Mind

Write Your Heart Out

As being diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder, I struggled a lot in many different aspects. I had to make a lot of changes but one activity was constant before and after my diagnosis, writing. I hope my article will encourage many people to write their hearts out!

There is nothing glamorous about struggling with mental health but the increase if its prevalence cannot be denied. This may be brought about by the instant changes in our fast-paced world, a world where it is hard to be “sane”. Before, I was only a mental health advocate but as I experienced depression first hand, it gave me new insights and learnings that I could never learn in the academe.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type 1 last 2017 and it shook my world. Not only my world was affected but the lives of the people who love me as well. Even I would not wish it to my worst enemy. I was having difficulty understanding myself thus, making it difficult for others to understand me. In time, my journey towards recovery and self-discovery became more manageable. Some mental illnesses are incurable, but most are manageable. Coming up with a personalized treatment plan is essential which may involve taking medications, scheduling appointments with a psychiatrist, making diet and lifestyle changes and being open to your support system about your triggers or your coping mechanisms. Surprisingly, my mental health struggle brought out a new kind of creativity in me. It is the kind of creativity that is not out of luxury but out of necessity. And one of my favorite things to do which helped greatly improve my mental wellness is to write.

One playwright said:

“We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.” ~ Somerset Maugham

I very much agree with him because there were days when I felt like writing was the only way I could get through the day. It also fascinates me to read my past journal entries and reflect on how much progress I have done. Most importantly, I can freely express myself and be myself when I write. When you write for your own sake and not for others, it becomes cathartic. Writing materializes your thoughts and make them validated but you will eventually realize that they are just merely, thoughts. Even if I’m very close to my family and to my friends, I still find myself constantly looking for someone who I can be really honest with my feelings and know that I am not being judged. There is no better way to release my feelings than to write them down. Sometimes you will just be surprised with the smooth flow of creative juices in your mind or some nostalgic memories that will suddenly pop in your mind. Another benefit of writing is that it helps me feel like I am writing history or leaving something significant behind. My classmates and I were amazed with some journal entries and writings of Jose Rizal in our PI 100 class and it opened our minds to his humanity and not just his glory. Somehow, I feel good to think that the future generation may read some of my writings too and be inspired by them.

 

Lastly, I write because I need to. I wrote in one of my journal entries, “Once I am ready to write again, I am ready to live again.” It was after an episode of depression when I felt that it was even impossible to write. In contrast, I can write a whole lot when I am in the manic stage. It really helps me assess what state I am in, remind me of my previous state of mind and keep track of my progress. Most of the time I just write freely creating poems, bible devotions, goals, plans, songs, song translations, letters to God,to myself, to my family and to my friends and simple journal entries. It is a good tool for recovery and self-discovery. Writing is one of the expressions of basic freedom that I enjoy the most that anyone can benefit from. After all, sometimes words are really all we have so write your heart out!

 

Sample Poem:

If you could save me,
you would
(A poem from the Underworld)

Sorry for the ending
I know it’s not what you are expecting
It has been so long since my mind has been lingering
About death, about life and what ifs that are unrelenting

With all the time that passed me by
I still really could not  understand why
Despite the people that make me smile
My brain still tells me it might be better to die

This is a poem from the Underworld
From someone who is telling her very last words
I can say I was happy living in your world
But most of the time I’m just on my bed curled

One thing I will tell you, in my grave where you stood
Is that If you could save me, I know that you would
I know my death would be misunderstood
By people who don’t know how to look for the good.

Whether to take my own life was the hardest choice to make
I wish that I could have stepped on the brake
At times I don’t know what’s real from what’s fake
But no matter how hard I try, I still always break

To be inherently broken gave me a lot of pain
It made me believe there’s not much more I can gain
I lived in a world where it’s hard to be sane
I may have chosen to leave but
not everything’s in vain.

I am sorry for the pain I can never take away
I know how much you wanted me to stay
Maybe there were words you have forgotten to say
But trust me that I know if you could save me, you would

I know what happened was very hard to accept
But there were many sleepless nights that I wept
Knowing that even if I live again I could never pay my debt
To you and to the people that  would save me, if they could

I know that you would do everything to take me out of the dark
How desperately you want my desire to live to spark
Sorry for the way I left my mark
But I know if could just save me, you would

You wanted me to take my time to heal
But the problem is in order to heal, I needed to feel
And when I feel, the grim reaper starts to steal
Then I start thinking  my life can still be saved if I kneel.

There were many times my prayers have been answered
Maybe beating the loneliness is something I have mastered
Just when I thought my point of view had been altered
I relapse and end up with a heart that is shattered

I often thank God that I have lasted this long
But somehow I just cannot  seem to belong
The agony I no longer want to prolong
All I really want to leave is a song

A song of how I tried my best
To win,To try, to fail, to pass the test
For my life blessings, for meeting you, I just have no right to protest
But somehow I just really wanted to rest

Don’t blame yourself, you’re not at fault
My negativity is just my default
I have been a victim of my own assault
There’s not much you can do,
But I know if you could save me you would

Funny how the brain is still such a mystery
Sorry for the way I’ve written history
I just really wanted to end my misery
But do not worry, I know you would save me, if only you could

I wish things such as love and faith can be the cure
But there is no escaping the lure Of peace, of nothingness, of having no future to secure
Even if my destination is unsure
It might be better than to endure

I know you will still miss me
I know you will still love me
I know you will still remember me
And I know that If you could save me, you would

It’s not just a flu,
I don’t have a clue
It’s not because I’m weak or do I always feel blue
It’s maybe because my purpose is through
Somehow I couldn’t find the courage to say goodbye to you

Not because I dont trust you
Not because I don’t like you
Not because I don’t love you
I’m just afraid
You would get hurt by my adieu It may be hard to believe but it’s true

I’m afraid you would make me pick up the life that I threw
Because I know that if you could save me, you would
You will talk to me, hug me, help me, tell me that you love me
Will remind me of the reasons that may stop me from pushing through

But if you ask me what I would do
If I could save me, I would save myself too
But I can’t
I can’t anymore
I’m gone
I’m six feet under you,
But you can still save yourself
So please do. . .
Don’t be like me too. . .

Inspired? Give Your Thoughts!

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