Breakthrough from a scar
Many people pray for a breakthrough. They usually wish it would make them feel ecstatic and euphoric at the same time. And to tell you honestly, I’ve got my own version of it. But mine was not something pleasant, it was through a painful heartbreak.
A year ago, I tried to end my life, in what was supposed to be the happiest time of the year — December. It was the season of holidays. The time to celebrate, laugh and do things that would simply warm our hearts. But it was the saddest December for me—the coldest and the longest, I must say.
I considered 2018 not my year. It was full of challenges, frustrations, disappointments, and a series of heartaches. That same year, I entered a state of deepening depression. It went unrecognized because it seemed normal under certain circumstances.
I was heartbroken and trapped in a feeling of guilt, and as the days went by, I realized that I had hopelessly lost the knack for staying alive.
Every single thing in our body that keeps people going, driven, motivated, and that single drop of biological instinct for survival, seemed to have simply popped out like a bubble inside me. Immersed in an overwhelming sense of sadness, I couldn’t get it how everyone else managed to get on with their lives productively, while I was feeling empty — obsessed with trying to figure out what was happening to me.
I became friends with anxiety. I couldn’t sleep for more than a few hours. At a time, the sound of the alarm was a horror for me. I woke up at two or three in the morning in a flood of tears, my heart racing and my mind overthinking. I felt so restless.
Each day felt endless, with no chances of forward motion. The day began, the sun rose. Yet, all I wished was for the night to immediately come, because I wanted to see the moon alone in the sky. I felt somehow comforted with that sight. Looking at the moon without any companion, I tried to convince myself that I was not the only one feeling this.
Most of the time, I wished I could make time stop, because forcing myself to keep moving forward was a burden.
One night, I convinced myself it would be better if I were dead.
But then, I remembered my Papa sleeping beside me for a whole week, as he was so worried I might press that suicide button any moment. He cried buckets of tears as he told me to help myself, because no one else would do it for me.
Seeing an old man grayed by time because of hardships just to send me to school was so heartbreaking. I honestly got so disappointed with myself. Then, I told him in the saddest tones: “Pa, karuyag ko makagawas hini. Karuyag ko na ini matapos. Pero Pa, paunanhun ko? Diri ak maaram (Pa, I want to get out from this. I want this to end already. But, how? I really don’t know, Pa).”
My father cried even more and told me, “Idoy, ilubi nagadla kay pira nala ka adlaw magradwar kana. Paniguruhi gad idoy. Para ha akon. Hunahunaa nga nalagas nala ako paghingyap nga bis’ naman la usa ha iyo may makatapos hit college (Son, please try to endure it, as a few days from now you will be graduating. Dear son, please persevere. For me. Think about the fact that I’ve already grown old dreaming that even just one of my children would finish college).”
Hearing those words was so painful for me. It was my painful heartbreak, my breakthrough.
But what made my breakthrough so worth it despite the pain was because I also became closer to Jesus—my Lord, my shepherd, my healer and my savior.
That painful experience taught me to be prayerful. I remembered the first wish I made on that New Year’s Eve. “Dear God, please give me peace of mind.” And I realized that the only way to have it was to remain faithful and stay beside Jesus through prayers.
I am not a religious person, but let me give you two Bible verses that can help us see the positive side of life.
(1) Jeremiah 29:11—“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (2) John 15:5—“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
I held on to these verses during that season of loneliness. I survived that long night because of God. And I offer this testimony to His name.
This year has been the grace given to me by God. A continuation of a life that came all too close to an ending. But to tell you the truth, my monsters are still with me, though more tamed because of faith.
This is not to sensationalize an illness. This is to raise awareness that people lose their lives in an unobserved and unnoticed situation. It may either be someone who always exudes a warm energy or who always seems to be strong, but deep inside conceals scars because he or she is afraid to come out to a judgmental society.
I was once one of those people. I was once afraid to be branded as “Nag-iinarte lang” and “Nagdadrama lang.” I was once one of those people who felt sad whenever we tried to reach out and people seemed to invalidate our feelings by telling us, “’Yan lang ba ang problema mo? Ako nga mas mahirap pa dyan.”
Such words make us close our doors and isolate ourselves in a dark room. I hope we get cautious at times. It’s a fact that an uncounted number of us go through this stage in our lives. We get depressed, but we have different paces and ways to cope.
To people out there who need someone to talk to, who need someone who would listen, my door is open. I am here. We can always heal our scars together.
The year 2018 was hard, but I thank God for giving me the wonderful blessing of successfully passing the 2019 licensure examination for teachers. Now that I’m already a licensed professional teacher, I’ll treasure this responsibility of molding the minds of our future generation. And throughout my life journey, I will always be proud to celebrate my breakthrough from a scar.
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Troy Roger P. Masaplod, 21, is a junior high school teacher at Liceo del Verbo Divino, Tacloban City.
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