Feature Articles

Battling Through the Highs and Lows

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Of faith and healing. Mark Mirabuenos who grew up on a Christian community says he did not want to gamble on anything but his faith and spirituality as vital parts of his healing process.

Sometimes, it is so hard to cope with things that carry you up so high and push you down so hard.

Dealing with life is hard enough but imagine having both bipolar mania and depression at the peak of your life, which is your youth, and you have to deal with sudden rush of energy and depressive episodes. Mark Mirabuenos shares his story on how he copes with this two mental illnesses and how he clings with the hope that it gets better.

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Mirabuenos was diagnosed with both depression and bipolar mania in the year 2010 when his family decided to bring him on a rehabilitation center in Quezon City. He shared that he was so hyper and full of energy that day that his parents came up with the decision of packing his things and driving him on a rehab center.

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In a better place. With the help of writing, medication and his family, Mirabuenos is still fighting a battle together with other survivors in a world where they are told that they don’t deserve help.

Hindi ko rin alam na dadalhin ako sa center kasi hyper ako noon tapos akala ko pupunta lang kami kung saan pero dadalhin na pala ‘ko sa center. Nakasasakyan kami tapos may gamit na pala ko sa likod. Noong gusto ko na lumabas, ayaw na ako palabasin,” he narrated.

Finding himself in an unfamiliar place, he eventually realized that he if wanted to come home to his family as soon as possible, he should follow what his doctor is recommending and do the activities the nurses would request. His 23-day stay in the center was composed of daily exercises, observing the people around him and talking with fellow patients. He also shared that because of medication, he dozed off a lot.

Moreover, one of the things that greatly helped him on coping up with depression and bipolar mania is through arts and writing. Mark loves reading and putting his thoughts into words. Writing literary pieces is one of his ways on giving birth to what he is feeling at the moment and it also adds up to his motivation to fight through the illness. In fact, he had a blog where he posts his poems and sometimes, his own song compositions which both revolve around his life experiences and his illness. According to him, the blog is currently inactive but he still loves to read to help on his healing process.

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Curiouser and curiouser. His story is bound with faith, self-care and family support but he still seeks things that might help him on his illness through reading a lot.

He usually writes on a journal where he puts what is on his mind through drawings, scribbles or words. He finds it therapeutic so when his thoughts were getting blurry, it sometimes helps him to carry on to the day and not forget his tasks.

Ang ginagawa kong activity no’n is lagi akong nagjojournal kasi ang bilis ng process ng utak ko. Hindi nirecommend ng doctor pero may nabasa kasi akong libro about journaling dati so ina-apply ko lang. Maganda kasi  naproprocess mo maghapon ang thoughts mo and tinuro lang din sa akin ng tito ko na magjournal ng prayer so after ako magjournal maghapon, magjojournal ako ng prayer ko,” he added on why writing is a big part of his healing progress.

Mr. Mirabuenos also shared that he painted two artworks as part of his coping mechanisms on his illnesses. For him, art and writing serves as an outlet for his emotions and his illness. He was also raised on a religious family so his faith with God also helps on clinging into his life and further believing that he will soon heal.

Moreover, he serves as an inspiration to the people who also suffers from mental illnesses, giving them the hope that life gets better through the help of your loved ones and self expression. As he would say it, don’t stop believing that it gets better, we may not know when, but it does.

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