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Happiness is a state of mind, says Burke in the movie Love Happens. I have always believed in state of minds. Fear is a state of mind. Romantic love is a state of mind. And so are sadness and misery. It was just a matter of signposting. But nobody told me that it would be that difficult.

I never entertained pessimism in more than five minutes. I have always known that I couldn’t handle them the way other people does. And it’s actually good that you can find both sides of the coin in every human aspect—physical, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional. I believe that the emotional feature of a person’s growth is the most critical because it can cause a domino effect once it collapses. This is where you can find the disparity in me, an immense crisis that I have encountered in my life. I have experienced depression.

The progression felt like the pile of bills being placed in Rebecca’s table in Confessions of a Shopaholic. I just found out the name of my real father. I searched for him in Facebook but he doesn’t have one. I can only read about him and gaze onto his face in Google. With that, I discovered that my mom lied to me. And along the way, my insecurity senses intensified. I had low self-esteem and my self-hatred tendencies magnified. It was as if the only thing people did to me was mock me, expect high outputs, and at times, I even felt ostracized. I was like Xiao Yu in the Korean movie Secret. Then my cup became full when a close friend of mine died. It was my first time. It was like what Ronnie had gone through when her father died in the movie The Last Song.

I started to mess things up. The worst part is when I started to hate the people around me, even myself. It was as if nobody was there for me, nobody recognized the fact that I was unwell. Whenever somebody texts or calls me, it was always about meetings for the student council, reports in class that I have to present. There were no are-you-ok’s. Yet, I remained being there believing that I can seek refuge by keeping my self busy. Until now, I always feel sad whenever I do recall those dark days.

So how did I survive? It was more on the context of how I resurrected, after I emotionally died. Talking my heart out to people I trust and even to strangers did help me a lot. It gave me the chance not only to release all the burdens that I have been carrying but also an opportunity for me to hear and listen to myself. God have not taken away everything from me pala. He has sent me the right people to talk to and the right time to discharge when I had my insolent moments just like how Charlie appeared in Jordan’s life in My Sassy Girl. And to top it all off, what I considered as the most therapeutic dose is watching movies. During the two-hour solemn moments that I have with my PC, I felt that God was the one talking to me and not the gorgeous Hugh Jackman as Logan in Wolverine. That he was the one who made me realize that “I am my worst enemy, therefore I will be my own savior”. And not Shelly in The House Bunny.

Those instances even paved the way for me to finally get the answer to my question. Who is my enemy? I found the answer while watching The Dark Knight two days ago. It was the film’s denouement that woke me up. It made me realize that I have been battling with my shadow and wasn’t strong enough to win the fight not because I don’t have the courage or I don’t know what to do. It was because I don’t know who my real opponent is and who my real ally is. I realized that I have always been running away from the one who can really help me the most.

The situation of my family, regaining my self-confidence, and coping up with loss might take time. But it will always begin with Him, the greatest signposting that I may ever have—my God. This happening taught me not only how to use my strengths but also how to utilize my own weaknesses to become a better me. And since I just finished watching Love Happens a moment ago, I felt that he was the one who’s telling me that “When one thing ends, something else begins.” And now I’m off to a fresh start.

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