Just a guy looking for some advice
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16-07-2016, 09:05 PM
Just a guy looking for some advice
Honestly, I'm not sure if this is going to make too much sense. If I were to read about my story from a different point of view than mine, I would say it didn't make sense and I would have no idea what to say but then again maybe that's the entire reason I need help and maybe someone can offer some advice. It's something I've never read about before and I hope it doesn't sound so stupid that I get laughed off the forums but I'm hoping that someone out there can relate somehow no matter how weird this is.

Anyways, here we go. I am a 19 year old male that rejects the belief of any religion or God existing. I don't bother in classifying myself with the other sub-classifications of atheism or agnosticism, etc. but I think you can get the point. I just don't believe in any god.

I grew up in a household that was VERY religious towards Christianity. Even to this day my parents are hardcore Christians and I don't ever see that changing. Basically, they raised me to be Christian and to follow all of the Christian god's orders and so on and so forth. I probably don't need to spend a lot of time on that.

When I was a young kid, I totally immersed myself into the religious aspect of life. I willingly went to church and wanted to go to Sunday school and be involved. I performed in the youth choir and read my bible every day, multiple times of day. I was the kid in middle school always carrying around a bible and answering "Amazing Grace" when asked what my favorite song was.

While those memories are so embarrasing, that's a different problem for a different day. Here's where it can get weird, I guess. A habit I picked up from probably second or third grade still bothers me. Basically, it was a habit of praying constantly, not-stopped. I'm not talking like getting on my knees in the middle of the hall at school to pray. I'm talking about just the noise inside my head, saying a little prayer. It got to be more than habitual and almost like an obsession and I couldn't stop. For example, if my father was sick I would send a quick prayer to ask for my father to be okay. Then I would do it again a minute later, and further throughout the day.

At the time I thought that was a great thing, just praying all day long basically. I was taught the more you pray, the better so I want to say that's why I started doing something like this. But you know if you do something for long enough then it's a habit and hard to break.

I've considered myself to be an atheist for five years, almost. And to this day, I still have this problem. Its not as bad as it used to be and even though I literally try and not have those prayers repeat in my mind, it bothers me if I don't. Like I can't function if I don't utter those words in my head. I can't concentrate or focus and its so fucking miserable.

I know that sounds crazy. I promise this isn't a joke and this is serious though I really see how stupid it sounds (or maybe other people have this problem. I've just never heard of this before) but the good thing about this forums is that its anonymous and I don't have to look someone in the face to say something like this so I feel better about it.

Basically, what the hell is wrong with me? I'm guessing that my mind was just so conditioned for all those years that its an ultra difficult habit to break? I've just been so conditioned to do that and my brain is unable to adjust? Or is it some kind of OCD since its really obsessive and compulsive or does this fall under a different category? I know how dumb it sounds. I really don't want to believe that a subconscious part of me actually thinks that Christianity is the right way to believe. I just don't feel that way and I don't question what I believe but that nagging thought bothers me and its so confusing and miserable and no matter what I do, I feel like shit and my mind is just all messed up.

I don't know if this makes sense to anyone or if anoyne understands what I'm saying but that's the best way I can explain it. Any answer will help. I just feel confused and I want to know if I'm just an odd person or if this is some kind of problem other people have and there's a way to fix myself in a sense because I can't stand it. I can't stand how it bothers me if I try and fight the urge to say a prayer. So... can anyone shed some light on this?
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16-07-2016, 10:13 PM
RE: Just a guy looking for some advice
It makes sense to me. Even though I'm still pretty new to atheism. I pray often out of habit. I'll drop a thank you Jesus here and there. It's just what we were taught to do I guess. I know of another athiest that I used to work with.. She does it but no longer calls it praying just sending "good vibes"
But I think it's normal, heck I still look to the east out of habit waiting on Jesus to pop out of a cloud.
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16-07-2016, 10:18 PM
RE: Just a guy looking for some advice
(16-07-2016 09:05 PM)thatguy1030 Wrote:  Honestly, I'm not sure if this is going to make too much sense. If I were to read about my story from a different point of view than mine, I would say it didn't make sense and I would have no idea what to say but then again maybe that's the entire reason I need help and maybe someone can offer some advice. It's something I've never read about before and I hope it doesn't sound so stupid that I get laughed off the forums but I'm hoping that someone out there can relate somehow no matter how weird this is.

Anyways, here we go. I am a 19 year old male that rejects the belief of any religion or God existing. I don't bother in classifying myself with the other sub-classifications of atheism or agnosticism, etc. but I think you can get the point. I just don't believe in any god.

I grew up in a household that was VERY religious towards Christianity. Even to this day my parents are hardcore Christians and I don't ever see that changing. Basically, they raised me to be Christian and to follow all of the Christian god's orders and so on and so forth. I probably don't need to spend a lot of time on that.

When I was a young kid, I totally immersed myself into the religious aspect of life. I willingly went to church and wanted to go to Sunday school and be involved. I performed in the youth choir and read my bible every day, multiple times of day. I was the kid in middle school always carrying around a bible and answering "Amazing Grace" when asked what my favorite song was.

While those memories are so embarrasing, that's a different problem for a different day. Here's where it can get weird, I guess. A habit I picked up from probably second or third grade still bothers me. Basically, it was a habit of praying constantly, not-stopped. I'm not talking like getting on my knees in the middle of the hall at school to pray. I'm talking about just the noise inside my head, saying a little prayer. It got to be more than habitual and almost like an obsession and I couldn't stop. For example, if my father was sick I would send a quick prayer to ask for my father to be okay. Then I would do it again a minute later, and further throughout the day.

At the time I thought that was a great thing, just praying all day long basically. I was taught the more you pray, the better so I want to say that's why I started doing something like this. But you know if you do something for long enough then it's a habit and hard to break.

I've considered myself to be an atheist for five years, almost. And to this day, I still have this problem. Its not as bad as it used to be and even though I literally try and not have those prayers repeat in my mind, it bothers me if I don't. Like I can't function if I don't utter those words in my head. I can't concentrate or focus and its so fucking miserable.

I know that sounds crazy. I promise this isn't a joke and this is serious though I really see how stupid it sounds (or maybe other people have this problem. I've just never heard of this before) but the good thing about this forums is that its anonymous and I don't have to look someone in the face to say something like this so I feel better about it.

Basically, what the hell is wrong with me? I'm guessing that my mind was just so conditioned for all those years that its an ultra difficult habit to break? I've just been so conditioned to do that and my brain is unable to adjust? Or is it some kind of OCD since its really obsessive and compulsive or does this fall under a different category? I know how dumb it sounds. I really don't want to believe that a subconscious part of me actually thinks that Christianity is the right way to believe. I just don't feel that way and I don't question what I believe but that nagging thought bothers me and its so confusing and miserable and no matter what I do, I feel like shit and my mind is just all messed up.

I don't know if this makes sense to anyone or if anoyne understands what I'm saying but that's the best way I can explain it. Any answer will help. I just feel confused and I want to know if I'm just an odd person or if this is some kind of problem other people have and there's a way to fix myself in a sense because I can't stand it. I can't stand how it bothers me if I try and fight the urge to say a prayer. So... can anyone shed some light on this?

I suggest you see a therapist, especially a cognitive behavior therapist. You may be prescribed medication short-term to help break the cycle.

See this.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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16-07-2016, 10:20 PM (This post was last modified: 16-07-2016 10:35 PM by cactus.)
RE: Just a guy looking for some advice
Welcome

As a person who's never prayed voluntarily, I'm not sure if I'm qualified to give any good advice. Do you have any hobbies you could focus on that might drown out that urge? Maybe listen to some music that you like, or take up a foreign language. Then whenever you feel the compulsive urge to pray, you can be like "Bonjour, Satan. Comment allez-vous? Je t'aime. Un deux trois quatre cinq six sept huit neuf dix. Amen. Bowing"

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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16-07-2016, 10:22 PM
RE: Just a guy looking for some advice
Hi Welcome Smile

OCD thoughts are intrusive (to the point of obsession) and create anxiety if you don't perform a compulsion (i.e. praying). You can also have obsession without compulsion. The major characteristic of OCD is anxiety which is produced by the thoughts. If the thoughts are just from a habit and conditioning, they would be more on the annoying side, but generally would not produce anxiety.

OCD can certainly be triggered by religious brainwashing. It even has its own category called Scrupulosity.

I used to be highly religious as well and definitely had a hard time breaking conditioned habits like praying and thanking God for everything. While mine was more annoying and less anxiety producing, it did show me how much my religion infiltrated my very existence and ways of thinking.

Whether your thoughts are from OCD or religious conditioning or both, it might be a good idea to talk to a therapist if you are bothered by the thoughts to the point where it is impacting your quality of life.
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16-07-2016, 10:26 PM
RE: Just a guy looking for some advice
You spent the first fourteen (very formative) years of your life being heavily conditioned to this behavior.
After five it has lessened a little. It could be that it will just take more time to break this conditioning. It could also be a combination of conditioning and an OCD type of disorder.
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16-07-2016, 10:29 PM
RE: Just a guy looking for some advice
Say it to yourself as a positive affirmation.?

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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16-07-2016, 10:31 PM
RE: Just a guy looking for some advice
^^^a secular therapist. Make sure to research them beforehand. If you get into their office, tell them what you're dealing with, and they start preaching to you, do an about-face and walk right back out that door.
https://www.seculartherapy.org/

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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16-07-2016, 10:39 PM
RE: Just a guy looking for some advice
(16-07-2016 10:31 PM)cactus Wrote:  ^^^a secular therapist. Make sure to research them beforehand. If you get into their office, tell them what you're dealing with, and they start preaching to you, do an about-face and walk right back out that door.
https://www.seculartherapy.org/

If a therapist did that shit in Australia, they'd lose their licence. Quick smart!

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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17-07-2016, 06:26 AM
RE: Just a guy looking for some advice
Welcome.....

.....

Therapy probably would help....

But, if that doesn't work - I've got a shock collar I used on my old dog -- and it worked wonders.....

Nothing like Pavlovian training, eh????

Wink

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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