Getting Over Depression: Love Yourself

It's been almost a month since I started my treatment for depression, and so far, I've been feeling a lot better. To help my treatment, I decided to create a Love Yourself Project, which aims to help the depressed and suicidal (like me; I need to help myself).

To start, I'm listing down 10 ways to love yourself

Loving yourself is, I believe, the most essential step in getting through depression because depressed people tend to not see their self-worth. I, for one, hated myself for just about everything, and now is the best time to finally get that off my system. It's Christmas; the greatest gift you can give to yourself is love.

At 24: Lessons and Confessions

Today marks the twenty-fourth year of my existence on Earth. Today, I'm a year older and a year wiser. Today, I learned a few things about life.

Book Review: Nectar in a Sieve

Title: Nectar in a Sieve

Author: Kamala Markandaya
Genre: Semi-autobiographical
Rating: 4 out of 5

Nectar in a Sieve is a poignant tale of a woman’s life, set in a time when urbanization sprung to life amidst a resistant but hopeful rural India. The story revolves around the life of Rukmani, the youngest daughter of a village headman, who was married at the age of twelve to a tenant farmer, Nathan, whom she has never met until their wedding day.

Child bride—this was what caught my attention when I read the synopsis of the book. With the recent news about the eight-year-old who died on her wedding night in Yemen, the concurrent issue of child marriage has resurfaced with higher intensity than ever before. I expected more gruesome details about child marriage in Nectar, but as I read along, I discovered that it tells much more than that—much more harrowing, more touching, than being married at a very young age. 

Nectar tells about a young mother’s struggle in an impoverished area in India. It tells about how Mother Nature is indifferent to the livelihood of people that are dependent on weather. It tells about the destructive effects of infertility in marriage. Markandaya has woven a wonderful, graphical picture of poverty, of the menacing promises of modernization, of the dark pleasures of prostitution, and of the heart-breaking eventuality of children growing up and leaving their parents. 

A slight warning, though: Nectar can be, at first, depressing. Of all the hardships that Rukmani and her family has gone through, it may be hard to believe that someone can have so many misfortunes in life—but it’s real. There is no other book that can pull your heartstrings without having to use the mushy theme of romance. It can leave you both aching and hoping, crying and gushing, with a satisfaction that you have read something worthwhile.

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This review is also published in SunStar Cebu, thanks to Fiona Escandor. You can view the online version of the article here.

Book Review: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

Title: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
Author: Jonas Jonasson
Genre: Fiction/Adventure/Comedy
Rating: 5 out of 5

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared is the first book written by Swedish author Jonas Jonasson. What makes this book stand out from the rest is its title—it's long, it takes up almost all the space in the book cover, and of course, it blatantly describes what this story is all about.

Jonasson's debut novel is about a centenarian named Allan Karlson who, during his birthday, climbed out the window of the retirement home he lived in and went on an epic journey that involved a drug dealer, a bagful of money, an elephant, the Manhattan Project, Einstein's dimwit half-brother, Stalin, Harry Truman, Mao Tse Tung, and other historical figures during World War II.

The Hundred-Year-OId-Man is an action-packed novel that gives a funnier light to history and tells you how Allan helped shape the world—without him even knowing it. The events are so absurd, they turn out to be funny, even if it meant killing off a character in the most far-fetched way imaginable. What I love most about this book is that you can read it without really thinking, because the book is really spontaneous, but at the same time, it gives you the chance to learn about the back story of major historical events. 

If you're looking for an easy and lighthearted read but don't want to sacrifice time and money on a book that'll make you stupid for that purpose, you will want to read The Hundred-Year-OId-Man. 

What Is Depression Like?

"What is depression like?" he whispered.

"It's like drowning. Except you can see everyone around you breathing."

The death of Robin Williams was the long-overdue spur the world needed to understand depression better. Depression is a poorly understood condition—more often mistaken for something as normal as frustration and sadness. But depression is something else, something much deeper, much darker.
Then what is depression like?

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