Recovery from Religion.
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14-08-2012, 11:52 AM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
I've tried writing things down, and found out quickly that when conflict arises, it's not my stuff, but theirs. And it repeats, a lot.

I don't blame myself for getting things wrong. It's helped me grow up - and realize that it's not bad to be wrong - till the day I die I'll still have gotten many things wrong, but it's how I take it that make things easier for me to improve on my learning skills. Yeah. I got skillz! Big Grin

I do have another thing that I've used that I don't mind sharing: my dark arts. No, not Magick, but my art that is pretty darn dark. Last piece was called 'The Severed Thumb of Judgement'. OoooOooOOoh! NASTY!

*plays Staying Alive trying to give CPR to this post*

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14-08-2012, 12:31 PM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
(14-08-2012 11:52 AM)cheapthrillseaker Wrote:  I've tried writing things down, and found out quickly that when conflict arises, it's not my stuff, but theirs. And it repeats, a lot.

I don't blame myself for getting things wrong. It's helped me grow up - and realize that it's not bad to be wrong - till the day I die I'll still have gotten many things wrong, but it's how I take it that make things easier for me to improve on my learning skills. Yeah. I got skillz! Big Grin

I do have another thing that I've used that I don't mind sharing: my dark arts. No, not Magick, but my art that is pretty darn dark. Last piece was called 'The Severed Thumb of Judgement'. OoooOooOOoh! NASTY!

*plays Staying Alive trying to give CPR to this post*

Fuck. Now I hear Staying Alive as the soundtrack to your signature. Confused

"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, 12:52 PM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
Many of you probably already read this in another thread, but it seems appropriate to post it here again. I found that as I was writing it, in answer to another member's question, I gained a bit of insight about myself. The question posed was, Why does it seem that many former Theists experience depression and anxiety after they become Atheists?






I probably could not put it into words that someone else would fully understand what's going on in my silly brain, but I'll try.

My thinking feels completely liberated now. I used to work so hard at never being wrong when it came to my beliefs. If I was wrong, it might affect my relationship with Jesus. Everything I did and thought had to be run through my God filters to make sure I was honoring Him and living a life worthy of His love for me.

Now? I only need to filter what I do or think through the paradigm of how do I impact others. Now? I can be wrong about anything and it's okay. It means I have to assimilate the facts and change my opinion and that, my new friend, is completely liberating! OMG, I can't even begin to describe what an incredibly liberating feeling that is!!!

So that's the liberating part.

The depression and anxiety I have been prone to throughout much of my life. Just a few years ago, I started doing something I never did before...I began questioning what I had always accepted as fact from birth. I would have never ever in a million years have dreamed that I would end up an atheist. Why? Because my faith was not just a series of statements that I believed in. My faith was me. My entire identity was in Christ. Christianity was not a religion to me, it was a relationship with a real being who made me and loved me and directed every step of my life. Every major decision I ever made was done after I prayed about it first. Every problem I ever had (including depression and anxiety) I asked God to help with. Every good thing that ever happened, I thanked God for it. Every accomplishment I ever achieved was done because God gave me the power to achieve it.

There are a whole lot of things that went into my de-conversion. I won't go into that story now. Suffice it to say that after a lot of study into other areas like science and evolution instead of religion, I began a journey that lead me to this place. My mind is liberated, but my worldview, my identity, my self-esteem, my relationships with every single person I've ever cared about has completely flipped. It's not just that I no longer believe in God, it's that I feel like I am beginning my life all over again from scratch. I'm relearning who I am as a liberated thinker. I'm relearning what abilities I have because the only thing I ever learned how to do was share Jesus with other people. I have a very low level of self-esteem and confidence because I am still learning what stuff in my thinking is me and what parts of it was my prior indoctrination. My relationships with family and life-long friends has never been the same because they talk about God all the time and I do not. Nor am I willing to argue with them about it so I just totally isolate myself from everyone I've ever known. I did not really have non-Christian friends so I don't know how to make friends outside of church. Now you know why my post count is embarrassingly high. This is the only place outside of therapy where I express my thoughts.

All of these factors triggered the depression and anxiety that has always been with me during my life. But I no longer had a support system to help me. I no longer had a world view that told me everything would be okay because God loves me. I no longer had a job that gave me confidence and self esteem because I can't be a pastor anymore. I no longer can date because I feel too fucked up to try to get to know a woman and share who I am with her.

This all lead me to a very dark place of loneliness and suicidal thoughts. My depression began to run rampant, so I finally got the help I needed before I jumped off one of the tallest bridges in Washington state. That was one year and two weeks ago. I'm doing better, but I have a long way to go in finding out who the new Erxomai is.

I hope my crazy ramblings make a little sense to you. If not, feel free to ask questions.

"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, 01:11 PM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
From

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To

[Image: horse-beach.jpg]

But it's not as easy as it looks! Sadcryface2

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14-08-2012, 01:17 PM
RE: Recovery from Religion.






Member of the Cult of Reason

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-
Bitcion:1DNeQMswMdvx4xLPP6qNE7RkeTwXGC7Bzp
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14-08-2012, 03:04 PM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
(14-08-2012 12:31 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(14-08-2012 11:52 AM)cheapthrillseaker Wrote:  I've tried writing things down, and found out quickly that when conflict arises, it's not my stuff, but theirs. And it repeats, a lot.

I don't blame myself for getting things wrong. It's helped me grow up - and realize that it's not bad to be wrong - till the day I die I'll still have gotten many things wrong, but it's how I take it that make things easier for me to improve on my learning skills. Yeah. I got skillz! Big Grin

I do have another thing that I've used that I don't mind sharing: my dark arts. No, not Magick, but my art that is pretty darn dark. Last piece was called 'The Severed Thumb of Judgement'. OoooOooOOoh! NASTY!

*plays Staying Alive trying to give CPR to this post*

Fuck. Now I hear Staying Alive as the soundtrack to your signature. Confused

It's gone... for now.

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14-08-2012, 04:18 PM
Recovery from Religion.
(14-08-2012 03:04 PM)cheapthrillseaker Wrote:  
(14-08-2012 12:31 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  Fuck. Now I hear Staying Alive as the soundtrack to your signature. Confused

It's gone... for now.

Now can you scrub out my eyes, Doc?

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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15-08-2012, 10:25 AM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
I am a newby to the athiest bunch. When you deconvert you do not know that the process has begun. I thought I was learning new things but I was literally tearing out my foundation from my feet as I learned the truth. I was able to do it in a manner that made it easier to cope with by sowly digesting it piece by piece and spending time in each phase which in hindsight made the process much more gradual. Its not like mom telling you there is no santa. No one rips the rug out from under you. You "slowly" come to the realization on your own. This makes it interesting, exciting, and terrifying at the same time. I remember the initial shock when I thought as julia sweeny put it "OH MY GOD THERE IS NO GOD!". I which i would have documented the process earlier by the time I was writing a journal, I already knew, though i never spoke it, that I was no longer a believer. I can't find any better story that helps me relive the experience other than 3vid3nce's video call Deconversion on youtube. Its a long series but well worth it. I wish I could tell me story to more but I still am very much in religious circles so no one understands. the internet is my outlet
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16-08-2012, 07:42 PM (This post was last modified: 16-08-2012 08:04 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Recovery from Religion.
(13-08-2012 02:47 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  Internal locus of control - Realizing you are in control of you.

To paraphrase Leonard Cohen, "The older I get the more I realize I ain't in control of shit, let alone me."

(13-08-2012 02:47 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  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.

Weren't no Internet when I went atheist 35 years ago. Didn't have no support group. My foundations are likely more sturdy as a result.

(13-08-2012 02:47 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  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 just let it go.

(13-08-2012 02:47 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  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.

I don't admit or allow guilt. I find it counterproductive.

(13-08-2012 02:47 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  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.

Don't think I've ever been right so being wrong's never bothered me.

(13-08-2012 02:47 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  Things I can't change - Rather than letting go and letting God, I simply let go of things I cannot have control over.

Let it be.


(13-08-2012 02:47 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  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.

Vodka.

(13-08-2012 02:47 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  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.

Like guilt, it's permanently banned from my club. Haven't felt it in decades.

(13-08-2012 02:47 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  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.

I wake up in the morning.

(14-08-2012 12:31 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  Fuck. Now I hear Staying Alive as the soundtrack to your signature. Confused

Fuck you, Hellbound, now you get to see this too, fucking inconsiderate bastard.




I am us and we is me. ... bitches.
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25-08-2012, 02:31 AM
RE: Recovery from Religion.
This group is essential I think. I have also been to the Recovery from religion website but it was not as updated it seemed to me. This presents itself as a much bigger community. I can't believe in god, I have tried, and tried desperately. We didn't go to church a lot but my family is very very religious, like evangelical religious, I couldn't even listen to secular music till I was like 14. My personal issues are with death, as I see I am not the only one. I have searched for something helpful but nothing gives me comfort. I started on this journey because I didn't want my geography and family to define such a large part of my life, I wanted to be able to say that I actually chose Christianity. That is where I thought I would end up. The more I learned the more I didn't believe, and trust me I tried to convince myself but its like I can't re-indoctrinate myself. I don't want to, but yet I do, but I can't, I know too much to go back. My husband luckily is supportive in this journey. Our situation is complicated, my mother has MS and stress and anxiety give her flare ups. She told me once even if he disagreed with me she would support me in anything, except if I ever told her I was atheist or agnostic. She said she would still love me but she would be so sad and her and my dad would pray and pray and pray for me. I avoid religious discussion. I thought well I will hide it until later, but we have two children a five year old and a two year old. They are so close to my parents, we will be moving hopefully in a couple years so the distance should help, but this makes 2 more problems. Obviously our girls come first, and I refuse to make them go through what I am (I have come to realize I have no coping skills due to "letting it go to god" and so on). So its inevitable that our girls will say something about evolution or something else. My parents won't say anything to them, I don't think not mean anyway but I know then there will be a confrontation. A emotional one, I'm positive either together or separate there will be intervention type talks. My dad will straight up ask me if I'm Christian and then it will go from there, they will be heartbroken. They will think their daughter is going to hell and possibly their grandchildren. I am having the hardest time with that, I can't sacrifice my children to lies to save my parents and brother and possibly sister such heartache. I look at my girls and can't imagine if I believed they were going to hell, I just can't imagine. Then there is how to raise them, how do we balance my family with the kids bibles and stuff that I know my parents will preach to them. I don't know I am frustrated and distraught. I just feel like before everything was god, anything that happened that was god, anything bad give it to god, now there is nothing. I can't prove it so I can't believe it, and trust me I have tried. I don't know how to have peace with my death or anyone else's, its a mess I feel like this is all a mess. Sometimes I wish I could go back and never make the decision that I was going to prove Christianity was right. I didn't think I would end up here. Sorry this is so long, and this is the short version.

“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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