Part 1. 1985 – 2007 Period of self-destruct
When you know how it is to die, then may be that’s all you need to view things in a different light.
Each time I would suddenly feel cold and numb, with white lights flashing everywhere, my sense of hearing shut – I know it is time to lose consciousness. In split second, I would fall unconscious, but somehow I could manage to make a split decision before ‘the episode’ – I knew I would fall and stop breathing for a few seconds…but I would tell myself that I would still wake up and continue living – magigising ako ulit. In less than a minute, I would regain consciousness, and that is the time I would realize that I almost died.
It started when I was 7. I would suddenly fall unconscious. It was a mysterious disease which had no regard for place and time. I carried the symptoms until 4 years ago. I suffered for over 22 years. I was plagued by anemia since childhood; chronic gastritis which started in college; severe arrhythmia due to symptomatic mitral valve prolapse (MVP) – a congenital condition; obesity and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) – I was into hormone therapy from 2006 – 2008; and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) – all the stress + all the maintenance drugs I was taking.
From 2004, I was always in the hospital. Every other month – and I always had oxygen in a can. I wore a 24-hour Holter monitor to the office – they were checking the severity of the irregular heartbeat. At one point, I was found lying in our living room, unconscious. In 2007 I was a consistent CFS patient. I was too tired. What made it more severe were a cancelled altar date and a big slump in my career. I was fat, ill, heart badly broken; and call it bad timing – I was in a chaotic workplace. I thank my genes because there is no history of melancholia or depression in the family – that could have been the missing ingredient for a full blown case of clinical depression.
I was living in the fast lane, or may be in the faster lane. I had a lot to prove. I tried to become everything to everyone. I lose sight of the more important things in life. I allowed myself to suffer. Alone.
I managed to look tough, pretending I was okay…but I cannot fool myself anymore. From March – October 2007, I had episodes of uncontrollable sobbing, usually around 5AM. Until one day I decided to just pop all the pills from the blister packs (I was into 3 or 4 medications at that time). I did not take the pills; instead, I flushed it all in the toilet. I was tired of living with a poor soul and a body which could only function properly because of prescription drugs. I was fed up with loneliness. I wanted to live so badly.
After so many prayers, I snapped back to reality that at some point, life is generous to offer a “reset” button. It was October 2007, I wanted to gain control of my life again…and I was thinking deeply.
Where and how do I start again?