A Blog A Day

It\’s a blog where I write about the extraordinary and the ordinary things going on in my life.

The Road Less Traveled

I still don’t know what to do with my life. At thirty, I’m still unable to picture the kind of life that I want to live. I mean, I know I want to travel. I know I want to have a wonderful and loving relationship with my future husband. I know I want to have kids probably 2 or 3 children. But I don’t know where to even begin.

A few years ago, I almost left for another country. I was certain that that was the path for me. I took all the exams and did everything I could to complete all the requirements. Just one more month left, and it was my turn to leave. But I guess, fate had another destiny in store for me. Perhaps, subconsciously, I sensed that that path would not lead me to happiness.

I was depressed for a while. I didn’t know what to do. I was lost. I had my whole life planned ahead of me. And it was depressing to realize that life has other plans for me. A cousin told me that she worked for this certain company that would be willing to accept anyone. I don’t know why I chose that company. But I applied there as soon as possible.

It was there that I met, M. Who would later turn my world upside-down. Although in a good way. I still don’t know what his purpose in my life is. But ever since I met him, nothing has been the same. But it’s all in a very good way.

I don’t know what kind of thing I have with him. We have this special friendship that I can’t even define yet. I care for him and he seems to care about me. Until now, I still want to know what his purpose in my life is.

When I met him, things happened very fast. I learned how to get drunk ( in a good way, and I mean, getting drunk is so fun and exciting ). At 28 years old, I experienced tipsiness and passing out. I experienced a full blown hang over where you throw up like crazy. It was a really fun experience. Of course, it was not fun while I was throwing up every thirty minutes or so. It became fun as I recalled the light-heartedness of it all.

I drank tequila because I was heartbroken. And I was confused about my feelings for M. It’s not always good to mix heartache with alcohol. The effects are really volatile. As I would find out soon enough. I passed out and lost consciousness. The next thing I knew, I was in a bar, propped up on a stool and spilling my guts out. Two of my relatives were there to help me out. My friend, J told me that it was my ‘yuckiest moment.’ I would have to agree.

I almost did a striptease number in public. My blouses was covered with vomit, alcohol and stink. I felt that I had to get it off. My female cousin, S, admonished me when I would unbutton my blouse. I still remember that she complimented me on my bra. ‘ It was new, ‘ I remember thinking. The next thing I remember, I was in front of the car, puking my guts out some more.

Passing out and drinking large quantities of alcohol wasn’t my style. I was a quiet girl. I was shy. I didn’t make friends easy. I was an introvert. Why all of a sudden would I turn into an adventurer? Because deep inside I was unhappy. And I knew it. It was only a matter of time before I would erupt. And a good thing, when I erupted, Buddhism couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.

I had a nervous breakdown shortly thereafter after my first degree cousin, almost professed his love for me. Maybe it was all in my head. I don’t want to think so. Maybe I was being paranoid. But something about what he was doing didn’t seem right. And so I crumbled.

It was a manifestation of something deeper. A deeper fear that someone I love and care for would take advantage of me. I don’t like to tell the story much anymore. Not because it’s too painful. I just find that it’s been over told. But one can’t write something without a reference point.

I was sexually abused as a child. And it was the pain that I was carrying for years that had burdened me with guilt and unhappiness. My psychiatrist, who is into Buddhism said, “ There’s a karmic pattern that is repeating all over again.”

She mentioned something about “purifying the family tree.” Oddly enough for a physician and scientist, she talked about karma a lot. She predicted that if I go on the same path, I would eventually be institutionalized if I would uncover lost memories from my childhood.

She told me that my cousin was just fulfilling his destiny. He was part of my karmic pattern. History was repeating itself to show me that I have some issues in the past that I need to deal with. He was just part of the karmic pattern that I need to break free of.

She prescribed anti-depressants and told me, “ After two years, you will get better. But it would get worse before it would get better. There may be times that you would want to kill yourself. Taking the pills would increase your chances of committing suicide.”

Up to that point, I was having suicidal thoughts but I wasn’t actually suicidal. I thought about pointing my father’s gun to my head and pulling the trigger. As far as suicide attempts go, my only attempt at taking my own life was drinking 5 aspirins and some other analgesic. It was after I had a bitter spat with my then boyfriend. I had suicidal thoughts but I was not suicidal. I didn’t slash my wrist. I didn’t try to suffocate myself. I just had really dark, dark thoughts of taking my own life.

Before my doctor could prescribe me the anti-depressant pills, I told her that I would think about it some more. She prescribed me some brain vitamins which was pretty strong. That vitamin was for stroke patients. It didn’t have a good effect on me because it made me think a thousand thoughts a minute. The thoughts would just not stop.

I remember what the good doctor and I had discussed. We talked about my dreams of having a family. And I talked about my mixed feelings for M. I felt that he was too good to be true. And I told her that I have doubts about him. But one thing that kept me hopeful was when she said, “ You have a chance of having a wonderful family. What happened to you is a result of the past causes of your ancestors. But you have the power to start anew. You can purify your family tree by starting with your own self and by raising a loving family.”

After our session, I went home feeling hopeful. But I still felt sad because, I thought that there was something better than just taking happy pills. I knew that I was not happy and that I’ve always been unhappy. But I didn’t want to rely on a pill to make me happy. I knew that there might be a better answer out there.

Around this time when I was contemplating whether to take anti-depressants or not, my cousin, L, introduced me to Buddhism. It was a different kind of Buddhism. It was true Buddhism. I was desperate. I had no other thing to turn to. I mean, what were my alternatives? Try this Buddhism thing or take anti-depressants and hope that I won’t kill myself before two years.

The choice was an easy one to take. And after several days, weeks, months and a year of chanting, the answer became very obvious. I had made the right choice.

The first few months of my practice was really hard. I had to face my own demons. And I had nowhere to run. When I started the practice, I became aware of my negativities. At first I was really afraid. I was really, really negative. It was tough because I didn’t want to face my own demons but I had no choice because I was living in hell. And the only way to get out of hell was to accept that I was living in hell.

After almost two years of practicing, things have improved. A LOT. There are still challenges. There are still questions that remain to be answered. But the thing is, I can definitely say that I’m no longer unhappy. I mean, there are bouts of unhappiness that I experience from time to time but it lasts shorter than it should. And most of the time, I’m just happy being me.

My grandmother, who passed away a decade ago would always say to me as a little child, “ You won’t get to where you’re going if you don’t know where you came from.” And in a way, she is right. What she’s actually saying is that one should be grateful always. I won’t ever forget where I came from. When I started the practice, I was unhappy, negative and unloving. And now, I can smile despite being sick. I can laugh at myself. I can joke even during serious situations. I’m no longer a drama queen. The only tears I cry are tears of realization and tears of gratitude. Unlike before where I would really cry tears of sadness.

Things are much more different now. I’m a different person. My world is a different world. I may not know where I’m headed for most of the time, but I know wherever I wind up, I know I’ll find happiness there.


1 Comment»

  Tina wrote @

Thanks for sharing your story. It takes a lot of strength to pull yourself out of your situation, and a lot of wisdom to be able to look back on the difficult times in life with gratitude. Wishing you courage to face the difficulties life will inevitably bring, and equanimity to face the world with a smile always.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: