My heart pounded aggressively inside my chest, a protest for me to stop.
I honestly couldn’t remember the last time I ran. It has been a while, and it still felt like I was about to pass out.
“One more lap,” my brain answered stubbornly.
And so, I continued to listen to my pulse beating in unsteady rhythm against the soft, mellow tune of Hug Me Silently. Other people probably listen to upbeat songs when working out, but my 🍁 playlist is the perfect vibe for early mornings — subtle, slow, intimate.
There were only three people in the park: a street sweeper cleaning up all the dead leaves on the ground, an old man walking slowly around the track, and another guy doing sit-ups on one of the benches. I braved the act of removing my mask as I started to speed up my pace from a walk to a jog, feet heavy on the pavement. And the next thing I know, I was already running. It has also been a while since I have felt the wind on my cheeks. Seven months of wearing masks and face shields made the sensation so familiar yet foreign at the same time. It felt liberating to finally breathe in the cold breeze of October.
It was five in the morning. It was dark; the moon was still out. The subdivision, asleep. And it felt like I got all the time in the world.
It didn’t take long then before the trees, the houses, the cars, disappeared one by one from my peripheral vision. The tennis court, the seesaw, and the swings were also gone. The music coming from my earbuds were faint and muffled. My mind has started to take a journey on its own.
Seven months since the lockdown, and I wasn’t really sure what I have been doing.
I wasn’t really writing, for one. After a few failed attempts, I was totally convinced I already forgot how. I envisioned myself writing about this moment, though. The girl still dreams, yep. So there was me, running. The moon, too bright. The world, still. If I am actually able to publish this, then can we consider it a success?
I also wasn’t even reading. Until recently when I tried to finish Almond. It was about a boy who has a brain disorder called alexithymia. He couldn’t identify emotions (his and others).
I have been watching too many shows to cope, probably too many that I have already forgotten what they were about. Except for Misaeng.
“I forgot,” I have been saying this every day, maybe halfway through the quarantine. And it kept on getting worse every single time I uttered the words as if saying it just made it stronger.
I forgot what I did yesterday.
I forgot to send the email.
I forgot what I said.
It made me feel even more anxious. Affected my day to day life, especially work.
I have work anxiety. The fear of committing a mistake has been amplified, that just caused even more trouble. The thought of missing the important details have been haunting me even in my sleep. I felt unproductive.
I knew I couldn’t do it alone anymore. So I did book an online session with a psychotherapist.
This time, I am no longer running away.
I am finally running towards the help I should have sought for a long time ago.
My heart pounded aggressively inside my chest, a plea for me to breathe.
I honestly couldn’t remember the last time I ran. It has been a while, but it didn’t feel like I was going to pass out anymore.
Rather, it was freeing.
“Let’s take it slow,” my heart begged.
So I did.
Hi blog, it’s been a while :>
I was supposed to post this on #WorldMentalHealthDay. I just had to contemplate if I should… 😂 Given that I have been open about my mental state here for the past years, I finally decided that yea, I should. And if I really want to help fight the stigma, advocate for the importance of mental health, the first thing that I must do is to help myself. It won’t be an easy path, but nothing is. Thank you for reading.
The world feels like it’s at a standstill. Hang in there. We may not be thriving, but we’re still growing. Let’s take it slow. 🤎
Thank you for being here. I hope you can support me and leave a tip here.
[Featured Image from Unsplash]