SECTIONS
Tuesday August 21, 2018
BAGUIO

Fernando: Depression

DEPRESSION weakens mental balance. It cracks one’s spirit until he loses the reason to smile and will to live. Sometimes others just lose their grip on common sense until they become mentally disable. Some choose to cover themselves with insanity notion in able to protect them from the unforgiving sadness and grief of a gloomy past.

I met a woman who has reportedly lost her mind. She showed up at my mother’s narrow apartment on Christmas Day, asked for a cup of wine without hesitation and sat on a corner of the store sipping unglamorously. She sat quietly and busied herself watching television.

She excused herself again and requested my brother to give her another take of the alcohol. I couldn’t say she really has lost her mind since she still had the courtesy of excusing herself and stating a request.

My mother said she is not completely insane. Oftentimes she knows what she does. She’s aware of it. Perhaps it’s too hard for her to control her mind that she easily gives in to her bodily impulses. “She’s depressed,” my mother noted. They said that it started after she had her baby aborted.

She was advised to have an abortion because she had to work abroad. Due to pressure, presumably, she agreed. Accordingly, when she was overseas, her boyfriend, father of the aborted infant, broke up with her. She found out later that her family told her boyfriend rumors against her to make her boyfriend run away. And he did. That’s when everything fell apart. She started to show signs of depression until her employers noticed the strange gestures. They sent her back home right away.

First she lost a baby and then her boyfriend was driven away by her own family. She was far from home when she was grieving. She had nothing to talk to, no friends to share her regrets and sadness with, and the family she expected to come to the rescue had a different plan. She hated them for it. For it was too much to bear until her mind could no longer contain the barrage of thoughts. She was depressed and she didn’t not find any window to express herself.

She doesn’t attack or make scandalous acts in public unlike some I have heard. The only trouble she gives her mother is getting her in debt. Her mother ends up paying all those. I asked where her other family members are and my mother quickly said she doesn’t want to go near them. She still hates them and I think this feeling of hate still reflects sanity.

Feeling. Aside from it, she does not make any trouble. Only when she stays in my mother’s little store and wait until my sisters serve lunch or supper. I know my sisters would think, “Here comes trouble.”

I believe she still can go back to what we call normal. She has not completely lost her sanity yet. She only needs a professional help and a lot of guidance from love ones. However, I don’t think she is ready to face the enormous reality she continuously evades. She must be afraid to think of those problems again. She is not ready yet to forgive herself in what she’d done and what her family had done to her. I think that’s what keeping her in the shadow of mental breakdown.

I know of someone who had hanged himself barely three weeks ago. He was young. Only in his mid 20’s. He used to sell fish and ice creams to support his five children and his pregnant wife. One time the wife who came from the province and showed up asking for money for the children. That day he was not able to sell.

And the days before. It was no longer the same days when vendors empty their baskets early in the afternoon. He had nothing to give his wife. He didn’t sell a single ice cream that day. Not a single fish. He did not know what to do.

He might have thought what a loser he is. A father who can’t provide. A man with nothing. What he did, he pleaded a store owner one bottle of alcohol with a promise to pay once he has money.

Once he got home he sipped a bottle of gin. He drunk until the last drop fell in his mouth. He was laughing boisterously according to his roommates. After knocking down the bottle and puffing those hearty laughter he went directly to their room while the other vendors stayed on the sala floor to watch television that night. His acquaintances thought he went straight to bed. His stomach was full of alcohol. They never thought it was part of his dreadful plan.

When they’re done watching, they noticed that the door was locked. They knocked but no one answered. No one opened. All thought he was only sleeping. They had to get the duplicate key from the owner. When they pushed the door open they all saw him, hanging breathless from a rope tied against the ceiling. It was a horrific sight. It was too late for them to revive the man. He was dead.

Depression is a gigantic force that penetrates and succumb the mind. It spares no one. Without any strong disposition or any support, the battle is likely to lose. It attacks silently. That’s what makes it dangerous.

One never sees it coming. When they do sometimes it is too late. It works like a devil that convinces you that hope is nothing but gone.

Though reality proves hope never walks away after all. When people around are not keen in observing the differences of people’s attitude no matter how little there may be, and the person keeps every single bit of pain to himself, the danger of losing one’s mind and one’s life are never far.

Never far.


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