其他, Other

古箏治癒 Heal with Guzhengs

記得女兒剛出生,受到荷爾蒙變化的影響,情緒十分低落和反覆。因為要餵人奶,所以長期睡眠不足,自然心情煩躁。而且女兒那時食量大,我成日到要揼奶,揼完又要餵,之後又要花很長的時候哄她睡覺。我的正職是做項目管理的,女兒未出世前,我正參與一個興建兩座社區醫院的項目。在女兒出世前一個月,我的肚已十分的大,每日還要自己開車,每晚因胎兒頂着我的横隔膜而經常胃酸倒流失眠。所以一直到女兒出世了還是要頂着頭皮,長期沒有睡多過三個小時。

這種辛苦,令我後來後了產後抑鬱。家庭醫生叫我吃抗抑鬱,但因為決心餵人奶,所以我拒絕了醫生的建議。不過抑鬱令我十分情緒化,就是會經常哭,還有一段時間想過輕生,所以感到情況好像每況愈下,真的要做點事去改善情況。就在那時,想起多年前跟兩位好友一起學古箏,那些十分開心的時光令我靈機一觸,就想再學古箏。

我住的這裡很少唐人,就連中餐館也不多,所以要買一台古箏十分不容易。不過最難的是要找不個老師。很多古箏老師都只會面教,雖然我找到一些有網教的老師,可是他們都大多只會普通話,而我的普通話真的很差,就是只足夠看看國語劇集,日常溝道就不行了。經過多個月的網路搜尋,皇天不負有心人,最終被我找到一位廣東話老師肯跟我網教,我真的十分開心。就這樣,這兩年多我就是靠古箏來讓我走出產後抑鬱。

今日的我想跟大家,特別是準媽媽和新手媽媽說,如果你覺得自己有可能得了產後抑鬱,請記住輕生不是一個方法。或者你可以嘗試一下找一些興趣,彈彈音樂,真的是很有用的治癒方法。我現在在修讀第二個碩士課程,早上要上班,下午要讀書和照顧家庭。不過我的目標是當我兩年後完成課程,就會業餘開辦一些古箏課給產後抑鬱的媽媽們,好讓她們有一個治癒的機會,也希望可以發揚國樂,更希望她們可以把國樂傳給她們的孩子們。在這之前,我現在就努力完成碩士學業和練習我的八級樂曲!

***

I remember when my daughter was a newborn, because my hormones fluctuated a lot, my emotions got affected, resulting to frequent depression. I decided to breastfeed my daughter. This means I often lacked sufficient sleep. My mood swing was quite a serious problem. Also, my daughter drank a lot of breastmilk (8oz every time!), I spent most of the time every day on pumping milk using my breast pump, feeding her, and then putting her to sleep. It was a nightmare. At work, I do project management. Before my daughter was born, I was involved in a project to build two local community hospitals. The workload was quite heavy. The month before my daughter was born, my belly was huge. I drove to work myself every day, and at night I suffered from acid reflux and insomnia. My big belly simply gave me lots of trouble from falling asleep. So, I did not have any sleep of more than 3 hours before my daughter was born, and that suffering continued even after she was born.

Eventually, due to a lack of sleep, fatigue, the baby’s ongoing crying and many other factors, I got postpartum depression. My family doctor told me to take antidepressants. However, since I was so determined to breast feed, I rejected the doctor’s advice. But my depression made me very emotional – I often cried and even thought about committing suicide. I knew I needed to do something, or else, it would be harmful to both myself and my daughter. At that time, my memory of learning Guzheng came back. Those good old days when I learned Guzheng with two good friends really motivated me. So, I was actively doing some research on how to learn Guzheng at where I live.

My town has very few Chinese people. It is impossible to buy a Guzheng here. But the hardest part was to find a teacher. Many Guzheng teachers only teach face to face. Although I found a few teachers who can teach online, they mostly speak Mandarin. Well… my Mandarin is really bad to be honest. I learned it for a few years in secondary school, but my level is only enough for watching Mandarin TV dramas. Conversational Mandarin is impossible to me. After several months of online search, fortunately, I found a Cantonese-speaking Guzheng teacher who was willing to teach me online. You can’t imagine how happy I was. Fast forward to now, I have been relying on Guzheng to recover from postpartum depression.

I’d like to tell, especially expectant mothers and new mothers, that if you feel you may have postpartum depression, committing suicide is not a solution. You can try developing a hobby, such as playing music or even playing sports or sewing, is really useful. I am now studying for my second graduate degree. My schedule is totally crammed every day with work, study and family life. But my goal is that when I complete my MBA in two years, I want to start some leisure Guzheng classes that are geared towards postpartum depressed mothers. This will give them a great opportunity to recover. It is also a good way to promote Chinese music. But before that day arrives, I will focus my energy on my study and practising my Level 8 music!

 

 

 

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