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.




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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The Seven Day War: A Week Without Medication

The Seven Day War: A Week Without Medication

I found myself in a very precarious position eight days ago. I had to go off my anti-depressants as I was to take anti-biotics for my cyst removal surgery. I had to go cold turkey as my hand was forced. Sort of. I did allow for it to happen so I had a hand in it. I was afraid. Very afraid. But I did want to see what would happen. I wanted to know if I was capable of surviving a week without medication.


On the days when I forget to take my meds, the stressors get the best of me. I lose my shit. For the first few days when I had to go off meds, everything was okay. “Okay” like I was still medicated. My body as going through physical withdrawals (i.e. dizziness, light headedness, lags) but nothing to be concerned about. I don’t think.


It was the lack of stressors and triggers that made those first few days…good. Sane, even. I was still in control of my thoughts. I did this “thought test” I do when the need to assess my mental situation arises. The test, albeit morbid as fuck, hasn’t failed me yet: I imagine myself holding my revolver with the intention to blow my brains out.

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A Month Away


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





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.

Not yet ;

Not yet ;

“I don’t really want to die. I just wanted it all to stop.” That’s what I once wrote here when I mentioned my suicide attempts. That’s what I answer people when asked “why did you do it?”

What I did three weeks ago is no exception. The only difference from previous attempts is that it got that far. Closest I’ve come to to actual suicide. Had I not…had I not fought til the end, I wouldn’t be here right now. You wouldn’t be reading this.

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How Far We’ve Come Pts I & II

Part I


On a previous post, I mused about something my doctor told me. That I have had this thing inside me that has kept me alive all these years. I initially theorized that it was “control.” Another theory is a “survival instinct.” I have another theory: a “will to live.”

All of the above, perhaps. And other still unknown variables that has kept me alive. I am still, after all, in the process of knowing and understanding myself – everything about myself related to all aspects imaginable and unimaginable – so there’s still a lot to learn.


Which leads us to recent events that has undeniable implications on my mental well-being – the romantic relationship that I was in ended. Both sides made mistakes that contributed to the demise of the relationship, both parties learned lessons in the aftermath.

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Shallow Water Blackout

Among the things I’ve learned in recovery, one of the most important things, is to acknowledge that I’m not okay. I have to do that now. I have to acknowledge that, despite the smiles and laughter and the love I’ve been feeling recently, there’s that voice in the back of my head that’s yelling “stop ignoring me! I’m here! Something’s wrong!”

I’ll admit, I may have gotten lost in the happiness recently. Gotten too absorbed by it. And because of that, I have overlooked one of the key tenets I’ve taught myself: self-awareness. Mindfulness. I’ve been unaware, or perhaps even replacing what it is I’m supposed to feel with positivity, of the negative thoughts in my mind that I have to face head on.

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