Lost and Found

Lost and Found

The feeling of being stuck and the struggle of change. 

I started to think that something was off with me when I started to feel physically exhausted and mentally clouded daily. Waking up was a pain, let alone staying awake for the first hours during work. During the night I seemed alive, and I didn’t want to sleep early at all. 

That’s how it started.

It was a slow buildup of a routine that I thought I could handle. Taking one hour or two of less sleep every day if I could recover them over the weekend, in theory. Add a miserable diet and the recipe was heading for a disaster.

I started to become aware of the hole I dug myself into. A few feet under in the name of productivity and my art. I felt that if I did my job well, and at the end of my shift I worked on music and played video games until late at night I was proving myself that I “could”. To perform well with little sleep and eating junk. Good luck with that.

I was paying the price of this disservice to myself. I started to notice that I was comfortable. Too comfortable where I was at the time. I started to feel that I needed a change. The question was, how was I supposed to change when I was too tired to begin with? It bothered me. 

Until my girlfriend suggested that I should try working my sleep first. That was hard to do at the beginning, even if I knew she had a point. The thought of not playing video games and making music for less time than usual caused me anxiety. I was going to “miss” the possibilities.

I started to get a clear picture when I started to listen to the book ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ by David Goggins. I needed a plan and motivation. That book delivered that and much more.

Hearing his story, mindset, and how he transformed himself was inspiring. It made me ‘cut through my bullshit’ and to ‘own the mornings’ among other lessons. It really made me realize that the human body was full of potential. I was letting that go away.

I started to focus more on my relationship with my girlfriend. Living through that self-induced depression was an act of selfishness on my end. It was hurting us both. Now I am working on being present for her and taking care of myself first.

I cut my hours of video games significantly and focused some of those hours into creating more music. I am working on releasing an EP that hopefully will be released before the fall. 

I started to fall asleep earlier and wake up early 6 days a week. I am starting to exercise again after a long hiatus. Mostly jogging, and bodyweight exercises. 

Thanks to my girlfriend, now I am fond of salads and making smoothies. I never consumed nor ate this amount of healthy stuff in a short period of time. It is intense how the body reacts to real food.

I’m working on developing a sustainable routine that brings me wellness and more time with my loved ones. There are days where I take a breaks, such as today. I’m writing this to reflect on how easy it is to get lost in our routines, and how I found myself through change. One thing at a time. 

I’m a work in progress, with no intention to end until further notice.

Lastly, I’d like to live you with this quote:

“Death smiles at us all, all a man can do is smile back.” – Marcus Aurelius

Mondai-nai!

Ernesto

Moving On, Moving Forward

Moving On, Moving Forward

We must carve our own paths.

I woke up this morning reflecting on the above. I feel that the best thing that ever happened to me was to thrive to be independent. I must confess it took longer than I expected.

I’m not sure if this is a thing but knowing that I’ll be 30 years old this year makes me introspective on my past, act in the present, and now see a more tangible future.

Saying ‘no’ to requests from others to protect my time and integrity has been key lately. I don’t want to be the person who is reached only when it is needed, nor being the facilitator to make things easy for someone when they are capable to do it themselves. The latter has been triggering to a point that I just stopped replying to such persons and even ignore them. Instant peace of mind.

I’m a helper by nature. However, I’m against stopping my overall growth as a person and especially hindering the growth of others. To elaborate, I do my best to not follow suit on favors, requests, etc. to friends, relatives, and colleagues who just want a quick fix on their needs or wants.

It is a bittersweet feeling knowing that people whom I considered close friends are now becoming distant because they don’t need anything from me. Which is a good thing and a reality check for me because I now understand that some people in life will only reach out when they need something from you who is going to benefit them exclusively.

During my quest on finding my voice through music and writing, I realize that I’m not like that. I don’t reach out to my network to ask for anything because I tend to do things own my own. I believe that there’s a dynamic that I tend to favor, which is helping someone when they’re not requesting it.

I believe there’s power in that.

When doing an act of good faith and at the same time not expecting anything in return that’s when to me, the magic happens.

I’ve been looking for opportunities to create an impact, even if minimal, within my circle of friends and relatives. Just doing, saying, or giving things that will help that person grow, and carve their own path with a new tool, new mental model, or new perspective.

There’s a thin line regarding that, and I must be mindful. Not everyone I know will take advantage when there’s opportunity to grow and move forward. Even me.

In short, I’m being more mindful on who I give my time and attention to. I want to know and find people who have a growth mindset and that like me, want to carve their own path.

RX to Self: Please Slow Down

RX to Self: Please Slow Down

It’s been 12 years since I started this path. Mental illness wasn’t the problem. The struggle was how to regain my confidence and self-esteem after the first onset of symptoms. 

In retrospect, I felt like an observer. I was aware of my surroundings and the people around me. The constant struggle to try to belong to the scene that was right in front of me. Family reunions, going out with friends, going to a concert. Anything social was uncomfortable to me. 

More importantly, I felt I wasn’t my true self.

When I’ve moved to the US 10 years ago, the idea of being an observer started to fade. I became careless about it. I was happy to start a new chapter in life where I could be more independent. I’ve lost school years during my time in Mexico, and I was determined to never let that happen again. Until my symptoms started to take a slow and tender grip on me.

And there I was, going to school with the best intentions to not breakdown. I had the will to not surrender. I had to prove myself that I could do it, that I could belong to the group. Instead of being an observer, I’ve became a witness of my own thoughts. I’ve started to become anxious about others being witness of my symptoms. 

The daily inner battle lasted for several years. I’ve started to evolve with it. Faking that nothing was happening with me. I became desensitized of my needs, and it took a toll  on me from time to time. By this I mean going to the hospital several times because I couldn’t take it anymore. 

Stigma is real and I believe that mental illness is a topic that not many of us like to discuss. Perhaps is lack of understanding, or simply lack of sensibility. 

What if instead of talking about mental illness, we reframe the context to mental wellness? The emotions and ideas portrayed by the word ‘illness’ and ‘wellness’ are diametrically opposed. However, these two terms are interwoven, they are connected. You cannot have one without the other. 

I’m a human being that’s working towards that balance. I tend to overextend myself when I’m doing something that I love. It may be when I’m working or studying, being with friends, being in a relationship, or making music. These are things that I tend to have trouble to keep in harmony.

I’ve got the opportunity to recover my path after a recent hospitalization. I’ve moved the start of my graduate program for the spring, and I’m working on getting more experience on the field of psychology and mental wellness. What I’ve noticed about this, is the way I’m experiencing it.

I’m becoming more aware and attuned to my body through meditation. I’ve been doing it more often, and now I’ve got the opportunity to join a group of guided meditation. I’m learning to regain my attention and focus on what’s around me. Sometimes is hard to practice it, but I try my best on every chance.

I haven’t played much music, nor composed anything. I just don’t feel ready for now. I’ve been writing on my journal, and talking with family and friends. Trying to pick up my pieces together after my resent episode. I’ve been applying to different jobs and trying to reconnect with myself, once again. 

Taking stock on how I’ve dealt with my relationships with people I love is something I’m working on this morning. In order to that, I need to slow down.

Thank you for reading.

On Wellness,

-Ernesto  

From My Journal

From My Journal

The following line is from my journal:

I’m scared of how much damage I can do. 

The reason for that is due to the damage I’ve caused to people I love.

The problem is that I tend to realize it once I’ve done it. I feel that my intention is never to cause distress to others. Still, I manage to say things that do just that. 

These situations don’t happen often. When they do, however, I feel puzzled and with inner conflict. I’m glad that most of them end up being resolved after talking things out. 

But the damage was there.

I feel that the reason it happens is because I stop being present. I get into a negative thinking trap. That’s when I see this pattern happening.  

What I’m going to do is to take one-second of awareness. I was reminded of this recently. 

Realizing where I am, with whom, and in what setting. Attune myself with my environment and with the people around me because I tend to be day dreaming a lot. That makes me detached from the present moment a lot, making me unaware with what’s going on.

Meanwhile, I got the opportunity to share a moment of meditation with someone important to me. It was a great experience to share that mindful moment.

This time it felt different. I felt that I lost myself and became one with the environment. I had my eyes open when this was happening. 

I’m hoping to reach that state of awareness and interconnectedness again. 

And to close this post, I would like to end with this:

I’m happy of how much calmness I can share.

Mondai nai,

-Ernesto

Shared Dreams

Shared Dreams

Where you been?

I was longing for your return

Waiting for my turn

To share with you my dream

A dream about a place

Full of music and light

Where I had to inevitably embrace

The beauty in your eyes

When you look at me

And ask me why

I answer nothing

I have nowhere to hide

Then you ask me

Where I’ve been?

That you were longing for my return

That you were waiting for your turn

To share your dream with me.

And it was so beautiful.

Our Song and Silence

Our Song and Silence

I started to hear our song

The one that we danced

Together, as one, as a whole

With our bodies and souls

I realize that you’re not here

Not with me, not together anymore

And we’re not dancing either

Our bodies and souls are now apart

Silence is what I want

Please turn off the music and lights

I don’t want to hear our song

The one we used to dance

Together, as a whole.

Thank You (Letter) | New Single

Thank You (Letter) | New Single

This song was written as a reminder to myself. To be thankful for people that I welcome to my life. To be aware of who I let to hear my story.

It turned out to be a lesson for me.

Thank you for listening. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments or the contact form.

Mondai nai,

-Ernesto

Falling Gently

Falling Gently

This post is about self-awareness. I was on a funk for some time. Now, things are different because I think about them differently.

Its perspective.

As I’ve discussed on my last post update, I took a break from digital distractions. I realized in a few days how much time I had to do things that brought me joy. I’m working on song ideas after challenging the assumption that I’m too busy for music.

In reality, I wasn’t focused. 

Distraction took a toll on me.

The funk I experienced was a byproduct of how I was spending my time. I was feeling unproductive, without energy. I felt that I was heading towards a period of depression. I knew I wasn’t my usual self.

My mind and body were giving me the signals that I wasn’t living, but surviving. I wasn’t sleeping well. I was eating poorly. I was reactive instead of proactive.

I was falling gently into the vice grip of depression.

I had this feeling that I was sabotaging myself. I made the choice to be alone for some time to think. Taking stock on what I was doing, the story I was telling others and to myself. 

I parted ways with my now ex-partner. That turned out to be the catalyst for inner growth and self-improvement. It was a moment that gave me clarity. 

I learned that I can’t save others from themselves. I had to lose my self in the process to understand it. I had to take the fall. I just wished it wasn’t that gently, but I had to live the process, too.

It has been several weeks since then. What’s interesting is that my schedules got more demanding. I’m doing two positions at my job, plus my weekend internship, and my classes. I’m doing twice as more before the pre-onset of depression.

And you know what? I actually feel better. There’s power on time constrictions. Its making me get my act together, and start doing instead of focusing too much on my story. 

What I mean by the above is that I’m realizing how much our inner voice and what we say to others matters

If I keep thinking how miserable I am, and keep telling my story in that way, well, my perspective and belief system starts following that idea, too. I started to change my perspective and be mindful of how I tell my story. 

I started to be more aware with whom I was spending my time with. More importantly, to whom and to what I was giving my attention to. I started to break free from those self-imposed burdens.

I feel different since then. I feel that I’m reaching a different level of consciousness and awareness. I’m calmer, less reactive. My friends and colleagues tell me that I look different, happier, and at peace. 

I’m changing my story. I’m changing my environment and relationships. I’m not surviving for now, I’m living a different story. I’m confident that more challenges and set backs will come.

I won’t let them take me down gently when it happens.

Thank you for reading.

Mondai nai,

-Ernesto

What are You Ignoring?

What are You Ignoring?

I’ve been thinking about my priorities lately. I was taking stock on how I spend my time and money. I was wondering if I was where I wanted to be.

I’m doing alright.

For a moment, however, I considered if I could be doing better.

Continue reading “What are You Ignoring?”

New EP Out Now

Hello,

I’ve released a new spoken-word, 11 tracks EP in Spanish. It’s titled “Diferencial: Tuvo un Día Triste” (Differential: He had a sad day). 

Diferencial: Tuvo un Día Triste

This EP is composed of poems that I wrote, based on love and heartbreak with the point of view of someone who has a mental health condition. 

It deals with topics of anxiety, lack of emotions, the silences that couples experience at times when there’s much to say.

It explains that sensation when someone you care about tries to diagnose you unintentionally, out of curiosity. 

The music itself is minimalistic. The main focus was on the vocals, which were difficult to record but forced me to be creative with the tools I had. 

Overall, I’m satisfied with this experiment. I’m visualizing more of this, but more guitar driven. 

This EP is also available on Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon, and on most streaming services. 

Muchas Gracias,

-Ernesto

An Idea

An Idea

An idea of you

Abstract

Sometimes, incomplete

I search for you, but I the end

I press “delete”

You’re a complicated riddle

Full of metaphors

And analogies

I wish for you and I

To become an anthology

I question myself too much

I ask for your whereabouts

I’m always filled with my doubts

But you’re what I need so much

When I can finally see you

All my questions

And prayers are answered

Fulfilled and complete

Now I can press “enter”

Instead of “delete”

Because when I’m next to you

I can be anything

I want to be your dream

Erasing the darkness

Would you share this idea with me?


 

Thank you for reading,

Ernesto