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How Do You Cope?


BendyLine
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I don't want to sound like I'm pining for Jesus or my old faith. Hell, one of the reasons I dumped it was because it was just a mind game, and mind games don't help you in the long run, even if they do bring a little comfort at first. Even if I wanted to go back, I feel like I've already seen the man behind to curtain. With that being said...

 

What do you do when life hands you shit sandwich after shit sandwich and you just can't take it anymore? In the past six months, I feel like I've dealt with enough stress, pain and heartache to last a lifetime. My wife almost died of kidney failure. I was arrested after being abused by a cop. I had a nervous breakdown at the courthouse and spent two days in a psych ward. My business is failing, and there's a chance I could lose it completely. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, there's also the ever-present fact that my vision is slowly going to glaucoma, and other things that haunt me on a daily basis (some sexual abuse from when I was very young, for example). I just don't think I can keep it together for much longer without doing something stupid, like hurting myself. The only thing keeping me from seriously trying to kill myself is the thought of what it would do to my wife and my two young nieces, not to mention the rest of my family. But right now I'm living in hell.

 

If God does exist, he either doesn't give two shits about anyone or he's a fucking monster. Maybe the freedom I've felt from not having to rationalize the brutal stupidity of the Bible is all that's kept me going. But that still isn't enough.

 

By the way, I've got an appointment with a counselor tomorrow. It was one of the things I had to do before I left the psych ward. I'm all for going, but I don't know if it will help much.

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Sorry to hear. My life isn't that bad. However some of the worst things I have ever had to face have happened in the last year since becoming an atheist. One of the worst was the thing that woke me up to the stupidity of my religious belief. I have changed things around so that I am taking an active role. I no longer wait for a God to do something. It's all on me. So far I have been able to drive away depression that way. I still feel sad at times about my circumstances. But I have learned how to prevent it from going back to depression. I remind myself that when I use to rely on God that it was really my inner strength getting me by.

 

Happiness has to come from within. You have to be your own God.

 

I wish you luck in your struggles. May you find your answer.

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At least you still have your family. Hope it gets better. Good luck in the future and keep us posted.

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Sorry to hear about your wife's health problems and your arrest and business problems. You have a lot on your plate right now and I feel for you. I hope something can be done for your glaucoma.

 

My only advice is try to put the past behind you and move on. Best wishes for brighter days ahead.

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What do you do when life hands you shit sandwich after shit sandwich and you just can't take it anymore? In the past six months, I feel like I've dealt with enough stress, pain and heartache to last a lifetime.

 

By the way, I've got an appointment with a counselor tomorrow. It was one of the things I had to do before I left the psych ward. I'm all for going, but I don't know if it will help much.

 

I was in the final stages of my life 'unraveling' (a dead marriage, business issues, financial issues, all the typical Western stressors) when I went to see a friend of mine who was a mental health professional.

 

Over time my friend mentored me through my 'unraveling' by exposing me to a host of psychological tools for coping with the overwhelming neurotic anxieties that the circumstances of my life were producing.

 

I was also taught a variety of meditative practices not as another 'escape hatch' or another emotional 'crutch' that would ’rescue’ me from some sort of cosmic divine screw-up but as a way of reducing my neurotic thinking long enough for me to literally ‘catch my breath,’ stop, look and listen and then learn to 'watch my thoughts’ and emotion without ‘becoming’ them.

 

That sort of therapy afforded me the skills I needed to realize and to work through the inner issues that were preventing me to 'get on' with my life.

 

Things had gotten to the point that life was asking more of me than I was capable of delivering--I had not life except for suffering, frustration, pain, hopelessness. Life wasn't worth the hassle.

 

As a last ditch effort I reached out and found, in a wise and capable friend, the care I needed. He taught me what he had learned from another struggler.

 

He exposed me to options I never thought existed! He pointed me in the direction of sanity and was capable of mentoring me long enough that I got the hang of living without suffering.

 

I regret your pain and suffering, your wife's medical issues, your business woes, your glaucoma, and the other things that haunt you on a daily basis.

 

"One can never get enough of what he or she doesn't wont or need." I my case every thing I touched seem to end in a train wreck!

 

Yet, it was on the occasion that I reached out that care came thought the experience skills of a friend who just happen to be the mental health professional I needed.

 

And he not only showed me how to recover what I thought I had lost, he 'modeled' how to recover. Comes out, the only thing I had lost was my power to realize what I had, the skills to work through my 'stuff' and the ability is see options I never knew existed!

 

I'm pulling for ya Bendy! Life is messy.

 

~from a fellow struggler

saner

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I'm sorry this is a rough time for you. I actually don't post much here at all--more of a exchristian reader on the sidelines, but wanted to respond. I had a memory triggered recently of past sexual abuse (to me by a caregiver's boyfriend) after seeing something that I thought was a grandparent acting sexual towards my own child...I had a nervous breakdown from that incident and was almost completely out of it along with anxiety attacks for 2 weeks. I had never seen a therapist before, but set an appointment right away, and honestly, it was the best thing I could have done. Not only could I work through these past memories but also how it's effected me in many ways in other areas of my life up till now. All I can say is, be completely honest and open with the therapist (seriously, let it all out there and then some, both in words and emotion) and give it time. Be patient with yourself and whatever change you want to happen. You are worth it.

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Hey Bendy. I'm saddened to hear things suck so bad for you right now. I hope the counselor is a good one that can help you.

 

For me, the worst part of deconversion was going through the shit that brought me to that point in the first place. I have not really missed God because he didn't really do fuck all anyhow. The world continues to unfold just as if God does not exist. I was comforted by the fact that some mean old bastard is not actually up there ignoring me in my agony. I hope you find this same sense of peace and resolution.

 

I hope you can keep seeing your therapist, as you do have a lot on your plate. We are also here for you!! Hugs!

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What do you do when life hands you shit sandwich after shit sandwich and you just can't take it anymore? In the past six months, I feel like I've dealt with enough stress, pain and heartache to last a lifetime.

 

By the way, I've got an appointment with a counselor tomorrow. It was one of the things I had to do before I left the psych ward. I'm all for going, but I don't know if it will help much.

 

I was in the final stages of my life 'unraveling' (a dead marriage, business issues, financial issues, all the typical Western stressors) when I went to see a friend of mine who was a mental health professional.

 

Over time my friend mentored me through my 'unraveling' by exposing me to a host of psychological tools for coping with the overwhelming neurotic anxieties that the circumstances of my life were producing.

 

I was also taught a variety of meditative practices not as another 'escape hatch' or another emotional 'crutch' that would ’rescue’ me from some sort of cosmic divine screw-up but as a way of reducing my neurotic thinking long enough for me to literally ‘catch my breath,’ stop, look and listen and then learn to 'watch my thoughts’ and emotion without ‘becoming’ them.

 

That sort of therapy afforded me the skills I needed to realize and to work through the inner issues that were preventing me to 'get on' with my life.

 

Things had gotten to the point that life was asking more of me than I was capable of delivering--I had not life except for suffering, frustration, pain, hopelessness. Life wasn't worth the hassle.

 

As a last ditch effort I reached out and found, in a wise and capable friend, the care I needed. He taught me what he had learned from another struggler.

 

He exposed me to options I never thought existed! He pointed me in the direction of sanity and was capable of mentoring me long enough that I got the hang of living without suffering.

 

I regret your pain and suffering, your wife's medical issues, your business woes, your glaucoma, and the other things that haunt you on a daily basis.

 

"One can never get enough of what he or she doesn't wont or need." I my case every thing I touched seem to end in a train wreck!

 

Yet, it was on the occasion that I reached out that care came thought the experience skills of a friend who just happen to be the mental health professional I needed.

 

And he not only showed me how to recover what I thought I had lost, he 'modeled' how to recover. Comes out, the only thing I had lost was my power to realize what I had, the skills to work through my 'stuff' and the ability is see options I never knew existed!

 

I'm pulling for ya Bendy! Life is messy.

 

~from a fellow struggler

saner

 

THIS!!! Bendy...this!! I couldn't say it any better than Saner. Thank you Saner.

 

I am going through my own shit and I am taking control of my own life right now. One thing at a time. Simplify, simplify, simplify.... and take the medical issues one day at a time. There are other options...we just need not to be so afraid to go for them. Try to get out for a nice walk today if you can. Don't let this fucking crazy life steal your happiness any longer. I don't care right now if I have 50 cents in the bank. I don't even care if the bank comes and puts a sign on my house. I'll find shelter somewhere. I'd rather live in a one room shack and go for walks in the park. It's not worth it to me any longer to be the 'worlds slave'. I'm tired of the worlds 'ways' stealing my joy. I'm tired of their system. Hang in there my friend.... find some ways to make yourself happy today, if you can. Best of everything to you.

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I recommend Epictetus - but find a translation that uses "Zeus" instead of "God"

 

I always take heart from the African American struggles in the USA.

as well as great art, literature, poetry, music. I would find a friend to tell your problems to. Just vocalizing it usually makes things more bearable. If you don't have any friends like that, just grab somebody with ears and make them listen.

Good Luck

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THIS!!! Bendy...this!! I couldn't say it any better than Saner. Thank you Saner.

 

I am going through my own shit and I am taking control of my own life right now. One thing at a time. Simplify, simplify, simplify.... and take the medical issues one day at a time. There are other options...we just need not to be so afraid to go for them. Try to get out for a nice walk today if you can. Don't let this fucking crazy life steal your happiness any longer. I don't care right now if I have 50 cents in the bank. I don't even care if the bank comes and puts a sign on my house. I'll find shelter somewhere. I'd rather live in a one room shack and go for walks in the park. It's not worth it to me any longer to be the 'worlds slave'. I'm tired of the worlds 'ways' stealing my joy. I'm tired of their system. Hang in there my friend.... find some ways to make yourself happy today, if you can. Best of everything to you.

 

Good points Margee. A lot of the "Oh My God What Am I Gonna Do!?" resulted in anxiety over not knowing if or how I was going to maintain what I currently had in life and thinking that if I didnt maintain all those things that my life was over. That along with the mind trap of thinking you have no options is debilitating.

 

But you will be amazed at how different options present themselves to you when the time comes. The more people you talk to the more options you will discover. I was a staunch hater of mental health technicians but I saw one years ago who gave my dark perspective on my fresh divorce a total 180. Years later as I prepared to jettison the stress career from hell so I didn't end up shooting myself I saw another psychologist and was presently surprised that it was very helpful. Psychologists open up that tunnel vision so you can gain a bigger perspective on your life.

 

I wish you well.

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I don't care right now if I have 50 cents in the bank. I don't even care if the bank comes and puts a sign on my house. I'll find shelter somewhere. I'd rather live in a one room shack and go for walks in the park. It's not worth it to me any longer to be the 'worlds slave'. I'm tired of the worlds 'ways' stealing my joy. I'm tired of their system. Hang in there my friend.... find some ways to make yourself happy today, if you can. Best of everything to you.

 

There is an idea in our fair land that says happiness equals working 80 hours a week, rarely seeing your family, buying above your means and acumulating debt. I have unsubscribed from this idea.

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Thanks for the kind words and advice, everyone. I'll get through this eventually (actually, typing out the OP helped me feel a little better). I went to my first therapy session today, I'm hoping it'll help me cope with some of this stuff.

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Hang in there, Bendy. One day at a time, and if that is too hard, try to make it from one meal or activity to the next. That's how I coped with crippling depression for more than half of my life. There is life on the other side, by the way, and I am confident you are strong enough to make it.

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I went to my first therapy session today, I'm hoping it'll help me cope with some of this stuff.

 

I've been going for a year now. I like my therapist, which isn't such a good thing. It's better not to think of him or her as your friend because then you end up censoring yourself.

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I never really turned to religion in hard times. I was a christian by name only. When things got tough I almost never prayed or thought it would turn out ok because of God. I dealt with things as best as I could on my own, and when I needed to escape for awhile I'd read a book, or play a video game... or even took a nap.

 

Since faith never played a big role in my life, deconverting hasn't changed how I handle difficult times. I try to remember that no matter how bad I think I have it, it's not hard to find someone who has it worse.

 

I'm sorry you're having a hard time, I hope things look up for you soon.

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My life has sucked for 3 years now so I can sort of relate.

 

One thing that has really helped me cope is regular exercise and keeping myself as fit as possible.

 

It's good for self confidence, as well as both physical and mental stamina.

 

When everything is going crappy in your life, who needs to feel fat and tired and out of shape on top of all that bullshit? Not me.

 

Meds I don't take - I would rather be depressed than be addicted.

 

And in my case i've found therapy to be a joke - i've gone twice and I find myself trying to match wits or play mind games with the therapist just to amuse myself. I can't help it.

 

But I hope you find what works for you and you get through it.

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I don't care right now if I have 50 cents in the bank. I don't even care if the bank comes and puts a sign on my house. I'll find shelter somewhere. I'd rather live in a one room shack and go for walks in the park. It's not worth it to me any longer to be the 'worlds slave'. I'm tired of the worlds 'ways' stealing my joy. I'm tired of their system. Hang in there my friend.... find some ways to make yourself happy today, if you can. Best of everything to you.

 

There is an idea in our fair land that says happiness equals working 80 hours a week, rarely seeing your family, buying above your means and acumulating debt. I have unsubscribed from this idea.

 

I got very caught up in all this for awhile.

 

Five years ago I owned a luxury home on a golf course in a resort, along with two very expensive sports cars in the driveway (that I paid cash for, didn't even have loans).

 

Money was never an issue - I didn't have a budget and I wouldn't think twice about going to Vegas for the weekend and dropping $10,000 at a craps table.

 

And for whatever reason it became really important to me to make sure I had a more than my neighbors, friends, etc. whether nicer cars, better house, etc.

 

But I had a hefty mortgage and worked long hours in a very stressful job - so I felt trapped.

 

So I sold the house, sold the cars, quit my job, and did part time consulting for about a year until I decided what I was going to do.

 

In 2009 in the depths of the recession I decided to start a new career working for myself, and I traded in my fat paycheck and a life of luxury for barely scraping by and living in 1 bedroom apartment GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

 

I am not making the kind of money I was making before, so there's a part of me that feels a bit like a took a step back.

 

But at least I have a little more control over my destiny, and I am cautiously optimistic that if I play my cards right in about 5 years I might actually be financially ahead of where I was before. So we'll see. But if not, at least I got out of the "grind".

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