Resurrection. Part 2: General Symptoms.

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I can remember several experiences over the last ten years that were brought about by my ailment. I can remember them vividly because they were quite severe, and I'll describe some of them for you in the next chapter of this series. In today's chapter however, I'll quickly describe some of the general symptoms I've experienced.

Fatigue was a big problem. I felt tired for most of the day on most days. Even if I slept for an extra two or three hours during the day, I would still feel tired. One result of the perpetual fatigue was that I was almost always passive rather than pro-active. This was probably why I was able to continue my work at TVB, because they'd call me up to go to work and I'd go. It was that simple. On the other hand, trying to actively prepare for engagements, or walk out the door to exercise, or even prepare breakfast was extremely hard to do.

Watching tv became a big part of my life because watching tv is the easiest passive activity on Earth. Procrastination also became a way of life because I didn't have the energy to actively work on those tasks that were most urgent. This didn't mean that I didn't get any work done, but it did mean that the most urgent work was normally left until the last minute.

My body also suffered. Over the years, injury and illness became more common. Before the programming incident, I was rarely ill. During the last three or four years however, I found myself mildly ill for many months at a time. Healing was also a problem such that running or weight lifting did not lead to healthier larger muscles as it should have, and led to injuries instead. Looking back, I suspect that this was also an ingredient in my vocal problems; even though I trained, my vocal cords were not able to build strength as they would normally do.

My moods were unpredictable. There were times when my body felt as if it had hoarded large quantities of adrenaline, so much so that I wanted to explode. This unfortunately and regrettably led to uncontrollable, unnecessary and unreasonable rage, most of it in the privacy of our home. I remember raging uncontrollably and knowing in my mind at that very moment that the rage was completely unjustified but unable to stop regardless. There was a period of time when it was very very difficult for my family to be with me. Happily, those days are far behind us now although they'll never be forgotten.

Next time, I'll describe some of the individual experiences I remember. I think you'll find them intriguing. And then in a later chapter, I'll tell you what I think the ailment is.

Take care all.

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4 Responses to “Resurrection. Part 2: General Symptoms.”
  1. Ivan says:

    I had left HK, my birthplace, in 1983 and since explored… drifted from the UK to North America and currently floating around the Caribbean Sea. Now that I am in my mid 40s, perhaps with the proximity to my own mortality and having recently been back to HK visiting my aging folks, I am really missing my family and HK... more than ever. While browsing the web watching old HK clips on YouTube in hope of satisfying my nostalgic sentiment, I stumbled upon your website and am amazed by the similarities between our paths. I also find resonance in your article on racism, having experienced it from different angles. Hope one day we will have a chance to compare notes.

    Meanwhile, I feel compel to share this with you… not sure why but here it is….

    During the visit to HK, I was persuaded to have a general blood/urine test since I too had been working very long hours, and sometimes 2 to 3 days straight, on my Cloud Computing project a few months prior to the visit. The result was not good and it indicated serious abnormality in my liver functions. To be sure they had me retested with an added liver ultrasound. The 2nd blood test result was even worst, yet the ultrasound was clear.

    I also saw an ear/nose/throat specialist due to my unusually hoarse and laboured voice and the fact that my Dad had throat cancer a couple of years ago. Indeed the doctor/professor found 2 polyps on my vocal cords. I was checked in to the hospital the same weekend and the polyps were removed. The biopsy turned out to be benign.

    As yet no one knows what is wrong with my liver. You may think that this would be quite disconcerting and the polyp experience would have been somewhat life changing. Yes, I am trying to eat and sleep more healthily and work less. However, mentally I am pretty much the same – still quite calm and even-keeled. I wouldn’t have been a few years back but I changed. I really can’t put my finger on it and the process was/is so gradual that there is no one defining moment or thoughts and all that are still evolving. Perhaps, it is nothing more than natural progression in life.

    In any event, it was the mistakes, adversities and curve balls in life that forced me to reflect deeply and to seek the meaning of life. Through such soul searching, I gradually stopped asking “why me” and started to accept that I might have caused most that happened/happens to me. I learned to forgive myself which to my surprise enabled me to truly forgive others. (As a side note, this has led me to think that our inability to forgive others may just be a manifestation of our inability to forgive ourselves.) Instead of putting career goals and financial security etc. high up on the priority list, I started to value personal relationships more, for these are the prerequisites for happiness. And I believe happiness is what we ultimately seek.

    I am grateful that I have a good job, that I have a good family, upbringing, education etc., but am I really happy? I am still paddling on the most important personal relationship. I believe the process of reaching true happy is a lifelong struggle that takes time and significant effort. However, the understanding of what the roadmap to happiness looks like gives me a great sense of calmness and purpose. I am no longer lost.

    More recently, I am also realizing that achieving happiness is perhaps only half of it. The other half is to share. Perhaps this is why I am sharing these deeply personal experiences and thoughts here as a perfect stranger with you and your subscribers in such a public forum… as you are doing so yourself. So hopefully I can help someone achieve his/her happiness by sharing my story and more importantly my understanding of the roadmap to happiness, that is - money, careers, education, materials, hobbies etc. are just means to facilitate healthy personal relationships, which in turn and ultimately enable us to achieve happiness and to share it with people we care.

    Good luck!

  2. 河國榮 says:

    wow! Ivan. your comment is longer than my article!!! :-)

    but thank you for sharing. yes. it's true that relationships are important. it's also true that modern life tends to steal much of our time away from us so that there is very little time to nurture and enjoy those relationships. but we can try.

    are you going to return to Hong Kong? or continue drifting/exploring around the world?

    one interesting difference between us perhaps is that I rarely feel nostalgic for anything in my past Australian life. the only important things in Australia for me are my family. few people realise that I have spent more of my life here in Hong Kong than in Australia.

    take care.

  3. Ivan says:

    Yes, Gregory, I do get quite longwinded sometimes… and sentimental too…hahaha:).

    I wasn’t always as nostalgic and was pretty distracted by the rat race at one point. Of course I didn’t see it that way at the time. However, after having survived corporate downsizings, broken marriages and my own poor choices, I began to reflect and realize that relationships and family are, in most cases, the main sources of support, comfort, security, enjoyment…. the ingredients of sustainable happiness.

    So the thought of returning to HK and be with my family did cross my mind. But considering I was only a teenager when I first left HK, returning has some obstacles. Still, having seen the increased frailty of my parents during this last visit gave me some solid reasons, and the thought is gradually turning into a desire.

    You mentioned mood swings and rage and that they will never be forgotten… but have they been forgiven? I hope so. I look forward to reading your experiences and your take on your aliment.

    Cheers.

  4. Ordman says:

    It is not easy to share it in public but I admire your courage. I love your writing style and I think I can benefit from reading your articles in teaching my young sons how to write in future. After all, being a person who grew up in Hong Kong and raising kids in Australia can be quite a challenge to me, especially when I know very little about the education system here.