My Second Life | Dear Diary 2023

Today’s supposed to be my 10th death anniversary. 

Instead, I am writing this blog post and reflecting on the past decade that I never expected to experience. 

But before anything else, let me share this story with you. Maybe you can relate, somehow, or maybe you’d understand why, finally. 

Now, I don’t remember where or when it started, for at this point it feels like it has always been a part of me. I do remember certain “points”;

like when I told point blank that I was no longer pretty;or 

that time when I was asked why I was no longer bubbly by the very same person who was the reason why I was no longer bubbly; or 

being publicly disowned by a parental figure; 

Etc etc

So yeah. I can probably summarize this as “I’m broken goods, wanted potential and no amount of kintsugi would ever repair me, even though I am trying.”

And you can stop reading here. 

Should you wish to continue, please note that this may be triggering to people and I will not be responsible for any of it. Take this as your TW as I won’t repeat it again. 

I was 14 when I first actively thought about my weight. 

I have mentioned it here multiple times.. I have genetic hypothyroidism, I got it from my biological mother. 

For as long I can remember, people around me always mentioned that I should be mindful of my weight because due to my hypothyroidism, I now have a predisposition to gain weight… just like my mother. 

Gaining weight seemed to be the worst thing a teenage girl could do. It’s taboo, disgusting, unsightly. 

That wasn’t the time I first tried to starve myself, though. That comes way later. 

But the seed has been planted, and little did I know, that thought would grow and grow and grow slowly but surely. 

I dabbled in modeling back in college, when I felt invincible and beautiful and pretty much perfect. 

I knew I was smart, I knew how to use makeup, I had an amazing fashion sense, and I was surrounded by the right people. Girls with beauty and brains. Guys with chivalry and a good head on their shoulders. I was part of the student council, of the ROTC, of the theatre club. I had everything going for me. 

So I added modeling into the mix. I went to my first photoshoots which went amazing. I built my portfolio and sought out connections. 

Then, I went to my very first actual, professional go-seem for a real modeling job. 

That’s where I heard words that nourished the teeny tiny sapling in my mind. 

“Maganda ka sana, but we’re looking for someone who weighs a little less.”

I was 16, 5’3, and weighed 52kg (114 lbs). 

I decided to workout the very next day. 

One workout turned to daily workouts, 30 minutes jogs turned to 2 hour runs at dawn, avoiding soda turned to eating bread instead of rice which turned to only eating once a day, and that morphed into only having soy milk and orange juice as “safe foods”.

Don’t get me wrong, I still ate, but only when I was back home at the province. Only when I was with friends. Only when there was someone bound to notice. Only when there was someone paying attention. Only when I was bingeing at 3AM when everyone’s asleep and I can vomit it all out in peace after. 

I broke off from my friends, ruined my reputation as a class and year representative, irked a few dormmates, begged to shift courses and change schools for a fresh start, felt like things were getting a bit better, but then everything fell apart. 

I stopped going to classes, I stopped talking to people, I obsessed about the numbers on the tape measure, the sizes of the clothes, the numbers on the weighing scale. At the same time, my then boyfriend was cheating on me left, right, and center. Was I not good enough? Maybe I need to go on another run. I was also keeping up a facade that I was doing good and that everything was just fine. Would I gain weight from all these carbs? I don’t deserve to eat. I have to get it out but I just can’t seem to purge it all out. I couldn’t sleep, I had to know how much weight I gained. My shorts seem a bit tighter, I probably should add another lap to my run later. I don’t have to sleep, I’ll go out and run in a couple hours anyway. The bed seems to dimple a bit more than usual, did I gain weight? I wasn’t able to squeeze between those two people in the bus, did I gain weight? My legs look bulky in that photo, did I gain weight? I can’t see my thigh gap in these pants, did I gain weight? Yesterday I weighed under 100 lbs, the scale now says 101, is that just water weight? Does ice make me gain weight?

I’m such a failure, I can’t lose this fat belly pouch. I can’t go past 100 crunches, I feel like I’m drowning, I can’t breathe, why am I such a disappointment? I want to go one more lap but I feel like the world is collapsing around me, why did my vision go black? Okay, head between knees I can’t die yet, I gotta lose a couple more pounds. Why am I such a loser? I only needed ice in my Big Gulp cup, why did I get red tea? There’s too much calories in this but I am so hungry. I gotta go home and do my laundry, no need to hire a cab or use the elevator, I need to burn more calories. 

I’m so tired, I’m so, so, so tired. 

I’m so hungry, those cherries look so good, just 100 grams, I’ll make it last through the week. 

Who am I kidding? My tummy hurts so bad, I’m so bloated, I shouldn’t have eaten all those sweets. Would Papa still send me extra money? I’ve asked thrice this week. I need to get all of these out before it turns to fat cells. 

How many calories does a mochi ice cream have? Nanay bought me a couple clothes, they fit weird. I gained weight again? I can’t run here, people might see me and how much weight I’ve gained. 

Why am I still doing this? I’m never going to reach my goal weight. I might as well end it. Tita asked me if I’m doing okay, of course I am, why wouldn’t I be? I have everything that I could ever want. 

The library is looking for the books I borrowed, my friends are looking for the stuff I borrowed, my phone is blowing up but I don’t have the energy to face anyone or anything right now. 

If I sleep, will all of this go away? Yes, sleep, I’ll just sleep. When I’m asleep I can’t hear the ringtones, when I’m asleep I can’t eat, I can’t drink, I can’t gain weight for sure. I’m just going to sleep. But I can’t just lay here, I need to burn off a couple more calories than my BMR. 

I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m so tired. I don’t belong anywhere. My friends hate me, my family is disappointed in me, my maternal side is too busy with their own problems, my paternal side can’t understand why I’m failing, my dormmates are disgusted by me, no one wants me here. 

No one wants me here.

No one cares for me here. 

Maybe I should just leave. 

Yes, I’ll just go. 

How do I leave? 

What do I have in these drawers? 

Okay. I know now. 

I’m so tired. I love you but I’m not worthy of your love. I’ve failed everything there is to fail. There’s too many tablets and pills, I have to minimize my water I don’t want to pee too much when I let go. 

I feel so sleepy. Finally I actually feel sleepy. I can’t keep my eyes open. I’m scared. Nanay I want to go home, please come and get me. I'm so scared. 

Was that a dream? 

I feel fine now, did I fail yet again? I feel too light. Maybe I just need some air or water or whatever. 

“Anak, go back.”

“Anak, it’s not your time yet, go back.”

Why is Daddy Piding in our dorm’s halfway? It’s too bright, did they open the fire exit?

“Anak, go back, it’s not your time yet.”

Why am I lying on my bed but also here at the doorway? 

“Anak, it’s okay, you can go back now.”

Daddy Piding smiles at me and nods at me just a couple of steps beyond our doorway. I’m just gonna go back to sleep. 

I closed my eyes, and when I opened them again, Nanay, Tatay, Tita, and Papa were beside me. 

“What do you want to eat, anak? Are you hungry?”

“I want Mcdo fries.”

Were they crying? Was I crying? My face is wet. My head’s so heavy. 

“Nanay, if those were painkillers why does it still hurt?”

My memory might not be the best at this point as it has been ten years, but this is why every October 7th, I say a little prayer and blow a candle to make a wish. Some years it’s a prayer of thanks, others a prayer of desperation. 

“Please tell me what else you need me here for.”

I don’t remember just how much I overdosed in, all I know is I survived. I don’t remember how long I was “out”, but that Daddy Piding was there guiding me back, even he passed some years back. My uncles said he waited for me but I wasn’t able to visit him till his funeral. Maybe he didn’t want me with him anymore since I made him wait for so long, that’s why he guided me back. I can’t know for sure till we meet again. 

Ten years ago today I tried to take my own life, but the Universe had other plans for me. So, here I am. 

Braving my way forward. 

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