I torture myself with sad songs

well, this is not really a description of the song, but listening to Boyce Avenue’s original songs really remind me quite a story.

I remember two to three years ago I was an active member of some kind of social network like facebook,try to connent people in a meaningful way, but different from fb every member can ask questions and share stories that every member can see and comment.

One day I met a girl who was upset and bored and asked what can she do. I answered listening to songs but she said listening to songs will make things worse.

At that time I didn’t have a clue about her until later I realised she was heart broken, listening to songs about love was a torture, as many songs were conditioned to something personal. I am not going to talk about the details what really happened, but instead I am talking about my side of story trying to help her.

Even though at that time I was preparing for exams, and I barely know her. Her story moved me. I sent back emails that would touch her and tell me more about herself, I sent back suggestions and advice that might impress her. I become emotionally attached to someone I have never seen. To feel her saddness, I kept listening to sad songs, and my favourite are Boyce Avenue’s original songs, like Dare to Believe and Broken Angel. I tortured myself with sad songs so I can have a slight understanding what she was going through. I can tell you, I was insane. I knew that, but my intention to tell her ‘it’s okay to hurt’ and ‘I might help her’ was so strong, so intense that it blinded my judgement. I sent her songs in languages I know she would not understand, I should be memorising chemistry equations but instead Iooking up videos to help her let go. Maybe the academic studies were too much to take I decided to help her instead of myself, as her story gave me hope that I can do something. May be I was obsessed with her story or maybe it’s just a matter of fact that ‘helping people going through their tough time’ is what I always want to do.

At the end she stopped talking to me, I guessed I went too far. But Boyce Avenue’s songs, still one of my favourites.

Looking back to this story, I was so naive. I was desperate and demanding and using all the wrong methods.

Helping people is still one of my biggest lifegoals, but it required patience, detachment after work, the capacity to see her story in her shoes, being mentally stronger than her, holding the resources she will need to know, self awareness and maybe similar life experiences.

I learnt better now, but this will be a story of mine, need to be told so I will be reminded the importance of striking a balance between the desire to help and her desire for help. Otherwise, I am just being a bad guy, in the name of helping people.


Insanity -part 2

 Later, I picked up a book talking about being a psychaitrist and that reminded me of another book I have read before. It is an interesting conversation between a psychologist and the author talking about insanity within us,in Chinese, more or less, here it is translated by me :p

Author: How do you define whether someone has mental disorder or not?

Dr: It’s a social question, I believe every one has some sort of mental disorder. Think carefully, do you have some sort of habit that you can’t get rid of, that you insist doing no matter what?

Author: I insist there are only three short-cuts on my desk-top, can’t be more. Does it count?

Dr: Of course.

Author: If you said so, many people have mental disorder as well.

I have a friend who have to tidy up her bank notes and rearrange them according to their sizes and iron them one by one, every note has to face the same direction.I have a friend who have to smooth his bedsheet til there are no creases on it. I have another friend loves plants with wide leaves, and he cleans all the leaves til they shine every week end. Oh,  I have another strange habit, I have to rearrange the position of all the furniture in my house every three months, otherwise I would feel like some ants biting me up.

Dr: Let us talk about them case by case. Changing furniture positions and cleaning leaves, can be just some kind of enjoyment in life. Tidying up banknotes and smoothing out bedsheets, can be just some tiny things made them proud and feel good in their lives.

 But all these are definitely some sort of OCD. As long as these doesn’t affect other people, then let those habits be complusive and obsessive! That’s no big deal, until you can’t help youself tidying up someone else’s wallet, moving someone else’s tables, you become a mental patient. For cleaning my plants……I think I can accept this. (smiling)

Insanity -part 1

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Wandering around a book store, looking at those classy decorations hanging on the ceiling – some heavy plastic thingy in Open-Book shapes. That is creative, I thought.

All of us may well be insane, contemplating at those classy decorations, I thought, ” Are we insane to say nothing and accept those strange decorations, which might fall and hurt people but we keep them up there just because they look fashionable? Are we insane to pursuit fashion and turn out looking silly? What is normal?” I frowned looking at those plastic things which are no longer classy.

“If one day I could get out of here, I would allow myself to be crazy. Everyone is indeed crazy, but the craziest are the ones who don’t know they’re crazy; they just keep repeating what others tell them to.”
―     Paulo Coelho,     Veronika Decides to Die

p.s. because of the meaning of the film ‘Veronika Decides to Die’, I have another English name— Veronika, I am truly insane.