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Monday, January 03, 2005 

Leave it Behind.

It's 2005 now. I know for many of you, 2004 has been a pretty screwed up year. You hear people preaching all the hollow rhetoric about 2005 being a better year, our best year yet...etc... that this would be the year we'll make things happen etc.

Fact is, 2005 may not necessarily be the best year of my life. I think, judging from circumstances, it may be even worse than 2004 for me. But still, I'm gonna fight to make things happen for me this year. My resolutions are going to be resolutions. My goals will be met.

*************This part may be disturbing for some, if you can't take it, just go to the end of the post right now. (My close friends may be shocked to read what's ahead.) You have been warned.****************************

What's most important for everyone is that we just leave the emotional baggage of 2004 behind. Personally, this is the year that I finally managed to shake off depression, the oh-so-awful black death. It was just horrible and kept me as a torture victim for the longest time. The scariest part is that if you ask anyone in the throes of depression how he got there, to pin down the turning point, he'll never know. There is a classic moment in The Sun Also Rises when someone asks Mike Campbell how he went bankrupt, and all he can say in response is, "Gradually and then suddenly." When someone asks me how i lost my mind, that is all I can say too. I just knew it lasted for about 2 years... though initially it was just very, very mild. Eventually my whole mental state and emotional state was exacerbated by many circumstances, but I attribute the main reason of my mental degradation to the fact that I starting feeling separated from God. I got separated from God namely because I was too enticed by the offers of the world... being a sole, true Christian in my JC class didn't help. Everyone, including some "Christians" were behaving... well, just like the world does. What's worse was that even within my church, I was so cut off from all my members and friends... when people tried so hard to connect with me, I'd just shrug them off and go about doing my own thing.

Truth is, I was drowning back then. I cut myself off from my church friends because the macho side of me kept telling me that it was fine, I'm perfectly normal... it's ok to be lonely, it's ok to live the kind of lifestyle your friends lead, it's fine to feel pissed as hell about this whole entire world we live in because everything is a facade ( very very worldly thinking). Then I cut myself off from my other non Christian friends because I thought, ya know, they were so superficial, childish, materialistic and hedonistic people, living for the day, without any purpose and aim in life... and not even bothering to pursue and seek for a purpose in life. The worst thing was that I cut myself off from God because I thought, I can't be feeling this way, but I am. I'm shouldn't be like this, but I am. And I'm not fit to talk to Him..... Basically I was caught in this vicious cycle of self pity. I was caught between the world and God... and I couldn't decide... really couldn't. The Bible says that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Bingo. I was totally unstable and neurotic back then. I was lonely, confused, angry and to this day, I still think it was my own fault, for being so weak. Grrr, I'm always blaming myself for anything, though I've managed to let go of any resentment, guilt and condemnation I have towards myself.

Eventually, the lonely, confused kid who didn't want to make himself vulnerable to anyone by opening up, decided to seek gratification through sexual outlets. Pornography, masturbation ( thank goodness no casual sex or promiscuity of any sort) became my only way to numb the oh-so-awful feeling and distaste ( a real understatement) I had towards the world. My mind was totally not renewed by Christian doctrine. At that point I've pretty much been indoctrinated by Christian truths, but never had the faith to live them out. Anyway, I was just totally numb inside- absence of interest, absence of feeling, absence of response. And there was this horribly sharp feeling that constantly pricks me from the inside, leading me to moan over the meaninglessness of life (which of course I know realize is totally untrue. Even then I was consciously aware that life wasn't meaningless too), the insanity of the world, my solitary self, my existential angst. The only way to seek gratification of any sort was through a sexual outlet... though I was also consciously and acutely aware that the pleasure would be just temporary, just fleeting, but my flesh went against my head constantly. Before I knew it... I was enslaved and ensnared by all these sexual images in my head and was seriously under bondage. For some reason I kept justifying myself by thinking thoughts like "oh at least I'm not doing drugs" or "at least I'm not sleeping around".

My depression got worse. Suicidal thoughts started lingering at the back of my head, though thankfully I was still stable enough to realize that it was dumb and stupid. At least the suicidal thoughts weren't dominating my conscious being. I shan't go into detail here, but after I entered army, the depression continued. It really was an impediment to me really excelling in there. I was doing fine overall, but my depressive attitude towards everything wasn't good. I took 4 MCs ( all from doctors outside camp) to escape camp because I couldn't bear going through the motions of everything all over again. And guess what I was doing at home? Yeah, exactly what i was saying in the above paragraph. In retrospect, I wish I could've been more garang in camp, and maximized my potential a bit more... because I do think I could have done alot better leadership and example wise, though physically wise I was Silver standard, which wasn't too bad.
Anyway around April- May last year, 2 of my cell group members started intensive counselling sessions ( I wouldn't even call them counselling sessions, but for lack of a better term I shall)... and I just don't know what happened, but my depression gradually got better. And eventually, depression left me all together. I shall elaborate on my breakthrough in another blogpost soon, but all I can say is that I know that I know that God has supernaturally extricated me from the throes of depression.

************************Those of you who skipped the middle section, it's safe to read now*********************************

So I finally get to my main point. Like how my depression is just another chapter in my life now, as I've bravely overcame it and left it far behind, I hope all of you leave your emotional baggage of 2004 behind. I believe for many, there're more downs than ups in 2004, but be brave, and live. Live for 2005. Leave everything in 2004 behind.

I shall quote from U2's song 'Walk On" from their album All that You Can't leave Behind in 2000:

I Know it aches
how your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on

Leave it Behind
You've got to leave it behind
All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you steal
all this you can leave behind
All that you reason
All that you sense
All that you speak
All you dress up
all that you scheme.......

You've got to leave it behind.

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