Master-key

If depression is a punishment… 如果抑鬱症是一個懲罰的話。。。

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*long-length post 長文

Recently I read many internet posts about thinking and living liberally, making conflicts against being a religious believer. I think it is not the God of a certain religion that may rip off a person’s freedom to think and live the way he or she wants, but the other religious believers which come together as a group that mutter many comments and criticisms about how one shall live.

最近我在互聯網讀了很多關於自由思想和生活的帖子,如宗教信徒產生了衝突。 我認為不是某一宗教的神在剝奪一個人的自由思想和生活方式,而是其他宗教信徒作為一個群體,集體作出許多評論和批評一個人應該於何去生活。

 

My depression and my faith intertwine, whilst my religious faith forms part of me, so as my depression. Like we talk about karma, I do think from time time that what if depression is the punishment from my God because of all mistakes that I have ever made in life. (This post will repeat some mentioned incidents from the past post ‘Trust or Distrust 相信和不相信‘) In Christianity, everyone makes mistakes, and not only those who have committed crimes and got put into prisons are called the ‘bad guys’. Thus I thought, am I so bad that I get depression as a consequence?

我的抑鬱症和我的信仰交織在一起,而我的宗教信仰是我的一部分,我的抑鬱症也是我的一部分。 像我們談論罪與罰吧,我不時都會想,因為我在生活中犯過的所有錯誤,抑鬱症會否是我的上帝給的懲罰。 (這篇文章將重複一些在過去的帖子,「Trust or Distrust 相信和不相信」的內容)。在基督教裏,每個人都犯錯,不是那些犯了法治的罪,被關進監獄的人才可稱為「壞人」。 因此,我想過我會不會因為自己太壞而得到抑鬱症呢?

 

Be straight and simple. The introduction is that I am a Christian who is not brought up in a Christian family, and to become a Christian is never something I have wanted or planned, but rather I was pushed into it, again and again. I needed something to rely on at a young age living in a boarding school environment which I disliked. I would cut my story in short that basically I had quite serious eczema when I first started living in a boarding house and it could not really get healed, so I started to make sincere prayers about my health; not that I wanted to believe in anything, I just wanted eczema to leave me, I just wanted to go home, I just wished I could live in this environment more comfortably both physically and mentally. As I mentioned in those past posts, by now I know my eczema was triggered by mental stress, so that was why my continual treatment in dealing it as a skin irritation problem did not help, and also why I no longer suffered from it later on.

簡單直接地說,我可先介紹我是一個基督徒,不過不是在基督徒家庭中長大,而成為一個基督徒從來不是我想要或計劃的事,而是我一次又一次地被推入去這個身份的。因為我小時候不喜歡住在寄宿學校的環境,我需要一些可依靠的東西。我會把我的故事簡化的。開始了寄宿生的生活,我也同時有頗嚴重的濕疹,不能真正地得到治愈,所以我開始真誠地為我的健康祈禱; 不是我想相信些什麼,我只是希望濕疹離開我,我只是想回家,我只是希望我能在當時的環境中得到更舒適的身體和精神上的生活。正如我在過去的帖子中提到的,現在我知道我的濕疹是由精神壓力引發的,而當時我沒意識到,所以連續以作為皮膚病的治療一直沒有幫助,後來又自然好了。

 

When things got better, I would not pray; only when I had difficult times, I prayed crazily. I saw myself wanting to live a trouble-free life rather than wanting to be a believer who would chant phrases such as, ‘there is a God, who has sent his son to this Earth to have died for us and have borne our sins and then heaven (and all these things about Christianity)…’. I was of high school age, I was just always unhappy, but I wanted to be happy. So basically, depression planted its seed in me and at the time, only God knew about it.

以前,當事情變得更好了,我就不會禱告; 只有當我有困難的時候,我又瘋狂地祈禱。 我好想要生活得毫無煩惱,而不是想成為一個信徒可以歌頌神,說一些像這樣的話:「有一個神,他的兒子來到世間上為我們的罪而死了,然後是天堂(所有這些關於基督教的東西)…」。 在高中時,我總是不開心,但我想要開心呀。 所以基本上,抑鬱症的種子在那時已在我身上種植長大著,只有上帝祂知道。

 

I remember I would think that God at times had the ability to treat me very well, but mostly He wouldn’t do so. The older I became, the more emotional conflicts I suffered, the more I was not pleased with myself and with things in life, the more I wished to be in control of my life. I couldn’t live the way I wanted, because I was disciplined under strict school rules as a boarder. Maybe I didn’t hate God, but at the very least, I didn’t like Him, for I thought He didn’t treat me well enough. God left me with no choices: when things got worse and worse in my life, I searched for Him more and more, till I eventually began to be determined that I would give myself the identity ‘Christian’ and go to a church. This was because I knew honestly I did not see how my mental problems could possibly be solved in any other ways.

我記得我會認為上帝有能力待我很好,但大多數祂不會這樣做。 我一邊在長大,我所受的情感衝突也越來越多,我對自己和自己生活中的事物越來越不滿意,我希望能控制我的生活。 我不能以我想要的方式生活,因為我在嚴格的學校規則下作為寄宿生活著。 也許我沒有恨上帝,但至少,我不喜歡祂,因為我認為祂對我不夠好。 上帝沒有給我選擇:當事情在我的生活裏變得越來越糟糕,我就越要去尋找祂,直到我最終開始決心會給自己「基督徒」的身份,並去教堂。 這是因為我真的知道,我的心理問題,除了這樣,也沒有其他方法可解決。

 

God did not seem to let things go smooth for me, as the first church I went to was a disappointment to me, even though it might be a good one for others. So I still didn’t give much of my attention to learn about this religion and my God properly. God just did not let me go or rather he really just refused to go easy on me. I couldn’t do anything else than to just force myself to believe in Him; thinking about how different people have disappointed me and have misunderstood me, I just cannot really place too much trust on a human or get a sense of dependence from a human. Since I became determined to believe that He exists, I started learning about Him whole-heartedly, the bible, things related to this religion. I knew before I entered university that I could not live without Him, because I began to be able to feel His presence.

上帝似乎不讓我過得順利,因為我去的第一個教會對我來說是失望,即使它對其他人是一個好的教會。 所以我仍然沒有給予多大的關心去了解這個宗教和我的上帝。 上帝沒讓我離開祂,或者祂真的只是不讓我可容易過日子吧。 我不能有別的選擇,也只有強迫自己相信祂了; 想著不同的人教我失望和誤解過我,我只是不能真正地對人有太多的信任或從人得到依賴感。 因為我決心相信祂的存在,我開始全心全意地學習祂,聖經,和與這個宗教有關的事情。 在我進入大學之前,我知道沒有祂我就不能活了,因為我開始能感覺到祂的存在。

 

I thought, contributing my time to learn more about this religion and to do things for a church, I would sense God’s love more and I would feel more secure. I think this was partly but not entirely correct, because by being in a church, I also saw the dark side of it, such as gossips and quarrels between people. I kept going to church(es) anyway, and I would keep going to one same church if I felt that its preachers did their job well in delivering sermons. This was one breakthrough in my life – I had been able to be present in a church to learn more about this God I spiritually depend on, despite how humans acted at the church, despite the fact that they were termed beautifully as ‘my brothers and sisters’ religiously.

我想,貢獻我的時間去了解更多關於這個宗教和為教會做事情,我會更感覺到上帝的愛,會更有安全感。 我認為這是正確的,但也不完全正確,因為在教堂裡,我也看到了它的黑暗面,例如人們之間的閒話和爭吵。 如果我覺得教堂的傳道人的講道做得好,我還是會去的,還會繼續去同一個教會。 這是我生命中的一個突破 – 我曾經能夠在教會裡更多地了解我精神上依賴的這位神,懶理人們在教會中如何行事,也懶理他們在宗教術語上被美化般地稱為「我的弟兄姊妹們」。

 

Even I got sick every so often when I studied in France, it was to my surprise that during that year I was however so involved in living a life where I really felt my presence in two separate churches. I questioned and grumbled that God allowed me to get sick again and again in France, but I still felt that I would be mentally break down in less than a second if I had chosen spiritually not to rely on Him. So I just immersed myself more into learning the bible, trying to be close to Him. It was a year that I truly enjoyed the religious gathering events, termed as ‘fellowship’.

即使我在法國讀書時經常生病,我驚訝在那一年,我竟然有個很頻密的教會生活,而我真的分別在兩個教會裏有存在感。 我質疑和抱怨神允許我在法國一次又一次地生病,但我仍然覺得,如果我在精神上選擇不依靠祂,我會在不到一秒鐘內就精神崩潰。 所以我也更多的沉浸於學習聖經,試圖靠近祂。 這一年,我真正享受被稱為「團契」的這種宗教聚會活動。

 

Finally, depression sprouted and blossomed, and I wanted to die. God allowed me to feel ashamed about myself, undervaluing herself. I could not believe that He would let this happen on me. Not that depression is incurable, but even medical treatment was not really working on me at the beginning months, I almost lost all hope and patience. I thought, my God wanted to punish me, but I could not accept this! Am I truly that sinful that I deserve this? When I had physical sufferings, I could still firmly believe in God, calling Him a good God, praying to Him. With depression, my mind could only question him for making me facing mental sufferings. I would also brainwash myself to blame myself that I am very bad person. I felt that I was either forgotten or abandoned or condemned and anyways, depression is a sort of punishment from Him.

最後,抑鬱症發芽和綻放,我想死。 上帝讓我對自己感到羞愧,我降低自我價值。 我不敢相信祂會讓這種情況發生在我身上。 不是說抑鬱症是不可治癒,但即使接受治療,在開始的幾個月,治療沒有真正發揮作用,我幾乎失去了所有的希望和耐心。 我想,我的上帝想懲罰我,但我不能接受! 我真的是罪有應得嗎? 當我承受身體上的痛苦,我仍然可以堅信上帝,稱祂為一個好的上帝,向祂禱告。 有抑鬱症,我的心只能不甘祂讓我面對精神痛苦。 我也會洗腦自己去責怪自己,告訴自己說我是個非常糟糕的人。 我覺得我被遺忘或被拋棄或被譴責,反正,抑鬱症是祂所給的一種懲罰。

 

God gave up on me, is it, or is it not? Why had I fail my suicide attempts? Why had He kept leaving me with frequent suicidal thoughts? Why had He allowed me to cry from day to night, cried myself to bed, and had random phobia about certain noises and objects, unable to be alone but had to wear a ‘mask’ and smiled in front of everyone?

究竟上帝有沒有放棄了我呢? 為什麼我自殺失敗呢? 祂為什麼容許我有自殺的想法? 為什麼祂讓我每天哭泣,哭泣到睡著,對於某些噪聲和事物恐懼,不能單獨一個,但必須戴一個「面具」去笑面迎人呢?

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I believed in God’s existence and so I wanted to see Him sooner, thinking that I would go to heaven. So I used sharp things to cut myself, I wanted to run into moving vehicles on the road to get hurt, I wanted to jump out of a balcony. One stupid attempt was that I  drank a whole bottle of wine in 30 seconds and fainted, thinking that I would be in heaven when I next opened my eyes.

我相信上帝的存在,所以我想早點見到祂,我要去天堂。 所以我用尖銳的東西來傷自己,我想跑向行駛中的車輛,我想由陽台跳下。 我之前還有一個愚蠢的嘗試,就是我在30秒內喝了一瓶葡萄酒,暈倒,還以為我下次睜開眼睛時,我就會在天堂。

 

Since I did not get my way to heaven, I decided to just pray and pray. I prayed that God would stay close to me to tell me that yes, all was going to be OK. I remembered when I tried to give hope to myself when I was having a holiday in Malta in the beginning of this year, I prayed that He would cure me, and He would always be right next to me. I spent like an hour just sitting inside a church in the capital city, speaking in my mind to Him. He disappointed me at that time, as I could not feel his response.

由於我沒法去到天堂,我決定禱告,祈禱。 我祈禱上帝會留在我身邊告訴我,好快一切都會好起來的。 我記得當我在今年年初在馬耳他旅遊的時候,我試圖給自己一個希望,我祈求祂會治愈我,會永遠在我旁邊。 我花了一個小時,坐在首都的教堂裡,在我心裡對祂說著這一切。 那時候,祂使我失望了,因為我不能感覺到祂有回答我。

 

Back to Hong Kong, things kept getting worse even I was back home. I had the thought to jump into the sea for a few times, as well as to dial 999 to get arrested by the police. When I restored some faith in Him, then God allowed the guy I used to love to dump me. I am not the type of people who can easily open my heart and place my trust on someone, especially a person who is not even blood-related to me. Even religiously, right from the start, I did question the relationship over and over again but I thought it was an ‘approved’ one. I remember I had made many prayers about it, asking for ‘approval’ all the times. Once I was on my knees. Unceasingly, I prayed. I had never ever in my life prayed so hard, so serious. I asked God if He would renew this relationship.

回到香港,就是都回到家了,情況也不斷惡化。 我有幾次想過跳進大海,以及撥999去被警方逮捕。 當我恢復對上帝有一些信心時,祂又允許我過去喜歡的那個男生不要我。 我不是那種能夠輕易地打開我的心去對某人有信任的人,特別是那些與我沒血緣關係的人。 在宗教上,從一開始,我一次又一次地質疑這段關係,但我以為上帝是「允許」這段關係的。 我記得我做了許多禱告,常常想祂是「批准」我和這男生交往的。 有一次我跪著去不斷祈禱。 我從來沒有如此誠懇祈禱過。 我問上帝,想知道祂會不會更新這段關係。

 

By now, don’t you think that my God is so harsh, so mean, so evil? Do you see why I was doubting Him that He gave me depression as a punishment?

在這一秒鐘,你難道不認為我的上帝是如此苛刻,可惡,邪惡嗎? 你明白為什麼我懷疑祂給我抑鬱症作為一種懲罰嗎?

 

I know I have been much better than the past because today, I can see things differently. My God did not let me die. Supposedly, it would be assumed that people in churches should be out-reaching right? No Christians offered me help to stop me from killing myself at those most critical times; at those times, the few persons who helped me were agnostic, atheists, or having other religious believes. In other words, these people who stopped me from committing suicide in time, were however used by God to save me. It sounds strange, but it could not be of co-incidence that they happened to be there at the right time to have stopped me from ending my life; non-Christians or Christians, people can be used by my God.

我知道我比過去好多了,因為今天,我可以由一個不同的角度看事情。 我的上帝沒有讓我死。 假設,教會裡的人應該是較會去幫助别人吧? 當時沒有基督徒給我提供幫助,阻止我在那些最關鍵的時刻殺死自己; 那幾位幫助我的人裏面,有是對宗教沒表態的,無神論的,或有著其他宗教信仰的。 換句話說,這些阻止我不能及時自殺的人,卻被上帝用來拯救我。 這聽起來可能好奇怪,但他們恰巧在適當的時間阻止我結束我的生命,不是巧合; 非基督徒或基督徒,人們都可以被我的上帝使用。

 

After those critical times, God allowed me to come to meet a few awful therapists and psychiatrists before I eventually stayed with my current psychiatrist to have begun my long-term treatment. He could have left me stuck with those unprofessional medical persons, but I arrived at my current one. I thought I would never get healed, then apparently, my mental state really did improve, very slowly and gradually, as I can now even write a post like this!

過了那些最難捱的日子後,上帝又讓我遇上不濟的治療師和精神科醫生,然後我最終才找上我目前的精神科醫生,開始了我的長期治療。 他可以讓我繼續去那些不專業的醫務人員那裡看病的,但我找到了現在醫生。 我以為我永遠不會得到醫治,然後顯然,非常緩慢和逐漸的,我的精神狀態真的改善,因為我現在甚至可以寫這樣的帖子!

 

Let me just extend a little bit more. At the time that my condition was safe enough to go out by myself, I came to find a dance studio to learn dancing by chance. By the time I felt that I could not just sit at home but to either study or work as I have always been a bit of a workaholic, I found a job to teach English to kids, which turned out to be a job that gave me the bonuses of having some nice colleagues and happy moments with kids, besides getting some pocket money. More importantly, it is through depression that I got the chance to get some real deep talks with my parents, to want to devote time to volunteering, and to reflect on more things in life properly in general.

讓我再多說一點。 在我的狀況足夠安全,可自己出去的時候,我就找到一個舞蹈學校,學習跳舞。因為我一直是一個工作狂,所以當我覺得我不能只坐在家裡,但應要上學或工作時,我就找到了一份工作,就是教小孩子英語。除了賺一些零用錢,這工作給我擁有一些不錯的同事和與孩子快樂的時刻。 更重要的是,有過抑鬱症,我才有機會與我的父母進行一些真正的深入談話,又想要投放時間去做義工,並更多地好好思考在生活中的東西。

 

The strangest thing about God to me is that every time when I am about to give up on believing in Him, something would happen in my life that shows to me He is with me. This is the most fascinating thing I find about my Christian God. I used to complain to God that why do I have to learn about Him and feel Him through the hard way, i.e. having mental problems?

對我來說最奇怪的事情是,每當我要放棄相信上帝時,在我的生命中就會發生一些事情,告訴我祂與我在一起。 這是我發現基督教上帝最教我覺得特別的一點。 我曾經向上帝抱怨,為什麼我必須認識祂,還要通過有心理問題這艱難的方式去感受祂呢?

 

Last week, I finally decided that I would try to make a visit to a church, as going to church was such a pressure for me since Janauary when I began to suffer from depression – I don’t want to go to a place where people gather in His name, and among them there are some hypocrites who fake to be nice, who may trigger my bipolar, no jokes. It was to my surprise that the visit was a lot better than expected. Not only it fulfilled my wish that it would give sermons in English and where its culture dose not involve oral communication between the church-goers, the main thing was that the theme was about ‘healing’.

上星期,我終於決定去了一個教堂一趟,因為自從一月開始確診抑鬱症之後,教會對我來說是一種壓力 – 我不想去到一個以上帝的名字聚集的地方,而於其中有一些假冒為善的人,因為認真說,他們可能觸發我的狂躁症。 令我驚訝的是,去這一趟比預期好多了。 它不僅滿足了我的願望,就是會用英語講道和其文化不需要教友之間有對話交流,主要是因為主題是關於「痊癒」。

 

The church had organised a session when the attendees could get a prayer, almost like a blessing through getting oil anointed on their foreheads and hands, praying that they would be healed from their sicknesses. Most attendees queued up for this and when it came to my turn, I confessed about my depression and the few other mental problems, saying that I am still under treatment with a psychiatrist. I closed my eyes, and lay my palms out ready to receive the oil sincerely. Having hands laid on me, more exactly on my arms, the prayer was said by the pastors gently. Although I could not hear very clearly, but it was during their prayer that I saw Jesus, a cartoon version of Him smiling at me. Unable to put this in words, but I know that His smile signified to me that He called me his child, and telling me that healing will come, and He shall protect me from killing myself when I have relapses in the future. Of course, I need to be practical to keep up to be a good patient to co-operate with my psychiatrist.

教會有一個時段,到會者可以得到一個禱告,像一個祝福,通過在他們的額頭和手上塗油,祈禱他們將從疾病中康復。大多數參加者排隊等候,當輪到我,我承認我有抑鬱症和其他精神問題,說我還在接受一個精神病醫生的治療。我閉上眼睛,放下我的手掌,真誠的準備好接受塗油。牧師們把手放在我身上,更準確地說是在我的手臂上,輕輕地為我禱告。雖然我聽不清楚,但正是在他們禱告期間,我看到卡通版本的耶穌,對我微笑著。無法用言語表達,但我知道祂的微笑意味著祂叫我做祂的孩子,告訴我會痊癒,祂會保護我在未來復發時不要自殺。當然,我需要切實做到與我的精神科醫生好好合作的病人。

 

You could say I was simply lucky to be alive, and I imagine that there is a God. After all, this is my own personal testimony. Thanks for reading such a long post this time! Please PM me at the blog’s Facebook Page if you have any thoughts on my testimony!

你可以說我只是幸運的活著,我想像有一個神。 畢竟,這是我自己的個人見證。 感謝您閱讀這麼長的帖文!如果你對我的見證有任何想法,請PM博客的Facebook頁面!

❤ Lala

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