Sheena Halili opens up about anxiety: "hindi ako makahinga...umiiyak na ako nang tulog"

by FM Ganal
Oct 6, 2020
Sheena Halili, pregnant with a baby girl, recalls how she used to cry in her sleep and wake up in the middle of the night, feeling a rush of emotions.
PHOTO/S: @mysheenahalili on Instagram

The past three months have been an eye-opening experience for Sheena Halili, who is pregnant with her first child.

In her YouTube vlog posted September 29, 2020, the soon-to-be mother opened up about dealing with anxiety during her second trimester.

"Bago siya sa akin. Hindi naman ako nakaka-experience ng ganito before," the GMA-7 actress remarked.

She detailed the first nights of her anxiety attacks.

"Iyong mga early signs na na-bother ako, one night, bigla na lang ako bumangon, 'tapos parang hindi ako makahinga.

"Ganoon iyong gising ko, which is, parang, natakot ako kasi iyong tiyan ko. Kapag nagulat ako, nagugulat din siya, di ba? Iyon, hindi ko nako-control iyon. Ilang gabi ako ganoon."

Sheena didn't think much of it at the beginning, but she mentioned it to her husband Jeron Manzanero.

Unfortunately, the situation worsened as the nights went on.

Sheena continued, "Sumunod, umiiyak na ako nang tulog. In-ignore ko pa rin iyon. Sinasabi ko lang kay Jeron, 'Babe, kung nagigising ako, lagi ako umiiyak.' Ina-update ko lang asawa ko...

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"May mga gabi na hindi ako nakakatulog kasi nanenerbiyos ako, kasi natatakot ako mag-isa...

"Then one night, sabi ko, 'Babe, hindi ako makahinga. Pumunta tayo doon sa veranda.' Madaling araw na ito, ah?"

In the past, Sheena would do her best not to disturb Jeron from his sleep, especially since he needed to be at work by 8 a.m. the following day.

But on that particular night, Sheena needed someone to talk to.

"Kuwentuhan kami ng asawa ko, bigla na lang ako umiyak. Iyak ako nang iyak. As in talagang hagulgol, ha?

"Pero grabe talaga, as in… parang may pinanggagalingan.

"Nahihiya na ako sa asawa ko kasi umiiyak ako, wala naman akong dahilan. Wala! Wala talaga ako dahilan kung bakit ako umiiyak.

"Deep inside pala, nagwo-worry na siya. Hindi ko naiintindihan. Parang gusto ko tulungan sarili ko, pero hindi ko alam ang gagawin ko kasi hindi ko alam."

Talking to experts

During their conversation by the veranda, Jeron asked Sheena to let her OB-GYN, who is a close friend, know about her situation.

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However, Sheena didn't think it was necessary.

She explained, "Hindi ko naisip iyon, e. Parang feeling ko, personal issue siya, e. Ako lang ito, e."

But Jeron insisted she let the doctor know.

"Sinabi niya sa akin, 'Naaawa na rin ako kasi ilang buwan ka na ganyan. Ilang buwan ka na nakahiga sa kama na hindi nakakain. Ngayon, akala natin okay ka na, iyon naman na-e-experience mo.'"

This convinced Sheena to consult with her OB-GYN, first via video call then face-to-face at the clinic.

"So, punta kami doon and then, pauwi na kami from the hospital, umiyak na naman ako.

"So sinabi na talaga ng OB ko, baka kailangan ko daw mag-consult sa psychiatrist."

Sheena quickly told her subscribers that there is nothing wrong with consulting with a psychiatrist.

"Iyong iba kasi iniisip nila, 'Ano ba iyan, psychiatrist, ano ba iyon?' Parang feeling nila baliw ka or anuman.

"Hindi. Hindi, e. Kailangan ako i-align ng isang expert."

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Sheena set an appointment with a psychiatrist. It was in this session where she began to understand what she was experiencing.

"Nagkuwento ako sa kanya ano iyong nararamdaman ko hanggang sa nakuha niya kung saan nanggagaling iyong iyak ko, iyong bad dreams ko, at iyong panic attack ko.

"Kinonfirm niya sa akin na nagkaka-anxiety ako.

"Common daw sa mga buntis ngayong panahon ng pandemic, kasi wala naman talaga tayo sa normal, e."

Sheena said the pandemic challenged all of her preconceived ideas on what her pregnancy was going to be like. She stayed home most of the time, which kept her from working.

The Kapuso talent continued, "Feeling ko burden ako sa asawa ko kasi siya lahat ngayon. Hindi ko siya naalagaan, hindi ko siya napagluluto.

"Hindi ko lang man siya mayakap o makamusta man lang. 'Kamusta iyong araw mo?' Siya lang nagtatrabaho. Feeling ko parang pabigat ako."

Aside from this, Sheena said she became too focused on the baby that she forgot to look after herself.

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"Na-realize ko doon sa pagkuwento namin is masyado ako nag-focus sa anak ko, which is hindi naman masama pero nakasama siya sa akin.

"Kasi masyadong 'siya'? So, vitamins, kailangan ko inumin ito. Kailangan ko kainin ito. Parang lahat iyong kailangan niya, nakalimutan ko iyong kailangan ko.

"Ang sabi sa akin, 'Love yourself first.' Ikaw muna. Kasi kapag okay ka, okay si Baby. Kasi iisa lang kayo, e. Hindi siya mali, di ba, kasi totoo naman, e.

"Bilang nanay, normal mag-alala. Normal na gusto mo maging perfect lahat lalo na, siyempre, ako, first time ko.

"Hindi ko alam kung tama ba itong ginagawa ko, so iyong best talaga, the best na maibibigay at gagawin ko para sa anak ko."

Helping herself get better

Sheena is now following the advice of her psychiatrist.

First, Sheena maintains a daily routine.

She said in her YouTube vlog, "Kailangan ko magkaroon ng routine. Hindi iyong random gagawin ko. Kailangan meron ako ilo-look forward na, 'Bukas, iluluto ko ito. Magwo-work out ako.'"

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The Kapuso star has also resumed doing things she used to enjoy before she got pregnant.

"Naging active ako sa social media like before na ginagawa ko bago ako mag-asawa, bago ako mabuntis.

"Binalik ko lang iyon. Binalik ko lang ako, kung sino ako dati, kung ano ako dati. Kung ano nagpapasaya sa akin."

She does workouts in the morning, too.

"Dinagdag ko rin iyong workout kasi meron iyang hormones na nakakasaya, na ipo-produce sa iyo kapag pinapawisan ka, kapag nafi-feel mo na naaalagaan mo sarili, 'tapos nagiging healthy at fit ka."

Since she's currently with child, Sheena does prenatal pilates via Zoom. She says doing exercise in the morning helps her feel accomplished—a feeling she hasn't felt for a while.

Another piece of advice that has helped Sheena deal with her anxiety is being open and honest with her emotions.

"Hindi lang din sa doctor, kung hindi sa mga friends ko. Iyon iyong naging outlet ko. Feeling ko naka-reach out ako sa mga tao na hindi ko nakakasama ngayon."

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Sheena realized how isolated she has been throughout her pregnancy. The lack of physical connection took a toll on her.

"Kasi wala nga ako natanggap na rub ng tiyan, 'Ay ang cute naman ng tiyan mo.' Hug. Iba talaga. Napaka-importante iyong pagbisita, pagyakap, comfort, pag-encourage, mga masasayang istorya.

"Ngayon ko na-realize na meron siyang impact. Hindi talaga okay maging mag-isa."

The actress has also made a conscious decision to always be open to her husband Jeron.

"Siguro isa rin sa pinaka,-pinaka-pinaka-nakatulong at naka-release nung mga nararamdaman ko is nung kinausap ko si Jeron.

"Very open ako sa kanya, pero meron pala ako hindi kayang sabihin kanya na nung inisa-isa sa akin ng psychiatrist, kinuwento ko sa kanya."

These conversations so far have taught Sheena that this is what marriage is all about: "the essence ng pagiging, 'Ang dalawa ay naging isa.'"

She continued in her vlog, "Nag-thank you ako, nag-sorry ako. Humingi ako ng help sa kanya, na hindi ko kaya mag-isa. Habaan pa niya pasensiya niya.

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"Kailangan ko ng yakap. Niyakap niya ako. Mahigpit.

"Nag-pray kami together, 'tapos ni-remind lang namin iyong sarili namin iyong mga blessings na binigay sa amin ni Lord."

Sheena is thankful for these moments with Jeron, because she gets to know Jeron's feelings as well.

"Sinabi rin niya sa akin na hindi siya nahihirapan at all. Masaya siya na inaalagaan daw niya kaming dalawa ng anak niya.

"Iyon lang pala iyong mga dapat ko marinig at that time, and kailangan ko lang din maging totoo sa mga nararamdaman ko. Na-realize ko na hindi pala ako nag-iisa."

These realizations have convinced Sheena further to keep sharing the ups and downs of her pregnancy journey on her YouTube channel.

"Na-realize ko nga na hindi man easy, pero kaya natin. May solusyon.

"Meron mga doctor, meron tayo mga advisers, meron tayo mga prayer warriors na puwede nating lapitan."

Lastly but most importantly, this experience has taught Sheena to hold tighter to her faith.

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"Huwag niyo kakalimutan mga mommies, tayong mga ina, ginawa tayong special ni Lord. Ginawa niya tayong strong.

"Alam ni Lord kung ano kailangan natin, ano ang kailangan ni baby. Alam Niya kung anong nasa puso natin.

"May mga tao Siyang ina-assign para sa atin na tumulong at maging kaagapay natin sa journey na ito.

"Kaya natin ito!

"Hindi lahat masayang stage, pero worth it!"

Sheena is now in her third trimester. She and Jeron are expecting a baby girl.

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Sheena Halili, pregnant with a baby girl, recalls how she used to cry in her sleep and wake up in the middle of the night, feeling a rush of emotions.
PHOTO/S: @mysheenahalili on Instagram
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