Packing up

The Gastrologist(s) told me before that GERD causes my palpitations, and that my GERD stems from anxiety. She can just give me PPIs, but it’s up to me to manage my mental health. I got sick so often, I was in the ER countless of times, and had so many lab tests that my health care plan almost reached its limit. There was a time that I just went around in circles, always going on a downward spiral and just forgetting how to manage my thoughts. I can’t say that I have a better grasp of things now since I’ve been so busy with rehearsals and other activities these past few month but I really hope that I am improving.

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It is tiring to live in constant fear and worry, and in this case, I get scared about having panic attacks. This is usually the reason why depression catches up. Almost every time I prepare to perform onstage, I freak out about having an attack during the performance. Eventually, I learned to anchor myself in the moment while performing. I have to prep myself well before going onstage. It takes up a lot of work and this process usually isn’t obvious to the people around me. I used to long for the moments when performing (or basically living life) used to be so natural, but this is my new normal now and that is just how it is.

The Harry Potter in Concert performances last weekend is probably my last gig with an orchestra for the year. I’m deeply grateful for the busyness and distraction that performing with the orchestra gave me, among other things. I always learn new things about myself whenever I prepare for rehearsals and performances. I also realized that I love making music more than anything and that I tried keeping myself from it because it hurts to not do it. It’s a paradox and it’s confusing AF.

I’m packing our bags now for a family adventure and I hope to recharge my creative juices on this trip. Sometimes this country gets too overbearing and plain uninspiring so I’m looking forward to breathing a different kind of air.

Crying woman, expressive watercolor painting
Watercolors, unfinished. Just checking to see if I can still paint.

“I love you as certain
dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow
and the soul.”

– Pablo Neruda

Reverie

Reverie, expressive watercolor of hands

Hello, World, I’m back! After almost a year of not posting anything, I’ve finally resurfaced online. With the recent string of suicides, especially the ones who made the news, mental health awareness is becoming more prominent. Because of this, I have this urge to go back to blogging.

Maintaining this blog was not even one of my priorities, hence the lack of updates. I had no clear purpose in blogging before – I just wanted an outlet for my thoughts. However, it’s becoming clear to me that I continue writing my story and sharing my experiences to somehow help and inspire others going through the same things as I am. As someone dealing with several mental disorders, it has been incredibly hard for me to deal with the transitions of marriage, domesticity, motherhood, and loss. Maybe, in dealing with my demons, I can help others while helping myself.

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Babymoon

This post is way overdue, but the busy-ness of motherhood is making me dream of taking a trip out of the city with my husband. Should I feel bad for wanting some me-time with my husband? Of course, leaving little Raffy behind is not an option now, so we will just have to wait. Here’s a throwback to our lovely babymoon – the last time we were able to travel as just husband and wife.

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Transitioning to a plant-based diet

Two months ago, I had some lab tests done at home c/o Hi-Precision Diagnostic’s Home Service Testing and I encouraged Ralph to have a blood test done right then and there because his gout is bothering me. You see, he’s had gout for over a decade now and time and time again, he refused to have a blood test done to check his uric acid levels. Thankfully enough, he conceded, and later that afternoon, the results arrived in my email. True enough, his marks are so high and this got me worried even more, so I did a lot of research about gout and hyperuricemia.

According to Healthline, Hyperuricemia occurs when there is too much acid in your blood. I’ve since learned a lot about the topic of gout, and I will discuss this in another blog post. The point is, we have decided to go on a plant-based diet because vegetables are the best low-purine foods. What about beans, you say? In recent studies, it is shown that plant-based purine sources have a low bioavailability, which means that these purine-rich sources are not easily converted to uric acid. (As an added note, foods containing high-fructose corn syrup is hell on people with hyperuricemia!)

Going plant-based

This is where I had a tough time. I was the kid who grew up not eating vegetables, and I have a pretty good repertoire of meat recipes under my belt. That said, I don’t cook vegetables really well. I’m not even familiar with some of the vegetables that are found in the wet market. My husband is an Ilokano, and he loves his vegetables. In the course of our relationship, I slowly learned how to appreciate and actually like eating veggies – but I still don’t know how to cook them. When changing your lifestyle, I figured that it’s best to consult the people who already has that kind of lifestyle. I am grateful that we have quite a handful of vegetarian and vegan friends, so I contacted them for resources and tips. Our goal is to be 80% plant-based, for now. What matters most to me right now is getting rid of sugar, processed foods, and unhealthy ingredients. Continue reading

Raffy tries Kidzoona

Last Sunday, we took Raffy to Kidzoona while his daddy performs in the mall show at Shangri-La. I’ve been feeling so depressed lately and I’m just missing my mom so much, so even though I was not in the mood to go out, I had to push myself so that our family could experience some normalcy. It has been almost a month since my mom’s passing and I’m still having a tough time getting my sh*t together.

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Since it’s expected that we will be spending the entire duration of the soundcheck and show in Kidzoona, I purchased 3 hours of playtime, about 400 PHP. To compare, 90 minutes of playtime is priced at 300 PHP, so it’s worth it.  Looking at the play areas, Raffy’s eagerness, and the long-waiting hours for the show, it’s already a good deal because It’s basically the same amount that I would spend if I decided to hang out in a coffee shop while waiting. 

I originally wanted some alone time to just sketch or journal and drink coffee in a cafe, but bringing our little sunshine is so worth it. In this grieving process, I’m so blessed to have a baby to keep me occupied. Just seeing him enjoying himself and smiling feels like a ray of sunshine broke through the stormy clouds.

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Deep Breaths

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Lately, I’ve been thinking of taking up new hobbies, like knitting and dollmaking. I spent too much time on Instagram while pinned down during our nursing session and there are a plethora of wonderful fabric artists and doll makers in my feed. Sadly, I have too many hobbies already, and I’m still in the midst of honing my skills in them.

Things are overwhelming right now, from being a new mom and housewife, so I’ll just focus on my current artistic endeavors for now: watercolor, calligraphy, and the violin.

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