Tonight I am sitting down here with a cup of coffee, reflecting down on my days before and how pathetic they are.
Yes, the last few days have been pathetic. Ever since I got back from Hong Kong on 7th of July, I got only like 2 or 3 healthy days. Besides that, it’s only collapse or sleep.
I become unproductive, I didn’t finish any work in that timeline. Life is pathetic.
In the last few days, I’ve been begging for my family to put me in mental hospital. I just feel like I can’t control myself, and I’m really afraid that I will hurt them. I even asked some friends to convince my family to do that, because my family aren’t listening to me.
But today, it’s all going to change.
I know, I’ve been saying these kind of words lots of time, and the cycle goes on and on. I dropped, feel better, dropped again, feel better again, and dropped again.
But that’s because I’ve been counting on my own power and strength all along. I forget to use the best equipment I could have for this fight: the power of God.
I’m not saying I am cured, I certainly not. It’s not that instant. Just because I have one beautiful moment with God does not mean I am instantly cured. But now I have the strength I need to fight my big battle.
It does not mean I will not get dropped again in the future. Somehow in my deepest heart I know I will get down again. But I believe I will always get up again, and He will protect me from the worst.
These past few weeks, even though I am down, I’ve never hurt anybody. I only hurt myself. I always come sooooooo close to explode and hurt people, but I didn’t. I realized now, it must be because His protection.
Yes, the medicines I took have a big part in protecting me from exploding, but how would I got the right medicine if it’s not for God’s help?
What made me realized all of these?
Well, there’s one unique moment last Sunday. I was down and having seizures in my room. Like I said before, I hold my phone and asked my friend to convince my family to put me in hospital.
I hold my phone hoping he responded to me as quick as possible, but what’s coming is a text from a friend who read my story about my struggles, and asked if she can help. I spontaneously text her all negative thoughts I have in mind, and I suddenly feel better. Then we have a thorough conversation about faith, and how much of faith I’ve been lacking.
She made me realized all the great things God has done to protect me. And if God has protected me from all those kind of danger before, why wouldn’t He did the same thing for me in the future?
After a deep reflection – and a day of another collapse – I realized something else: I’ve been focusing too much on my problem that I forgot to use the most precious equipment I mentioned earlier: the power of God.
TenTu Creative, the business I created, is created to show how powerful God is through the work we did. But in the past few years in this big battle against mental health problem, those words are only in the company profile, not in my heart.
From now on, it’s all has to change.
I won’t give up.
I believe these struggles are there because God wanted something more from me. He wanted me to become better. He wanted me to have more faith in Him. And in the end, I believe He wanted me to serve Him more.
I promise you – all my friends and families who have supported me all along – that I will face tomorrow with a brighter face, knowing He will protect me and guide me through all of my problems.
Thank you, everyone. God bless you all.
Ysteven in category Me, My Ego, and My Thoughts.
For a moment, please allow me to complain a little bit. It’s been years since I begin my battle against my mental health problem and until now I can’t seem to find the answer.
Why am I still not fully cured? I’ve been struggling with the same battle over and over again, and I still can’t seem to win this fight. I am tired.
Why don’t I just be dead? I am tired of fighting. Whatever I do, I can’t seem to overcome this health problem. I still collapse. I still get down.
Why can’t I be like others? Some of my friends already got successful career. Some got a family already. Some are on their way to greatness.
Then I remembered something I read a while ago: We should stop asking why, and start asking how. Why leads to regrets and negativity while How leads to solution and action.
How do I overcome this health problem?
How do I become the very best of me?
How do I become the man I dreamed of?
And in this blogpost, I will try to find the answer of those Hows.
1. Start by being more grateful.
To find the answer, I started reading some of my past blogpost. I looked through posts I wrote when I was happy, and life seems to be perfect for me. One of them is the reminder to always be grateful. Then I realized, how not grateful I am for my current life.
In that blogpost, I wrote :
Recently, a friend of mine tell me a precious lessons : “Yo, you always wanted to be a blessing for others. Even though you are not well right now, Be Grateful for everything you’ve been through and that way you can be a blessing for others.”
How the hell I can forget that precious lesson?
There are more than a hundred things to be grateful of right now. From the air I breathe to the family and friends I have. From the laptop I could wrote this blogpost to the coffee shop I currently owned.
2. Overcome fears.
One of the main reason why I stayed in bed for the past three days is because I’m too afraid to live. To respond to text messages, to meet people, to do my job. It’s all too scary for me.
Yes, I have an uncontrollable fears to negative energy. Hearing people I don’t even know being mad at others could make me collapse. Even worse when the one they are mad at is me, right? The fear is so bad that I could start hallucinating every time my phone rings, or even in my worse days, a simple text messages could make me collapse, even though I haven’t read the message yet. I hallucinate that all these text messages and phone calls are going to be someone mad at me.
I also have unimaginable fears to being disliked, and this one makes it hard for me to be mad at someone. Every time I wanted to be mad at someone, I would think that he or she would dislike me and in the end, instead of being mad, I would collapse instead.
These fears is what keeps me down. Keeps me alone. Keeps me sad and depressed.
To be able to become the very best of me, I need to overcome this fear. I consulted about this with my psychiatry, and he gave me some medicine to overcome this fear, but it does not work for me.
He also told me a technique called desensitizing, to make me be less sensitive to things I’m afraid of. He gives me an example, to start checking my phone 2 hours a day. Then if I’m good with that, continue with 3 hours a day, and so on until finally the fear is gone.
I don’t know if the technique is practical, but I got his point. And I will try to apply it by starting to connect with only the closest people, then when I am feeling better, I will try to communicate with more people and so on, until finally I can communicate with everyone.
3. Get closer to God.
Maybe, one of the reason I am still not fully cured is because God wants to test my faith, which judging by the look of it, is currently lacking.
I have a unique habit. Some people says they remember God only when they have problems. Not for me. I only remember God when I’m feeling happy. When I have problems, I will turn to the dark side and do stupid things in my room.
I believe God wants me to have faith in Him no matter what the situation is. I tried asking for His help yesterday, in my struggling time after three days stuck in bed, and I received a beautiful word from the daily devotional site odb.org.
“God might not change our circumstances, but He will change us.”
God might not change our circumstances. Our problems might not be gone if we do nothing. But He will change us so we can face our problems.
From now on, I will try to find Him, no matter what the situation is. Whenever I got down, I will ask for His help instead of stuck in the dark side.
I don’t know what the future will be for me. I don’t know if I would ever become the person I dreamed of. But for now, I am positive I would do better.
These are the practical things I would do to help me overcome these mental health problems:
- Get closer with God. Spend more time each day to talk with Him, and to read the bible and devotions.
- Exercise. I am tired of reading about the benefit of exercise in overcoming mental health problem, so I will do it.
- Make a gratitude list. Each day before I sleep, I will make a list of things I am grateful of.
- Spend a little time for my hobby. Doing my hobby (designing things) brings positive energy to me. I will start by doing a little project to keep me motivated each day.
- Take the medication from doctor seriously. I used to compromise with these medicines. Mostly because I think they caused my sleep problems, but I will compromise no more.
Ysteven in category Me, My Ego, and My Thoughts.
Since 2014, I started to create a theme for every new year resolution I have. 2014 was #happier2014, and 2015 was #stronger2015. A new year is here, and I will call this year #juicy2016.
A little different than past years, there is no -er in 2016. These past years, it’s all about improving myself. To be happier, or stronger. But recently, I received a wake up call that I should be more productive, and that time to focus on improving is over.
It does not mean I stopped improving myself. Learning and improving is something we need to do until the day we are dead. I just shifted the focus a bit to being more productive.
Juicy come from the word juice, the extracted part of a fruit. I consider myself as a fruit, and 2016 is time for me to produce juices that can be consumed by the world.
According to dictionary.com, Juicy also means “very profitable, very interesting, and very appealing”. Those are what I wanted 2016 to be : profitable, interesting, and appealing. I wanted my businesses to be more profitable, and my works to become interesting and appealing.
The big goal : to produce savings worth at least IDR xx in 2016.
Notes : Sorry, I censored the number!
Which also means IDR xx on average each month. Breaking down the xx :
- xx from Coffeelogue.
- xx from Tentu Creative.
- ± xx monthly expenses.
- Extra income from other businesses as a bonus.
My main source of income is from Coffeelogue. I do design solutions to get extra income. More or less, I need in total about xx web design clients in one year, while making sure Coffeelogue runs well.
Meanwhile, I need plans to find clients. I can’t rely on my network only. I need to broaden my network.
Also, if possible, I want to franchise Coffeelogue, or even better : to open a new branch for Coffeelogue.
How to achieve the big goal
- Broaden my network.
Join communities. Attend conferences and seminars. Increase my presence in Coffeelogue.
- Advertise, online and offline.
Use channels such as Kaskus. Advertise on Coffeelogue. Find another channel to advertise, if possible, freely.
- Be healthy.
I can not achieve my goals if I ain’t healthy. I need to be fit all the time.
- Learn new skills.
Create mobile app. Talk to more people. Ask more questions.
- Be more responsive.
Do not afraid to take calls. Do not afraid to communicate with people. Do not wait to response text messages or whatsapp.
- Blog more.
Blogposts attract traffic to website, which increases my exposure and leads to more clients.
- Create more art.
Designing things makes me happy, and that’s what I should do on my free time. It improves my creativity, adds to my portfolio, and keeps me mentally healthy.
The create 100 things challenge
I am joining a challenge by Justin Jackson, called the create 100 things challenge. Basically he asked people to make 2016 the year of creating, and to challenge ourselves to create a lot more than past years. 100 is a number he set for himself and everyone is free to decide their own numbers.
I created a worksheet to help me track myself in this challenge. Below is the worksheet :
I separate things I create by 5 Grade. A is for the most complex project such as an app, and E is the simplest project such as a blogpost or instagram post.
I have to admit, this challenge really inspires me to be creative and to work harder.
#Juicy2016 Self improvement checklist
- Daily devotion every single day.
- Exercise / Go to gym at least 3 times a week.
- Read and finish 10 books a year.
- At least one blogpost per week.
- Design one artwork per two weeks.
- Do not eat after 10pm.
Fingers crossed for an amazing year. Wish me luck and good luck for all your resolutions! And dear friends and families, please do remind me to always focus and keep my life on track. Thank you and God bless!
Ysteven in category Me, My Ego, and My Thoughts.
After a successful #happier2014, I entered 2015 with huge hopes and spirit. I imagined it will be a great year for me, with me overcoming my mental health problems. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
Yes, 2015 has it’s ups and downs. I am happy and thankful for all of them : The ups are so awesome, and the downs are full of lessons.
The ups were the progress of Coffeelogue. I reached my revenue target, and it’s performance is better than what I expected. I managed to go on some unforgettable holiday trip. I managed to get into interesting projects.
The downs were my health problems. I still can’t be 100% free from my mental health problems, and that leads to some failed projects, which I really am sad about. It crushes my spirit. I feel like back in 2014, where I got relieved from my job because of my health problems, and spend some months in nothingness.
Back in college – and even in high school – I was capable of producing great things : website, graphic design, apps, etc. I managed to finish a lot of projects from various clients. It feels good to be able to do that. I feel like awesome. What’s driving me is the fear of being mediocre. I want to be a superstar, not a mediocre person. But since 2013 – 2015, where my health problems are worsened, I struggled even to be mediocre.
Those struggles does not stop me from achieving my goals and dreams. After some time off from projects to relieve myself from depression and bad mental health, I managed to start doing projects again in November, and I finished it. It gives me confidence that I can finish things, and that I can produce great things.
That’s why 2016 is the year for me to prove the doubters wrong. I will show the world the Yohanes Steven I used to be : full of spirit, able to work hard and produce great things. I failed to do so in almost all 2015, but the momentum is there in late 2015, and I am going to use that momentum to make 2016 an amazing year.
Now, I am ready for #Juicy2016.
Ysteven in category Me, My Ego, and My Thoughts.
I’ve been wanting to write about this for a long time, and after last night’s quality conversation with my friends about life in 2014, I decided it’s time to put all the thoughts into this writing.
In the turnover of 2013 into 2014, I set a goal for 2014 called #happier2014. I wanted 2014 to be happier than 2013, which has been full of sorrow for me. In truth, 2014 was a magical roller coaster ride. I’ve hit the major downs, and in the end I’ve hit the major ups as well.
The life changing events.
Early in the year, no matter how much determined I was to make this year better, I still found this life as a never-ending struggle. I struggled to get into my feet, and I got stuck with my health problems.
My mental health conditions continue to get the better of me. I constantly collapse in the office, and sometimes I even get out of control, scream like a baby, and hitting myself in the head. This has been going since in the middle of 2013, and it’s not stopping in 2014.
Those conditions forced me to leave my job. I was the director of an IT consultant company, and the security in my office won’t even let me come there because I could disturb the others with my conditions. I have no choice but to leave my job and employees, which is both something I really love.
The months of nothingness.
In the following 6 months after leaving my job, I got stuck in nothingness. I basically has no job, and the only job description I have in my head is : To get better. The worst part of it? I have no idea how to get better.
I don’t even know what’s going on with me. I don’t know if it’s a devil inside of me, and I should go to the priest to cure me. I don’t know if it’s a mental health problems, and I should go to the psychiatrist to cure me. I have no idea, and by the way, I’ve tried both and it’s not working.
So, for a few months, I was just enjoying my daily life : Start the day by delivering my sister to her office, work on my dreams without any progress, and en the day picking up my sister from her office. That goes on and on for months.
It seems fun, having nothing to think about. But it’s not. It’s one of the worst moment of my life. Because instead of having nothing to think about, I constantly think about how foolish and weak I am, and how unworthy I am to live. I even started to think about killing myself, and have enjoyed hurting my hands with keys and nailclippers.
God works in magical way
In those days of nothingness, I spent a lot of time dreaming. I dreamed of how my coffee shop should be. I dreamed of what my life would be in the future. I dreamed of how I should treat my customers if I have my own coffee shop.
I always thought those dreams are meaningless, until the Eureka! moment arrived : I can make my dreams come true!
Why did I always thought my dreams are meaningless? Because I thought having a coffee shop needs billions of dollars, and I will never afford it. I always thought I don’t have the ability to run a coffee shop in me. I doubted myself, and I doubted that God can make a miracle.
Until the moment arrives. After my therapist appointment, I accompanied my mom to her doctor in Jln. Raden Saleh, Cikini. Because the queue line was very long, I decided to take a walk by myself around the area. It was then that I see a small coffee shop, decorated in simple white. It was Ya Kun Kaya Toast. I see how small and minimalist it is, that I realized that I don’t need billions to have a coffee shop.
So I got inspired and began rewriting the business plan for my coffee shop, the one I already wrote years ago. I redo everything and came up with a more feasible one : IDR 400.000.000 and 20 months of payback period. I think I can find a loan if it’s IDR 400.000.000, at least from my big family, so I presented the business plan to them.
They agreed to help, seeing my awful conditions of nothingness and glad I’ve found back my passion. I started to find a space for my coffee shop, and the struggling continues. I couldn’t find a good one in my budget. When I found a nice spot, it was far over my budget, and when I found one inside my budget, it was not good.
Then a moment, of which I believed was a miracle, came to me in a flash. There is a spot near my house available for rented! It was a nice spot, and it was inside my budget. More over, it was really near from my house, and it will be easier to manage. I could also use my house as a warehouse for stocks!
Negotiation begins, and with the grace of God, I finally settled for a nice price. Price I can afford, in a spot I love.
So the fun thing began : Pre-opening of the coffee shop. I started by writing down a long list of items to prepare for my coffee shop, and spent the months ahead buying them and checking down the long to do list, one by one.
It was full of ups and downs. A lot of frustrating moments happens in the pre-opening, and I still collapsed from time to time. But something is different right now : I believed that things will get better. And no words can explain how important that is.
I was glad I got a chance for a holiday before I opened my coffee shop. Just like the other family holiday for me, most of the places we visit are caves of Mary and churches to pray at. I was so glad I have this journey, for I could pray for strength and surrender my future to God.
The happiest day of my life
15 August came. Coffeelogue is officially opened, and it was the happiest day of my life.
Coffeelogue was fully-packed with around 50 person, which come from my lovely family, my friends, my neighbours, and friends of my family.
It happens just the way I dreamed of : people I love the most are there around me, and I can make them happy by serving them, providing them with food and beverages, and sharing my joy with them.
So I wrote a note of why it’s the happiest day of my life. And it’s not just because my dreams came true. It’s because I couldn’t think of any bad thing could happen. I believed only good thing will happen, and I was not worry about anything. It will be on my next post in the blog : Lessons I learned from the happiest day of my life.
There are also a lot of amazing moments worth to mention in 2014 :
- I got to travel to a lot of amazing places in Central Java and Jogjakarta.
- I got to speak at an entrepreneurship seminar at UNIKA Atma Jaya.
- I got to host a small New Year Eve party at Coffeelogue.
And so those are the highlights of my life in 2014. I will also write about my plans for #STRONGER2015. I hope this sharing can be helpful to others, and if you have anything you want to ask or share with me, don’t worry to contact me.
Ysteven in category Me, My Ego, and My Thoughts.
This post was written on easter 2014.
Today, I want to tell a story about my belief.
I was born on a Catholic family. A very strict Catholic family, which sometimes frustrates me. It frustrates me how strict they are to rules and regulations in Catholic Church.
Sometimes, this frustration led me to anger at Jesus. I am disappointed seeing people so strict to the rule that they do not care about what matters : what people feels.
As I grow older, I understood their strictness. Although I disagree with them, I practiced them. Secretly, I even became one of them with my disappointment towards a friend of mine who disobey the Catholic rule.
But as a Catholic, there are a some things outside the Catholic rule that I believe in.
I believe that there is heaven for everyone, not only for Christians. A Christian friend of mine openly attack me for this belief, and that makes me mad. I believe that Lord is too kind to let someone off from heaven just because he is not a Christian. I think that if “Lord” really only let Christians inside heaven, I will not believe in Him.
I believe that people believe what they want to believe, and I believe no one should be forced to believe in something. People should respect each other believe. No one should force religion and belief to others.
But that story of what I believe in is not what I really want to tell right now.
Yesterday, my bipolar disorder attack me. I suddenly feel like my head wants to explode in anxiety, thinking how little I have achieve in this life compared to another people. Unfortunately, I lost the battle and I can’t go to church on Good Friday.
Earlier today, while watching a movie in cinema, I feel sick. I feel the same attack as yesterday. Thank God, I win the battle today. I didn’t collapse and I can celebrate Easter Vigil by going to the church.
What makes me win today is the new belief I got, which was inspired from last Thursday’s White Thursday mass at Theresia Church. At the mass, the Pastor told me about how Eucharist have the power of transformation : to transform hate into love, sadness into joy. I believe that I am going to be better if I attend the church instead of collapsing at home. I believe I will be transformed after tonight’s mass, and I will have new power and joy.
And today I am the witness of Eucharist’s power of transformation. Even before going to the church, I already feel the excitement of how all my anxiety and sorrow will be transformed into joy, blessings, and hope.
I don’t want to talk a lot about how Euchaist have that power of transformation, for I am not a preacher. I only tell stories of my experience. But if you asked me what I believe in, the transformation power comes through the communion, where I receives the body of christ as a symbol of union with Jesus.
For everything I have, it was from the Lord. Through Eucharist, Jesus gives me happiness, joy, and freed me from anxiety.
So… If Eucharist have that big of power, the question remains : So if you are not in Church, you can’t talk to God?
Of course not. I believe that Eucharist is a celebration of the union between me with God. Underline the word “celebration”. I believe that God is very good and caring for us, that He is here all the time, not only on Eucharist. He is our best friend, helper, and saviour. It’s just that sometimes, we need to celebrate things with our best friend, for the friendship to grow.
This is what I believe. If what you believe is different, it’s okay… Because I believe God wanted us to love one another, no matter what we believe in.
Ysteven in category Me, My Ego, and My Thoughts.
I am currently reading “One small step can change your life”, which is also known as The Kaizen Way by Robert Maurer. In the second chapter of the book, Robert tips us about the benefit of asking small questions.
Basically, Robert talk about how questions forced our brain to work, and when our brain work, we unconciously become motivated to do things.
I think it makes sense. These small questions, such as “What is the color of the car beside you when you park this morning”, can be a good exercise for our brain. And just like our body, a well exercised brain perform better.
Not only in this book, my uncle also once told me about the importance of brain training via small questions. He would ask me a lot of small question, such as “Where do you think the car in front would go? To the left or to the right?”
Now I understand why.