Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Mood Meds, Take 4: Fight!

Yo, everyone. It's been a difficult past few weeks, with me being so unmotivated and feeling like I've (once again) lost my way. Depression and depression-induced fatigue has been rearing its ugly head, so much so that it reached the point where I had to tell one of my clients that I couldn't work on composing for their musical next year and we'd have to shelve it. Fortunately they said that postponing it wasn't an option due to the commitments they'd already made/announced. I say "fortunately" because sometimes, not having a choice is a good thing when it comes to struggles like this: a little push to help me remain as professional as I can be without bailing "just" because it's a tumultuous time in the old mind and heart.

I've identified that part of why I've been uninspired lately is the fact that composing is such a lonely endeavour and that I'm stuck in my bedroom whenever I have to work on projects. It's not healthy for a depressive (or for anyone in general) to work in one's room, especially with the oh-so-tempting bed within full view all the time. So as of last week I met with a mate who runs a music academy and he has very generously offered to let me do my composing work in his workplace, in one of his music rooms. That's very kind of him and I'm thinking I will take him up on his offer. I was meant to go in starting from this week, but I've put it off because of a couple of factors: firstly —

I've decided to rearrange the layout of my bedroom. See the pics. I'm hoping this will help a little bit; I'm actually feeling a tiny bit more productive with the new configuration that takes me out of the cozy corner where the work desks previously were, allllll the way to the other side of the room where it's a little more "impersonal" (as much as a bedroom can be); and, more importantly, my bed (and Ashley's, where she snoozes) are both behind me out of view. Theoretically that could mean that snoozing becomes less of a temptation. I'm not sure how effective this will be in the long run, but I'd like to give it a shot.

The old layout - work desks tucked away in that corner. Bed in view.
The old layout - view from my bed: empty space across the room.

New layout: a cozy "living space" in that side of the room...
... And my work area now on the far side, with bed/living space out of view.
Spot the Ashley.
The other big development is that I've finally gotten off my ass and dragged myself to see a mental health specialist. Dr Deva came highly recommended, so yesterday I drove into Newtown and hunted about for his office, which is inconspicuously tucked away in an old, rundown building with but a faded sign providing any notice of his workplace's existence. It was a rather sperm-of-the-moment decision, but I had some free time, low motivation and terrible mood yesterday, so I thought I'd suck it up and go see him. Long story short, I spoke to the doc, and now I'm beginning my third round of new antidepressants in the past three years (that's not including the Prozac in the 2010/2011 years). Here are some pics off Instagram since they tell stories:


Fourth time's the charm. Day 1 commenced today.
Other things I've been up to in the past couple of weeks in trying to achieve greater peace of mind: baking! You see, recently my mum and I invested in a new portable convection oven, and we've lately been putting it to good use. We've thus far made a batch of pre-mix peanut butter cookies (gross, too sweet, pre-mix is never a good idea, not sure why we bothered); a coffee cake from scratch (a touch too salty, because of salted butter and added salt... less is more hey?); a passable banana cake; and then - the best one so far — a scrumptious orange sponge cake!!!! — followed by a passable sugee (semolina) cake, the latter of which initially didn't quite taste right and had a hard crust.... it was only after it had "settled" overnight, and after we removed the crusty bottom (heh), that it was more palatable. We're going to give it another try later with a different recipe.

The piece de resistance: a yummy orange cake!!
The not-so-good semolina cake. We forgot to take pics
of the previous baking attempts. Oh well.
I'm going to make creme caramel soon, and so I decided to buy a bunch of ramekins off Lazada, a Malaysian online store. It arrived today: six small ramekins. While I appreciate the vendor's attempt at cushioning the goods, I think two newspapers, three thick individual layers of bubble wrap, a cardboard box and the plastic envelop was a little bit of packaging overkill...


Well, that's about all for now, peeps. Going to take it easy (again) today since it's Day One of Cymbalta, the new antidepressant; I might go to the movies (Mum and I saw Aladdin last night, which was lots of fun), and will also try to keep working on this musical that I'm committed to (the good news is, since moving the furniture about and having honest discussions with the client, some inspiration has been coming back and I've been able to come up with some new tunes. Now onward and upward, I can only hope!!!). Till next time... :) Here's a closing photo:


Sunday, 9 June 2019

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Not Much + The Nam Heong Non-Satisfaction

Hey all. Still not a great deal happening, unfortunately. I've been so uninspired lately, it's ... almost funny. Almost, but not quite. Still, I think this period of anhedonia is fading. At least, I hope it is. Because otherwise it's a dreary day-in, day-out of not-much-happening, with me barely being motivated to do anything to change it. (Which isn't the same as not wanting things to change. I'm aware, and desire, something different, but can't find the motivation or energy to pursue it. "Can't be arsed" seems to be apt, though it has more to do with psychology than laziness, I think. I hope.)

Anyway, here's a story. Hey, I'm pretty active still on Instagram and have been updating Instagram Stories, so feel free to follow me if you currently aren't, k? :)

Yong Tau Foo is stuffed tofu. Point of interest: there was no tofu. Five meatballs and one fried wonton is not it.