Writing for me is very therapeutic. I cannot shake off the good sensation I get when I put together a well written post. Not all of my posts hit the mark, but nevertheless, each is an attempt to put into words a concept or memory that I consciously wrestle with, however imperfect it is. Besides the usual posts on religion, theism, and morality, which seem to consume a great deal of my writings, I occasionally like to write about a personal reflection. And as this is the Thanksgiving holiday, I feel somewhat inclined to write about past problems I've dealt with and hopes I have.
I cannot say that I've had it too bad. My life has been a sort of mild journey when I compare it to the most horrible tragedies that have marred the lives of others. Although my parents divorced when I was a young child, I grew up in a pretty stable middle class home. My parents, although not perfect, were certainly not the worst characters when it came to how I was raised. I also grew up in a pretty safe neighborhood that is and was neither privileged nor impoverished.
I've had my bouts with depression. When I was an adolescent I came down with a serious case of acne that stayed with me until my early twenties. All throughout high school I was a mess. Acne made me embarrassed to be seen, it made me withdrawn, anti-social, and awkward. I hated my life at this time and I even contemplated suicide, making one failed attempt at it. In the back of my head what gave me confidence all through these years was the idea that things would get better. As an atheist, I never prayed, I never had any unreasonable faith that things would get better. Instead, I blamed my misfortunes where it seemed logical, namely my genetics. I blamed my mother and father for giving me the genes that cause acne. I angrily held them accountable and fully responsible for what they had done. In short, I had wished on some deep level that I was never even born.
Eventually my problems cleared away but not without leaving their indelible marks. My adolescent years when I was suppose to foster my social skills, were in a way put on hiatus. My withdrawn personality had made me lose the experiences necessary to build social skills and to make friends easily. I was also a person who was not into the typical things young people were into. I cared nothing for sports, and my musical tastes were very eclectic and usually far from the mainstream. My atheism however was never an issue at all since religion was almost never talked about and it pretty much never came up amongst my peers. I also wasn't the polemic anti-theist back then that I am now either.
In high school I did my fair share of partying with the few friends I had but looking back I always felt that somehow I missed out on what it should have been. This is probably instigated my the movie industry's depictions of high school that show a free for all in non-stop partying and sex. I guess I can say that although I've been through some tragedy, others have been through worse and I have to be thankful for that.
Now that I'm 30 years old I have to realize that my youth has almost completely evaporated and I must accept that my body will forever be in a perpetual state of decline. Sure I can eat healthy and workout obsessively but I will only be delaying the inevitable. Physically speaking I no longer have anything to look forward to, unlike when I was young. As time passes things will not get better, they will get worse, and this has partially led me to another form of depression, the depression of getting old. I still have many years before I am "old" and before I start to look "old", but I do not wish for eternal youth or eternal existence of any sort. Such an idea seems like a cruel trick of hell to me. I enjoy the fact that I will eventually grow old and die, and cease to exist. I just wish that I can age gracefully while it happens. That will give me a tremendous sense of comfort and hope for the future.
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