Tuesday, March 6, 2018

take a step back and breathe

I had decided - if I am not allowed to take things at my pace, come what may. I am not willing to put my mental health at stake because let's face it. It's not my fault for others' poor planning. It's not exactly for me to answer to last minute tasks. After office work-related texts, those will have to wait till next 8AM. Fire me if you want, I have other options. Good thing I always have a plan B.

"You look so drained", my mother told me. So did my junior colleague. That's when I decided - that's it.

The public sector is so ruthless towards its employees. The system is good for the public but certainly not for us who are actually in it. Our workload is just nonequivalent to our pay. Till today, I fail to comprehend the reason behind our excessive diligence in entertaining public's woes especially those openly condemning with half-baked knowledge, apart from for political reasons.

I gladly quote Imam as-Shafi'e in this matter:

"If I were argue with one thousand knowledgeable people,I would surely win the argument.But if I were to argue with one fool,I would lose the argument"


Why the hell am I still here, one might be wondering. There's only one explanation - Because my good deeds are just a handful. I used to be a firm believer in altruism, until I start waking up dreading going to work. I completely comprehend that this world I chose to be in, the field of surgery is filled with narcissistic professionals. I am one of them too, hands down. It is needed so that we can perform our surgeries, come to our decisions and execute them confidently with precision but of course, everything should exist in moderation. And that itself requires frequent self-reflections. We are not God. We are flawed. We make mistakes, we learn from them, and they should not be repeated. Most importantly, we are just human. Social creatures which cannot exist without each other.

Hope.

I am clinging onto hope weakly that the society will finally come to its senses. That we, healthcare personnels, are already abused by our employer so badly, we don't need to be further abused by you, the public. It is amusing how cocky the public can be, ranting nonsense like, "I pay my taxes, you do as I say", when in fact the healthcare system is experiencing severe brain-drain, it will soon be left with a few brainy selfless people and numerous robotic yes-men.

Today apart from having a few wiremen over to fix a few short plug points, I gave myself a break and went to the beach. Enjoyed a huge cup of cappuccino and long black at a go. Studied a bit.

It's time to step back and breathe. Rethink my aims in life. It's time to adjust accordingly. It's time to pay more attention on myself. I choose to be happy rather than being drowned in misery.

I remember my father telling me, "We see celebrities committing suicide every now and then. These are people who try to channel happiness, but how can it come from people who aren't genuinely happy? They aren't genuinely happy because they put their happiness in the wrong hands. You decide whether to let others' words hurt you or not. You decide whether to let a terrible event drag you back. You are as happy as you decide to be. Never for others to decide. You underwent depression yourself, you should know it better than me".

Sunday, February 25, 2018

off balance

"Dear Allah, if he is not meant for me, please show me crystal clear signs. If he has ill-intention towards me, please bring this illusion to an end instantly". 

This is a prayer I had sent thrice in my life. Everytime I do so, I would put my whole heart in God's hands although at the back of my head, I am scared of feeling broken and sad, but I am also more terrified of being trapped in sweet illusion. And thrice, I was given as I asked within less than 24 hours. Indeed, Allah is All-Merciful.

No matter how many times, it will always be painful. As if it's my first. Still, this reminds me that I am a human with emotions and most importantly, I am still rational.

At-Tawbah: 116:
"Indeed, to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He gives life and causes death. And you have not besides Allah any protector or any helper."

Eight years ago when I was having major depressive disorder, one of the things that picked me back up was God's words. I would read the Quran tafsir and just break down, every single night as I battled with insomnia. The cycle went on and on, but I did not give up although at the same time, my mind was telling me that it's hopeless. I was just pushing on because I needed to, at least for my parents. One day, I found myself smiling while reading it. "Why didn't I see how much Allah actually loves His creations? That everything that exists in life is for a reason? Even these tears". And at that time, I have not smiled for months. Heck, I hadn't been able to experience any emotion for months. So the joy of actually being able to do so was indescribable. "Count your blessings, nak (child). Always count your blessings", my father would gently say after every prayer.

I am also lucky I have friends to kick some sense in me. "No one should make you feel inadequate and low. Only an emotional abuser does that", a good friend advised.

Emotional abuse.

Yes, I am way too familiar with that. One of my many life motto is "Once bitten twice shy". My boss once said to me, "Don't settle for less. The man should not make his partner feel less a woman than she is. No one should be made to conform to certain ideas". 

I always tell myself. I must have done something so right in my life to be lent these amazing people.

Alhamdulillah.

I cooked Asian aglio olio today. It turned out sedap which also means I am doing better emotionally already. Whenever I cook with negative emotions, my cooking gets ruined.

Come to think of it... I've been cooking a lot of pastas lately:


Asian aglio olio, alfredo, lasagna, and pesto variants.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

perseverance

Two weeks had passed since the baton was passed to me. I am now the PIC (person-in-charge/pegawai pergigian yang menjaga) at this oral maxillofacial surgery department.

I was not mentally prepared. I still am not. After all, the transition of responsibilities was prepared for someone else until that one not-so-fine morning, when my boss greeted us with a glee on his face. "Good morning to our new YM", and while all of us expected him to look at my senior, he turned to me instead. I sensed my sanity slowly dissipating.

I am after all still pretty much a junior no matter how independent I seem at work. Those who held the post before were way more senior. We're talking about a specialist clinic in a state hospital.

I am drowning in inferiority complex. I have difficulty in communicating with my supporting staff because all of them are at least a decade older. Albeit labelled "the crazy bitch" at my previous clinic because I was very outspoken and strict, I never liked being that person. I hate conflicts. I hate unnecessary dramas. Life is supposed to be simple, but people love complicating them.

All I want is a simple and calm life. For me, dramas are confined to clinical duties and nothing else - which explains the reason I am still single till now, meh.

I would rather be standing from morning till night in an operation theater, assisting and performing surgeries rather than running around like a headless chicken, keeping the clinic under control. Making sure our wards are covered properly when my surgeons aren't around. Prepare redundant reports my district bosses demand for. Supervise and assess junior officers who come here for short-term attachment. I have more than ten new work-related emails delivered to me every day. A fellow PIC even advised me to, "Check your email QID (four times daily)", as if I have nothing else more important things to do. Work-related texts (admin job) coming in after office hours, up to midnight at times. That's just shit. Some people should be taught to respect others' personal space and time.

Since a week ago, I lost joy in things I used to love doing. I only do lightweight cooking these days. I could barely play my guitar for more than half an hour. My books are untouched for five days already now.

At the end of everyday, as I enter my car, all I could feel is to just break down and cry my heart out. I don't want to do this. I am still resisting my duties.

I am a perfectionist by nature. Just as how I like my flaps go untorn, clean-cut, planned before I pick my scalpel up, my surgical sites closed nicely, uniform, symmetrical knots; while others are okay with their minor oral surgery completing within thirty minutes, I aim for less than ten minutes with zero iatrogenic injury; my bedsheet tucked in neatly along its edges, tight and taut, my pillows stacked uniformly, of the same height, my clothes folded neatly, along one axis in the cupboard - I can't help but to do so with this new additional responsibility too; and I am losing grip. My boss told me many times, "You have to learn to let go at times, Zahirah". I tried and failed so far. I have to learn macromanaging. I have to stop micromanaging when it comes to admin work.

I really have to learn loosen up a bit. This is yet another challenge, just like other initially seemingly impossible tasks which I killed.

I know my shortcomings. I know I am always too tough on myself. I know what and where I should correct.

You can do this, Zahirah, inshaaAllah...

Oh Allah, I really need strength to persevere...

Sunday, November 26, 2017

of eggs and coffee


It's 920am.

I went to bed with a troubled mind yesterday. I initially was not sure what was actually bugging my brain, but I had a dream last night. The past haunted me. A man, his hand gripping my wrist tightly and pulled me down a staircase. His eyes, bloodshot, staring into mine in anger. I woke up in realisation. I have been fearing that - Violence, possessiveness, and emotional manipulation.

A few weeks ago, I met a new lad who is of different race and religion, of polar opposite, and yet, I felt a sense of unexplained comfort. I guess working everyday with adrenaline rushing through my blood vessels all the time, to feel content became so alien. Unconsciously, I projected my paranoia onto him, of which is the utmost injustice. I have been sleep-deprived for awhile too, granting me less grip on my emotions. So I went to bed early yesterday. Back to normal bedtime. I woke up early today, fully-charged. Changed my bedsheet, as I usually do on weekly basis. Went to the kitchen, closed my eyes, and talked to myself...

"What feels like home?"

I imagined a fluffy well-whipped three-egged scrambled egg, freshly crushed black pepper, the scent of good pure butter, a slice of warm toast, the smell of a ripe, juicy navel orange, and the intoxicating smell of a mug of long black.

Ten minutes later, I was sitting beside the window. Enjoying breakfast I know I could not get elsewhere but home. The morning sun smiling gently at me. William Joseph's rendition of Safe and Sound playing in the background. I feel composure slowly creeping back in.

Sunday mornings are always the best.

Monday, August 28, 2017

four months, thank Allah

A month had passed since I moved to Seremban. So far, so good. The greenery surrounding my residential area grants me peace - such peace I had been craving for. I love my challenging and hectic job, here at the oral maxillofacial surgery clinic, every second spent on it, but beyond it, I seek for something totally contrary. 

Four months had passed since I decided to walk out of a relationship. So far, so good. I think I am done with trying to buffer negativity from others. Not sure whether it is just me who had not found the right one, or really, I am not meant for one because every single time that happened, I'd find myself deteriorating physically and mentally. 

Just finished my usual daily cup of black coffee, a navel orange, and two-egg-cheese omelette. It's Monday - supposedly the most dreaded day of the week for most, but today feels right. Spending the weekend with my ladies, movies, food, food, food, AND FOOD - left me fully-charged. Looking forward to our November trip to Bali :)

p/s: Happy birthday, Umi ♥

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

why oh heart

Why is it so easy to forget one's evil deed?

Be strong, heart. Be hard. Be firm.

Move on.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

you have my heart, at least for the most part

Perhaps because I appear somewhat flamboyant, choosing not to trust in my words is easy for some. Like how a man in whose hands I put my trust could tell every single person around me that I am a liar.

If anything, I am at times too bluntly honest. I might cherry-pick details, but I do not lie.

This time, I have my evidences. These bruises on my right shoulder, right arm, left wrist, right knee. This swelling on my back. This mark on my right arm outlining someone's palmprint. These are my evidences.

Like how someone yelled at me to shut myself up in front of the public as I begged him to stop and return my belonging. They are my witnesses. 

Like how I got dragged onto someone's car as I desperately tried to escape, but not without my possessions.

As I desperately sent desperate pleas for help from a fellow female acquaintance. Yes, acquaintance. A person I had known for barely a year but betrayed my trust in every single aspect. Woman to woman, if you were in my shoes and I were in yours, I would go to extents you could never imagine with one mission in my head. "Save her", but there you were. Just as your bloodline. You defended him while he violated me. He took away my sense of freedom. He made the only place I once experienced joy from constant adrenaline-rush, a hell for me. 

That night, Allah showed how much of a liar one can be. Perhaps he's good with words. So good to the point that I began to doubt myself. Am I really that horrible person he portrayed me to be?

That night, Allah showed me how much of a liar one can be. He knows that being soft-hearted is my weakness, but Allah always has better plans. As I read his lies, one by one, as much as I wanted to believe him, truth was put on the table. As naked as it could be. How three strangers and three friends became my witnesses. 

But these bruises. They will speak on my behalf. My evidences sent to numerous people for safe-keeping. Just in case anything happens to me. This post alone might spark rage unlike anything I have seen, but I am doing this to be fair to myself. Just in case anything happens to me. 

If something grave really happens to me, dear people who encouraged him and believed in him, my blood is on your hands.

To those who betrayed my trust... the afterlife awaits us. Preach righteousness all you want, but one should not underestimate the weight of being entrusted secrets. One should not underestimate evil deed committed on another fellow being. You shall forever be indebted to me for this.