Male, 28
Wednesday, 08 January 2020

It was 2015, my graduation day was a forgettable moment for me. As I received my degree, I walked pa*s my parents and gave my dad a high-five and that was the last time he ever saw me achieving anything. I already knew by that time that he had cancer, all of the signs were too obvious and the result came back like expected: he was diagnosed with stage 3 larynx cancer due to his habit of heavy smoking. I followed my dad through the journey with this illness. I put my future on hold, drove him to every appointment, being there for him, being the place for him to vent frustration when needed. After about half a year, his treatment went well so he was free of cancer and I started to get back into my life again. 2016 was a brief peaceful time for us until the end of the year when I lost my job, made some mistakes financially and was in heavy debts and it was the time when my dad's cancer came back. They (my parents) found out about my situation at the same time at my dad's diagnosis came back with the result that his cancer was incurable this time. I became the villain of the family, I took all of the insults, the anger from all family members about how I dared to make dad disappointed in his darkest time. My father's anger was on top of it all and I had to take it without being able to explain or stand up for myself. I understood their frustration but it that time I wished I could tell them that I felt hurt too knowing that it was only a matter of time until dad perished. I had to bear that news along with my own messes and I wished I could tell them "I'm down, could you please stop kicking?" But I didn't say a word, I took all that in, I still fulfilled my duty as a son being there for him until the last day of his life. It was 24 hour sleepless by his side and I witnessed his body shutting down slowly until he took his last breath. On the night before his burial ceremony, I locked myself in my room and for the first time after a long time, I crashed down and broke the "mask" that I have been wearing all these times. At that moment, I just wanted to be hugged by somebody, to be told that everything was going to be okay, I craved the love and affection, at that moment I truly felt alone in this world... After father pa*sed, I spent 2017, 18 and most of 19 in a very unhealthy fashion. All I did was work, gaming and casual s*x. I closed off emotionally, I never hung out with any friend or engage in any meaningful relationship. I even made a plan to just work, earn $ for myself and just live the bachelor life forever. From a caring person, I turned cold and selfish to everyone around me and they noticed that as well, some even confronted me about it. I lost most of my friends because of my behaviors and it was a dark period of my life. The only person I managed to behave properly was my mother, I knew her pain and tried my best to fill the void my dad had left her. She was the only person I could tolerate despite her anger toward me. She was still upset that I left my father a huge disappointment in the final days of his life and it was all my fault that he died... I thought my life would stuck in this meaningless circle until the later half of 2019 when I scored a decent job and started to build a better future from this foundation. My debts by this time was almost cleared and my financial health was starting to get back to the right track. I started to make plans, little by little, I wanted to live a more productive and meaningful life again. I started to care about others, I apologized and got my friends back to my life. And then I met her, the young woman that changed my view about relationship. I stopped all the casual hook ups when I met her, I stopped looking around for women because I felt at home with her. I haven't told her too deep about my past yet and she probably did not know this but I will be there for her, I will listen to her, I will give her the affection that I didn't have all these years. My mind keeps telling me that it's time to let my guard down and live a little, so I will follow it. If for some reason, all of these: my career, my friends, my love...don't work out and come crashing again, I promise not to act like the last time. I have learnt how to live again and I will not let my life fades away meaninglessly this time, I will fight for it.