#SuicideAwarenessDay

That moment when you’re so eager to write about something you feel so strongly about that a million words are begging to burst out and be written but at the same time as the pen hovers over the paper, nothing comes out- not a single word, well I’m having one such moment. I’m just unsure of how to begin this. Do I start with statistics or quotes or pictures or my own experience or someone else’s that has helped shape my own? Something compelling enough to interest you but honest still that it remains as meaningful as it should. Let me start with this:

Suspend your judgments. Suicide isn’t just about statistics, it’s about stories.

suicide

Some of you will judge this entry the same way you judge every person who committed suicide or have tried to, with extreme prejudice and I ask for the sake of this day and this discussion that you open your mind to opinions other than your own. The fault of this bunch, which I don’t find a fault at all but many will, is how we see things. You see them at eye level, for what it is. We see them from overhead, standing on a table and seeing ourselves in comparison to others, in association with things we don’t have or the person we can never be, happy.

I will not generalize the neigh sayers, they come from different backgrounds and varied beliefs, nor will I stereotype those who have had this problem. Trust me they’re not always the guy with the heavy eyeliner make up and a blade pendant secured around his neck. It’s not as plain and black and white as that. Sometimes it’s the town’s golden girl who maintains straight As and is quietly drowning in the pressure of perfection or maybe the quiet kid who sits at the back of the class who is invisible to everyone but the restroom mirror where he spends his lunch dismantling a sharpener.

I'm scared | via Tumblr

To them suicide is a way out, not selfish but reasonable. To stay in a cycle where you’re constantly unhappy and alone, feeling either like a huge disappointment or anonymous is not worth living over every single day. That thought consumes you and dulls every form of happiness most people savor. TELLING US TO GET IT TOGETHER AND DISMISSING OUR WORRIES WON’T HELP BECAUSE REALLY WHEN YOU DO THAT, YOU’RE BRUSHING US OFF. Were you even listening or were you too busy judging us and labeling our problem  non existent because it’s not cancer or ebola virus?

I am in no way advocating for suicide, not because it’s cowardly but because YOU’RE WORTH A LIFE. Trust me when I say that no matter how bleak and dark your life is right now, I need you to hang in there. YOU ARE WORTH EVERYDAY YOU FIGHT FOR. YOU WILL FIND HAPPINESS ONE DAY AND IT WILL BE EVEN MORE WORTH IT BECAUSE YOU KNOW HOW HARD YOU FOUGHT FOR IT. I’m sorry you had to in the first place but trust that your strong enough to overcome this and know that wherever you are, no matter how alone you feel, you never are. 

And to those whose made it and are now happier and better, I am so proud of you. You deserve every praise for deciding to stay and choosing to stick with it every single day since. I wish you the happiest of days, you deserve no less for the courage and strength you’ve shown. There may still be rough patches ahead but find comfort in the fact that the enemy you fought already lost a few times before and you have the upper hand because you’re stronger than all you demons.

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My friend mentioned a few days ago how pointless suicide hotlines are because if you really wanna kill yourself, why would you want someone to stop you? She has a good point actually and I’ve considered coming up with alternatives. Although I’d like to think that it’s because most of them, deep down just want a reason to stay. Here’s one:

Everyone is worth saving. YOU ARE WORTH SAVING.

So be it on #SuicideAwarenessDay or any other day of the year, if you ever feel like throwing in the towel, talk to someone. Sometimes we only need reminding of how much we’re worth. There’s no shame in that.

And to everyone else reading this post, I hope you’ll find it in your heart to be nicer, more open-minded and understanding of people whose circumstances may be far from your own. Give that shy guy beside you a chance. Talk to the girl who consciously fiddles with her shorts at gym class. Avoid stereotyping the abrasive jock loitering the hallway. Tweet someone you’ve never talked to words encouragement when she seems down and ask about her day. Get to know to know them and give them more reasons to love the lives the they have and the people that they are. A simple act of care and kindness will go a long way especially to someone who doubts he’ll ever get any.

You matter.

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#depression

I realised.. IM HERE FOR YOU ♡♥♡

One morning I woke up with an unfamiliar material draped securely on my back. It was heavy and cold and it very much resembled a cloak- like in one of those old Hollywood movies. The fabric clung to me like second skin, choking, smothering and weighing me down while it slyly remains invisible to the eyes of even those staring right at me. No matter how hard I fidget, move my body like a convulsing freak, grab at it, try to tear it away from my body with all the strength my man hands could muster, it remains rigid and unrelenting. There are days when I feel the grip tightening, leaving steady marks on my skin that will remind me of how it possessed me for as long as I live.

It’s daunting to admit how much it’s affecting a full grown person with rationality and control. The fear of judgment and ridicule in society where the easiest response would be to ask if the cloak truly exists or if I made it up because I’m either crazy or in CRAZY need of attention. Either way I will be labelled a freak and avoided like a plague or talked to behind my back. To the few who care enough to consider that there MAY be a cloak, they’ll look you from head to toe and when they see no physical manifestations of a life threatening cloak. They walk away claiming that you’re lucky it won’t require surgery. At that moment, I wish it did. Maybe I’ll get more help if people can physically see the pain an invisible cloak is causing me.

You might know the cloak by its common name, depression.

its not fair how i see everyone breathing.

Yes my lovely readers, how timely right? Just as the world is  confused, bewildered and pained by Robin Williams’ death, one caused by this cloak itself, I decide to write about it. Well to be honest this entry was inspired by him. I have been struggling to write anything on this subject for years, ever since I started this blog actually, but I never had the courage, words or inspiration to even start. That changed when I was aimlessly browsing through my twitter feeds and froze on one of the trends. I think we all know which trend it was.

#RIPRobinWilliams

A thousand RTs, skimmed articles and a full blown movie marathon later, I decided I need to write something about this. Screw inhibitions and fear, depression is a real thing and it has to be talked about because more and more people are falling victim to it and very few seem to take it seriously. The most infuriating yet common reaction we get is it’ll pass or get over it. Those are the words of an ignorant person brushing off something purely because he has no clue what it is. The same words that will make the lot of us, already depressed, consider ourselves even bigger freaks than we already think.

I doesnt.

Depression, unlike physical illnesses with very visible manifestations, is often treated as a whim of some attention seeking person who is bored of his own life that’s why he needs to make up some disease that cannot be visually assessed. The truth however is depression gnaws at you from the inside, turning every thought, every memory, every experience into a black hole that sucks the life out of you while you seem completely a-okay on the outside. You feel disabled without the advantage of a parking space. In  two  very cliché words : it sucks.

so fucking true

There is no standard to depression. It varies for each one and I could spend the whole day discussing to you the many kinds but really what those going through this need from you is just one thing, your understanding.

UNDERSTANDING

It may sound so easy, so fundamental in fact but to truly understand someone who goes through that requires for you to suspend your prejudices and preconceived notion fed by some exaggerated movie or oblivious hearsay. We don’t all cut or binge or drink meds or listen to sad songs or plaster a frown on our faces. Often even a smile is the most believable lie one gets to tell. Funny though, almost everyone falls for it. Depression too is not to be stereotyped.

For those still trapped in their cloaks, hang in there and stay strong. Fight to be happy because you’re worth no less. Find comfort in the promise that you’re not alone and somebody on the other end of this screen understands and appreciates you.  I do care and I’ll keep fighting, I’d love for you join me. –winks-

perhaps?

a Harry Potter prequel: The Gathering Storm

I was 8 when I first met him. He had a quaint-shaped scar on his forehead, wears clothes a few sizes too big and sleeps in a cupboard under the stairs. They called him ‘the boy who lived’.

books

My journey with books started with JK Rowling’s Harry Potter (and Tolkien’s Middle Earth series) when I was very, very young. I remember staying up way past my bedtime with nothing but my book, a flashlight and the earnest hope that at 11 I too will get my Hogwarts letter. Although that never came, I was gifted with so much more.

Through Harry, JK opened me to creativity, emboldened me to pursue my dreams no matter how lucrative and encouraged me to keep reading and writing even when very few kids around me shared that passion. Harry taught me that it’s okay I’m different. It’s okay that sometimes people don’t get me, that I make the most unlikely friends, that troubles badger me continuously no matter how hard I try to stay away from them and that I often care too much.

I think I speak for most in the Potterhead fandom when I say that we will never get enough of her and the magical world she has so laboriously created. Harry Potter is a part of me and in his world, I feel at home.

So if at any point you’re just like me, in search for chances to ditch the Muggle movie sphere, I’m inviting you to support, donate, share and/ or watch The Gathering Storm. It’s a fan-made movie, written, acted, shot and financed by very creative and dedicated Potterheads.

As there are no trailers out yet (well, not that I know of), the most that I could tell you is that it chronicles the Marauders and other prominent wizards and witches during their time (most of them in their 6th year at Hogwarts) as they face a world at war with the dark arts and those who practice it. Although this has no ties with Warner Brothers or the original producers of the Harry Potter franchise, expect that it will do the prequel justice  because Potterheads love the story too much to let it suck. Trust me, that’s all the reassurance you’ll need. Plus I’ve seen all their efforts on Tumblr and I have to say I’m very impressed and EXTREMELY EXCITED to see the movie.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it before but my favorite character in the Harry Potter series is Sirius Black (and you’ll know why in the coming entries) so I’m definitely looking forward to getting to know him more especially before Azkaban and see his interactions with the 3 other Marauders, Prongs, Moony and Wormtail. Then there’s Jily, one of the most loved, as proven by the thousands of fan fictions about it, ships to ever grace any book. I’m sure so many would be squirming to see the red head fall for the trouble maker, finally on screen.

Before I go off into the Harry Potter daydreamland (as you might have noticed), allow me to end this entry by inviting you to visit this site: http://marauders-fanfilm.tumblr.com and their social media sites mentioned on their page and help out in whatever way you can.To all the non-potterheads, we’d be deeply indebted to you and rest assured you won’t regret it. To my fellow Potterheads, you guys know what we’ve got to do. Get the word out and support the cool people who came up with this in the first place.

And lastly, to the cast and crew of The Gathering Storm, thanks for braving the unknown and putting your heads and efforts together to make this happen. We all need some magic back in our lives and your movie might do just that.

MISCHIEF MANAGED.

how to give it to him straight

(no pun intended)

Let me start by saying this isn’t an easy post. I went back and forth. I finally decided to publish it after having a long talk with my cousin who convinced me that this is indeed AN ARTICLE WORTH WRITING and that I shouldn’t be scared about what people will say or how they’ll react because I never was before this anyway.

 

I know. I think I’ve always known you’re gay and a part me of thinks you’ve known for awhile too. I won’t insult you by describing the times you made me realize it but like Bobby’s mom said, ‘You always know.’ I don’t know if in the many conversations we had, you tried to tell me. If you did and it didn’t work out or I just wasn’t listening well enough, I’m so sorry. I can get caught up in the noise sometimes and you know we’re a noisy crowd.

There are days when I feel so helpless because I can’t just hug you and tell you it’s gonna be okay. You haven’t even trusted me with your secret yet so all I could do is wait for the time when you’re ready. I wanted to write this for when that time comes. This will be the proof that I’ve always supported you, whoever you are and whoever you choose to love.

It won’t be easy because we still live in a society where you’re an anomaly (that word hurts me more than you know). Trust me when I say it’s all gonna be okay. I’m here for you. We’re all here rooting for you. When the harshest, most painful slings from others and even from people you love come, I promise to stand beside you and just be around for whatever you need.

I want you to know how much I love you. I hope when you finally get to read this you’ll be a proud, happy and free man.

photo from comingoutjournal.tumblr.com

I am reaching out to all those who were in my position or those in his. What should I do? I don’t want him to think no one cares. WE don’t want to make the mistake of just ignoring it but in the end make him feel unaccepted or that he can’t tell us anything.

 

***

Note: Bobby from the entry is a reference to Prayers for Bobby a 2009 movie exploring the life of a closeted gay Christian finally coming out to his family and how being ostracized drove him to take his own life.

 

 

 

struggles of a would be writer

Okay okay okay. I haven’t been able to update you with my crazy rants and musings about life the past week, well the past WEEKS. Sorry. I’ve been busy writing. What’s new about that? I do write. YES,  articles and blog entries for other people everyday but this is different- it’s something way out of my comfort zone.

I’m writing a literary fiction. *cringe*

photo from anavar-immela, via thewritershelpers

It’s not my forte I know. Much like poetry, I read more than write them but I thought tis the year to challenge myself. I’ve had this idea and have been scribbling drafts for awhile. By ‘awhile’ I mean 16 years but I never found the courage to organize them and actually write the chapters because I was really terrified- mostly of sucking but also of the possible transference in the characters. That fear got the better of me so all I have of all those years of daydreaming and imagining characters are doodles on the sides of some scenes I thought would be too cool not to at least write down.

Then I just decided I wanna do it. I WANT TO WRITE A BOOK.

It doesn’t have to get picked up by some major publishing house (that would be great though) but I just really wanna put it out there. I want to put my daydreaming to rest and actually make something out of it.

So here I am struggling… enjoying every moment but still struggling.

If you have any tips, words of encouragement, moral support whatsoever, I’d be so happy to hear them.

CUT NO MORE

Someone in the world commits suicide every 40 seconds.

That is a terrifying number, as if encountering one suicide attempt in your lifetime isn’t traumatic enough. I was in a senior in high school when it happened. Before the commotion, all I could remember was being sleepy in Math class, seated beside my best friend and trying my hardest to look the least bit interested. Then we heard screams and feet running. Because we had quiet hallways, you immediately knew something was up.

I tugged at my friend and motioned towards the door to check it out. Half the class, including my teacher was headed to the same direction. Most of us thought it was a drill or a school emergency. Very few, if not none, would have guessed what we were to see next.

In the middle of a four storey building was a student holding on to the ledge already about to jump. At that moment, I thought I was seeing everything in slow motion. She was struggling to maintain her balance as there was very little foothold on the other side of the ledge while her hands were slowly slipping from gripping the safety bars too tight. Students from our side of the building were running towards her in a desperate attempt to help her because it won’t take long for her to fall off. If she does, it doesn’t look good. There are a bunch of decorative rocks and statues in the middle of the garden where she’ll fall. We already know she might do it as she has always been depressed and we often see her with cut marks on her arms so we were all hoping for a miracle.

Miracle there was.  James and Ken, guys from our batch, came swooping in and carefully lifted her away from the ledge and into safety. She was still crying and inconsolable though- according to my friends who were right there with her as I did not get to see her up close. After our math teacher ushered us back in, I remember thinking to myself what if she did jump?

photo from theeonlyeexceeption.blogspot.com

I’ve had my personal battles with depression and what it reduces you to but this isn’t the time for me to talk about that. I’m still trying to muster the courage to narrate difficult times in my life, times when I was too vulnerable for my own liking and too devoid of understanding to be better. I wanted to share this story not just to show you that there are people who feel as hopeless or as depressed but to persuade you to think twice or thrice or a million times before you hurt yourself.

I know it seems that nobody cares, that nobody understands. The latter may be true, the pain may be unique to your experience but I don’t have to understand the premise for you pain to care about you, to be here for you, to just hug you and tell you I love you. At that moment when she was about to jump, I wanted her to know someone cares. Someone always cares- often more than you think they do.

The next time you feel like hurting yourself or ending it altogether, give me call or send me message. I’ll tell you how big a loss you will be, not just to stop you but because it’s the truth.

You’re worth a life.

summer for a 21-year old

The humidity in this country is beyond bearable. I found myself waking up in the middle of night, running to bathroom and taking a quick shower just to get through the next few hours without having a heat stroke. The only upside to this delirious experience is you can get creative as to how you spend the rest of the summer.

Here’s how I plan to enjoy mine.

  1. Get a natural tan by frequenting the beach . Cliche but summer is for  SWIMMING. Ladies, let those bikini bodies shine -or in my case maxi dress-covered body. 

    Suggested beaches: Caramoan, Calaguas, Atolayan and Aguirangan. They’re not as populated as Boracay but you will definitely admire the beaches and the natives.

  2. Time to catch up on my reading. I’m going to spend those lazy afternoons lounging as I read a paperback. Yeah yeah, I’m a geek. I already pre-ordered some of the books on my summer reading list.

    MY SUMMER READING LIST
     THE BEST OF ME, by Nicholas Sparks. Twenty-five years after their high school romance ended, a man and woman who have gone their separate ways return to their North Carolina town for the funeral of a friend.
     CALICO JOE, by John Grisham. In the summer of 1973, a fateful baseball play unites a dazzling rookie, a hard-partying and hard-throwing pitcher and the pitcher’s young son.
     NOW YOU SEE HER, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. Nina Bloom, a successful lawyer and loving mother who years ago changed her identity to save her life, is forced to confront the past and the killer she thought she had escaped.
    A GAME OF THRONES, by George R. R. Martin. In the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are mustering; Book 1 of “A Song of Ice and Fire.”
     DELUSION IN DEATH, by J. D. Robb. Lt. Eve Dallas tries to sort out the inexplicable events at a bar where, after 12 minutes of chaos, more than 80 people lay dead; by Nora Roberts, writing pseudonymously.
     THE LOST YEARS, by Mary Higgins Clark. A biblical scholar who made an amazing discovery is murdered, and it falls to his daughter to unravel the mystery behind his death.
     THE WANDERER, by Robyn Carr.  Hank Cooper inherits a beachfront property in Thunder Point, Ore., and finds himself with a community’s destiny in his hands.
     THE INNOCENT, by David Baldacci. When something about his latest mission seems wrong, the government assassin Will Robie refuses to kill. Now he’s a target himself.
     SEVERE CLEAR, by Stuart Woods. Stone Barrington travels to Bel-Air for the opening of a luxury hotel that, according to the N.S.A., may have attracted the attention of terrorists.
     DEFENDING JACOB, by William Landay. An assistant district attorney’s life is shaken when his shy 14-year-old son is accused of murder.

     

  3. Finally learn that Caribbean Seafood Pasta recipe. Nothing says summer like gorging on a really vibrant and lemony dish.
  4. Go on a spontaneous, absolutely no plans, one back pack adventure. It’s time to let loose and unleash the fun 21 year old I know is still in me. 
  5. Explore my creative side and take on a project that challenges my imagination. It could be that painting class I’ve been meaning to take since college or photography lessons with my dad and his friends or maybe just give in to the taunts of my sister regarding starting my own Wattpad account.
  6. Volunteer and give back. Now that the body, tummy and mind are all happy, it’s time to feed the heart. Find time to donate some clothes, help a beach clean-up, adopt a homeless pup or support social initiatives via your blog. Be creative, after all volunteering is never one note.

I remember when I was about 4, I spent my summer running around the front yard, picking mangoes which fell from the trees I climb, eating fried bananas and tagging along when my grandparents when visit the rice fields. That was my perfect summer. Now that I’m older and sadly incapable of climbing trees, my perfect summer is letting loose and creating a better version of myself .

What’s yours?

Whatever it is, make sure to have fun and enjoy the sun.