Badan wife nampak cengkung, tak ade mood plk dia. Di rumah, kipas pun dia tak bagi buka sbb dia takut kipas jatuh bila on.

I kenal wife sejak buat preparation untuk belajar di luar negara. I was bounded to the US and wife pulak ke Jepun. Both engineering students. I jenis yang serious, very focus on my goals. Wife pulak jenis yang bubbly. Dia takleh tahan tengok orang pendiam, mesti dia akn usik.

Sebab tu I suka dia kut. Opposite attraction. I still ingat, setiap kali lunch mesti I akan pergi ke favorite cafe wife just to see baju apa dia pakai that day, makanan apa dia ambil but mostly nak dengar dia gelak kot. I swear ketawa dia contagious.

Sebulan before habis belajar kat kolej tu, I confessed. I thought it was berbaloi to take the risk sebab I jenis yang susah nk sukakan perempuan in that sense. Wife terkejut lepas dapat tau sebab dia memang perasan pun my existence dekat kafe tu tapi dia tak expect yang I was there to stalk her.

Tapi dia terima la confession tu sebab dia ckp I nampak macam baik and she was single at that time. I made it clear yang I taknak kahwin lagi. I just nak wife tahu yang I have feelings for her and alhamdulillah, wife faham.

We agreed to get married by 26 year-old, after dah kerja apa sume. But I dapat offer untuk terus smbg buat master’s and phD. After a thorough discussion with family, I pun terus stay kat US smpai 28. Throughout the years I balik 2 kali je sebab I taknak sangkut any papers and selesaikan bab study asap.

I seriously fikir wife was fine and doing well as usual. Tapi bila I jumpa dia after balik ke Malaysia for good, I was shocked sebab she was way underweight, lesu and mostly takde mood.

Yes, we didn’t have much time to video call and even if I ajak pun wife taknak. Since dia dah 4 tahun habis belajar, by right dia patut dah kerja la kan? But she didn’t. I could feel something was wrong somewhere. Since I lived in the US for quite long and I buat banyak kerja, I boleh kahwin right after I balik.

Parents pun tak soal banyak. Wife, however, nampak tak excited, she was constantly worried. Dia tanya okay ke kalau kahwin tapi takde anak? I cakap takpe sebab dia pun nampak macam ada isu.

To be honest, I rasa menyesal sebab tinggalkan dia lama sgt. Or maybe I patut have deeper conversations dgn dia while I was in the US. So, priority I lepas balik tu mmg wife I je. After kahwin, baru I perasan weird things abt my wife ni. Firstly, dia takut nak naik kereta.

Unless I atau ayah dia yang drive. She doesn’t drive. Secondly, public transport isn’t an option. Dia akan fikir, what if driver bus tu bawak laju? What if the pilot makes a mistake? Kat rumah tak boleh on kipas, dia akan rasa gelisah. Dia fikir kipas tu boleh jatuh anytime.

Pernah sekali, she had to take the train sebab I went outstation and dia ada urusan kt luar. After so many pep talks, dia paksa jugak diri naik ktm. On the way pergi tu, semua okay tapi waktu nak balik ke rumah, pintu train takleh bukak. Penumpang terkurung dlm tu for 10 minutes.

She had panic attack sampai kena papah keluar. Malam tu jugak I fly balik rumah and paksa dia cerita semua benda. Kenapa dia boleh jadi sampai macam tu.

Apparently, masa degree dulu, dia tak boleh ikut style belajar kt Jepun. Way too stressful for her. Second year lagi dia dah rasa down but she pushed herself to the limit and called it a quit a semester before she was supposed to graduate. Sponsor was against her decision tapi wife tetap dgn pendirian dia.

Parents wife yang tolong settlekn urusan balik and since then, dia jadi mcm tu. Anxious tak tentu hala. Sebab masa studies selalu kena tegur dgn sponsor sebab results tak elok. Selalu dpt emails frm professors sebab assignments tak siap.

Worst, wife rasa she made a wrong decision. Dia cakap she should’ve stayed there and completed her studies. Baru la tak menyusahkan parents. I sikit pun tak rasa dia buat silap sebab she tried her best dah and dia bukan sengaja tak perform. Knowing her, dia jenis yang hardworking.

She just doesn’t have a good coping mechanism and I think benda tu bila-bila masa je boleh improve. I tanya kenapa tak terus-terang dgn I? For sure I could do something to help her back then.

Macam biasa, dia cakap taknak menyusahkan and tak surprising jugak la yang none of her siblings tahu pasal ni. Let alone her friends. Sbb in front of everyone, dia akn act like she’s all fine and happy. I rasa sedih sebab she’s such a small lady (for me) but she bears a huge sadness and burden.

I pujuk wife untuk jmpa psychologist and therapist and every single time dia kena ingat balik apa yang jadi and its effects on her, mesti dia akn nangis.

We got married 5 months ago and now I faham kenapa dia taknak anak. She wants to be the best mother but her condition won’t let her. After a few appointments, I dah boleh nampak some perubahan.

Sebelum ni dia takut sangat dengan orang mesin rumput. Dia cakap bilah mesin tu bila-bila masa je boleh terpelanting. Sekarang, dia dh boleh petik buah kat pokok masa abang dia mesin rumput.

Cuma, I selalu pesan, kalau rasa takut or risau, genggam tangan I kuat-kuat and do deep breathing. She does that every now and then but lately dah makin kurang I just hope people know that anxiety leads to depression. Macam wife I sedar yang dia ada anxiety and it prevents her from doing so many things.

Dia nak sangat baiki keadaan diri dia tapi tak tau nak mula dari mana. And orang depressed ni cepat rasa penat. So orang sekeliling kena banyak sabar and be understanding.

Before I end this confession, I wanna share my conversation with a dear friend masa kat US. He’s a psychiatrist. Dia bagi tahu, based on his calculated prediction, menjelang tahun 2030 nanti, Malaysia akan jadi negara no 1 yang suffers from depression.

Sebab our country is developing. And I can already see the signs. Especially among women. These days, semua benda perempuan kena buat. Kerja, jaga suami, uruskan anak-anak, some have to deal with in laws.

As if isteri yang kena navigate rumah tangga. I ada adik perempuan, I selalu pesan, berbaloi tunggu bertahun-tahun untuk kahwin asalkan kita betul-betul kenal hati budi bakal suami/isteri. Anyways, for those who also suffer from anxiety/depression, please, please, please seek professional help.

You can be healed. Go to klinik kesihatan or meet a specialist if you can afford. For me and everyone else, please be considerate of others. If you’re a leader at your workplace, please be a kind one.

I’m forever grateful to see my wife slowly improves and hopefully her life will only get better. In shaa Allah.

Okay, that was half an hour. Semoga bermanfaat. Assalamualaikum.

– Adam (Bukan nama sebenar) via iiumc via edisimalaya