What is a comeback? It’s a return of someone or something that involves some type of improvement--a second version, a new attitude. With the events that have happened to me plus the things I’ve learned over the past year, this is exactly what I aspire to do--to have a comeback. But honestly? I think I’ve moved far way past that.
Today, I work for an advertising agency as a senior copywriter and absolutely love what I do. I get to create. My concepts, ideas, thoughts and words are valued. The people I work with are crazy-fun and it’s not often that you get to play at work everyday. I have good friends--friends I can call and run to right in the middle of a storm on a weeknight after they get off work and whip me up a hearty dinner, even when they have the liberty to rest instead. I am blessed with harmonious relationships in my family, work and outside both. You may think these are relatively normal things a decent human being possesses, but if you met me a year ago, shrouded by this dark cloud called depression that is seemingly hopeless, I don’t have any of these. I was absolutely empty.
My 2012 was supposedly the mark of my formative years as a young adult. I had just resigned from my first job, had a thriving future in blogging and a multitude of opportunities. But it was also the year where PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a hormonal disorder among females) took over my health and sanity. As a lot of physical changes occurred in my body—the weight gain, the increased testosterone (male hormones), the horrifyingly skin-scarring acne and hirsutism—I started acting out… mostly like a man. I was diagnosed with PCOS in November 2011 and thinking that it’s just another medical condition that wouldn’t have much bearing in my physique let alone my life, I set the doctor’s follow up appointment aside. It was only during the last week of January 2012 that I noticed a lot of changes in my body. I was very hormonal and it influenced the way I acted and it affected my decision-making a lot. I made poor life choices, devalued my worth, hurt a lot of people close to me (knowingly and unknowingly) and lost a lot of good friends—friends I’ve expected to stay for life--who have been shocked with this unfamiliar side of me… this new personality I carried around. It was one of the most painful things that happened to me, but I can also sincerely say that it was definitely the most experiential and learning time of my life.
After the entire chaos of the first half of the year, I’ve decided to lay low… to ponder about the whizzing and slurring of events happening right before my eyes. It was also then that I met this stranger online, who at first was the ultimate crushable deamboat who rolled with the jabs of my craziness, was attracted to my body for what it was and had the most adorable singing voice ever—or so I thought. He ended up being a weirdo, a verbally abusive catfish who promised nothing but dim illusions and had nothing more than a supply of fake pictures of a hunk. The guy didn’t even have the decency to show himself on cam. Depression was starting to creep in, and I can only be grateful he has stopped bothering me with suicide messages and debt requests.
My depressive episode lasted for about 6 months. I was a bum who was often left at home. Most of my days were spent crying, overthinking, staring blankly at walls and then some more of hysterical crying. My personal hygiene and social life were nonexistent. All I could focus on and think about was the failure that I have believed to be myself. I was immensely disappointed at me. I felt hopeless. How can I, a woman empowerment advocate, go through all these crap? How could I have allowed someone to take advantage of me in so many ways? How could I have let my emotions get to this point? Why me, of all people? I know I am smarter than this and extremely better than this… so what the hell happened to me? It’s bad enough to be in a depressive state, but what’s worse is feeling so ashamed that you’re in one. I just felt like I have failed myself to such a high level of intensity that there is no way for me to get back up. Every night, I remember praying to God to take me just so I don’t feel so sorry for myself every single day. I remember my mom trying to appease my emotional suicide by supplying me with absolutely anything that can spark a hobby or a passion. I remember my twin sister sneaking behind my back to get me tickets to Boracay for a high school reunion just so I’d join them. I remember my family doing all the best they could to put back the pizzazz in me that was once there.
Looking back, I can’t help but just be sheer grateful with all of my soul for the people that God has taken away from me, because He knows who deserves my love, care and affection; more than that, I can be nothing but thankful for the people He allowed to stay in my life and the strong ones He sent down my way to pull me out of the deep and dark muddy pits of despair.
Right this moment, I am just in a good place in my life. God’s timing is everything. From the accidental job I love right now, to the amazing friends I have met along the way up to the surprising wave of unexpected opportunities that’s overflowing right in front of us just in time for our blog’s relaunch, I am just again blown away by God’s perfect timing. He is indeed never too early and never too late. My life is placed in the hands of the author of time; I need not to worry about ANYTHING. His Love has never failed to give me hope and I can genuinely say that amongst all the things I tried mustering internal strength from during my darkest days, it was really His love and grace that allowed me to hold on.
I am done rejecting my story. It is mine and I will embrace it. My past may have been dirty, but I am washed clean by His blood. I am made new. I am now wiser, stronger and better. This is indeed Danah version 2.0, and I am joyful, grateful and excited about everything life has to offer… and I am beyond happy that you are with me on this journey.
This photo shoot is to celebrate this new beginning, this new chapter of my life. I want to personally thank Zeus Martinez, Kaycee Lim and Shekinah Bangsil for making this possible. These three people in my life have showed me--through their love, patience and acceptance, Jesus in the flesh. :)