I've never had an addiction but sometimes I feel like religion was
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03-09-2012, 09:38 AM
RE: I've never had an addiction but sometimes I feel like religion was
(30-08-2012 11:17 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(30-08-2012 10:59 PM)Alice Wrote:  I don't know about you but I feel like I don't even know where to start with those skills. How do they develop, do I just wait for them? I like your comment about seeing accomplishments as your own, I had never thought about that. At least that is a happy thought. I feel like I am in a urgent mode, like I don't have time to figure it out I need to know what to do now. I feel rushed. I have a 5 and 2 year old and we have bibles all over. bible stories, everything. they love reading them, well my 5 year old and just from the short time she was in sunday school she is sure jesus is real. like tonight she wanted for book time bible stories for girls, so we read it and she commented "that is real". She knows I don't believe in god and I want her to choose, but I want to make sure that SHE is actually the one making that choice. Thing is I don't even know what I am doing so how am I suppose to know what to do with them so that they never have to go through all of this. Im am dumbfounded. The afterlife was always there, now theres one, now what should I do with it? It's hard to accept, its hard to comprehend (even though if we were never exposed to religion it would be so much easier and we would have epic coping skills lol).

I'm glad I don't have kids to worry about. Just my dog, and I'm pretty sure she's an atheist too, although we never talk about it. Big Grin

I would imagine it won't be too long before she starts realizing if Mommy and Daddy don't believe then it must not be real.

I've had the same question as you about where to start as well as how? I'm in therapy, but my therapist is person-centered using a non-directive approach, so as far as actual tips to follow, I'm trying to discover my own. Yesterday I went to a psychiatrist to consult about my medications. He was the opposite of my therapist, asking tons of questions and making statements and giving ideas. I realized it might not be a bad thing to check in with him from time to time as a different way of approaching things.

Not so much lately, but I used to listen to the Living After Faith Podcast with Rich Lyons. I first heard him on TTA with Seth. He talks about his own PTSD experiences after being a minister for 25 years. I don't know if you're into Podcasts, but you might try it. There are some helpful ideas there, at least for me.

thank you I will check out those podcasts!

“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”
― Baruch Spinoza
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03-09-2012, 09:39 AM
RE: I've never had an addiction but sometimes I feel like religion was
(30-08-2012 11:20 PM)nach_in Wrote:  I didn't suffer the same as you, I found the things that helped me cope with the world before I completely lost my faith so I had somewhere to start. I read a few things about uncertainty and how it permeates everything, not in a quantum theory point of view, from a more human "we can't know everything even if we had all the information available" way, and the idea of trying to embrace this uncertainty was really cool, I live with some kind of anxiety now, but not the bad one, that kind of anxiety we feel before an adventure but that's everyday.

If you don't know how you should feel, improvise, experiment with your own emotions and surely you'll find out you're better at coping with life than you credit yourself for Big Grin

About your kids, how's your husband about all this? is he atheist also? if yes, then you both could try to help your kids experiment also, in a more controlled/safe way of course. If not, then you both should try to discuss how you wish your kids to be raised.

In any case, kids are resilient, so don't be scared to plant some doubt seed in them, it will probably do more good than bad to them...

My husband is no longer Christian either, but is more agnostic. He isn't sure if there is anything but think there might be. How would we experiement?

“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”
― Baruch Spinoza
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03-09-2012, 09:41 AM
RE: I've never had an addiction but sometimes I feel like religion was
(31-08-2012 02:05 AM)LadyJane Wrote:  I think this is one of the single most difficult concepts in transitioning from a believing way of life to a non believing. So much dependancy and pseudo answers are given with indoctrination. The mind literally becomes an automated reflex of the larger mob-mentality (re: hypnotized) cult/congregation/way of life.

I have had a similar experience as well. Lucky for me, I could fall back on many skills I picked up in school (counsellor) and I also went to the best therapist EVER for other things, but this consequently influenced my new approach in a new way of living, which basically has to be molded from the ground up. And actually, it can be very simple, but it takes a lot of work (practice), so in that sense it's hard. But once it is drilled in (reformatted) into your brain, you can rely and depend on this in life when you meet minor or major crisis.

When we come to our problems in a believer's brain, it is crisis -> ask God and pray-> brain signals we've been heard-> crisis diverted (handled), all is well. And then the reality is a certain action was made, or a certain series of events happened and then things were solved more or less in our perception and we move on.

Now, as a newly non believer, the brain goes crisis-> no praying-> what do I do? -> problem is not solved/helped-> problem has become overwhelming.

So here, we are stuck at 'What do I do?' and our brain has no place to go. This is the skill. In neurology, we have learned about the various pathways and signals. With prayer, this is an in-fluctuation of chemical (a soothing chemical that sends the crisis away to feel averted) that is self-released (meaning you consciously signal this to happen) and this chemical has been available through practice (praying at church, everyday on the AM and evening, every meal and any crisis ever- that's a LOT over the years of chemical availability and pathway embedding- especially if you were very heavy into your belief, especially for a preacher because you are doing this for yourself and everyone else as a whole and individually- wow!). These are strong physical effects of praying. This IS the addiction you feel. In reality, in form. There is no way you shouldn't feel the way you do after, because of how actual it is.

So, what now? "What do I do"?

The new skill has to come in. Well, this is an analogy that helps many people in counselling. Have you ever taken a first aid course? If you haven't it may be beneficial not only just to have, but also to learn problem solving crisis skills.

The first thing in first aid is not to call 911, not to do anything. It is to stop and breathe. Slowly. It seems ridiculous but it does help. Mentally, this begins to release these same calming chemicals so you don't panic, just like prayer would do. It also helps oxygenate the brain to think clearly. It is incredible how a lack of oxygen will screw up how you think-if at all! This is why yoga and meditation are actually very beneficial for the mind.

Then you can go through your problem solving questions. Can I help? If I can't, who can? What are my resources? (friend, professional, forum here, etc) What do you do if you don't reach answers? What have other's done? I have to grab some books maybe this week, because I think there is an actual formula for this to memorize to help, too- I haven't been in this workforce for a few years (I have wee ones as well and am not doing this right now with clients). Myself, I have a fairly set routine for these things now. (living proof! Big Grin you can get there!)

Now, you will find that you have the right 'system' to deal with a wide variety of personal crisis. You will realize you have choices to make, and that's in your control. When a sense of control (vs feeling overwhelmed) starts to develop, confidence and self esteem grow. Amazing! This take practice to 're-route' your old way of thinking.


I have some other tips if you want, one is called 'scaling' and another is called 'miracle questioning' (don't worry, no fake or real miracles are preformed Wink )



Let me know if I wasn't being clear. There are many techniques and everyone has a different way of approaching, this is what I find works for most people and helped myself. The most important thing is to understand that this addictive feeling and this sense of overwhelm are for an actual physical reason and because the brain is AMAZING and can be manipulated and healed, re-routed and reinvented there is so much possibility to be where you want it to be. You don't have to feel overwhelmed forever.



________


I have children too, similar in age. We also have bible books still in the house and Grandma's and Aunties, etc, talk about God like God is real. I say flat out "I think this is a story. " I explain my view on things.

And then I flood their little minds with FACTS Big Grin And I buy ALL kinds of books- of course science, history, etc but also more fair tales and mythical stories. The bible is an extremely important piece of history and should not be feared. It just deserves the proper view.

Also, critical thinking is such a key component for the mind. There is a lot of information out there for how to develop this. Smile (I love the internet!)



So I've babbled a lot- I could babble more, too- but I'll wait to see if or what response this gets and go from there. Was this helpful?

Yes please share as much as possible. Like what books? And just any other tips.

“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”
― Baruch Spinoza
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03-09-2012, 11:37 AM
RE: I've never had an addiction but sometimes I feel like religion was
(03-09-2012 09:39 AM)Alice Wrote:  
(30-08-2012 11:20 PM)nach_in Wrote:  I didn't suffer the same as you, I found the things that helped me cope with the world before I completely lost my faith so I had somewhere to start. I read a few things about uncertainty and how it permeates everything, not in a quantum theory point of view, from a more human "we can't know everything even if we had all the information available" way, and the idea of trying to embrace this uncertainty was really cool, I live with some kind of anxiety now, but not the bad one, that kind of anxiety we feel before an adventure but that's everyday.

If you don't know how you should feel, improvise, experiment with your own emotions and surely you'll find out you're better at coping with life than you credit yourself for Big Grin

About your kids, how's your husband about all this? is he atheist also? if yes, then you both could try to help your kids experiment also, in a more controlled/safe way of course. If not, then you both should try to discuss how you wish your kids to be raised.

In any case, kids are resilient, so don't be scared to plant some doubt seed in them, it will probably do more good than bad to them...

My husband is no longer Christian either, but is more agnostic. He isn't sure if there is anything but think there might be. How would we experiement?

Ask them questions, talk to them about other religions, make them doubt and see what happens.

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25-11-2012, 04:58 PM
RE: I've never had an addiction but sometimes I feel like religion was
I always asked my kid if she wanted the scientific answer to her questions or the mythological. If she wanted mythological I was as likely to give her Native American, Yoruba, Norse, Greek or Biblical. I let her decide for herself which truth worked for her.
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06-12-2012, 09:54 PM
RE: I've never had an addiction but sometimes I feel like religion was
(31-08-2012 02:05 AM)LadyJane Wrote:  I think this is one of the single most difficult concepts in transitioning from a believing way of life to a non believing. So much dependancy and pseudo answers are given with indoctrination. The mind literally becomes an automated reflex of the larger mob-mentality (re: hypnotized) cult/congregation/way of life.



I have had a similar experience as well. Lucky for me, I could fall back on many skills I picked up in school (counsellor) and I also went to the best therapist EVER for other things, but this consequently influenced my new approach in a new way of living, which basically has to be molded from the ground up. And actually, it can be very simple, but it takes a lot of work (practice), so in that sense it's hard. But once it is drilled in (reformatted) into your brain, you can rely and depend on this in life when you meet minor or major crisis.



When we come to our problems in a believer's brain, it is crisis -> ask God and pray-> brain signals we've been heard-> crisis diverted (handled), all is well. And then the reality is a certain action was made, or a certain series of events happened and then things were solved more or less in our perception and we move on.



Now, as a newly non believer, the brain goes crisis-> no praying-> what do I do? -> problem is not solved/helped-> problem has become overwhelming.



So here, we are stuck at 'What do I do?' and our brain has no place to go. This is the skill. In neurology, we have learned about the various pathways and signals. With prayer, this is an in-fluctuation of chemical (a soothing chemical that sends the crisis away to feel averted) that is self-released (meaning you consciously signal this to happen) and this chemical has been available through practice (praying at church, everyday on the AM and evening, every meal and any crisis ever- that's a LOT over the years of chemical availability and pathway embedding- especially if you were very heavy into your belief, especially for a preacher because you are doing this for yourself and everyone else as a whole and individually- wow!). These are strong physical effects of praying. This IS the addiction you feel. In reality, in form. There is no way you shouldn't feel the way you do after, because of how actual it is.



So, what now? "What do I do"?



The new skill has to come in. Well, this is an analogy that helps many people in counselling. Have you ever taken a first aid course? If you haven't it may be beneficial not only just to have, but also to learn problem solving crisis skills.



The first thing in first aid is not to call 911, not to do anything. It is to stop and breathe. Slowly. It seems ridiculous but it does help. Mentally, this begins to release these same calming chemicals so you don't panic, just like prayer would do. It also helps oxygenate the brain to think clearly. It is incredible how a lack of oxygen will screw up how you think-if at all! This is why yoga and meditation are actually very beneficial for the mind.



Then you can go through your problem solving questions. Can I help? If I can't, who can? What are my resources? (friend, professional, forum here, etc) What do you do if you don't reach answers? What have other's done? I have to grab some books maybe this week, because I think there is an actual formula for this to memorize to help, too- I haven't been in this workforce for a few years (I have wee ones as well and am not doing this right now with clients). Myself, I have a fairly set routine for these things now. (living proof! Big Grin you can get there!)



Now, you will find that you have the right 'system' to deal with a wide variety of personal crisis. You will realize you have choices to make, and that's in your control. When a sense of control (vs feeling overwhelmed) starts to develop, confidence and self esteem grow. Amazing! This take practice to 're-route' your old way of thinking.





I have some other tips if you want, one is called 'scaling' and another is called 'miracle questioning' (don't worry, no fake or real miracles are preformed Wink )







Let me know if I wasn't being clear. There are many techniques and everyone has a different way of approaching, this is what I find works for most people and helped myself. The most important thing is to understand that this addictive feeling and this sense of overwhelm are for an actual physical reason and because the brain is AMAZING and can be manipulated and healed, re-routed and reinvented there is so much possibility to be where you want it to be. You don't have to feel overwhelmed forever.







________





I have children too, similar in age. We also have bible books still in the house and Grandma's and Aunties, etc, talk about God like God is real. I say flat out "I think this is a story. " I explain my view on things.



And then I flood their little minds with FACTS Big Grin And I buy ALL kinds of books- of course science, history, etc but also more fair tales and mythical stories. The bible is an extremely important piece of history and should not be feared. It just deserves the proper view.



Also, critical thinking is such a key component for the mind. There is a lot of information out there for how to develop this. Smile (I love the internet!)







So I've babbled a lot- I could babble more, too- but I'll wait to see if or what response this gets and go from there. Was this helpful?
I am actually quite new to using a forum so I don't know if its kosher to quote a whole post just to say excellent post or is it just better to hit the like button. In any case I have just done both. I haven't figured out how to collapse the quoted posts yet though.

(30-08-2012 10:09 PM)Alice Wrote:  

So I feel like the process (still not completed) of losing religion went slow at first but then hit me like a brick. Even though I gained so much, knowledge, internal freedom, and a new appreciation for life. However, I miss it, I can't lie. Sometimes I wish I could go back, it was all I knew and was connected to every part of my life. Someone died- its ok they are in heaven, you will see them again (so you didn't really have to learn how to really cope with death because they weren't really dead). A tragedy happens to you- god works in mysterious ways (he knows what hes doing so don't concentrate on how to make it better, or what went wrong depending on the situation because god made it happen). Something good happens- It's a miracle praise god (praise god all the time no matter what he is good, or so it was taught). And for me the most damaging was "leave it to god, let it go, he will take care of you, trust in him, give it to him (so basically hand all your shit to an imaginary friend just to have it someday all come at you at once).SadcryfaceSadcryfaceSadcryfaceConfused
So pretty much any emotional response or attempt at coping with anything in life was overshadowed by "god" the "god" I was taught about. I feel like I have stunted emotional growth. When you really come to the realization there is no god, everything and I mean everything, every emotional response to anything comes back and its like ok now what, now how do I cope with this. 28 years worth of life that was lived waiting for the eternal life later, it was fantasy, its hard to deal with all the emotions you never coped with before, and no direction on how to handle them because you are surrounded by the very people who did it to you in the first place.

(30-08-2012 10:59 PM)Alice Wrote:  
(30-08-2012 10:20 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  Alice, a lot of your experience resonates with what I've gone through and in many ways have just discovered how horrible I am at coping with life because in the past I always prayed for help, or wisdom. I felt my steps were directed by the Lord and he was guiding me through life. Intellectually I can look at my past and be grateful that I now know all of those accomplishments were mind alone. However, to use your phrase, I too still feel emotionally stunted or developmentally delayed in a certain sense. I love the freedom of not being so obsessed with trying to live in a way that honored God. But in other ways, I'm just beginning to see how deep my damage was and feel like I'm starting over with learning some real basic coping skills to make life have meaning.



I don't know about you but I feel like I don't even know where to start with those skills. How do they develop, do I just wait for them? I like your comment about seeing accomplishments as your own, I had never thought about that. At least that is a happy thought. I feel like I am in a urgent mode, like I don't have time to figure it out I need to know what to do now. I feel rushed. I have a 5 and 2 year old and we have bibles all over. bible stories, everything. they love reading them, well my 5 year old and just from the short time she was in sunday school she is sure jesus is real. like tonight she wanted for book time bible stories for girls, so we read it and she commented "that is real". She knows I don't believe in god and I want her to choose, but I want to make sure that SHE is actually the one making that choice. Thing is I don't even know what I am doing so how am I suppose to know what to do with them so that they never have to go through all of this. Im am dumbfounded. The afterlife was always there, now theres one, now what should I do with it? It's hard to accept, its hard to comprehend (even though if we were never exposed to religion it would be so much easier and we would have epic coping skills lol).

Both my wife and I are going through a similar process especially with our children. Our oldest daughter who is twelve seems to be coping with it well. She has always thought in a very logical way, is not an overly emotional child, and has stated she has been enjoying our recent conversation about religion and the history of the bible, but she does miss singing for the church choir. Our son who is 10 is glad to be no longer attending church, but says he still believes God exists and wants to still pray. It has been bit rougher for him, but we have also been having some good conversations. I was never really able to talk them openly about religion when religious since I was struggling with it myself and every time they asked questions I had no answers or the answers I had felt false as I spoke them. My youngest daughter who is seven won't be convinced that Santa is not real which is funny because as parents we never believed in playing the Santa clause game. She is quite the Santa apologist and is determined every year to make us believe in him. So I think it makes for interesting foreshadowed possibilities . In any case I will focus on critical thinking skills at home and let them believe what they want. Truthfully and above all the largest thing I fear for them is that they will not be able to find a wonderful and fulfilled life. My wife and I have told them multiple times that as long as we are alive we will never abandon them no matter what. Whether it is being a doctor, food worker, president of the united states, or even finding themselves in prison we will be their for them. That is what family means to us. So largely when it comes to them I am not too concerned what beliefs or lack there of they may have.

As for my wife we came to the conclusion of atheism through different paths but together. We have both experienced much of what you have described. There is heavy loss very close in nature to losing a relative or friend, but also a new and exciting freedom (which is ironic since I was only supposed to be feeling free in Christ, hmmm) For me though I think the addiction still continues through obsessiveness. Thats what my head does and all I can do is ride it out. Not compulsive just obsessive. I will spend entire days watching debates, conferences, reading (forums, prominent atheist, prominent apologist, church history, etc...) Makes work tough sometimes when I have this stuck in my head. This is just my personality though and affects other areas of my life. I don't mind though since I am still able to function and I have learned some pretty cool stuff along the way. (Learning to play the Great Gate of Kieve on the piano was one of them, Oh and it got me through college to) My wife has gone the more traditional emotional route and we balance each other out this way. Though I can tell it will be awhile before things will start to feel normal again.

I am no longer fighting my inner demons. We are all on the same side now.
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