Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Grand design

It has been around 2 months since Timo's recovery. It's not as if the depression lifted in one night, it has been a process. But there were some moments of highlight that mark the process of recovery, and the anger and hatred that once burnt have now been quenched. Like a storm in the sea it has now been stilled. What seemed to be a loud absence, now we see, has long been a silent presence. In the multitude of questions that seemed to be unanswered, there was patience and mercy, waiting for the moment to speak right into the heart behind the questions, and at the right time, it settled the clamor of the mind and rested the sorrow of the heart. And as Timo recovers, the vision and calling that we have are slowly beginning to form clearly again. We are currently working on a story to make it into animation. The depression we have experienced will not go into the drawer of life's cabinet. The sword that used to rip us apart, has now become the very weapon in our hands to draw its edge back to pierce the true opponent. As we recall the sorrow, we keep in mind those who are in it, and we remember GOD who has reminded us who we are. We do not assume one answer to every question of depressed or grieving heart - that would belittling the experience of each person has and every comfort would only be another jab. But to share what we see - with the eye of honesty that not many of us has, as a way to embrace you as your heart cries, and as we witness together how the gears rotate in contrast against each other, but works paradoxically to move the watch and how it, in the end, chimes beautifully according to the Clock Master's design.

Happy to be with you..

Depression sure has slowed us down. In those moments we felt like our joy has been robbed, our lives disoriented. We would wake up in the morning with sighs in our breaths, with weight in our chest, trying to gasp for hope (me, not Timo. Timo wished never to wake up), and to know that today might just gonna be the same, that change might not happen, it is not strange to start being suicidal. I remember having Timo slept for 4 days straight, waking up just to see me and smile, he didnt shower, he barely ate. At that time i havent completely understood what's he going through because he was just in pain and disappoinment and it must be hard for him to spill out everything, it would only evoke more pain.
Doubt and anger would arise in me seeing him like that, thinking that he's being slothful, that he's just trying to make excuse when he said my coming made him happy and helped him to sleep peacefully. His friends testified for him to me that he's a great and influencial man who knows what he's doing, is this really the man ? When i saw him on his bed, sleeping 4 days, while we should've been working, with all those doubts, hatred stirred up in me. I looked at him with utter contempt for a moment. And when my reason came back to me, i immediately regret it, i promised myself to love him more, knowing that Timo is not always like this, i've seen a glimpse of it, the man behind the glass, in his talk, in his eyes, in his smile when he recalls how he was in the past, when he corrects me, when he passes wisdom to me. But we never have too little of love, in spite of depression, we have happiness, destitute as we may be, but we have each other - and we are content.
And in slowing down, i get to see many precious things i wouldn't see before meeting Timo and his depression.

NOTE: Timo is in the process of recovery (yes, the depression has lifted! 😃) i will share more about the cause of his depression, how it was lifted, and how depression ruins us, and what we're working on now. 

A million dreams

"A Million Dreams" from greatest showman. They have beautiful shotss i want to draw them all ! 😍 If you haven't seen it, go watch it now (i have watched it twice and cant get enough of it).. 

Hanging on..

We've reached a point where we could laugh off the little savings we have left. Last night, however, something inside me just snapped. 
We plan to sell our cars cuz the bills are just too much, so we need to work separately. But I can't rely on Timo being left alone cuz last time i did for a month, he collapsed and being unorganized and ended up doing nothing. Which leaves me frustrated, our work is not progressing, why can't he be more effective, what if God would say that we are stupid and it's our fault not to believe in money? I was quite determined to ditch our calling and just go for something that make a lot of money for us. It's so hard to work with Timo in his state, It's quicker to do it myself, but then i have to do everything, just what do we have to do ? 

Timo has lost his passion, and i just think that he cant draw while the fact is he needs more time to recover, the time which i dont think we have. I grow impatient when we discuss our work and draw together, i thought if we cant work together anymore, there's no point to stay in this relationship any longer, which might sound silly cuz there's no correlation between relationship and work. I just thought maybe Timo would get upset of my impatience and would consider some other girl to help him cuz i feel ashamed to be easily frustrated towards him that it makes me think bad of myself and feel sorry for him to end up with me. But Timo is not that kind of guy, and so do i. We've never thought of considering some other guy or girl thinking, "i should've been with someone else." I've tried to bring myself think that way but it's so stupid no matter how i see it, cuz it would be all about me.
For love (and marriage) is not only about being happy, but to say that, "life would bring you misery, but i commit myself to go through it with you, to be there for you, to share in the suffering with you, and to give thanks to the God who gives me companion to enjoy the fullness of joy and glory in sharing it all." So, in keeping myself reminded of all this, i pray GOD would give me the patience when GOD is rebuilding what's been broken. 

Christmas 2017

Having heard the suicide of the famous Korean personel and other people's stories of depression and pain, i remember how Timo expressed his anger towards GOD by saying, "JESUS is not relevant. His life and death is not relevant." And frankly, at those times, it felt so true that i even at loss for words to say the contrary. But this month the church has been preaching about His coming, His life, and His death, and with that, something in our hearts started to change. 
I used to think that it is a privilege to share in CHRIST's suffering, but that made Timo to even harden himself. I forgot the truth that He came first willingly to us, in order to share in OUR suffering, too. We start to understand what compassion truly is! Compasson is not having that feeling of pity when we see others in unfortunate state. JESUS shows us by coming to this world that compassion means to "suffer with", to "share in one's suffering", to come to a person and cry with him, and to be willing to share the burden of his pain and walk through it together. 
He even came especially to the rejected, needy, unworthy, hopeless, desperate, depressed, broken, outcast, hungry, sick people. He took them and embraced them. He cried with them, sit with them, died for them. 

And as i write this, i pray that you, you who are in pain, who feel lonely, who feel worthless, who suffer loss, who have no friends, that you might lower your guard, bring your hardened heart, expose your disguise, and pour out your tears to Him. It took me more than a year to come to this. I thank GOD for what we've been through, i thank GOD for Timo. ❤️ May our hearts find joy and peace as we remember and ponder what christmas brings. Merry christmas ! 

And HOPE dawns...

2017 has been the lowest point of many of us, including myself.. but if i look back to what i lost, i would say that im glad that i lost many things. Things that i held on to prove myself to the world; career, independence, ambition, security, my pride in what i do. All because of one man, this honest, great, wonderful, funny, vulnerable man. But if in losing all those i have gained freedom for being who i truly am, i've gained a bigger dream, and above all, i've gained knowledge to truly understand faith, hope, and love, have i truly suffered loss ? 

This christmas timo and i are reminded of what hope is. Hope is not optimism. Optimism is the expectation that things will get better. Hope speaks of a Subject. We hope because we trust the One who is in control. What would happen? What will the future be in the midst of evil ? We dont know, for who hopes for what he sees ? But we can hope because Hope came to us in the form of Light. 

The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn't overcome it. And we who have seen the Light has seen glory, and that true glory is not in having praise from men, nor money for security, nor power for identity, in these people are seeking to fill the hole in their lives. But He came to become like man, in humility like a servant, and in His suffering we witness the greatest glory displayed! Knowing this, Timo and i are able to embrace our depression, in hope, that we may see glory beyond what we comprehend. We send this light to those who also need it, may hope visit you in your greatest fear and darkness.

Let them say, my love..

Ah, let them have all what the world offers in its glitters, love.
Let them put labels on one's life as blessed when it's (seemingly) perfect, and others' disagreeable when it's (seemingly) defective - because nothing can be more deceving than this. 

Ah, you know this, love; Those long hours of talk getting to know each other deeper, those long hours reading books together, sharing our minds, exchanging thoughts, opening up about our fearful past, unsettling present, and hopeful future, whether at home, in the car, in the cafe, or in distressing hours at office, locking our eyes on each other, listening to each other's fears and dreams, contemplating and sharing about the beauty of the sky, and above all, sharing our amazement on our LORD's great love - these are more valuable than those fancy stuff they're parading and more than 'perfections' they're clamoring about.

Remember those times, love. Remember our times in this dark hours. Let us embrace every sadness and pain while we have it now, so we may remember how we also understand Hope. 

"Do you still love me?"

Since depression disabled him in many levels, it is often that i become insecure. We fight sometimes, and mostly out of my insecurities. Not long ago we got into arguments, how i came to distrust his love, uncertain how much i am loved. We spent hours in tears and silence, in distress and incomplete statements. On the edge of letting go, we managed to explain our misunderstandings, by letting our hearts remind us how we truly love each other, thus setting aside how much we wanted to succumb into our own assumptive truths. 

One of the most beautiful thing about reconciliation is the establishment of stronger trust and love, and after all that happened, we lied down on the floor, feet on the bed, he looked to me and asked the former question. My heart was overwhelmed. The question itself tells how much he loves me, what's more to fear ? After a long pause, i asked, "do you still need an answer ?" He nodded and i whispered in tears, "i love you so much." @gratimocious i still do, and will always do. 

Embracing you

Two things i contemplated few weeks ago : 

1. I know Timo used to draw a lot and he has the talent that not many have. But in the last 2 years, depression seems to have burnt out everything. He can still talk about all the knowledge but having trouble to pour it out in the act. There're times when i cant see Timo's potential and i forget of what he is capable of, and often time i find myself belittling him in my heart, and as i thought of this, i was struck with shame, what a horrible person i am, and immediately repented. 

2. I used to think that i have sacrificed many things for Timo. But there're times when Timo shows me his love in little actions make me think that his love is even bigger towards me. It is easier to say that you love in your state of abundance, but Timo loves me in his state of deficiency (!) -- i might write a whole essay on this cuz this is DEEP. 

PS : sorry for the lack of update on our depression story, it's not easy to draw on this all the time. #depression#depressedartist #coupleillustration

The Flowershop

Under the sakura tree

Miss you..

  • I've been away from @gratimocious for only 2 days and i miss him already.. 🙈😳


There were times when my love couldnt reach him. Depression numbed him, and i struggled with the feeling of worthlessness and being unloved. I would be consumed with doubts of his love for me, and he would hurt himself after knowing how much he has hurt me. His depression wouldnt let him helping his ratio to self-evaluate to be a better person. In fact, it would make him succumb to guilt and blame himself, thinking he IS a mistake. Many times i wanted so much to harden myself, getting tired of this, and let go of his hand. But two things i have always remembered when i was about to give up. One, how GOD never gives up on loathsome sinner like me. Two, how Timo and i met.. And both, would induce love to my heart again to reach Timo, and hold his hand. @gratimocious 
#depression #coupleillustration

Having each other

Friends, allow me to say thank you for your concern and support for us. Let me encourage you to keep following our story to be witnesses of the great work of Love and Hope in this evil and momentary life of two weak people, and of the world.

When i met my friend in Japan, i was struck with despair as he told me about the good things that're happening to our mutual friends. In addition, i was comparing myself with other artists on insta, so i snapped. Are the blessings of GOD only counted in how succesful, how smooth things go, how well things are, how they got promoted, etc ? I was envious. Why do we have it so rough? Why cant we be happy like them? But you see.. I have never wanted to be like anybody else, or having a life like anybody else. I couldnt deny a feeling of relief and gratitude. Im grateful for Timo, for the things that're happening to us. I have always believed that suffering is a privilege one can have under the hand of God. But sometimes when you are in the deep pit, you can only see darkness around you. 

So as i explained to my friend how bad things are, i couldnt leave out how grace has been overshadowing us. As i told him how i witness the Unseen hand have been sustaining us, my senses came back to me. This long hard journey with Timo has been a blessing in a way that i get to walk hand in hand with this wonderful man everyday. To get to know a person deeply and fully is a joy in loving someone. And how Timo loves me makes me understand what love truly is - and it can only be tested and revealed to be true in its most vulnerable state. It is certainly unfair for me to have said there has been no mercy.. We have laughter. We have love for each other. We embrace like not many do. We get to enjoy many things together, and is this not from God ? We are happy. Happy to have each other.

If i were to see myself 60 years ahead, i would look back and still consider myself lucky (blessed) to be with this man. He is a wonderful man (and funny :D). I feel privileged to be in this journey with him. And EVEN IF this darkness would not depart... It would be my privilege to witness how those Unseen hands make us persevere until our time comes to its end.


It's been more than a year since we quit our job to do our dreams together. We were quite sure of what we're called to do. Or so we thought. 

In the midst of anxiety to somehow still earn money, we have worked on some things. We drew comics for Patreon, we made stories, we did few animations, we tried to sell things on instagram, we tried freelance, and not one of them, NOT ONE, has made through as we expected. People say it's our ego (or idealism). Is it not preposterous ? GOD gives us great capabilities and we are told to dumb our talent down in order to get some money. There might be some pride in rejecting it, i dont know. But, Is not life more than just making money? We're torn between doing GOD's calling and earning small money. By then, we feel we dont belong anywhere anymore.. 

But then, has God really called us to do this ? In our battle of unbelief whether GOD really calls us and whether He will provide along with the 'reality facts' demands, we go downward spiral into the bitter circle of deep anxiety - fleeting comfort. All the graces we have seem to depart from us. Whatever promises, whatever encouragement, whatever words which seem to be good seed for us spoken from the pulpit withered. We dont feel mercy, we feel betrayed. In our pursuit of this calling, we left everything, but it doesnt get us anywhere. The pressure of status quo choked us, we have no money, no job, dream shattered, no community, we avoid people coz we're too afraid to be asked on our circumstances, we have nothing but failures in our records. At one point we stopped. We stopped reading the bible, we stopped praying, we stopped hoping. Our skill and passion seem to have burnt out, we're petrified to take a step, afraid how God might betray us, many times we cry and we feel hopeless. At another point we're aimless and questioned the purpose of our lives. 

If life is about worrying about making money, being successful, getting married, why the gift ? Why the talents? Why do we feel abandoned? Why did we meet ? Are we really called to do this ? Will You not betray us ? #depression #depressedartist#depressionillustration #thewhyquestion


We thank our friends who reached out to us. Though we still not sure how to deliver the story in the more precise and honest way in order to avoid any misunderstanding, im still determined to draw on this issue. So pardon me if there's any confusion. My purpose has never been for pity. The faintest star can only be seen as bright behind a dark sky. At the end of the story, i hope for light to be seen so bright for those in darkness to see. 
For the last 3,5 years, timo has been having mental and spiritual depression. When we started our relationship, i thought my love could cure him. But as i sacrificed myself for him, i grew impatient, angry, even to one point where i felt contempt towards him. 
His depression soon affected me mentally and spiritually as well. We were a mess. Eveything good in us was distorted. Our mindset, discipline, knowledge, relationship with others, things that we used to love to do we didnt do anymore.

Many times i wanted to give up on him. I wondered why i stay with this man. I lost many things because of him. But i gain the most precious thing - love. I understand now that my love can never cure him. It's too imperfect, there is selfishness in it. Through Timo i understand why CS Lewis wrote, "There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable.." (I've read The Four Loves and it was my favorite CS Lewis book so far). And then i see Greater Love enfolds him. It is faint, but it is there. I cant see it, but i see it. It feels so distant, till i desperately hope it would come near for me to see clearly. But i finally realised only that Love would be able to save Timo, i finally able to lay down my pride and ego and selfishness, and praying for that Love to deliver him. 
Ps : this image wouldnt come out as good as it is if it's not for Timo directing the lighting! He's so good! 😘Thanks heapss, hun ! @gratimocious #depression#depressedartist #coupleillustration

Wow !

Sorry i have long been abandoning this blog ! But im still here and will never ever close this blog. I will update this blog with abundant of posts now. But if you dont like to miss my posts, please go follow my instagram account @hanaqnoi. I always update that first, but dont you worry, i'll always be coming back to this blog. 

Friday, September 15, 2017


As we saw the responses we got from sharing last picture, we were glad, but then we were afraid. 
We are suddenly aware of the exposure that might happen. I, too, feel the weight as i decided to reveal the truth. And we're not sure if we're ready for it. 

Humans have been trained to create a system of defence to protect themselves from any fall, to avoid disappointment, to run away from things that we know might bring us harm. And they become cold, distant, they become... strong. But is it real strength ? 
I have never met a more honest person than Timo. He came up to me not with strength, but weaknesses, the first impression i have for him is that he is vulnerable. And to the world, vulnerabilty IS a weakness. 

While the world is teaching people to become strong, Timo has been teaching me to become vulnerable. And in my eyes, that's his strength. 
But right now, we are afraid. How afraid we are to be exposed for who we are, to be exposed to criticism and judgement from those who are sinister to weakness, from those who would be happy to see us in this pit. We suddenly reluctant to share this issue, realizing how we could be under a spotlight to become a subject of mere curiosity, or a subject of mockery, of gossip, of pity. Oh, the possibility of us being hurt further instead, it might even jeopardise our relationship. 
The choice then is not to share until deliverance come, or to share only my part in this ordeal.