Recovery from Religion.
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13-08-2012, 02:47 PM (This post was last modified: 14-08-2012 12:46 PM by fstratzero.)
Recovery from Religion.
After becoming an atheist I had some problems dealing with emotions, see things clearly and living a life with out god.

The point of this thread is to give you guys some knowledge. The things I've learned has worked for me and hopefully we can share methods for dealing with the world with each other.

I hear that a lot of people feel lost when they deconvert. I set up a thought experiment for my self to explore the idea of the meaning of life.

Every living thing interacts with everything surrounding it. There is no way in reality that a living thing cannot keep its self from interacting. So at the very least when a person interacts with another. We should do so in a manner that benefits our species. That for me is a good enough meaning for life.

Quote:Now when God is every answer to everything, we need a way to think with out him, and to deal with emotions. Here are a few things that has helped me.

Internal locus of control - Realizing you are in control of you.

unSplitting - leaving the the black and white, all or nothing thinking to embrace different degrees of truth and false hoods.

Answers are better than complaints - In the faith it was easy to cry to God for every and anything. After deconversion I had to solve problems, rather than complain about them. Using Critical Thinking, friends and logic, I learned how to come up with solutions. Reducing my complaints.

Support - After leaving the faith I realized I still needed a community of people. So I personally try to find groups to be apart of. One way of doing this is using meetup.com to make a place and a time for atheists to meet up. Also creating a facebook page for atheists in your area is a good idea too. Finding a community is a good way to get some support going.

Conflict with people, things, and situations - I've learned a good way to deal with conflict especially if something is really bothering me is to write it down.

I start with, I'm resentful at: , The Cause, Affects My, and finally My Role in It.

Guilt - After writing that down ^ I see if can apologize if it doesn't hurt my self or others. I only apologize for my role, and by doing that I also forgive my self. If I can't apologize to the person I find a friend to talk to, and let them know why I feel bad.

Being wrong - Learning to be wrong so I can be corrected is hard. But I have to remind my self a lifetime with an incorrect idea isn't worth it. Also I had to learn how to not take offense when somebodies ideas challenge mine. I had to learn that my belief isn't who I am. It's just the yes answer on whether or not I think it's true.

Things I can't change - Rather than letting go and letting God, I simply let go of things I cannot have control over. Simply I can only choose my reactions, to minimize harm, stress, and anger

Stress - Making time to do something I enjoy, from masturbation to reading a good book. Also just taking care of business and not putting it off is good too.

Anger - Managing this is pretty easy as I've had a lot of practice with it. If I'm angry or really frustrated I'll play video games, exercise, and art.

Courage - How I deal with this is simple. I try it even if I'm frightened, enough practice with the scary thing and the fear of it seems to melt away.

Quote:If you guys have anything to add please do. Share what has worked for you!
(just a note we are not psychologists and there are resources available, these are just suggestions)
Sister thread, http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...m-Religion

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13-08-2012, 03:59 PM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
For me it was very different. Religion in my life wasn't majorly important, however it was there as a support system. My great-grand mother and great-grand father had passed away during my childhood, and my father had left me and my mother, so my mother worked around the clock to pay her bills and such. Thus Religion was a comfort for me, I lived in bliss ignorance. I never really cared for Evolution, in fact, I didn't even hear about Evolution until I challenged my faith.

When I finally started to question my belief, I was rather depressed for quite a while. I would never see my dead loved ones, nor would I make up for lost time with my dad in the afterlife, I was also annoyed greatly that I had been brought up in a wrong belief. (However I don't blame my parents for that.)

However there was some benefits in changing, I started to value my life more, I realized how precious it is. I may be afraid to die on some level, however I'm at peace with reality.

Bury me with my guns on, so when I reach the other side - I can show him what it feels like to die.
Bury me with my guns on, so when I'm cast out of the sky, I can shoot the devil right between the eyes.
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13-08-2012, 04:04 PM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2012 04:08 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: Recovery from Religion.
(13-08-2012 03:59 PM)Red Tornado Wrote:  For me it was very different. Religion in my life wasn't majorly important, however it was there as a support system. My great-grand mother and great-grand father had passed away during my childhood, and my father had left me and my mother, so my mother worked around the clock to pay her bills and such. Thus Religion was a comfort for me, I lived in bliss ignorance. I never really cared for Evolution, in fact, I didn't even hear about Evolution until I challenged my faith.

When I finally started to question my belief, I was rather depressed for quite a while. I would never see my dead loved ones, nor would I make up for lost time with my dad in the afterlife, I was also annoyed greatly that I had been brought up in a wrong belief. (However I don't blame my parents for that.)

However there was some benefits in changing, I started to value my life more, I realized how precious it is. I may be afraid to die on some level, however I'm at peace with reality.

That's a wonderful thing. After deconversion, it's normal to be sad about the ones that died. Those emotions were put off by the belief and letting them come out is totally ok and wonderful.

The 5 Stages of Loss and Grief

1. Denial and Isolation

The first reaction to learning of terminal illness or death of a cherished loved one is to deny the reality of the situation. It is a normal reaction to rationalize overwhelming emotions. It is a defense mechanism that buffers the immediate shock. We block out the words and hide from the facts. This is a temporary response that carries us through the first wave of pain.

2. Anger

As the masking effects of denial and isolation begin to wear, reality and its pain re-emerge. We are not ready. The intense emotion is deflected from our vulnerable core, redirected and expressed instead as anger. The anger may be aimed at inanimate objects, complete strangers, friends or family. Anger may be directed at our dying or deceased loved one. Rationally, we know the person is not to be blamed. Emotionally, however, we may resent the person for causing us pain or for leaving us. We feel guilty for being angry, and this makes us more angry.

Remember, grieving is a personal process that has no time limit, nor one “right” way to do it.

The doctor who diagnosed the illness and was unable to cure the disease might become a convenient target. Health professionals deal with death and dying every day. That does not make them immune to the suffering of their patients or to those who grieve for them.

Do not hesitate to ask your doctor to give you extra time or to explain just once more the details of your loved one’s illness. Arrange a special appointment or ask that he telephone you at the end of his day. Ask for clear answers to your questions regarding medical diagnosis and treatment. Understand the options available to you. Take your time.

3. Bargaining

The normal reaction to feelings of helplessness and vulnerability is often a need to regain control–

If only we had sought medical attention sooner…
If only we got a second opinion from another doctor…
If only we had tried to be a better person toward them…

Secretly, we may make a deal with God or our higher power in an attempt to postpone the inevitable. This is a weaker line of defense to protect us from the painful reality.

4. Depression

Two types of depression are associated with mourning. The first one is a reaction to practical implications relating to the loss. Sadness and regret predominate this type of depression. We worry about the costs and burial. We worry that, in our grief, we have spent less time with others that depend on us. This phase may be eased by simple clarification and reassurance. We may need a bit of helpful cooperation and a few kind words. The second type of depression is more subtle and, in a sense, perhaps more private. It is our quiet preparation to separate and to bid our loved one farewell. Sometimes all we really need is a hug.

5. Acceptance

Reaching this stage of mourning is a gift not afforded to everyone. Death may be sudden and unexpected or we may never see beyond our anger or denial. It is not necessarily a mark of bravery to resist the inevitable and to deny ourselves the opportunity to make our peace. This phase is marked by withdrawal and calm. This is not a period of happiness and must be distinguished from depression.

Loved ones that are terminally ill or aging appear to go through a final period of withdrawal. This is by no means a suggestion that they are aware of their own impending death or such, only that physical decline may be sufficient to produce a similar response. Their behavior implies that it is natural to reach a stage at which social interaction is limited. The dignity and grace shown by our dying loved ones may well be their last gift to us.

Coping with loss is a ultimately a deeply personal and singular experience — nobody can help you go through it more easily or understand all the emotions that you’re going through. But others can be there for you and help comfort you through this process. The best thing you can do is to allow yourself to feel the grief as it comes over you. Resisting it only will prolong the natural process of healing.

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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
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13-08-2012, 11:47 PM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
I was hoping that this thread would be more popular...

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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
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13-08-2012, 11:59 PM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
You scared people off xD

Bury me with my guns on, so when I reach the other side - I can show him what it feels like to die.
Bury me with my guns on, so when I'm cast out of the sky, I can shoot the devil right between the eyes.
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14-08-2012, 12:19 AM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
I like this idea! I have something to add when I get to a keyboard, not a mobile. Big Grin
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14-08-2012, 12:42 AM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
(13-08-2012 11:59 PM)Red Tornado Wrote:  You scared people off xD

Haha If I did then may the brave come here and try to help each other Recover from religion.

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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
-Baron d'Holbach-
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14-08-2012, 12:49 AM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
Don't take it personally, dude, this thread is only going to popular to those in the same situation who might be ready / willing to share.
Some of us have nothing to recovery from so we can not add anything constructive.

Does not mean we don't care.

XXX

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14-08-2012, 10:16 AM
Recovery from Religion.
(13-08-2012 11:47 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  I was hoping that this thread would be more popular...

It needs to be here.

As for me, I only deal with my own recovery in short bursts. I'm sure I'll come here and assplode soon about my own experiences. In fact, later I'll find a rant I recently posted elsewhere.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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14-08-2012, 10:31 AM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
I'd been thinking a thread like this would necessary, for quite a while.

The local Atheist Community near me has an entire group within the main meet up group, devoted specifically to Recovery. It has a large and growing attendance... pretty telling.

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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