This Is Why You Should Hold On

This is why you should hold on.

You don’t have to get out of the dark. You have let it consume you, but sometimes.. sometimes we need to be in shadows. I just need you to light a little flame there, like the dark night with a lone star- lonely, oh so lonely, but hopeful. I want you to hope.

You don’t have to forget all the pain. You don’t have to forgive. But don’t ever remain hurt just to blame yourself. I just need you to accept the pain and embrace it- for scars are beautiful. I want you to fight.

You don’t have to pretend. You are not okay, and that’s fine. You don’t have to put on a mask, you don’t have to force yourself to feel something, or to be someone. I just need you to be you, no matter how everybody else sees you. I want you to help yourself.

You don’t have to move forward right now. This journey isn’t easy, and if you are stuck in this road, it’s okay. I just need you to never let go, no matter how much you want to give up. I want you to try.

This is why you should hold on.

And the fact that you are still holding on,

just shows that you are strong.

This is for you, who’s thinking of giving up today. // hrh

Photo: Basketball Diaries

Come What May

You came to me with a strange look on your face while we sat down to look at the sky again. I knew by then you already have a question on your head. I waited, listening to the wind whispering to the leaves. Minutes passed by and silence swept over us.

Finally, you spoke and said, “Why?”

I waited for more, but apparently that was all you said. I thought about it, and came up with this:

“Why? I do not know. Some things happen, some don’t. No one knows. But that’s what keeps living; we live to know the things we probably won’t even know.”

You smiled at me, and took a deep breath. And just because of that, I understood- I understood how it felt to live.

 

// hrh

The Art of Lucid Dreaming

Every night, as my body falls asleep, my soul is awake, aware that it is in a dream. I usually see events unfold from a first person point of view with limited physical control, with my mind following the dream as it is to see if it has a message for me. I let the dream take over, and only interfere with it on times when I feel like I might be stuck in it or if it turns into a nightmare.

Facts say that we humans always dream, but most of us forget about it when we wake up. Ever since I was a kid, I would always have a recollection of what I have dreamed about the night before as I wake up every day. Sometimes I would get a whole episode, sometimes just fragments, although I cannot seem to remember everything. I have ignored this, thinking it was normal, and never questioned why my dreams seem to be real.

I don’t recall when I first heard about lucid dreaming, it’s just that I was amazed that there was a term for it and that it was rare. I researched about it over the years to fully understand it, there was even a time I tried to interpret almost every dream I would have. It made me more anxious and tired, as I would be stressing about what signs in my dream would mean and if it was bound to happen in my already challenging life. I learned that some people would even see themselves sleeping, and I was totally freaked when that first happened to me. I try not to do it again in fear of not being able to go back to my own body, I think that’s why most of my dreams are first person view. I don’t think I can even imagine what my reflection looks like in a dream, a defensive tactic I have developed to avoid seeing myself from another perspective.

The best dreams are the ones that seem so out of the world but yet feel so real. I have flown once, and I remember how vivid it was; how ecstatic the feeling of flying was like the superheroes I watch on TV. I remember waking up to aching legs, because in my dream the pressure of flying was made from one’s legs. I do not know how to swim in real life, but I had some dreams where I would be able to breathe underwater. I was living my fantasies while I slept.

However, as my eyes close and darkness captures me, it can also follow me into the other worlds I see. I have had encounters in which I had to force my physical body awake by thinking about which body parts I can easily move first, like my toes or fingers. I have tried to avoid these by not watching horror films before sleeping, as I tend to relive nightmares.

Perhaps lucid dreaming is my way of searching for the void I feel whenever I am awake, but the truth is sometimes I also yearn for a dreamless sleep where I can fully rest.  I don’t think I remember a time where I just.. slept.

 

 

5 Traits of People Who Are Born in February

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February is the most unique month of the year as it is never constant. Every four years we add one day to the calendar and call it the leap year, due to the fact that the Earth orbits around the Sun in about 365 and a quarter. To synchronize our calendar year to the solar year, February gets 29 days instead of 28 in a leap year.

Perhaps this gave way to why people in February are often characterized with having their own world.

  • Creative

People born in this month find ways to channel their thoughts and feelings into different outlets. They are the artists, the quick thinkers, the initiators- the mind of a structure. They have wide imaginations that are the basis of reality.

  • Sensitive

They are thoughtful and appreciative, hence they tend to take every little thing in mind. This also paves way to overthinking, especially about questioning themselves. They are always ready to lend a hand to others and to give a part of themselves, even when there would be nothing left for them.

  • Observant

They notice every detail, even those that are somewhat irrelevant. They value even the simple things in life because they believe that the most important things are the ones that we often miss.

  • Deep

Their minds are always wandering off to an adventure and they have a wider outlook in life. They tend to see things more than what they seem.

  • Mysterious

Nobody can every tell what to really expect from them, as they are fluid with change. This sometimes make them difficult to understand, as most do not know how to deal and handle their mysteriousness.

 

 

photo: Joshua Rawson-Harris

 

 

 

Book Review: The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

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The Similars is a book by Rebecca Hanover on human clones.

The Similars is a thought provoking novel that gives you a glimpse about the possibility of human cloning. It strikes you with questions on science and society.

The story gives you a roller coaster ride on events. I must also compliment the development of the characters in the story because none of us can expect what they’ll be doing next.

The plot actually follows a usual sci-fi pattern: evil billionaire with a revengeful desire to take out his bullies from high school. I do hope the next books explain more of his side as I can’t just accept that this is all a childish plot, especially with the plot twist at the end. I also think that there is more to Darkwood’s history.

Throughout reading the novel, I have thought about human cloning and my side on it. I think, however the advancement we make on science and technology, that we shouldn’t play with genetics and create humans unnaturally as this would pave way to extreme enhancement that would make the gap between social classes bigger than it already is.

Technological advances are what keeps us moving forward as the human race as a whole, but maybe what keeps us human is our limitations. Are we still humans if we are allowed to surpass our standards and create abilities? Did we not hang people we were afraid of in the medieval times because of their difference, and because they were more than us? Perhaps now we are considering this option as we understand more, but maybe this will be our end.

I hope the next books explore more of the effect of cloning to the human race as a whole. I am excited to learn more.

Overall Rating: Image result for starsImage result for starsImage result for starsImage result for stars

 

Ready, Get Set, GOAL!

We all know a certain philosophy- but not all of us live by it. We come across inspiring words and stories almost daily, thanks to the powers of social media. The world today seems to increase its pace, and the question is, where are you now?

· Think

Many of our life decisions are based on a pulse feeling, so it’s a good practice to think about what you really want. This also allows you to know yourself better, and in knowing yourself better you learn how to prioritize and organize.

· Believe

You are the only one who can set the limits. Be confident, the world is out there for you to conquer. It may be a tough battle, and not all of us get the luck. However, don’t stop yourself from aiming to be better than always. A little growth over time goes a long way.

· Act

Your dreams will stay as dreams unless you take a step to reach them. Be patient in working for them, for nothing happens overnight. Remember that you can build your life the way you want it to, so you better do the best.

Time flies fast as you grow old, and in some moments you come to a point where you start to rethink your life over. Usually, this leads you to the road of regrets, frustrations, and hesitations- making you feel like you haven’t done enough- so it’s now time to get up on the other side of the bed and live the life.

 

photo: Oscar Söderlund: https://unsplash.com/@messisorder

MRI

“Mam, are you okay mam? Mam?”

That left me out of trance. I take deep breathes, and say, “yes.. please continue.”

Again, after a few minutes, the nurse asks me. “Mam, are you okay? Are you sure you are okay? Press the button if you need us. We’re right here. Just a few more minutes.. relax.. think of something that will make you happy.”

The nurse plays music for me. I take deep breathes, and close my eyes. I imagine.

Hey Soul sister by Train. I smile. You’re not much of singer, but you like to pretend you are. You sing along, off tune, and it makes me smile because you do this for me.

All of Me by John Legend. A tear falls down from my face.

I imagine you, like how you are, lip syncing to the song while we dance poorly, I am not much of a dancer. You hold me close, and say “baby, it’s okay..”

I breath heavier, your face fades away. My head starts to hurt. The nurse is telling me, just a few more minutes to get a clear scan, but I am shaking. I can hear you, “it’s okay, it’s okay, I’m here.. calm down. I’m here..” slowly, your voice becomes quiet. I panic. I don’t want to be alone.

The MRI scan is over. The nurse takes me out, slowly and gently. He sighs. “Are you okay? Please sit down for a while, it’s going to be fine..” I can’t hear his voice, my head starts to hurt, and I vomit.

I sit and look around. I am alone. You are not here. You never were. You never came to any of my sessions.

I cry silently, as my attacks overcome me. I tell myself to be brave. I tell myself it’s okay.

Because you know, but you never came anyway.

– you keep me going even after you’ve left. // hrh

Rain

The sky is dark and the rain starts to pour, and I am not bothered because I am prepared. In this country, it is a must to always have an umbrella with you- rain or shine.

But I curse myself as the bus stops and I realize that I have left mine just when I need it.

I tell myself it’s no matter. I can probably hail a taxi as soon as I get off the bus, and I hope it doesn’t rain harder. I am already feeling light headed because of the flu, and the usual Manila traffic isn’t helping either.

“Miss! Wait!”

I pretend not to hear, but the footsteps behind me catches up and I am suddenly shielded from the rain. I look up and see a smiling face, holding an umbrella on both of our heads.

“Hi.. Sorry, but maybe I can help you get a cab? Or walk you to where you’ll go? You might get sick if you get caught in the rain..”

Same scenario of how we met before, and today is your fifth year death anniversary. He has the same eyes as you, warm and kind, and I’ve noticed the law books he was carrying. You’ve always wanted to be a lawyer.

I thought I’ve forgotten you, but here you are again, reminding me of your last words.

I’ll always be there when you need me.

// hrh

 

 

Unmasking the Masked: The Reality of Anxiety

My dear readers, this is a tale.

Once upon a time, there was a young woman in her early 20s. She has achieved a lot in life- with her adventurous college years coming to end with her greatest achievement: with honors. She has worked hard enough to battle poverty to finally come to a place where her career takes off for her to be stable.

She has been through a lot, with so many scars to mark her battles, that the concept of mental illness is so foreign to her. She believes that you can control your mind to handle pressure; it is just a matter of who has enough will to do so. And boy, she was really confident in hers.

Until one day, that is, a series  of unfortunate events has made her, one of the greatest warriors, to admit defeat.

First, the denial. You think of other illnesses that may be associated with what is happening to your body. There are times when you feel sick and unable to eat, or how your heart palpitates and you can’t breathe. The tests will usually come back fine with no alarming results, leaving the doctors puzzled because they can see that there is still something wrong with you.

I did not expect that it will also be the trigger to other health issues as well, but that’s just the thing with anxiety- the more you deny it, the more it makes its presence known, like a weed that grows no matter how much you try to make your garden appear perfect. It is frustrating that it gnaws on you when you fight it out.

I was filled with anger and pity. You look for events and people to blame. You backtrack on happenings and ask yourself why you; because no matter how much try to calm down, you just can’t. You end up pointing the finger back to yourself as nobody will ever get what it feels like and it’s probably your fault. It drains you of your dreams, snuffing out the light and leaving you in the dark with your worst thoughts. It drowns you with doubt, and you can’t float even when you know how to swim.

A mixture of feelings, a roller coaster ride. It is exhausting, not only to your soul and mind but to your body. It never lies, but you pretend anyway. You pretend that it is just one of the other sickness that you have. You pretend it is nothing; when indeed it is everything. Poor you, so alone, in a world where your downfall will not be justified or recognized because there will always be someone who has it worst that you and you should be thankful.

Thankful, for your threshold breaking, a threshold that should I remind you is different for each one of us, and is therefore immeasurable. If it were that simple, we shouldn’t even be having these problems in the first place.

The acceptance is made after long hours at the hospital, going from doctor to doctor and experiments to verify that it is indeed what it is. Even in our progressive world, we are still so sensitive about giving the final stamp to any mental illness, especially ones that are easily claimed when one is in distress or sad. We label our moments, normal humane moments that showcase our feelings with terms that should deserve attention than just not being okay.

As a working adult, you learn how to deal with the meetings on your own. I don’t know if I love the long hallways at the hospital, or if it feels a little too crowded with everyone having anyone else. It is quite a shame to check yourself in or to practically drag yourself to the hospital in the midst of a panic attack, with your work clothes on looking so important, your coat so crisp, and yet you are like a child again, holding your chest because you just can’t breathe.

I think, the hardest has been seeing the way your doctors look at you because they know your condition. They are not puzzled with it like others are, and as professionals they recognize that you are probably tired. It becomes a little bit easier to accept it after that. They ask you about your job, your lifestyle, trying to pinpoint the cause why you are breaking down at such age- and deep inside, you know but refuse, of course, to share it with anybody else.

And then the treatment. I cannot say it is healing; maybe my anxiety itself does not recognize it. I have, though, learned that the best way to deal with it is to know that it is an endless battle you face every single day. That’s the thing with mental illness- when your mind is sick, you cannot just target the sickness and expect it to be done. The drugs, yes, they do help. I have been fascinated by how even experts are reluctant to prescribe sedatives, but it’s a name I have lived with. Sedatives to calm you down, sedatives to make you sleep, just the right amount. Not too much, not too little, for the mind is already fragile. It is already broken, held on together with the tapes you put on it every time you overcome the struggle of a breakdown. The lines are visible; they are there, they will never fade.

You continue with life as it is. You go to work daily to sustain your expenses. Some days, you feel free of it- hopeful even- but in truth it is a chain that you must carry and learn how not to let it suffocate you. It is definitely okay to say you’re not okay- a cliché, perhaps, but the most useful one.

People with anxiety wear masks all the time, because we have to show face that we are still fighting, still living, still breathing; even when sometimes, we find that we are out of it.

It is about embracing that you are flawed and you will be for the rest of time- but broken things are often so beautiful, are they not?

// hrhjeshea