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.

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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. 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!

 

Enjoy!

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.

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

Continue reading “Battle Notes”

Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor

There’s only one song that I can think of that has made a huge impact on my life, and in the past two years, on my mental health – Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11 – 1 Allegro Maestoso.

 

My first introduction to Chopin was through his Nocturnes. I felt a sense of identification with the pieces. Later on, I started filling my iPod with other Chopin songs. One of them was the aforementioned “Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11 – 1 Allegro Maestoso,” a twenty minute gem of a track that transports me to a state of calm.

 

Right after I fell in love with the song, which didn’t take long, I randomly checked out the Cultural Center of The Philippines website to see if the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, by chance, had its live performance on schedule. Lo and behold, they performed it live literally the night before. I was saddened at the misfortune. I promised myself to always check out the PPO schedule since then. Wouldn’t want to miss another live performance of the life changing piece. That was back in 2010.

 

But I did. Life happened and the once routine of checking the CCP website was forgotten. The PPO performed the piece again in 2015. That’s twice now that I’ve missed it. Never again.

 

October 27, 2017. CCP. Cecile Licad and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra performs Chopin’s Piano Concertos 1 & 2.

 

I mentioned that it’s made a huge impact on my mental health recently as I’ve been using it as a strategy for those times when I’m shit deep in anxiety. I’d imagine myself all alone in a theater, with an orchestra and pianist performing the magnificent piece. All my anxiety would disappear as I use the imagined aural and visual delight as a tether to sanity and serenity.

 

Come October 27, I’ll finally get to hear live one of songs that changed my life.

.

 

My first introduction to Chopin was through his Nocturnes. I felt a sense of identification with the pieces. Later on, I started filling my iPod with other Chopin songs. One of them was the aforementioned “Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11 – 1 Allegro Maestoso,” a twenty minute gem of a track that transports me to a state of calm.

 

Right after I fell in love with the song, which didn’t take long, I randomly checked out the Cultural Center of The Philippines website to see if the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, by chance, had its live performance on schedule. Lo and behold, they performed it live literally the night before. I was saddened at the misfortune. I promised myself to always check out the PPO schedule since then. Wouldn’t want to miss another live performance of the life changing piece. That was back in 2010.

 

But I did. Life happened and the once routine of checking the CCP website was forgotten. The PPO performed the piece again in 2015. That’s twice now that I’ve missed it. Never again.

 

October 27, 2017. CCP. Cecile Licad and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra performs Chopin’s Piano Concertos 1 & 2.

 

I mentioned that it’s made a huge impact on my mental health recently as I’ve been using it as a strategy for those times when I’m shit deep in anxiety. I’d imagine myself all alone in a theater, with an orchestra and pianist performing the magnificent piece. All my anxiety would disappear as I use the imagined aural and visual delight as a tether to sanity and serenity.

 

Come October 27, I’ll finally get to hear live the song that changed my life.

Selfishness as a necessity

Selfishness as a necessity
I’ve mentioned somewhere, Twitter maybe, that giving up on life isn’t an option for me anymore. I’m not consciously inclined to let go of my life, nor of my existence. I may feel like it, I may feel “it” – taking my own life – but I know damn well that I don’t want to die. I know damn well that I want to continue on living.

Doesn’t matter if it’s a life not ideal. Doesn’t matter if it’s a life that’s less than what I have in mind. Doesn’t matter if it’s a life that’s mediocre. I want to fucking live.

Therein lies the crux of it all – death is not an option anymore.

There was a time when it was always an option, especially when I’m losing grip of it all – my sanity, my dreams, my goals my mission. I took solace in the fact that I could just end it when I couldn’t deal anymore. I had that plan. I had a last resort.

As I said, that’s off the table now. I’ll live on.

I’ll live on with the unbearable pain and heaviness my soul carries day in and day out. I’ll live on with the arms of depression around me, at least until I’m cured. I’ll live on in the darkness that has plagued me all my life.

I’m not saying that I’m not going to be depression free someday. I do know that I’ll be alright someday. I do know that the arms of depression will dissipate. I do know that I’ll kick depression in the ass.

But for times like these when I can’t find the light in this path I’m on, when I’m being pulled in by forces unseen and those caused by my irresponsible strategies of survival, it feels like whatever flicker of hope inside me is fast dying. And I’m backed into that wall I’ve built that separates me from suicide, the pressure of everything pushing me forth until I’m left in ruin.

To help others. That’s always been my mission in life. But I have to help myself now. I consider it selfish, as it entails me leaving my post and become a deserter to assignments that I’ve already signed up for.

I have to be selfish right now. And for my selfishness, I apologize. My sanity – my life – is at stake.

 

Envy

It’s quite ironic how I never really saw myself as a family man, but I do feel envious of friends who have settled down with one. I can’t fully imagine myself having a family of my own, but if envy for those with one is an affliction, then it is one that ails me.

 

I love kids, don’t get me wrong. But they’re not for me. I’m cool with being an uncle of a godfather. Even a father figure. But having children with my rugged good looks and faulty, mental illness-plagued genes, nah.

 

Yet here I am feeling envious of friends who are closer to, if not the same, age as I am. Some are on their third child. Some are married – happily, I hope. Some friends who are man and wife have been together since college and are still going strong. And where am I in the 30s era? Still tiptoeing through the landmines of his own brain, broke, and unable to see himself a year from now. Two months from now, in an extreme case.

Continue reading “Envy”