Guest Blogs

“Lost In Translation? Or Just Lost?”

I’m jittery. I avoid eye contact. I cry for no reason. Is it depression? Anxiety? Or just ADHD-fueled stress?

The weather in Hong Kong swings from sticky humid to cucumber cool and in the bipolar weather, I find my moods equally turbulent.

I’ve become moody again in a sort of “Three Faces of Eve” way that surpasses everyday ups and downs. I’ll admit to full-blown Mt. Everest type tantrums and dissolved into tears for no real reason. I’ve lashed out at the grandmother as she struggles to understand what I’m saying and vice versa. Lost in translation is losing its luster.

My conversations with the closest of family and friends – of which not many are left – have become loose and disjointed. My topic-jumping has intensified and I’m aware of a certain jitteriness when I talk with others, a fear of making eye contact and my voice and tone are as tight as a tightrope. I’m incredibly nervous and I’m not sure why.

Is it depression? I’m not sure, but I do feel that I am becoming my own worst enemy. And the aunt has even gotten to the point of leaving her anxiety medication for me in my room — my name written in caps on the note.

The new shrink, a British woman, is a bit too cheery and bubbly for me – a Katie Couric of sorts. Of course I’ve only met her once, but the vibe was not great. She talked a bit too much too and felt like a stranger in the gym locker room, the kind of person who compliments you on your new bathing suit or backpack to make chatter. Okay maybe I’m just being cynical.

Over the past two weeks my workload has doubled thanks to a project the boss hoisted upon me. This is the catch-22 with ADHD – I just can’t say no to new projects, but in the end organizing my time becomes so stressful that I self destruct. Blown up by too many ideas and not enough time. It is a vicious cycle that I’m caught up in once again. Is this a symptom of ADHD? Or do I simply suffer from an intense case of insecurity? Or maybe both?

In an act of desperation I went to church. I called up an acquaintance (a new friend) and asked if I could attend service with her at a new-fangled Christian church where worship resembles a rock concert. I was uncertain, but my new friend told me that there would be a lot of Asian-Americans there.

Maybe I’m just a bit homesick, I thought. Maybe an energizing service, a slice of real pizza, and a drive will cure my blues. Then again, maybe I’m being incredibly naive. But I can’t help but hope that, if the weather clears up, my sun will shine again, too.