Today, the best way for me to commemorate the World Mental Health Day is by sharing that there is a legit, 24/7 operational CRISIS LINE in the Philippines.
The CRISIS LINE is a flagship program of the In-Touch Community who has been in the country since 1980.
“In Touch provides confidential counseling services for adults, children & families of Filipinos and expatriates.” (source: http://www.in-touch.org/)
Give them a call at:
+63 2 893 7603
+63 917 800 1123 (Globe)
+63 922 893 8944 (Sun)
They have helped me.
Life can be cruel, people can be mean. I always put my guards up and remind myself that I need to toughen up, life has to move on… there’s no stopping. I am strong, capable and I am loved by God and many (my old self talking).
Guess what? The self-coping strategies that have helped me get through all life’s blows for years, worked fine, until an unexpected personal crisis happened.
Where is the person who’s never given up, who inspired and motivated others to get up each day and be a better version of themselves? — She’s gone.
In an instant, I became a different person. I lost “me.” I couldn’t understand what was happening and yes I reached the point when I tried to take my own life.
After the confused state comes denial. “I’ve been through a lot more crap in the past and sooner than later, this will all be behind me.”
The problem is, it didn’t go away. In fact, it worsened day after day.
As someone who has been abandoned and betrayed so many times, it was so difficult to trust others especially at my most vulnerable state. All these years, I had myself as the most loyal friend who stayed. But, I know, that this “friend” of mine is in deep shit too. It’s about time to get serious help.
I am blessed to be surrounded by people I love and who love me in return. They encouraged me to seek professional help.
I know I needed it because for the first time, I was in disbelief that all my coping mechanisms didn’t work their magic any longer. I don’t know how to bounce back and be the person I used to be.
With this, I prayed hard to find the best help and thank God I did.
Through In-Touch, I found Sheena Flynn who specializes in PTSD and Dr. Charm Bernardo who is an expert in Mood & Anxiety Disorder. They were my support system, alongside family members and friends.
Self-care is a continuous process. I see life differently now.
I focus more on self-healing so I may be an instrument in helping others as well.
Contrary to what a Filipino comedian/host publicly announced recently, mental illness- which includes Depression, PTSD, etc., is not something you make up.
Unfortunately, it is no drama – NO ONE WOULD EVER WISH TO BE ON THAT STATE. And that resonates to those who have experienced and therefore understand what this truly means.
“There is a great deal of strength in accepting you are weak and that you need professional help.”
Friends, I know there’s a lot out there who are suffering and left undiagnosed/untreated. They can be one of our family members, friends, colleagues, who deliberately ruin their lives without them even knowing it.
They can be at times so good in concealing the “pain” and resort to “self-medicate” through alcoholism, substance abuse, self-harm, rebellious behaviour, etc.
If you are experiencing this, or if you know someone who might need help, remember that the first step is to ACCEPT that there is a problem.
Try calling the crisis line for a confidential, immediate support and they’ll take it from there.
Otherwise, if you want to have a laid-back conversation, over coffee, chat, you may also reach out to me.
You are not obliged to tell me anything you are not comfortable to share. And if you wish to ask me about my journey, I would be more than glad to answer all your questions, unfiltered.
This is my way of paying it forward because I am grateful to be alive, share my story and try to help others in any possible way I can.
Please help spread awareness about mental health and share this to your family and friends.