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Hi Everyone, 1St Post Here!


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Hey, 1st post here since account was approved.

 

I've only been a non-Christian for about 2? years roughly, and an agnostic for about a year. It's hard for me to pinpoint an exact time that I began to lose the faith because it was a rough, but gradual process.

 

I was born into a extreme right Protestant family, made profession of faith at 5, baptized at seven . I was the most passionate Christian all trough my childhood and teen years, volunteered often at youth events, went to the contemporary Christian concerts, and even started going to a Southern Baptist college after high school. I went for a year with a double major of political science and biblical studies (I was going to become the next Mike Huckabee or George Bush! lol).

 

That's when everything started going downhill. I had long struggled with severe depression, though the symptoms were more emotional, but upon entering college, and moving about 250 miles from home, the physical symptoms started along with deep despair, and hopelessness. I had muscle pain and stiffness every day, along with fatigue so extreme that it took 4-6 20 ounce bottles of soda just for enough caffeine to get me through a 4-5 shift at my part time job, and after that, I had no energy left for anything else, and if that wasn't bad enough, I started experience severe panic attacks as well.

 

Needless to say, everything feel apart, I had to return home to the same family that I was trying so hard to escape from when I left. Instead of compassion from my family, and help for my mental health issues, I was told that the depression and panic attacks were the result of "guilt" (From what, I don't know, and still haven't been told to this day), and was treated like a rebellious, wayward teenager, no respect, no rights, etc.

 

I still believed in my faith, even then, but I started to become more liberal about a year to 2 years later after getting to know several people from a local web forum that included 2 liberal Catholics, a Wiccan and a gay man who was also a machinist and a libertarian (that really changed my perceptions of gays/lesbians). I started to realize that what I had been told about those groups and many others wasn't true. They weren't "evil" or out to get me, they were regular people, just like me. (The 2 liberal Catholics and the Wiccan are really great friends of mine now).

 

About a year after that, I began to doubt many other things about my faith. I looked at the Old and New Testaments, and began to think that the Bible practically portrays 2 different gods, the Old Testament shows me a vengeful god that has a law code similar to Sharia, and Jesus' teachings in the New Testament try to portray a loving, merciful god.

Which god is the god of Christianity? Also if Jesus is supposed to be the representative of a loving, merciful god, then why does he say that he came to fulfill the law (of Moses), which is no better than Sharia?

 

That question and many more, led me to search, to pray, to read, and to agonize over my faith. After a long time of soul searching, I gave up on Christianity, and a short time later, on god as a whole. Now I consider myself a moderate agnostic. I question the existence of a god, but hold open the idea that a god or a spiritual force, as well as an afterlife may exist.

 

I still struggle with my religious family who not only is rather bigoted towards gays, Catholics, members of other faiths, etc, but also refuse to recognize that my depression and obsessive-compulsiveness exists. (thankfully I haven't had a panic attack in about 4 years). I am dealing with the depression as best I can (without medication, family won't allow it), the emotional problems don't show up often, but the pain and fatigue I have to deal with almost everyday, even while working anywhere from 40-56 hours a week at work.

 

I'm surviving, and I have made a choice not to reveal my unbelief to family at least until after I move out again (I have been saving up as much as I can, and I am happy to be employed, especially in this economy), if ever. I have "come out" about it to a few close friends, and those that I have told have questioned me about it, but still accept me for who I am. Right now, I generally keep it low profile, except for on web forums.

 

Thanks for reading this long post, and in case you are wondering, the screen name comes from the "Big Bang Theory" character, (knock, knock, knock, Penny? lol). I have been compared to him before, and I have found that making jokes about it, helps to put people a little more at ease when discussing the fact that I obsessive-compulsive

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I'm sorry for all the struggles you've had. It sucks that people come to such folksy conclusions about mental illness instead of dealing with what the science has to say.

 

I hope this site is an encouragement for you and that you will soon be at the top of your game.

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Welcome, Sheldon! Thanks for sharing your story. I hope that you can move out and be more yourself soon (maybe get some meds). B)

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Wow! Good for you for crawling out from under the yoke of Christianity.

 

I too was surprised to learn that the groups of people of whom I was told to be suspicious turned out to be just like me. This was a huge revelation for me. The kindness and generosity I have found outside of the fold has been jaw-dropping.

 

Your symptoms of depression sound like those which might benefit from medication. Depression is a physiological condition--brain chemicals and even brain structures are altered in depression, and antidepressants (the right kind, of course) set the aright. Consider talking to your physician about this. You will feel a whole lot better and be able to get on with your life.

 

Welcome to Ex-C!!! It's a great community. smile.png

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Welcome! This is the best place on the interwebz. Glad to have ya! Lookin forward to your thoughts on all the crazy stuff we go at on here. :)

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Welcome Dr Cooper. Are you fed up with ordinary folks calling the Higgs Boson "the God particle"?

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Welcome Sheldon!

 

Sheldon

: Why are you crying?

Penny

: Because I'm stupid!

 

Sheldon

: That's no reason to cry. One cries because one is sad. For example, I cry because others are stupid, and that makes me sad.

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Welcome Dr Cooper. Are you fed up with ordinary folks calling the Higgs Boson "the God particle"?

 

Wasn't that name given to it by scientists as a bit of humor/sarcasm?

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Welcome Sheldon!

 

Sheldon

: Why are you crying?

 

Penny

: Because I'm stupid!

 

 

Sheldon

: That's no reason to cry. One cries because one is sad. For example, I cry because others are stupid, and that makes me sad.

 

 

biggrin.png I had someone post a meme of that quote on my facebook wall recently.

 

Some of my favorites:

 

"Penny, if influenza were only spread by people who had symptoms, it would have died out millions of years ago, cavemen would have simply realized to kill the guy with the runny nose!"

 

"May I remind you that I am at the top of my profession while you preside over the kiddie table of yours" (Said to a traffic court judge)

 

"Engineers, the Oompa Loompahs of science, the semi-skilled labors building what more educated minds dreams up"

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Wow! Good for you for crawling out from under the yoke of Christianity.

 

I too was surprised to learn that the groups of people of whom I was told to be suspicious turned out to be just like me. This was a huge revelation for me. The kindness and generosity I have found outside of the fold has been jaw-dropping.

 

Your symptoms of depression sound like those which might benefit from medication. Depression is a physiological condition--brain chemicals and even brain structures are altered in depression, and antidepressants (the right kind, of course) set the aright. Consider talking to your physician about this. You will feel a whole lot better and be able to get on with your life.

 

Welcome to Ex-C!!! It's a great community. smile.png

 

Hey, thanks for the welcome. Life has been a little better than the way I portrayed it, I guess, I was in a bit of a bitter mood yesterday, suppose I have more to be thankful for that what I see, I've had the same job now for 10 months, and even moved up in the company, and I have some great friends, both in and out of Christianity that have been there for me.

 

I do really need the medication, though. I need to set my foot down with family, if they don't like it, too bad....

I was on Cymbalta for short time before they found out, it was amazing. Pain, fatigue gone in a matter of days, and i always felt rested, but not fatigued or hyper, perfect balance.

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I do really need the medication, though. I need to set my foot down with family, if they don't like it, too bad....

I was on Cymbalta for short time before they found out, it was amazing. Pain, fatigue gone in a matter of days, and i always felt rested, but not fatigued or hyper, perfect balance.

Sounds like you should talk to your physician. No one should have to live with that much pain and disability. Antidepressants can play an important role in correcting the brain chemicals and structures. Try it for a year or two. Don't tell your family or yes, put your foot down! It's your life; make it as good as you can. smile.png

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Welcome! It's heartbreaking that your family is so backwards. But they can't really stop you. Get the prescription, keep it somewhere safe and private, and take the meds without them knowing. You're in hostile territory, and it's okay to do what you must to get through the day.

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