My 40%

When NT’s Mental Health Crisis Team did a house visit last month after my 2nd strong suicidal ideation, they asked what my propensity to hurt myself was at that time. I told them it was 60% — I’m ready to hurt myself by all means and die. The other 40% was not, and only for 1 reason – my husband, Karlo.

There are countless articles on what type of person you should look for and marry, and from vague memory, I remember writing one for my husband years back. But this time, I would like to rewrite a new one for Karlo as gratitude to him being my lifesaver. This time, I’m writing to describe my 40% from the perspective of someone living with depression and bipolar disorder.

I did not want to tell you that I just wanted to let it all end because I knew it would hurt you bigtime. And I didn’t want to destroy someone who’s the sole reason of my staying alive. But this was contrary to the medical professionals’, counsellors’ and social workers’ advice, because being the primary caregiver and source of support, you deserved to know what I was thinking and going through. I did not want to break your heart, but I had to do it, lest both of us suffer permanently. But you still loved me wholeheartedly, and stood by me. THANK YOU.

You’d leave the house for work, leaving me in bed still sleeping. Yet I would linger on how your goodbye kiss felt and how your perfume smelled the whole day because you were my 40%, and I wanted to have every reminder of you close with me while I’m alone and left to deal with thousand evils inside my head. You’d arrive at home from work in the afternoon, finding me in bed still sleeping. Because sleep was my form of escaping from these thoughts and from reality. But despite my weeks’ worth of unhygienic form and shape, you would still welcome me with an “I’m Home” kiss and embrace and stood by me. THANK YOU.

I’d spend most nights rolling in different directions, attempting to sleep and to temporarily halt whatever it was that was eating me up alive. Either I sleep the whole day or get no sleep at all or if I’m fortunate, have 1-2 hours of sleep uninterrupted. So I resort to the comfort of our lounge couch, distract myself through watching TV, then allow myself to fall asleep. But you did not want to leave me alone on evenings like this, so you resorted one time to bringing out our mattress and sleeping beside me. You would not have understood one bit whatever it was that’s causing me to suffer, but you never hesitated to go this extra mile just to keep me company and watch over me while I’m sleeping. THANK YOU.

My depressive episodes are spent not eating anything, just thriving on water and sleep the whole day. And even though I’m supposed to take care of you after coming home from a full day at work, you would unfailingly prepare and cook meals for us every single day, every single night, even if it comes to a point of forcing me to eat, because I need nutrition in my body. You work the whole day, and still would not cease working at home by nourishing and take care of me. THANK YOU.

There are thousands of questions I keep on asking you, questions which clearly have no answers. There are also decisions I need to make which I can’t even make up to decide on. My overthinking, my indecisiveness and my wrong decisions made often lead to delay, procrastination and frustration. But you never ceased to extend all possible amounts of patience and understanding towards me and still stood by me as your wife and life companion. THANK YOU.

There’s still so much I want to write about you, explaining my gratitude to you as my 40% to living. I may be 0% as an individual soul, but you make up for that emptiness by filling our cup of marriage 100% with so much love. You may get tired of me one day, and I will definitely understand. But I hope and pray you’ll never give up on me, and never give up on us. Because literally, you’re the single thread which has kept me alive.

I love you so much Karlo, and thank you for everything.

Without you, I wouldn’t be here now writing this one for you.

ALWAYS and FOREVER, my love for you will be.

ALWAYS AND FOREVER, your love for me will stay.

If someone is willing to go through the above circumstances and would still choose to stick nevertheless, then go marry that someone. Because that someone is one in a million. Not wishing and praying for you to go through the 60-40% suicidal ideation scenario, but if you’re reading this, I hope you’ll find that someone who will let you desperately cling on to life. Because that someone would definitely be one in a million.

2 thoughts on “My 40%

  1. Jade Reply

    Jarl, I may not understand what and why you are going through this… but please believe we are rallying behind you to keep going. You are our reality check, our gratitude reminder and blessing counter.. surreal to have someone I technically and partially grew up and matured with is experiencing something no one ever deserves – and you my friend once again lead us into learning and understanding more about it – as you have done to us before academically when you patiently taught and persevered to make us understand formulas and concepts to help us get through the lectures. All that you’ve done to your classmates, friends and family is coming back to you 10fold because you simply deserve the same patience and faith that you extended. You will be okay eventually, just like what you told me when I couldn’t truly understand a certain topic about algebra, take it one step at a time. Easier said than done, I know but it’s also better done than regretted. God bless you Jarl. God bless Karlo.

  2. Vera Reply

    Yakap na mahigpit for you. Praying that your awesome 40% becomes the 60%..gradually maybe..but you’ll get there. Praying you and Karlo.

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