Baron Geisler recalls painful battle with depression, drug use, alcoholism
Actor Baron Geisler did not hold back when it came to answering questions about his battle with depression, drug use and alcoholism in the past.
Geisler was the first actor in the cast of ABS-CBN drama series “Tabing Ilog” to be given a television series of his own — an opportunity that many people would not throw away. At the time, however, Geisler treated work as just a hobby and would bring his drinking habits to the set as if it were a party.
“Ano lang po, parang party, kasi syempre nanggaling naman kami sa okay na pamilya, well-to-do naman, so nung nagtatrabaho ako, pakiramdam ko na hindi siya trabaho, para siyang hobby lang,” Geisler shared on “Magandang Buhay” on Tuesday, June 25.
(I guess it was just a party to me because, of course, I came from an okay, well-to-do family, so when I was working, it did not feel like work to me, like it was just a hobby.)
“So hindi ko siya sineryoso at eventually hindi rin ako sineryoso hanggang sa nawala lahat and yun yung pinakamalungkot dun,” he added.
(I did not take it seriously, eventually they did not take me seriously until I lost everything and that’s the saddest part about that.)
Host Karla Estrada noted that Geisler became depressed in 2002 when he was 20 years old. “Ano ‘tong mga nagpadepress sa’yo?” asked Estrada.
As per Geisler, his father, Donald, passed away that year and he could not handle the situation because he had no God.
“Ang panginoon ko noong mga time na yun yung magulang ko, para sa akin yun yung mind-set ko, so wala akong ibang tinitingnan,” he said. “And then noong nawala si Dad, gusto ko siyang samahan sa libingan noong mga time na yun. I almost took my life.”
(My god during that time was my parents, for me that was my mind-set, so I was not looking at anything else. And then when my dad died, I wanted to go with him to the grave, I almost took my life.)
Geisler never lost his love for acting during those turbulent times, adding he was still finding his identity.
“I had no one to turn to,” he said. “I wasn’t praying, I wasn’t meditating and I was just a lost boy.”
He also revealed he had been in and out of many rehabilitation institutions, a fact not many people know. This was during the time he used drugs heavily and deceived many people.
“Hindi alam ng tao ‘to, ilang beses na’ko napasok sa kung saan-saang institusyon. Nag drugs ako nang todo, hindi alam ng karamihan to, at nagsinungaling ako…,” he said. “Andami kong dineceive kasi in-denial nga ako sa problema ko, sa disease ko. I was really struggling and I wasn’t asking for help because I thought it was manageable, I thought I could handle it…”
(People do not know this, but I’ve entered all sorts of institutions many times in the past. I used drugs heavily, most people do not know this, and I lied. I deceived so many people because I was in denial of my problem, of my disease.)
The turning point, it seems, was during his last meeting with his mother, Gracia, before she died in 2017. At the time, Geisler was about to go to a five-day rehabilitation program in Tagaytay and was saying goodbye to his mother.
“Sabi ko, ‘ma, alis ako (ma, I’m leaving), I’m a good boy, ma. I’ll see you in five days, I love you,’” he recalled telling his mother.
What happened next, he said, was a moment one would think they would only see in the movies.
“Totoo pala yung sa pelikula, yung may gusto siyang sabihin sa akin, and then sabi ko, ‘Yes ma, yes ma?’ Hindi ko alam hanggang ngayon kung anong gusto niyang sabihin,” he said. “So binigyan ko na lang ng meaning.”
(It was just like in the movies. She wanted to say something to me and I said, “Yes ma, yes ma?” Until now I still do not know what she wanted to say. So I just gave it my own meaning.)
“Before I die, siguro…,” said Geisler. “I don’t want to put words sa mouth niya, pero siguro parang, ‘Please take care of yourself, because I’m not here anymore.’”
(Before I die, I guess… I don’t want to put words in her mouth, but I guess [she meant to say], “Please take care of yourself, because I’m not here anymore.”) Cody Cepeda /ra
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