It took me a long while before having the time to write another post.
Last year, I thought of revamping my site, giving it a new name, and even hired someone to create a logo and banner which I could use. I told myself that 2019 will be the very year I will get more serious with this blogging journey and so I geared myself up for the comeback.
I prepared this little blog, edited the site, drafted some posts, published some of it, and even prepared myself some topics I’d like to write about.
I told myself that 2019 will be my breakthrough! I even set myself a word for the year which was Mindful’ because I aimed to be just like that. But lo and behold, I was wrong.
Just as when I thought I am finally back from my dark pit, I experienced an even painful plunge back to my dark days. It was hard, it was dark, like my life, despite being blessed, always had something unpleasantly curated just for me.
2019 was, to be fair, a really blessed year for me and my family. We had some pressing issues like almost all people would experience in their lifetime. Needless to say, those issues weren’t to be categorized as hopeless case scenarios, except that I have (or had!) depression and anxiety on those times.
My depression and anxiety ordeals weren’t something I was ready to open up about back then. I wasn’t proud of having them because as much as they are both so hard to explain to anyone who’s never had any of it (and I would never, ever wish for anyone to acquire), the reasons behind the triggers and episodes may seem weird to other normal, mentally healthy people.
I remember the days where I would be doing groceries and while waiting for my turn to pay for the items, my heart would pound so hard and so fast all of a sudden and I can’t figure out why. It’s as if like I don’t have money to pay for the groceries but in fact, I do have.
I remember the days when me and my family would be stuck on the traffic, and even though I was just on the backseat with the kids and my husband’s the one driving the car, I’d get so silently anxious about something like us being hit by another car or encountering a rude driver and who knows what’s next. Having those thoughts would make me sweaty and stiff even though the car aircon’s working.
I remember the days when I don’t like every bit of myself. I would wake up unmotivated, grumpy, unloving or just plainly, achingly sad.
I remember being the cold and easily-irritated Mommy to my kids, feeling like I am someone they do not deserve. Thinking of how I aim to raise both of them being mentally and emotionally healthy but on my worst days, I am the most unloving human being towards them. It seems like I am inflicting some memories on their childhood that could eventually make them go through the same things their Mommy had been going through and that really frustrates me a lot even more. And made me hate myself even more.
I remember attending Sunday Holy Mass and listen to Feast talks (sometimes absent mindedly), praying and singing worship songs with arms up high while crying because I feel so down, at my all-time low and wondering if the world is going to be a much better place without my presence because most of the time, I feel like I am nothing.
Depression and anxiety. These two words summarized my 2018 and 2019. These illnesses made me feel numb yet aching, alive but not living, breathing but struggling.
I can go on and on but these are some of the hidden reasons why I decided to close my book from almost everyone and somewhat hid under a rock.
I can’t come up with contents that are happy, helpful, inspiring and worth-reading. I was stuck. My illnesses had been my writing block. And oh, what a huge, devastating block in general.
During my birth month (March 2019) I visited a pdoc and we talked for a bit. She made me tell her why I was in front of her. I cried like I have never cried before. The kind of ugly cry I can’t bear to show anyone even to my husband.
After listening to my story, the pdoc told me that depression and anxiety had been with me since childhood. That even though I had been a highly functioning human being, these had been with me for longer than I know.
She prescribed meds, explained the side-effects which terrified me, to be honest, and told me I had to stop breastfeeding. At the back of my head, while she was writing my prescriptions and telling me when I’d be going back to her clinic, I was already telling myself that suddenly stopping my breastfeeding journey wasn’t something I can do.
When I walked out of her clinic, I feel like somehow, a giant has lifted his other foot from my chest. There’s still the heaviness but it wasn’t as heavy as it has been prior to my visit.
I inquired about the prices of the meds at the nearest drugstore and boy they were expensive!!! I’ve gone home without a single pill with me as I wasn’t even sure if I’d go ahead with the medications because I can’t suddenly stop breastfeeding my youngest back then.
NOTE: The above action is not recommended!
Of course, the last 2 years weren’t all bad days. I still had good days. And on those good days, I sought ways on how I can heal from my mental illness. It wasn’t easy but the decision I made to walk to the hard path of seeking my healing had been an intentional decision of mine.
I joined support group sessions and attended therapies for my back. I also began talking to some close friends as well about the kind of battle I had been dealing with back then and doing that has amazingly lightened the load I had been carrying for so long.
Involving my husband as well by letting him know I struggle on my bad (or worst) days had also been a huge help for me. Ever since he understood what I have been dealing with, he’s become more understanding and caring and that made a great contribution to why I am still here. 🙂
I believe these helped me deal with my thoughts and mood swings. Although I have not been writing and publishing in this online space of mine, I have been journaling.
Gratitude Journaling really helped me a lot, too! It helped me shift my mindset to focus on the things I am grateful for rather than the things that would give me reasons not to love my life.
Another Note: I do not promote or recommend that you follow what I did as I have shared above. We all have our own coping mechanisms and unique circumstances. I was just lucky that I am one of the few ones who are able to cope and somehow heal by taking a more holistic path. Had it not worked for me, I would have gone back to a pdoc and take my medicines because the battle I have been in was also a pretty rough battle. ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR.
There’s ALWAYS Hope.
As of this writing, and even though the year 2020 hasn’t been kind to everyone in the world since its very beginning, I am surprisingly doing and feeling OK.
OK in a sense that I have not been having any low-mood episodes or any intense panic attacks for the longest time since December 2019.
Months ago, I can’t even see a single ray of hope as to when my struggle would end. I was even uncertain that it will even end. But tadah! Here I am. 🙂
And oh, hey, I prayed. I prayed really hard. Even though at my very worst days for the past 2 years, I still prayed. I asked for healing. I think the word asked would have been an understatement because there were a lot of lonely, ugly crying praying moments where I demanded that my suffering be taken away from me. And you know, the Lord indeed is a good God. He answered my very demanding plead.
Of course, not all days are good days. There are still bad, anxious days but thankfully, I am now able to manage. To be honest, I am happy. I am joyful. I am grateful. Long story short, I am now OK.
And I hope, (for real this time) to send some ray of hope to anyone who is on the battlefield right now. Hang on tight! There is always hope and the better days are indeed on its way.
Sharing below my IG post before the end of the year 2019:
Third and final note: If you or someone you know is struggling and needs immediate help, please call The National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) Crisis Hotline at (02) 8989-8727 or (0917) 899-8727 (or 0917 899-USAP). You may also try to get in touch with the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation (NGF) at (02) 8804-HOPE (4673), 0917 558 HOPE (4673) or 2919 (toll-free for GLOBE and TM subscribers).