The point of practising Qi Gong is to cultivate and collect positive energy. I remember in low times when I was suffering from my mental condition, I felt as though I was buried. High above my head was the sky like a little point of light and I was surrounded by earth. Some people can fall even further into this pit of despair. There wouldn’t even be a point of light somewhere above, just darkness everywhere. The earth isn’t just a place where life comes from but it is also a tomb. Life returns and is buried in the earth. This is maybe why some mental conditions are seen as close to a living death. The negative energy fills your body and you succumb. In spring, for example, a small fragile seed will struggle to push its way through the earth and reach the light. It will be susceptible to the elements and may not be guaranteed survival. The positive energy could also kill it, and it may be tired from its effort to break through the earth. Nothing then is black and white. Nothing is guaranteed.
I sometimes remember other times when I was a youth. I couldn’t spend time at home with my Mum’s alcoholic boyfriend always ready to verbally abuse me. I would wander the streets in the darkness and there were times when I would carry out acts of vandalism. I still can’t believe some of those acts. Destroying property for no apparent reason. There was a cloud in my head. A dark cloud, or in terms of mental illness a fog. When I was young it came and went. I always carried out these acts alone. Even now I can’t believe I would vandalise property. People will call graffiti vandalism, I think willful damage and destruction of property is on another level. There was only a handful of times I did vandalise property. Sometimes I felt like it was revenge. I suppose I was angry I couldn’t be at home without a drunken spray. I had low self-esteem and I was very sensitive to verbal abuse. As I matured I started to find I could simply ignore any abuse and even got to the point where I didn’t react.
That happened when I had a growth spurt and I knew I could physically overcome my Mum’s boyfriend. Before that, I was quite weak physically and mentally. If my Mum’s boyfriend hit me I would feel a great sense of shock as I couldn’t defend myself. It is worrying how people can prey on the weak. Though when I became strong I chose to ignore tyrants and spent my time on the streets doing graffiti. I came across a lot of aggression and mostly avoided those types of situations. Those random acts of damaging property were few and I realised that I needed to work on myself rather than try to and make amends through random acts that really had no point. There are probably three events that happened and I can see my train of thought. Literally, I have never spoken to anyone about willful damage. I think smashing windows and property only happened on one occasion and I remember my resolve to carry out the act. I was in a bad place. Most people will put these things back on you because they see the situation from their perspective.
I was also a demanding kid who expected to be given the best of the best. I always wanted the most expensive ice cream for example. I was envious of all of the things I saw at other peoples homes that I didn’t have. I was materialistic. I was angry. I wanted what other people had. When my Mum met her alcoholic boyfriend he had a colour television and when he moved in he put a colour TV in my room. Not long after, once he had started working on my fragile ego he cut the cord to my colour TV in a drunken rage. Materialism, alcoholism, aggression, naivety, youth and colour television. Because I had been a shit of a kid I probably deserved a bit of discipline. The victim is always the real problem. At the end of the day, I didn’t understand that society had conditioned me to want material goods. To yearn for material goods. The spiritual was just a church with people weeping. The energy of Christ. Life, death and then life.
The main reason I want to talk about all of this is even when you fall into a dark place that seems inescapable you can work on yourself. You can step out of that world. Though in saying that, I have had opportunities. I have also missed opportunities. So in a way escape may be harder than expected. That is also because of where you are, that is your current fate. I tried to describe that in one of my short stories called ‘Stairs’ and I don’t know if I did a good job but I kind of threaded the escapable with the inescapable. We are stuck in our bodies, our families and our lives but we are also able to change where we are unless we have no means at all. It is hard to escape but sometimes you have to make a plan and try to find what opportunities you do have.