Stress In The City

How it all started

When the author Enoch Li went through her depression, slowly the idea for her book “Stress In The City” was created.
See also my earlier post: https://www.damulu.com/2019/06/19/depression-and-stress-in-the-city/ 
Her earlier thoughts can be traced back on her blog: http://nochnoch.com/about-blog/ 
She explains her road to a complete breakdown:

“Beginning November 2009 I got physically ill, to the extent that I was in the hospital every 2-3 days, and all I could do was lie around at home with no energy to even read a book or watch TV. The pain in my head was excruciating, like a million jackhammers pounding on me.  Extending from the physical side of things, I spiraled down mentally and emotionally till I sunk into severe depression. For almost 3 years, I trudged through what seemed like never-ending darkness.

End of 2009, my body had enough, and everything exploded. I came to a complete breakdown.”

That let her to write an e-book “Pull yourself together – Bridging the communication gap between the depressed and those who love them.”
It is here available as a free download:
http://nochnoch.com/2015/10/10/a-hope-to-help-free-ebook-download/#.VmBIg3tPKOA

Enoch explains:

 “This inspiration for this free Ebook on depression came from the 1000+ comments to the post on our Founder’s blog, NochNoch, “10 things not to say to a depressed person”, she realized that there was a marked misunderstanding between the depressed and those who are not. Perhaps it was someone who wanted to help but did not know how, or depressed persons who could not communicate their lethargies to others. A rift ensued, fueling anger, frustration, and even hatred and despite. Having been on both sides, she decided to write about this, in the aim of elucidating her perspectives on how we could communicate with empathy and help those who needed it.”

See her blog for more details.

Reading Stress In The City

I read the book and found it fascinating. And I joked I was looking into dogerapy as an alternative.

See here part of my personal comments (edited) I sent to her:

– Your description – brutally honest – of your misery during your depression, and how you slowly came out of it, is in my opinion the best part of the book. It must give others more courage to admit, yes, this is also how they feel, they are not alone.
– Like you said, people often think getting out of the depression just needs some personal efforts, will power, blablabla. Of course that does not work.
– I was a bit “puzzled” on how, in the first part of the book, Tim does nearly not appear, me even wondering, was he with you? You were alone? The guy is an angel of patience. I would probably have given up. How did you two go through that long period? Was Tim just sharing the apartment with “a zombie”? How did he react when you were in this horrible state? That one side of the story bugged me.

Enoch replies

Her husband Tim was indeed an angel. helping her to go through it all:

“For most part it was self-loathing on my side and Tim just had to tolerate it. His biggest job was just to make sure I was alive. He would sometimes sit with me when I cried or howled or stomped in tantrums, sometimes he held me, sometimes he just was there and that was enough. He was the one who dragged me to the doctor’s, who called the taxi in the winter and drove me to ER. He was always on alert in case I called him or he had to call and check on me.”

This article talks a bit more about his experience:
“World Mental Health Day 2018: how husband helped wife fight severe depression.”
9 October 2018 by Lise Floris
“Enoch Li was diagnosed with depression in 2009. Husband Tim Coghlan tells how, with his help and through therapy, she overcame it and the relapses that followed, and the impact her illness had on him.”
Read the full story:
https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/article/2167481/world-mental-health-day-2018-how-husband-helped-wife-fight
(China: needs VPN…)

Depression and Stress in the City

The book of Enoch Li

First of all more about depression and Stress In The City, the book of my friend Enoch Li.
About depression, see the full article:
12 March 2019 – New hope for people who suffer from depression
By César Chelala in China Daily
https://www.chinadailyhk.com/articles/157/60/85/1552359375073.html

I quote:

According to the World Health Organization’s estimates, more than 322 million people, equivalent to 4.4% of the global population, suffer from depression worldwide. In China, depression affects 54 million people and is the leading cause of suicides, according to WHO.
Nearly 50% of all people diagnosed with depression in China are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
Depression is a state of low mood which can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being. Its symptoms include sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, and altered appetite and sleep. Many depressed people have feelings of dejection and hopelessness that may drive them to suicide.
China has about 23,000 psychiatrists with credentials, much fewer than Russia and the United States. This number is totally inadequate to respond to the mental health needs of the population. An immediate response would be to improve the mental health training of medical and paramedical personnel and teach them how to better recognize the cases of depression.

In her book “Stress In The City”, Enoch Li describes her personal journey battling a severe depression and how she found a way out of that difficult experience.
See here the announcement of her book in China Daily:

Enoch is back

On 17 January 2019 Enoch Li organized a cool evening to introduce herself back to the Beijing community and to present her book. She had disappeared from the Beijing scene (at least for me!) and the book explains it all. I was impressed by the large attendance and of course I bought her book right away.

Congrats for such an amazing promotional event!

The Bookworm Literary Festival

On 25 March 2019 Enoch Li was featured in The Bookworm, to present her book to a large audience.

 

Again she did a great job, introducing the concept of BEARAPY and answering the many questions from the audience.

About BEARAPY

See: http://bearapy.me

See the Corporate introduction: Bearapy Corporate Intro

More about her books in another post.

Book The Author

Reading Between The Wines “BOOK THE AUTHOR” Event

Reading Between The Wines organized the event Book The Author on Saturday 4 May 2019 in Blue Marlin Bar and Restaurant (Hilton Hotel Street). It called all aspiring writers, authors and book lovers to uncover and learn the secrets of successful authors that are in our own “backyard”. Twelve amazing authors from nine countries, representing literary works from genres including: self-help, non-fiction, international relations and humor came together under one roof to tell their stories and discuss topics such as:

–           How to tell a powerful story
–           Tips to get started writing a book
–           Getting past writer’s block
–           Steps to getting your book published

The event was designed to allow authors to showcase their work and inspire the next generation of writers. The featured authors discussed and shared their work as well as answered questions from and mingle with an audience of book lovers and aspiring writers.

About the Organizers

Reading Between the Wines was started on the beautiful Bahamian island of Nassau by five working women who shared a love for both reading and drinking wine. One of those women is Kayla Brown, who is currently a medical student at Peking University and has ambitiously brought her island-style book club to the great city of Beijing.

Since its inception, RBTW-Beijing has hosted eight book club events and has become popular in China’s capital. Having covered books ranging from “Orange is The New Black” to Michelle Obama’s “Becoming”, readers select a book beforehand and at each book club event discuss the book.
Web: https://andinetblc.com/listing/reading-between-the-wines/

About Gilbert and his books

Gilbert is from Ghent, Belgium, where he graduated as master in electronic engineering.
Since 1980 he has been working with China, where he spent over thirty-five years, mostly in Beijing but also in Hong Kong and in Shanghai. He is a businessman, blogger and author.
His second book “LAUGH AND GET WISER! Jokes and witty wisdom for adults”  is a collection of Anglo-Saxon humor and jokes, collected over a period of over twenty years. The best ones of the many circulating around the world. Published in 2018.
His first book “TOXIC CAPITALISM The orgy of consumerism and waste: Are we the last generation on earth?” takes a closer look at data and research on environmental issues worldwide but with a focus on China. It explains the influence of labor markets, governments, financial institutions, income inequality; it details pollution in China, and Chinese overseas investment and long-term contracts, in the energy and resources sectors. A section is dedicated to day-to-day examples of waste and quality issues, and how we can all contribute to make our planet a healthier place. Published in 2012.

The event

In “Book The Author” different authors gave their insights on:
“How to Become a Powerful Storyteller”
“The Writing Process” (Tips to getting started, overcoming writer’s block, etc.)
“Steps to getting Published” (Gilbert and others)

I was good to meet my friend and fellow author Enoch Li (http://bearapy.me/enoch-li/) again and t hear the very different stories of the diverse group of writers. See the first picture for the participating writers.
Also present was the Ambassador of The Bahamas.
Thanks go to the organizer and host Kayla and the assistance of Sabrina.
I also donated one of my books for the quiz.

Discussing The Shortest History of Europe

Internations Book Club

In the afternoon of Sunday 16 April 2017 the Club was discussing The Shortest History of Europe by John Hirst.

The venue: the Tree Gallery and Cafe is located not too far from the southwest exit of the Liangmaqiao subway station on the Liangma River.Now closed it had a very pleasant ambience and moderate pricing.

 

Intro by Kevin Paul Gouldmann, Activity Host

This is a short and concise overview of European history, viewed from the outside by historian John Hirst. It is quite enjoyable, and amazing how he can trace the streams of European history from the ancient Greeks to the present day in such a reduced and often humorous manor. I personally gained several new insights reading this book–a good experience!
Available in both English and Chinese.

My take

I read the e-book and it is indeed a very different view on the history of Europe, pretty creative angle. Interesting indeed even if you might somehow disagree.

About the Beijing Internations Book Club

I was one of the earliest members of the Club and enjoyed quite a number of meetings.
I however left in protest a few months ago. As a writer I did not like the attitude of some members who think pirated copies of books are “OK” as either the authors made tons of money or the authors are too insignificant. Unfortunately a common attitude in China.
More about Internations: https://www.internations.org/

 

The book about Sun Bingwen

A family of authors

My wife, Sun Bin, co-authored the book about Sun Bingwen (1885-1927), her grandfather. It was published in October 2015. The title “先锋战士 孙炳文” “Xiānfēng Zhànshì Sūn Bǐngwén” can be translated as “Vanguard Fighter Sun Bingwen”. (vanguard/pioneer – fighter/soldier/warrior). It was written by Luo Jin and Sun Bin, with Sun Bin providing most of the content. She is not totally happy with the content and might at one stage rewrite it to tell her side of the story.

The Sichuan connection

Her “laojia” (ancestral home) is considered to be Nanxi (in Yibin, Sichuan) though she was born in Beijing and actually never lived there. See the pictures taken in Nanxi where a statue was erected of Sun Bingwen (native from Nanxi) with Zhu De; both were “brothers by oath”, together with Zhou Enlai.
See the news article from Yibin Government:
141209 yibinnews

The relations between the two families, and with Zhou Enlai were very close. It was instrumental for Zhu De to change from being a warlord to a key leader in the Communist Party. The two also worked together in Luzhou, where there is a museum dedicated to Zhu De.
In the book there are some pictures, we have most of those plus more at home. See as an example pic SBbook6, another picture of Sun Bingwen, not in the book.

About Zhu De, see
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/cpc2011/2010-09/30/content_12475227.htm
and
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhu_De

Less is published about Sun Bingwen who was the father of Sun Yang (Sun Bin’s father) and Sun Weishi (her aunt).
See this part of the book Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution, by Jiaqi Yan, Gao Gao
https://www.amazon.com/Yan-Turbulent-Decade-Library-Translations/dp/0824816951

Also, in 中國婦女傳記詞典: The Twentieth Century, 1912-2000 (Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women), see: https://books.google.co.jp/books?isbn=0765607980

About Sun Bingwen, Sun Weishi and Sun Yang

Sun Bingwen, the father of Sun Weishi, was recruited by Zhou Enlai to join the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Germany, and subsequently became a close friend of both Zhu De and Zhou Enlai. After studying abroad in the Soviet Union, Sun Bingwen returned to China in 1924 and joined the faculty of Whampoa Academy. Sun Bingwen was executed when the relationship between the KMT and CCP deteriorated in 1927, during the “White Terror”.
Following her father’s death, Sun Weishi’s mother, Ren Rui, took the family into exile, raising Sun Weishi and her three siblings alone while participating in CCP underground work.
Sun Weishi had one sister and two brothers. One of Sun Weishi’s brothers, Sun Yang, was imprisoned with his father in 1927, when he was only twelve. Sun Yang was eventually released, became Zhu De’s personal assistant, and became the president of Renmin University after the founding of the People’s Republic of China. He was also one of the pioneers of the State Planning Commission (now called NDRC).

The calligraphy by Zhu De dedicated to Sun Yang and his wife (Shi Qi) (our Beijing home)

In 1967 Jiang Qing accused Sun Yang of being a spy for the Soviet Union, the Japanese, and the Kuomintang, and Sun Yang was tortured and killed by Maoist Red Guards in the basement of his own university. Sun Weishi was also wrongly imprisoned by Jiang Qing who considered her as her mortal enemy; she was said to be killed by a nail driven into her head. There is a shrine in Babaoshan Cemetry dedicated to them. I still need to find back the picture I took of it…
We obviously rejoiced when Jiang Qing hanged herself in prison, after the Gang of Four was brought to justice.
One good source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Weishi