Despite my being ________; life doesn't end in a period "."

by - 7:26 PM

If you know me, how would you describe me?

I usually get cheerful, friendly and helpful (must come from the work that I do). My husband would probably say I'm smart, a know-it-all, and very sociable.

I am a wife, a doting mother to a two-year old boy, an advocate of many things, and a woman with many hats.

But...

Once upon a time, 2002 to be specific, I was clinically depressed.

If you knew me then, you'd probably describe me the same thing as how everyone else described me:

WEIRD

Yes, weird.

In 2002, my heart was broken for the first time, and it shattered to a million pieces that I couldn't repair on my own. I was always dizzy, fainted a lot. I slept in the classroom every chance I got. I was angry. I was in denial. I started having an eating disorder, and if that wasn't enough, before the year ended, I was diagnosed with a heart ailment and had a tumor in my brain.

I wanted to die, and I did try. Twice, to be exact.

I kept this to for a long time because there's a stigma here. In western countries like the US, people see a shrink for the littlest of things. But here, when you say you're seeing a psychiatrist (and I have seen two), you're automatically tagged as "crazy".

And I was already being called weird. Crazy would have been too much.

One time, after my mother found me with a bleeding left hand and a small knife on the right, she cried and asked me, "Kami ba hindi mo mahal kaya hindi mo kami naiisip?"

Mahal.

And so I bounced back. Not immediately, but really really slow.

I thank God for that kind of love, because it kept me alive.

Because despite being clinically depressed; my life didn't end with a period "."

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World Experience Philippines, an NGO will be promoting the advocacy of eliminating shame and stigma through an art exhibit. Boxless Society is a support group for artists with mental illness. Mental illness is nothing more than an illness, and nothing less; and that we're all capable to function in society with proper management.

The exhibit will showcase art from Cesar Lampong, Darlene Turla, Dina Capute Cagaanan, Elaine de Guzman, Eliza "Z" Fontanilla D., JA Turla, Jayson Narvaez, Jessica ANtonio, Kates Ante, Mimi, and Tisa_Arte_de_T.

The exhibit will open on August 12 from 5PM at Sining Kamalig, Upper Ground Floor, Ali Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao, QC.

Admission is free.

Watch their video here:

https://www.facebook.com/SiningKamaligArtGallery/videos/1631992346825248/

For more information on the event, you may check their event page via this link.
___________________________________________

Taking care of our mental health is important and we often overlook it because we're too embarrassed to admit that we need help.

Even as a mom, I have often felt I'm going to lose it soon. Ever heard of postpartum depression? It's very real, but a lot of us doesn't want to speak up because we're afraid that we will be judged as "maarte".

Today, I've decided to come out and tell this story, so I can break free from what used to cloud me. Because right now, if you feel you're in a dark place, know that it isn't wrong to admit that you need some help.

I pray that the world is a better place for us; that we are not judged so easily; that we are offered a listening ear, a pat on the back or a warm embrace. Because it's true that we do not know everyone's story, and the one smiling at you may be hurting the most.

I pray that the world is kinder.

My life didn't end with a period "." It will end when it does, but definitely, not now.


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