Once upon a time, in Philippines land, I was a student nurse. I was a teenager when I started nursing school (16 y.o.) at a prestigious university in Iloilo City where I grew up. My dreams were big, life was full of joy and fun, I had a lot of friends, but suddenly, it all went downhill.
I didn’t know I had depression back then, but I was eager to find out what was happening to me, so I did a little research, and ask my peers who knew me, what they think of me.
Day three of our duty in Annex 2 (a department in a hospital where I was doing on-the-job training), which was our last day in that area, I randomly asked a guy friend of mine if I changed. Whether it’d be good or bad, I told him to be frank with me as a friend. He did. And I was bewildered for that span of moment when he confessed something which I never ever have thought of since before.
He told me, that yes, I really do have changed. Especially the impact that I have with people. He doesn’t really know whether it’s good or bad because if it was my choice to change, the people who observe me doesn’t really have the business to question except for those who are concerned or intimidated. But what got to me was his description of me before I changed.
“Sang una Dens, admit ko gd man pag sugod sa ng college maski subong, honestly gd ya crush ta ka mu. Indi lang ako, damu2x gd nakacrush sa imo knowing nga damu ka achievements, responsible ka, gwapa kg alam kag salutatorian ka sang Highschool mo. Most of the time gane gahambal kami nga mga lalaki, ‘swerte gd ni guro ma nobyo ni Denise sa ulihi mo.’ So ang expectations sa imo sang tawo daku gd sang pag abot sang fourth year. Nakibot lang kami gane Dens sang pag balik mo sa Canada daw medyo na “lost” ka na. Natingala gd ko nga pila na ka times wala ka gapasa requirements or late ka pirme. Tapos damu ka pa excuses. Daw indi na ikaw si Denise bala. Plus sang una daw ka close pa sa aton like gaask ka pa sang advices sa crush mo kung kis-a kag ga txt2x pa ta. Subong lain nagd. Damo gd ya ang nakibot sang change mo sa bilog nga school and the main question gd na pirme, Ano ang natabu kay Denise? Wala ka man dan ga storya2x na pirme ka lang hipos and ga open up if kung family problem gd man or what. ‘Coz ang change mo was drastic, indi gradual. So ang pamangkot gd na pirme kung anung missing piece sa between sang old self mo kag sang new self mo. So Dense I think that’s what you have to know first para mabal-an mo kung what happened kag kung paano mu na ma give solution.“
“You know, Dens, I have to admit when college started you were my crush, until now. Not just me, but so many guys have a crush on you since you are an achiever, responsible, beautiful and smart and you were even salutatorian in High School. Most of the time guys would say, ‘If Denise will have a boyfriend, he sure will be so lucky.’ So the expectations from you in fourth year in college is big. We were surprised when you went back from Canada for your vacation, you became different. You weren’t passing your school requirements and you’re always late. You also have a lot of excuses. Like you’re not the Denise we know. You were even communicating with me before to talk about your crushes. But recently, you became quiet and not even talking to people if you have a family problem or what. Your change was drastic, not gradual. So the question is, what is the missing piece between the old self and the new self of Denise. I think that’s what you have to know first so you’ll know what happened and how you’ll give it solution.”
I’ll never forget those words from him. Happy I was inside after hearing those words from a mere classmate. I didn’t really consider him as a close friend and expect he would say such profound and heart-hitting words but after what he told me I was, not only flattered, but also honored and deeply grateful knowing there are those who know even slight details of my life not because I tell them but because they pay attention even in silence.
Truly there are people who care about you even in the sidelines. Don’t ever think nobody cares about you because there are – that’s what depression does to you, it gives you negative thoughts. But don’t be dismayed or be discouraged. Always, ALWAYS remember God and your loved ones, and the people who care about you. You’ll be okay. This is what I have learned throughout the years.