Voices 2019

After starting this blog, I realised I need to improve my writing. I have always felt that my writing lacks a certain oomph.
Last month, I spotted this on Facebook:-

   What captured my attention - emerging or aspiring women writers! 
Should I try it out? I hesitated. A little voice spoke to me inside my head, give it a shot, what do you have to lose? The most they would not select you as a participant. 
Fearing that I may change my mind, I hurriedly copied and edited a few articles that I had earlier wrote on this blog and tried my luck. After submitting, anxiety began to creep in. What did I do?  Once again the little voice said, never mind, it is done. Don’t worry about it.
Last day for submission was on the 2nd October 2019, it would also be the day of the decision. I submitted on the 1st October 2019.
The next day, I received an e-mail with the heading "[VOICES 2019] CONGRATS ! You have been selected". My heart was racing as I read the email. Joy turned to dread and doubt. Wh…

Going Back To Work

“Eileyn, it is time to update your blog,” my sister told me.

Even though it was annoying to hear it from her, I knew she was right.

A few of my friends have been wondering why I stopped writing for a few months and whether anything has happened to me. 

I assured them that everything was alright. I had started working again.  Just a few years ago, I didn’t think I would go back to work anymore.

Being immobile in the ICU, I had plenty of time to think.It was the only thing I could do.  Did I have a happy life before the explosion? Was my life worth it? Will I ever be able to get out of hospital?  So many things ran through my mind.

As I reflected on my life, I remember having feelings of regret that I spent too much time at work.  I told myself when I am well again; I didn’t want to go back to the same job anymore. I have lost interest in it.  It didn’t just happen after the burn. I have been losing interest even before the burn. It was in the ICU that I realised how much time I had wasted …

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

“ Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we will ever do” -Brene Brown

This is one of my most painful memories of being in the hospital. I have made a few attempts to write it, not easy for me as it was an emotionally painful experience.

           Early mornings are the most stressful time in the burn ward as the patients and nurses need to prepare for the doctor’s visit.  Depending on the instructions of the doctor the day before, some patients are required to take bath.  After the doctor’s visit, dressings of wounds will then begin. This means, a burn patient will experience pain 3 times in the morning. When the bandages and dressings are removed, during bath and when dressings are applied.

After nearly a year at the hospital, in one of the mornings that I was required to have my routine morning bath before dressing is done, I looked at the mirror after I unbandaged and remove some of the more easily removed dressings on my head and …

Gifts Of Encouragement

The postman rang the doorbell and honk at the gate. 
Strange. I wasn’t expecting any mail or parcel today. I ran to the door and opened it. The postman pointed to a yellow-coloured envelope that he left at the pillar of my gate and sped off.
I looked at the envelope; it has my name written on it. On the left side, I saw “Phoenix Society”.
Oh! It is from USA. This is truly unexpected.
I was excited and curious at the same time. What did they send me? I ordered nothing from them. Also, the postage from USA to Malaysia can be expensive.
Inside the envelope, a book and a card. 

The book, card and envelope
It was heart warming reading the messages in the card. I felt touched by their words of encouragements. I truly appreciate them for taking the time and effort to send me the gifts.
                                                                           Hand written messages inside the card

                                                                                     Message insid…

Yvonne Foong

Last week, I visited a friend who is suffering from Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), a hereditary condition that causes her body to produce multiple tumours throughout her life.  Link to Yvonne's blog .

Photo was taken from her Facebook
She was supposed to go to the United States of America in May 2018 for a cervical spine surgery.  Unfortunately, before the trip, she fell on her back and hit her head. She had to undergo a critical brain surgery instead in Kuala Lumpur. The money she collected for the surgery in USA was all spent on the brain surgery.

When I saw her, the first thing I noticed was the protruding feeding tube at her stomach. Food had to be inserted through the feeding tube. Yvonne is deaf and blind. She is still bedridden and immobile as a result of the fall she had in May 2018.

To communicate with Yvonne, I had to write an alphabet at a time, slowly on her palm. If she doesn’t get the word, it must be written all over again. It is best to use few simple w…

Birth Of This Blog

This blog would not have happened without Ms Chong Sheau Ching's instigation. We have met many years ago at a writer's event in MPH at One Utama Shopping Mall. I think it was in 2005. At that time I got to know a teenaged girl by the name of Yvonne Foong. She wanted to embark on the path of writing her autobiography. At the time I was not a professional writer. I have no knowledge on how publishing worked. What need to be done to get a book published and so forth. 
Yvonne placed so much faith in me that I felt maybe she could be misguided to do so. For I did not publish a book then. (Today I have done so) I do not have any publishing contacts. I did not know what steps to become a book. Because of the promise I made to Yvonne that I would be with her all the way until her book (I'm Not Sick, Just A Bit Unwell: Life With Neurofibromatosis) is published, both of us went onto an adventure of meeting writers, publishers and attending writing events.
I have to say, sometimes it h…

To Have Faith

It is not easy to have Faith when nothing is certain. Sometimes we want guarantees all shall be fine yet in life what is truly guaranteed? I would say death is a guarantee that all of us would face at the end of our life journey. Our human body is fragile, limited by our DNA structure  which shaped our mortality.

Having Faith in oneself when there is no support would be another challenge. Having Faith all shall turn out alright when no doors of Light and Love appear for us. Usually in this instance, either we continue to have Faith despite it all or lose Faith because nothing seems to go right.

I have been tested on Faith many times over in this life. Faith in myself. Faith in my own family. Faith in Humanity. Faith in God. My life journey took a lot of challenges to overcome, trauma to make peace with, to forgive people whom hurt me carelessly or intentionally.

I knew what it is like to be lost, confused and losing faith in myself especially when I undergone anorexia nervosa in my teena…