Striving, Fighting and Surviving This New Normal: I Am Important Too

Dear Marie, 

Let's take some time to talk about your journey so far, Marie - and how you are a survivor. If I tell your entire life story, I can confidently say it will take more than one lengthy episode to get through. So, let's focus on the recent events of your life, Marie. 

The total Misconception.

Everyone has seen you as a strong woman - only because your exterior gives off the impression as being snobbish, stuck up and upfront. Only a few know that inside, you are as frail as a rose, stuck in a snow storm. 

Now, as this open letter is to myself, - I like to think that you are battling a strong snow storm and struggling to keep standing; as well as walking forward. Much like those days when you still lived in London, that whenever the weather was gusty winds, you literally needed to hold on to a lamp post, so that the wind could not carry you away. Good times, right? 

You always thought that staying home would be a walk in the park, you were so wrong! This would have been the conversation with you: "Hey, you have no idea what this (quarantine) is going to do to you, right?" Then, welcome the evil laugh. Last year, you thought, "You got this, girl!" turned out - most of the time, you did not. Last year, you wrote about your transition of coming from the normal way of life that you were used to and moving into the new normal, that everyone else in this country has moved into. 

You initially adapted so well, like there were no struggles and managed to do something new - but that was only a façade to what you were going to go through when 2021 entered. 

Falling Down The Rabbit Hole

Let me update you Marie, with how your journey fell out of course and why you were about to give up everything you had. 

Your regular job was the first source of stress. you worked unbelievable hours that you forgot that there was such a thing as "off shift". Sometimes, you would wake up and sit at your work station - then forget that you should only be working for a 9-hour shift. So, working at home is NOT the most fun thing in the world. Sure, you get to sit at home, take a bath when you want - work in whatever you are wearing, save on lunch money and kiss your kids in between - but you most certainly lost the essence of time, between being in work mode and being off work. 

You kept being a slave (by choice) to your work hours, until you got sick and your hormones decided to live their own life and dictated to your body, whenever it wanted you to feel fine or feel sick physically - and yet you were still going on shift (making you look like a maniac) even though you felt and looked awful. For three months, you became an official a "couch worker". You worked on the couch since you were too weak to work at your desk at home. Then, you realized you needed to stop and get better. There would be several nights that you would cry, hating yourself for getting sick (or this could have been your out of whack hormones). 

Marie, for 3 months, your health deteriorated greatly, you lost weight, could not eat for 2 weeks and constantly was weak due to hormonal issues - on top of that your mental health disorder decided to join the party wagon and keep your anxiety decibel on a high at all times. It came to a point where you hated feeling useless and self pity kicked in, big time.

You knew this was not you. You would seemingly talk to yourself - and you needed to rebuild the way you think, and stop slaving yourself at work. "I am important too" is what you would tell yourself. You needed to find ways to restructure the way you worked and make time for yourself, so that you could afford to manage your staff, be a better wife, be a useful mother and be a stronger woman. 

You know Marie, that this was not easy but you started dedicating time for yourself, fixed your schedule and invested in a passion. You decided that it was time to make it up to yourself and to put yourself first this time. You know you felt lost in the process and the optimism that everyone around you, was used to, was now in oblivion. 

Now, let me tell you Marie, about the story of how you came out of the rabbit hole then fell into it again. 

Out of the Rabbit hole - almost.

There was post on Facebook, where they were looking for bloggers to publish their own book and before you tell you what happened after, let me just slip into a backstory - When you were seven you dreamed of being a writer. When you turned 11, you actually submitted your first manuscript to a publishing company. Of course it did not get approved, but they wrote you a nice letter, sent a gift and said not to stop practicing. 

Now, you stared at the Facebook post looking for writers, wondering if this was a calling, took a screenshot and would read it several times in a day, along with questioning your abilities and skills. After a week, you finally sent them an email and was given a deadline to submit. Let's be honest Marie, you can't say this was the best thing you have written, but it was where your heart was at that time. The next thing you know, you became a published Amazon author and now recently, my book has been included in the titles on the Barnes & Noble website.

This milestone, lifted your spirits by 40%, gave you that push to forgive yourself for being weak. Now, go manifest your next book which is going to become a best seller (grinning here). 

My first published paper back

Pushing towards the end of 2020, we all hoped that CoVid -19 would magically disappear and the pandemic would end. In November of 2020, your Department Director announced that you were going to be awarded as one of the Most Outstanding Employees of the company. I remember how you excitedly told your husband and cried because, even though you failed yourself - you felt that you finally did something right. 

Even though, you still think you do not deserve this - you know you always put others first at work and maybe that's why you became ill. But, I know you are super grateful for being recognized and valued. Now, there sits this large trophy next to your work-at-home desk, like a heavy but very visible Post-it, reminding you every time the reason why you are valuable at your job. Pretty cool Post-it right? 

Two trophies for 2020.

Slipping Back into The Rabbit Hole

Crossing over to 2021, you and your sweet husband celebrated at home a wonderful 9th Year wedding anniversary with dinner on the roof deck and let's say this is just about the time where you decided that TikTok was now essential for your sanity. Yes, you too caught the TikTok virus. It was going to be a lovely day while you both prepped a nice dinner, did the works with candles, new cutlery, blooms and a Spotify playlist to boot. 

Now, you thought that everything was all good, right?  


How to set up a romantic dinner during quarantine in your home (Frugal style). ☺️##fyp ##foryoupage ##howto ##frugal ##dinner ##romantic

♬ death bed (coffee for your head) - Andrew Foy

However, let me tell you now, where you were almost crawling out that rabbit hole, where the light is totally bright and within reach but, slipped once more.

Now, those hormones of yours and your anxiety disorder have a funny way of working together - like they just know when they need to attack (when you are funnily, at your happiest). 

February 20, 2021 - the day you fell down the rabbit hole, once more - oh, hello there... this when your husband went missing and you almost lost him. 

He had a bad day and even though what the argument was pretty vague by now, you clashed, you said mean things to each other and then you both were quiet. He then decided to leave everything behind, literally everything - wallet, phone, money, you and the children. 

You thought to yourself at that time, that he might of just went out to buy something or take a walk since you made him a cup of coffee and served it to him, just the way he likes it. But, then the minutes, turned into hours. My daughter discovered two notes and his wedding ring, one note saying that he was not coming back and another saying he went for a jog so that we could use it for his health insurance, right next to the cup of coffee you made him completely untouched. 

You have known for a while, that he has a case of depression and suicidal tendencies that has been going on for years. Sometimes, he has good days but most days it's bad and quarantine has magnified this even more. He is more outgoing than you are, and doing MMA helps him release his pent up emotions and aggression but of course we already know that contact sports is out of the question and considered taboo in a pandemic age.

For the first time ever, you posted on Facebook a cry for help, asking if anyone had seen him. At that time, you knew that you were just not ready to become a widow or to lose the father of your children. The Facebook post spread fast and several people sent messages, asking what had happened but at that time, you asked for forgiveness as you didn't want to repeatedly tell a story which you had felt so much pain for.

I can remember how you felt, you were going mad and talked to yourself, trying to calm yourself down and to not trigger a panic attack which would render you helpless. Two kids needed you and you could not afford to have a break down.. You forcibly composed yourself as you could, fed them dinner and told your daughter not to panic and accept whatever would come out of the ordeal. 

Why I need to fight and survive...

After 5 hours of stress, heartache and worry - your husband finally came home. You talked, you consoled him and let him know that you were not angry. You knew he needed you more as support versus someone to scold him. With him back, it was time to get out of the grubby rabbit hole but realizing that you may occasionally slip.  

The night after the ordeal and I could not sleep.

This event was the worst experience, the thought of losing someone to suicide would be so hard to bear. I am grateful how my husband is truly trying to help himself and he is also doing his best to help me overcome both our mental health and physical health issues. 

It's now been a year of quarantine, a year of Covid-19 and a year of a new normal. It's okay Marie that you have not perfected this yet, but be proud to say that you have strived to become better, not for yourself alone but for the people you interact with and for your family.

You know what, you maybe constantly fighting everyday your anxiety disorder, your hormones and your lack of faith in yourself to let you do what you need, but you are surviving this wonderful tornado of your life by writing for others, coaching people , as well as mentoring others and ensuring that you will be there for your husband, no matter the storm that you both meet. No one will ever know how hard it is to go to war in your battles. 

Getting better can only be done by putting yourself first - you need to remember this phrase: I AM IMPORTANT TOO, when you need it the most. 

Marie, you are no where near perfect, you are vulnerable and it's not a crime to be weak. You know better, that failing is just a step from finding success and if you prioritize yourself before others - IT WILL NEVER MAKE YOU A BAD PERSON. You cannot be good for others, if you are not good for yourself. 

You have already endured so much, a toxic abusive relationship for 5 years, the loss of  your son to cancer and the many heartbreaks in between to get where you are today. In the midst of all these happening, I mean you were still able to start a coffee business - how do you do that? 

Coffee anyone?

Hey Marie, it's about time that you walk away from these heart aches and tell yourself it's another day; another day to strive, another day to fight these thoughts of being not worthy and another day to wake up in the morning and say that you have survived. 

Here's a video Marie, to remind you - why you should keep fighting and surviving:

Being a survivor, is not just about overcoming challenges in life but also overcoming yourself, when you are no longer wanting to fight nor get off the bed and getting the feels of "why am I still doing this?" but if you know in your heart that you are still doing something right, count those small wins and it will make it easier to aspire forward. 

Cheers to you who has survived so far - Keep on fighting! 

Love & Hugs from yourself. 


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.


  1. This was such a great post. A giving spirit is a good thing, but you can't give until your own well is dried up. You HAVE to take care of yourself.

    1. Thank you, Ben! Agree, taking it a day at a time.

  2. I love this idea of writing a letter to yourself! Looking back on this down the road, you'll see how things have changed and have stayed the same.

    1. Thank you Emily - I also keep a journal top remind me of these things.

  3. Sad story to read but having a happy ending. I am glad that you found your self worth after everything happened. I am happy for you and I am wishing you all the good things in this world. Thanks for sharing this story.

  4. What a lovely story. Congratulations to you for surviving and fighting. Congratulations as well for your achievements.

  5. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post!

  6. It is so easy to work way too many hours when you work from home. It seems there is always something that can be done and should be done and it starts a never ending cycle. It's tough to overcome.

    1. Right, and I thought it would it would be easier to manage my time.

  7. I feel for you! We all had those moments during the first wave of the pandemic. It was certainly difficult. I just hope that there will be more support groups.

    1. I hope that you are feeling better - you can try Mindnation too - they offer free counselling :)

  8. Keep fighting and stay strong.

  9. Pinaiyak mo na naman ako Mamanee. Laban lang tayo!

  10. Of course you are important and what you have accomplished this year and last year were truly a testament of how God prepared you for today.

    1. Thank you so much Momi Berlin, you always know the right things to say. :)

  11. I am so proud of you! Even if you are in a situation where you need help most, you reach out to help others including your husband. It shows how strong you really are as a person. You may not know it, but you are one heck of a super woman. You may go back to the rabbit hole, but you always return better. And that's the most important thing.

    1. Thank you so much for this and for being my inspiration this year. You make me want me to become a better version of myself.

  12. Cheers to all survivors out there. The Pandemic has taught us many great lessons and one of them is resiliency and believing that any current situation is not permanent. Thanks for inspiring us with your stories

  13. I can relwte to your story of how days are sometimes good, sometimes bad but we focus on what is best. You are admirable. Keep it up!

  14. You go girl! Proud of you, Mamanee! You are one hella tough momma! Tight hugs. Love you!

  15. we've made this far na dear.. kaya natin yan!! keep fighting not only for your fam but for yourself!

  16. This long quarantine is an uphill battle. Thanks for sharing your story.

  17. Hugs Sis! Let's continue to hold on and focus on the blessings kundi wala na. Kaya ni Lord ito!

  18. You are amazing 💖 I am proud of your strengths and perseverance.