About 18 minutes from one of the 2 TV series I try to follow on weekly basis, 38 hours past the deadline of a few materials I have to put together for work, 12 hours before the deadline I set for the course materials and modules of training I have to conduct, 2 weeks over due of the one thing that I should have done but haven't, 5 years late of getting married, 6 years before it will be completely hopeless, 2 days since plunged into the latest round of annual depression - maybe a day left to live on this Earth.
We live by a set of deadlines. My life, at least, is dictated by a long list of "Things To Do", prioritised; with the deadlines always in bold - engraved at the back of my mind all the time. No way out, no way in, can't seem to escape - is perhaps the best description of how suffocating it feels.
Fadli called this afternoon - I know trying to make sure that his schedule is fully occupied when he comes back - and we went through the same conversation that we have had since we were 14. Tanya khabar, many updates on families - he, after all, has perhaps the most intimate knowledge of my family compared to all other people in this world.
Conversation then drifted until it touched on a fellow batch member.
Apparently he is going through rough patches in life and most of the times is under severe depression. Unless Fadli ada nasi tambah, the dependency on anti-depression pills was quite a shock, even to me.
We deal with life very differently. Many of us put a facade, others turn to escapism, some soldier on.
I have this annual clock of depression - I tend to handle it better with age. But when the clock ticks, I could sense the feeling of restlessness, anxiety - of not being able to do anything. Days become unproductive, I could sit endlessly staring at the wall while the days pass by.
As you grow older, you learn to accept that you have to manage emotions and this depression. Many times before you went on the ritual of asking why it has to take place, but after a while whining and self pity is too annoying. I learnt to splash on things I don't need - my spending pattern usually shows a spike at one particular period in a year. Most of the time it indicates moments of depression. Maybe that's a reason some of us keep our credit card statements - it tells a lot about the state of your sanity.
I handle it better nowadays, I bug less people.
Unfortunately you get so unproductive during your depression mode. Work piles and as you desperately want to ignore deadlines, deadlines dictate your life even more so.
But luckily we acquired the last minute skill from MCKK days.
Last 2 weeks I wrote a report that took my staff almost 2 months to compile the necessary information and data; in one day. I had planned to write the report in 2 weeks. But the last minute kick gives you the brain, push and energy to finish in one day what you could not do in 2 weeks.
I am in danger of working 36 hours a day because the depression distracts the focus.
But I take comfort that we, after all, survived SPM with less than 2-month studying. Nearly flunk the degree but saved by the study did 24 hours before. Scraped through CA exam by taking pills to stay awake throughout the exam week.
We have the "last minute" talent. Thank you so much to MCKK.
As for the depression part, it's part and parcel. I know the one cure and answer I need, but haven't had the calling. It's something I will return to eventually.