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There Will Be Dark Days

Pretty clueless with how this post will turn out since I don't really have a proper vision or bullet points as to how I want to discuss this certain topic in public. But one thing's for sure: I will pour my heart out and I hope this will help you somehow. So, let's dive right in, shall we?

A few days ago, I stumbled upon this little book slash journal on my desk. I totally forgot that this existed. This thing was a witness to some of my dark days since 2017 and it has definitely been a while since I last used it or even went through the pages to kill some time. This is Adam J. Kurtz's Pick Me Up: A Pep Talk for Now and Later. (Nope, this is blog post is not about this book.) It's a book slash journal that is made mostly as a little container of your feelings whenever you feel like using it. The way I use this is I randomly open a page and fill up or read whatever is in that page. It helps me get distracted from my breakdowns and it helps me calm down a bit. It keeps me grounded.

Looking back at my old entries, I can't help but feel melancholic? I'm not even sure if this is the word for it but I felt something bittersweet as I read through the pages. Learning what I went through and remembering how heavy and painful it all felt, wow. A part of me couldn't believe that I actually survived some of my biggest fears during that time. I worried so much about my thesis, graduating, how I get so dependent on people, and a lot more. Just a bunch of things that I eventually conquered. It really is hard when your biggest enemy and the biggest hindrance for your growth is your own self.

It's so weird to read and notice how small my problems and fears were back then. It's such a strange feeling to know that I conquered so much and what I feared then was so small compared to what I fear now. What do I think about this? Well, I think it shows growth. It shows how I managed to get over and survive such darkness in my life. I gained a lot of experiences, memories, and I learned from them. I grew, and my current problems also grew because I conquered the small easier parts. Now it's like I leveled up and the levels get harder until I face the boss battle.

But the darkest of dark could feel way too heavy at times. There were days that I felt like I couldn't do it anymore, that everything was too much. This is why I decided to seek professional help. I've been doing some research about the available mental health facilities locally since last year and I finally went on my own for a checkup. It wasn't much of a hassle, the whole process, but it did take some time. But I'm glad I did it. I can say that I see my own progress, even if it's a slow one. The professionals that I talked to were cheering me because the first step to fighting this darkness is acknowledging that I needed help. So they commended me for bringing myself and seeking the help that I need. It took a lot of guts but the whole thing is really helping me.

Almost every day has been a struggle and truth be told, I still go through it right now. Despite the professional help, no doubt, it doesn't get easy in an instant. I realized so much in just two initial sessions with my psychiatrist. It made me (slowly) open up to the people I trust. And in turn, amazing conversations were formed. Through those conversations, I realized how depression is blinding me from what is already present and that I shouldn't look further to fill the voids in me because it has always been with me and beside me all along. It filters and distorts my reality. I tend to be stuck inside an invisible box where I know what should do but it just prevents me from doing it. It's such a hard concept to explain, but that blew my mind and it gave me hope that I can fight this. It is the imbalance of the chemicals in my brain that makes me think and act a certain way, but it is not my own doing or my own choice to be this way. I am not at fault but it will be my fault if I just let it consume me. I should never lose that hint of light that is struggling to overcome the darkness.

What keeps me going is the thought that one day, everything will fall into place. All my hopes and dreams may be far from where I am right now, but I'm proud of myself because I'm still fighting. This is not an easy fight, it never was and it never will be. But I know that if I strive hard enough, everything will all be worth it.

This situation is way beyond hard but I know that I should never blame myself for it. Situations like this call for forgiveness. There will be mistakes. There will be tears. There will be bad days. But in the end, I should still push myself for betterment. I should still pursue my dreams. I need to get back up in order to do that. I need to defeat my own demons.

If you're going through something similar, professional help will always be an option because free services are available in the Philippines. You can check the map that I used for a list of places you can try. And most importantly, please reach out to someone. You'll never know how big of a help it will feel if you talk to someone who loves and accepts you. Don't be afraid to open up to people around you. You'll be surprised with how conversations can make you feel a bit better and feel grounded.

I know that everything I said here is easier said than done, but I hope that if there ever is someone who felt the same way I did, or feel the same way I do, I hope you know that you are not alone. I hope this is a message of hope for you. It's a really hard journey but I'm still hopeful that everything will all fall in place. Here's to our everyday battles, friends.

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