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decafaholic

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decafaholic last won the day on July 12

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About decafaholic

  • Rank
    Skeptic
  • Birthday 04/09/1987

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Central Arkansas
  • Interests
    reading, writing, tea, dancing, walking, comedies, art
  • More About Me
    I'm a slave to my cat.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    yes, Great Spirit

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  1. Welcome back! I just came back after a long absence too. How is your dad dealing with you being queer?
  2. YES, for the first three years after I deconverted, I had what I call a "divinstrual cycle". Every January (who knows why) I would suddenly regain faith in God for about 3 days. But the same logical questions kept surfacing like "How can a good God allow suffering?" and that killed it. Recently, in April, I started feeling a sense of spiritual longing but this time I was more ready to handle it. I've been in therapy for a long time, I've grown up a lot since my last 3-day tango with faith, and this time around, I can conceptualize a God that make more sense. What helped me was listening to Peter Rollins describe the four ways to conceptualize God. Thinking of God as a sentient being with thoughts and feelings and plans is only ONE way of seeing God. And for me, that doesn't work. What I call "God" is pretty formless. You could describe it as "That which calls us to love". I recommend the episode if you're open to a new concept of God.
  3. I think of women with long hair who swear you can treat the flu with crushed up berries and Himalayan salt. Spirituality needs better PR!
  4. I realized recently that even though my deconversion process happened 14 years ago, there are aspects I'm still grieving. I've learned in therapy that if I ignore the parts of myself that are sad, it will eventually come back and bite me. So, I decided to write a letter to my deconversion process, as if it were a person. I was really surprised at what I wrote: I want to thank you for coming into my life at a time when I needed you but didn't want you. I was clinging to poison. Dysfunction felt like home to me. I was not grateful when you showed up. I was sad and scared. I thought you just came to take away everything I loved. I was angry and I felt alone. I was mad that you ruined my carefully planned future, my sense of purpose, my safety, my community, my friends. There were a lot of days I wondered if it would ever get easier. And there was so much to learn! You dropped me in the middle of the unsheltered real world and I had to play catch up. But I had courage and grit and I could learn! You gave me new friends, a new purpose. You gave me professors who cared and a library full of books. You gave me Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, a new online community. You revealed who my real friends were. You gave me space. Silence. Emptiness. Choices. So much room to run and question and demolish and create. Opportunities without judgment. You gave me new music! Bowling for Soup, Augustana, Gavin Degraw, remember the monthly CD club? You gave me rejection and pain and it hurt like a bitch. But afterward, there was hope. You gave me Fight Club. Rent. Marjoe. The God Who Wasn't There. Prple Fox videos. You gave me panic attacks and friends who supported me through the panic attacks. You gave me stress and the means to deal with stress. You gave me everything I love about my life. I didn't know how strong I was until I had no other choice but to be strong. I didn't know what I could do until I lost my support system and had to do things myself. I just assumed I couldn't swim until you dropped me in the deep end and somehow, miraculously, I kept my head above water. All this time I thought you were the villain in my life story. Now I see you were the hero. You saved me. As I wrote this letter, it dawned on me that my deconversion wasn't a tragedy that I somehow survived. It was the actual mechanism that saved me from a life of judgment, fear, dependence, and black and white thinking. If you wanted, you could even call it a blessing.
  5. Oh wow you have good attention to detail! My sister’s family is Baptist and I know they call it “ baby dedication” but I use the word “ Christening” because I honestly thought it was the same thing.
  6. I'm a fan of Tucker Max and he's been vocal about how much MDMA has helped him in addition to psychotherapy. Tim Ferris is a huge fan of psychedelics for their benefits for PTSD sufferers. In fact, he's pouring a lot of money into research happening in the US, I think. Back in April, I started visiting the little chapel we have at work (hospital) to be alone in silence. I started talking aloud about how stressed and angry and sad I was about COVID and being an essential worker and how I felt like I was barely hanging on. When I had gotten everything off my chest, I started spontaneously talking to myself in the most compassionate, accepting way. I've never done this before. I was saying "It's okay to be scared. It's okay to be upset. Everyone is having a hard time right now. You are so important to me and I'm going to take care of you. I love you and I've got you." And I kept going back to the chapel and doing this every day. Being open about how I felt and giving myself compassion. And I started feeling unconditional love for myself to a degree I've never felt before. Tucker Max describes MDMA as having a huge dose of dopamine dumped into his brain. Just complete safety and unconditional love. And in those moments, I would think "This is what Tucker was describing."
  7. Oh shit. Sorry. I thought you were joking about the failed missionary turned alcoholic thing. Congrats on your recovery!
  8. There's a memoir I'll read! Shut up and take my money!
  9. Oh! The A/G school in Florida! I went to SAGU (in Texas) for 3 semesters. Generally, the impression I got is graduates from A/G schools either went on to become missionaries or alcoholics. Which one were you?
  10. Terrible metaphor incoming: Let's say one day you woke up and suddenly you had synesthesia. Hearing Individual musical notes causes you to see certain colors, so hearing music is a visual as well as auditory experience. Your first thought probably isn't "Wow! This is so cool! I see sound now!" Personally, my first thought would be "What the fuck is going on? Do I have a brain tumor or some shit? Where did these colors come from???" That could also be because I'm generally an anxious person and I don't love change. My identity was built around "If we can't measure it, it doesn't exist" more or less. So it's jarring to my identity that 90 days ago, I was walking around in a world void of spirits or a higher power and now I'm letting myself connect with whatever-the-fuck-it-is on a daily basis. Like, I go to the chapel at work every day to sit in silence and talk with what I sometimes call "The Great Spirit". Could be my higher self, idk, but it's bringing so much healing to my life. It's overwhelming. This may be, um, too much information, and please forgive me if it's too personal, but in my early 20's when I first started having sex, it was a similarly overwhelming experience for me. Just emotional overload. My boyfriend would be like "Are you okay? Why are you crying? Did I hurt you?" and I was just like " No! You didn't hurt me, I'm just feeling a lot of things!" So for me, if a positive experience brings up a lot of emotions, it can be scary or overwhelming.
  11. I wasn't Catholic. I grew up Assemblies of God.
  12. I mean, see title. I've been an atheist for 14-ish years. I haven’t set foot in a church service since my niece’s christening 10 years ago. My husband is agnostic, my friends and family accept me. I get along well with my Christian coworkers and friends. I’m way past the angst of deconverting. so I don’t have an explanation for why, in Mid April, I felt like my soul started opening up. Yes, working through COVID has been stressful but I’ve been through worse. Stress doesn’t explain it. its a long story and if you want details, you can PM me. What ended up happening is, I’m now experiencing overwhelming unconditional love on a regular basis. It’s nuts. “ God” is what I’m calling the source of this feeling. I don’t mean Jehova, or a man in the sky or even a being at all. I mean the source of love. For psychological purposes, I picture Love as a being when I pray, but it’s just a placeholder. for the first 2 weeks, this scared the living shit out of me. I wasn’t interested in spirituality and wasn't looking for God because my prior experiences with The Spiritual were riddled with rules and shame and lies. No thanks. but I’m having nothing but positive experiences with what I’m calling God this time. No rules. No guilt. Just love and acceptance. And it’s healing a lot of psychological pain I’ve been carrying around. So yeah, I don’t even recognize myself at this point, but in a good way. I’m calmer. More patient. I would love to hear from anyone who can relate cause this is weird as fuck.
  13. I'll just say I'm glad I didn't marry the first guy I fell in love with at age 21. We would certainly be divorced by now.
  14. ( flings the door open) Mooom! daaad! I’m hoooome! ( studio audience applause) OMG it’s been 6 years since I last visited the ExC Forums! i see some old faces: Margee, Florduh, Redneck Professor! You guys were part of the ExC generation that raised me. Seriously, I started here in like 2007 as a terrified young adult who had just left Bible college and could barely find my vagina with both hands! You guys were with me through awkward virginity losing and coming out to the family and my 4-year “ let’s date a Christian” phase. I took a long break because I was in a really healthy place, comfortable with life as an atheist and just didn’t need the extra support anymore. now I’m returning at age 33 because I’m in a weird place spiritually. Atheism was perfectly fine for 14-ish years and it gave me a great life but I’m moving into more of a non-Christian spirituality now. I’m planning to hang out in the ExChristian Spirituality forum. Join me if you want to talk weird stuff!
  15. Hi Bambi! I'm so glad you posted here. Reaching out for help means that you still have hope and I'm glad you still have that little spark of hope. What you're describing reminds me of a mixture of myself in high school and myself at various points in my adulthood (I'm only 27 though so there hasn't been much adulthood!) When I was in high school, I took it very seriously that a lot of people round me were going to hell and I thought about it a lot. I prayed for an hour a day. I read the Bible every day. I thought it was MY JOB to save the world. I think part of the reason I felt that way is that my pastors told me that it was my job to save the world and The Lost were counting on me to bug them to accept Christ before it was too late. I think another reason I felt that way is I am prone to depression and I wasn't medicated back then. One day, my Mom sat me down and told me how concerned she was about me. "You don't laugh anymore. You're not having fun You're just serious all the time." I hadn't realized it was that bad until she pointed it out. In college while I was deconverting, it was very hard emotionally. I felt so much guilt that I didn't want to get out of bed. I was already thin but I lost some weight because I kept sleeping through meals . I wasn't anorexic, I was just depressed. The internet helped me a lot during that time because I used it to communicate with my friends about how I was feeling. And I found the ExC forums which helped. I'm sorry your Psychiatrist pushed back your appt date. I hate it when my counselor cancels on me. I'm like "How do you cancel on someone who is mentally unstable???" I don't know you, so these suggestions may not resonate with you, but maybe something will help? 1. If you're really in a bad way, call the national suicide hotline. 1-800-suicide .They have helped me before. I have also called other hotlines and they have helped me through really panicky moments when I was spiraling. 2. When you talk with your counselor, don't downplay your feelings (like I have a tendency to do). Tell her/him: "I am looking forward to death. Please help me feel better." If they know how bad it is, they can help you better. 3. (Im' about to quote something from "What About Bob". Bear with me, It works.) If it's hard for you to get out of the house, don't think about the whole process of getting up, showering, getting dressed, brushing your teeth. That's too much. Just focus on the next small step. When it's hard for me to get up, I think "Okay, first I am going to wiggle my toes. Now I'm going to turn my head. Now I'm bending my knees. Now I'm turning over. Now I'm sitting up. YAY! I'm sitting up!!! Go ME!! Now, one foot on the floor. Now the other. YES!! I'm officially UP!! Go ME!!" 4. I don't know if this next part will work for you or not but it sounds like you're very, very concerned about taking care of other people. In small doses, that's a GREAT quality to have. It makes the world a better place. It keeps us from hurting each other. But in LARGE doses, it makes you feel like a failure because it's impossible to take care of everyone. It's impossible. Your first and foremost responsibility is to take care of yourself. That's not selfish. That's NOT selfish. It's healthy. If there is a god, then we honor his/her creation by taking care of ourselves. Feeding ourselves, exercising ourselves, making ourselves happy. I could type all day but I have to get ready for work. You're going to be okay. Pretty much everyone on this forum was once in a desperate place and we made it out. You will too.
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