Thank you, 2016. 

I can’t believe this year has finally come to an end and we’re opening a new chapter in our lives once again. I can’t say that it has been a rollercoaster ride because it felt safer riding one than what this year gave me. It felt more like being in a battle field where the enemies charge at you and you either fight, cry or die. Looking back, I can say I did all of that. Of course, I didn’t die literally or even tried to take away my life but a part of me wilted away… and somehow, as confusing as it may be, it made me a better person.

I’m in a better disposition now than I was a month ago. I still cry sometimes for no reason or feel down in the middle of the day out of nowhere but I can say I’m coping well. I still get awakened by nightmares but now I’m not afraid to fall asleep. There are still nights that I close my eyes for hours and I can’t sleep but it doesn’t feel like drowning anymore. I don’t feel happy yet but somehow, waking up has become bearable.

Life has a funny way of teaching us things. It doesn’t just tap you on the shoulder or give you a nudge but it slaps you on the face, pushes you to the ground and stares at you, waiting for what you’re going to do about it. And you know what I did? I cried… I prayed… Though scared and fazed, I stood back up and it made a world of difference. 

I always keep in mind the line from Code Black: “You are more than the bad things that happen to you. You are the grace that follows.” It is true and my life is a testament to it. Despite every bad thing that I’ve been through, God blessed with so much and I am nothing but grateful. After accepting my condition and seeking help, the blessings starting pouring and I am in so much awe at God’s graces.  

    1. I got accepted in the 2 hospitals that I applied for my post-grad internship. For interns, getting matched at a hospital for internship is very important. People usually get matched to only one and I was given the chance to even choose!

    2. People who are going through the same thing reached out to me and made me feel that I am not alone… that what we’re going through is real and somehow, I felt like a blessing for those who are still struggling. And yes, you guys can talk to me about it. I’m more than willing to help.

    3. I have never been the kind of person who would lead a big group because I have always been scared that I’ll let people down. During my active days in dancing, I was the one who’s always late or absent in training; plus I can’t ignore the fact that it had been at least 4 years since I last performed on stage. It kept me distracted for 2 weeks. I made sure that I was tired enough, I’d just fall asleep once I get home. And we were so lucky the professionals that helped us choreograph, take and edit photos and videos are our friends and they were humble and kind enough to offer a hand. All the stress and hard work paid off because we won Best Photo, Best Video and Best Performance! I do not take credit for everything because every single person in our group worked so hard and I’m just glad I was given the chance to dance again. It was the first time for most of them to perform in front of a lot of people but they raised their game and did an awesome job and I couldn’t be more proud of them than I already am. I can’t help but be in tears when they announced our victory and my heart was so overwhelmed with the gratitude my peers have shown me.

4. My family became closer than ever. They don’t fully understand what I’m going through but still, they showed me so much support and it was enough reason for me to fight. I’ve also gained more friends than what I lost. I value friendship more than anything and to me, my friends are also my family. I will always come through for them no matter what. 

    5. I sought help because I can’t focus and I was so terrified I’d fail my exams and wouldn’t be able to graduate. I had no idea how I passed my removals exam because I was crying the night before instead of studying. I fell asleep and woke up still crying and I was throwing up—not the best time to have an anxiety attack, right? But still, I passed. God is so good!

    6. And of course, the best gift I’ve received is being able to graduate and my family was there to watch me march. I can’t think of a better Christmas gift to my parents than making my family proud.

In my 24 years of existence, this may just be the best and worst year (there’s no in-between) but If I’m given a chance to rewrite it, I wouldn’t dare change a thing. Everything I’ve been through made me who I am today. All the wounds from the battle are yet to heal and the fight is far from over but I know, God will always be by my side… my friends and family will always be by my side. With them, I know I’m going to win this fight and I’m going to wear my battle scars with pride. 

Thank you, 2016. Thank you and goodbye. 

2017, I’m ready.

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