Reflections: A Blast from the Past and How I Continue To Fight in the Battlefields of My Mind

Monday, April 29, 2013

Looking at the recent photos I took of me (yes, selfies ahermm..) and with my kids, I suddenly felt an emotion I can't explain. It was like being transported into another time, and the past flashed in my mind. I took time to be alone, and reflected on the recent activities that I have been on.

I have been feeling edgy the past week, because there are certain issues that I can't seem to face and I still cannot come to terms with it. And when there's something bothering me, I can sometimes appear "bitchy" to those who don't know me.And that's because there are so many things in my mind that needs sorting out. I think, it's normal for a woman to feel that way especially when it's the time of the month. And it takes an extraordinary man to understand our moods. :)

I realized that almost all my pictures have me with my teeth sticking out, meaning, I'm smiling, I'm happy. Flashback two years ago, I could barely smile. Even before my life-changing moments, I was unhappy and I realized it only when I was already at the brink of losing my sanity.

I could not really explain why I was unhappy. I always blame it on depression. You see, the things I have now, are the same things I had before. And I should have been happier before because there was a man who "loved" me. But I guess the relationship was the thing that was making me unhappy. I felt like I was trapped, had nowhere to go. Or maybe there was really nothing wrong with the relationship, but the persons in the relationship. Or most probably, it was really me and my bouts of depression that was pulling people away from me.

Last Friday, at our prayer meeting, I was blessed to hear a friend's story about how she also at some point in her life, suffered severe depression, also took anti-depressants, much like what I was prescribed before. I never thought that there would be one more person who suffered the same things as I did in battling depression. And as I have always said it before and will say it again, you will never understand depression if you've never been to that place.

As I was looking through my old photos, I saw the very photo that always reminded me of what it was like to be in the dark, and inspire me to continually make myself happy simply because I don't wanna go back to that place again. It's not a pretty sight, and it is a very,very dark place.

Left: Me in the hospital and how I looked like waking up after almost 2 days from the effects of overdosage from
the sleeping pills I took, after the doctors pumped charcoal into my system to flush the toxins.
Right: My latest photo with my signature grin, an affirmation that I am now learning to enjoy life.

I confess,there are times that I feel like I am one step closer to becoming depressed once more. I know it and can see the signs as early as from the moment I wake up in the morning. There would be mornings that I would feel melancholic, but I try my best to fight it off. Good thing I have work to shift my attention to.

Clinically, my doctors have not really cleared me from depression, because I also have not gone back to see any of them after my last psychological assessment on my capability of taking care of my children and for trauma to domestic violence. But it is my personal choice to stop seeing psychiatrists and to stop from taking any medication. I realized that I cannot put my children at risk for the side effects of the medications will have on me.

My biggest suicide attempt was a side effect of abruptly stopping anti-depressants. When I learned from my OB-Gyne that I was pregnant, he immediately ordered me to stop taking the medicines for the baby's sake. But I knew of the effects, so i wanted to consult first my psychiatrist for recommendations to my OB.There must be another way to not compromise any lives, mine or the baby's. But unfortunately, she was one of those doctors who does not give their numbers to their patients but the secretary's only. And I was informed that she was out of the country.

I have to choose to sacrifice one, and I chose mine and so I stopped the medication for the sake of the baby's development. At that time, it was what I thought was the sanest thing to do. My OB-Gyne was already insisting that I stop.Of course, he doesn't know how I seriously needed the medications at that time. Barely a week after I stop taking the medicines, it happened. I cannot really recall everything that happened because sometimes, my mind has a way of shutting down painful memories as a defense mechanism.But that's how it happened.

Depression attacks the mind.As long as you do not take control of your thoughts, it is very likely that these negative thoughts will try to poison your thoughts and slowly eat up your whole being. But science has a different take on depression, saying that it is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. If you keep believing that that's just what it is, then it is. But I chose to think differently now and I am positive that eventually, I will be able to control it without medication.

I thought that if I change my mindset, and be more spiritual, then I will be able to overcome this condition.Which in so many ways true. I am lucky to have been called to the Light of Jesus. Under Bo. Sanchez's leadership and simple talks, I was able to rediscover the beautiful person that I am simply because I am God's own.  I have learned to love myself and that there is always somebody who loves me unconditionally.

Depression is most of the time feeling worthless and unworthy and looking at yourself so low. In my opinion, once you change your mindset and know that someone needs you and someone loves you, then that is one step closer to being free from the condition.

Now, I always try to think of my children at all times especially when I feel so low in the morning. I would always say a prayer that all these negative thoughts be gone.

Thought for the day:

We may always think that we have total control of our lives. But sometimes, life throw a surprise at us and our characters would be put to the test. When you think that you are slowly losing grip, there is still someone up there whom we can call upon to take charge of our lives.

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