On How a Murder Podcast Helped Me With My Anxiety

I’ve had a couple of posts about my anxiety. I’m not ashamed of it and quite open about the fact that I’ve been to therapy and is taking medicine for it. However, this has not always been the case. For a few years, I’ve struggled with my anxiety without even knowing about it because mental health was not exactly a very interesting topic in the Philippines. However, when I came to Canada, I see flyers regarding anxiety and depression and all these mental health awareness things that made think that maybe, just maybe, I need some help for my mental health. And yep, I did.

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My Favorite Murder is a murder-comedy podcast hosted by Karen Kalgariff and Georgia Hardstark (featuring the kitties and Steveeeeeen). They’ve been on air for over a year now and I’ve listened to them since April of 2016. I don’t know how I ended up choosing this podcast as my background sound when I was cramming for my Organic Chemistry final exam but I’m glad I did. These two ladies are so fun to listen to and hearing ooooohhh, ahhhh and some profanities from them when listening to the other’s murder story is refreshing. I like that they don’t filter anything in their podcast and they just say whatever is on their mind.

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Karen and Georgia have been known to be open about some of their struggles with drugs and mental health. The first time I’ve heard them talked about it, I was shocked because I’ve never heard someone talked about anxiety and depression as lightly as they did. The more I listened to their episodes, the better I felt with my anxiety because heyyyyy, it’s not just me. I’ve read countless of articles about anxiety but listening to people who has it and is taking medicines for it made a big impact for me. When I heard them talk about the medicines that they take and the therapies that they’ve done, it made me ask myself, “Should I give it a try?”. I did give it a try and went to therapy. I was on the edge with almost no way of coming back up but I managed to pull myself slightly farther from the edge and forced myself to therapy. I bared my heart and dug some emotions I didn’t know I was hiding for so long. Therapy was good but my therapist suggested taking some medicines. The thought of taking medicines scared me but I knew that it could help me and it did! I love it and it sort of curbed most of my anxiety away. I know it’s not gonna remove it completely but I can actually function and not be scared most of the time about anxiety attacks.

My Favorite Murder is more than just a podcast for me. These ladies have helped me face my anxiety in the face and address it. They helped me stepped onto the therapist’s office and go to the pharmacy to get my medicines. They showed me that my mental health issues is not something to be ashamed of. Well I don’t exactly go around the room and tell everyone I have anxiety but I’m also not scared of telling people that I do have anxiety when they ask about it.

Thank you Karen and Georgia for the podcast (you too,  Steven and kitties). Stay sexy and don’t get murdered.

 

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On (Slowly) Losing my Friends

I’ve been living in Canada for over four years now. I was told by a lot of people that the longer you stay outside the country, the less friends you get to keep in the Philippines. I thought that was bullocks because my friends and I promised each other to communicate often. I was a silly girl.

On my first few months, there were definitely some communications going on. It was mostly on Facebook and Viber. We would chat on FB messenger and have some group message going on. Slowly though, I realize that I was the first one that would approach them. If I don’t say hi, I would never get any message. After a year, I started to wait for them to contact me. There were definitely a few, but it started getting less and less until I don’t chat with anyone anymore. So I sort of started to reach out to them again but it was all futile because I was mostly the one handling the conversation. I didn’t want to strain any friendship I have with my close friends but this distance that they’re putting is enough for me to back off.

I’m still friends with them on FB and follows them on IG. I would like their posts but rarely comment. There’s the occasional ‘Congrats’ and ‘Happy Birthday’ but that’s it. I used to post these lengthy-ass FB birthday posts and reading them on my FB memories when they pop-up gives me such bittersweet feeling. At some point, these people were my friends, my confidants and partners-in-crime. Now, we’re mostly just colleagues with some good memories.

 

On Turning 22

Today, on the 22nd of September, I officially turned 22. For 22 years I’ve been living in this world, gracing everybody with my wonderful existence. This birthday has been by far my loneliest and quietest birthday ever… the worst if you may. 

For a few days now, I’ve been planning things to do for this day. When I found out that I was given this day off work, I planned to watch the sunrise and go visit the Fort Edmonton Park. Maybe walk around my residence for a while and just enjoy the day alone. I would end the day with a nice dinner whilst overlooking the whole city. However, I did got up at 5 am (I slept at like 2) just so I can catch the wonderful sunrise. Lo and behold, it’s super gloomy and the sun wasn’t even out. It was rainy and cold. I was gonna just enjoy the walking trail but the signs pretty much saying ‘Keep out, the trails are eroding’ doesn’t sound super safe to me. So off I went back to the dorm and re-planned my day again.

Since I couldn’t go back to sleep anyways, my first meal of being 22 was rice with sunny side up! I wanted to have pancakes but I just got lazy to go to Denny’s (which is literally right across the street) and I didn’t want to order online and wait for 20 minutes. I just told myself that I would give myself a wonderful dinner. Looking out of my window, it’s still gloomy and rainy. I just threw the idea of going to the Fort Edmonton Park away and just got dressed for I have no idea what. I was gonna go to Michael’s so I can buy a Create 365 planner but I got lazy (again). I actually have a Create 365 planner which I barely used and still had September to December on it. I want to make a 365 days of writing special things that happened to me on that day onto a diary. However, I know that I suck at keeping a diary (blogging works better for me anyways) and all I need is a little bit of space to write a few sentences. The Create 365 planner is the perfect planner to use.
By 2pm, I didn’t know what to do anymore. I could have studied or read some books. But no… why would I wanna spend my birthday doing that? So I watched Rush Hour 2 and 3 and made myself happy. By 5pm, I was on UberEats and Skip the Dishes app trying to find some food that I want to eat. I can’t decide if I wanted some steak or fried chicken or poke or some Filipino stuff. In the end, after an hour, I settled on some ribs and chicken with rice from Swiss Chalet. I didn’t even have a birthday cake.


Overall, this day for me has been a meh. It’s definitely not how I want to celebrate my birthday. However, I am living alone in this big city with barely any friends. I feel better though when I talked on the phone with my family members. My parents of course called me as well as my aunt. My aunt gave me a gift that I didn’t expect, she’ll pay for my phone’s monthly bill! That’s already a very big help for me because that’s already a $100 less expense for me.

As for some FB greetings, it’s mostly some Canada friends that greeted me. There are some from the Philippines but I actually didn’t even expect some greetings from them. We don’t even talk anymore.

I’m 22, one year older but not wiser. Although I can say that I am more mature now and less vulnerable.

Spotlight: Bart and Geo Kwan (JKFilms)

Bart and Geo Kwan are one of the Youtube couples that are for me #couplegoals. They’ve been together for a few years and just had their first non-fur baby! I first knew of them from Just Kidding News and since then, I’ve been faithfully watching their vlogs.

Why do I watch their vlogs?

First of all, I love watching vlogs. It’s one way for me to experience life without going out. Watching Bart and Geo’s life through the screen makes me feel like I’m also there with them. I’ve watched them vlog in their old house which they shared with Nadeem. I’ve watched them look for condos in downtown LA and ‘helped’ them choose the perfect one (and by help I mean offering my opinion on my laptop screen). I also got quite teary-eyed when they finally bought their first home where they get to build their ever-growing family. I got worried when Brigee got lost and all of the JK squad were out there on the lookout for her (they found her!).

Their vlogs shows the perfect couple (Bart says they’re not because they don’t show their fights and stuff) that they are who stuck with each other through their ups and down. They have been together since the early days of JKFilms where Bart said that Geo had to mostly support them financially so Bart could focus on growing the company with Joe. I’m amazed how amazing Geo is to step up and support Bart’s dreams wholeheartedly even though being a full time Youtuber at that time is probably a very risky move. Years later, they own their company/gym, Barbell Brigade, have three fur babies, Brigee, Meatloaf and Fawn, and a newborn, Taika Octavius Kwan.

OMG THEIR FAMILY IS GROWING!

When Bart and Geo got married, I immediately thought of how them having babies. When they announced that they’re pregnant, I cried. I was so happy for them and I remember hugging the heck out of my teddy bear because… bear… Beaws. Anyway, I feel like that’s the closest thing that I can hug that can be related to both of them. I watched all their hospital visit vlogs, got heartbroken when Geo couldn’t go to Tiff’s wedding because it’s too close to the due date and the things Geo and Bart did to make sure her and the baby is healthy.

I watched some recent JKNews and I’m like, wait, where’s Bart and Geo? I started looking through their IG and other members’ IG if they posted photos about her giving birth. Then a few days ago, Geo finally give birth! I was so excited to see their baby. I’ve been there through the room decoration, gender reveal and babyfying their life. Now, I can’t wait to see their vlog prior to the birth and after. I can’t wait to see them being parents and the baby interacting with his fur siblings.

I could go on and on about this couple but no words can express how happy I am to be atleast part of their lives even if they don’t know me. I’ve seen them grow from boyfriend/girlfriend to parents of their babies. I’m looking forward for more vlogs!

 

Follow them at:

Youtube: Bart and Geo

Instagram: Bart && Geo

 

On Moving Out and Living Alone

Finally! The day that I have been waiting for has finally arrived. I’ve always thought about this for years, even when I was still back in the Philippines. I’ve always wanted to be an independent lady who can live and survive alone in the big city. This is it, a step closer to my dream.

I have been living in a small city for four years. That city didn’t even have an escalator! Since I came from a big city, moving to a smaller one here in Canada was definitely a big thing for me. I was used to big malls, traffic and noise. In GP, it was definitely less noisy and less traffic. Also, there was only one mall that’s one level and closes at 6pm. Although I was happy living with my mom, I wasn’t contented in living in such a small place. I was born for the city. I’m a city girl after all. My mom, if she has the absolute say, would prefer for me to stay in GP. But me, with my adventurous and curious heart, don’t want to stay. I want to be in a big city.

I’m currently in Edmonton, about 4 hours from GP. It’s a fairly big city and houses the biggest mall in North America, the West Edmonton Mall. It also has a few more malls and little strip malls on the side. I’ve only been here for a week so I have a lot of exploring to do. I have to do it before winter though or else I wouldn’t enjoy the walks and driving so much.

I moved out of my mom’s house with barely any money in my pocket and a shit-ton of student loan on my back. She helped me buy my necessities and my dad supplies me monthly money (yaaaas!). But since I’m a strong, independent woman, I’m also on the hunt for a job. I’ve been working for over four years now and I’m used to it already. Not working makes me feel unenergetic and super lazy.

The thing about living alone in the big city is that it’s just me. I don’t have friends here… yet. I’m hoping to meet more people in the next few days so I wouldn’t feel alone. I’m an introvert but I’m also someone who likes some good conversations. I talk a lot and being cooped up in my room with my phone in front of me most of the time is not exactly healthy. I really need to get out more (or maybe open my bedroom door?).

It’s only been a week since I have moved out. Things will happen and I’ll probably meet a lot of new people. It’s not bad, it’s also not as exciting just yet.

I Say MAMAMOO, You Say Slay

I’ve been chosen as part of V-Friends Season 3. Yaaaas ❤️❤️ I legit forgot about this after I signed up for it and just remembered it after I got the e-mail that I got in. So for the next few weeks, I’m gonna post more about k-pop as I do the missions that we’re given. For this mission, I have to review an Idol channel. My first choice was Super Junior as they’re my ultimate group. However, they don’t have their own channel and only posts through SMTown’s channel.


My next choice is one of my fave girl group MAMAMOO!!


I first learned of Mamamoo through random Youtube videos that I’ve searched of with G-Friend. They’ve done a show before and I instantly fell in love with their quirkiness. I started listening to their songs and Um Oh Ah Yeh is now part of my top fave K-Songs.

Watching Mamamoo’s videos on V Live is so refreshing. It’s like watching my friends telling me a really cool story on facetime. I’m not there with them but I feel like I’m part of what they’re doing. I’ve always loved their impromptu harmonies and everytime they do it on any videos, I instantly melt. They have such beautiful voices and they all ooze with talent and beagleness.

Also, can we please just appreciate Solar? Look at this beautiful turtle. Her face is already painted weirdly but her smile still looks as pretty.


If there’s a Top 5 most adorable face an idol have made, wouldn’t this face make it?


Look at that adorable pout of Whee In. She was recreating a childhood photo and her face on this is just as much cute as the original one. Actually, if I don’t know any better, I would think that she’s the maknae of the group. But nope, here’s Hwasa, the real maknae, recreating hers.


Can we also please just give Moonbyul a big round of applause just for existing? Like look at face. Our rapper is on fire on stage and a playful character off stage.


If there’s one thing that I especially love about this group is their stage presence. Their photos and stage performances overflow with charisma and confidence. Their debut stage didn’t scream rookies, it screamed talent and success. Watching bts from their concerts kept me at awe on how these four quirky ladies can have such randomn personalities off stage. ❤️❤️ I guess that’s what makes them the beagles that they are.


I really enjoy watching their V-live videos. Their personalities shine through each and every video that gets uploaded. I love the fun energy that they give off and the genuine interaction that they have with each other. These are girls who are real friends on and off camera.

All photos are captured from Mamamoo and SMTown’s V Live channels. 

Seeking Help: One of the Bravest Things I’ve Done

I remember that one morning, I woke up uneasy. I sat on my bed and bad, suicidal thoughts clouded my mind. My heart felt heavy and my head was messing with me. I remember being emotional and irrational. The thought of jumping off a bridge or driving my car through a cliff kept on replaying in my head, over and over again. I was a mess. I was crying, I was in pain. I remember deciding not to to get out of the my room on that day because I was scared of actually harming myself. The sight of the scissors made my skin crawl as I imagined it piercing through my skin. I winced at the thought but it did give me comfort. Thoughts of hurting myself always gives me comfort as well as uneasiness.

I couldn’t take it anymore. The emotions were taking over and I knew that I had to help myself before I lose myself. I searched the suicide hotline and called them. It rang and I had the strongest urge to cut the call off but I knew that I had to push through. A lady answered, she said she was a registered nurse and she could help me for the time being. I was crying but she was calm. She talked me through and helped me find the nearest help center. She asked me if I feel safe from myself, I said “Yes” even though I wasn’t too sure myself. She directed me to the center and a few hours later, I was calm enough to drive and started my baby steps towards a better mental health.

I remember sitting on that chair with the lady across me. She was asking me questions, questions a counselor from two years ago have asked me too. In my head, I thought she would be the same as that counselor, with fake empathy and note-taking BS. I hated that counselor. I only had one session with her and never came back because I felt too embarrassed pouring out myself to a stranger which obviously showed me fake empathy. But this new lady is different. One of the first things she told me was, “You are very brave in coming here“. Brave is one word that I would describe myself when it comes to tackling many life challenges but I never thought that asking for help is considered a brave move. But this lady just called me brave because I finally sought help to better my mental health.

I was eventually placed as urgent in the list for day therapy sessions. I got a single-session therapy with this male therapist (probably a psychologist?) who told me that I didn’t have depression, but I already know that. What I didn’t know was that I had Childhood Trauma. No one has beaten me to a pulp nor sexually harassed me. But the way I was brought up definitely affected how my brain works. It affected my personality, my emotions and how I breath. I didn’t know that I breath differently from a normal person. Apparently, regular people breath mainly using their stomach. I, on the other had, breath mainly using my chest. When this therapist asked me try and breath using my stomach, I had a hard time doing it and I still have trouble doing it right now. He said that my way of breathing shows that I’m always on the end, that my brain is rarely relaxed which explains why my anxiety is always at the background. Also, he showed me a diagram relating to childhood trauma. It wasn’t just anxiety or depression, it’s a combination of different things but never the whole thing. I didn’t have depression just because I still have appetite with food and pleasure. However, I still showed the other signs and symptoms for it. In short, he said that I have GAD, a bit of depression, a bit of OCD and a bit of some more other things that I wish I remember because I was an idiot and didn’t just took a photo of it.

I have finally started my therapy sessions. These are free so it definitely helps me a lot. I’m looking forward in finding more about myself and actually experience emotions that I have probably deprived myself in a long time. I’m also considering taking some medicines so I’m just gonna have to wait until I meet with my family doctor.

Seeking help for your mental health is not a bad idea. It’s gotta be one of the best things you can do for yourself. You get to stop asking “What is wrong with me?” to start asking “How can I help myself?”. It can be scary at first, but it can definitely help you in the long run.