

So me and my sister would literally cry on streets (I hope none of you see that! hahahaha) 

Depression is crazy!  I know my mom was fighting deep inside.  I literally had to print out depression information and read to her as I held her hand.  On good days, she would say: "I understand, I'm trying to fight as hard as I can, but I really don't know how or why I'm feeling like that!"  But there are days she just snaps and say all those hurtful words.

I had to talk to my boss to give up on Friday work and shorten my Monday to Thursday work just to take care of my mom and the household!  The 3 dogs she loved I think went on depression as well!  I wasn't really into cooking back then but I had to force myself to go to a wet market and cook like I know what I was doing!  She hates my cooking by the way, everything tastes yucky to her!

IT HURTS...IT HURTS so much I had to cry myself to sleep every night!

Then one night, or shall I early morning around 2-3am (I almost never sleep back then and I lost so much weight!), my high school friend who resides in Canada saw me online and asked what I was doing.  I told her about my mom's situation and she said: "You should've told me about this earlier!  My dad suffered the exact same thing after surgery and he went into exact stage as your mom!  Let me recommend you to another doctor!" (Thanks Philynette!)

NOT AGAIN, a Psychiatrist?? My mom hates my gut every time I mention the keywords --- hospital, clinic, doctor etc...

But I knew in my heart there is no other way, I want my mom back!  I called my brothers and sister and asked for help!  They are all on my side and we felt like Power Rangers back then!   We took her to this new doctor and my mom was literally saying all those mean things straight at his face!  Ayayay depression really can turn a super nice person into a mean one!  This time, the doctor was quite simple and straightforward!  No hourly rates, no long speeches, just medication.

And oh!  Don't let me start with how my dad was literally forcing my mom to take those medications!  It was a group effort I tell you!

And slowly, we see how my mom is starting to get back to life!  SLOWLY....and a lot of money spent after.....we are finally seeing results! 

It has been 4 LONG years!  My mom is finally back during the latter part of year 2012.  With constant medication, family-effort on making sure she's not alone and a whole lot of trips here and there...she is finally back!

And I got pregnant year 2013.
God is really good.

With mom and my brother surprised her when we all met in Macau

Family reunion and my mom just forced herself to smile for camera. With AMW sis!

Our "mommy with baby CharChar" grooming date!  Thanks Mr. AMW for the UNLI-love and support

Another family gathering.  We tried to invent and create as many social gatherings as possible!

at Manila Ocean Park

Family photo which was printed out and displayed at home!  Mom loves seeing this photo again and again!

And finally, mom is completely well!  This photo was taken during a surprise 50th wedding anniversary party!

How to deal with depression

I thank God for giving her 2nd life and for giving me a family who are strong enough to stay together throughout this journey.

I have been trying to write this post for years but only mustered the courage to share this story because I want to let others who might be going through some challenges similar to my mom to understand that it is OKAY to ask for help!  It is OKAY to go to a doctor and it is more than okay to cry when you just can't take it anymore!  

But there is one thing for sure that I would like to point out....
It is NOT okay to end your life because there are just so many people around you who cares!

Just ask my mom!  She was surprised how my dad was so caring (another traditional Chinese dad) and how we all didn't give up on her!  She remembered everything and thanked us each day on how we never gave up on her!  I am so happy she lived to this very moment to be an example on how miracles do exist as long as you have the "will".

I hope this personal post helps some of you out there to embrace life to the fullest!  Not everyone is as lucky as my mom to be given a second chance so we should live each day like there's no tomorrow!

I love you mom!  Thanks for fighting!  Belated Happy Mom's Day!

P.S. Please share this post if you know someone going through Depression!  I may not be an expert but I'm willing to share my experiences on how to deal with it!

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!


  1. Thank you for sharing your story with us. We're all happy that you, your family, and your mother got through that ordeal. I bet it made all of you stronger.

  2. Thank you for sharing this very personal story, Nikki. It must have been tough for you to write it but I'm so glad you did. I'm also glad that your mum's all right now. Sometimes we have to be cruel to be kind even when it comes to our loved ones and it gets so hard. Happy belated Mother's Day to you and auntie! :)

    1. Thank you for your message! Yes I'm glad I was strict then

  3. You and your mom and family are so strong. Thank you for inspiring us, Nikki! :)

  4. I actually don't know how I'm gonna say this but I FEEL YOU on this one and I think that I'm so close of going through it right now. Perfect timing eh? The feeling is so heavy is swallowing me whole.

    Please allow me to share this post that I had in my timeline years back:
    Got so affected with Che Che Lazaro Presents: SUICIDE last night. It bothers me so much knowing that people suffering from severe depression can lead to suicide. It opened my eyes that depression is just like any other illness that can cause death. Anyone who's suffering from depression should not be ashamed for its like a patient suffering from diabetes, cancer, pneumonia, etc. that needs attention and professional help. Everyone somewhere in their life felt pain and cries for help. And if there's someone who come to you and ask for help, please lend a hand, listen and open your hearts and minds to accept them.

    I'm so sorry for posting this ;(

    1. Hey are you okay? Please, talk to me if you need someone to talk to ha? you can email me I can share more information about this and see if it will help you or your family! You are not alone! Maybe God has his ways of telling you that you are definitely NOT alone! Kaya nga after 4 years, ngayon ko lang nipost! :D *hugs*

  5. I never knew the whole story. I got teary-eyed while reading this post!!! But I'm so glad you and your family is now back! *mwah* *hugs*

    1. Ay di ko ba nakwento? Thanks for reading!

  6. i can totally relate to this, i blogged about having this depression for months now, trying to get on with life each day and its not so easy. there were times that i just don't wanna wake up anymore. during my off i just want to stay in bed, try to sleep and sleep to avoid thinking things. there were times im not aware that im awake and crying. but then i need to get on with my life, not only for myself but for those who people who care. easier said than done though.

    1. Thanks for sharing,are you ok now?

  7. im feeling this too.. sobra ms nikki.. i could smile pero hindi ko maramdaman yung feeling na masaya.. maybe to hide the pain na ayaw ipakita sa iba.. =(

    1. sis, kaya mo yan! ok lang pakita ang weaknesses sa iba :D

    2. siguro lahat dumadaan sa sitwasyon na meron ako.. ms nikki akala ko sa mga tv series lang ang nangyayari sakin lately..

  8. Kudos to you and your family for staying strong for your mom. I myself experienced depression first hand through a family member. And I can relate on how hard it is to understand what they are going through and pushing them to go see doctors. But thankfully, we also surpassed the trial. We've become more aware of this disease and it has taught us kindness and compassion towards others. God Bless Nikki.

    1. Thanks Juc! God Bless you too for sharing such positivity here on my blog :D

  9. Kudos to you and your family for staying strong for your mom. I myself experienced depression through a family member, and I can relate to you on how hard it is to understand what they are going through and how hard it is to push them to go see doctors. But we have thankfully surpassed this trial as well. This disease has taught us awareness, kindness and compassion towards others. God bless Nikki.

  10. Thanks for sharing your story. So inspiring! Halos lahat dumadaan sa depression, yung may pagdadaanan ka tapos di mo kaya dalhin.Magpapasalamat ka na lang balang araw na nalagpasan mo.Naiiyak ako ngayon because once upon a time in my life I suffer from depression to the point na parang my world has stopped and my life ia useless. But im glad im happy now:) God is good☺

    1. awww, at least once upon a time meaning, you are okay now! hay, I've seen and have met so many people going through depression and I just want to share my story to let others know that it is SERIOUS and yes, they can heal! Mahaba haba lang ang oras!

  11. Can you share the name of the doctor who was finally able to help? So hard to find

    1. email me please ntiu1027 (at) gmail (dot) com

  12. Thanks Ms. Nikki. This really made me cry (a river) good for your mom that she had you guys during those trying times... Lately, been crying almost everyday because of thefears that im having. Wat if (ayan tuloy pa rin iyak ko) dna makayanan ng katawan ko ang pagod at stress. Somehow u know na my situation coz u commented on my post the story of my life. Kawawa mga anak ko. Alamko pagod na pagod na silang lahat sa akin. hindi ko nagagawa kung ano ang dapat ginagawa ng isang full time mom..nakakrinig na ako na pagod na sila. Naiisip ko minsan maige pa ata mawala na lang ako kesa maging pabigat sa kanila. Sorry ms. Nikki. sobrang jolly din ako before, pero ngayon mas malimit ako galit at mainit ang ulo..

    Dear Tita charo... haha. charot! Kse ayaw tumigil ng luha ko eh.. huhu

    1. I am so happy you shared your story! Okay lang, dun talaga nag stastart ang healing (I've talked to a lot and researched on it) kaya i know, once you accepted the fact that you have depression, that is the start of the stage of healing! I believe you will heal! And I am happy you go out and blog and be on events, para maturuan mo din sarili mo to love yourself! Wag mong isipin pagod sila, ako bilang anak, NEVER akong napagod, oo physically, I got really tired sa pagaalaga sa mom ko for more than 4 years (everyday tutok talaga), but you know what? Never akong nag complain, never akong nag isip pagod ako, kasi mahal ko mom ko and I'll do anything for her! I'm sure your family felt the same, the guilt-feel is normal, pero ang hindi normal, yung mag give up! :D Isipin mo how young pa mga kids mo and use that as a "push" to get better!

      kaya mo yan sis! Basta, I want to see you get better, feel free to message me on any blog post or email if you need someone to talk to! God Bless ---- ATE Charo :P

  13. This is the first time I read this blog of yours Ms. Nikki. It's so intensed. Never read anything like this before. That I need to take a very very deep breath just to unload the heavy feeling. Thank you for sharing this personal part of your life. God bless you more.😊


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