IN SHORT: Talking About Mental Health Conditions Is A Good Thing

Talking about real important stuff brings forth understanding and empathy.

This will be a shorter post for the meantime as I am about to go snoozing off for the night (hence appending In Short to signify something that spells less than 500 words; and will, from now on serve as a header that briefs the reader that he/she may expect an abridged piece).


Setting up this blog had not been easy, especially that of considering using my real name as I blog. Doing so may be a potential risk to my job and perhaps my reputation, as mental illness still has this form of stigma enveloping its realities. Thus being said, I had second thoughts of revealing (even just a bit: there are lots of Shirleys in the world) some aspects of how I live as a person with a psycho-social and neurological disability as I very well understand reluctance on society’s part to acknowledge the seemingly more obtuse side of an “erratic” albeit “passionate” mind. However, as I mulled over whether it would be more fortuitous or agreeable to at least reveal some details about my life as a person with disability, I began to realise that unraveling even just snippets of how I battle my gloom, despairs, anxieties, and everything in between might be instruments of comfort as well as assurance that everything can be well and fine. Also, as I mused, I tried to likewise turn tables around a bit in my head: what if I was a random visitor to a blog similar to this and I found out I could at least identify myself with the writer… would I not feel a sense of encouragement that, in one way or another, I have a virtual buddy of sorts that could help calm turbulent—and terrible—mood swings, not to mention episodes of “the quivers” which plunge me every now and then into an even more depressed state? That I could read posts that beckon me to cope despite some even more detailed accounts of the writer’s failures in keeping her own sense of equilibrium? It would be definitely that heartwarming to note that I am not alone. That I can make it through the rain, as the song goes.

So it’s more of what I can do for others and myself as well, for blogging about my illness serves as a respite from brooding all the more about my supposedly hapless, decapitated efforts to survive smirks and condescension, haughtiness and stigma. At least I have a release.

What I can say, therefore, is that talking about one’s disorder is not so bad after all. Who knows I could save a life just by chronicling all these that others may find bizarre or worse, self-centred. As long as I can survive my daily terrors, then I shall continue writing.

Yes. Because I have the will to live.


Unnerved, and How to Supposedly Deal

Have a cup of tea. Emotions need appeasing.

As I had been feeling too overwhelmed by certain posts in my other Facebook account, I decided to shut if off temporarily as I needed to rest from the hurly-burly of information extant in that social media platform. This I had to undertake as a resolution to my current choleric state—I do not want any more doses of political posts, partisan politics, vituperations against particular beliefs, and certain nonsensical memes that do nothing but uphold the proliferation of ignorance rather than enlightenment. All those “noise” in my news feed while I try my very best to wheel myself out of depression and dysfunction nowadays, so I decided that deactivating would be a key to my sanity. Instead I hobbled through signing up for another Facebook account, added individuals who mean most to me, and began posting more personal thoughts and ruminations as always. While doing so, for some reason, I felt a sort of encompassing calm in that of I resolving to take a step backward and enjoy a more uncomplicated social media environment. In my new account, all I could see are snippets of life that my friends encounter in their everyday journeys such that I revel in the jubilation of making a move to diminish, even just for a while, a burgeoning arena of hodgepodge tales and impervious jokes and sometimes political finger-pointing that mortify my spirit. I have had enough of those. Enough.

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When Days Are Not So Good But You Have To Strive

Things will be alright. There should always be hope in the picture.

Yes, I have depression, terrible bouts of depression.

It has been years ever since I was diagnosed (see my ABOUT page) yet my dark days seem to overwhelm me still most often than not. Some might say that my medications are now being overruled by the intensities of my condition, i.e., my system being “immune” to the concoctions already, thus the inability to stabilise my moods or that ever perennial self-destructive behaviour (with bouts of hypomania in between). That is why sometimes, holding on to every single pill I take can, at times, be very disillusioning: there is always a possibility that symptoms could either temporarily appease themselves or merely provide an influx of false positives in terms of my actuations and/or mind processes. Of course, I am not discounting the fact that medicines are effective as they can be. They are. But what if that, despite countless of pills I take, the symptoms are still there?

That would be a different question altogether (albeit related in a sense). Since I very much aspire for wellness, for a panacaea, for an all-encompassing sense of serenity and security—beyond what medications may offer, of course—I try to take a mental account of all things that I have been undergoing the past week. As people very well know, I am a teacher by profession; and the very notion of teaching can equally conjure up impressions about the difficulties the job entails. I would agree that teaching is difficult, that no soul dares tread such a path if he/or she is faint of heart. Yet I am here, with all my episodic depressive states that at times hamper my performance: what I ought to do in order to make the classroom “child-friendly” and “wholesome.” In fact, I’ve always ruminated on the question on whether someone with mental illness can, truly manage diversity as personified by each individual I encounter day in and day out, when I myself bear the brunt of such an arduous task. This being said, this week is no exception, given that I have to take care of things in preparation for the upcoming school year including certain school activities such as enrollment and entrance tests. Of course, I prepared. I could say I prepared myself well. I submitted a diagnostic test. I was coordinating with the assistant principal regarding student enrollment and skills assessment. She even praised me for “my efforts.” I was not necessarily on cloud nine but I was okay, and my brain felt okay because I was accomplishing something noteworthy. And I was medicated.

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