Dear Marocharim, My Girlfriend Cheated On Me

   There’s no letter, but a friend of mine just approached me this afternoon to say that his girlfriend cheated on him a few weeks back.  Ah, a subject that hits so close to home: who else to ask for free advice than from a guy who got cheated on some years back?

   What is “cheating?”  Coming from Philippine politics, “cheating” is not a lapse in judgment: it is completely premeditated.  Like, Gloria Arroyo didn’t have a lapse in judgment, but instead was planning on cheating her way to election victory all along.  No man can develop a 100% accurate radar to know if his significant other is cheating on him: most discoveries of cheating come either from paranoia, or a little birdie talked.  As such, your girlfriend didn’t “accidentally” cheat on you.  More on that later.

   Because no man (and I’m talking about straight men) can ever know if his girlfriend is actually cheating on him until it is actually confirmed, all men should develop a healthy paranoia for cheating bitches: eyes at the back of one’s head, a third ear, a second nose, and heightened extrasensory perception that rivals even that of Jean Grey and Professor X combined.

   Now assuming that you already know (or caught) the love of your life cheating on you, here’s a piece of advice: “letting go” is a nuanced expression.  I would suggest beating your girlfriend up until she’s a bloody unrecognizable pulp with her then-cute nose dangling by a thin strand of wet bloody mucus, but that doesn’t sit too well with gender-sensitivity, women’s groups, and mothers of all ages.

   First of all, don’t blame yourself.  You didn’t do anything wrong, so you shouldn’t pay for the consequences.  The least you want is to set up a date to win her back.  Like say, talk out over coffee and discuss the terms of your relationship.  Or give your ex a bouquet of roses.  You’ll only be judged as a pathetic soul in search for soap-opera love.  Hmmm, that sounds extremely familiar… yeah, that’s what I did.

   Second, don’t plot revenge.  People make mistakes, and no matter how grave that mistake is, you really have to learn how to forgive people every once in a while.  Weigh all the factors in: is your effort at revenge worth the mistake?  Heck, is your effort at forgiveness even worth the mistake?  On another note, did you make some mistake that led to you being cheated on?

   Responding to romantic conflicts is a case-to-case basis, I can tell you.  But from personal experience, the best remedy is time.  Time doesn’t cure, and it sure as hell doesn’t heal all wounds.  As soon as you get over the initial pain of getting cheated on, you’ll look back at it one day and you’ll laugh.  It’s a humorous thing: like lifetime guarantees on electric appliances, love needs maintenance, and yes, it does come with money-back guarantees.

I Don't Like The Drugs (But The Drugs Like Me)

   Biperiden is an interesting drug.  So is Haloperidol.  Like many interesting drugs that are supposed to make my life better, I’m going to ditch them for now and go Rambo.

   Having slowly returned to a comparatively mild relapse for a comparatively mild mental disorder, I need prescribed drugs now.  So far, the idea of mind-over-matter didn’t work for me.  Biperiden gives you lockjaw, and Haloperidol gives you the jitters that you can’t hide.  If you’re really intent on concealing shivering from Haloperidol, you might as well do the Macarena while having the Parkinson’s-like side-effect: there’s just no way you can hide it.

   I’ve had a history with prescribed drugs that affect your nervous system: they used to give me Midrid to control the ill-effects of migraine before I was diagnosed with the disorder.  After a three-week regimen, it effectively became my sleeping pill.  Midrid knocks you out like nobody’s business: I bet even Manny Pacquiao’s left hook can beat it.  Then came the tranquilizers.

   If you’re like me, you’re a medical guinea pig, especially when doctors tell you how much you need the tranquilizers.  I looked at the medical guides, and it seemed that the drugs they gave me over the past two years are the stuff you would shoot an elephant with.  I started off with Amisulpride, then to Chlorpromazine, then to the first witches’ brew of Haloperidol and Clozapine, then to Risperdal, then to the second witches’ brew of Haloperidol and Chlorpromazine, then to Clozapine, then back to Haloperidol.

   Risperdal, while obscenely expensive, tastes strangely like toothpaste and the melt-in-the-mouth thing was addictive.  But as much as I hate to admit it, Haloperidol is supposed to be my new best friend.

Adverse Reactions

   I’m not a doctor or a nurse: I don’t know what “adverse reactions” are.  Little did I know that the pill I was taking to “counter the side-effects” of another medication I’m taking was a drug usually prescribed to counter Parkinson’s Disease.  I’m OK now, but for the better part of six hours last night, I was literally caught with my mouth open.

    Surely there’s nothing to be worried about with adverse reactions… if you’re not in the receiving end of them.  Not only did my jaw tense up, but also my tongue, and I was producing rather copious amounts of saliva.  I had to cut the visit to my uncle short because of it.  This is not the first time I have proven to have a mild aversion towards a drug: I sometimes itch from a particular brand of cough syrup, and I don’t take too kindly to antidepressants.  But ever since I’ve been taking CNS-affecting drugs – with a prescription – I have always been privy to their side-effects.  Well, you know what they say about the free lunch.

   Of course, there’s a certain humor in having a mild lockjaw: I was trying to trace the exact source of that episode: I got a bit paranoid with yesterday’s dinner of shrimp, that I may have caught the red tide or something.  Maybe I got tetanus from that rusty nail I accidentally brushed my left hand into the other day.  Or maybe it’s just a psychosomatic thing.

   Yea, verily: ignorance of the MIMS manual is no excuse.

Playing Dice

   It’s not too often I grab the brass ring.  Here I am, with an opportunity – admittedly a slim one, but an opportunity nonetheless – to leave this country.  I have staked my name and reputation in a modest research, all in the effort to get somewhere.  Lately, I realized how important that brass ring was, and how fortunate I am to cling to it: it’s a make-or-break that will either cement my career, or leave it in the proverbial pool of quicksand.

   Not that I’m regretting anything, but with my less-than-satisfactory performance in six years of undergrad school, I would probably get an academic position only when pigs fly over a blue moon on the eighth day of the week on the thirteenth month of the year.  So much for a chance to teach.  As much as I tell most people that I make a bad teacher, I know that a lot of young people who would enter my classroom will learn a lot from me.  It’s all about taking a chance: like many people, I need all the chances I could get.

   But I know how distant a classroom in UP is from my grasp now: I have my limits.  So last night, I decided to pass a résumé to a company looking for writers.  Another day, another gamble: I have laid my bets so many times at the roulette table of many a writing contest and, like Kenny Rogers’ gambler, I knew when to hold ’em and knew when to fold ’em, knew when to walk away and knew when to run.  I didn’t know what kept me from winning that elusive Palanca, so I just kept on it.  I honed myself – and I still continue to do so on a day-to-day basis – on the grindstone that is the blogosphere.

   I wouldn’t pass up a chance at a call center if I was a practical-minded person, but suffice to say, I’m not.  Maybe my friends are right: I have too much going on for me to work telephone lines and troubleshooting computers run by inept people half a world away.  That trust and confidence was something that has kept me – for the longest time – to pass my résumé to Sitel.

   Ambition is something I reserve for things that are worth my while: I won’t aim for the stars if I know I’m not prepared, even if I know how to get there.  Knowing how to get to your destination is half of actually getting there.  Whenever I get out of my comfort zone, I throw my propensity to cost-benefit analysis and just go, paying neither heed nor caution to the wind.  It has sometimes been my undoing, but often the best lessons I’ve ever learned are lessons from rolling my dice.