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Denyoz

No God = No Hope

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Exactly one month today since I posted my extimony. Have I made some progress? I don't know...

 

My deconversion was brutal and caused me to fall into a severe depression: No God = no hope.

 

Heavy medication did the trick for four years, it numbed my mind and allowed me to function, but as time went by, I felt that it was doing nothing to solve the problem. So I decided it was time to face reality like a man. I decreased the meds gradually down to zero and joined this site. My goal was to learn to live happy again without any drugs and without any false gods.

 

It's hard. This week is particularly difficult. I want my drugs back. I want gods in my life. What's wrong with me. Why can't I find anything as interesting and satisfying as gods and drugs? Is it just me?

 

Yesterday I was reading some of lunaticheathen's posts. I started asking myself if consciously maintaining beliefs in gods, spirits, aliens, anything irrational is an illness, or the best thing humans can do? Sure, many people will think I'm crazy, but what if it makes me the happiest I can be in this life? It's a drug, but what's the alternative? Drugs.

 

I'm depressed. This is how I define depression: I'm bored to death. I really am. I miss my gods and my drugs. So today I'm asking myself: what do I do? I mentioned it to my wife and she said: "You should not have stopped taking your medication." But between taking up drugs and taking up gods, I prefer gods.

 

But right now I'm doing nothing. Well, yeah, I'm writing about it, first checking with you guys to see what you all think. If there is hope in this life without gods and without drugs, please show me where this hope is, I can't see it. In the last month I watched some very interesting documentaries about evolution, science, humans, astronomy, history. Quite depressing stuff. The human race is bound for disaster if not outright extinction. Nothing I've seen gives me any hope. Fantasies give me hope. Imaginary friends give me hope. Things that don't exist give me hope. I need hope otherwise I just want to die.

 

I'm desperately looking for hope this morning. Hopefully it will pass. Most of the time I don't care about it, I'm not afraid of death. But today I cannot function. I look at my "To Do" list and I can't find ANY motivation to do anything because I have no hope. Fuck I'm fucked. Please give me hope. Something from Fantasy Land because this land offers none.

 

Lunatic Heathen #2

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You should forget about hope and do something fun.

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Nothing wrong with desiring gods again, when I started losing my faith I wanted to believe, I tried to believe, but just couldn't. It was nice believing you had an all powerful being in your corner. God is a source of hope and comfort for billions, but since god isn't real to you anymore you'll have to find something real to give you hope. Friends, family, art, music, nature. There's so many wonderful things out there you just got to persevere and keep an open mind. Try new things, try to travel, try to get close to nature.

You lost the comforts of religion, but that is the price of your intellectual freedom. YOU ARE FREE! There isn't a tyrant in the sky threatening mankind to either follow his petty edicts or face punishment. You're free to live and think as you please now, its up to you to make the most of it.

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Hey Denyoz... (reaches out hand)

 

I found Epicurean philosophy very helpful. I started getting into it not long after I stopped going to mass. Lucretius' On the Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura) was the first thing I read, then some of Epicurus' own stuff.

 

I don't know about the drugs, since I haven't been on meds. Perhaps it is worth being back on them. They are chemicals, after all, right- and if your system doesn't have the right chemical balance, that will affect you. I don't have any expertise, but if you've been diagnosed as clinically depressed, or if your system is prone to bouts of depression, it's not just from a system of ideas. I would think it better to take your meds, bro, as far as I understand these matters.

 

You mentioned imaginary friends. I think after I ditched belief in God my real friends became all the more precious to me. I suffered some heartache with broken relationships but I'm even glad for those ones.

 

Just affirming to myself, I exist, and starting back from there helped me when I felt I had no reason to live.

 

Being out in nature is good, too.

 

I can't think of anything more right now, but I've been impressed with your contributions since you've been on here. You have a lot to give and to offer people.

 

Peace for now

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  1. I am not a doctor, so take everything else I'm going to say now with a grain of salt.
  2. It may be possible (and it is probably likely) that your depression has a physical, biological cause, and isn't entirely the result of religion or new lack thereof. However, please refer back to #1.
  3. You probably need to see a doctor, who may be able to prescribe different medications than what you were taking before to try to balance things that may have fewer side effects. Again, please see #1.
  4. Please remember, the need to take drugs to treat depression is not a failure of character.

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Oh Denyoz! I am sorry to hear you are having such a shitty time. My deconversion took a long time and was very exhausting. Not that I was trying to deconvert--I fought it with everything I had. Anyhow, it is hard.

 

I personally recommend (since you asked) going back on (presumably) antidepressants. They are not 'happy pills' but rather they correct an imbalance that is occurring in your neurotransmitters. They help your brain function properly and help you assess and perceive things as they really are (like glasses do for your vision). I don't think now is the time to come off of them, by the sounds of it.

 

It does get better. Can you spend more time doing something you like? Going for a walk in nature, window shopping, or hanging out with friends in a coffee shop?

 

Take care friend. We love you here at Ex-C.

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Denyoz,

I understand about wanting something to believe in. For myself, while I don't worship a literal god/dess, I decided to worship Wisdom itself in the form of Saraswati. I am still learning about all of it. As far as your medications go, keep taking them. Go to a doctor. There is hope. I can promise you that. There is hope. Value your friends, your wife, children (if you've got them)...

 

*hugs*

*hands you some friend chicken*

 

It is scary and confusing to realize a world without god, especially since he doesn't exist. For myself when I get bummed, I come to Ex-C, visit some of my favorite vids on Youtube like Mr. Deity, Cult of Dusty, Evid3nc3, and purplfox(I think I spelled those right). I look for beauty where I can find it. Anywho *hugs*

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I'm depressed. This is how I define depression: I'm bored to death. I really am. I miss my gods and my drugs. So today I'm asking myself: what do I do? I mentioned it to my wife and she said: "You should not have stopped taking your medication." But between taking up drugs and taking up gods, I prefer gods.

 

 

I completely relate to what you wrote. I am bored out of my skull myself & struggling with depression. I find thinking about the world in it's current state makes me anxious and more depressed. I am not happy, but don't want to tell anyone because I understand I live better than many people in the world who have nothing. I am a 90s movie cliche, My life is like "Groundhogs Day" and I look around and think maybe this is "As Good As it Gets."

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I really hope you didn't quit your meds cold turkey. As a nursing student and someone who is on antidepressants myself, I can say it is a BAD idea to go off meds completely. They aren't going to make life sunshine and roses, but they do help to correct the chemical imbalances that can lead to deep depression. If you aren't doing well on a particular medication, try a different one. Talk to your doctor. The antidepressant I was on for years suddenly stopped working and I had to switch to a new med.

 

I also happen to know that if you just suddenly stop your meds IT WILL FUCK WITH YOU. On days where I forget to take my meds I can be anywhere from lethargic to batshit insane. When you're low, you're REALLY low and when your high you're REALLY high. It will sap away your energy and make you feel like absolute shit.

 

Now, on to more constructive matters. Ro-bear was right. Take a vacation and have some fun. Go to an amusement park, play some video games...whatever it is that is fun for you. In my case, what actually got me out of the biggest depression I've been in (so far) was getting my parrot. Where normally, my mind might not have anything to do or only focuses on negative things, now I can just watch my bird, clean his perch, play with him and make new toys for him out of bottle caps and strings and be entertained for HOURS. You need a distraction. Do you have any pets you can play with? Children? I have said it and I will say it again: Animals (and no, I'm not calling children animals) are mega awesome for helping with depression.

 

Even if it's just a day trip somewhere, you need to get out of the house so you can do something different. Maybe it'll help you get out of your rut.

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To clarify, I never "chose" to believe in gods. I experience them. I can't help it, really. I can't choose to be an atheist either. My brain does not go that way.

 

Don't pretend to be anything but what you are. I was doing that as a "christian" and it drove me mad. I would go mad as an atheist.

 

So, that's my advice. Don't pretend. For anyone. I don't.

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Exactly one month today since I posted my extimony. Have I made some progress? I don't know...

 

My deconversion was brutal and caused me to fall into a severe depression: No God = no hope.

 

Heavy medication did the trick for four years, it numbed my mind and allowed me to function, but as time went by, I felt that it was doing nothing to solve the problem. So I decided it was time to face reality like a man. I decreased the meds gradually down to zero and joined this site. My goal was to learn to live happy again without any drugs and without any false gods.

 

It's hard. This week is particularly difficult. I want my drugs back. I want gods in my life. What's wrong with me. Why can't I find anything as interesting and satisfying as gods and drugs? Is it just me?

 

Yesterday I was reading some of lunaticheathen's posts. I started asking myself if consciously maintaining beliefs in gods, spirits, aliens, anything irrational is an illness, or the best thing humans can do? Sure, many people will think I'm crazy, but what if it makes me the happiest I can be in this life? It's a drug, but what's the alternative? Drugs.

 

I'm depressed. This is how I define depression: I'm bored to death. I really am. I miss my gods and my drugs. So today I'm asking myself: what do I do? I mentioned it to my wife and she said: "You should not have stopped taking your medication." But between taking up drugs and taking up gods, I prefer gods.

 

But right now I'm doing nothing. Well, yeah, I'm writing about it, first checking with you guys to see what you all think. If there is hope in this life without gods and without drugs, please show me where this hope is, I can't see it. In the last month I watched some very interesting documentaries about evolution, science, humans, astronomy, history. Quite depressing stuff. The human race is bound for disaster if not outright extinction. Nothing I've seen gives me any hope. Fantasies give me hope. Imaginary friends give me hope. Things that don't exist give me hope. I need hope otherwise I just want to die.

 

I'm desperately looking for hope this morning. Hopefully it will pass. Most of the time I don't care about it, I'm not afraid of death. But today I cannot function. I look at my "To Do" list and I can't find ANY motivation to do anything because I have no hope. Fuck I'm fucked. Please give me hope. Something from Fantasy Land because this land offers none.

 

Lunatic Heathen #2

 

Do you have a hobby? Do you exercise? Do you play videogames? Do you read fantasy books? Do you watch fantasy movies? If you need an imaginary friend create a limited one. Give it only positive attributes. Dont expect anything from it that your own imagination cannot provide. Allow it only a small vague level of reality (if you have a concern about MPD). Never allow it to have authority over you.

 

Keep yourself busy with projects.

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I would recommend talking to your doctor to see what, if any, options there are for dealing with your depression other than heavy medication.

 

When you are feeling this way, do not reach out for something to be given to you from the outside, return to the foundation of life itself- the breath. Close your eyes and concentrate on nothing but breathing. Don't mentally wrestle with hope, despair, or want; just breathe. Let your mind settle.

 

This is your power and your power is your hope.

 

Maybe that will help.

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Den - I am also reading this book right now, I think if offers some helpful advice: http://thedepressioncurebook.com/

 

 

Seeing a therapist I trust weekly is also helpful - it's a work in progress, getting free from this monkey.

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i know how you feel hun, im at that place too, and on meds! i haven't 'lost hope' but im early in my trandition and it really just knocks me for 6 sometimes because i think 'so what now?' I won't allow myself to get hopeless, because life is for living. My aunt has just had a baby, so I'm going to refocus my energies onto family and friends. And exercise more :D It all helps, and it will get better.

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Denyoz, You're certainly not alone on this one. May I suggest reading the book of Ecclesiastes? I know it's full of the word "God", but I don't allow that to bother me, as for the most part, it's a very abstract use of the word, almost to the point of being the mystery of life given to us by the mystery of the universe, nothing like the tyrannical YHWH. After Christianity fell apart for me, my uncle who has some background in psychology kept telling me that I needed to find some "system" of philosophy to live my life by, or take pieces of different systems and blend them to create my own system that matches my needs. Those are some of my random thoughts after reading your post - hope you get to feeling better.

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After Christianity fell apart for me, my uncle who has some background in psychology kept telling me that I needed to find some "system" of philosophy to live my life by, or take pieces of different systems and blend them to create my own system that matches my needs. Those are some of my random thoughts after reading your post - hope you get to feeling better.

 

Your uncle is really smart. I wish I had someone like that I could have talked to. Very good advice and that is exactly what I have done. Otherwise, I would have been a suicide case.

 

Anyway, Denyoz, sometimes you just have to give it time. Get really curious and explore all possibilities.

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I'm depressed. This is how I define depression: I'm bored to death. I really am. I miss my gods and my drugs. So today I'm asking myself: what do I do? I mentioned it to my wife and she said: "You should not have stopped taking your medication." But between taking up drugs and taking up gods, I prefer gods.

 

 

 

Nothing I've seen gives me any hope. Fantasies give me hope. Imaginary friends give me hope. Things that don't exist give me hope. I need hope otherwise I just want to die.

 

 

Denyoz, I'm sorry to hear you are not doing so well. But it does get better. And maybe it was the wrong time to go off the medication. I echo, talk to your doctor.

 

I wanted to say something about hope. I think that word causes a lot of unhappiness. It's like faith, also a word that causes unhappiness. They are both based on air. Empty air that cannot be tangible. It's all chance. Gambling on an outcome. Setting oneself up for an expectation that has a 50/50 chance. I decided many years back that "faith" and "hope" do not fit with my tangible ideals.

 

At one point in my past I began looking for a different religion. I read about many types. Began to lean toward one in particular. And at some point I decided that none of them worked for me. I had no faith in any of them, and none of them actually gave me hope. They all just made me realize that "hope" is a false form of comfort.

 

I learned that just living and enjoying the wonders of life, science, nature, technology, great relationships, humor, are all I needed in life. So simple, yet so true... for me.

 

From time to time in my life, I sit back and look at what IS working in my life, and what IS NOT working. And I reevaluate what I want to change, delete, add to my life. Think of it as a sculpture that you can change at will.

 

Sometimes we just need a new pair of eyes to see.

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Religion...... The opiate of the masses since 50,000 BC.

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wring the good out of life, day by day. Relationships, friends, beauty, art, it's all worth enjoying, but take a bit of advice from one who spends far too much time thinking about deep crap and the Big Picture... take a break.

Smell the flowers, go hike in a nice place. Buy a motorbike or even a bicycle and get some air in your brain. Avoid pondering things you can't solve (for a little while anyways) think small, think local and enjoy the little pleasures of this life. There's time enough to contemplate nothingness when it faces you. Unitl then there's piles of good things to enjoy in the meantime.

As someone previously said, life is for the living, don't waste the time, as former believers, we've already wasted a lot of time worrying about what comes after, when we should have been enjoying everything we have here.

Good luck with it all, I know, it isn't as easy as it soounds sometimes but dwelling on a fictitious afterlife that you never had anyway won't help much at all.

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Thank you all so much, wow! So many things went through my mind while reading all of your responses, you guys are amazing.

 

Taking my medication (drugs) is too easy, and boring. I don't want to go back there right now, I know exactly what that place is like. It took me four months to get off the meds, now I'm where I wanted to be. I call it reality, and yes it hurts, but it's a bit more interesting then before. I feel something can happen now, I'm in a place where possibilities exist.

 

I know very well what antidepressants do. They turn you into a nice little robot that conforms to society's wishes and numbs any ideas you might have had to rock the boat. Yes antidepressants are very useful to society, but are they useful to the individual? Only to the one that wants to conform to society. Why would I want to conform? Society sucks. Not the people, the system. Humans invented a system and today we realize that this system sucks and it's time to change it. But change is scary, and it's difficult. It's much easier to swallow a pill and keep things as they are, than to initiate change.

 

We know where humanity is heading. We're going 200 miles an hour toward a brick wall. We haven't hit the wall yet, there is still time for a turnaround. But as soon as someone starts acting differently, we call the doctor. "Sick person here, not acting like the rest of us. Quick, sedate him, quick, danger!" WTF? We have all watched or read scientific stuff about evolution, right? When does evolution happen? It happens when one little change happens and something/someone starts behaving differently. We have to evolve, it's our only hope. This means to start doing things differently.

 

Depression happens when you get sick and tired of doing the same boring thing over and over and over. It's not an illness, it's a call to evolve.

 

Or maybe I should just take the drug and shut up. I'm thinking too much here, the establishment is getting uncomfortable. Sorry Establishment Sir, sorry to disturb you, Your Majesty, Sir Estab Allmighty Motherfucker Sir!

 

I want to go at the heart of the depression, to see what's down there. What is it that is so scary down there that we don't want to look at face to face, uh? What do you think. Is it dangerous? Is it some kind of black hole that you can never come out of? What do we have to lose, people.

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Exactly one month today since I posted my extimony. Have I made some progress? I don't know...

 

My deconversion was brutal and caused me to fall into a severe depression: No God = no hope.

 

Heavy medication did the trick for four years, it numbed my mind and allowed me to function, but as time went by, I felt that it was doing nothing to solve the problem. So I decided it was time to face reality like a man. I decreased the meds gradually down to zero and joined this site. My goal was to learn to live happy again without any drugs and without any false gods.

 

It's hard. This week is particularly difficult. I want my drugs back. I want gods in my life. What's wrong with me. Why can't I find anything as interesting and satisfying as gods and drugs? Is it just me?

 

Yesterday I was reading some of lunaticheathen's posts. I started asking myself if consciously maintaining beliefs in gods, spirits, aliens, anything irrational is an illness, or the best thing humans can do? Sure, many people will think I'm crazy, but what if it makes me the happiest I can be in this life? It's a drug, but what's the alternative? Drugs.

 

I'm depressed. This is how I define depression: I'm bored to death. I really am. I miss my gods and my drugs. So today I'm asking myself: what do I do? I mentioned it to my wife and she said: "You should not have stopped taking your medication." But between taking up drugs and taking up gods, I prefer gods.

 

But right now I'm doing nothing. Well, yeah, I'm writing about it, first checking with you guys to see what you all think. If there is hope in this life without gods and without drugs, please show me where this hope is, I can't see it. In the last month I watched some very interesting documentaries about evolution, science, humans, astronomy, history. Quite depressing stuff. The human race is bound for disaster if not outright extinction. Nothing I've seen gives me any hope. Fantasies give me hope. Imaginary friends give me hope. Things that don't exist give me hope. I need hope otherwise I just want to die.

 

I'm desperately looking for hope this morning. Hopefully it will pass. Most of the time I don't care about it, I'm not afraid of death. But today I cannot function. I look at my "To Do" list and I can't find ANY motivation to do anything because I have no hope. Fuck I'm fucked. Please give me hope. Something from Fantasy Land because this land offers none.

 

Lunatic Heathen #2

 

Denyoz, believe me - I'm going through the SAME thing you're going through and I've been going through it ever since I deconverted back in November. I know what it's like to feel like there's no hope anymore without god and I'm still trying to look inward for that hope/strength, but I just can't find it. What makes things worse is that there isn't much of anything good or positive going on in my life at the moment: no job, no money, and multiple other depressing things are driving me crazy and losing my faith was the icing on the cake.

 

All I can say is that I have good days where I think I'm handling things pretty well and then other days (like today), I'm depressed and tired of pretending everything is fine. It's exhasting.

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I want to go at the heart of the depression, to see what's down there. What is it that is so scary down there that we don't want to look at face to face, uh? What do you think. Is it dangerous? Is it some kind of black hole that you can never come out of? What do we have to lose, people.

 

Maybe it's like the minotaur in the depths of the labyrinth, or the dragon in the sea (Isaiah 27:1)... like the Heart of Darkness, when Kurz can only mumble, "the horror, the horror."

 

Once I had a dream that I was going down a long tunnel beneath a river. It was lit by single bulbs on the ceiling up to a point, at the deepest part, where the walkway began to twist around corners, and the light no longer shone in. I knew I had to push forward through the darkness, although I was choked with horror and tried to cry out but nothing came out. A lot of the time at such moments in dreams I wake up, but in this one, I pushed on through the twists and turns in the darkness until I reached the part where the walkway straightened out, there were lights once more, and the slope began upward. Then i woke up, but I was glad upon waking that I had pushed through the darkness. This must have been over twenty years ago - the memory of the dream is more vivid than the real-life events around it.

 

I think we all have this dread at our core. It's expressed in many myths. The hero is the one who slays the dragon. In many myths, such a deed begins his heroic quest, and it is often done to benefit everyone else as well as himself. I say "he" but there are heroines whose myth maps such an arc, too.

 

I don't know how to apply all this for you, Denyoz, obviously. Maybe one fear is of chaos, one - or another side of the same - a fear of ceasing to exist. Of the cessation of what you love.

 

When I thought often of stopping existing some years ago, I would come back to the thought, "le pourquoi de chacque etre est etre." I got that from "Mon Oncle d'Amerique," when a biologist character was talking about mollusks (I think). I only have myself, I exist, I'm just going on from here and see what I can put together. Being open to things in this world I came to find some purposes again.

 

I agree with London about "hope." I think it can be like the promise of finding the purpose of life (vs. purposes in life).

 

I also agree with Eugene39 about a philosophy - some set of perspectives and insights. Christianity provided a package. Now you have to put together your own. Don't forget that you're journeying the journey of humanity- lots of people have been farther along the road, and you can profit from what they've found.

 

Peace for now, bro

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Find a happy place. I like hiking, when I am totally alone in the woods, an uncontrollable smile spreads across my face. I'm tired on weekends though, and sometimes I'm too lazy to go out and do the thing I know will make me happy, but when I do manage to get out there, I'm glad I did.

 

There is a muscle memory principle where the more you do the thing that brings you happiness, the more you can recall the sensation, and you can bring that feeling with you where ever you go, but it takes repetition.

 

Also, as a Christian, I always felt like I needed permission or some way to justify being happy, but I'm slowly learning that I don't need an excuse to be happy.

 

So if there is anything that makes you happy, do it with a vengeance!!

 

HAVE FUN with the same zeal, practice, and discipline that you once applied to the bible and prayer.

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Hi Denyoz. I admire the courage you have to post your personal struggle on here.

 

I only have one thought: Give yourself away. What I mean is that you can likely find great fulfillment in helping others, whether is volunteering at a charity or mowing the old lady's lawn down the street.

 

Peace :)

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Ro-bear, I agree: I should forget about hope and do something fun. It's when I have to do things that are not fun that I get depressed.

 

JoeCoastie, I like what you say, especially this part: "YOU ARE FREE! There isn't a tyrant in the sky threatening mankind to either follow his petty edicts or face punishment. You're free to live and think as you please now, its up to you to make the most of it." You're right, I am free. It's when I don't feel free that I get depressed. You know, with a wife, 4 kids, a cat, and being the head of the house, my freedom is limited. There are so many rules to follow. Sometimes I get sick of everything, I just want to pack my bags, jump in the car and get lost.

 

ficino, thank you for the helping hand. I started reading Epicurean philosophy last night and I agree with what I have read so far. You mention real friends instead of imaginary ones. Ha! well yeah, can't argue with that. You're right. I'm sending you a friend request right now :) Thank you for sharing your dream, that was cool. I enjoyed reading your posts, in fact they deserve more attention, I want to come back to them and discuss it in more details sometime.

 

Trapped, your username describes pretty well how I feel when I am depressed. I think it's the worse feeling ever. I so want to be free. Maybe you're right, that I need more doctors and more meds, but I sure don't feel that I do. I dedicated the last 5 years of my life to doctors and meds, I know what they can do and what they cannot do. Right now I need to try something different. I know exactly what makes me depressed and I'm tired of not dealing with it. I want to deal with the issues. The only thing drugs do is put me on hold, they don't change anything. If my life depresses me then let's change my life. But you're right, there might be a partial biological cause to my depression. I could still take medication AND change my life at the same time, the two can work together. I'll see how well I do without meds. By the way, my doctor is aware of this and agrees.

 

Positivist, thanks for you loving support. I take your recommendations seriously, I know how knowledgeable you are in these matters. A walk in nature, oh yeah I want to do that.

 

Zephie, thanks for the hugs and the fried chicken, that was funny! You point out to things I have never heard of (Saraswati, Mr. Deity, Cult of Dusty, Evid3nc3, purplfox). I can't wait to check these out!

 

DeanMen, oh I love your reference to the Groundhog Day film. I think I saw this movie three times. It is SO relevant to how I feel when I am depressed, it's exactly like that. Waking up to the same thing day after day, even if it's a good thing, it's always the SAME thing, it can drive me crazy. Thank you for that, I think you're right when you say you can completely relate to what I wrote.

 

ConureDelSol, thanks for your input. I have lots of distractions in the house: kids, kids' friends, cat, wife. I spend hours every day playing video games, and I love it. I like your last sentence: "Even if it's just a day trip somewhere, you need to get out of the house so you can do something different. Maybe it'll help you get out of your rut." You're right, I definitely should go out more, and I want to. Wife won't like that, but...

 

The kids are home from school, they want their lunch! I got to go, but I'll be back.

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