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.
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.
Continue reading “Letting Go Of Ghosts”
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.
Continue reading “The Seven Day War: A Week Without Medication”
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?
Continue reading “A Month Away”
“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.
Continue reading “Not yet ;”
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.
Continue reading “How Far We’ve Come Pts I & II”
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.
Continue reading “Shallow Water Blackout”