It hits me.

I found myself crying in the middle of the night, alone in my bed, on every corner of my apartment, at work, on every inch of the room with scientific apparatus. I am disturbed. My heart and mind are full of hopeful remedies that actually I don’t have. I think a lot of things. About my family, my mom, about my beautiful love – my partner. I always worry if she already ate, if she comes to work, or if she’s perfectly okay. I feel so dumb. I feel lonesome. I feel so weak knowing that I am too far away. I can’t do anything. I just really can’t.

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And today, it’s almost two years. I never realized I’ve come this far. I can still remember the day I left to pursue my dreams, to pursue myself. I know I am strong and I claim it gracefully. I can still remember the excitement I have when I stepped into this I can call ‘desert country’. I enjoyed all the first times! The extreme weather, the chitchats with my roommates, the food, my favorite Home Brew, my officemates, and even the restrictions. I used to love them all.

As time passes by, I thought I’d become used to it. I have a daily conversation with my love, almost! We had great talks. About how our day goes, what’s new with me, did I just had a haircut, what new dishes I ate, how her day went and all along. The same goes for my Mom too.

My work? It was also good. I received commendations, good job’s, and recognition. I was able to save enough for my dream business that I am planning to build or start when I get home. I was able to send some money for my family too. Everything just really went well.

Until one day, it hits me!

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It strikes my soul!

All the happiness turned into sadness.  All the good talks suddenly fade.

No more often video calls. No more often conversations. No more often updates. No more often facebook chats or even text messages. No more ‘always’.

I felt that I’m alone. I suddenly felt that my heart is sinking, that I am all nothing,  nowhere, that I’m almost gone.

I can’t explain what’s happening.

I slowly saw my hair falling. I felt dizzy almost everyday. I can’t fully sleep. I cried. A lot. I think a lot and I ate a lot too. At first, I thought it’s just a simple homesick.

Days and weeks passed but still, I feel the same.

My hair is still falling and I even experience blood in my poop. Sorry for the term, but it just really happened. I try to go to bed by 9PM but still, I stayed awake. I can finally sleep at around 3 or 4 AM and wake up by 7 AM to go to work again. This became my routine.

I never imagined this will happen until I decided to consult a doctor because I just feel that  it’s becoming different.

And yes…

I was diagnosed with a Clinical Depression. The doctor even referred me to a mental hospital and I thank God it was not pursued. Several tests were done and I ended having maintenance with several tablets everyday.

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Day by day, I still continued even though I’m not sure. Because I know no one else will. I know I have no one– but myself.

And today marks my 23rd month in this country and 5th month after I was diagnosed with clinical depression.

And Yes today,  I also mark myself to goodness, a God’s gift.

To my fellow OFW:

1. Please never ever give up. Go for your dreams but never forget yourself. There are simple things that really make us happy but we almost forgot.

2. Always search for a support group. It’s hard to be alone and so far away. Search for something that will help you.

3. Save. Save money for yourself. Don’t forget your goals, especially if you plan to still settle on your home.

Depression as defined by the American Psychiatric Association, as a medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act, is really serious and shall never be neglected. I believe anyone can suffer.

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To all OFW families:

1. Please don’t forget your family abroad and all their sacrifices.

2. Help them always. A simple message or a video call always feel better. Stay connected.

These two are just simple but really means a lot.

How I conquered depression?

I found an organization that really improved my situation and helps my recovery. I am now attending a fellowship once a week that I always look up to.

I am also looking forward on going home few months from now.

I will plan for my future, and I hope all of us too!

I know I will be healed. I know and will always believe.

Hope this inspires you!  


Story by: Anonymous, an OFW who wanted to share and inspire co-OFW

Written and Narrated by: Joana Adorino and Julian Anonuevo

Note: The story owner chose not to be named, and we respect his privacy. The specific country and other details were also remained private.  

Photos: Courtesy and Copyright, Free Range Stock, www.freerangestock.com

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