November 15, 2015
It was a Thursday when every single thing wrong with me was confirmed. I was self-diagnosing since the day my interest in psychology began. I knew what was wrong with me. I knew why I’m like this, why my mind works the way it does. But I didn’t have valid confirmation.
The decision to seek professional help started months ago. But the intention began some years back. I just didn’t have the funds for it. Mental health care in the country is expensive. It wasn’t until this year that I became desperate. I’ve had thoughts of fast forwarding my life to the end credits. Before this year, such thoughts were merely flashes of light. I was in between feeling nothing and feeling the end coming.
Those moments remained unspoken to but one person. I wasn’t that vocal yet with what was really going on inside my head. I was in a dark place. Much darker than where I am now, believe it or not. My emotional gates were closed at that point and all I could think about was the end credits.
Years later, I found myself opening up. Bit by bit at first. I then found something that I would later realize was actual happiness. And then I walked away from that without knowing that it was what I was looking for all my life. It was too late to go back as I was already living another life. One that was supposed to bring back the happiness had I completely let go of the past one.
I’ve always thought like this for as long as I can remember. I had a pretty futile and stupid incident with 8 tablets of Paracetamol. I was desperate. I did see someone back then. Wasn’t much help. I don’t even remember the diagnosis. I guess it wasn’t serious enough. Then again, mental health issues back then wasn’t as extensively known. Everyone, including me, just chalked such outbursts out to teenage angst. After all, I was conditioned to believe that “it’s all in the mind.”
Anyway, in the years that followed, I didn’t talk about it that much out of fear and embarrassment. I was afraid to disappoint my family and friends who consider such dispositions as “weakness” or over characterization of sadness and angst. I was embarrassed because of the stigma attached to mental health issues.
This year has been a tough one. There were months where not a day went by when I didn’t think about the ending. I didn’t want to. I wanted to think positive, as everyone says. I wanted to think about the good. But how can one think about the good when one’s head is broken? I’m not like most people. I can’t just reverse every negative thought in my head. I can harness it, turn it into something good (i.e. an artistic output,) but the thoughts are still negative.
I found myself increasingly hearing, and heeding to, the call of my revolver all year. I did things that I thought would help me. The actions were done out of desperation and only agitated my condition. Ended up hurting someone I care about due to the impulsiveness of the strategy. I even considered functional alcoholism as a strategy, but I was never really one for addiction.
It was a Thursday when I, after two months since the decision of seeking professional help, finally did it. It was a Thursday when I finally heard someone medically allowed to diagnose me said what I’ve thought all along.
It was a Thursday when I took the second step of not wanting to die, of wanting to be better than who I am. It was a Thursday that, in a rare occurrence, I felt good.
My name is John Mari A. Marcelo. I have clinical depression. And I’ll be alright soon.