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Tethering on the edge

It has been a week since I started feeling nothing again. The days alternate when I eat normally and when I don't eat anything at all. And I've been sleeping way too much. I fall asleep at 3-5 am and sleep the rest of the day. I barely do anything but I'm always tired.

Everything is just "blah".

I want to be human again, not this tangle of insecurities and apathy that just stares at screens all day.

Sometimes I think I just need to work to get out of this rut. But a part of me feels I'm too dysfunctional to work and I'm just too lazy. I know that's not true though.

I haven't been taking care of myself. I'm letting go of myself.

I just want to get out of this pit before I sink too deep again.

In "What Do You Care What Other People Think: Further Adventures of a Curious Character", the Chapter entitled "The Cold Facts"

He told this story about the debunking of N rays. He said it was proposed by André Blodel. I just fact-checked it; he confused him with another French scientist. René Blondlot was the one who 'discovered' N rays. Forgivable mistake... the names did sound alike. And when the book was written information wasn't as easily obtained as they are now. Galing ng internet. Hehe.

Taympers update, on "usefulness"

I had a great time at Taympers. The place was serene and relaxing (Taal Lake Conservation Center at Mataas na Kahoy, Lipa, Batangas). We even saw Howie Severino staying next door with some friends. I'm glad to have met fellow brave warriors from ADSP. The activities helped us in our journey to self-love and taking on the world despite our conditions (depression, social anxiety, GAD, schizophrenia, OCD, bipolar, etc). It was truly wonderful to meet people who understand your own brokenness, because they experience the same too. We are all alone together.

A week after I got back was a rather unproductive one. It was raining all week and that didn't help too -- I get all gloomy and lazy with this kind of weather. Yes, I had those "loser days" again where I don't get out of bed the whole day. I did go out to Haji's house because he had cold and fever and was home alone. I gave him sponge baths and massages and made him soup and tried to get him to eat despite his poor appetite.

Even if I feel empty, I am spurred to action when other people need me. Maybe being able to give myself in service to others is how I find meaning. I don't know if that's an entirely a good thing though. It might sound noble and selfless, but its flip side is the self-deprecation and gnawing obsession whenever I feel useless. If it's in the extreme, being self-sacrificial is also unhealthy. I'm not diagnosed with OCD but I think sometimes I can get obsessive-compulsive about this. Whenever I do something just for myself (instead of putting others first), I think I am a BAD PERSON (barrage of verbal insults ensues. I can still hear it in my head). And to assuage that unpleasant feeling, I do stuff even if it doesn't make sense. Like wash dishes and clean up stuff at the most random times.

He saw right through it.

"Why do you have to do that now? Why do you have to be so OC?? We planned on going out, and suddenly you do all of these."

"Because I'll feel useless if I don't do them right away."

"So what?"

"Then what's the point of existing if I'm useless?"

"Love, you don't have to do anything but be. Whether you're useful, or useless, I still love you. And for the record, you're not useless."

I couldn't help but burst into tears. He was the only one to see through it, my defense mechanisms, and affirm me like that. I know it's irrational, measuring my worth based on how "useful" I am to others. It's irrational yet it's my automatic thought process.

This is why I need grace. I need not, and cannot ever be, perfect, but I am made in perfect standing by His unconditional love and ultimate sacrifice.

I don't need to do anything to prove myself.

I am loved for who I am.

This is all I need to hold on to, ammunition against the lies of depression.


Lakeside view at Taympers

What we think we deserve

"Boracay! A well-deserved vacation."

"Worked 60 hours this week! I deserve to pig out! #buffet #eatmyheartout"

Sometimes I want to throw up with all the middle class entitlement I see on my social media feeds. By all means, enjoy your vacation, enjoy the things you can afford, the lunch you ate equivalent to a worker's whole day wage. It is not wrong to enjoy the finer things in life. But it is brutally tone-deaf, insensitive, to think that you are doing so because you *deserved* it. These things you can afford because of privilege, not some cosmic karma. So what makes you, bourgeois person, deserving, and not the worker who does manual labor under the scorching heat of the sun, putting in far more hours than you brag about?

What makes executives in comfortable offices deserving of 100X the salary of hardworking rank and file employees? Their education? Their connections?

You can tell me the economics behind wage inequity and why manual labor is cheap and so-and-so... but in the end we will all see that the "it's because we deserve it" trope is a myth. The middle class yakking about their gadgets and gizmos being taken away like it's the end of the world. Calling organized workers "entitled" for asking to raise the minimum wage to a LIVING WAGE and demanding for their basic rights. Oh the irony.

If we really all get what we deserve, matagal nang baligtad ang tatsulok.

That corner table


Behind the omniscient cctv, guarded by walls, down that corner table I sat 2 years ago. From midnight to 2 AM, writing down my goodbyes. Couldn't stop crying but i didn't care if people looked at me, I was decided, a bit apprehensive, hesitant, but could see no other way out. Simply ceasing to exist seemed to be the most attractive option. Didn't have a plan though, i thought of jumping off the footbridge just outside that McDonald's. I thought of running in front of speeding vehicles by the highway. But even in those final moments I was stopped by thinking about others (kawawa naman yung bus driver na masisisi).

I'm glad it didn't end there though. That night. I wouldn't have gone on to help more people, I wouldn't have met this amazing person who gives me a reason to go on. Every day after that night is now part of my second life.

Boundaries

I am not very good at keeping boundaries. I find it hard to say no, even at the expense of my own time, money, health, and well-being. I don't have to rehash history; I perfectly know this is rooted in being a "parentified" child, when I had to constantly sacrifice my own needs and wants for the sake of others. I was made to believe that I had to be sacrificial, otherwise I'm a horrible person who deserves to be subject to verbal abuse. And what of my own needs? What of it? They don't matter.

While this has molded me into an agreeable, people-pleasing person, of course it eventually led to burnout. Nobody can healthily undergo self-denial without being filled, and for no good reason other than putting what others want first. No wonder I thought I didn't matter. No wonder my self-esteem plummeted.

It's only now that I'm learning to say no, and to be honest, I still feel guilty about it. There's still the urge to be a "yes person" all the time, to be a martyr. But each time I say no, I choose how I want to spend my time. This is not selfishness, but keeping healthy boundaries. Because nobody will respect those boundaries if not for myself.

Tamang kilig lang

Me: Sa tingin mo, gaano tayo katagal magtatagal?
H: Bakit mo naman tinatanong yan? Sawa ka na ba sakin?
Me: Hahaha hindi no. Estimate mo lang. :p
H: Sa tingin ko mga 40 years. Bago ako mamatay at age 67. Of prostate cancer.

*in his bed, lying beside each other
Me: Are you happy?
H: Why are you asking these questions? Sawa ka na?
Me: Hindi. Wala lang. Kasi ang dalas natin mag-away recently. Nung christmas nag-away tayo, bago tayo pumunta sa splash island, tapos new year nag-away din tayo.
H: but we're here now, right? So it doesn't really matter. Of course i'm happy.

Mental health awareness - family version

People still think people with depression (and other related conditions like anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, OCD) just have a "coping problem" and "lack of faith". They should understand that it's a sickness, just like other physical ailment but it's an illness of the mind. It is not their fault. Just like other illness, it needs to be treated. People don't just "get over it" the way diabetics don't just "get over" diabetes by not eating too much sugar.

I had a conversation with my mother about depression. It was about another person, not me. I haven't really opened up to her about my case (she doesn't even know I'm actually diagnosed). This is the first time I got to hear her thoughts about it. It went down like this:

"Sa tingin ko lahat naman ng tao nadedepress. Part talaga yun ng buhay. Kasi pag tao ka mararamdaman mo talaga yung ups and downs."

"Pero hindi lahat ng tao nagiging clinically depressed."

"Oo nga, kulang lang sila sa pagcope. Lahat naman ng tao dumadaan sa mga problema, nasa pag cope lang."

"Kahit lahat ng tao nagkakaproblema, yung may major depression o severe depression iba rin pinagdadaanan nila."

"Kaya nga, bakit hindi sila maka-cope? Tsaka dapat nagdadasal sila, kapag may faith ka tapos magdasal ka automatic naman yun bibigyan ka ni God ng peace of mind diba?"

"Hindi rin automatic ah. Yung iba years pa rin nagsstruggle kahit ilang dasal o kahit gaano katindi pa paniniwala sa Diyos."

"Basta dapat kumapit lang sa Diyos. Yung friend ko nga si B*** O** grabe din pinagdaanan nun, may 6 na anak siya tapos inabandona ng asawa. Eh mayaman pa naman asawa nun. Tapos kung saan-saan na lang sila nakikitulog, kawawa naman. Tumira lang sila sa garahe. Pero ngayon meron na siyang anak na nakapagtapos, ang laki na ng sweldo tapos tumutulong sa kanya. Nakaka-inspire yung ganun diba? Kaya dapat kahit anong problema, maniwala ka na malalampasan din yun."

I know she means well pero medyo sala pa rin ang intindi niya. Hindi na ako nag-push masyado kasi sobrang daldal ng nanay ko, mas marami pa rin siya sinasabi kaysa sa akin. Lol. Someday though, I hope people would understand that mental illness IS A  REAL SICKNESS, and people struggling with it DO want to get better. They are doing the best they can. They are doing everything they can. Even if that means just getting out of bed, making a meal, taking a shower. Normal people take it for granted that they can do that every day but for some people just to be able to do that means winning the battle in your mind.

So Ji and I went out like this on Halloween.

The perfect joker laugh right there.

As we rode public transportation from our house to Cubao to Laguna, reactions varied from:
"Nyaaaay! Mumu!"
"Ayan na mga zombies! Train to Busan!"
"Uy si Dracula!"
"Frankenstein!"

No one got the reference.

At first I was kinda embarrassed doing that stunt but I got a kick out of people's reactions. Haha. The adventurous side prevailed.

That day was also the day I slurped down soy sauce and ate 2 siling labuyo because of a dare. And my mouth paid the price for it for about half an hour later. :P Grabe the things you make me do, ji. You carry me away with your excessive Ne. Haha. But I must admit, it was fun. :D

I deserve it.

That feeling when malaman mo na kapag kinukuwento ka ng kapatid mo sa kaibigan niya, puro reklamo.

"Si ate walang kwenta nakahiga na naman buong araw"
"Hindi man lang nagluto buong araw, wala man lang ginagawa"
"Kabuwisit siya lang ba may problema? Buti nga siya nagagawa niyang maging depressed lang. Kung pwede lang ganun na lang din gawin ko"

And the worst part is. I agree with her. Nagegets ko kung bakit siya nagrereklamo. Ako yung mas matanda, i work when I can, pero mas hardworking siya. Maraming beses ang loser ko lang talaga. At apathetic na ko sa mga nangyayari. Wish ko nga maaksidente ako o mawala na talaga sa mundo...para makuha nila claim sa insurance ko. Para kahit papano may kuwenta na ko.

Wala talaga kong kuwenta. Oo tama siya. Wala nga kong kuwenta.