I’ve been thinking of giving up this blog for two main reasons: one is that I’m no longer actively traveling and all the travel info here seems to be irrelevant now that the world is in a pandemic. Two, renewing and maintaining the website are costly.
But you know what, after thousands of internal debates with myself, I can’t seem to let this journal go.
There are still a few of you out there reading into my personal life, and I’m okay with that. But the purpose of this journal is for me, so I can have something to look back to. You see, it’s always been a pain point of mine to remember things so this website, and my physical diaries, serve as a security blanket for me.
I guess I’m okay with being forgotten, but the most dreadful thing I never want to happen is to forget. Plenty of times a friend would tell me something that happened during our younger days, but I don’t seem to recall them. And I get annoyed at myself whenever they would narrate to me details of those events — from what I wore to where we sat, to what I said, and how I reacted. Sometimes it sounds like a convincing made-up story to me, although I know it’s not the case.
It’s my bad for forgetting a lot. They say losing memories is a normal thing for those who went through trauma, but I had been holding out pretty well over the years. I thought I was doing a good job until I succumbed to depression.
It’s been five years since I followed Christ and it’s also been five years since I felt the heavy load taken off me. I say with a sincere heart, that I’ve forgiven my offender for the thing he did twenty years ago, but only now have I realized that I still haven’t processed the anger I feel toward the effects of what he did.
And whenever I remember, whenever I have flashbacks and the post-traumatic stress floods in as if everything was happening to me again, my psychiatrist told me that I can be angry.
I may have forgiven the act of sin, but I still haven’t forgiven him for the effects of his sin against me.
So imagine the terror I felt when the tightening in my chest came back. My past and present seem bleak again. And the sight I have of the future is pitch black.
I wrote the above journal on January 20, 2022. Like always, a page of my diary that’s stuck in draft. Funny that it’s been a year (it’s January 6, 2023 as of writing) and I feel like what I wrote above is still fresh like it was just yesterday.
Like the pandemic easing off and lives going back to normal, let me continue where I left off.
Mental health is a topic I never thought I would ever have the firsthand experience to talk about. All my life I had this perception of depressed people being weak-minded, lacking determination, and just overall spineless. That was the case until I reached my own mental health’s breaking point.
A season came when I was weak-minded. I lacked determination. And just hopeless. I always questioned why. What’s the point of living? It’s all in vain. We’re all gonna die anyways! What’s the reason for all the hard work and pain, and even joy? What’s there to still look forward to? Well, you get the idea – I was having Solomon’s Book of Ecclesiastes moment.
Do I hate God for what happened to me and why He’s not healing me still? Do I continue my relationship with God and trust His purpose? What is His purpose? If He is good, why won’t He help? What on earth is there for me after this and during this shithole?
I couldn’t even flip a page of the Bible. My quiet time’s literally quiet. Not God in it. Not me in it. Nothing. I woke up and my body knew how to move. The routine was the only thing keeping me going. If not for the auto-pilot mode, and my boyfriend at that time (now husband) checking on me and taking me places for a breather, I would’ve lost it. He always prayed for me, and some other times I rolled my eyes at his declaration of healing and restoration.
As if God will. If He wanted to, He could have done it yesterday.
But if not God, to whom do I turn? Tricky. Once you know God, even though I stopped reading my Bible, in the end, all I know is His goodness despite my flesh doubting everything good about Him. It is a difficult place to want to trust God while my hope in Him blurs.
During these moments, I was detached from the church community as well. Accessibility became an issue during the pandemic and my church being so far away meant sacrificing the physical fellowships. Plus the fact that I transferred to a new church didn’t really make fellowships worth the shot.
Basically, I was just lost.
If you’re not sure whether you’re just sad or you might actually have a mental health battle going on already, I recognized I needed help when I had constant episodes of panic attacks and mental breakdowns from week to week. Non-stop crying. Loud groan out of anger for absolutely no reason, where most of the time there was screaming involved. Self-harm. Picking fights with everyone who wants to help. Inability to focus, and produced some disgusting work despite my multiplied effort. Thoughts of just quitting life because that seems like the better option than having to endure such sadness with no hope, no rescue in sight.
And then I met my psychiatrist. She gave me medicines for the brain to balance the chemistry or brain whatever hormone was lacking there. The fight still went on. The side effects of the medicines were nearly killing me. It was bad when I was awake, and even worse when I was asleep. I was always tired but never found rest. There were lots of transitions, lots of episodes, and lots of suicidal thoughts. Nothing was fine back then so I don’t know how I made it alive today. I won’t say it’s because of dumb luck. All I know is it’s still hard, but I’m doing much better today.
My husband and I just connected with a new church community in our city. I’m trying new things – cooking, back to writing, and taking on some new projects.
It’s been over a year since I was diagnosed with mental health conditions, and the fight in me, that fire in me, I now realize, is still there. After that heck of a roller coaster ride, no matter how hard I deny it, it’s still God’s grace.
The God of newness, I wonder what do you have for us this year?