世界將我包圍  黃志華

別期望志華的過去,有什麼感人肺腑、高低起伏的情節。

36歲的志華是思覺失調康復者,在25歲那年首度發病,「那時在空運公司當文員,可能上班時間日夜顛倒,都頗大壓力的。」「那時覺得整個世界圍著你,人家每說一句話,做每一個行為都可能是形容自己、指點自己,總覺得收音機的內容是在形容自己,這個情況維持兩星期左右,後來父親感到有些問題,便帶我到油麻地睇街症精神科。」

志華心細,像你我一樣,求職前也會秤量自己的情況,那些能說,那些不能,「有這病要定期覆診,四個月一次,找工作也有困難,因為要遷就覆診日期,但又不想告訴僱主為何請假,如果說是看精神科,當下沒人聘用,稍為有智慧的人也不會說出來,要找點藉口,所以夜診的需求真的有。」

「家中三兄弟讀書最多是我,讀到大專,修讀製造工程」,志華學歷不俗,惜時代巨輪一轉,跟不少香港人一樣,敵不過神州大地,「這是夕陽行業,工廠當然找人工便宜的地方設廠,北上後人家掌握了知識和技術,人工便宜得多,老闆當然聘請當地人,怎會那麼愚蠢再聘用香港人,因為香港人的人工貴很多。」

香港人最關心居住問題,志華亦然,04至08年間,他曾經入住中途宿舍,他有感職員處事挑剔,自己不被尊重,曾經向宿舍反映亦不得要領,後來經社協協助,在2008年透過恩恤安置上公屋。

獨居生活自由自在,難得亦有規律,沒有胡來,「如果早起便上街吃早餐,之後回家再睡一會兒,如果十一、十二點起床便上街吃午飯,最重要節目是去宿舍消磨時間,那裡有朋友聊天,消磨兩小時便回家,聽歌、上網、看書,晚上看電視,臨睡前有習慣就是聽電台鄭子誠的音樂情人。」

對生活,志華帶點矛盾,既已接受患病的事實,但又慨歎很多事情、很多工作也不勝任;既接受了獨個兒的沉悶,又憧憬組織家庭的歡愉。或許,志華的故事很平凡,說的、聽的、吃的、愛的、想的,跟大多數人沒兩樣,是他,也是你和我。

Encircled By The World   Wong Chi-wah

Don’t expect any dramatic ups and downs in Wong Chi-wah’s life. 

Thirty-six-year-old Chi-wah was first diagnosed as exhibiting the early signs of psychosis when he was 25. “I was working as a clerk in a freight company. Perhaps because of the odd work hours, I found the job stressful.”

Chi-wah became lost in his own world. “At the time the whole world seemed to be closing in on me,” he says. “I felt that everything that other people said or did were directed at me, and felt that the radio programmes were all talking about me. This lasted for about two weeks, before my father noticed the problem and took me to a clinic in Yau Ma Tei.”

Chi-wah has a good sense of his own situation. Like most of us, he knows what he can and cannot say when he’s being interviewed for a job. “I have to go for a check-up once every four months. So it’s not easy finding a job that fits, because I have to be able to take leave for the doctor’s appointment and I can’t tell my boss the reason. If people knew I had a mental illness, no one would hire me. So anyone with some intelligence would know he has to find an excuse,” he says, adding, “There’s really a need for night clinic.”

Of the three brothers in his family, Chi-wah is the most educated, having received a post-secondary education in manufacturing engineering. But he was caught out by the changing times: mainland China’s opening up means tough competition for Hong Kong’s manufacturing industry. “It became a sunset industry. Factories would of course be set up in places with low labour costs. As they move up north, and as the skills and knowledge of mainland workers improve, why should factory bosses pay more for a Hong Kong worker when he can get the same with a low salary up north? Nobody would be so stupid.”

Many Hongkongers have trouble finding suitable housing, and Chi-wah was no exception. Between 2004 and 2008, he lived in a halfway house for recovering psychiatric patients. Chi-wah says, staff members at the halfway house were nit-picking and did not respect the patients. So he wanted out. He moved into a public housing unit in 2008, with help from the Society for Community Organization. 

Living alone, Chi-wah nevertheless keeps to a routine in his daily life. “I'll have breakfast if I wake early. If I wake at about 11am or noon, then I’ll go for lunch. The most important programme of the day is to kill time at the halfway house. I spend a couple of hours there chatting with friends, then go home to listen to music, surf the internet and read. At night, I watch television. And I like to fall asleep to the Music Lover radio programme hosted by Cheng Tse Sing.”

Chi-wah’s life is full contradictions: though he’s accepted the fact of his illness, he laments the things he can’t do because of the limitations; and, while he’s got used to the boredom of living alone, he longs for the pleasure of having a family. In a sense, Chi-wah’s story is ordinary – what he sees, hears, eats, thinks and loves are no different from the experience of the average person. In short, he’s just like us. 

© 2017 Dustin Shum via Visura