Random Ramblings: Midyear Edition (2018)

I usually do a very long random rambling post at the end of the year as a reminder to myself of what happened, but recently I’ve had so many awkward and weird realizations that I had to write about. So yeah. Here it goes. It’s gonna be long, probably, so you can just scroll down to the summary.

First of all, it feels weird to suddenly realize that people read my posts. Which is stupid, I know. I should have written it in a private journal then. What I meant was, I just write because I like it, and I feel flattered and at the same time mortified at the thought of people reading this. I guess I share my thoughts in the hopes of helping anyone who might think it useful, or even amusing. Most people don’t comment and just like, perhaps to keep this one-sided feels of a blog posts. Still. It’s weird. Let’s pretend this never happened ayt? Don’t even attempt to use this as blackmail material because “I will look for you, I will find you, and I will-“ (I haven’t actually watched Taken yet, I probably should add it to my growing list of backlogs.) Kidding. I’d appreciate any comments of sorts as long as its of a nice nature and not of the blackmail kind.

Anyway, it feels weird to have to filter myself once I realized people could be reading this, but free speech is for the speech you hate not for the speech you love (so they say). Fake news is another matter, it should not be a protected speech. But let’s not go into that debate yet. My “haters” could politely get off my website and stop reading this as a form of self-torture. I also admit to feeling selfish with my thoughts. No. Seriously. This blog of mine should be accessible only to the people I trust (strangers who don’t know me LOL, and selected friends). And now I am forever disturbed by the thought that someone unworthy is reading this. But it’s a good thing actually, because it made me realize things. Shitty things, but a realization nonetheless.

At the same time, it feels weird to realized that you’ve been placed on a pedestal. It. Is. F***ing. Stressful. And I felt so mortified when I realized I bloody did it to another person that I can’t even apologize to properly because that would be another awkward conversation and a can of worms that I really do not want to open since the other party probably did not notice and does not care. . . . ugh this is vague posting. I feel sad I lost a chance to make a new friend because of fangirling tendencies and at the same time embarrassed because I am usually perceptive about these kind of things. And ugh. I’m just a normal human-being with a sense of introspection slightly above average that should NOT be placed on a pedestal EVER. Or perhaps it’s just the privilege talking, since I only recently realized that what I consider normal is not really normal. It depends on the context. Maybe I’m so used to pressure coming from myself and family that I do not appreciate (and will destroy unconsciously, but most of the time consciously) anything I consider as someone placing any expectation on me.

See, this is why I find it so ironic that I placed another person on a pedestal when I hate it so much. Talk about hypocrisy. Good news is, like a decent person, I am trying hard to change that.

Vague post, according to Urban Dictionary, contains no context and remains unclear and confusing to most if not all of the readers. The best thing about vague posting is that people don’t know who you’re talking about unless they confront you, and the worst thing about it is that they really won’t know who it is unless you confirm it. Ah the wonders of deniability.

It. Is. Not. A GOOD THING. Like f*** it, it just adds hate to the world. (Well if you’re gonna be explicit about a thing, then go ahead. Talk it out like a decent person. Except the gov’t. F*** ’em if they don’t listen, please do rant about and against dictatorship all you want and join movements if you can). Negative vague posting serves as a challenge to other people, a call to attention, if the shoe fits, “Bato-bato sa langit, tamaan ‘wag magalit”, etc. Social media is public. So be prepared to face opposition, or don’t post at all. Most of us are stuck in an echochamber recently. That and trolls are becoming more annoying and persistent. Avoid engaging them as much as possible. Or not. Idk what the right protocol is in handling them, don’t trust me on this.

On the other hand, positive vague posting is sometimes useless. Sure it would probably be better for the speaker to release some pent up emotions but it is useless on the part of the intended receiver, because wtf did you expect about that post which could have been pertaining to anyone?! Some people vague post with the hopes of catching the attention of the intended receiver, real talk: they won’t talk to you even if they feel like it was them you were talking about because it is bloody VAGUE. Like message that person or whatever. I am guilty of vague posting, and I am trying to stop like what I said because I just realized how awkward and annoying it is.

Sad isn’t it? That most people only stop and realize that what they’re doing is wrong when they’re placed in the exact position. The good news is, for every realization we can now take a step towards redemption.

Second, law school is very stressful but recently I’ve been in idgaf mode. I’ve been wondering if this was all a mistake, but of course it’s not. I don’t regret a thing, except some moments of self-sabotage, but other than that nothing else. I’ve met wonderful people and learned a lot. I tried out moot court this year, and though it was just a college competition it was still nerve-wracking. By nerve-wracking I mean I was tempted for awhile to go AWOL because of it and it did cause some breakdowns but hey, I survived. Might even try again? Haha. Ha. Fat chance.

I’ve been feeling out of it lately. I have no other life at all, except for law school. Which is sad. Is this what they call quarterlife crisis? LOL. I’ve been feeling useless and a failure. I know I’m not a total failure though, just a bit.

On the bright side, there’s nothing bad about law school being the only life, even if the judiciary system has been disrespected, disparaged, and disregarded (*insert more verbs here*) by the current administration. All the more reason to keep on fighting for it and to correct it,

Third, to give with the expectation of receiving tbe same thing from a person will kill you. Probably. It is selfish and pointless. Selfish because doing it is for the sake of self gratification, and pointless since not everybody will reciprocate. Just follow the golden rule. Be a decent human-being, but self-care is needed. Though to be fair, it gets annoying when some try to justify their wrong behavior for self-care. Stop it. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong just admit it. It’s disrespectful to use the concept of self-care as an excuse to be shitty when others are struggling to even do it.

Fourth, “death doesn’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints, it takes and it takes-“. I love that song. Anyway, death is inevitable. Having a disease that can kill is no different from dying in a car crash. It just happens and comes to a shock to people. What’s painful is when it could have been prevented and when it is pointless. Suicide, EJKs, poverty, etc. Pointless. Everyone dies yet people would sell their soul for land, power, and money.

I have also broken all of my new year’s resolution spectacularly which included boundaries. Currently reestablishing them with the hopes of it being permanent or at the very least last for more than six months. Looking back at it, it has been an exhausting year for everyone. And before I go on full on angst mode let’s end here.

To summarize this random post like I promised at the start:

  • Humans are humans. Not God. They don’t belong on pedestals to be worshipped.
  • Fake news is bad. So are trolls. And vague posting.
  • Law school is crazy.
  • Be nice, even to yourself.
  • Death is inevitable. Live to the fullest. Stand by your principles.
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Cautiously Optimistic: Mental Health Law

Last thursday, June 21, 2018, R.A. 11036 was signed into law in the Philippines. R.A. 11036 is also known as the Mental Health Act of 2017.

I couldn’t find a copy of it yet, but here is the Senate Bill: https://www.aseanlip.com/philippines/general/legislation/bill-of-the-mental-health-act-of-2017/AL13877

When I first heard the news, I wasn’t overjoyed. In fact, I was a bit indifferent. What would a mere law do when the society itself rejects the very thought of mental illnesses? What would a mere law do against the prejudice and stigma attached to the idea? What would it do against the people denying, disrespecting, and downright violating the rights of others?

What?

When I read the bill, my thoughts changed and I could only hope.

Hope.

Hope that this first step taken towards the recognition and acceptance will not be for naught. The act contained provisions recognizing the rights of people; particularly the “Service Users”, the family members, and to my pleasure the “Mental Health Professionals” as defined by the law. It is an affirmative action, an action that the privileged may not appreciate but it’s not for them so they shouldn’t whine. The cynic in me agrees that such law is useless. Then again, it is not. Hope is not useless. It should not be. It never will be.

The law explicitly said rights, and not privilege. It did not state any discounts, free passes, or ‘special treatment’. The treatment provided for by the law refers to a treatment of an illness, not special treatment which people with a grand sense of entitlement feel they have. Rights. They are rights which any human being should possess and should be respected. With the statement of the rights, one can hope that it will be better protected and respected, at least in a legal battle.

The law provided for guidelines on providing mental health services. Mental. Health. Services. Health Service. What a wonderful creature that I wish to be created holistically with other fields. Wow. What a concept.

“Sec. 14. Mental Health Services at the Community Level. – Within the general health care system, the following mental health services shall be developed and integrated into the primary health care system at the community level:

(a) Basic mental health services, which shall be made available at all local government units down to the barangay level;

(b) Community resilience and psychosocial well-being training in all barangays, including the availability of mental health and psychosocial support services during and after natural disasters and other calamities;

(c) Training and capacity-building programs for local mental health workers in coordination with mental health facilities and departments of psychiatry in general or university hospitals;

(d) Support services for families and co-workers of service users, mental health professionals, and mental health workers; and

(e) Dissemination of mental health information and promotion of mental health awareness among the general population.”

And there’s more:

Sec. 17. Integration of Mental Health into the Educational System. – The State shall ensure the integration of the mental health into the educational system, as follows:

(a) Age-appropriate content pertaining to mental health shall be integrated into the curriculum at all educational levels; and

(b) Psychiatry and neurology shall be required subjects in all medical and allied health courses, including post-graduate courses in health.”

The cited provisions are just part of the whole law, there’s more of it which covers concerns regarding mental health. Recognition and education, the two main things that we try and work for the society to receive. Recognition that mental health is as real as it can be, and education to help people recognize it as such. Mental disorders should be treated, not exalted or celebrated. Nobody celebrates flu or cancer. (Do they? That’s weird.)

I hope that it will be enough, enough as a first step. The fight is not over. It has only just begun. It is only a law, and the execution of it will be for anyone to guess and to guard. Until there are those who think that mental disorders are unreal, who think having problems with mental health as merely an excuse for shitty behavior (Real talk: it’s f*cking not. There’s no excuse for bad behavior, only reasons); until there are those who romanticize suicide, I can only be cautiously optimistic.