Mental Illness and Spirituality
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29-03-2015, 09:39 PM
Mental Illness and Spirituality
I am the village atheist at my job...

I am also the one that has dealt with mental illness in the past with anxiety and panic attacks with subsequent depression.

I am doing much better these days except for the depression piece...but divorce, loss of faith, and the death of both parent's can do that to a person.

So going forward I have many coworkers and some friends who are trying to share their spirituality with me. I appreciate that and even talk with them in a sort of reflective 'ahh those were the days' type of conversation. I think they must view me as some kind of project for redemption.

I am a weak atheist...and probably fit more in the agnostic category truly. Saying "I don't know" was the best statement I ever learned to love...it is honest and truthful.

But sometime's I feel like living a secular life is living on hard mode and sometime's I just would like things to 'make sense' without so much confusion. I feel this may also be due to so much change and not enough time to acclimate to it.

My exwife and I will be completely divorced after a long separation in the next month or so. I am still dealing with the loss of faith and how to continue on without it. My parent's have both died in the last 18 months...one 18 months ago and one a week ago.



What I am wondering...

What on earth do our great heroes of atheism and free thought have that I do not have? Good grief...where is my courage and bravery? It comes in glimpses and yet at times evaporates. Perhaps its the unluckiness of having an hyperactive fight or flight response or sensitive nerves...I do not know...but I am having a hell of a time coping with the loss of faith.

I must be still in the stages of grief...my relationship with religion and its absence is a difficult one. On one hand I am free to explore and seek out whatever interests me! On the other hand that sudden autonomy can make the world seem too massive to deal with...like trying to climb a hill that is just too steep.

I also have children that I am trying to be a good father to. There mother is very religious (part of the reason for the divorce) and it is hard to instill them with values when it literally feels that everything in my life can be questioned and dissected to such a degree that in the end I teach them only what I absolutely know to be true and even then there is a disclaimer often mentioned.

Perhaps when you have been fooled so much by religious belief and come to understand your folly it makes you incredibly concerned about being fooled ever again.

I am considering going to the local Unitarian Universalist church nearby. At least you can be an freethinker there and be accepted. I have no real community of local human beings to talk with...I am so thankful to be accepted here as I am.

TLDR:

Anxiety and Depression combined with faith crisis and life situations can make for a difficult road. It makes you miss faith in a way that is not very productive. I am working to find my way and a community to thrive in somewhere. Life alone is hard.
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29-03-2015, 09:54 PM
RE: Mental Illness and Spirituality
(29-03-2015 09:39 PM)Jorsen Wrote:  I am the village atheist at my job...

I am also the one that has dealt with mental illness in the past with anxiety and panic attacks with subsequent depression.

I am doing much better these days except for the depression piece...but divorce, loss of faith, and the death of both parent's can do that to a person.

So going forward I have many coworkers and some friends who are trying to share their spirituality with me. I appreciate that and even talk with them in a sort of reflective 'ahh those were the days' type of conversation. I think they must view me as some kind of project for redemption.

I am a weak atheist...and probably fit more in the agnostic category truly. Saying "I don't know" was the best statement I ever learned to love...it is honest and truthful.

But sometime's I feel like living a secular life is living on hard mode and sometime's I just would like things to 'make sense' without so much confusion. I feel this may also be due to so much change and not enough time to acclimate to it.

My exwife and I will be completely divorced after a long separation in the next month or so. I am still dealing with the loss of faith and how to continue on without it. My parent's have both died in the last 18 months...one 18 months ago and one a week ago.



What I am wondering...

What on earth do our great heroes of atheism and free thought have that I do not have? Good grief...where is my courage and bravery? It comes in glimpses and yet at times evaporates. Perhaps its the unluckiness of having an hyperactive fight or flight response or sensitive nerves...I do not know...but I am having a hell of a time coping with the loss of faith.

I must be still in the stages of grief...my relationship with religion and its absence is a difficult one. On one hand I am free to explore and seek out whatever interests me! On the other hand that sudden autonomy can make the world seem too massive to deal with...like trying to climb a hill that is just too steep.

I also have children that I am trying to be a good father to. There mother is very religious (part of the reason for the divorce) and it is hard to instill them with values when it literally feels that everything in my life can be questioned and dissected to such a degree that in the end I teach them only what I absolutely know to be true and even then there is a disclaimer often mentioned.

Perhaps when you have been fooled so much by religious belief and come to understand your folly it makes you incredibly concerned about being fooled ever again.

I am considering going to the local Unitarian Universalist church nearby. At least you can be an freethinker there and be accepted. I have no real community of local human beings to talk with...I am so thankful to be accepted here as I am.

TLDR:

Anxiety and Depression combined with faith crisis and life situations can make for a difficult road. It makes you miss faith in a way that is not very productive. I am working to find my way and a community to thrive in somewhere. Life alone is hard.

Feel free to do so.

However, from my experience, going through spiritual stuff didn't do much for me; it was highly unsatisfying. It didn't create anything new for me.

On the other side, it can definitely help with creating some social circles for support.
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29-03-2015, 10:00 PM
RE: Mental Illness and Spirituality
I'm really sorry to hear that you've reached a rough patch in your life right now. But that's just what it is - a rough patch. It won't last that way forever as long as you can help it. I don't really have any experience with marriage and kids and I definitely can imagine it being much harder to cope with. I didn't really let myself become too affected by my loss of faith as it was never really devout to begin with and really, I feel that we're better off not letting ourselves be comforted by an illusion, though it might be hard sometimes. If you at least try to put yourself out there with other people who think the same way, you feel a lot more comforted. That's why I joined this forum because I'm basically by myself at the moment and no one I know really cares about what I have to say about nonbelief or whatever.

Keep your head held high! You got people who are here for you and are willing to hear you out! Thumbsup

We are eternal beings. Endings are not in our destiny.
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30-03-2015, 11:20 AM
RE: Mental Illness and Spirituality
You said "What on earth do our great heroes of atheism and free thought have that I do not have?" Nothing. There is nothing they posses that you don't. They have no power that you do not. It sounds like a bunch of crap hit you all at once and you are still learning to deal with it without putting it off on something else. Now that the crutch is gone, you are still learning to walk on your own. Sometimes you will stumble, but as long as you keep putting one foot in from of the other, you will get through it. As for your kids, do the best you can with what you have. It is all anyone can ask of you.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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