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As I write the fourth instalment of this series of articles, I will tell you about my story. I will tell you words you might need to hear especially from someone who knows what depression feels like. I had this idea because I remembered how my big brother comforted me when he figured out I was having trouble in school. On that day, I discovered that knowing at least one person understands you and is on your side no matter what, is enough to find solace in this world. Now, I want to do the same.
Shortly after finding solace, my rose-coloured glass shattered after losing my big brother. It happened during my last semester in school and I didn’t let myself grieve because I needed to graduate. I knew that giving into my feelings then would get in the way of that. Five months later, I made it to graduation day and decided to take a break before looking for a job. Since then, I have been living in the dark. I felt depressed, demotivated and most of all, lifeless — a real-life zombie for the past three years. So, I wanted to share how I lived out my darkest days hoping you’d feel that you’re not alone. Just like how I was comforted by my big brother back then.
During my “break”, I felt like being stabbed over and over after realising I lost what meant everything to me. I lost my dream, my youth and that one person who was always on my side. During those horrible days, I kept questioning everything that was happening. I asked countless times why I had to lose everything; why I had to suffer this much; why I was miserable when all I ever did was obey.
Later on, I realised bad things happen not to simply make us suffer but to make us change and move towards a better path. In case you’re going through something, I’m not going to tell you to stop feeling sad and think positive. That’s just BS, right? By all means, go through it; don’t take a shortcut. Only by doing this will you understand the beauty of your pain, later on. When you get better, you’ll realise those tough days were making you stronger and preparing you for a better life.
While I was living out my darkest hours, I couldn’t understand why I had to experience those frustrating moments. And I never did, not until I started letting things be. I cried, sulked, starved, binged, lashed out, laughed out loud, etc. I basically turned into a crazy person. But, I learned how to embrace every bit of it all. I kept doing those things and you know what, my life began falling into place. I landed a job I love; I met colleagues who didn’t make me feel judged; I actually wanted to step out into the world once again.
It took me three years and six months to see from a better perspective and to get somewhere. Know that everything takes time. It could take days, weeks, months or years. You just have to be patient and learn to trust the process of becoming, no matter how difficult it might be.
While I was in college, I never let myself feel the emotions that made me feel weak. That’s why when all hell broke loose, all the feelings I kept shoving to the side suddenly came haunting me. It was torture.
I felt like doing nothing on some days while on other days, I cleaned the house non stop. Sometimes, I laugh out loud while watching K-dramas as if nothing was wrong. But most of the time, tears just kept rolling down my cheeks without a warning. That’s how it was for me and it came to a point where I felt like I had nowhere to run and I ended up kneeling, praying and asking for help. I wasn’t really the type to ask for help until I realised I couldn’t get over my grief on my own. I needed to find peace and the only one who can give that and put my life back together again was God.
Sometimes we think that we can do everything alone. But, there are things we can’t carry all by ourselves. And those are the fears, worries and pain that can only be taken away by God. You might not understand what I’m saying and that’s okay. Just remember, if ever your burdens become too heavy for you, pray and ask God to carry it for you.
“Trust, big word.” And for someone who is going through emotional, mental and physical dilemmas all at once, it’s not easy to trust anything or anyone. At first, I just prayed to be okay. Yet, things still didn’t go my way. Rejections in life kept coming at full speed and the pressures to get a job wasn’t helping either. So, I decided to just leave it all up to God.
I prayed and surrendered every bit of what’s weighing me down. I continued living out each day as if I was headed nowhere; as if I had no ambition. Other people saw what I was doing and left comments I hated hearing but I just kept going my way. I was confident that my life wasn’t doomed just yet because I trusted someone Great.
Fast forward to a few weeks later, I received an e-mail saying I was being invited for an interview. The next thing I knew, I was told that the decision to be part of the team was for me to make. And, poof! Magic happened right before my eyes! Now, you may not believe me but it won’t kill you to believe in the magic of God’s plan for you. So, if you’re having a hard time right now, just try to say a prayer because it might just work for you too.
I never understood depression and anxiety until it happened to me. It’s not a joke and definitely not easy to fight. But, After going through all that and making it out somewhat alive, I wanted to help other people who might be going through something too.
I want to tell you that your feelings are valid and it’s okay to break. You’re not weak but rather you are so brave for surviving every single day in darkness. You can take your time doing whatever it is that you think will help you cope. Whether it’s by indulging in sleep, crying your eyes out or binge watching dramas to save you from bad thoughts, go ahead and do it. Keep praying, not for things to get easier but for you to be better and stronger. It’s easier to say our feelings and thoughts out loud to someone who will just listen without blurting out unnecessary comments. And that someone is God. Remember, you don’t have to be religious to pray. You only need to be honest and sincere enough to ask for help, His help.
“I am here” —simple words whose magic goes beyond our comprehension. All my defences crumbled as I heard my big brother say those words to me four years ago. And up to this day, each time the memories and the feelings come haunting me, I hear his words loud and clear. And, this is why I also want you to know that you’re not alone.
If you’re going through a tough time right now, I hope you have someone telling you those words. I hope you find the courage to ask for help even if it’s just by praying to God. I sincerely wish that you also learn how to embrace the uncertainty you find yourself in and how to trust in God’s greater plan for you.
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