World Bipolar Day
and Git Object Errors

For today, I have this mighty Stack Overflow savior for my morning Git error. I almost fainted in panic when I could not run a git status on my local machine. As it turns out, I may have encountered some bug on git when my laptop died midway during a commit last week. It was compounded by the fact that I did not properly configure the 2nd laptop that I was using while I was on a writing assignment. And it caused some objects to be bungled up at the back. After an hour of googling and switching between Mozilla Firefox and the Terminal, I eventually succumbed to the SOS function.

I talked to a very prolific Django mentor. I said that I almost fainted in panic, and then he said: “See! That’s the thrill of it!” AND I AGREE! HAHA. 😀

For Ubuntu today, I discovered a very, very simple way to use virtualenv and virtualenvwrapper for Python version 2 or Python version 3:

mkvirtualenv –python=/usr/bin/python3.4m environmentname

(Just leave out the –python thing if you want to use version 2. 😉 )

I screwed it up on my main laptop the first time so now at least they are happily lumped in a single folder on the second laptop. I am making good progress and my next step is to automate everything by way of Bash scripts to save me typing time when I open my PC.

There is no coherent theme in this post because honestly, control is an illusion and I do not have much time today to edit this piece. Laundry is still waiting to be fixed, I have a dinner date with a high school close friend, and there are blueberry tarts that need to be delivered to my mom and sister.

I just wanted to write something–anything– because it’s been a long while since I last wrote. I am keeping this blog to somehow document snippets of my life as it unfolds. So that I will not forget these days and how I had to climb my way with all the power that I can muster.

It’s been a whole month, more or less, since I practically own my hours and my life energy is at its peak. However, I completely underestimated the demands of real life! And the awesome daily plan continues to be adjusted.

Yesterday was an extra special day for me because it’s World Bipolar Day. It’s a personal advocacy because the stigma is strong here in this country. In some countries, people with this disorder are respected and provided enough care. Here, you get ridiculed branded or stigmatized in some way, with the exception of the more open-minded lot — in my case, a handful of individuals that I can only count with the fingers in my hand. And I do not mind that they are few.

Because in this culture where friendships are branded by the number of likes you generate on a social media post, nothing beats the amazing quality of real-time bonding over coffee or a two-hour shared meal that does not involve crazily checking your phone or digital accounts every few minutes.

Being able to be your friend’s Facebook support group for 24 hours is not necessarily the ultimate indicator of friendship. There are boundaries that need to be respected. And the foundation of true friendship (not the superficial type of Facebook friendship being mass produced to everyone) is real quality time offline, trust, respect, and genuine care for that person’s welfare. I have actually found these awesome relationships when I decided to go on a Facebook hermitage. 🙂

I am genuinely thankful this year because so many good things happened to me despite the challenges that I had to face. I drew strength from a lot of places and it helped so much to have a good perspective about life even when you have this nagging health problem.

I accepted my situation as gracefully as possible. And the moment that I did that, things started picking up. Opportunities started popping up LIKE DAISIES.There is a clarity that has not existed before. And I was able to travel and meet new people and create things that were unthinkable a year ago.

I do not post as much as I’d want here because I have this whole adult life being lived outside of the computer. And then I have other intellectual explorations from inside the internet that demand my undivided attention. I cannot really believe how lucky I am considering the unemployment rates and the stigma and the difficulties of even basic things like waking up on some days. I cannot say that it is easy but this life is beautiful and worth living and there are places to explore, people to help, things to do, and mountains to climb.

I just wanted to write this all down because 5, 10, 15 years from now, I will look back at this moment in time and tell my future children that, hey, this was that moment that I stepped out of the useless bullshit and drama of life and began to really consider building a better future for you. 🙂 And you were worth it.



The Lowdown on the Low Mood

Having a low mood due to an existing mood condition is a difficult thing to manage, with all honesty. Harder even is explaining what it feels to someone else because honestly, the words don’t make sense or give the feelings any justification. There are no words, really.

There are things that are normal to the bipolar patient but outrageous and outside conventional norms to the rest of the world. To quell the mental nausea of mood swings, one would get prescription medication for maintenance. Although these are mood stabilizers that give a floating feeling and a focused mind, I shunned most of them for the horrible side effects: migraines, slurring, shaky hands and fingers that can’t even hold a pen or a glass of water straight, and the inability to procreate or conceive while on medication.

A handful of Hollywood celebrities possess the diagnosis. But there is absolutely nothing glamorous about this illness. Absolutely nothing, save for the spike or bursts of creativity and aplomb during the best of the manic phase.

Mania, at its finest, produces the most brilliant of ideas. It’s like perpetually being on the summit of a mountain with all the stars and glorious mists in tow.

But all the suns of mania goes down eventually. Sometimes, it dips suddenly and gives way to the crashing waves of depression. It’s deafening, overwhelming, occasionally unbearable, stupendously odious.

Some fellows find themselves slashing their wrists, or jumping off ledges, or overdosing on some sleeping pills. The impulse to destroy is there, and so is the pain of the stigma of the unspoken violence that any bipolar patient may darkly succumb too at one moment of ennui too many.

Others (and I believe myself to fall more in this category) simply wither in a corner despondently and wait for the dark clouds to disappear, bracing one’s self in an unnamable despair that is reserved only for those who were given the blessings and curses of feeling emotional extremes. We utter words just for the sake of uttering them, but inside we swim in the pools of hitting the lowest of the low points a human being can possibly have.

Swimmingly, my mind just spins with ideas but I cannot hold even the most basic ones down. There’s a silent panic and terror at the prospect of being stuck in this flighty thought pattern. There’s a bit of a fight here and there to stay conscious and aware of the present moment. In these times, I’ve stopped asking the Universe why this kind of lot is handed over to me. I just know that like the other previous cycles, it will soar me back up soon like a perpetual roller coaster ride. And sink low again. And swing up again. On and on it goes until all life ceases in me. Life is, in essence, a perpetual bracing of one’s self for the best and for the worst.

Meanwhile, I eat cheese and bread to assuage my poor soul, as if the comfort of the palate extends to comfort the deepest bowels of my soul. I absorb the unfortunate tide of my mood. And do my best to stay on in this manner of just being until my hyper days go back to fuel me anew.

Like I am always fond of telling my significant other: “It’s going to be okay.” I tell myself that over and over again until the clouds stop hovering and clear skies go back again.

Suffering from mental illness can be frustrating for both the patients and their families, but there are lots of people who can help. Students who are interested in working in the mental health field, may also want to pursue a healthcare management online degree.

It’s going to be OK.

The Walking Wounded

Last Sunday, I went to EDSA shrine for Mass. I was (ashamed of this fact) LATE. But this has been an improvement because I have not gone there for quite awhile now. It was 8pm that time and I wanted to just go to Mass to THANK God for everything; for being alive, for his daily graces, for the miracle of “manna” in my finances (it is a miracle given my current setup), for friends, for my boyfriend and his family, for love, for saving my home in Caloocan from a fire that ravaged 50 homes, and for the newfound time to rediscover who I am and where I should go next.

I remembered countless times when I went to church with tears streaming on my face. But that day was not one of those. I just had the internal certainty that I need to go to God just to say thanks for sparing me, for letting me have the time to make things right with my life. And I generally whispered a prayer for my friends.

Almost on a daily basis, I talk to a lot of broken people. It’s strange, but for some reason, the people I bond with in various places tend to open up their issues to me with ease. I am quite empathic, and it affects me emotionally when I hear sad stories from people I care about. But it’s part of loving and caring for people– you tend to cry when they cry because you want them to be happy all the time.

Talking about fun stuff is easy. But all these people I’ve truly met in my life showed me that even the bubbliest people are part of the walking wounded. Just now, a very good friend just told me via BBM that she might need to see a shrink. Three hours ago, another close relative whom I love deeply has been isolating herself but she messaged me “I miss you” on Facebook. Even with just those words, I still felt how much in pain she was. Yet another friend abroad told me of her hidden panic modes because she is at her life’s crossroads, and I could not even have coffee with her to talk things over.

I think of all that pain. I think of how people silently suffer in a world where it’s survival of the fittest and man eats man in ruthless competition. I think of walls that people set up at all vantage points. I think of facets of human life that are hidden and how less than one percent of what’s actually going on is seen at every person’s surface.

We look at Facebook timelines and Twitter posts that seem to set up an illusion of perpetual happiness and perfection. But underneath that social media curtain of trying to convince ourselves that positive pop psychology is enough, there are voids and cracks and brokenness at the very core. The cracks of racism, of elitism, of intellectual arrogance, of arrogance in general, of harshness from those who have been treated harshly, and of purely putrid darknesses that words cannot describe.

In this “Look at me, I am awesome. Meanwhile, I need to put YOU down,” culture, it’s quite hard to unveil the suffering souls that are dying underneath. Why put up all these walls? We are all THE SAME. We should all be helping each other.

Why be stubborn and unable to forgive human shortcomings? Why refuse someone’s attempts to make friends because he or she is “not good enough”? Why kill someone’s career or badmouth a co-worker to the bosses just to make sure one goes up? Why have cliques and bash absent classmates on a high school reunion when we can all just co-exist peacefully? Why join the bandwagon of cyber or offline bullying behavior?

I myself am guilty of some of these things at some point; it comes out when I am not guarding my mind and my tongue and my heart. And I keep asking myself, where is this coming from? Why are people like this?

And why flaunt all these things when there is nothing to be proud about, really? It’s not a badge, but a giant barrier that keeps us from being truly connected with each other. Supposedly, all these technologies are about bridging gaps. But there is no technology on earth that can penetrate closed minds and hardened hearts.

I want to make better relationships from now on. I want to turn away from this system of judging and building walls. I want to bring bandaids of comfort to the broken. And I want to stay away from those venomous individuals who suck the life and vitality out of me.

I want to keep the passions of my youth. I want to be the girl who, even at age 27, is able to keep aiming for the good dreams of her teenage years. I want to be myself at its very best.

And most of all, I want to talk to the walking wounded when it’s most needed and write about hope afterwards. No, it’s not the published conversations but the ones that are privately processed through face time and among people who are willing to show who they really are, vacation trips, social positions, and competitions notwithstanding.

I still have threads and traces of those conversations when I met up with old friends and bonded with my family since the start of this month. And I know that I can still continue to hope for the best with those virtual bandaids for the walking dead. Like a tiny spark, I want to keep authenticity ignited in everything that I have to do with the rest of my life.

And to be able to do that, I think I should run more to the Source of soul bandaids Himself without being late when He needs me on a one-hour date every Sunday. And yes, I hope to be restored and steered towards what He made me for so that I can walk with the wounded with all the gentleness I could muster. <3