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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Being nice

Sometimes, you do something with all the best of intentions, but the outcome isn't what you hoped for.

Like being nice to somebody.

All I wanted was to tell this person that there's no need for any of us to feel awkward or what in case we bump into each other again. That I'm not mad at her. That I'm really okay with everything. But I made things worse.

And I felt so, so bad. Guilt weighed down on me more heavily than a backpack full of thick pants and jackets. And just like before, I let myself drown in my tears as I cried and cried to release all the pain.

I wanted to escape from it all that I wanted to go all Sleeping Beauty and fall into a deep sleep. Not even a kiss from Prince Charming would be able to wake me up. But of course, that didn't happen.

And I'm glad it didn't. A couple of days in bed sleeping and not waking up may give me temporary respite, but a lot of things can happen in two days. A lot of exciting things. A lot of beautiful things. Had I slept like a bear in hibernation, I would have missed out on all the fun.

Being nice is not bad in itself. But like what have been told to me many times, we have no control over how other people would react. But if I did it with all good intentions, I should stop feeling guilty and just move on. I didn't murder anybody. I did not commit a crime against humanity. I'm just being a girl who is trying her best to be nice and kind.

And that's enough.

Monday, February 15, 2016


No, he hasn't proposed yet. And no, we're not yet getting married any time soon. But I'm saying yes. Yes to his love. Yes to everything that he is. Yes to who I am to him.

The weekend that was Valentine's (yes, for me it was a two-day celebration) is now over, but everything that happened over the past two days are still fresh in my mind. This year, my boyfriend Paul Michael (PM for short) and I celebrated our first Valentine's Day. I was looking forward to it last week, getting anxious as Friday neared, because I knew that the moment I step out of the office, it would be the start of our Valentine's weekend.

There were neither roses nor were there serenades and grand gestures of love. The cheesy girl that I am would've teared up at those, but I teared up anyway when PM took me to the 7th Philippine International Pyromusical Competition last Saturday at SM Mall of Asia. All those fireworks lighting up the sky seemed to sparkle for me--for us--and for our love that was passionate and deep despite having been together for only six months.

Six months, but it feels like several years already. I have bared a huge portion of myself to him. I have opened my hand to reveal the broken, glass pieces that I have been carrying with me. I have showed him how wounded I am, how messed up I am, how difficult I can be. And yet, he has chosen to be with me. And every day, he chooses to.

So I am choosing to be with him, too. I am choosing to love him every single day. I am choosing to embrace everything about him. I am choosing him, no more explanations needed.

As colors made the sky festive last Saturday night, I cried out of joy because the fireworks seemed to signal a beautiful start--for me, as I begin to recover from my depressive episodes brought about by bipolar disorder; for PM, as he sees a less burdened version of me; and for us, as every new experience creates a new chapter in our book.

I buried myself in his arms as I sang to Ingrid Michaelson's "The Way I Am" playing on my phone on the evening of February 14. We subtly moved left and right--a cross between cradling each other and slow dancing to the music. And as we did so, I cried again. Softly and tenderly. I cried tears of joy for having him. We might have met in one of the craziest of circumstances, but it doesn't make our relationship any less meaningful. We were both at the right place at the right time back then, and on the evening of February 14, we were at the right place and time again. We were together. We've gained our spots in each other's hearts, and neither of us is willing to let go of those.

And because of that, it's an everyday yes. To him. To us.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Seeing the light

After a couple of weeks of taking 50mg of Lamotrigine (in addition to 200mg of Quetiapine and 10mg of Escitalopram), I've started to feel better. Finally. I genuinely feel better.

I still find myself feeling sad or upset sometimes, but so far, I haven't slipped into the despondent and depressed levels in my mood spectrum. When I started taking Lamotrigine, I did feel mood dips and I got impatient because I thought that my new combination of meds isn't working. Again. But after several days, I felt lighter, and that's when I knew that I'm starting to feel better.

I do think it's not just the combination of three meds alone. I've been exercising regularly, twice a week, for an hour or so. I used to spend just 45 minutes each day for twice a week of exercise, so that's 90 minutes per week. But now, I'm hitting my quota of 120 minutes of moderate exercise per week. My psychiatrist took this as good news, and he recommended that I increase the intensity of my exercise.

Speaking of psychiatrist, my visit to his clinic last Tuesday went smoothly. It was the first time that I didn't cry at the clinic while recounting my moods and experiences over the past month. I told my psychiatrist how exercise makes me feel good and how I look forward to it every week. That having exercise buddies makes me enjoy it more. That friends of mine (who don't know each other) send me messages. Some of these are messages of support, while some are of inquiry because they, too, are experiencing dips and anxiety and they feel they need help. Some of my friends also message me to share their troubles or problems that they think I would understand but other people would judge them for.

I appreciate all these messages. It makes me think that I'm doing something good. It's not that I I feel like a superhero or something. No. What I mean is that I'm able to be there for someone else even if I have issues of my own. That I'm able to create light out of a dark experience. All these make me feel good.

I hope I continue to improve, especially now that my psychiatrist is also seeing that I'm getting better. He started to wean me from Escitalopram (my antidepressant), lowering the dose to 5mg from 10mg. I asked if I would still take 200mg of Quetiapine, and he said yes. We'll deal with the meds one at a time.  But for now, I'm happy. After several months of being in a dip, I'm starting to see the light. Even it's just a flicker at the end of a dark tunnel, this light will guide me to where I should be.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


I've started to exercise at least twice a week in January, and since then, I've been looking forward to it every day. Walking and jogging around the neighborhood have given me the endorphin reserves that I need to combat my down swings. And as the weeks go by, I find myself walking and jogging not just around the neighborhood but also at the park nearby.

When this year started, I conditioned myself to actively do something to fight depression. I don't have manic states in the sense that I dance on tables and think I'm a goddess when I'm extremely happy. My bipolar disorder is more of a mood dysregulation disorder. I switch from feeling okay to being extremely down in a matter of minutes, and when I'm down, it's so difficult to lift my mood. In the last few months of 2015, I had no strength to do anything, not even to get up in the morning. I felt so weak and drained. But now, I'm doing something to change that.

Exercise makes me feel good, that's why I look forward to it. I'm not that fit (my heart pounds hard and I'm out of breath after jogging less than a kilometer), but it makes me feel good. What makes it even better is having exercise buddies. Last week, I jogged with my friends Maika and Steph. Last night, I bumped into Steph and her friend Apple at the park. Running and gasping for breath become less punishing when there are two or three of you doing the same.

On Saturday, I'll jog with my newfound friend Issa. She did my makeup during our staff photo shoot, and we've become kindred spirits since then. My psychiatrist recommended 120 minutes of moderate exercise for me every week. Now that exercise has become part of my schedule, I won't have a hard time meeting that quota.