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Wow, it is hard to believe it has been eight years since I left my faith! The first couple of years were true agony. I almost killed myself once and wanted to on several other occasions. What do you do when all you have known for 23 years is an overwhelmingly Christian environment? What do you do when all of your strength, peace, and morality came from something you no longer believe? I did not know the answers to these questions and I agonized for a long time, often with a knife blade pressed against my chest. I had several friends and family eventually intervene, and throughout the course of several hospitalizations for depression I began to work through things. I eventually moved to the big city (KC...woohoo) and started a new chapter of my life. I had finally started to work through my depression, but I felt a change of scenery would help. I found a new girlfriend, a new job, and made new friends. A couple years after I moved, I became an uncle, which has been a truly rewarding experience. I still have questions and I will admit there are things I do not know. For example, I do not know if God exists or not. However, I have grown comfortable with identifying myself as an atheist. As I explore the questions more and more, the less I believe that God exists. I will not rehash my whole story about leaving Christianity (you can read my profile or my original post for that), but I have been gone for a while and I wanted to give an update. I mainly wanted to give encouragement and hope to new members and new exCs. It can take time, but the fear and the sadness do subside, and your new beliefs and your new self start to solidify.