Monday, October 25, 2021

So this is what feelings feel like.

The littlest things have been triggering me lately. But I’d like to think it’s just a side effect of getting off meds completely (yes, even my trusted baby Benadryls). I’d also like to take it as a good sign.

It’s been a while since I’ve felt things so deeply, after all. My meds had the tendency to push emotions back so that I wouldn’t react to them without thinking. There were even days when I wasn’t sure if I was actually angry or annoyed or if I just told myself that I was because I believed that was the right emotion I was supposed to feel at the time.

So when I feel things now, it’s like a whole new experience and I let myself dwell in them - even the negative ones - maybe a little more than I should. When I cry because of movies or series, it’s like a waterfall that I can’t fathom. And I pause whatever I’m watching because I don’t know if it’s normal. “Is this what sadness feels like?” “How can something so simple ignite so much pain in my heart?”

When someone shows appreciation for my actions or my existence, I can almost literally feel my heart doing cartwheels and when I smile, I really smile. I don’t even notice it until someone points it out and then I have to go off-cam and look in the mirror. “What are you smiling about?” “How can such simple words feel so good?”

And then there are the unexpected triggers. A scene in How to Get Away with Murder recently sent me down a spiral so deep, I thought it wouldn’t get out of it. I ended up not finishing the series.

An episode in Hometown Chachacha made me so sad, I got flashbacks of the death fantasies I used to have. And when I cut my hair, I’d catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and hear all of the negative comments old flames in my life used to throw at me. And I’d burn a little every time.

But this was all to be expected. Although I came off my meds as slowly as humanly possible, I knew this would happen. I’m not as prepared for it as I told myself I was, but I also know that a few months of struggling is nothing compared to how much I’ve struggled before then. And my mind is now decent enough to tell me how to deal with everything else.

I’ve channeled the hyperkinesia into work. I’ve channeled the anger into working out. I’ve got a more than solid social support system. I’ve learned to distance myself from people when I feel suffocated. I’ve learned to power through the muscle pain and the headaches. And I have the most understanding, loving, and caring daughter by my side.

I know a lot of people are against taking meds to heal. In fact, I was one of them. But coming out at this end, I can honestly say that it was worth it, as expensive as it was. If I hadn’t, I honestly don’t think I’d still be here today.

P.S. If you ever need anyone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Where to Play Quick and Fun Games Online

Some of you may know me as a gamer, but this month has been hell at work so far. I have had zero time for myself and zero time to play any kind of games. It has taken quite a toll on my mental health, to be honest, so I decided to look for some quick games I can play that won't take up too much of my time during a workday but will still give me some sort of satisfaction.

While looking for games, I tried to look back at my younger years and the simple things that gave me joy. And that's when Solitaire popped into my head. A simple and mindless game, sure, but one that I truly enjoyed when I was younger.

It's nice to just mindlessly move cards around and go back to the simplicity of those days. Hahaha. I sound so old. But it's true. If you miss Solitaire, too, then you can play a quick game (or ten lol) on your browser without having to download anything.

What I love about the site is the fact that they don't just offer Solitaire to revive all of the nostalgia in my system. They also have other classic games, like Candy Crush-type games, hidden object games, word games like crosswords, and get this: PacMan-inspired games.

And that's not all! Hehehe. You all know that pre-pandemic, I was a frequent visitor of City of Dreams and Resorts World Manila because I loved losing myself in games of Blackjack. THEY HAVE BLACKJACK, TOO. In their version, you play five levels of Blackjack and try to score as close to 21 as possible on five separate hands.

Another great thing about their website is that they have complete, easy-to-understand instructions on how to play each game so you'll get it right away and will never feel frustrated or lost. Definitely one of the websites that can help you get through a work funk like me. Check out their full list of games here.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Find your happiness.

The pandemic continues to be a constant struggle for my little family. It's part of the reason why I have so many side jobs aside from my two main ones. I need to keep busy. I need to keep busy to avoid overthinking, to avoid over-reacting, to avoid panicking. What I once thought would only last a few months has turned into an actual lifestyle. A new normal. One that I currently still see no end to.

And I find myself thinking back at how life used to be. Syrena, for one, always found joy in staying late after school to play with her friends. She found joy in hitting up playgrounds and going out to eat at her favorite places. I found joy in cold coffee shops with my nose buried in a book. I found joy in heading to the beach on work trips and soaking up the sun. I found joy in being outside - period.

Most days, I drown myself in work to keep busy. But ever since I promised to give myself full weekends - ones where I'm not allowed to open my laptop unless it's to watch Netflix (Syrena is my work police - she has permission to slap me if I work when I shouldn't) - I've found myself missing how life used to be.

But if there's one thing I've learned during this never-ending pandemic, it's that we don't have control over it. No matter how much we follow the rules and stay safe at home, there are still people who will do whatever the fuck they want because they don't seem to understand how this works. They don't want to do their part. "If this is the life I'm dealt, I might as well make the most of it," I've heard them say. "At least I didn't rot away at home like you," they retort when I speak up.

And so we stay stuck. And so we hope for better days. And so, for now, we find ways.

I've given Syrena a laptop so she can interact with her friends. I've introduced her to Discord and Twitch and live streams and video games. I've welcomed her to the world of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and Twilight. I've taught her the joys of cooking, too, but I leave her be a lot of the time. Our lives suck as it is, so she might as well get to do what she wants to do at home without me breathing down her neck.

And she leaves me be, too. When I need a day locked in my room in utter silence, she leaves me be. When I spend my weekend repotting plants or rearranging furniture, she doesn't bother me. When I play BTS on full blast while dancing in my underwear, she doesn't complain. When I go through spurts of obsessive cleaning and nagging, she just takes it all in.

In lieu of Mommy Mondays (which is what Sy used to call our girls' days out... even if it wasn't a Monday lelz), we plan out Netflix nights. We order in. We take turns choosing what to watch. And we eat cake out of the can. We leave the dishes undone sometimes and we don't make our beds in the morning, but that's okay. Because we're okay.

We've established a kind of care and understanding that I had never experienced with my family (or in any of my relationships, for that matter) before. We talk every single thing through. We check in on each other randomly during the day just to see if the other is okay. We have what she calls "huggie time" - a random tight bear hug during the day. We've found a sort of quiet happiness and peace amidst all of the chaos, and built a home together that feels safe.

I don't know what your life currently looks like or what your current mindset is, but I encourage you to find it. Find it in the smallest of things. It may not look like what it once used to, but I guarantee you can find a version of it if you change your mindset a little. And please... do your part. Let's stop hoping and start acting. For a better future.