Phew! For my rare readers, apologies that I haven’t posted in awhile. I was sort of kind of behind my writing schedule so I had to play catch-up. I’m back on track, and 139 Years is up on JukePop Serials as scheduled. Now I have some time after finished the chapter and editing it, so I wanted to talk about a question that was asked of me just last week by someone I know. It was a very simple question, with a very simple answer, that I dragged on too long to keep them interested.
“Do you believe in God?” Now, for background, this person knew I am bipolar, and was trying to introduce me to God as a way to ‘fix’ me.
So what does a bipolar-gaming-writer have to say about religion that could possibly be interesting enough to put online? I try to go to a religious event once a year, either a church event or one of my parents’ Buddhism things. It’s like a check to see just how strong my faith is, and whether or not I still deserve to follow the path I walk. Faith? From an atheist? Hah, actually, I’m agnostic. There’s a small but significant difference to that. I question the legitimacy of a spiritual being, but I don’t deny its possible existence.
But back to the question, do I believe in God? Truth, I don’t deny any deities possible existence so that’s a maybe. But I think the question is not so much if I believe in their existence but if I believe in them. Like, if I fall, will they catch me kind of bullshit. And the answer to that is no. There’s a million and one reason to that. But I want to make this a readable length of a post and try to keep it brief. And since the question was asked in relation to my bipolar, I’ll try to answer it in that regards.
As of writing, I’ve had a total of 4 depression periods in my life. I’m not talking about just sad for a few days or weeks. For me, a depression period last for months, up to, the highest I’ve experienced so far, 1 year and 7 months. Most people reading will never in their lives understand the feeling of being that depressed for that long a period. They were suicidal depression, with actual suicide attempts.
And it’s important to know that at the start, the very first time I got depressed, I prayed in tradition to Buddhism culture to make me feel better again. I burnt incense and knelt on my knees in front of altars. I prayed for my ancestors to come and save me from this hell or have lightning strike me the next time I walk outside to tell me if I deserve to live. For 9 months, I was living with death. Even before and after, I cried every single day for 3 years. I was 9 years old.
After that experience, I wrote this on the back of a treasure photo of mine.
I set my own destiny. I select my own fate. I choose my own path. Not even god will change it. -J.X
I signed it with my stupid preteen initials and framed the photo, facing forward of course. Those words are still on the back of the picture today. But being a kid, I forgot about what I wrote after my first brush with depression and went on with my life. That was, I did, until my second fight with it. A six months bout this time. I have to say, I nearly died a few times there and there was a Christianity wave sweeping my school. I went to church a few times that year, and was told suicide is a sin, blablabla, yadayadayada. I didn’t care. I wanted to die so badly.
So I set a date. I set a date to die. And I prayed to God, the God, to show me some sign that He existed before I killed myself. I looked, expected something, but nothing came. The date for my death came and went, and I pulled myself off the roof again for a second time in my life. One day, we were pacing up to move, and I found the picture. I turned it over and saw the message from my 9 year old self and realized I had been a fucking idiot. I put my faith in someone that I did not even know existed, and swore to myself from that day onward to find my own reason for living.
I wasn’t out of depression yet. But it wasn’t long before my anchor for that point of my life came around. I was in scouts then, but I was depressed that I skipped the meetings to go for rugby training instead. Now, it doesn’t sound bad, but I was a terrible rugby player. Even the coach wished I wasn’t a part of the team then, but I didn’t care. I went there for the bruises. I went there to get tackled and feel the pain running through my body. My own version of wrist cutting. And on one of the days where rugby and scouts meeting collided, it happened.
My scouts brothers came to the field. We were a pretty small troop. Less than 20 of us at that time. Yet they all came full force to drag me to the meeting. Like I said, my coach didn’t particularly like me since I sucked at rugby, so he let them take me. I was dragged across the floor, carried by my shirt, swung over the ground, pushed, pulled, kicking and screaming all the way back to the scout room. I was crying. But not because I was sad. I was crying because I was beyond happy. I cried because for the first time, people I knew came to get me. I kicked and scream to put up a show to hide I was happy as shit.
That’s why I don’t believe in deities. Not because they didn’t show up when I needed them most, no. But because someone else did. Someone who I can see and know were there and can act on their feelings instead of as a wish. It ended in me finding my belief. And I was saved that time by what I believed in. I believed in you. Living, feeling beings. All the good and the bad, the violence and the concern. The death and life. That’s why I don’t need to believe in a deity to suppress my bipolar. Cause I’m part of the biggest religion in our universe. Existence.