Facebook Status Update dated February 9, 2019
“Don’t post that, it’s embarrassing!” “Don’t tell anyone what you did or where you are!” “Insanity doesn’t run in the family!”
My name is John Mari A Marcelo. I’m a mental health advocate. If I don’t talk about my experiences with my own mental health, then what’s the point of being an advocate? If my experiences can help people, then I’ll share them. I’m not ashamed of it. I’m not embarrassed.
I have to lead by example.
My name is John Mari A Marcelo, and a few weeks ago, I tried to kill myself. Not once, but twice – with a mere 24 hours in between. I had the means, the motive, and the opportunity. I had the pills, I was feeling an overwhelming sense of loneliness, I was alone.
I was alone in a sense that I didn’t consider my own self as company. I felt empty at the time I took 28pcs of Xanor that first time. I was empty when I took 30pcs of lithium that second time. Capped them off with a cigarette and messages to people.
On the first try, I messaged a friend what I did. The Xanor blurred me already. My text messages were illegible. I mumbled even on text messages. But the message got through, as friends orchestrated a rescue. A good friend came to my place and took me to the ER. I was blacked out at a time, my subconscious ran my body.
I wok up that noon not knowing what happened, or how I ended up in my bed. That whole day was honestly a blur that of it weren’t for photos I took on my phone, I wouldn’t remember a single moment. It is still unsure if it’s the Xanor residue in my system, or a manic high, but I felt too alive that day. I was so energetic that I barely stuttered.
My constants and I had dinner out. Went to Tagaytay after. Both events are a blur to me.
Once we were done, i drove them home. Got home, grabbed my Lithium blister packs, sat on my bed beside the lamp, opened the Lithium, took half, gulped water, took half, gulped water.
I smoked and slept.
I woke up at noon remembering what I did. I was still alive from my crime. Didn’t even eat, I asked my guardian to drive me to the same ER I was taken during the first OD. A constant friend followed later.
I was transferred to another hospital in Ortigas at around 5pm. Better facilities, perhaps? I spent a day and a half on the ER connected to more IV drips. The lithium was being washed away.
Around midnight, i was told that a room was ready for me. “My own room, how awesome. Hope it has a view,” i thought. But no, my hospital bed carried me to the doors of the psych ward, a floor below the ER.
I spent a seven and a half days in there, and it was the most important week of my life. I saw what could happen to me, saw reflections of myself. Once I settled in, a realization came.
I’ve made homes out of places, made homes out of people. But I never really felt like i belonged anywhere, until i settled in in there. I felt like I was in a place where I actually fit in. I was surrounded by people with various mental illnesses and I felt safe and secure.
I learned so much about the human condition. I learned so much about myself and about people. I watched, observed, and analyzed every but of information that was within sight. I listened to the whispers and conversations and morning sirens who sang like they were in a concert.
I have always been fascinated by psychology and I was in a place where it came alive. The psych ward was heaven for me. It was Elysium.
When I got discharged, I was driven straight to a rehab facility. And God, I’ve been learning so much about myself in here. I learn lessons not just from myself, but from others as well. I learn from their experiences and wisdom. I learn from observing the people around me. And I’ve been applying almost all that I’ve learned so far to my life here. And, hopefully, to my life when I get back on my path.
I probably died those two nights. The Psych Ward, and where I am now, this is my purgatory. Purgatory is where I learn to be a much better person, where i get to work on my low self worth and confidence. Where I work on being the best version of myself.
My name is John Mari A Marcelo. I’m in purgatory to heal and become better. And when I get out, everything will be alright.