It’s been about seven months since I last blogged.
I’ve been busy living a life that is meant to be kept secret. But how does one keep a secret that has affected her for so many years that it becomes a burden to carry?
Good things first:
I completed my studies at UCLA last year! Two years goes by fast. I remember my first day as if it happened just yesterday. I’d say those years were the more happier years of my life. I felt fearless, but perhaps much of that fearlessness came from an unexpected “mental illness” doctors thought I had, which is schizoaffective disorder – or in other words schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic depression) combined. Somehow, when I was first struck with it at age 18, it made me brave. But being at UCLA itself as a transfer, I wanted to and was ready to seize all of the opportunities, so I felt more daring and bold.
During my last quarter at UCLA, I was struck with my second episode of schizoaffective disorder, but I managed to finish my studies on time for graduation. After graduation, I attended a partial hospitalization program for ten weeks before I moved back home to work full time on my feature film script “A Dance to World Peace” and Project #DanceToEndHungerNow.
“A Dance to World Peace” is a drama/call-to-action film about a schizophrenia and manic depression diagnosed girl, Daisy, who attempts to alleviate global hunger and poverty with awareness through unity of dance from all over the world to raise awareness for the cause and to create world peace.
Sometimes, I can picture myself being like the homeless on the streets, had it not been for my family. They may not have the support system (psychiatrist, therapist, family and friends) I am fortunate to have. They wander and due to possibility of schizophrenia and/or other mental illness, they act in ways that mentally healthy people do not always understand. There is a deeper layer and root cause to the mentally ill that professional caretakers/health care professionals may not always understand, which makes it harder for them to help us. I believe that one’s life should be looked at holistically from beginning to end when it comes to treating mental illness – the experiences (both positive and negative) that one grew up with, their triggers, their hopes, dreams, wishes, and their mindset.
For me, schizoaffective disorder also gave me something I am lucky to have – a sense of creativity and pursuit of a grandiose life purpose — to alleviate global hunger and poverty with awareness through dance and film. Unfortunately, it also came with occurrences where I would try to communicate my desires and hopes, and no one would understand me because I was “manic” and “disorganized”in my speech and actions. My life feels like a movie. I see everything happening beautifully. The world is a beautiful, complex, and amazing place, but it has the potential to be a better world more suitable for all types of people. There is injustice here and there and not everyone gets represented or has their needs met.
I’m 22 now, all grown up. I never knew my life would be changed and play out this way, and I truly hope that “A Dance to World Peace” will play in theaters internationally and that Project #DanceToEndHungerNow will make a difference to people. I also hope to help and inspire people who have gone through what I am going through right now. For my time is limited, I want to make each day count.
Here is a passage that my mom showed me on her iPhone (while browsing about):
When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world
As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country. But it, too, seemed immovable.
As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.
And now, as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize:
If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country, and who knows, I may have even changed the world.
I’m not entirely sure of the author’s name in English, but I felt this passage really resonates with me.
Hope you enjoyed my post.
All we have is now, so why not make the most of it?