Sometimes I wish I could believe in god (light depression)
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04-03-2017, 10:08 AM
Sometimes I wish I could believe in god (light depression)
For comfort. Angel

I've been in an atheist since 2008. This feeling (I described in the title) would come around every now and again, last for 30 seconds and go away, but lately it's been a little stronger and I know why.

I'm living at home with my mother and my girlfriend (who moved from Alabama to where I am to be with me). I'll be 26 this year, and I'm (finally; I probably wrote about it before but can't remember) getting my associate's degree! Just the other day I got accepted into the bachelor program at a local university. However, I will still be living at home for the foreseeable future.

Some shitty acquaintance told me it was 'pathetic' that I 'still' lived at home, but I told them to fuck off. I have no reason to take on the debt of an apartment or more right now, especially as I'm trying to get my ass through college. Their castigation likely came from a place of their own insecurities/jealousy, but it pissed me off. Especially because I take care of my 66-year-old mom who desperately needs to have knee replacement surgery (hardcore arthritis). I do most of the cleaning and clothes washing as well as 90% of the cooking. BUT... I digress. That's not what this post is about. I guess I just feel like I have a need to justify why I'm living at home.Undecided

I use the large basement here as my workout area. There's an old treadmill that still works perfectly, and I have my 22lb. dumbbell, 35.2 lb. dumbbell and 50 lb. dumbbell to get things done.

Why is the basement relevant? When I was a kid (up until I was 12 years and 3 months old) we had parties every single Saturday night when the whole neighborhood and family friends would come over, play poker, shoot pool, play pinball/air hockey/table tennis, and eat delicious food! I'd always bring my game consoles downstairs and play with my friends on the big screen TV. Great times. A LOT of memories down there.

My dad died exactly a week before Christmas in 2003. He was my hero. He died of cirrhosis and renal failure (damn near every person on my dad's side of the family has liver problems, for whatever reason... I really should go get my blood levels checked out every so often). He was bad off on the weekend of the 13th and 14th of December '03, finally stopped being stubborn and went to the doctor on Monday the 15th. Diagnosed with cirrhosis on the 16th, died the 18th. That... quick...

Again, he was my hero. He came from nothing, really. He had 7 brothers/2 sisters, grew up poorer than dirt, made straight As in school but couldn't afford college, made the best of what he had and ended up owning an extremely successful business here selling coal mining equipment. I'll say it again: he was and will always by my hero and my role model. He taught me the value of hard work, perseverance and going after what you want in life regardless of whatever detractors say.

I've been through a ton of death. My dad's death wasn't the first big loss. The first big loss came a year before, when one of my uncles -- my mom's side -- who was like a second dad to me died. Never gets easier. You just learn how to process the pain and it comes in waves.

The basement, nowadays and ever since 2004, is pretty much a storage area, but there's still the kitchen area down there with many of the same decorations and various memorabilia around just like it was back then.

For the last month, I've used the said basement as a workout area. But the nostalgia has been intense and bittersweet. It's a reminder of my awesome childhood, but also a reminder of all the people that were present when we had all those Saturday night parties that are now deceased.

Sometimes I envy people who believe in a higher power. I don't. I just can't. I simply don't believe and there's no reason I should lie to myself in order to. But man, the depression lately has stuck around. I'd love for the prospect of being able to see my dad and other lost loved ones following death to be a reality, but I just don't believe it.

Had to get this off my chest. Nobody to talk to about this in real life; my girlfriend believes in god.
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04-03-2017, 10:10 AM
RE: Sometimes I wish I could believe in god (light depression)
Hug

Heart
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04-03-2017, 10:32 AM
RE: Sometimes I wish I could believe in god (light depression)
Many hugs to you. I have felt the same when when going through a devastating loss - you want something to cling to. I wish I had words of wisdom. It's just HARD.

Try and do something fun and that brings you happiness. Your dad would have wanted that for you. I remind myself that the people I have lost would want to see me happy. More hugs!!

"If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu."

[Image: parodia-michal-aniol-flying-spaghetti-monster.jpg]
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04-03-2017, 10:43 AM (This post was last modified: 04-03-2017 11:13 AM by RearViewMirror.)
RE: Sometimes I wish I could believe in god (light depression)
Hate that you're going through this as I know it must be hard. Venting on here is not a bad thing and can be used as a pressure relief valve (so to speak).

I lost my grandmother back in 96 and I still miss her to this day. My wife lost her mother when she was only 20. Neither my wife or I are believers and we know we'll never see them again. And though it's sad, we try to remember all the good times we had and all of the qualities that made them special in our eyes. So the way I deal with situations like this is "would they be proud of the things that I accomplished in my life?". It doesn't take belief in a higher power to think that way. It just means that you loved and respected them enough to care what they would have thought. And in life I personally think that is how they would want to be remembered in death.

I get to decide what my life looks like, not the other way around.
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04-03-2017, 10:53 AM
RE: Sometimes I wish I could believe in god (light depression)
(04-03-2017 10:08 AM)UndauntedToast Wrote:  Diagnosed with cirrhosis on the 16th, died the 18th. That... quick...

My dad died of liver failure just as quickly. He didn't know he had a problem until the backed up blood from his hardened liver started seeping into his esophagus, making him cough up blood. He went into the hospital on a Friday and died the next Sunday.
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04-03-2017, 11:01 AM
RE: Sometimes I wish I could believe in god (light depression)
(04-03-2017 10:08 AM)UndauntedToast Wrote:  For comfort. Angel

I've been in an atheist since 2008. This feeling (I described in the title) would come around every now and again, last for 30 seconds and go away, but lately it's been a little stronger and I know why.

I'm living at home with my mother and my girlfriend (who moved from Alabama to where I am to be with me). I'll be 26 this year, and I'm (finally; I probably wrote about it before but can't remember) getting my associate's degree! Just the other day I got accepted into the bachelor program at a local university. However, I will still be living at home for the foreseeable future.

Some shitty acquaintance told me it was 'pathetic' that I 'still' lived at home, but I told them to fuck off. I have no reason to take on the debt of an apartment or more right now, especially as I'm trying to get my ass through college. Their castigation likely came from a place of their own insecurities/jealousy, but it pissed me off. Especially because I take care of my 66-year-old mom who desperately needs to have knee replacement surgery (hardcore arthritis). I do most of the cleaning and clothes washing as well as 90% of the cooking. BUT... I digress. That's not what this post is about. I guess I just feel like I have a need to justify why I'm living at home.Undecided

I use the large basement here as my workout area. There's an old treadmill that still works perfectly, and I have my 22lb. dumbbell, 35.2 lb. dumbbell and 50 lb. dumbbell to get things done.

Why is the basement relevant? When I was a kid (up until I was 12 years and 3 months old) we had parties every single Saturday night when the whole neighborhood and family friends would come over, play poker, shoot pool, play pinball/air hockey/table tennis, and eat delicious food! I'd always bring my game consoles downstairs and play with my friends on the big screen TV. Great times. A LOT of memories down there.

My dad died exactly a week before Christmas in 2003. He was my hero. He died of cirrhosis and renal failure (damn near every person on my dad's side of the family has liver problems, for whatever reason... I really should go get my blood levels checked out every so often). He was bad off on the weekend of the 13th and 14th of December '03, finally stopped being stubborn and went to the doctor on Monday the 15th. Diagnosed with cirrhosis on the 16th, died the 18th. That... quick...

Again, he was my hero. He came from nothing, really. He had 7 brothers/2 sisters, grew up poorer than dirt, made straight As in school but couldn't afford college, made the best of what he had and ended up owning an extremely successful business here selling coal mining equipment. I'll say it again: he was and will always by my hero and my role model. He taught me the value of hard work, perseverance and going after what you want in life regardless of whatever detractors say.

I've been through a ton of death. My dad's death wasn't the first big loss. The first big loss came a year before, when one of my uncles -- my mom's side -- who was like a second dad to me died. Never gets easier. You just learn how to process the pain and it comes in waves.

The basement, nowadays and ever since 2004, is pretty much a storage area, but there's still the kitchen area down there with many of the same decorations and various memorabilia around just like it was back then.

For the last month, I've used the said basement as a workout area. But the nostalgia has been intense and bittersweet. It's a reminder of my awesome childhood, but also a reminder of all the people that were present when we had all those Saturday night parties that are now deceased.

Sometimes I envy people who believe in a higher power. I don't. I just can't. I simply don't believe and there's no reason I should lie to myself in order to. But man, the depression lately has stuck around. I'd love for the prospect of being able to see my dad and other lost loved ones following death to be a reality, but I just don't believe it.

Had to get this off my chest. Nobody to talk to about this in real life; my girlfriend believes in god.

Hug

My husband lost his grandmother who was basically the glue that held their family together when he was 9. When he was a child everyone in the family treated him like he wasn't there for the most part but her. When she died it was catastrophic for him. He still keeps her things and cries when he thinks about her happily. I remember when we were like 16 and we met. He and I were already fully-fledged atheists) and I didn't really understand it when he expressed what you said in the title of the thread (about how he wished god was a thing.) I didn't really get it until he talked about his grandma and he started crying about how much he wished to see her again.

I'm sure a plethora of atheists relate to this feeling your having. He told me that he's just happy he knew how wonderful she was and that she got to make an impact on others.
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05-03-2017, 06:23 AM
RE: Sometimes I wish I could believe in god (light depression)
Thanks for the kindness, everyone.

@Jay Vogelsong ~ yep. I still can't believe that. When mom took him to the doctor that evening, the nurses/doc thought it might be a gallbladder issue. I'll never forget seeing him on the 18th, the day he passed. He was obviously in so much pain, but he was still cracking jokes. One of the things that fueled his success in life -- irrational confidence -- is also something apparent that day, at least at face value: he told me he'd be out of there and home soon, and that he loved me. But he told my mom (when I wasn't there) he felt like he wasn't going to make it. Mom always said it was extremely hard not to cry, to go back in the ICU to see him after the doctor told her in private that he wasn't going to make it. Shew. He died on a jet en route to another hospital. Honestly, objectively speaking, I'm not sure why they put him on one if they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt he wasn't going to make it.

My girlfriend's mom was just diagnosed with stage one cirrhosis in May of last year. She's had fatty liver disease for a while, as well as hematomacrosis. She was just recently diagnosed with diabetes, too. I hooked her up with some coconut oil and she's doing great. I've always been a big proponent of coconut oil + occasional milk thistle supplementation. Great for the liver. Lots of mushrooms and some grapes & pineapples, too. I digress.

It just blows my fucking mind, even to this day, that my dad hid or showed minimal signs of pain until the last couple weeks of his life. I mean, we passed the football around in the driveway and watched the Rams/Browns Monday Night Football game on December 8, '03. I can't believe he was gone just 10 days later. My near-26 year old brain is just as mindboggled as my 12-year-old one was.

My dad's dad NEVER drank and died of a hepatic artery aneurysm (I think) in '89. One of dad's brothers also died of cirrhosis 4-5 days before dad's dad. And I believe my grandmother (dad's mom) died of something with the liver as well as something else in August '03. A few of my uncles have liver issues, also. I don't know what's up, hereditarily speaking.

My uncle (mom's brother) died on January 10th. He was a pretty bad schizophrenic. An episode about every 10 or so years. He was a really, really great guy. Even though I didn't ask him for much, I know he would do anything for me. He fell and fractured his pelvic bone back in October; he got super depressed and, for some reason, developed the mindset that he'd never get better, that he'd never be able to drive or walk properly again, and started talking out of his dad. He was at a mental health facility for about two months; the doctors kept fucking with his medicine dosage (and probably murdered him, but whatever) and they simply found him dead one day. I guess that's been weighing heavily on my mind, too.

I appreciate having the large basement area to work out in. It's cold down there, dusty and there are a ton of spiders, but hey, once upon a time that was the place to be when I was growing up. Lots and lots of memories. I miss those days and all the people a lot.

@Larai19 I like your way of thinking, about remembering the qualities of a person. As well as RearViewMirror's sentiments about asking oneself if they'd be proud of their accomplishments.

I used to be pretty hard on myself, because I wasted a few years of my life after I dwelled over a failed relationship, accomplishing barely anything even though I had/have more opportunities than my dad ever did. But just the thought, the comfort, of being able to see him and my other lost loved ones again would be amazing, but I simply can't lie to myself and believe something I truly don't.

I hug my mom and tell her I love her every single day. She's pretty much all I have left. I think it's important for all of us to love as much as we possibly can. Yeah, it's subjective (in feelings), but I think us atheists take death harder than what religious folks do, because they genuinely believe in the prospect of seeing their loved ones again in the afterlife, while we deal with our perceived reality of never being able to see our deceased loved ones again.
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05-03-2017, 06:57 AM
RE: Sometimes I wish I could believe in god (light depression)
I respect where you're coming from.

There's a common assumption that belief is a choice. Or that it matters which would be better if it were real.

Sometimes it's comforting to know that when you die it's over and other times it might be a hard pill to swallow. But the truth is the truth. I still have to ride my bike to work no matter how sincerely I "believe" or "have faith" that I have a car that does not exist. I guess I could pretend I have a car if it helps me get to sleep but deep down I know the truth. I look out the window and it's not there.


(Just an example. I'm actually "blessed" with an old junker. If it runs it's good enough for me)

Take care.
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05-03-2017, 09:11 PM
RE: Sometimes I wish I could believe in god (light depression)
I was a believer for about 30 years, and then transitioned to backslider / "spiritual but not religions" and finally atheist over the ensuing 20 years or so. I have self-identified as atheist for about 15 or so years now.

I have also lost many friends and loved ones, many to other than "natural causes" including a sibling, my mother, a wife and a son.

From that perspective, and having grieved losses both as a believer and unbeliever -- I can assure you that being a believer would not help, other than maybe in terms of social support, given that you sound like you're in the Bible Belt, surrounded by fundies. But real help? Nope. In fact I have found grieving as a godless bastard to be purer, cleaner, and to drag on for less time. Yes, age and experience play a role too, but I am positive that the grief isn't as hard to bear BECAUSE of my unbelief. Mainly because it gets rid of all the useless questions people ask themselves about such losses, trying to make sense of something that just "is", trying to impose reasons where there aren't any, trying to imagine control that they never actually had, trying to deny what has happened because it somehow "shouldn't", or wouldn't have "if only" this or that. And to have to handle doubts and questions about an imagined god's role in all that stuff. And to handle the disappointment, disillusionment and anger when this god does squat about all these people dropping around you like flies.

I think your constrained circumstances and social pressure are just getting to you a bit. Reaching out in a place like this is probably one of the better things you can do for yourself. Gets you outside the daily grind a little.

We're here to listen, dude.
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05-03-2017, 09:45 PM
RE: Sometimes I wish I could believe in god (light depression)
(05-03-2017 09:11 PM)mordant Wrote:  From that perspective, and having grieved losses both as a believer and unbeliever -- I can assure you that being a believer would not help, other than maybe in terms of social support, given that you sound like you're in the Bible Belt, surrounded by fundies. But real help? Nope.

I personally find that a lot of grief comes down to survivor's guilt. I find it helpful to consider that life and death are terribly arbitrary, that to be alive at all is winning a highly improbable lottery, and that we will all die soon enough too. That way I can relate to the deceased properly.
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