The darkest night is over

The grieving process is over. It was one hell of a ride. God is good. In His right time, He makes all things beautiful.

I struggled alone, trying to believe that I was okay. I may took things as normal as possible, but deep inside, my soul was screaming. I suffered from depression for four months, since my aunt died and someone started to bully me online. In the course of my dilemma, I hated people, resorted to self-effacement, and committed acts that almost destroyed myself. I felt alone. I got tired and thought that sleep could take the sadness away. To no avail. I knew I needed help, but I chose to keep it to myself. I did not want to make my friends worry as they, too, struggle with their own battles, or my family, for fear that they might ask me to return home.

As St. John of the Cross put it, it was the “dark night of the soul”. It seemed as if, no matter how hard I prayed, the despair remained unbearable. I think about my aunt, and I dealt with that bully I encountered on the internet. And the sad part, that person also broke my heart.

All bad things must come to an end. I’m very sure of this, that constant prayers help a lot. Despite the doubts, God hears our plea. And he heard mine, and granted them in His right time.

What ended my depression came to me through a dream. I posted this last time:

“May dalawang bahagi ang damgo ko kanina. Una, yung tungkol kay J. Naglalakad ako sa isang mall at naisipan kong manood ng sine at iniisip baka showing ang The Little Prince (dahil ipapalabas daw ito sa QCinema). Mahilig kasi siyang manood ng mga pelikula. Habang paakyat ng escalator, nakita ko siya. Hindi ko siya pinansin sa halip ay nagpatuloy ako sa paglalakad. Habang nasa counter ng sinehan, napuno ako ng alaala. Walang The Little Prince at naisipan kong hanapin si J. Sa di kalayuan nakita ko ulit siya. Naka-blue na collared shirt (gaya nang una ko siyang napanaginipan). Ngunit habang papalapit kami nang papalapit sa isa’t isa, ang daan nama’y naging kawangis ng isang labyrinth. Hindi kami nagtagpo. Nagising akong ginagalaw ang mga daliri sa paa dahil nagkaka-REM na naman ako. In short, isang bangungot ang una kong panaginip.

Muli akong natulog at nanaginip sa ikalawang beses. Maikli lamang ang damgo na ito. Dito, nakita ko ang yumao kong tita at nasaksihan ang kaniyang paghihirap dahil sa kanyang karamdaman noon. Nasa Maynila kasi ako nung nagkasakit siya. Ngunit sa pagkakataong ito, nasa tabi niya ako at binabantayan ko siya. Bumangon siya sa kaniyang higaan. Habang naghihirap, hinawakan niya ang aking kamay. Mahigpit. Pagkatapos ay umalis siya. Ang susunod na eksena ay nakatayo ako at muli siyang nagpakita. Nakangiti na siya sa akin. Ako nama’y lumuluha. Niyakap niya ako. Naramdaman ko ang init ng kaniyang hakos habang ako’y humahagulgol. Nagising akong yumuyugyog ang mga balikat habang yakap ang unan. Walang luhang pumapatak sa aking mata.

Magkaibang panaginip ngunit may nais ipahiwatig. Dalawang taong naging mahalaga sa aking buhay na hanggang ngayon ay bumabagabag pa rin sa aking diwa. Ang isa, buhay pa. Ang isa nama’y talagang yumao na.

Si J, na sa pamamagitan ng panaginip ay pilit ko pa ring hinahanap. Hindi man ang pisikal na presensiya kundi ang mga katanungang hanggang ngayo’y hindi pa rin nasasagot. Siya’y mananatiling enigma gaya ng isang labyrinth sa aking damgo. Marahil ang aming pagtatagpo ay tanda ng pamamaalam at ang aming muling pagkikita ay patuloy na iasa sa tadhana. O baka sa tamang panahon na minsan niyang sinabi.

At si Tita na sa isang maikling panaginip ay naghatid sa akin ng mensahe. Ang totoo kasi, hanggang ngayon, hindi ko pa rin natatanggap na wala na siya. Kahit ilang buwan na siyang wala. Buti na lang siya ang huli kong napanaginipan. Sa kaniyang pagyakap sa akin, para na ring sinabi niya, “Hoy, Toto, mag-move on ka.”

I know it’s weird that the two people who were the culprits of my depression were the ones who ended it all. And I’m happy for that closure.

And yes, I am happy now. Somehow I see the light already. I get to do things like I used to. I begin to dream again, I begin to appreciate the morning. When the memories of that person begin to haunt me, I feel no pain anymore, not because my heart turned to stone, but because I realized that hate has no room for a renewed person. There are lessons that I need to learn. Still, I open myself up to the possibility of finding love again. Not too soon, I guess. But right now, I want to love myself even more.

I would always go back to that dream when my Tita hugged me. Until now, it still brings a smile upon my face. It’s easier for me to let go.

And that’s what I did. Thank God.

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