DEAR SURVIVOR,

It’s been over a year since the pandemic started. How have you been? Have you had the chance to talk to someone? No? Well, that’s why I’m here.

I know how you’ve been feeling the past months. I know you’ve been trying so hard to act like you are all right – but you’re actually not. You just want everyone around you to believe that you are. You do not want them to worry about you.

I’ve been a witness to all your sleepless nights. The many times you stayed up until 4 or 5 a.m. with all kinds of scary, confusing, and absurd thoughts running through your mind.

I remember one time last year when you had a terrible dream and you felt someone caress you, as if telling you things were going to be okay. You woke up crying because you knew it was your mom. You had a vision of her right before you opened your eyes. You felt safe after that, because you knew your guardian angel was watching over you. But, no one really knew how you felt that time – except me. I’m also the only one who knows that the rollercoaster of emotions came back a few days later.

You and your guardian angel, your mom.

I know how afraid you were when something unexpected happened earlier this year. You blamed yourself because you let your guard down. You were very hard on yourself, and your anxiety level shot up. The sleepless nights and scary dreams came back just when you’ve started loosening up a bit. To this day, you still vividly remember the fear and uncertainty that gripped you. You still remember how you cried the whole night. I think that was your turning point this year. It pushed you back into that dark and scary pit that you hate.

I know how desperate you are to get rid of the demons that always threaten to poison your mind. You use your journal to feed yourself positive, hopeful thoughts.

You use your journal to feed yourself positive thoughts.

You read for hours to escape all the realities staring you in the face.

Reading is to the mind what food is to the body.

You watch TV shows and movies while working because even when you’re trying to be busy, your anxiety still creeps in. Only I know that you’ve watched practically all the Hallmark Christmas movies that you can find online because they make you temporarily forget your doubts and fears.

Hallmark Christmas movies help you feel better.

I think I’m one of the very few who know that you sing praise songs and pray out loud while taking a bath. Sometimes, you even pray the Rosary (except on Thursdays, because you still cannot memorize the Luminous Mysteries). You don’t feel safe when you’re not able to, so if you go out for groceries – you pray twice because you take a bath twice (before leaving and as soon as you arrive home).

And, yes, I know that you listen to Don Moen and Sounds Like Reign so you can sleep. You sleep with your earphones on because they help drown out the negative thoughts. Sometimes, you listen to the audio Rosary, too. It helps calm you down – and you eventually fall asleep.

However, there are times when even listening to one full Don Moen album doesn’t work and you end up falling asleep at 6 or 7 a.m. – like what’s happening now. (This is why I decided to talk to you).

YOU ARE A SURVIVOR

I know what’s in your heart and mind. I know that you’re doing your best to go back to your normal, pre-pandemic optimistic self. I know that you sometimes think people find you weird or overacting. But, you know what? All these do not matter because you are strong. You don’t allow everything that’s trying to bring you down to defeat you. You’re doing your best to cope and to survive, albeit silently. Yes, you are a survivor.

You are a survivor because despite all your personal struggles, you manage to continue being a good wife and daughter (and fur mom).

Family

You are a survivor because you can handle three to four jobs a day, from Monday to Sunday. It’s chaotic at times, and you often have to ask for deadline extensions, but you always do your best to deliver what’s needed.

Work

You are a survivor because despite all your emotional burdens, you never stopped reaching out to others. You always try to make them feel good. When you’re able to make someone smile or laugh (even virtually), you feel a little bit better.

You are a survivor because you never stop dreaming and hoping. You never stop thinking of doing something (except that Home Buddies-inspired renovation, because you don’t have the money yet). You have plans for your theater group. You’ve started compiling your mom’s writings so you can have them published. You have several projects in mind, all you need to do is set them into action.

Your script for “Stories From the Heart”, one of your theater group’s virtual projects.

Most of all, you are a survivor because no matter how difficult the current times are, your faith in Him is stronger than ever. You have complete trust in Him and you are confident that He won’t let you down. You know that all these will soon pass. He has a lot of wonderful plans for you.

Yes, Maia, you are a survivor. So, just keep going. Continue doing what you’re doing. My only wish is that you’ll exert extra effort to love yourself more. And the best way to do that is to believe that you are a survivor. You will survive. You will always survive because you are loved.

You are loved.

Thank you for giving me a chance to talk to you. I hope I made you feel better somehow. Let’s talk again soon, okay?

I love you.


This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project Season 2: Dear Survivor”. The initiative continues to respond to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis.  The initiative aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. The “Write to Ignite Blogging Project” Season 2 is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, with Eastern Communications and Jobstreet as co-presenters, with AirAsia and Xiaomi as major sponsors, and with Teleperformance as sponsor.

24 Replies to “Dear Survivor: A Letter for You”

      1. Hi, Oreo! 🙂 Thank you also because you are one of the persons who constantly send messages to ask how I am doing. I appreciate it a lot. 🙂 God bless!

    1. Thank you, Mommy Dharlz! Trying my best to do what I can for others. Thank you, as well, for reading my story. I appreciate it a lot! 🙂

  1. Life is never easy, we may be stuggling now but for sure better days are coming. Hang in there Mai..

  2. You are loved by many. You are loved by me. 😊 A lot of people have the same anxieties as you do. It is easy to say, don’t be too had on yourself, but I do the same too. We will get through this together. 😘😘😘
    Ps. I was a very nice read. ❤

    1. Thank you very much, Aina! <3 Yes, I'm doing my best to love myself more because I know I need it. 🙂 I know many people are going through the same thing. There are too many of us. Let's just help each other cope and survive! Let's be there for each other! <3 Glad that you liked my story!

  3. relate much..trying to survive everyday.scared of waking up in the morning because something or another problem might come along and i might not able to survive it.

    1. Thank you so much, mommy Cookie! <3 You are a strong and awesome person, as well. Let's keep supporting each other, mommy! It's the best way to move forward in these challenging times! 🙂 Happy to have shared my story with you!

  4. sending you tight virtual hugs Mimai! We all have our struggles in this times of the pandemic and no matter how small others may think it is, our fears and anxieties are never invalid! You are doing an amazing job keeping it all together! Fighting! And oh! I can relate to the Hallmark movies (I found tons of them in youtube! 😀 ) .

    1. Yes! I watch them on YouTube while working! 😉 Thank you, Ems. I read the story you shared as well, and I admire your strength and determination to go on despite the many challenges. I also workout, but not every day anymore like before. But, I do bedtime yoga before sleeping and it helps a lot. Thanks for being an inspiration to many! 🙂 Let’s keep surviving!

    1. Thank you also, Anth, for taking time to read. Friends’ support also help a lot. God bless you, Ivy, and little Julian, too! 🙂

    1. Thank you, mommy Jo! You’re one of the bravest and most sincere persons I know. You inspire others as well. Yes, mommy, let’s keep surviving! Labyu 2! 🙂

  5. Love you, sister. I know you came out stronger after what happened early this year. You are stronger than you think.
    I will always be here for you to listen and take care of you.

    1. Thank you, sister! Thank you for always listening to me – and never complaining! Hehehehe. 😀 I draw my strength from you, Daddy, and Wabin…and from Mommy up in heaven. (Aside from God, of course!) I’m always here for you, too. I love you! <3

  6. Surviving amidst this crises is a hard thing to do. Thank you for the inspiration you give. The love. The strength. Indeed you are loved, and appreciated, more than you will ever know!

    And yes, you already are a winner. For getting through this, stronger, and more at peace with your self! Mighty proud of you! ♥️♥️♥️

    1. Thank you, Raine!💕You’re one of the bravest, strongest persons I know. And you inspire me, too. Proud that I have a lifelong friend like you! Thank you for all the support and love that you give me.

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