After suffering an ectopic pregnancy, Ming was consumed by inexplicable grief and pain. Thoughts of suicide crossed her mind as she looked out her room’s window – but at that moment, she miraculously received a message to seek help from EMCC. Ming took the first step on her road to recovery with EMCC that day.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what happened.
Ming: I’m 30 and I’m currently working in the healthcare industry. I’ve been feeling low, not like my usual self, for the past five years or so. Recently, I suffered an ectopic pregnancy and had to go through surgery to remove the foetus.
I had just found out that I was pregnant, but merely 20 minutes later the doctor told me that it was an ectopic pregnancy and my life would be in danger if the foetus continued to grow. It was so painful, both emotionally and physically. I cried and grieved a lot.
After the surgery, I experienced immense physical pain and had to stay home to recuperate. Sadly, my supervisors at work weren’t understanding of my situation and gave me a hard time during this break. I expected my family members to be there to support me during this period, but I was wrong. They complained about needing to help me walk to the bathroom, ate my pre-booked confinement meals, and blamed me for causing more problems in their lives. It was especially hurtful coming from my sister, who had previously experienced an ectopic pregnancy herself. Why couldn’t she understand and support me now when I most needed it?
After a particularly bad fight we had at my grandma’s house where it felt like my whole family was against me, I came home and stared out my room’s window. In that moment of darkness, I thought of suicide.
I typed out my thoughts and posted them on social media; I was just looking for an outlet.
Unexpectedly, I received a reply from an acquaintance I had not spoken to in a long time. She told me to please seek help, and recommended EMCC. I decided to give it one last try.
Were the experiences in your counselling sessions with your EMCC counsellor what you expected?
Ming: No, in fact the sessions were very refreshing. Based on previous experiences, I expected to be asked to re-tell my stories and work through my feelings over and over again, leaving me spent and exhausted from crying after sessions. I couldn’t focus on my work at all after that.
But here was different. My counsellor didn’t focus on sorting through my feelings from the get-go but taught me the skills to regulate my emotional state so that I could continue functioning well on a daily basis. I didn’t know it before, but that was exactly what I needed from counselling at that stage of my life.
The EMCC counsellor shared a concept known as the “Window of Tolerance” and the techniques I could practise to stay in the “window”, like deep breathing. I immediately tried applying it when I was feeling too overwhelmed, and it really helped me get through those moments.
Did you meet with any obstacles along the way?
Ming: It was tough to juggle everything after the surgery, especially financially. I had to fork out upwards of $1800 a month on post-surgery treatments, confinement meals, and Chinese herbal tonics. It took a toll on me emotionally too.
Considering the situation, it would have been a challenge to attend counselling sessions regularly which was worrying as I felt like I really needed the help. Fortunately, I realised that EMCC provides subsidies for counselling sessions, so I could afford the full treatment.
How are you now?
Ming: I’ve told my counsellor that I feel so empowered after the sessions that I finally feel more like myself again, after five years. I’m still beginning to work through many issues, and my external circumstances remain the same, but counselling has really helped me to feel so much better. It’s been a very long journey, but I’ve triumphed, because I’ve emerged stronger and I’m still alive.
What would you like to share with our readers?
Ming: During this experience, I penned some of my reflections down. I think what’s most important is that when you’re feeling low and hopeless, you need to reach out.
You might get hurt along the way, but you need to reach out because that’s the path to healing and recovery. Even though I’ve been hurt in the past, I chose to seek help again and that’s how I managed to find a good counsellor. I would urge everyone to take the chance, it is worth it.
If you feel you need professional help and emotional support, please reach out to EMCC. Our counsellors are here to help and support you.
To ensure that our services remain accessible, subsidised counselling is also provided. For more information, click here.