A Season of Loneliness

Not until today when I heard that a colleague of mine ended his life due to depression did I try to reflect more and dealt it truthfully to myself.

Over the past months, I've been experiencing extreme loneliness that may indeed lead to depression. Yes, it is not a joke to be in this stage of life. If I may quote, Pastor Rick Warren, "Loneliness is inevitable. If you have not felt it today, then you will certainly be on that stage soon."

The view in Atok, Benguet

After my Buscalan trip, I've come to a point in my life that I was satisfied and comfortable. I was just able to put a check mark on one of my bucket lists - and that's to meet Apo Whang-Od. It was a dream turned into a reality. I was feeling so high that I thought that was life!

On my way home to Baguio from Bontoc, I passed through the highest peak in Atok Benguet, the weather seemed to administer to my feelings. It was gloomy just like how I felt that day - but I was trying to let it pass and just continue to live the moment of appreciating the mountains of Cordillera. Until I arrived in Baguio.
Baguio City

Baguio City is my second home. It is where I find my comfort and my peace. My hide out whenever I feel the need to be alone. However, this impression changed.

I was walking along the busy street of Session road. Groups of people were laughing, smiling and sharing stories and I, on the other hand, was alone walking and crying in the middle of the rain without understanding why I am feeling so alone.

I continued walking with the hope of feeling better but as I kept on stepping forward, my mind kept on flashing back sad memories about my mom and dad.

I remembered my mom telling me that her greatest fear was to be alone and it struck me because now, I feel like I am the one who is alone. My dad is living in desperation. He thinks that he no longer has hope and purpose with his life that he is wasting it and doing whatever he wants without thinking about us.  It feels like I lost both of them. It's crazy painful!

Open my eyes, oh God! And let me see the wonderful things around me in your law...

Why am I feeling this now? Why do I feel like I will be the one paying for what my parents did? Am I to blame? What's my future? Where do I go from here? Who will love me? —- No one! All these questions are popping into my head. All these questions are driving me nuts and making me feel like I am drowning. I can't breathe, I can't sleep and I don't understand…

Baguio City which was my solitary room was turned into a place of uncertainty. My sense of security was gone and I felt like I have to run away from all these! but where to? where will I find my peace? 

I went back to Cebu carrying all these burdens. I can't take it anymore! I texted my friends to meet me as I can't stop crying and worrying. It feels like hell. Three days straight of no sleep. This is not me! Why am I like this? What's happening? I just could not understand myself anymore. The independent woman that I was turned crazy dependent. I am all messed up.

This feeling is such a struggle. I don't know how to fix my life. I forgot the feeling on how to be the old me anymore. The happy, bubbly and adventurous me. The colorful life I had turned gray. 

Even if my friends would come and visit me, I still could not stop crying. In the middle of the night when trying to sleep. I felt like drowning in the deep water. Whenever I take a shower, I could not breathe in the drops of water.

My life from the highest peak is slowly going down to the dark valley of death, uncertainty, and hopelessness. How can I pick myself up? I am shattered into pieces.
I don't know how to escape from that dark valley. All I know is that I am just passing through it and I will not stop from walking away from that place.

Here are the things that I have learned on getting over the season of depression/loneliness:

1. Talk to your Life Coach - Your coach should be someone that you trust and someone who knows you personally. For me, I have my life coach who knew me almost a decade. She helped me understand what I am going through. She became my sounding board. She helped me figure out that I am in the stage of mourning. It's a series of unfortunate events that happened to me that cause this feeling of loneliness.

2. Have a Stable Support Group - Find your own group of friends/ family whom you can call 24 hours. You will need their presence whenever you feel alone. You need someone who will remind you that you are important and you are loved.

3. You Need To Utilize Your Time - If life gives you lemon, make a lemonade. Make the most of your time and be creative and productive.

4. Minimize Your Hurt - I need to play it down and de-emphasized it. Don't play it over and over again in your mind because it will reach to the point when you can't control it. The question you need to ask yourself is, What can I do now that is difficult to do with others around? Do not be bitter as your bitterness only perpetuates your hurt. Focus on others. Make yourself available to listen for other people's hurts and pains and it's when you understand that the purpose of your pain is for you to better understand those who are hurt and to be of service to them.

5. Recognize God's Presence - Loneliness is a better time to be reacquainted with God.
When you are lonely, where is God? He is with you! He is with you all the time! Pray for God's illumination to open your spiritual eyes so you would be able to see the wonderful things around you.

Yes! I feel you...The struggle you are experiencing now does not isolate you from others. Always remember that God gives you problems that you can bear and you always have Him to ask help for. Have a good cry and give everything you can't handle to Him for He will set you free and He will never abandon you.