God Hates Pikachu and He Also Killed My Daddy

By GHXSTORIES 09/27/18

My higher power doesn’t want me sticking a needle in my arm. For me today, it’s as simple as that.

Hundreds of Pikachu Parade during annual event in Yokohama Japan.
Actually demons. pc: © Joshua Hodgson | Dreamstime.com

I didn’t want to unpack this story so soon. My aim was to share my experience with getting and staying sober in a dry and witty way, do that for a while with you, maybe unpack the heavy stuff after we got to know each other a little more, and then go for the gusto. I didn’t want to bring up a subject that might rub you the wrong way but I recently finished a writing exercise that really got me thinking about my dad. He’s dead.

My father died when I was two years old. He was a heroin user who shared needles. Nobody was talking about harm reduction in the late 80’s nor were they concerned about the consequences of IV drug use. After he got sober, he found out that he had contracted HIV. It wasn’t long after that diagnosis that he lost his battle to AIDS.

I believe growing up without a father had an effect on the man I am today; but this isn’t a story about my dad. This isn’t a story about harm reduction or AIDS awareness. This is a story about God.

Wait! Stay with me, please. Don’t go.

I promise you this isn’t that kind of story. I’ve done right by you with the last two articles. I plan on doing the same with this one. I know the God word bothers some people. It bothers me sometimes. It’s okay, just keep scrolling. We’ll do this one together. Besides, you have to at least get to the part about Pikachu. I’m sure you’re wondering what the heck he’s got to do with all this. Stick around, I’ll tell you.

I grew up in an extremely charismatic religious household; the crazy dogmatic type. Let me tell you how crazy: Did you know that if you listen to any music that isn’t religious, demons will literally fly out of your headphones like a vapor of smoke and possess you? It’s true. My aunt told me that when I was only eight years old. Also, if you watch any movie that isn’t rated G or about the crucifixion of Christ, you run the chance of committing your soul into the fiery pits of hell. Here’s a good one: My younger brother and I were not allowed to watch Pokemon because our grandmother told us that those cute little Japanese cartoons were actually demons and it was Satan's master plan to trick unassuming kids into falling in love with his minions.

Here’s a few more examples:

  1. Don’t drink beer. You’re ingesting the semen of the devil.
  2. True love waits. So if you have sex before marriage, you’re going to burn in hell.
  3. Never smoke cigarettes, you’ll accidentally inhale a demon.
  4. Don’t use profanity unless you want God to give your tongue cancer.
  5. Hey boys, do you like your hands? Well, don’t play with your penis, that’s how you lose them.

Here’s my absolute favorite. When I was kid, my mom brought my younger brother and me to this old-time-holy-ghost Pentecostal church in the hood. The younger children had to go to Sunday school with some 16-year-old babysitter while the adults went to “big church” in the main auditorium. While we were waiting for our mom to pick us up, our babysitter kindly told me that God killed my dad because he was a junkie.

Yup, that’s right. This ignorant girl basically told me that God “gave” my dad AIDS because he was in love with heroin. And it was God’s perfect judgment to execute my powerless addict of a father. Cool, right? I’m going to grow up to be a perfectly normal man, unscathed by any of this tomfoolery.

When you grow up in an overbearing legalistic household and finally start doing some of the things that they told you not to and nothing bad happens, you end up slamming your foot on the gas, speeding straight into the freedom to do everything you’re not supposed to. The things you didn’t do growing up because you believed they would kill you turn into myths created to control you.

This isn’t going to end well for an addict like me. Once I started thinking for myself and realized that my dick wouldn’t fall off if I watch porn, I started watching all the porn. When I realized that I wasn’t possessed after smoking a cigarette, I started smoking all the cigarettes. Add sex to the mix, sprinkle a little drugs on top, and my newfound freedom as a junkie sinner is complete.

Let’s fast-forward a few years because I don’t want to get into other stories that deserve their own headline. Let’s land where I’m walking down the steps of the courthouse with a piece of paper that mandates that I start attending 12-step meetings. Meetings that I must go to or I’m going back to jail and possibly prison.

Imagine my delight, sitting in my first meeting while they’re doing the readings. I hear the 3rd step read aloud for the first time and everything within my gut cringes. I die on the inside. I’m powerless over drugs and alcohol. I can’t stop. I need to stop. And now I’m being told that the only way to do this is with God. I’m in big trouble. 

I have a confession to make. Remember when I told you that this story was about God? It isn’t. I mean it is and it can be for you, too, but it really isn’t. It’s about a higher power; something greater than you. It’s crucial that you hear what I’m about to say.

If you’re a 12-stepper who’s all gung-ho about the 3rd step, that’s cool. If you’re not a 12-stepper who’s grasped the God concept, that’s cool too.

What I want to be explicitly clear about is just one thing. It’s my experience, being an addict in recovery— whether it’s the 12-step route or not—that at some point I have to accept the fact that I need saving. And it’s not going to be me that’s going to do the saving. It’s got to be something greater than me. What I’m good at is getting high. Getting sober is easy. Staying sober isn’t. That’s where the saving comes in for me.

In the beginning. G-O-D meant a lot of things.

  • Group of Druggies
  • Group of Drunks
  • Grow or Die
  • Guaranteed Overnight Delivery (kidding)
  • Good Orderly Direction

A wise man once told me, “I don’t know what God’s will is for my life… but I know what it isn’t.” I know that my higher power doesn’t want me stealing in sobriety. I know I shouldn’t be smoking crack. I know that now that I’m attempting to live a new way, maybe I should concern myself with my physical health since I neglected it for so long. My higher power doesn’t want me sticking a needle in my arm. For me today, it’s as simple as that.

For people who don’t subscribe to an acronym but actually believe in a God, it can be slippery if it’s not kept simple. It’s common for people to get sober and say, “Okay, what do I do now? What is my life’s purpose and what is God’s will for me?” If they do that, they end up stressing themselves out and thinking themselves out of the game, thinking that they have to understand the meaning of life at 12 months sober; or that they should have a roadmap for their life drawn out, down to every little specific detail.

It’s not that serious. Instead of concerning yourself with some huge existential question mark, keep it simple. Get off the bench, get back on the field and play. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself sober years later with a beautiful life filled with purpose and meaning. I can promise you that only because I’ve seen it happen for many of my junkie friends around me.

My higher power doesn’t hate Pikachu. That’s just silly. If you believe in God, that’s cool. If you don’t, that’s cool too. Just find something greater than you when the days get dark in your life. Hey! Maybe it’s this story. Who knows.

If nobody told you that they love you today: I do. I love you.

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

GHXSTORIES is a recovering junkie and musical artist from Clearwater, FL who recklessly dances on the fringe of insanity. He currently resides in the Tampa Bay Area, where you'll most likely find him around town trying to gain some traction in sobriety. Fresh on the writing scene, his "Ghost Stories" aim to provoke and arouse through witty, raw, and sarcastic musings. Listen to him on SoundCloud and find him on Instagram and Facebook.