Dear Andy

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“For all that its worth I would have loved you until the end,
But I’m cold in your heart and you’re branded into mine.”
– Cold, Novo Amor

Your mom told me that you would love again, and when you do, you shouldn’t give it your all. Cliche, I know, but most of all, it just showed me how much I’ve grown apart from what she thought I am.

I love myself, of course. I try my best to be honest with how I feel, and I do try my best to love myself as much as I can. And part of loving myself is giving love as much as I can, not only to myself, but also to others.

What kind of person would I be, to think that I’d be loved fully, if I wouldn’t do the same to the other person? What kind of person would I be, to ask to be loved as I am, when I do not give my all? What kind of person would I be, to ask to be loved with no reservations, when I hold myself back?

I can almost feel my psychiatrist stare at my nape, knowing that I am fully aware of how risky it is to my well-being. My idealism, that is.It’s almost self destructive, I know. Self destructive because I am setting myself up for days when I could probably end up hurting again, and there isn’t much assurance as to how well I can handle it every time. Almost. Because if it turns out well in the end, I know I’d be happy. Perhaps it’s just that I have been hurt so many times by so many people in so many ways that I know that it is just part of my life now, that it is totally inevitable. Perhaps I have come to terms with the permanence of pain in my life. Not as a constant companion, but an old friend who visits me from time to time to remind me that I could only get stronger whenever I go through times like these. Ultimately, I have accepted that getting hurt would always be there, and that I shouldn’t be scared of it. And if pain would come and go, it would be nothing compared to the happiness that I could find different places, different people, and different circumstances.

I have also come to terms with myself. That this is who I am. That I would dive headfirst into something that I am passionate about, unafraid of getting hurt, if necessary. I might be an idiot for putting so much on the stake in the hopes of getting what I want. I am an idiot, I admit. Overly optimistic, even. And that’s fine, as long as it is my conscious choice to be one.

Someone asked me once why I’m so jaded with love, considering that I am still young. Well, it’s because it’s not just about love, giving and receiving it, the lack thereof, and such things. Mostly, it’s because of the things that come with it. It includes the kind of openness I give and ask. It has something to do with the vulnerability that comes with that level of openness. It has something to do with letting someone in after someone left and stormed the whole place.

I’m not in a hurry though. I am enjoying the solitude. I am enjoying the independence. And honestly, I have learned to appreciate my friends even more. I really do. Someone once told me that I have a bad habit of keeping things to myself too much. He is right, of course. But with what happened recently, I have realized how good it could be if I let others help.  I have realized how lucky I am that I have them in my life, and that I have found my people– those who understand me as I am, those who know my faults and everything, those who’d accept and be there for me when their idiot friend comes back running to them.

So yes, I am an idiot. My mind thinks I am strong enough to get hurt, and I won’t get scared, as long as it’s worth the risk. And life has compensated that idiocy with the amazing people I have in my life.

Andy, you and I both have no idea what went wrong. Or maybe you do, and you just cannot face it yet. Or maybe you know, yet you still continue to blame yourself even when he said it wasn’t about you.

Regardless, you know that you are a brave girl. Do what you must, and go through all the pain, shed all the tears, and when you stand up under the covers, you know that you are braver and stronger than you were the night before.

This wasn’t written on a particularly good day, but you know that you need to do this for yourself. You need a reminder, somehow, that you still haven’t lost your mind, and as long as you have that, you shall never be defeated.

You are a brave girl, you’ve been through a lot, you’d be through a lot more, but you are not alone. When all else fails, you know who to call. When you can’t take it anymore, you know who’d fight your fight for you until you can do it yourself.

Only you can help yourself, Andy. You know that. But don’t push people away from your life. Just let them love you, let them care for you, because it might not be the solution to your problem when time is , but still, it’s something you can’t live without.

Be brave, because you are. Trust your friends, because they are dependable, and you are lucky to have them as much as they are lucky to have you.

Til then, Andy. Til then.

Wednesday, Jan 20 2016

A lot has been written about this subject that I feel that me writing this is redundant and moot at this point. However, I feel the need to do so because it seems like writing things down is the best way for me to communicate with myself. So yes, I am writing this mostly for myself. Perhaps for some selfish reasons, but also because I don’t expect this to help anyone in anyway. I just don’t think I’m inspirational enough for that.

Living with depression is like constantly being at sea, with no assurance if and when the next wave comes back, if you still have an anchor attached to your ankle weighing you down, if you can swim on your own this time, if you need help– and if you do, how much, and ultimately, what happens after. Of course you’d want to survive, but the question is, would it change you this time, and if it does, to what extent and how?

It’s been almost a week since I felt it creeping in. It was about the same time, coincidentally, when I received an email from one of the psychiatrists I was considering to consult, asking me if I still need help. I haven’t replied yet, until now, because I’m not completely sure if I do. So here are the things that I have learned to do to keep myself functioning well, to say the least.

First is to tell yourself that things are probably just normal and that they’re just a lot worse and scarier in your mind. I’ve had paranoid thoughts about almost everything, and the first time it happened to me, I literally left a place because it was too much for me to handle. I was physically unable to do everything because the thought of everything going bad was just too much that it leaves me unable to move or do anything  productive at all.

Second is to allow yourself to be honest with how you feel. There were times in the previous week when I would just feel sad or start crying without any reason why. There probably is a reason for it, but I haven’t worked that out yet, so the most that I can do is to admit that I am crying for reasons completely unknown to me, and that’s okay. As long as I just let it out and not dwell on in, I should be fine. Sometimes, pain is just too much that there are no words for it, and all you could do is cry. I try to write it down, and still, after years of trying, I haven’t completely encapsulated it into a single piece. But that’s kinda what makes it beautiful, isn’t it? The fact that the attempt to write it down, and the failure to do so, is what keeps me writing, and as long as I write, I feel better. Sometimes I listen to really cathartic songs, and after crying, it just makes me feel a lot better and a lot more motivated to stay happy and afloat. There are times when I just want to sing, or draw, or write, or play the guitar, or read while listening to music, I don’t know. As long as it is a positive activity, I think it’s ok . The same goes for any emotion, actually. I guess the key is to find what works for you– any way for you to let your emotions out.

Third, as always, is to appreciate the small moments in life. As I promised myself a few years back, I do not want a glamorous life, or an extravagant one. I just want a quiet life for me and my loved ones. And that means finding the beauty on the simplest things. I have learned to slow down a busy day by finding time to eat a hearty meal and having a cup of tea. I have learned to focus on that small feeling in my heart when my partner holds my hands (which hopefully is not heart arrhythmia hahaahahah).

Fourth is just be yourself. I have a weird way of saying things, slightly dark humor, and a whole lot more, and I know that not everyone could tolerate me as much as my friends and family do. That’s why it’s important to be yourself especially around people who know you. This way, you’d know that you may feel down, or you’re not completely alright, but that’s okay because that’s what our relationships are for. It might not be the case for everyone, but a t least for me, the mere thought that I have these wonderful people around me just makes me feel that no matter how deplorable I see myself to be, there are still those who think otherwise, and would really stick with me. And what better way to show my gratitude by trying harder to love myself? Yes, it is true that we must love ourselves, but it’d be hypocritical of me to say that I never needed another reason to do so. I sometimes feel like I cannot even live with myself, and it is only for their sake that I try my best not to let myself down. Again, it possibly isn’t the case for anybody else, but it works for me, and at least is an interesting perspective to look at.

Fifth, take care of yourself. There is nothing like a nice shower to start or end your day. Sometimes, I feel so lifeless and unmotivated so I just lay in bed doing nothing. Then things change when I get up and take a shower. Just take time to take care of yourself. Doesn’t it feel good to feel so fresh after a shower, then eat something nice or read something interesting afterwards, preferably with a nice drink of your choice? This also includes reminding yourself that you might not be completely alright, but the world doesn’t stop for that. There are students to teach, evaluations and plans to write, I have an indoor plant whose little life relies on me, and people who’d worry about me if I don’t take care of myself. So yes, again, if I cannot take care of myself for my own sake, at least for this time, I must do so for others’.

Sixth is to allow yourself to make mistakes once in a while. For the past few months I had gotten a pretty good standing in my job, and I can say that I’m doing pretty well. However, it came with a little more responsibility and a little more stress. It gets me at times, but I have to remind myself that as a young individual, I am bound to make mistakes. Not as an excuse for anything wrong that I could possibly make in the future, but because I know that I am just bound to. I tend to rush into things sometimes, or get into something too much, or anything else that could possibly screw me up in some ways, and I have to accept that it’s gonna happen. Just like this time, I’m just rambling on and on and I totally lost my structure but heck, I just wanna write. I’m not planning to submit it for anything whatsoever soooooo yeah.

Seventh, is to not push yourself too much. Yes, we must persevere to achieve what we want, but anything excessive is bad. Case in point is this very thing I’m writing now. I cannot think of anything else to write about, as these seem to be all that’s in my mind for now. I’m stopping here because there’s no use in pushing my mind to think of things I’d pretend to help someone else. And also because I have a class in a few minutes.

To anyone who managed to read up to this part, thank you so much. I really have to stop writing now. Please do share your thoughts if you so desire. Have a good day!

Oh No You Didn’t.

Optimism.
You throw the word around
Like sprinkles on your donut.
It slaps me in the face
And spits on my cheek.

So don’t you dare say,
I can do it anyway
For there are nights I cannot,
And days my body will not.

Strength.
You say it like it’s the cure for all.
It punches me in the head.
It keeps me under my bed.

So don’t wave those hands of yours,
Like this is something anyone enjoys,
For strength is a paint that wears out,
Underneath is the weak who can’t even cry or shout.

You look happy.
You say it as a compliment.
And maybe it really is,
For all the pretentiousness.

For the lips smile,
And the voice may laugh,
But the eyes are dead,
Everything’s pretend.

Mistake.
You say it like as you puckered your lips.
And I’d raise my eyebrow at you.
Push it, and perhaps a finger too.

For you say it like it’s a person’s flaw.
A mark that says this person’s error.
But tell you what, the truth is what you never saw.
To be happy with what you see in the mirror.

“Depression.”
You quote it like it’s an invented word.
Like a made up word for fancies of the mind.
You make me sick and my stomach grind.

For one to get over it,
For one to leave the bed,
Is like reaching a mountain’s summit.
And for you to say that,
It keeps all efforts dead.

Don’t be depres…

Don’t be depressed. Stop being depressed. Too much stress and depression can lead to cancer.

It’s one thing  to hear something that’s so wrong on so many levels. But worse than that is to hear them from someone you least expected to hear it from. I feel so bad hearing this  that I cannot even begin to articulate each and every wrong idea, word, thought, or concept from those sentences, I lost hope on the possibility of being understood when I heard, “Stop being depressed.”

And while this is a brief resurfacing from my frequent disappearing acts (including the resurgence of my poems), there still are a lot of things that are brewing in my mind.

A Letter To Myself

A Letter To Myself

A Letter To Myself

21 March 2014

Dear Andy,

Unlike common letters of encouragement to one’s self, this was not written on your good day. It was, in fact, written on probably one of your worst.

Okay. Breathe in as much air as you can. And then, very slowly breathe out. Better?

Two nights ago, you cried your eyes out AGAIN. And as expected, the next morning, you had your puffy eyes and the “headache of the century.” Took you one whole day to sleep that one off, huh?

Well, just as you were cooking dinner a while ago, you felt like crying again. But you wanted to keep it together this time. You wouldn’t want another nasty headache.

This is basically it. Every once in a while, something throws you off the grid, but we have to learn to keep it together, ok?

Shut off every single nasty memory in your mind right now. The hurtful words before are long gone. And it won’t help remembering them. And yes, I understand that they don’t come out on your will, they just bubble up on their own, and it’s frustrating, but we can’t get stuck right there, can we?

Remember the fun stuff that make you smile. Those times when you really laughed out loud. When stayed up late to keep you company. To avoid you from thinking too much.

Re-read chat boxes and conversations if you must. It’s totally ok. Better? Good.

These days, your nape would also probably ache a lot. Can’t look at people in the eyes? Can’t keep your head up?

Think of all the poems that you’ve written. Some people even liked it. Some people find your voice nice. You highly doubt your abilities, but at the very least, you managed to discover the things that make you feel good. And that’s awesome!

Think of all those who’ve put up with you. Gotta give them credit for that. Yup. You know they deserve it. Because you can be quite a handful. A frustration even. Butsome stick with you, and that’s a lot to be thankful for. You are loved.

Next, let go of the hate. Please. This is very hard to do, but you can do it. Little by little. Day by day.

Forgive yourself. Don’t always blame yourself for things you know you aren’t responsible for.

Celebrate small things. Got out of bed today? Good. Shook of a nasty thought? Good. Music may come back a little late again, but it’s ok. It’ll come back. You know your voice will come back when it’s time. Just so you wait.

Listen to feel good music. Remember when you listened to Dont Stop by Foster the People for hours so you would feel better? Because you didn’t want to cry? How about that time you listened to Stop Crying Your Heart Out while ironically, you were crying more in every loop in makes? Or when you re-discover long hidden songs in your 500+ collection of songs? That’s kinda cool too.

Just find a comfortable place to be in. Read this or a book while listening to music. And every few minutes, stop reading, lean back, close your eyes and just listen to every word on the song. Breath slowly.

Also, drink water. Plenty of water. You tend to neglect water on your bad days. Don’t. It’ll make you feel worse, and the last thing that you would want right now is a physically ill body.

*Think of happy thoughts. Think of happy thoughts*

You need to be above this. You need to regain control of your own mind. When bad thoughts come in, shake your head off. You know it helps. And think of something funny. Or do something. Anything. Distract yourself. Like writing a letter to your future self. It’s been a very effective distraction, I tell you.

Get out of bed. Take a refreshing shower. Get out. Keep your music on. Walk outside. You don’t have to do anything. Just go out. The sun is right outside, and it’s for everyone. Sometimes your curtains are too tight so the light can come in, or maybe your window is too small, but when that happens, you have to know that you have to get out there to get the light you need.

Get out there. Live outside your head. Write. Play the guitar. Sing. Draw. Sing in the shower. Do whatever. Visit your friends. Turn your music on and dance a bit. Stretch a little.

Days like this one you are in right now, you have to keep it together. Survive on day at a time. Breathe slowly and try to smile. Try not to cry a lot.

You can go through this. You can. You know you can, you will, and that there is no other way.

Yay Soundcloud

Yay Soundcloud

Being Part 2 of my “getting-out-there” thing (this wordpress page being Part 1), I finally managed to resume this part after being set aside for 4-5 months. To those who’s willing to risk their time for this, thank you so much, and please be warned of the background noise, as they’re all raw. And to those who know me in real life (you guys know who you are), I, from the deepest recesses of my soul, plead to your kind conscience to please NOT share them outside soundcloud/wordpress. I know it’s the opposite of getting out there. but still.

And Ingrid Michaelson says that “all I can do is keep breathing”

i just need to get this off my chest.

There are times when you just suddenly stop midway of saying a stupid joke, only to suddenly, unexplicably, realize and feel like YOU are outside yourself, or your mind. A brief feeling of complete dissociation from yourself, until within a snap of a finger, questions begin pooling in–who are you? is this really you? whose body is this? are you sure this is yours? if it is, then why do you feel dissociated? Then you’d get  scared with all the questions you can’t answer, or probably because you are also terrified if there is actually an answer to that, and so you realize that you’ve been dumped into another momentary trance of questions and deep philosophical musings. But you’d get weirded out, because it really is terrifying to experience that, right in the middle of reaching out for your second serving of vanilla ice cream.

There are also times that you’d feel like you do not live in this world. Or that this isn’t the same platform where your mind lives in, or that you see things differently, or that somehow, there is a great disconnect between you and your surrounding. And it is terrifying, one because you do not know if this is a common phenomenon for everyone, or if this makes you slightly insane, or if this really proves your frail grasp of reality. Two, because it is terrifying to tell this to anyone because you aren’t even sure if you’d be taken seriously, or if they’d think you’re kinda smug or feeling superior over everyone else. Also, being 20 does not help because they’d think you’re a self absorbed individual who believes that you’re above others, that you are a deep individual (and many people correlate that to age, and that sucks) who must be separated from the rest because your mind is probably contemplating on the frailty of human existence while others are…well…doing stuff your age usually do (and if anyone misinterprets that into thinking that I’m an intellectual elitist, sorry to disappoint you, but I just have a certain affinity to sarcasm, and you don’t have to be a genius to underestand one).

Now that I’ve aired out my weird mind and the reasons why I suddenly stop doing anything, like eating, I’m gonna shut up now and go back to the song I’m writing. I even forgot that I had a soundcloud account since Septemberlast year, until now. Good job, brain.