Waltz #2

So, I’m still alive. Still hanging on. It’s been a tough couple of months for me – hell, it’s been a tough couple of years, but I’m alive. And that’s what matters. I’m alive and I’m still making progress.


I’m not on Aripiprazole anymore. It was barely working for me as time went by. I’m now on Lithium. Day five. It has some untoward effects, as with most new medications, but nothing I can’t handle. Had a bad mental health day yesterday because of the change of meds, but I survived. I’m sure I’ll have more days like that, but I’ll survive them also. I always do.




I’m still on Escitalopram. Still can’t cry because of it. So that’s a bummer. I miss crying. Can’t even remember the last time I cried. I honestly don’t know if it’s still working, but there’s gotta be a reason my doc kept me on it.


Oh, I was rediagnosed by my PDoc. Apparently I have Bipolar Depression cos I wasn’t responding to the anti depressants.


Anyway, just wanted to update this blog and whoever reads it.


Whatever I’ll lose, I can regain.

Going in on yesterday’s therapy, I considered having my doc up my dosage of mood stabilizers. Or, perhaps, try a new anti-depressant. I need the extra mental reinforcement. I need my mental foundation to be stronger. I still consider the foundations I have now to be weak, as it’s been shaky the past months.


But as my doctor and I talked, the more I realized that I’m letting my impatience take over. Despite the attacks and episodes, I’m still very much in control of them. I may have resorted to oversleeping lately so the attacks would cease, but that’s part of me taking control. That’s me using whatever I have in my disposal to combat the attacks.


Of course, the strategies I’ve concocted recently has its pitfalls, but I’ll reassess the situations I’m in. I’ll reassess the strategies, see what works with my current environment and my current path back to being a full-time photographer. I’ll have to make adjustments again to my lifestyle and how I operate. I’ll make mistakes, I’ll make errors in judgement, but nothing I can’t correct. That’s par for the course in being a depressive on recovery – learning from trial and error.


My life since I started treatment has been an experimentation. I was reborn that first time I walked into my psychiatrist’s office. I’ve gained much. I’ve also lost many. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve also unlearned lessons and attitudes that were harmful for me.


Maybe my life will forever be like this. Maybe this is a cycle that I’m bound to live with for all my life. That I’ll have clinical depression until the day I’m gone. Maybe it’s more manageable than incurable. But I’m willing to stay the course and fight til life permits me to.


What have I got to lose, anyway? My sanity? That’s been decaying and rebuilding itself for decades. My life? I’ve been on multiple lives already, got a lot more of that in the tank. Whatever I’ll lose, I can regain.

A stable life balances an unstable mind

2016 was a peak year for me. It was the era when I was at my most stable. Had a career as a music photographer. Had a girl. Had a guaranteed support system. Had a life – a real one where I was actually living. I was, for all intents and purposes, a functional human being with a clear direction.


I knew what I was waking up to in those days. I had reasons to wake up to, instead of waking up out of necessity. I wanted to live, not just ‘need to live.’


These days, even most of last year, everything’s a God damend mess. Nothing’s affixed. Nothing lasts longer than it should. Thought I’d restart a music career. Went nowhere. Lost the momentum and finally accepted that music isn’t for me. Now I’m back to film photography, and I am once again doubting if it’s the right path to take.


Hell, it’s the only path right now. Not that I have any qualms about it – I was a better photographer than anything I’ve ever done, really. Photography is second nature to me.


I do, right now, feel the need to reclaim the state I was in back in 2016. That’s been the goal, anyway – stability. A stable life balances an unstable mind. Got to thinking that I should recreate the state I was in. Sell my old car and purchase a digital camera and photography gear and go back to being “John Mari A. Marcelo, Photographer.” I do sorely miss digital photography. I can do film photography for personal projects, digital for work.


Sounds like a plan, right? But is it feasible? Is it doable? Damned if I know. I’ve been uncertain of too many things lately.

Fave Film Photos Pt. 2

I’ve shot sixty-six rolls of film. I’ve used five cameras (only have one now, an Olympus 35SP.) I’ve wasted films, I’ve maximized films – but I’m still learning. Still learning to master film photography. If I can. I’m bound to make more mistakes along the way, but there will definitely be room for improvement and growth.

My current camera:



For the gear hounds out there, here’s a list of specifics…

Cameras I’ve used:

  1. Seagull Reflex DF + Haiou-64 58mm
  2. Olympus 35DC
  3. Primoflex Twin Lens Reflex
  4. Pentax Espio 115M (didn’t include the photos from that camera….maybe on another post?)
  5. Canon FTb (with FL 50mm 1.8 and FD 28mm 2.8)


Films I’ve used:

  1. Ilford HP5+
  2. Ilford Delta 100
  3. Ilford Delta 400
  4. Ilford Delta 3200
  5. Ilford FP4
  6. Kodak Tri-X 400
  7. Kodak T-Max 400
  8. Kodak T-Max 100 (expired)
  9. Eastman Double X
  10. Rollei RPX 400
  11. Agfa APX 400 (expired)
  12. Fujifilm Neopan 400 (expired)
  13. Fujifilm Neopan 1600 (expired)
  14. Efke KB 100 (expired)
  15. Fujifilm Acros 100
  16. Agfa Vista Plus 400
  17. Fujicolor C200
  18. Fuji Superia X-Tra 400
  19. Fujifilm Natura 1600
  20. Lomo CN800
  21. Cinestill 800T


Anyway, here are the photos! These are the ones I’ve shot with the Canon FTb. Love that cam, to be honest. Had to sell it cos I’m indecisive as fuck.

Continue reading “Fave Film Photos Pt. 2”

Battle Notes


Before writing this, I tell myself that I don’t know how I managed to survive without my anti-anxiety pills for a month. That’s not really true. I managed because I did whatever I can to survive. I will admit that there were unhealthy coping mechanisms – nothing too extreme – but I do consider them unhealthy. I’ve been sleeping the anxiety off, overeating (pizza budget was exceeded,) negative/dark thoughts…

Continue reading “Battle Notes”

Fave Film Photos Pt. 1

Wow…haven’t posted in a while. Sorry about that. Life just keeps getting in the way. I’m still alive, obviously. Lots have happened since I last posted. Lots of stuff I wanted to blog about, but never got around to.


Anyway, I thought about posting now something that has kept me preoccupied last year – film photography. If you must know, I kinda got away from it for a while to pursue music. That didn’t really take, and I have finally realized that it’s not for me at all. But this post isn’t about that. It’s about my favorite film photos that I took!



Continue reading “Fave Film Photos Pt. 1”

Battle Notes

Yesterday…damn it…yesterday.

Felt like I was losing all hope I could ever hold on to. Hope is the only thing that keeps me alive. The hope that I’ll get better. The hope that I’ll be normal. The hope that I’ll be free of the mental illness that has plagued me for most of my life. But yesterday, I felt that hope was missing from the equation.


I did the usual routine to keep me stable: Pizza. Playing my guitar. Taking photos. But none worked.

Continue reading “Battle Notes”