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    Hi All, I have joined recently. I am not sure if I am doing this right but here goes nothing.

    I am just a woman trying to survive her early twenties. I am mentally tired and drained. I know I should not compare myself with others. I know others are dealing it worst than me. Its been really hard especially during this Covid-19 situation. I have been working overseas, away from my family. My work life has been giving me panic attack weekly and worst now as we are all working from home. It gives me anxiety attack at night and panic attack early in the morning and because of that I cannot fall asleep, I can’t function properly, I have no appetite to eat. I tend to forget I need food until after working hours. I guess the reason why I am so tense during working hours is because I am really afraid of making silly mistakes. I know the politics in office is quite bad, and typing it now is giving me heart palpitation.

    I have gotten hate speech from my colleagues and it sincerely scares me a lot. My anxiety will never let me let go of this even though I could act like I am okay with everything but deep down, it gives me anxiety attack daily. My boss is nice, he has been giving me new task as I think he trust my potential but I am so scared to disappoint him.

    I am really lucky to have a boyfriend who is there for me but I feel really bad for him. I do not want to drain his energy. As we are currently dealing with long distance relationship and due to this lockdown situation, we are not able to meet on the day we have set. It kinda did make me die a lil deep down but I do not want him to see me in a light where, his girlfriend is so mentally tiring for him to deal with. I thank him every single night because he is there for me and not tired of me not being able sleep or eat properly.

    Recently, I have called the helpline. I needed help as I could not take it any longer but I wish to stay alive but I am too tired to continue. I am staying with my relatives during this period of time, and they often pushed me out to get groceries, they violate my privacy. I have no time or space on my own, i work 8-5.30 on weekdays but I will need to get groceries for them after work. And I will need to get my own food for myself as I am not allowed to cook there but thats okay, i am okay with being independent but i am tired. I am always willing to help but there are days where I cannot even bring myself to do simple things and its hard for me.

    I just want to let things out from my chest. Thank You for reading.

    I hope everyone of you stay safe and stay healthy.

    Take Care.


    Dear Giminie:

    Thank you for your good wishes and I wish you the same. I would like to understand your situation better, therefore I ask:

    1. You wrote that you are working overseas away from your family, but that you are staying with your relatives during this time- aren’t your relatives your family?

    2. You wrote about your relatives with whom you live: “they often pushed me out to get groceries”- what do you mean by pushed you out to get groceries?

    And why don’t they allow you to cook in their home, where you live (“I am not allowed to cook there”)?

    3. “I have gotten hate speech from my colleagues”- what kind of hate speech? And if your boss is nice, why didn’t he protect you from that hate speech?

    4. Regarding your boyfriend, you wrote that he is long distance, but then you wrote: “due to this lockdown situation, we are not able to meet on the day we have set”- is he long distance or does he live close enough so to meet you in-person?




    Good Morning Anita, yes please feel free to ask me anything. I am really sorry if my english is bad as it is not my first language.

    1. The relative that I am currently staying with is my great-grandaunt and her husband’s side family which I am not familiar with actually.

    2. There are days where I am actually really busy with work, and I am not in a good headspace because of the stress I give myself. They will often give me task to do which I am okay with it but I don’t see them helping or doing anything and it felt kinda unfair to me and I feel bad feeling that way so I will just get it done and over with.

    Based on what they have told me, its their house. I am just renting there so I am not allowed to cook. But that doesn’t mean I get free dinner, i will need to order food delivery services or make something really simple like overnight oats etc.

    3. My boss doesn’t know about it. I am currently taking over the receptionist job so I am working downstairs, this hate speech happened when they came down for a smoke break. I did not told my boss about it, I didn’t want to make the situation worst so I just let them scold me, its fine.

    4. We live one border away, so I will usually go back when I have the time as it takes about 4 hours drive.


    Thank you for answering Anita, please do take care of yourself and Stay Safe.


    Dear Giminie:

    I am sorry that your great grandaunt and her husband are not nice people: it is very unkind to not share their food, to not allow you to cook food in their kitchen, to have you do tasks for them and charge you rent on top of all these things. No wonder you are anxious, tense and drained living with such unfriendly, unhospitable people!

    Reads like it would be better if you lived elsewhere, in a place where you will be allowed to cook and where you live with friendly people. I don’t know about the lockdown restrictions where you live and border passing restrictions, but maybe you should move and live elsewhere, maybe quit your job and live with your boyfriend: brainstorm different possibilities to make your life calmer as soon as possible.

    And post again anytime.


    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by anita.

    Dear Anita,

    I am currently living in Singapore. But due to the lockdown, I am unable to leave home or move around. It wasn’t that bad before the lockdown as it will take me 2 hours to commute to work back and forth so I am only home to shower and sleep. Now that I am home 24/7 , I get really anxious. I can’t sleep nor eat.

    I wanted to go back home to Malaysia, but they closed the border and my boss does not recommend us to go back. A lot has lost their job due to the lockdown so I am trying to hold on to faith. I can’t quit my job, as my family is facing financial problems and I am only working in Singapore just to pay my brother’s bachelor degree tuition fee. Personally, Singapore is a stressful place. The competition and the office politics is really bad.

    I did set a timing though, once I am done paying my brother’s tuition fee, I will head back to Malaysia.

    Thank You Anita.

    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by Giminie.

    Dear Giminie:

    You are welcome.

    “I can’t quit my  job, as my family is facing financial problems and I am only working in Singapore just to pay my brother’s bachelor degree tuition fee”-

    -Wikipedia in its entry “2020 coronavirus pandemic in Malaysia”, reads: “On 27 March, Prime Minister Muhyiddin launched an economic stimulus package known as the ‘caring package’ worth RM250 billion. Of these, RM128 billion was used to protect the welfare of the people”, including “RM200 of one-time assistance to affected higher education institution students. “Various Malaysian states have launched their own stimulus packages and announced immediate financial aid in the form of rental waivers and deferment of student loan repayments”-

    -I wonder if your brother back in Malaysia, as a higher education student, qualified for assistance from the federal government or the local state where he lives. With federal/ local help to your family, there is less stress on you, I imagine.

    Wikipedia on Singapore, reads: “The pandemic brought the living conditions at foreign worker dormitories to media attention. Dormitories were reported to be unsanitary and crowded, making preventative measures like social distancing difficult”, and in the last week 25 dormitories were declared isolation areas.

    -I can see that it’s better for you to not live in a dormitory. I just wish your relatives were nicer people to you! Keep your calm while there best you can, post here anytime, and I hope that you can leave Singapore and be back in Malaysia sooner than later.

    Regarding your work place, I hope that if you receive more abuse, consider telling your boss about it. Maybe he will help you and even be happy to help you!




    Hi Anita, the following paragraph will have some trigger warning.

    I’m going to side track a little. I had few mental breakdowns last night. After work I was really tired. So I did not get dinner, I played online games with my family for awhile and then head to bed. I was really sleepy but I couldn’t sleep AT ALL. Not even a wink, I had bad anxiety attack, I just broke down, I just feel so stressed out, like I couldn’t breathe. I used to self harm whenever I have suicidal thoughts but I was clean for almost 6-7 years now. But yesterday, the temptation to do something to end my life was real. Like I really forgotten of all my priorities and responsibilities and I just want to end it. I am really tired.

    Back to answering your questions,

    There is a few packages to help families and students but my family are not eligible to get it, which is sad. My brother is not eligible to get the caring package because he is studying overseas. If he is Malaysia then he will prolly get it. That is why I have to support him which me working in singapore. I used to work in Malaysia but their pay is too little to help my brother.

    ‘I hope that you can leave Singapore and be back in Malaysia sooner than later.’ , I do wish the same too. It will be probably in another month or two. I just hope I am able to hold onto it. I so afraid to lose myself.

    Another side story, yesterday while I was working. My grandaunt came in to the room, and made a commotion about my room. That is fine, as every mother/ aunt ever. But she started complaining that I uses the fan too much, she would want me to not on the fan. But there is no air conditioning in the room and the weather here is really hot and humid. Sigh.

    I just wish she is a little understanding, at least my stay will be bearable.

    Thank You Anita! I will consider telling my boss about it the next time.

    I will appreciate you replying me Anita, I really do. Thank you.


    Dear Giminie:

    You are very welcome.

    I  grew up in a very hot and humid country without air conditioning- it was never cool in summertime except in the early hours of the morning. To think of your aunt complaining to you about using the fan is obscene- how mean and selfish she is!

    Problem is even if you want to leave now, I don’t know if you will be allowed to cross the border to Malaysia (?)

    Here’s a point: it is more important that you stay alive than that you help your brother. Besides, if you are not alive, you can’t help him. So your number one priority should be to stay alive and stay as healthy and as safe as possible. If you have to choose between your health/ safety and helping your  brother, choose your health and safety, please!

    About sleeping at night time (I used to lie down during the long summer nights on a blanket on the floor underneath the window, not moving so to not sweat any more than I have to, waiting for any bit of breeze to come my way), find a way to focus on your breath, either on your nose (air coming in and out naturally; don’t force it) or place a hand on your chest and feel it go up and down as you breathe). It is a relaxation technique that may help you relax and hopefully sleep.

    Don’t try to force yourself to sleep and don’t get angry for not falling asleep; instead relax. It is better that you spend the night relaxed and awake than anxious and awake.

    And post here anytime, I will be here for you until you are able to return to Malaysia, at the least.




    Hi Anita,

    I did try to understand her perspective but I am paying for a rent still so I am allowed to use. It is not like she is fully paying everything? I do not understand her actions, my mum told me to just ignore her.

    Actually, Malaysians are allowed to go back to Malaysia but we will need to apply it online 2 days before and get the approval first. But I am afraid that if I go back, I will lose my job. I am working in HR and Admin department and in my department there is another Malaysian who is currently fully working from home in Malaysia. My boyfriend says that if she can do that, why not I do the same?

    I really do wish to do the same too but, Anita please do advise me if I am wrong, I still go back to office on weekends to bring documents back home to work on and I just started working here on December. I do not want to leave any impression of me being irresponsible or lazy or that I am not doing any work. I don’t know if its my anxiety talking or its just me being responsible. My boyfriend told me that he will give me 5 months worth of the amount that I give my brother and he just wants me to be back home, he says and I quote ‘Let me buy your health and happiness, this is really not the way.’ But I told him this is not the way. I know I will still get anxiety even when I am back home.

    I needed to hear that!! I really got angry at myself for not being able to sleep. Like why am I not making it easy for me? Its just sleeping. I will try to lay underneath the window tonight!! Thank you, I tried so many ways last night, I slept at 1 and woke up at 4.

    Thank you. It will take a month or two until the border reopens unless I apply to go back earlier and do swab test while they quarantine me. I am still in dilemma.

    I appreciate you Anita. Please have a great day / night 🙂


    Dear Giminie:

    I read your post but I am tired and want to read it again tomorrow morning when I am more focused. I will be back to you in about 12 hours from now. Feel free to post again before I am back, anytime you want, and I will read all when I return. (You are fifteen hours ahead of me, so I will be back when it is about 10pm your time).

    I hope you get some rest today, somehow.



    What energises and recharges you? sometimes we need to keep ourselves fed and very charged, you’re amazing, doing everything but interdependence means you need to be a part of a system that can use your strengths and keep you nourished at the same time, in the future look into quieter roles, a workplace that feeds you whilst you give. There is nothing wrong with you, we all function optimally in different environments, so find your tribe for thriving then minimise the huge challenges that drain.

    The world is very lucky to have a lovely human being like you, you are very valuable and precious and have very real needs to give your best, your needs matter and if you slowly move into different and better spaces, it will mean that you will be able to give more and the best of yourself in the world. Don’t push yourself without self-compassion.



    Dear Gimine:

    Regarding your grandaunt: “I did try to understand her perspective”- her perspective seems to be to save money at your expense (selfish, unfair, unjust), as in to save on the electricity that runs the fan in your room even though you are paying rent and she is not providing you with air conditioning while the weather is hot and humid.

    “my mum told me to just ignore her”- it is impossible to ignore a person who lives in the same apartment where you live, a person who “came in to the room, and made a commotion”!

    You wrote that Malaysians are allowed to go back to Malaysia: apply online and get approval, can be done in 2 days, and involve a swab test and some quarantine.

    One of your coworkers is another Malaysian who is currently working from home in Malaysia. Your boyfriend suggested that you do the same, and he offered you five months worth of money to give your brother for his studies, telling you: “Let me buy your health and happiness”.

    But you are not jumping at his offer because you don’t want to leave a bad impression at your workplace and because you know that you will still be anxious in Malaysia (“I know I will get anxiety even when I am back home”).

    My input this morning: it is true that when you already have anxiety in you, you will be anxious no matter where you go and where you live (until you take on the very slow process of healing and become less anxious over time). But certain life circumstances aggravate the anxiety, such as living in a place where the landlady invades your room and makes a commotion, demanding that you suffer in the heat and humidity without a fan or an aircondioning. If you live alone or in a place with relatively calm and reasonable people, it will be way better for your mental health.

    If you felt okay living where you are at, fine. But if you continue to not be able to sleep and experience heightened anxiety then you shouldn’t stay there. If living with your family in Malaysia will be as bad as living with this woman, your grandaunt and her husband, then don’t move back to Malaysia.

    Maybe you can live with your boyfriend instead of with your family???





    Dear DharmaSeed,

    Your reply means a lot to me. I sincerely appreciate it.

    Its hard looking for a job in Singapore, I graduated with a degree in Singapore but in terms of looking for a job. They will usually reject me because I am Malaysian even after having some experience. This is my first job in Singapore, I felt like I just grab any opportunity given so that I could help my family but at the same time, working here is draining my energy away. I wake up with anxiety attack on a daily basis, I am so tired. I thought it was just an early stage thing but I have been here for 5 months and I am still having anxiety attack.

    What energizes and recharges me? I am not sure. I usually listen to this group named BTS. Their songs healed my soul in a lot of way. If I were to give a situation song, it will be Paradise. And the lyric goes,

    ” We borrow dreams from others (Like a debt)
    We learn that we need to become great (Like a light)
    Your dream. Is actually a burden
    If having a future is the only dream existing
    Then what is the dream you had last night in your bed?
    It’s alright if the name of the dream is different
    Be it buying a laptop next month Or just eating and sleeping
    Not doing anything at all yet still having a lot of money
    Who says a dream must be something grand, Just become anybody
    We deserve a life. Whatever big or small, you are you after all “

    Thank you for being so sweet. I felt like I have no choice. I really do wish to take a break from everything, life. But my responsibilities and priorities is too heavy to do so.

    Thank you for your advise, I will think of what energizes me or recharges me.

    Please take care and stay safe always.


    Dear Anita, I hope you had a great day today.

    It is indeed hard to ignore, I felt so bad ranting it to my mum but I can’t ignore. I thought I was just weak.

    I felt like breaking down every single day. I really hope this Covid-19 situation ends soon. At least going to office, I will have anxiety but I do not suffer for so long like how I do now. Long hours heart palpitations, body shaking.

    My boyfriend and his family, his family isn’t aware of my depression and anxiety but they did offer to look for better jobs in Malaysia for me. They say that my qualification and skills could get me a better job. His parents used to work in Singapore and that is the reason why they do not want me to be in Singapore. They empathize me a lot. His mum will text me once in awhile to check on me, and end her text by wishing me to back soon.

    Do you think that it is selfish of me to take this responsibilities and turn it into a burden? I feel really bad for my brother but I am only 23, I am still growing and learning. I do not want to lose myself in this process but I know I have no choice but to bear with it until he graduates next year. But I will definitely look for a better place to stay once the covid-19 situation subsides, hoping a calmer environment will help.

    I just want this feeling to go. I dislike waking up in the middle of the night or morning because of anxiety attack, I dislike working while having bad heart palpitations. I just wish to breathe. I just want to wake up happy. I am always laughing with everyone because I do not want them to be worried. And also it is not like I have a choice now.

    Thank you Anita for listening to me, I am utterly grateful. I wish you are doing good in whatever you are doing 🙂


    Dear Giminie:

    You are welcome and thank you for your good wishes.

    Your boyfriend’s family seem to be nice people. I am trying to understand:

    What are your current plans: when is your brother scheduled to graduate and when will you be done paying for his schooling?

    Will you be living at your grandaunt until  when? Working in Singapore until when?

    Are you considering taking on your boyfriend’s offer to pay for your brother’s studies?

    Are you considering living with your boyfriend, or with his family.. or with your family in Malaysia, and if so, when?

    (and by the way, why are you committed to pay for your brother’s studies?)


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