On Being Human: An offering of thanks

It is August and I find it incredible to find myself here on this page, able to write without feeling the edge of anxiety.

Winter months are particularly hard on me and this year, I found myself struggling to keep depression at bay. I had recently lost two dear friends to cancer, and another loved one was fighting it. We were out of a job, I was missing home, and I found myself in a state where I had to constantly wrestle with my body. Throughout the years, I’ve learned to live with bouts of chronic pain, but this year for some reason, the pain escalated to the point where I could sometimes not write because of it.

The thing is, I did not want to give up. I still wanted to finish writing my novel. I still wanted to meet my deadlines and I did not want to surrender and admit I needed medication.

I kept reminding myself that I’d won through this before without taking meds. Sure, it took a good chunk of a year, but still I had done it. I’ll admit, I was also terrified of the build up phase when things sometimes get worst before they get better.

I’ve talked about depression with friends as this feeling of moving through a tunnel. Every little thing becomes too much and in order to survive I have to focus my energy on things that I feel are of the utmost importance. To appear normal and functional even when things are falling apart is an art I mastered the first time I wrestled with depression.

Regardless of my will, the well from which I drew energy was exhausted.

I think that it’s in these moments of weakness, of being completely weak and human that we learn to fully appreciate our companions on the journey. I am emerging from the build-up phase and inside me I feel again that deep well of energy from which I draw when I am in need of it. I realize that I would not be writing this if not for the kadkadua who wrote me and chatted with me and reminded me that seeking help is not failure.

I’ve received messages from the most unexpected places and I feel completely humbled. I am reminded that connections are made when we open our hearts to others. I am thankful for the community, for the circle of support, and for those who have opened their hearts, welcomed me,  and encouraged me just by being. Maraming Salamat.

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