The headaches have come again. This time, I am alone, and I cannot easily go to a doctor because I am not sure if my insurance will cover treatment, if any. Today, I went to the graduate office and hid the pain by smiling. I hid the pain by doing some work. I hid the pain until I could hide it no longer – so I went to church, which is conveniently next door.
There, I knelt down and began to pray. There, I wept.
I was in church for only twenty minutes, and I was, thankfully, alone. There was no one else in the vast enclave of St. Tom’s, save the old retainer who read her bible in one side chapel and paid me no mind.
The hiding had been to painful, and I needed to release a few tears.
They say God listens to the prayers of those who weep. I think He answered my prayers that day. My headaches had already eased over the course of the afternoon, but they were still bothering me. When I walked out of church, the headache had all but disappeared. I knew I had to return to the dorm to wash my face – I had a class in about an hour, so I knew I wouldn’t look too pretty with my eyes all swollen.
When I reached my room, I collapsed in bed and promptly went to sleep. I was asleep for a mere quarter of an hour – but when I awoke, I felt refreshed.
And I heard these words in my head.
Break na tayo.
In Filipino, those three words are often used to break off a romantic relationship. In this case, I knew what they were for. They were for me to finally cast off all my strange bedfellows with whom I had lived for way too long. There was the Low Self-Esteem Monster, the Self-Pity Vampire that ate away at my health, and the Hopelessness and Paranoia Ghosts, who always hovered close by.
Strange thought, isn’t it, especially after all that pain – strange, strange thoughts.
But I knew that I had been given the pain for a reason. I had to steel myself, to grow up, as it were – and out of my old foundations, away from my old friends that encouraged me to think so much less of myself, to think myself so much less compared with the rest of the apparently great world. I had to break away, to break up with the past, and break off –
It was a strange thought to have, as I lay in bed. That thought lingered, well into my quick wash-up, and my sprint to the building where my classes would be. I think about it now –
Break na tayo. Break na tayo Low Self-Esteem, because I have always stood on my own, and I am worth more than I so pathetically imagine. Break na tayo Self-Pity, because my ill health is my fault, and I can still get well. Break na tayo, Hopelessness and Paranoia, because I need to grow up, and I have to let go of all my pain.
It’s not profound, and the results won’t be instant – but it’s a start.