Is it normal to relapse?
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19-11-2015, 08:01 PM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
(19-11-2015 02:26 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(19-11-2015 02:20 PM)FreeThinker1994 Wrote:  Thank you all very much.

I was thinking, and I also wanted to share that I'm offended when religious people tell me "I could never choose to be an atheist" when reacting to my atheism. I don't feel I have a choice. I can only believe in what I see as objective truth. I really wish god was real, and I wish there was a religion that offered some kind of salvation after death.

I want God to be real so much that sometimes I break down into tears over it. But my wanting a God doesn't make it so. I want to believe truth, even if it is uncomfortable. I just wish people would understand that.

It's not a choice for me. I couldn't make myself believe if my life depended on it.

Ditto!

DJ

Live Better...Help Often....Wonder More
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21-11-2015, 12:25 PM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
(19-11-2015 04:20 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Hey how's it going?
Not too good by the sounds of it.

Having never believed in these obviously man made deities I have a few questions. Forgive me as I am a bit hung over from drinking two Japanese beers and over medicating last night. Long story...

1. Why do you want there to be a god?
Because I like the idea that there is some conscious being who is in control over everything, everywhere, and that they have put everything in my life in such a way so that things work out. They point me toward the right opportunities, and when I struggle or fall off the horse, I'm confident that they have created this as a lesson to make me stronger. I really like this idea, and I know I can try to believe it if I really want, but I know that doesn't make it true. Even so, it's a nice idea.

2. Why do you break down into tears?
Because I used to be very lonely, but I would talk to "god" and not feel lonely anymore. When I lay down for bed or am driving in the car, times when I would normally talk to god, I start crying, because the feeling of being alone is a lot sharper without that. The idea that I've always been alone and just talking to myself also makes me angry at the various clergy I've spoken to over the years for making me believe and do ridiculous things.

3. Is it death that scares you?
I've never been near death before, but I have the sense that I am not scared of death. If I died today I'd be disappointed because there are things I would like to do, but the work I do and the field I study has really helped my understanding of death.

4. Which of the many gods do you do you or did you follow?
I was a Christian. I was reared in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, and I identified with Roman Catholicism - the sect of Christianity of my family going back centuries.

5. Do you expect heaven, hell or hades if there is an afterlife? or perhaps another?
Right now, I expect just to die. When I was religious, I was raised with the idea that when one dies, if one was close to God in one's life, God's love would poor out over the soul and it would feel blissful. If one hated God in one's life and did everything to displease him, the soul would feel as though it was in hell when overwhelmed with this love.

At this point, I don't expect any of it because I know it's probably not real. Why should it be any more real than the ideas of other religions?


6. Do you read much?
I do!

7. Have you read the bible in full?
I have read the new testament in full. Not the old testament, because as a Christian, I knew there were ways of interpreting the OT in certain ways, and without the dedication to buy a commentary or study version, I didn't sink my teeth into the OT.

8. The koran?
I've read half of it - it's sitting on my shelf now, waiting to be read.

9. Homer?
No, not since an abridged version of The Iliad in highschool.

10. What is it you need from a god that you cannot find yourself?
Salvation. "True love", as Christianity defines it. Constant companionship with uncompromising understanding.
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25-01-2016, 02:02 AM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
It is normal to relapse. Here I am again after my 2nd "major" event of leaving my faith behind, which has been marked with several mini events along the way, in which I just don't attend services but I still pretty much believe, but am at odds with myself and how I fit into the religion. Well, more like I'm at odds with how I don't fit into the religion.

I'm so wishy washy about it that folks on both sides of the fence aren't sure what to think about my beliefs. Christians don't know how long I'll be in church consistently for, and atheists aren't sure if I'm really de-converted or not. I think my advice to you would be the advice I'm trying to follow myself: To hell with anyone else. Despite the amount of people in our lives, we alone are responsible for our inner lives, and it's up to us to sort it out no matter who can hang or who can't. Hell, my own wife believes I'll be a Christian again within 2 years. I don't blame her. I told my close friend just recently, who knows what I will wake up and believe tomorrow? But at this point, I've acknowledged that my beliefs aren't compatible with the reality of things, and I only return to the faith for the same reason a drunk returns to a bottle. It comforts me. It helps me not deal with universal uncertainty because I don't have to think about it. It gives me community. It gives me a sense of peace.

We're gonna make it though, man.

“If a believer demands that I, as a nonbeliever, observe his taboos in the public domain, he is not asking for my respect, but for my submission.” ― Flemming Rose
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25-01-2016, 10:43 AM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
Personal authenticity is the core of my being. I cannot and will not be anything other than what I am. It took me a long time to come to terms with that. I did not have religion as my demon but I was in the grip of control of another kind, trying to please parents who were impossible to please. I struggled with this for decades, leaving the family circle 3 or 4 times, trying to create my own family circle, only to go back into the fold until I finally realized that just because I was born to them did not make them loving good people worthy of my love, devotion or time. When I thought to myself, "If my husband treated me this way I would divorce him." So I divorced my parents 20 years ago. One of two of the best decisions I ever made for my personal happiness.

From then on I began to learn to live as my true self, my true thoughts and desires. It took many years to let the real me live but I am so happy I did. I am honest with myself at all costs and finally at peace with my own mind.

I hope you can find that too. Smile

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25-01-2016, 10:53 AM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
(19-11-2015 02:20 PM)FreeThinker1994 Wrote:  Thank you all very much.

I was thinking, and I also wanted to share that I'm offended when religious people tell me "I could never choose to be an atheist" when reacting to my atheism. I don't feel I have a choice. I can only believe in what I see as objective truth. I really wish god was real, and I wish there was a religion that offered some kind of salvation after death.

I want God to be real so much that sometimes I break down into tears over it. But my wanting a God doesn't make it so. I want to believe truth, even if it is uncomfortable. I just wish people would understand that.

Most people believe because of what you say here. They realy want to believe that life doesn't end ever. But that doesn't make it so.
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25-01-2016, 01:35 PM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
Sounds like maybe your isolated slightly from being an atheist and not following religion.

You have to find peace with yourself and the way I see it is this...

There is potentially something out there listening to your thoughts, feelings and emotion. There is no actual real proof of this though and history is littered with many different types of gods and entities that were at one time believed in.

Or

There is no god out there, nobody watching, listening or judging. So when you pray, or reach out to "god", when you seek guidance or ask for forgiveness, theres no one there, its just a middleman to YOURSELF. Your asking yourself for guidance, yourself for forgiveness, you only have yourself to fear and judge.

You can still have faith in the unjverse, everyone has faith, however that faith should be on you, yourself and your own standards.

I feel so much, and yet I feel nothing.
I am a rock, I am the sky, the birds and the trees and everything beyond.
I am the wind, in the fields in which I roar. I am the water, in which I drown.
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21-02-2016, 05:45 PM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
(19-11-2015 12:59 PM)FreeThinker1994 Wrote:  Tell me, is relapse normal?

People sometimes tell me I should just make up my mind. If only it was that simple!

I have had nearly identical experiences. My dad was diagnosed with cancer in October of 2014 and he died in January 2015. I went through a period where I really wanted to believe in something. I still have days when I feel that I want to believe something, but I just don't. Yeah, I think relapse is normal. Especially if you spent a large portion of your life in a religion. I've heard it gets better with time. For our sake, I hope that's true.

On an unrelated note, I have that same textbook that you referenced in your original post. Are you a BSW or MSW student?

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.
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21-02-2016, 06:14 PM
RE: Is it normal to relapse?
(21-02-2016 05:45 PM)StrangestTribe Wrote:  
(19-11-2015 12:59 PM)FreeThinker1994 Wrote:  Tell me, is relapse normal?

People sometimes tell me I should just make up my mind. If only it was that simple!

I have had nearly identical experiences. My dad was diagnosed with cancer in October of 2014 and he died in January 2015. I went through a period where I really wanted to believe in something. I still have days when I feel that I want to believe something, but I just don't. Yeah, I think relapse is normal. Especially if you spent a large portion of your life in a religion. I've heard it gets better with time. For our sake, I hope that's true.

On an unrelated note, I have that same textbook that you referenced in your original post. Are you a BSW or MSW student?

I am sorry for your loss. I think that explains a lot. Grief often causes people to reach for comfort. Your comfort with the loss of your father can be the desire to believe that he isn't completely gone - that you will see him again - the things taught in many religions. Your comfort is also going to be in what you are used to. Going back toward a church community and the trappings of a church are familiar when you are going through new territory.

I don't see is as not being normal - whatever that is. Many reach for comfort food or go back to an addiction or habit when the stress in their lives makes them want to grab something that was a part of their lives and their method of coping.

Just work your way through it at your own pace and in your own time.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

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