I found this little gem while on Patheos. It’s a great article detailing why Pokémon GO is actually a good thing. I myself don’t have the game–my phone is an idiotphone–but I can vouch for the fact that something like this is a very good thing. I should know.
A Pokémon game saved my sanity.
About six weeks after the Japanese release of Pokémon Black and White, my mother dropped a bomb on me: I learned that I wasn’t an only child and that instead, I had an older half-brother that had been surrendered for adoption. I went through a range of emotions, some good and most bad. In the weeks following the reveal, I went to a very dark place mentally.
Enter Golett, the Automaton Pokémon. The Pokémon that eventually became my Spirit Pokémon. The Pokémon that eventually usurped my previous favorites from past Generations.
Golett is an artificially created Pokémon, one that doesn’t naturally occur in the wild. But the reasons it was made are unknown. In those tender weeks after my mother’s revelation, I asked myself why I existed, why I was here. Was I born because my mother wanted me? Or was I conceived because my mother wanted something to fill the hole in her heart? I didn’t know.
Even worse, I was steeped in the depths of survivor guilt, a relentlessly horrific mental condition that I wish upon no one. I felt horrible, wondering if my mother would have been happier keeping my half-brother rather than me. Making the situation all the worse, I couldn’t help but envy my brother a bit; he escaped the abuse that I endured. I was angry at my mother for lying to me. I was angry at my father for being complacent in that lie. I was confused as to why my parents didn’t trust me enough to tell me what had truly happened before I was born. I existed but I didn’t know why.
I felt like a Golett: overlooked, unwanted and sometimes seen as a nuisance. When I finally got my copy of Pokémon Black in March of 2011, I raced through my game in order to get to the Dragonspiral Tower, to get my Golett, to complete my team and complete my fractured soul, torn asunder only months before. I also became quite active on the GTS, taking in Golett after Golett that had been left there, creatures that had been left behind and unwanted.
With each successful rescue, I felt a sense of accomplishment. With each rescue, I felt a little more human.
In the years that have followed, I have learned to live with my new status. It hasn’t been easy and there are days I wonder if I have a right to exist on this planet. When those days pop up, I break out my copy of Pokémon X and play with one of my Golett horde. It sounds crazy but this simple little video game puts things in perspective and calms me in a way that other things can’t.
It’s a balm for my troubled spirit, to be honest. And I’m not ashamed to say it.