bleak and pretty

bipolarity, notes about daily life, and some personal essays.

#bipolardiaries

People will never comprehend the reality of my emotions. They just won't understand what it feels like to taste euphoria day to day, and then on the next, feel like you're attending your own funeral.

It's turbulent.

Last year, it actually felt more like my room was in a chilly, gray hospital ward, and I was supposed to die in there due to terminal illness. In my last days, nobody would even visit. There was no one but me, on my deathbed of nightmares, dying slowly.

The tattoo on my left wrist was made to cover self-inflicted scars. I remember saying, over and over, “I'm worthless, I'm worthless,” while I cut myself using a blunt razor blade. I wasn't trying to kill myself; I was just harming, hurting myself, forcing the pain to bleed out of me.

“My fuck buddy will never love me and share a deeper relationship because I am worthless.”

My thoughts, exactly, even though I also knew that he just wasn't ready or prepared to open up to someone else.

I blamed it on myself. Perhaps I wasn't pretty or interesting enough; I was not lovable, only good for quick fucks. I never really thought that people who had hurt him, or Life the Bitch, was really to blame. That he had his issues, too.

I had never felt so worthless in all my life. Before him, I was ghosted by this sun-tanned beautiful boy. I sobbed when I realized for the first time that it was just so easy for people to drop me. All happiness can evaporate and fade away in a single day, upon the receipt of a sour text message (or none at all). It hurt that they couldn't even say proper goodbyes. I just felt like trash.

Fast forward to many surf trips, hook ups, and a couple exes, I learned that I was not to blame, not at all. Hey, there's something different to see here!

You know, girl, what people decide to do in their lives doesn't say anything about you or define you; if anything, it only says about the kind of people they are.

And it just so happened that the people I stupidly fell for were just selfish, confused, emotionally-damaged twenty-somethings. I just had an accident! How could I have known the future right away? I had to gamble in order to know, in order to sustain my quest for love and thrill — and in gambling, there's always the chance of misjudgements and failure.

And regardless, it wouldn't change the fact that I was still a pretty awesome human being with talents, a big heart, rounded eyes, and a way-above-minimum-wage salary.

(I shouldn't really be crying and hurting myself. They were no loss. It's not like they stole brownie points from me, nah, my life stays awesome as it is. I just got to realize it, and not let the negativity eat the best of me.)

People are so hard to figure out, I think I just want to give up, like fuck.

I wonder why you had to treat me so nicely, only to end up tossing me into a garbage bin on the next day. Why did you ask me to stay the night after we fucked, instead of letting me go home? How could you be so nice only to use it as a currency for buying sex from me? If you didn't intend to love me, then why didn't you just fuck me, instead of making passionate love to me?

Somebody told me that it was just part of a play, a stage performance. And I was foolish enough to believe it, oblivious enough to the fact that what I considered sacred could mean nothing more than a thirst quencher to some.

Enough of blaming myself. Enough of loathing on other people for not comprehending the reality of my emotions. It's not anybody's fault that I tend to fall swiftly, more intensely, impulsively, with no careful thought (only delusional fantasy) because my mind has a hard time producing emotions that actually makes sense according to the situation.

I'm high functioning. I act like a normal person. Beneath it all though, is a turbulent storm that could either make it rain flowers, pixie dust, and falling stars, or make it shower with daggers that stab me and burn my skin like acid.

I cling to happy times. I seek them. I enjoy life to the fullest whenever I can. I truly believe that everything will eventually be okay, if I just hang on and wait for it to pass. I know with absolute certainty that something astoundingly beautiful will be on its way, because life's like that: bleak and pretty.

And that's why I haven't stopped. I continue to live and to feel through the storm. Life is a two-faced gift.

This post was originally published in Bleak and Pretty by Mia Alcantara. http://bleakandpretty.tk

I'm letting someone come in to my life right now. It's a little scary.

I've been in this situation too many times, and it's been awful for the most part — yet I'm telling myself that there is really nothing to be afraid of.

There might always be pain down the road; it's inevitable. But I've survived it countless and I'm still alive. I shouldn't be afraid to get hurt now. I must be more confident that I'll get through it, as I have in the past.

Pain is a catalyst for moving forward. We should welcome it. For there's no greater driving force than the pain when it comes to change.

If I ever find myself in a painful situation, I'll welcome it. I'll recognize that I did my best in good faith. There's nothing to blame, life is just randomly bleak and pretty as it is.

I look forward to seeing my life blossom as it should.

#pretty

#bipolardiaries

Let's start with a recap of September: I was back surfing, got all my stuff organized (relocated my surfboard and rearranged my apartment), started Aerial classes, spent time with friends and family, and began talking to folks on Tinder.

It was a pretty regular month. Considering that I had stopped my medication and was handling my moods on my own, I was a good girl! Nevertheless, I had some problems staying too late watching YouTube and noticed that my appetite decreased...gotta make sure that I keep tabs on these two things.

Anything interesting happening, Tinder-wise? Nah, not really; I don't think I'll be hooking up with anyone soon or meeting any of my Tinder prospects. I got only one foot on this thing, really, and I was pretty much just there to talk and see new faces on a tiny screen.

Not much action has happened since I sent a bunch of nudes to a coworker. We're not even “talking” anymore.

Fucking an actual person feels like a chore. It's complicated, takes energy, effort, and time, and I could get my orgasms alone without any additional strain in my life.

Right now, I'm just enjoying my own company, laced with fantasies here and there. Been watching porn to get off and sleep lately – I'm thinking about getting myself a dildo soon. I seriously have a dildo in my shopping cart.

Just on my own.

Last night, I've been thinking about joining a dance troupe or a circus and just live while travelling with said troupe. Maybe become a fire dancer or a burlesque performer – anything that involves performance.

I brought this up to a friend who was a dancer, and she said:

We gotta invest on the skills we want to develop so we can get there.

Still, it's not very easy juggling anything with my full time job. I love what I do in the 9 hours that I stay in this office, where I am writing this, and I do need the bi-monthly pay to get things going in my life. Basically, there's no quitting this 9-5, not anytime soon.

Later today I am planning to work out for at least a solid 1 hour. The hamstrings on my right leg don't feel right, so I will be troubleshooting that later. Hopefully a set of stretches takes care of it.

Today has been silent for me. I'm out with a poker face and everything feels monotonous in a calm sort of way. It's easy to say that the long weekend exhausted me and I'm just needed waves...just some rides to the shore.

I hope there are good waves this weekend.

Truly bitchy truths ahead.

Secret

I came to his life not wanting anything else – nothing apart from good company, sex, and a few hits from his pipe. I told you this when you threatened over the phone and called me a wrecker of a “one great love”.

Girl, I knew you were his girlfriend (okay, well, he did lie and didn’t tell me you were married) and I didn’t really care about you (or your marriage, after I decided that I wanted to keep seeing him); and as far as I was concerned, your relationship was already broken before I entered the picture.

Let me explain what I mean using a list of five statements.

1. You’re not really having sex anymore.

Before me, there were lots of other women. Some he met and used only for a night, some he just sort of played with before throwing away. But what’s the difference between all of us and you?

We were all potentially exciting sex partners; a guaranteed lay and moments of pleasure; worthy of giving one try to see what we could offer. We were new bodies, a fresh sight. Fuck dolls who could give him what he wants, if he seduced us enough.

You, on the other hand, were a part-baby, part-lady who couldn’t handle the least bit of hair pulling. You told me this yourself – sometimes you’d look into his eyes and fall into tears because he just wouldn’t fuck you. Your man wanted to fuck – viciously hard – but you wouldn’t come out of your comfort zone.

Surprisingly though, you could come outside the boundaries of your marriage and fuck other people, too.

Maybe you were having an open marriage, but how could I tell? Openness ought to be about transparency, and based on the situation, you were just both cheating on each other...because you weren’t having sex anymore.

2. He can’t talk to you anymore.

Can you imagine what it’s like: living with a person you can’t really talk to when you’re just about to explode? When you have a million thoughts in your head and crippling anxieties about the future, but there is no way you could put them into words, because you just can’t find a way to...talk?

I remember once, when we were hanging out at a convenience store, you sent him a text to which he replied.

I saw it. It was cute; you were each other’s “cat”.

“I’m getting jealous,” I said.

“There’s no reason to be jealous. The intimacy that we share is different from this.”

Nowadays, this statement makes me really want to punch him in the face. But there was some truth to it back then.

While you were the woman of his life, his first love and now-wife, you somehow missed the opportunity to be his confidante. He couldn’t mouth to you the struggles of life, how he is barely able to provide and survive, due to his fear of seeming vulnerable to you.

You would always ask him, “What are your plans for us?” but fail to see that he was a lost boy at 23 years old.

3. You didn’t wear your wedding ring.

I knew that you were married in secret. Your parents disapproved of him, and they could take you away; he was scared of losing you.

So you guys kept a facade and made up stories. You even introduced him to some of your friends as a brother – which he would describe to me later on as “fucked up crazy hilarious”. Pretty thing you have the same eyes.

Didn’t you ever realize that the boy also needs some acknowledgement? Maybe if you made a real husband out of him, he would start acting like one.

4. You were both selfish.

I wouldn’t doubt that you were seriously in love when you tied the knot. But didn’t you choose him because he proved to be the only one who stayed, the only one who would always come back to you? After all, you were his first everything.

So when your manipulative parents threatened to marry you off with some business tycoon’s son, you went ahead and married your one great love. Your marriage was a huge F.U. on your parents’ faces, and also your way of saying that nothing could pull you apart. You never established the “no fucking other people” rule in your relationship, took advantage of this fact, proceeded to have side guys, and then bitched about it when I came into his life.

He, on the other hand, considered you as his very first and only love, and would go to great lengths just to have you again – even if it meant fucking up his entire 20’s.

Both of you simply wanted to have your own way and it just so happened that you were sailing on the same boat.

And, lastly:

5. His love for you, however real or delusional it may seem, was just absolutely stubborn.

He would never give you up for me, no matter how many cracks there were in your relationship. Maybe your marriage, or at least the first three of it, was just a fantasy bond – a roleplay between two souls, seeking belongingness and warmth in the coldest of places.

He couldn’t leave you. For many years, he firmly believed that you defined an essential part of him, and that he couldn’t exist as he should, if he didn’t have you in his life.

Due to this thinking, he never had another lover nor gave himself another chance; all he knew was how to come back and chase you. In spite of a stained ego and a broken heart, he stood by your side.

Even if it was the most fucked up situation – being forced into a polygamous relationship when all he wanted was someone or something to fill his cup – he just sucked it all up and traded his zest for life.

This was something I myself couldn’t do, so I left him. I hurt him because I took away his confidante, his playmate, his lover. And I was badly hurt too: I gave up a losing fight, knowing that I would forever just bear the stamp of being the Other Woman if I held on to my love.

I knew I deserved better.

P.S.

Nowadays, he is still lurking in Tinder. In fact, we matched again.

This post was originally published in https://bleakandpretty.tk by Mia Alcantara.

#nothings

I feel like I'm at this point of life where anything can basically happen, but at the same time, nothing really makes sense. Existentialism at its finest.

I'm choking from incense smoke but I gotta deal with it, I love the burning, fragrant smell too much.

I think about the workouts I've missed. I'm gonna do an hour later and break my body.

Nothing really makes sense right now. I haven't written anything valuable lately. It's a little lonely here right now and I'm just looking forward to getting high and listening to my playlist.

A Man

To most, it was an ordinary hook up. Boy and girl meet to smoke and fuck. To me, it was the day when I fell down a rabbit hole and discovered Wonderland — a place I would revisit again and again, many, many times.

I met him at a train station, which would afterwards be a setting place of many more hello's and sad goodbyes. It was a little past noon. The sun was hot and I could still remember what I wore that day: a balloon skirt and a v-neck, figure-hugging cotton blouse. My hair was cut short and I looked like a skinny doll.

He, on the other hand, wore a crown of messy, overgrown hair that pointed in all directions. He was wearing a shirt, sunglasses, and a pair of skinny jeans. Under his arm was a penny skateboard.

I greeted him with a smile. He would describe it later on as pure, radiating, full of hope.

He told me I was pretty.

And he, on the other hand, was a boy that I had somehow always known of — in the back of my head, through my daydreams.

We walked to his apartment door and I made myself comfortable on a mattress on the floor. The small studio apartment fit nothing more than what you would need to just sleep and eat. I remember a guitar and a calendar leaning on a corner of the wall.

On the closet door, written on a sticky note, are the words, “I love you Mark”. I would guess that they were written by his girlfriend.

I don't remember much about the next few moments that happened, but I remember asking him, “How do I know when it's kicked in?”

“You just know it when you feel it.”

He taught me how to draw a hit from his pipe by holding and lighting it up for me. We smoked kush and then some locally grown strain.

Next thing I know, the yellow, shadowy room had a certain haze to it, the music we were playing sounded different — much more piercing, much more alive, much more full of emotion — and my heart was beating harder and louder. It felt good. It's like being surrounded by a sensory filter that makes you feel as if trapped in a numbing haze, but at the same time feeling and experiencing things on a deeper level.

I leaned on him. Our skin touched. His body found mine and I discovered his, all while we were fuelled by a drug that made things shimmer.

I would always remember him as the boy that made me discover beauty in intimacy and in mindful, passionate fucking. The way that he cursed me, bit me, and slapped me while I was pinned down like a prey opened a dimension of my sexuality that I'd be keeping for the rest of my life.

He took time whenever he kissed me. There was never a hurry; it was always as if time had stopped and only the two of us existed in an infinitely blissful universe. He would look deeply into my eyes, intently, as if he was searching for meaning in the bottom of my soul.

“I have never been with anyone as sweet as you,” I told him.

I was twenty at the time and I was ripe for exploring the world, which includes fucking up a bit.

Our affair was a sordid story with the most beautiful details. We once sat by the bay in Roxas Boulevard and watched the sun come down. Well until after dusk we sat and talked about life and his marriage. Once, we visited the Metropolitan Museum. At a concert, we held hands in a room full of people, including his wife.

He unraveled himself to me in a way that he has never done before. I learned about his unhappy childhood where his mother gave him away. I saw through all his pain and his need for love, which he compensated by dating a couple new girls every month in the last two years of his marriage. The beautiful boy had a “cup” that was “broken” and could never be “filled”.

“You filled my cup,” he would tell me one day.

Perhaps the worst tragedy in our story was the simple fact that our lives weren't meant to stay connected. I'd heard him say that things would have tatke a completely different turn in his life if only he met me before he reunited with his ex, now wife.

It may be all lies, all sugarcoated deception, or it may be a cruel trickery by fate. I could remember when we went alone and prayed at a church one time, how he confessed to me all his frustrations and feelings of failure, exposed to me all the cracks in his relationship and his childhood, told me about the things that kept him awake — it was as if we were just destined to meet so I could save him somehow.

I never salvaged him. The poor soul, after I left the affair, continued to spiral down to even more fucked up lows. He had problems that, according to him, robbed him of his sanity sometimes. I saw that very clearly in the meth face that was his profile picture in Facebook.

Nowadays, I'm not exactly sure how he's doing, but coming across him on Tinder (we matched the second time around!) gives me a clue.


I have long moved on from the affair and healed the scars that came with it, but I won't deny that it touched and affected my life, irrevocably. Being the “Other Woman” has been the sweetest and yet one of the most unfortunate, painful experiences I went through. I don't think that the love I felt (or the lust, whatever) can ever be matched — I wanted him and I wanted to be with him, even if for a moment, even if he would never truly be mine.

He was a boy whose broken soul was exposed to me and I still accepted, adored, took all the sharp pieces and held them together.

But you can hold on to broken pieces for only so long.

After that summer passed, I told him, coldly, “I don't want to be your girlfriend anymore.”

I discarded him just like that, hooked up with another person a couple weeks later, only to realize it wasn't sex that I just want, or a warm body that could actually spend the night. I just wanted him.

Now I can say that once in my life, I was in bed crying beside a sleeping, naked man, because I would rather be with another.

My insights on being an Other Woman are for another time. As I slouch on my couch, barely breathing and floating in warm air, I just want to remember him and picture his brown eyes staring into mine, asking, looking for a window to a parallel universe where he and I belong to each other as we should.

And then we could get high and never come down.

This post was originally published in http://bleakandpretty.tk by Mia Alcantara. Stay safe.

#bipolardiaries

I'm starting to feel the repercussions of quitting my medication all of a sudden. I am having difficulty sleeping now, although my appetite is all okay. There's just so many things that I want to look up and can't help myself. Maybe I shouldn't have bought data so I'd be forced to sleep or continue reading 1984. Then I should get some sleep.

Well, weed is my friend here – and right now as I write this I enjoy the mellow high that makes me feel like, well, a baby in a crib.

So what have I done after coming home today? Am I wasting time or is this the beginning of a hypomanic episode?

  1. Take dirty clothes to laundry shop.
  2. Take a bunch of selfies and manipulate through Snow.
  3. Comfort a deeply heartbroken friend.
  4. Half-read an article.
  5. Make a dream catcher; pin existing dream catchers on the curtain.
  6. Check Tinder for a bit.
  7. Watch YouTube videos about dreadlocks.
  8. Find a YouTube video about Sugar daddies/babies.
  9. Watch porn.
  10. Lookup my ex's sister on Facebook.
  11. Chat up with Kevin.

Yeah, that's pretty much it. Then now I smoked – to induce sleep – and found myself writing this note.

I haven't produced any formal essay recently, though I've been wanting to write about my surfboard shaper and surfing need-to-knows. I think I was supposed to also review pop up techniques on YouTube.

It's raining outside now. I guess this is a perfect time to doze off. I can hear a plane passing by. A honk of a jeepney. I think about if I'll ever meet another version of J again.

#bipolardiaries

I have decided to stop my medication...without professional advice.

Divalproex sodium was prescribed to me as medication for bipolar, a condition that doesn't have a cure anyway. It was supposed to act as a mood stabilizer according to a psychiatrist. I'd been taking it for 6 months now, as prescribed, but I had come to a point where it felt like inorganic medication wasn't something I wanted to do anymore.

The daily alarm for 10:30 in the morning is an exhausting reminder: You need to take some inorganic substance because you don't count as normal and mentally stable.

I understand that discontinuing the medication can worsen my symptoms or cause a relapse. As of now, I feel completely fine and that everything's going great. This is probably because the medicine is “working”. Like, I owe Big Pharma the reason why I have my shit together.

The exact opposite may happen sometime in the future, all because I refuse to take medicine. It doesn't feel like a big decision right now, unlike when I came to the doctor for treatment because I have lost control of my emotions and feelings, as I have been banging my head on a wall and cutting my wrist.

When I recall that day, it's like remembering a person who is not me anymore.

I was first diagnosed three years ago. I medicated for a short while, like less than 2 months, then tried to manage it on my own. I'm doing the same thing right now. I just hope I don't end up in the same position as before. I hope I don't get suicidal thoughts in the future anymore.

I think I'm gonna do well taking care of myself: I just have to eat, sleep, and de-stress like a normal person, understand my triggers, stay in a “safe zone” in life, and continue exercising and all that good stuff.

And maybe not splurge all my savings again on an impulsive surf trip to Calicoan. And maybe not meet anyone from Tinder again. Maybe. I just have to live inside this bubble, continue writing, stay away from toxic people.

I just have to make sure that my feet are planted firmly on a tightrope, hanging 5000 feet.

#bleak

Today a thought came to my mind: Normal just doesn't suit me.

I look back at my previous relationships and realize that I've always been trying and expecting them to fit a certain mold. What is considered appropriate. Romantic. “Healthy”. In the right direction.

And they all have “failed”. I think that what I'm looking for is something personalized and custom — with a formation and a set of rules that is tailored just for me and my significant other, whoever he/she is, if there ever will be any.

Breaking it down

Completely deconstructing here, I can even further break down the concept of a significant other. How significant, what kind of significance, what degree of relatedness (if any) would it imply? Sounds interesting. Like, it doesn't necessarily have to be that he/she's on paper as a spouse or something. Maybe we don't even need to have any sort of announced relatedness. And yet we can say that we're together and each other's significant other. We can even imply the same thing without using the words “significant other” and “relationship”.

Normal isn't for everyone. That kind of a normal relationship, which is supposed to progress and grow and develop into a rootcrop or something else might not just be for me. Functioning normally is something I'm just might not be wired to do. (Hint: I'm bipolar and not being a good patient, too.)

Everyone's supposed to develop a sort of attachment and to cultivate successful relationships, while I'm wired to drift and to pull away, to desire the uninterested, to seek the unavailable. While others crave consistency and regularity, it makes me feel dull and bored. Commitment is something that might be choking me and burning me out just by the thought of it. My paranoia is an imagined plane where one of my feet will always be on.

How does this make me feel? That I'm perhaps condemned to walk a path less recognized, even considered aberrational? What if loving relationships for me can only be in the form of a feigned intimacy with a fuck buddy? What if I'll really never have a husband/wife and kids? How does it feel to realize that my kind of life will never be portraited in popular culture as normal and proper?

Here's what I will say:

I am relieved. All along, I've thought that something was wrong with me or that I was cursed or something. Now I realize that I'm just walking a different path, a much different, considerably abnormal path, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's ok to be different; normal isn't for everyone. My “failures” aren't weaknesses or illnesses; they're just what happens in my life. As far as I know, I'm doing my best and I'm striving to make myself happy by living a meaningful life.

*And it just so happens that it's the norm to groom and comb your hair, get in healthy relationships, be a happy single person (who says I can't despair or be needy or get in trouble with cheating bastards), and be a nice person. And it also just so happens that what's normal doesn't apply to me.*

I don't intend to justify all the shit and trouble I've done and been through – we all do shit so I guess that's normal – I'm just sayin it's not a world of normal for everyone.

Carry on, twisted, evil, bad, weirdo creeps!

#pretty #stoned

Thanks for reading! Leave your thoughts at sayat.me/moshimia and leave an anonymous feedback. Ciao!

San Juan, LU

Northshore beach in San Juan, La Union.

It has been a year since I stood on a surfboard in San Juan, La Union. I remember asking myself, “Why the fuck am I doing this,” as I lie on my belly while my surf instructor pushed me against harsh, breaking waves.

I wasn't any good; I was never the sporty type. I didn't even know how to swim. Some people learn to surf and ride a board on their first try and clearly I wasn't one of them. I think I managed to ride once or twice during that one-hour session. I was a total sporting failure - up till now - but I found something beautiful on that Saturday that I was going to keep in my heart indefinitely: a love for the ocean, a love for falling and endlessly trying, a love for travelling, and a love for hot, semi-naked people.

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