Showing posts from 2017

Taken as directed

I don’t exactly remember the first time I had a panic attack. The last several years sort of bleed into each other and most of the time I am grappling with something “monumental” to be conscious of where I was or what year it was. Most probably it was during one of those MRT rides. I remember the train stalling between Quezon Ave. and Trinoma. The train wasn’t even that full but I could see several people crowding at the exit. That made me worry. No, it made me panic. Suddenly, I was scrabbling to grab a hold of myself. I felt suffocated. I put the volume up on my mp3, took out the book I was reading, and nearly started enunciating the words aloud. 

There was also that time when I was left alone in the house. I drank a lot of alcohol the night before and when I woke up at around lunchtime I thought I was going crazy. First I thought I just needed to eat. I went to McDonalds and ordered a meal. The burger tasted like dirt in my mouth. I started dialing psychologists but the secretaries …
I learned of Max’s passing on my way to work. I was sitting at the back of the FX. We had just arrived at Welcome Rotonda when I received the text message from my vet. Guilt, debilitating sadness, and anger swirled inside me. I cried. Max was one of the three dogs that comprise of my support group. He, along with Chichi and Marcel, witnessed how I nearly suffered a mental breakdown a few years ago. It was only nine in the morning and I had a full day ahead of me.
I went to work to distract myself. I knew that if I skipped work the pain would be unbearable. That night, on my way home, I kept thinking: Was I able to love him enough?
It was raining that night but I needed to bury him. I wanted to bury him no matter how. I felt that I needed to punish myself for what happened. I needed to punish myself for not attending to his needs, he, who wanted nothing else but to be with me.
I used a small sheet of corrugated steel to dig through the tough dirt. I just wanted to keep on digging. …

It's Saturday and I've been working since Sunday

The thing about my fairly new job is that I end my day completely tired and I wake up even more tired. Last week, I filled in for the DoJ reporter and as I was walking --- searching actually --- to my beat I felt so tired and lonely. My bag was heavy. My bones ache. I was running on empty. I arrived at the media office and started reading a politician’s petition. I couldn’t believe it. There I was at nine in the morning trying to understand legal jargon. I soon discovered that the Department of Justice, The Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, all housed in one block, are all part of my watch and are actually three separate offices. By the next day, I was at the Court of Appeals searching for a juicy case. I felt like I was Brenda Starr. Technically it’s been a month since I accepted this job and I never thought I’d feel insecure and so bobo again. I can write a 24-page script in a few hours but I can’t seem to write an article in one. Every time I am faced with a deadline I clam u…

About last night

I look at myself in the mirror. I had shaved off my beard and now I could see my pasty brown cheeks glistening from where black hair used to be. My eyes are a bit swollen. I had fallen asleep drunk on cheap rum and a pill of clonazepam. I don’t look like myself, I thought. I liked my beard. It gives me a Middle Eastern vibe which I think sets me apart from the crowd. But he likes me clean-shaven. He likes men to look a bit more feminine and I always aim to please. In some ways, I am like his wife. Last night we talked about my unpaid taxes and I agreed I should settle my BIR payments. After all, if I want to be with this man I should at least avoid getting pursued by the law and getting myself jailed. Then we briefly talked about cream pies. That made him laugh. I like making him laugh. I like teasing him although sometimes I go overboard and he ends up getting upset. I know I should play by the rules. By his rules. “You’re okay,” he told me. I thank him. “But you’ve got some issues.…

march madness

Spent the whole day finishing a script. Then I thought I’d hit the gym for an hour. Then revisions. And revisions. Patingi-tinging revisions. And I don’t even know if I still have a job after this month. So that’s a source of anxiety. Then you called and it was sweet even after I freaked out on you yesterday (or was it two days ago?) when my brain was still adjusting to my psych meds (umped the dosage, made me really crazy. Couldn’t get inside a building. It was really that crazy). Apparently you know how to de-escalate. Every time I tell you to stop calling me (ah the drama!), you send a perfectly sensible text message and I’m back again to wanting you (and I don’t even know if you want me, too). Now I’m done with the script, followed your advice (maybe you’re right, what’s the rush), and I’m thinking of you. At four in the morning. After a stressful day. And I’m thinking, you know I might marry you someday. Or not. Or maybe I’d be ruined after this. But I don’t know. It seems like …


With my meds failing on me, I begin to crave for a more potent elixir, something with claws, something that punctures the veins and go straight into my heart in a matter of seconds. But I have a deadline to finish, a script about a young girl hounded by demons. How apropros  no? My life is once again tragic and comic. I seesaw from a sinister grimace to a demented smile. I go online and Google my condition, hoping that with science I could understand what I couldn’t see but only feel.

Uncluttering the voices inside my head

More than fifteen years ago in my old job my boss casually told me that I am unlikeable. And it struck me big time because I’ve always secretly thought I was unlikeable and hearing it from an authoritative figure instantly confirmed my greatest fear. Even if up until that moment I thought I was already easing out of my defeatist behavior --- I loved my job dearly and I was surrounded with supportive friends. But in that instant, everything that I had tried to build in the past two or three years crumbled so fast and so easily. After that, I cannot un-hear the voice every time I got a crappy assignment or a heartbreaking rejection. The reason is simple: It’s because I am unlikeable.
And this is just one of the many voices percolating inside my head on a daily basis. You are untalented. You are crap. You are stupid. You will never amount to anything. Or, as one of my favorite lines from Game of Thrones tells it, “If you think this has a happy ending you haven’t been paying attention.”…