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I am having one of those anxiety attacks today. My heart is beating fast, my pulse racing and my mind can’t seem to stop thinking about so many things. Even as I am typing now, I am having this feeling of agitation.


Too much caffeine? I don’t think so. I want a puff right now just to ease my anxiety. It started yesterday when I woke up. And I still wasn’t able to shake it off me until now.



 Working has helped me in so many ways to conquer my depression but sometimes, I still feel the blues. I don’t know, maybe I need my


medication again. Flouxetine and Lorazepam. I am lucky to have my co-worker/boss listen to me, just like a therapist but somehow, I try to limit my blabbing because she might get tired of listening. I wish I could talk to my doctor right now but I can’t afford it. That’s just isn’t in my list of priorities. But sometimes I thought that I ought to save up for it to save my sanity.


 I don’t understand my moods. Two days ago , I was very positive about life and now, I’m thinking about so many negative things. This morning I was so high on happiness talking with everybody here, but now that I am alone, I suddenly feel so lonely and down .I don’t want to go back to my depression days when I was on medication. As a side effect, I was paranoid most of the time, and I was having auditory hallucinations. I thought I heard people talking or babies crying but it was all in my mind. I thought that  I was over with that stage, even though I wasn't able to finish the 6-month medication because I got pregnant. I thought that if I changed the way I looked at life like what my husband said, I would be able to overcome all these things that are happening to me. But it didn’t , because depression is an illness, not a state of mind.


Some people say that they understand depression or us, who has depression disorder, but , I think that no one will really understand it to the truest meaning of the word, if they haven’t been there. Why am I even mentioning this and seems to be open about my depression? I am not ashamed to admit that I suffer from that. And I have seen and experienced the consequences
of an untreated depression. I want the world to be aware that this is a disease that kills especially the spirit , destroys  relationships and changes your whole being.


Thank God for modern medicine. But relying on the medicine isn’t enough. The will to be well also counts.


 I want to be well, that’s why I am striving to. But the road to happiness and wellness seems long and winding and along the way are numerous obstacles. But I see the bright new day looming on the horizon, I just don’t know how to get there... yet .


 Below are the list of things that I sometimes do to conquer my anxiety or depression:




  1. Cutting.
    No, not cutting your own skin (I did that before too! ) , but cutting
    paper or anything. I find it so therapeutic and calming. Even if your mind
    wander while you cut, it still has it’s calming and relaxing effect.

  2. Coloring or sketching. Just doodle away.

  3. Make paper beads out of brochures or colored hand-outs .(that’s where your
    flyers went!)

  4. Make a journal. Blog or write anything or whatever is on your mind and heart. This
    is what my therapist recommended for me to do when I have no one else to
    talk to.

  5. Pray. Need I say more?



 



 



For more information on depression and anxiety. I recommend this
sites http://www.allaboutevenetwork.org , http://www.depression.org

Yesterday was Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto’s fight. I
wanted to stay home and watch it on television but my daughter was insisting that
we go to my aunt’s place in Makati
City so she can swim in
their pool. I wasn’t really keen on that because I was having a migraine but
looking at her sad face when I said no, my heart melted. Anyways, it’s been a
while since we last went there. So I finally give in.

 

The problem with having to leave house on a Manny Pacquiao
fight day is that you can’t get a cab easily. Sure the roads are cleared of the
usual traffic, even the MRT was half empty, but getting a taxi was a bit
difficult . Our house is near the road and usually cabs come and go on the
street, but yesterday, I was surprised to find none. So, after waiting for
nearly an hour for an empty cab, we were able to get our ride.

 

The cab driver was very excited about the fight that he even
told my husband to turn on the radio at home so he can have the updated blow by
blow events. The radio in the cab was loud enough to make my kids irritated and
start crying. But the driver was such in a happy mood and he apologized that
for the loud volume on the radio, he said he made a bet of six thousand pesos
in favor of Pacman. I asked who was fool enough to bet with him in favor of
Cotto and he replied it was his brother-in-law. I asked, “Why, is he not a
Filipino?” and he said ,”he is but don’t like Manny”. Oh well, I thought every
Filipino loves Manny Pacquiao. But then , I don’t also like him at times  but on a boxing bout, I would always favor him
over the opponent. Of course, let’s love our own countryman.

 

So, going back to my story, the driver was intent on
listening to the blow by blow report that I was afraid he was not concentrating
on his driving. He was such in a happy mood because he said he was going to
win. If Manny wins, his family will have a better Christmas. If Manny loses,
goodbye to a happy one. If Manny wins, he will go home immediately because he
already has his boundary for the day and will not work until today. If Manny
loses, then goodbye to the six thousand pesos he bet.

I was thinking how he could do such a thing to his family,
using that amount of money to bet on a game instead of just saving it for Christmas.
I do believe that Manny was a sure win, but what if he lost? In my opinion, betting
that kind of money would only be okay if you are earning more than what you bet.
I might be wrong but of course each one of us has different opinions.

 

So we were already a corner near Aguirre at the time of the
seventh round, when the driver said, “Ma’am , if the fight is over and Manny
won, I would have given you this ride for free.”  I said, “ Oh it’s okay. Just go and buy
something for your family. Thanks anyway.”

 

I think the only thing I would have agreed with all this
betting game would be the last one. There’s a 
saying that goes this way : “Life is a big gamble” but I never thought
some people take it literally. :)

 

I take the train everyday and boy! It is an adventure all
by itself. I have been taking rides years ago, but I still can’t quite get the
hang of it. Out of boredom while I was waiting for my stop, I had an idea.I divided
the people that take the train into three categories, the newbies , the
veterans and the thinkers.

 

The "newbies" are those who are just starting to take the
train and lost their loyalty over the good old bus. They are the ones who just
got fed up with the slow traffic in our country. These people are the ones you
hear complaining about how crowded it is inside the coaches, that their feet
are stepped on by somebody who didn’t care watching where he walked and those
who groan each time someobody pushes him from behind.

 

The "veterans:, on the other hand, are those who have been
taking rides for years. They know the techniques on how to get past the swarm
of people in the coach entrance. They may be way past behind you but in a blink
of an eye, for all you know, they beat you to the door. These people are the
ones pushing, stepping on your toes without even saying sorry , and they know how
to get to the good spots.

 

The "thinkers", or the wise (I think I fall in this category)
are the people whom you call “siguristas” or in English  “sure-getters” (I don’t know if there is such
a word J).They
wake up early so they can make a round-trip. With that, I mean taking the ride
all the way to the last station and never getting off the train to get back.
Get what I mean? For example : my station is in Cubao, I take the train all the
way to North Ave. then literally take the same train back to Ayala without
having to get off the train. That way, I would be able to get the best seats if
there are still some left, or, at least have a good spot where I can lean and
have something to hold on to.

 

I do this everyday except when I am tired of the morning
rush. That’s when I take the bus. I know that roundtrips are not allowed in the
North Ave
station, but many people are doing it. Only the pregnant , the disabled and
senior citizens are allowed to do that. This morning, the guard came to me and
asked if I was pregnant, I told him yes. Since I was skinny and wearing
tight-fitting jeans, he said I wasn’t. I casually told him, okay, show me
proofs that I’m not. With that, he left me and went to check on other stubborn
passengers like me.

 

Law-breaker? Maybe,but I’m just trying to survive in this city
jungle. Everyday is a game of survival where the weaker ones lose and the
stronger ones win. I am  not proud of
this but, hey , i gotta do it to survive!

 

 




 

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How ironic could life be?

Years ago, i was so depressed that i have contemplated suicide each time i got a big problem. I was such a diva that i thought every thing that happens to me was catalogued out of an episode of a soap opera.Funny how i would always stretch every issue and think that things are worse.I needed drama in my life.I was such a pessimist.Thank God i’ve overcome that phase in life.

Waking up with a numbness on your body changes the way we see life. Four days ago, i woke up with a numbness on my right face, and a pain in my arm going all the way down to my leg. The first thought i had was i may be having a stroke.Thanks to all the forwarded emails on how to determine a stroke or an attack. I remember massaging my face and trying to smile. Yes, i could still smile.So the idea of a mild stroke was out.

I am not in the habit of going to the doctor for every discomfort i feel , so it took a lot of deliberation and convincing from friends when i finally gave in and went to the nearest clinic. After all the usual routine, blood pressure–normal, heart rate–normal, the doctor couldn’t see any irregularity so I needed to have laboratory tests for cholesterol and such.In the meantime, i was prescribed a drug called Plavix, to ensure that i won’t have a heart attack or a stroke since i may a have clotting in the blood. That , and a dose of Vitamin B Complex for the nerves.

Waiting for results in situations like these are one of the most difficult things to do for me.I was plagued with thoughts that i may be inflicted with life-threatening diseases or worse.I thought i had a case of Peripheral Artery Disease because all the symptoms were similar to those i have ,except for the age factor. And where did i get that idea? The internet of course! Trouble with the technology, it becomes so available to everybody that anything you want know about, you can search it on the internet.I didn’t realize that i was basically killing myself with all those thoughts that might even be irrelevant.But nothing was impossible ,with the kind of lifestyle i lived.

When the results came two days after, i was referred to an internist.Laboratory tests showed that everything was normal–cholesterol, triglycerides.(I’m afraid of needles,particularly,syringes.Imagine how i nearly fainted when i had my blood sample taken.)After more examinations and questions, the doctor made a request for an x-ray on my hips and legs. So, i was back to where i started , no diagnosis.Along the process, the doctor was making suggestions on what might be troubling me.I was even given a request for a Cranial CT Scan  because i informed him that i frequently had headaches.He also suggested that i may be having this what-you-call-that syndrome..(i forgot that particular disease),something that affects your wrist and hand muscles and that a minor surgery would be needed to repair the band that holds the wrist and your nerves.I felt like i was talking with an alien because of all those medical terms he was saying.So i asked him to explain in plain English.  Doctors could be insensitive sometimes, as if i wasn’t tortured enough thinking i may be dying or my life was at risk.

The x-ray results came and then the final verdict. I was diagnosed to have a lumbar instability.What??? Well,according to Dr.John C.Wolf, Associate Professor of Family Medicine, Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine,it is a condition wherein “the vertebra in the lumbar portion of the spine move one upon another in such a way that the spinal canal is not aligned correctly.  This compromised spinal canal causes either direct or indirect pressure on the spinal nerve and the nerves that branch out from it.The consequence of this is back pain as well as leg pain.

The remedy for this is therapy, proper exercises,stretching and bending. I feel so elated to finally know that at least it wasn’t life-threatening.

Contemplating on this episode of my life, i realized that life is too short and precious, our bodies are fragile and that we should never compromise our health.Sick or not,I’ve learned how to put my faith and fate in the hands of my maker.Funny how  years ago i was so “trigger-happy” in being suicidal ,yet now, i felt fear..the fear of dying. I admit , i am not yet ready to die.

Bottom line : I’ve learned my lesson. :)

 

first published at my friendster blog on jan.08,2007

 

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