HEY, HEY, HEY! HO HO HO!

HO HO HO!!!
However, though Christmas is for anyone who wants to celebrate, let us never forget the real reason why we celebrate, okay? It’s CHRISTmas! I’m not against any Christmas figure, but there’s a reason it’s not called “Clausemas”, or any other “-mas”.

Why we celebrate CHRISTmas

If you’re not Christian, that’s okay. No real religion is bad religion. Practice the good that yours preach. If it doesn’t teach you any good, then what are you doing in it?

If you have no religion, then celebrate humanity. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to be human, but it does require effort from you.

Please, always stay positive and keep smiling. Never let depression rule you. It’s a debilitating disease — the longer you nurture depression, the more it will debilitate you. It could be clinical, yet it doesn’t mean you should let it rule your life. It’s hard, we know and we understand, but ultimately, it’s all up to you. Many have succumbed to this deadly affliction; don’t be part of the statistics. We love you. You are important to us. Maybe we are just not good at showing it.

This world is not an easy world to live in. It is up to us to make things work the way we want them to work. Just be happy for the world even if the world seems to smile downwards. Give and expect nothing in return. Spread love and joy and you will feed the hungriest of hearts.

Remember, we’re all in this together.

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The End Justifies the Journey

It is easy to be depressed. It is easy to be mad. It is easy to just meet fire with fire. But the harder thing to do is to just sit down and let the fire burn till it dies…Today, I am reminded that you cannot teach others new tricks when they don’t want to learn using their hearts. I am not perfect, but I know I try to be the kind of person I have to be, not just the kind of person I want to be.

The End Justifies the Journey

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My Jekyll-and-Hyde-ness #atozchallenge2015

NOTE: This was written pre-WordPress…

 MY JEKYLL-AND-HYDE-NESS

The other night, Dr. Positive Jekyll made this decision:

Once again, I will delve in the art of letting go. Hard, true, but necessary.

Sometimes, letting go does not only mean setting others free. Sometimes, it means setting yourself free. For what good is holding on when you know the inevitable? That eventually, it is you who will slip and fall to your own demise? I know that if I keep holding on now, the suffering would be much greater than I make myself believe at times.

So now, I let go, while my wings are still unclipped, free to fly to somewhere unknown and unfamiliar. Why not? It’s a live-and-learn process. I live, therefore, I learn, and I welcome the wisdom it brings. Obstacles will abound, but the rewards are always greater after the rain. There is gold at the end of the rainbow, for me to take, to feel, to taste.

Even leprechauns need to let go at times.

 

Last night…

All I could do was doodle and write words like “What am I?”, “Sh*t happens”, “Stupid idiot”, and “Freaky”… Hello, Miss Negative Hyde.

 

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Some days, I feel like a different person. It’s like, you’d like to keep being Miss Jekyll, but Miss Hyde just decides to show up when she feels like it, especially when she’s mad. My husband calls it “going Incredible Hulk.” He warns our naughty and rowdy kids, “You’d better do what she says or she’ll go Incredible Hulk on you again.”  No one wants to see me mad. You wouldn’t.

Anyway, this post is brought to you by the letter “P” for “Personality”.

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Death, Denial, Depression #atozchallenge2015

D of A to Z“D” is for DEATH. We all know death, but it’s still a big word, considering that grief causes two other Ds, DENIAL and DEPRESSION.

I wish I could write about something else, something lighter, like dancing, which I really considered but my tablet is making it harder to post vids and I don’t have much patience right now, or dogs except I don’t have nice pictures to share of past canine pets. Instead, “death” kept insisting itself on my mind. No, I didn’t want to write about it. I wanted to write something much more fun or something lighter like last year. But here I am. This is much more raw than my “A” post.

Those who have followed me enough times are aware of what I went through these past three years. At first, I refrained from discussing much about death in the family, then I realized I could not get away from it — I had to give in sometime. What better way to do that than to pay tribute to my parents?

I tell you, it was not easy watching your loved ones deteriorate everyday. It was not easy doing the best you could, swallowing pride to ask friends and others for any amount they could share, sacrificing your job, and taking care of your parents while wondering if you’d still have a job to go back to after…Yes, after, because despite everything I did, at the back of my mind, I knew with a certain dread that the end was near for both of them.

When all of these were going on, I hardly wept. At rare times, I just felt a lump on my throat, cleared it, shook my head and continued with my–our–day. I wanted to keep emotionally strong and to always have a clear head for you would never know when a decision had to be made. There were many, in fact. Together with some relatives, I had to rush my mother to the hospital monthly, without fail, until July, which we all thought we would finally skip and it turned out to be her last month on earth.

All the while, I had a clear head. I could not let myself feel down for so long. While I communicated with my sister regularly, she was still miles and seas away; any immediate decision had to be made by myself and I could not afford to make the wrong one. Could it be called strength? I don’t know. It would be very presumptuous and self-serving of me to say it was. All I am sure of is this seems to be the way I react when faced with circumstances that call for me to have a sense of responsibility.

I could’ve cried when my father had the stroke when I was 20, but I didn’t, not in front of my mother anyway. How could I when I saw her break down in their room and right away, I had to hold her and reassure her that things would be fine? Somebody had to be strong for us during those times and I was the nearest family member to do that. I only cried when he was first diagnosed as having suffered a stroke, but that was when I was alone at home and they were in the hospital. It was also very short-lived — I had just started weeping when my cousin called out to me from outside, saw my eyes and basically berated me for being a wimp as she saw that as a lack of support for my mother. I did not have the energy to argue that crying was normal, even a healthy reaction. After that, I don’t remember a time that I cried about it ever again.

facing-griefI guess this coping mechanism was something that got developed in me. “Surreal” is the only way I can describe the feeling. It’s like being sad, worried and alert all at the same time. When my father was pronounced dead, I already knew even before the E.R. doctor could tell us. My friend who stayed with me would later tell another friend how brave I was. Brave? Not sure about that,  just that when another cousin and I were already alone with my father’s lifeless body, I surprised myself when I bawled out, kissing his face, saying sorry for everything bad I had done, especially for getting mad two evenings prior.

Months after losing my parents, I still did not really cry save from the actual funerals. I could have gone through the Denial phase of grieving, for all I knew. I did know that I got to the Anger phase the next year. Being angry at one’s self could be quite debilitating itself. I do believe I suffered from Depression.

Recently, I lost my baby. S/he was just more or less two months in the womb. Can you imagine feeling elated after finding out you’re having a baby, then learning after a week that s/he doesn’t seem to have a heartbeat anymore? Can you imagine the additional stress of waiting after another week to check if the findings are the same and then they are? Now imagine going for a second opinion, getting yet another ultrasound test and still, no heartbeat…

Definitely, I cried several times to my husband over the course of waiting. On that third test, I had no time to really cry. Then again, I was with one of my bestfriends and I decided I was not going to cry until I was alone. That did not happen, though, for once I was alone after two hours, I was bleeding and had myself brought to the hospital. I did not cry either during the whole thing and sang “Defying Gravity” to calm myself. I did not let myself cry for hours while I was at the recovery room. When I requested that my husband be let in for a few minutes for I needed to tell him something, however, I was again surprised by the sudden surge of emotions as I waited. I saw him and then the tears went and rolled down, upsetting and worrying him…

Honestly, I don’t know how to properly end this piece. I guess I just needed to share. So forgive me for the long post and for posting a day late (at least where I am) because I just had to sort my thoughts out and kept typing them down. This is one of the most vulnerable times in the history of my whole blogging experience…

2013: The Depression Era

2013-yearend-reviewI don’t really see the number 13 as ominous. Looking at how my year went, though, I know that the person who most let me down was myself (BTW, I speak in the past tense, given that we have only three days to go before 2013 expires). Granted that many factors contributed to the negative stuff, it was in how I reacted to them that mattered. I started out the year all positive and it’s ending in a not-so-good fashion, all thanks to myself.

To be honest, 2012 seemed all so surreal that it was only in 2013 that things really started to sink in emotionally. I thought I was coping very well with the loss of both my parents and the financial burdens brought by the sad events. But as I learned from experts, one does need to go through the Stages of Grief to be able to move on. They don’t necessarily all happen and they don’t normally happen in an expected logical order, not in the way we want them to.

The five stages do not necessarily occur in order. We often move between stages before achieving a more peaceful acceptance of death. Many of us are not afforded the luxury of time required to achieve this final stage of grief.

stages-of-grief

To be more brutally honest, I know I went through the Anger (directed at myself, delving on the what-ifs and why-didn’t-Is even when I knew I already did all I could) and the Depression. Hardly a day went by that I wasn’t reminded of at least any one of my parents. Little things could make me tear up in an instant, especially if they were related to family and relationships. Sad things on TV easily made me cry (although happy things had the same effect on me as well).

I had always been easily moved before but I could keep a straight face and you’d never know. However, for some reason, it became very hard to control the emotions–someone would simply be telling a story or I would be listening to music and I would be wiping my eyes immediately. It was overwhelming and embarrassing at times.

Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck. To be pegged as iyakin or one who cried easily was just okay, but then I let other insecurities get the better of me. Insecurity and grief put together is a totally bad combo that can strain relationships. Most people never noticed this about me, but the people I most often interacted with certainly felt the negative vibes from me. Of course, not everyone understood this; they just thought I was being unreasonably difficult, and I was.

I became a self-pitying fool who unwittingly ostracized herself from others, blamed them for it, and felt quite disliked, which was most probably what truly happened after I acted the way I did. I felt so sensitive to somebody’s comments/criticisms, too, that I started dreading going to a weekly get-together, because at the time, that person unintentionally made me feel so much like a bad person and I started questioning myself whether I really deserved to be there still. My energy was on an all-time low.

It’s so hard to explain to you why I felt the way I did without going into more details. The bottom line is, though, I became so much like the opposite of what I was in 2012. I now dub 2013 as my new Officially Worst Year because it was the year I hated myself the most. Mind you, there were a lot of positive things happening in 2013, except when it came to the negatives, the gravity was so strong, pulling down much of my self-love and -confidence.

original-selfThe good thing was I still had the capacity to self-reflect and realize what a pain I had been, and that the worst part was the wounds were self-inflicted. Little by little, I am going back to the Old but Better Me. I know it is working and I know those around me have noticed the changes. I will plant better seeds in my heart and cultivate until I find my Original Self.

So here’s hoping I tell you a happier story next year. I am hoping you’ll have better stories to tell as well 🙂

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This has been the most personal and revealing post about myself, but I felt I needed this. Quite therapeutic, actually. Would you like to share how your year has been, too? Or do you have any reactions/suggestions? Let’s talk. Just write down on the space provided for comments below and let the words flow.