June 10 ------ Performer Gabriel Valenciano on Tuesday offered his support for those like him who are dealing with depression and other mental health issues in the time of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Instagram, the son of music veteran Gary Valenciano penned a lengthy message to remind those who are “struggling to make sense of it all at the moment” that “you are not alone in this fight.” “Some people may never understand what depression feels or looks like. It can easily be mistaken as severe sadness. When it reality, it really isn’t. It’s far from it. It can simply be described in one phrase; a dead end,” Gab began. “It is defined as a severe feeling of despondency and dejection. Despondency is defined as loss of hope or courage. Dejection is defined as a state of gloom, disappointment and low spirits. Now combine the two and multiply it by ten, that is depression,” he continued.
“When you wake up, nothing makes sense. You look at yourself in the mirror and wonder who it is you’re really looking at. You question everything. You can’t eat. You can’t sleep. And getting up from bed never felt so tough. You’re paralyzed physically, emotionally, and mentally. Nothing seems to work. Nothing seems to lessen the darkness. And now you find yourself in a black hole,” he added. Gab noted that different things act as triggers for different people, but then, sometimes, “there is no trigger”.
“Being clinically depressed, this is what I hate the most,” said Gab, who first opened up about his battle with clinical depression and bipolar disorder last year. “When everything seems to be fine, then you wake up to the next day feeling absolutely worthless, blind, and unable to see beyond the next day. It can get exhausting, and sometimes giving up becomes an option.” However, “depression and your state of mind will never define you. It can affect you, it can impact you, but never define who you are in this world. It is what you do after the fact that points you to the right, or wrong direction. The choice is up to you.”
In his case, Gab said he still tends to isolate himself and shut the world out, but he always makes the conscious effort to surround himself with the right people and “choose to be better the next time around.” Gab went on to remind those who are struggling that while the “road is dark” and the “way is unclear”, “your heart beating means you’re meant to be here.” “Who you are will always be enough and I genuinely believe that this is an avenue and opportunity for us to understand each other more. To emphasize and help one another. Because sometimes, all we need is someone who may not necessarily understand what it’s like, but understands what it means to genuinely and unconditionally be there for you,” he said.
Ending his statement, Gab also encouraged those who know other people who are going through something right now to “listen in silence and be present.” “This means more to people like me than many think, it goes a long way even. And despite my current predicament, I am blessed to say I have beautiful people in my life. God bless you, whoever gets to read this. And to those who have helped me in my journey in life,” he said. “I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, baby steps are still steps. Keep stepping towards the light at the end of the tunnel and one day, you, we, slowly but surely, will get there. Believe this and you will win,” he added.
Meanwhile, proud father Gary reposted Gab’s message on his Instagram page, saying he feels the need to share it with all who struggle like his son does on almost a daily basis. “Yes, he has been able to reach thousands of families in need during this season of lockdowns. But this is his effort to reach many out there who may continue to struggle in the fight against this condition long after this pandemic is over and done with. Many who read this may be suffering from this too... or may know of those who do,” he said. "God bless you, son. I may not be around you at this time but I’m here for you no matter what. Don’t give up Gab. Run to mom or dad... we will be here for you,” he added.