Reaching Out Amidst Darkness

by Gabriela 

Trigger Warning: Sensitive Content Ahead

Please be advised that this article includes discussions about suicide. These discussions may be distressing or triggering for some readers. We encourage anyone who may find this content upsetting to exercise caution and care in proceeding. If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out to mental health professionals or suicide prevention hotlines for support.

Last year, I was desperate to end my suffering. I was too exhausted to take care of myself yet so encouraged to do things that would be the death of me. Since my teenage years, I felt like I was only running in circles. No matter how much I try to get out of "the way I am", I always fall back to being me—how I hated all the way that I was. I thought, I was the one who keeps on holding captive of myself so I thought, I could also be the one who can free me from these shackles that continues to torture me. I had to shut off my mind. 

I had two attempts in just a day; none was successful. Nalaman ng pamilya ko ang nangyari dahil ako mismo ang nag-confess. Hindi raw nila akalain na magagawa ko ‘yon. My mother was empathetic and gentle with my situation while my father was enraged, stressing how ungrateful I am for attempting to end my life. No matter how many encouraging words I heard from them, nothing seemed to lift me up. However, for a couple of days, I tried my best to appear alright, even though I was clueless if I would still be able to recover from what happened.

That time, I believe that the only thing that motivated me to wake up every morning was the thought of not breaking my mother’s heart.

However, my desire to disappear in this cruel world was stronger than what was keeping me sane. Desidido pa rin ako sa plano ko. Kinuha kong opportunity ang isang araw na wala sa bahay ang pamilya ko. Sa isip ko, umaayon ang tadhana sa akin kaya hindi ko maaaring palagpasin ang pagkakataong ito.  While setting up my plan, I was happy because I know I will taste victory. No one can hurt me anymore.

But as I was standing on the edge, waiting to be released, I was interrupted by a meow of a cat. It turns out my cat was left inside the room before I even closed it. She was looking up at me, her eyes looming with curiosity. That moment, it was as if she was telling me, "Iiwan mo na ba ako, ma?"

Nabahala ako’t nahabag ang puso ko. Bumaba ako mula sa upuan. I broke down into tears. 'Yun yung oras na parang nagising ako sa reyalidad. Ano ba itong ginagawa ko? Nakonsensya ako bigla. I apologized to my cat, telling her that I was not planning on leaving her. I realized how much she meant to me, and how much I meant to her. Oo nga, paano na lang siya kapag wala na ako?

Days after, wala pa rin akong tigil sa pag-iyak. Masakit yung puso ko palagi. Hindi na ako sigurado kung ano pa bang gusto kong gawin sa buhay ko.  Living is a chore. Everything is dark. Nakakapagod sumubok palagi. Basta, gusto ko na lang sumuko. Ayoko nang maging burden. Pero alam kong may pasubali ang mga ito ng “...pero gusto ko pang mabuhay.”

Nakakapagod sumubok palagi pero gusto ko pang mabuhay. Ayoko nang maging burden sa iba pero gusto ko pang mabuhay. Nahihirapan na ako pero gusto ko pang mabuhay. 

Natanong ko ang sarili ko, bakit sinabi ko sa pamilya ko na nag-attempt ako? I know I need saving. I just wanted to end the pain, but not my life. Deep inside, alam ko, I want to seek help. 

Until one day, I received a message from a mental health officer of Bakás. She was asking confirmation if gusto ko bang mag-proceed sa Psychotherapy session. Sabi ko sa sarili ko, I don't remember signing up for this. O baka nagkaroon lang ako ng memory loss? Hanggang sa naalala ko, nag-fill out ako a few months ago, and those are the months that I was trying to forget kaya siguro nawala rin sa isip ko ang detalyeng iyon. 

Hindi na ako nag-dalawang isip pa. I moved on with the process para makapag-enroll. Fortunately, I was granted free Psychotherapy sessions. Even though our home wasn't convenient for online meetings (and I didn't want to tell my parents about it), I managed to meet with my therapist because I knew I badly needed help. 

Sa unang meeting pa lang, marami na akong nakuwento sa kaniya. Para akong batang nagsusumbong sa kaniya sa lahat ng mga nararamdaman ko. ‘Yung madilim kong mundo, nakikita kong dahan-dahang lumiliwanag. 

One meeting led to another. Hanggang sa nararamdaman kong I was getting better and better. Ngayon, pinapahalagahan ko na ang bawat nararanasan ko sa buhay. My life feels like a second life now, or fourth, even.

Kung natuloy ako sa mga balak ko, hindi ako nagsusulat ngayon.

May time pa rin na nagkakaroon ako ng relapses, pero this time, mas matatag na ako. Alam kong may makakatulong sa akin para intindihin ko ang mga 'to. Thankfully, I can finally say na mas naiintindihan ko na ang sarili ko at alam ko na kung paano takasan ang dilim kung sakaling subukan ulit akong yakapin nito. 



1. Gabriela is one of our beneficiaries in one of our mental health programs that provide free talk therapy sessions for those who can't afford it. Our partner for this is Mind You, and we're happy to share their helpful and valuable resources. Download Mind You app here for free.

2. Gabriela is also a member of our free community support group, Mental Health Matters PH, an online safe space where you can rant and have someone to talk to.

3. If you want to apply for our Sponsored Talk Therapy Sessions, email us at: We only cater a limited number of slots every month. 

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