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Being in Gratitude

Gratitude is an emotion we feel when we notice something good has come into our lives and we appreciate it. Some people feel grateful more often than others. For example, some feel grateful every time the sun is shining, while others barely notice.

The more grateful we are, the more we will see the world in a more positive way. The attitude of gratitude is a muscle, and must continue to practice and build this muscle. We can start by enjoying the simple things in life. After eating, let us pause and think, ‘What a wonderful meal’ and thank the person who prepared the meal for us.

I discovered a chatroom called Gratitude Room by Peeling Onions Club on Clubhouse app. In Gratitude Room, every evening we talk about what we are grateful for. I was invited by a friend, Tze Ai. Tze Ai said, gratitude starts with the awareness of the present – NOW and HERE. Being present is reconnecting with what is right in front of us.

I am GRATEFUL for BEING ALIVE. Grateful for exceeding my life expectancy by 50 years.

The obstetrician who delivered me said I probably would not celebrate my first birthday. I was born too small, weighing less than 2kg, I fit into my father’s palm. I had to stay in the incubator, but I survived and celebrated my first birthday. But when I was a year old, I had poliomyelitis. Miraculously, I survived and no physical deformity except that my left leg is a tad bit shorter than my right leg. I cannot run but I’m very grateful that I can walk with two legs.

Despite the odds, I climbed Mount Kinabalu and seven other mountains. I ran for charity in The Edge Kuala Lumpur Rat Race for five years in a row, and I participated in The Malay Mail Big Walk walkathons for two years when I was working in the corporate sector. I didn’t make it as top runners, but I didn’t come in last either.

I survived an unsuccessful suicide attempt at 31 years old. My ex-husband divorced me on our 7th wedding anniversary, over SMS. I went into depression, triggered by post-traumatic stress disorder. I didn’t even know what I was doing when I cut my wrist – it just happened in a blink of an eye. Luckily, the pain stopped me.

Grateful that I failed in my suicide attempt. I decided, it was not worth killing myself over an unworthy man. I promised myself that I will bounce back and leap higher. When we hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up. So, I rise up to the surface and keep swimming to the shore. I discovered many, many beautiful shores.

At 41, I survived a stroke caused by multiple blood clots. It occurred while I was on duty at Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA). Due to cost cutting, our exhibition team was reduced to half. For two weeks before the exhibition I lacked sleep and missed many meals. I forgot to bring my diabetic medication, too. I was working all day and night. I didn’t have time to find a clinic to get my medication and there was no 24-hour clinic in Langkawi.

On the last day of the exhibition, I collapsed at LIMA Exhibition Centre and was rushed to Langkawi Hospital by ambulance. CT scan showed too many particles. The radiologist thought the equipment was broken. He wanted to send me to another hospital in Penang or Alor Setar, that had better equipment and specialists. My boss insisted they send me to Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur where they had technologically advanced MRI equipment. MRI Scan showed, I did have multiple blood clots, thus “too many particles” on the report. The CT scan equipment at Langkawi Hospital wasn’t faulty after all!

I was in hospital for three months – physiotherapy three times daily. With rigorous physiotherapy sessions as an in-patient and out-patient, I recovered in six months. Grateful that I outdid my doctor’s expectation by recovering sooner than expected.

At 51, I was diagnosed with HER2 Positive Breast Cancer, an aggressive and fast-growing cancer that affects 1 in 5 breast cancer patients. My cancer treatments had to be aggressive. I compare them to contending in ONE Championship. I feel physically battered and emotionally defeated with every treatment.

ONE Championship is a mixed martial arts competition combining Muay Thai and kickboxing. Figuratively speaking, I contended in 49 rounds of ONE Championship over 15 months. I am grateful that I just have ONE more round of ONE Championship to go, and I would be done and over with my cancer treatments.

Lastly, I am in gratitude for this great life full of adventures and enriching experiences!

Tinggal Komen

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