• Jasmine Mendiola

Of Kate Spades and Anthony Bourdains

Updated: Apr 11

Checking how I look after 2 nights on ANR with less than 4 hours of sleep since God knows when and some Progessence, SclarEssence and Sara essential oils support for my fatigue and anxieties.

No matter what I use, superficial results aside, the motion of picking something up to consciously make myself look and feel better (maybe your version of a spray of a perfume or a swipe of a lippie) never fails to reset a gloomy day like today into a bright and beautiful day worth living for.

I have yet to pick up the phone or walk in a hospital and have my mental health checked (among other physically manifested ailments) but if I was to start off my “confession” and help other people find the words to say if they do find themselves feeling like how I do, it would go something like this:

Dear Dr. of Psychiatry,

My name is Jasmine and I’ve always had a to do list. It’s a never ending list I tend to memorise and constantly rewrite on planners since I was in Grade 4 and have synced with as far back as my Palm Pilots can remember.

I grew up with loving and supportive parents and fairly normal siblings with extra-ordinary hearts. I have a reliable set of friends in spite of my history of not exactly being a well-liked child because I had a strong personality, usually labeled as bossy when I was younger and an outgoing, almost too bold of an attitude.

I tend to undermine authority and push boundaries, not for rebellion, but just as part of who I am. I have an organised artistic mind and tend to obsess over details and the order of my creatives process — as well as those of the people I work with which I have come to realise, is also the reason why I prefer to work alone most of the time. My team is small and all of them I love like family but hardly able to express that verbally. I do so through fierce service and as much gifts as I can afford or make. They may have seen my temper but I never (if I can help it) direct it at them, ever.

My real family, however, suffer from my ill temperament on occasion. While the love of my life, Paolo does on a daily basis. I love them so much and serve them with all of my might. Case in point when my son’s paternal father bailed on him, I sued him; when he had cancer, I went out advocating for children like him; and when my Dad had brain cancer, I also dragged my pregnant ass to solicit help for him. I’m 9 months post-partum after giving birth to apparently my last baby. You see, I had uterine atony so they had to do an emergency hysterectomy on me before I bled out on the operating table. My doctors managed to keep my ovaries in tact but I couldn’t say the same for my sanity. I have far less reasons than those who had their eggs torn out to feel hormonally-imbalanced but not being able to tell if I’m having my period on a monthly basis like how I used to kind of throws me off my usual routine. I can’t even make the excuse “I’m PMS-ing” when I’m super masungit.

Those tough times, in my personal opinion, brought more good than bad in my life. I never resent these family trials and always often find myself in the receiving end of so much blessings and help that there is absolutely no reason for me to ever feel alone or sad on these occasions. However, when I look back and think closely of my short fuse and robotic drive for many years of my life, I’ve always had a mental note that life is HARD and realize that a large part of my daily grind lacked my former passion and zest for life and I find myself spiralling down a rabbit hole so deep.

As I go through the rabbit hole quickly, I feel a surge of rage as if it’s about to blow off my head, enough to propel me out of a window or so hot I want to smash my head on the wall. And if my patient partner wasn’t so mindful of what I might be going through, enough so he can comfort me just at the right time and remind me that there is so much to be thankful for about our life, I would have succeeded in these devil whispers, so they call them.

I’ve read up on these things and it scares me a lot. It haunts me when I trace my steps back and really think that my actions, or the ideas of them, when I find myself hurting myself are rational. I even argue with myself sometimes on how my feelings are supposed to be valid. Even my anger. They’re my feelings and they should be valid, right? I reflect on the movie where there are characters called Joy and Sadness and how they’re already part of a child’s brain functions as early as… so they must be normal. I should be, right?

I remember being told by my parents when they see my daughter, Roux, filled with so much glee, charm and an overwhelmingly adorable disposition that I was just like her when I was her age. Then I think to myself, “what happened to me along the way for me to lose that kind of joy? Wouldn’t it be so nice if I still had that kind of joy and wonder intact like my darling, Roux? Oh no, how can I protect my daughter from turning into me?!” Then I am awashed by worry that keeps me up at night, waking up to a never-ending lists of what to do and not to do and sleeping with them too.

I’ve heard of terms like functional depression or post-partum depression and bits and pieces of articles written on these resonate to me. Am I depressed? Or am I just a normal woman with normal feelings dealing with them in abnormal ways?

Please don’t judge me,


Jasmine Mendiola

+63 939 919 7721

©2019 by Jasmine Mendiola