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.

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Cold

When you reach a certain age – a certain point in your life – you start to shed certain hopes from your life. You start to slowly lose expectations and certain dreams, what you wish for becomes an impossibility.

 

Human connection in a romantic aspect. It’s starting to become an impossibility in my life. Given my advanced age, I feel as though I’m not meant to be in a relationship. I’m not meant to have romantic love. A reciprocated one, at the very least. Not that it makes any difference now.

 

Never really had much in terms of relationships. I’ve only been in three relationships. Each of those I screwed up royally. Just didn’t work, or I had tons of issues that I needed to work on first.

 

Now, I don’t know. I’m thirty two and still resolving my issues. And there are so much of them. Too much. I don’t know when I’ll cross the finish line in my recovery from depression. Or if I ever will. It’s possible that it’s a recovery that’s meant to last til I’m gone. If that is the case, then I consider it a tragedy – a man who was on the road to getting better, but never actually got better.

 

Going back to love and all that…

 

Yeah. Feels like I am going to be alone in the end, after all. That’s always been one of my greatest fears in life. Even before recovery, even when I was a teenager. Didn’t want to end up alone, didn’t want to be that broken man smoking a cigarette leaning on a lamppost at night, watching everything and nothing pass him by.

 

But the more I think about it, the more days pass by, the more it seems predestined. Like I will become that man.

 

What a lonely life I lead. I’m the one taking care of people best I could. Looking out for them. But there’s no one taking care of me. Can barely take care of myself, honestly speaking.

 

And Logically speaking, I shouldn’t complain. That’s my role – my purpose – not theirs. But emotionally speaking, fucking hell what a fucking life this is. What a fucking lonely life this is.

 

I’ve never felt this cold and alone before.

No More Labels

No More Labels

I’ve gone and done it. Always wanted to even when my main weapon was digital. Back when I was still actively doing music documentations with a digital camera, there was already intent to take a hand at photographing using analog. It was always “somewhere down the line.” Needed to focus first on what I did, you know, before taking on something new.

 

But the path I was in changed. I’ve always walked one path, a continually changing one, and the path suddenly changed back to making music. Decided to sell my camera and gear in order to fund my music (as well as to pay off debts incurred due to the emotionally turbulent holidays last year.) I was a man without a camera, but I was a musician once again.

 

And then the path changed once again. In a span of months, I went from photographer, to singer-songwriter, to … well … I decided to go back to my first love – writing. Figured that I didn’t need any other tool for that aside from my head and my laptop and/or a notebook and pen. But nothing really materialized from that. I had intentions and plans and ideas, but nothing materialized. Couldn’t even regularly update this here blog. When I write, I’ve always needed the use of my brain. With photography and music, it was more of natural instincts. It needed more than just my brain. Photography and music required an economy of movement from my whole body. My head since late last year was all over the place. Mental coherence was, is, a nigh impossible reach.

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Letting Go Of Ghosts

Battle Notes – February 14, 2017

 

As I’m typing this, the time is 9:09pm. Less than three hours until midnight. Less than three hours until I survive another Valentine’s Day.

 

But first, I have to apologize for the four month absence. Life has been, well…life. So many things have happened. Can’t even list them all down at this point. Need to focus on what I need to write.

 

Anyway…

 

This year’s Valentine’s is rougher than last year’s, no doubt. I was losing my shit again earlier. My breathing was compromised. Chest heavy. Felt like I was trapped in a prison I created for myself. But I know it’s my brain’s doing. It’s the depression’s doing. It’s that thing inside my head that was fucking with me again.

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A Month Away

Preface

Forgive the desolate tone of this blog post. It’s one of those weeks.

 

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I

Six months to a year. That’s what I was told when I asked how long I was to take the medications. Of course, that was just an optimistic estimate. But I still held on to that. “I’ll be fully recovered in a year,” I thought. “I’ll finally free of the darkness that made a home in my head.” I knew it would take much longer since I’ve had the depression undiagnosed and untreated for almost all my life. Let’s say, thirty one years. That’s thirty one years of darkness versus a year of recovery.

 

A year won’t cut it. Let’s be real, here. I knew that. I knew that it will take more than a year. But it was nice to think that after a year, I’ll be the me I should have been if it wasn’t for the depression.

 

In less than a month, it will have been a year since I started seeing a psychiatrist. It will have been a year since I’ve been taking anti-depressants. What’s changed since then? What’s happened since I first walked into the clinic?

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Random Thoughts / Updates

Random Thoughts / Updates:

  • Being in a relationship in a “normal” state is difficult. I’m handling it. I’m learning. I’m also learning a lot from the relationships of others.
  • I finally had my portfolio photos printed. I’m actually not sure how many of the photos should be there, but I just filled the pages of the portfolio clearbook that I bought. I was looking at them again earlier and I realized just how amazing it really is having your photos printed compared to just looking at them on a computer or a phone, especially in that big a size. It’s tangible. Looking at them earlier transported me back to when I shot them. I never had that experience when I looked at my photos on my laptop or mobile phone. I remembered the weather, what I was feeling, what happened that day, everything. Felt good.
  • I attempted to write an entry last week about me having anxiety attacks because I could barely write anymore, whether it’s fiction or blog entries. I got an anxiety attack while I was writing that. Had to stop. Ironic.
  • I feel like some dreams of mine are close to slipping away. Like I’m just waiting for the final nail on the coffin. It’s still a dream of mine to be a novelist and a writer. It’s still a dream of mine to be a singer/songwriter. Both dreams require me to write. I cannot, for the life of me, write anymore. The thoughts are there, the ideas are there, but I can’t seem to write them down. And it’s been killing me.
  • I was selling a dozen prints at a gig recently and a friend, who buys my prints at a premium price, shared to another friend that he was saddened at how low I was selling those prints for. I learned a lot from him in terms of selling photo prints as art. It is art. As pretentious as it sounds, I consider my photos as art. In all honesty, I do want to sell my prints at how I feel they’re priced at. It’s not really about the price, really. It’s about the photo’s value. It’s about the story behind the photo. It’s about the emotions, both mine and the subject’s, behind the photo. I’m not a master of music photography, nor am I an institution at it. But I am a master of what I do. If I sell my art really cheap, I devalue my worth. I devalue myself and my passion and my art. Here’s the thing, though – the usual gig goers don’t have that much expendable cash for “high value” art. Most of them are college students or newly-minted workers. I do have to account for those factors in my prints. That’s something that I learned when I sold prints during the Bandwagon Music Market, hence the reason for printing the latest batch using 4R sized standard glossy photo papers instead of my usual detailed and signed 5R RC gloss photo paper.
  • Speaking of Bandwagon Music Market…I was one of the merchants at that mini music festival. It was a fun learning experience. I shared a table and sold prints alongside two of my favorite music photographers in the Metro – Cecilia Forbes and Karen dela Fuente. I initially felt disheartened when I had to lower my prices because no one was buying them. I even had to do an “everything must go” sale at P100, and even then only a handful bought. But I did learn so much about the business end of selling prints. And I did get to enjoy and be around two of photographers that I look up to.
  • I bought a printer recently because my old usual printing place was so fucking inconsistent, in both photo quality and paper quality. I also wanted to have more control over the output. Set me back 10 large. Ink is fucking expensive. It’s been more boon than bane because I was stressing over the fact that I may have had expectations that by selling at least ten prints at a price that I don’t have to compromise at, what comes out of the printer would justify the cost. But as I lamented, there’s not a lot of people who would buy prints at a premium. It’s not that big a setback as I did learn so much from recent experiences. Know your audience. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Print photos depending on where you’ll sell them. I might even start a small printing business for my photographer friends to offset the cost.

All will be good. All is good.