A Three Step Process to Disbelief

Damn… I have attempted this blog post from multiple angles but for whatever reason none of them have “sparked joy.” So, I deleted them and started again, not looking back. But with each new iteration more personal story came bubbling up to the surface and I felt compelled to continue on.

I was inspired to write because I had read an article about the lead singer of a christian band revealing that he no longer believed in god. It was inspiring and very touching, and some of his words mirrored my own thoughts. Except the journey to how each of us arrived at our conclusion was very different.

His was a lingering sense of the bible not being true, whereas mine was revealed to me step by step until I arrived at the peak of this new way of thinking.

When I met my husband I had lived a very religious life. Up until that point I had even still believed in god, even though I was gay. It was just me carrying the bonds of my former imprisonment. (Brainwashing is hard to undo.)

My husband was the one who shook my faith. He asked me questions, and the one thing Christianity hates is inquiries into the validity of belief. And the answers that are typically offered in response to most are nonsensical and unending self-prophecy. Where the one giving the answer has this overwhelming sense of accomplishment for these “spiritual attacks” and doesn’t see their own bullshit. Except, most people who ask such probing thoughts are not my husband. He is the most antagonistic person I have ever met and has a way of driving you crazy with his interrogations. And to say he made me angry in those early days is an understatement. I truly do not understand how I stuck around or didn’t murder him. Yet it was these mental exercises that put deep cracks in my religious foundation.

The next big step was silly and kind of pathetic looking back…

I was a biblical literalist. I believed that everything that was mentioned in the bible factually and literally happened. It wasn’t meant for interpretation or was used as allegory. It occurred. And so, when I realized that if you could see a man sunbathing on the roof of a building with Google earth, you’d most certainly find a flaming sword guarding the entrance to a mythical garden from whence all life sprung forth. That revelation truly made me doubt everything. Dumb… I know.

The thing that inevitably killed every ounce of lingering faith within me was my mother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. I couldn’t understand why a woman who had devoted her life to this mystical entity, acted as a “true christian” should, was just given the worst death sentence. My brain tried to comprehend it, like was this a punishment for letting me be faggot? And if that’s so, why would he use my mother as a device to torture me? One of his most faithful. These thoughts led me to my ultimate conclusion that there couldn’t be a god and if there was one he was the biggest asshole, one who didn’t give a shit if you tried or not. He just wanted to know that he could, much like the one in the book of Job.

The last thing I ever told my father, before he died, was that I didn’t believe in god anymore. I outlined the reasons above and he just looked at me silently, with his appraising eyes. He didn’t respond. I wonder now if he started to question it also. At the time, he was in the thick of my mother “losing her mind,” before getting leveled out by medication. I can’t imagine what he felt. (Sidenote, I really do miss him.)

Now I am a staunch atheist. Life to me is just one big accident filled with a lot of cruelty, lacking any reason. It just is what it is.

The lingering religious thoughts come to the surface and said “well that doesn’t seem like a good way to think of life.” And my response to my own ridiculous thoughts is, yes it is. It removes this belief that I have to have my life mean something, or that it’s some sort of test to get to enlightenment, acting all on “faith” that it even exists. So why would I waste the time I have now chasing some figment of imagination. I’d rather just live my days trying to be a good person because it’s the right thing to do, and not because I will receive some awards in the afterlife.

P.S. I also don’t believe in an after life.

The Circus Came to Town

Two days ago I had a moment of pure depression cross like thick nimbostratus over my brain. My heart sunk in the shadows and I lost all hope. I was left with next to nothing but these feelings of unsurpassed dread and hopelessness. And in that moment I didn’t care anymore. I didn’t care about living.

Now, I could never kill myself. (Well… never say never) But in my lowest moments I still have so much ego that I can’t fathom ending my own life. And since I have been through this circus many times before, I understand that this sideshow will eventually pull up stakes and leave town. It is that last piece of knowledge that curbs any thoughts of suicide. Yet, it does remind me that living with depression is literally one thought away from death.

After taking a short reprieve from twitter and the news, I have found myself again. I am not my usual manic happy, but I am better than where I was. I still am having a difficult time seeing the point in life, but that is it’s biggest and unanswerable question.

I have nothing of note to offer you here, unfortunately. All I can do is share my experience and offer a reminder that (if you have depression) you CAN get through it. It just so happens that I am lucky enough to have swings that are usually VERY broad and very fast. (The down swings don’t typically last for very long.) So at least I have that going for me.  Well, that and the quartz belief that “this too shall pass.” Nothing in life is permanent.

Fear and Loathing

In usual “look at me, look at me” form I recorded a video to post to Twitter, discussing the “realization” I had had over the people who are reluctantant or refuse to follow any of the COVID-19 rules and restrictions. However, the lighting was bad and I ended up sounding like a loon, so instead I thought I would return to good-ol’ long form. (Plus I need the practice if I intend to use this ample amount of free time to polish up that manuscript.)

Much like everyone in the fucking world, I am grappling with accepting the new reality in which we reside. Coming to terms with this new existence is hard and it’s stressful, but it is necessary. Embracing the present is the only way we can successfully move forward. And regardless of where we are emotionally, life will continue to keep going.

One of the steps I had to take for myself was to try and understand why some people REFUSE to do anything that is required of them. Why these “inconveniences” are seen as taking away their “freedom.”

Setting aside the PLETHORA of misinformation that is infecting websites across the internet, I wanted to know what other factor could be at play. It couldn’t be JUST misinformation. Because for them to seek out these “answers” there had to be some sort of catalyst.

When I examined my own behavior of discomfort and random outbursts of rage the answer came to me. The common factor fueling every one right now is fear. The fear of the unknown, the fear of the virus, the fear of watching your entire reality turn on a dime. It is truly terrifying. Human nature wants stability, but external factors refuse that need. That’s why people keep looking for the “light at the end of the tunnel” or this “return to the old way.” But all of that is bullshit. When we go through a journey we are never the same people at the end. It’s true with every step we take. Even if we just walk down a hallway, our heart-rate rises, body temperature changes, we experience new scenery from where we once were. All of these compound in our minds to form a new existence, because at the end of the hallway we have gained even more than what we had at the beginning.

But, walking down the hall isn’t scary for most (taking into consideration fears and life experiences). This is more like we’ve been placed into an unfamiliar hallway, blindfolded, and we’re told that there may be obstacles, but we don’t know what kind or how many.

So, as I begin to seethe with rage at these people breaking stay at home orders, or protesting local governments about restrictions, I have to remind myself that these people are reacting from fear. And that gives me SOME relief. It doesn’t change anything outwardly, but at least it helps minimize the terror I feel in myself.

Bleak Outlook

It’s a bit surreal to go from my mildly optimistic post from yesterday to the one I am about to write now. It’s quite the emotional swing but I can’t take it anymore. Truly. I am over this world and the selfish ways of everyone else. It’s always about “me, me, me, me, me.” (And at times, I am just as guilty. I did a rant video about not getting my refund for a hotel I had booked pre-covid. I have since received it.) But the way others are responding over this virus is insane.

The constant barrage of horrific news, coupled with a brief conversation with my boss’s wife (who breezed through the conspiracy theory bullshit) just put me over the edge. I’m done caring. Why care about other people who don’t give a fuck about themselves? It’s pointless. We step up to the plate to limit the human cost of this virus and all these infants do is bitch and moan and groan that they can’t get a fucking haircut. Or that they have to wear a mask. What was it for?! They obviously don’t care. Nope. It was just a “political ploy” to make some orange fuck face look bad. Even though he does that quite well on his own. The only one who doesn’t see it are the people lapping up the kool-aid he passes out.

Honestly, let’s just go back to the way it was before. Fuck any precautions. Let’s just throw caution to the fuckin wind! I’m ready to watch all of it burn down. I’m done fighting. Just done. People are fucking idiots. And death is inevitable. So I might as well have fun while I can and pray this virus takes out a few of these fuckfaces. Nothing would please me more.

I’m done caring. Done.

PS my mind will probably return to its regularly schedule optimism at a later date…