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The Emotional Pull Of Religion


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Hey everybody,

 

I am having a really hard time emotionally letting go of faith. I just got done with yet another bipolar-induced short-lived "re-conversion" to Christianity. It lasted somewhere around two months and most of it was great. I experienced what I thought at the time was an amazing miracle from God reaching out to me and calling me back to faith. I found a church that I liked and made a few friends and took a class that was offered called "Growing Deeper". It was designed to teach spiritual truths that resulted in a deeper walk with God. I really enjoyed the class and I liked the church. It is a huge non-denominational church here in Anchorage called ChangePoint, and it is just down the street from where I live. As much as I liked the church, I don't agree with their beliefs now. But it would be so easy to go again, put my brain in neutral, and shake hands with new friends and do my best to believe and enjoy it.

 

I know all of the reasons why the Bible and Christianity are not true and it was the cognitive dissonance that got to me that ultimately led me away from faith again. But it would be so easy to shove all of that knowledge aside again and go right back to faith. I have the flu right now and have had it for the last week. I can't tell you how much I am wanting to pray and ask God for healing and mercy right now. I know it wouldn't work and there is probably no god to hear my plea, but emotionally that is where I want to go.

 

Most of you know that I have bipolar disorder, and I understand the link between bipolar mania and religiosity. I have been quite manic over the last few months, and that is always when I go back to being religious. I guess I am still manic right now and emotionally wanting to believe, even knowing that I have the knowledge to rip the Bible and the Christian faith to shreds. It's a lie and I know it is a lie. But there is a big part of me that wants it to be true! That wants there to be a God. That wants there to be an afterlife. That wants help getting over this nasty flu bug.

 

I am swinging back and forth now thinking that I am okay with not having faith again and then wishing that I could have faith again. I do not know what to do. I do know that I am not mentally or physically healthy right now and that that combination of illnesses is making my thinking crazy and not what it normally would be. I am sick of having the flu and I wish my immune system would get with the program and get me healthy again. I want to get back to my usual active and healthy life.

 

End of rant, I guess. Thanks.

 

Glory!

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Hugs mate. I wanted it to be true too, but I have to be 100% honest with myself about the lack of evidence in the behaviour of christians. Nothing supernatural going on there.

 

Hope you feel better soon fella, physically and emotionally.

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Well there is nothing wrong with being religious if you like.  Sorry to hear you struggle with it.  I still pray to Captain Kirk when I feel stressed.  And I really mean pray.  I cast the spell just like I did when I was a Christian.  I guess religion is part of our culture.  It sucks that Christianity takes advantage of so many vulnerable people.  Sometimes I wish I could join an atheist club that was a lot like church.  I feel for you.  When the relgion gets it's hooks into me I like to watch some Darkmatter2525 or Nonstampcollector vids.  I hope you find what works for you.   

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Guest r3alchild

Just keep telling yourself, "I can't forget what I know about christianity and even if I could go back I will still see it for the lie it is."

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I know exactly how you feel and feel the same sort of conflicted torment, and I am not bipolar, so you are doing admirably. I sometimes honestly wish I had not taken the blue pill, because it was so blissful back when i was ignorant. Especially all those ready-made, like-minded friends to interact with and social functions to attend. Unfortunately, I cannot un-know some things. Sigh.

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You know the questions I'm going to ask, Brother Jeff.

 

Have you been eating? Have you been sleeping? Have you been drinking? Have you been doing any drugs? Have you been taking your medication? Not only that, but have you factored into the equation how the change of seasons may be affecting you?

 

You know this shit, man. Do what you need to do to put the gremlin back in its box, and you know the synchronicity and religiosity will reside.

 

You can do it, man :)

 

Bipolar hugs :)

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You know the questions I'm going to ask, Brother Jeff.

 

Have you been eating? Have you been sleeping? Have you been drinking? Have you been doing any drugs? Have you been taking your medication? Not only that, but have you factored into the equation how the change of seasons may be affecting you?

 

You know this shit, man. Do what you need to do to put the gremlin back in its box, and you know the synchronicity and religiosity will reside.

 

You can do it, man smile.png

 

Bipolar hugs smile.png

 

I have been eating okay, but not sleeping great. I am on Geodon now, 120mg a day. It helps, but not as much as Zyprexa did. But I would be fat again if I stayed on the Zyprexa. Way too much weight gain no matter how healthy I ate or how hard I worked out! The Geodon works well though. It just doesn't help with the sleep all that much. I use melatonin and that usually gets me enough sleep to get by on.

 

No drinking and no drugs, though I do use too much caffeine and I know it. But that is a relatively minor issue.

 

Summer is almost here and I am more than ready for it but.... yeah, the change of seasons definitely affects me. I either get depressed or manic and right now I am on the manic side of things for sure. Last summer I ran up $15,000 in credit card debt in a very short period of time and I have had to deal with that since then. Don't want something crazy like that to happen again. I would rather be religious. :)

 

Religion and bipolar disorder seem to be inseparable for me. One cannot exist without the other. I am finally learning that I need to avoid religion altogether for my own health and sanity.

 

So great to see you around here, Sister! Glory!

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I know exactly how you feel and feel the same sort of conflicted torment, and I am not bipolar, so you are doing admirably. I sometimes honestly wish I had not taken the blue pill, because it was so blissful back when i was ignorant. Especially all those ready-made, like-minded friends to interact with and social functions to attend. Unfortunately, I cannot un-know some things. Sigh.

 

Yep, ignorance is definitely bliss. Part of me wishes I could un-know what I know so that I could join the blissfully ignorant folks at my church and believe. But... I simply know way too much about the Bible to find it believable anymore. I know too much about cosmology too, which fascinates me, though I am bad at math and not that science-minded. Go figure. But I force my brain to wrap itself around difficult concepts and learn even stuff it's not good at. The simple truth is that we live in an unimaginably enormous multiverse that lacks any gods.

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Guest r3alchild

Your wanting the norm, something you have been programed to believe very young. There is no, one and final norm, the more you reach out to another norm the more you will lose the only norm you have, yourself! You just have to be your normal fucked up self and learn to understand you.

 

Fuck god

Fuck the world

But don't fuck yourself

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Your wanting the norm, something you have been programed to believe very young. There is no, one and final norm, the more you reach out to another norm the more you will lose the only norm you have, yourself! You just have to be your normal fucked up self and learn to understand you.

 

Fuck god

Fuck the world

But don't fuck yourself

 

I'm not wanting anything except some blessed normalcy instead of bipolar mania and the religious mess it causes. Otherwise I think I pretty much agree with you.

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Guest r3alchild

 

 

Your wanting the norm, something you have been programed to believe very young. There is no, one and final norm, the more you reach out to another norm the more you will lose the only norm you have, yourself! You just have to be your normal fucked up self and learn to understand you.

 

Fuck god

Fuck the world

But don't fuck yourself

I'm not wanting anything except some blessed normalcy instead of bipolar mania and the religious mess it causes. Otherwise I think I pretty much agree with you.
I know you want that, but unless science can cure bipolar for you today you still got to be your fucked up self, at least for today.

 

Roll with the shit days and savour the good days, so you will remember them when you are rolling through the shit days again.

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Brother Jeff: Despite your internal conflicts your honesty is truly admirable. You have already

achieved intellectual honesty, something a Xtian can't tolerate. I believe that you have already won

the battle of whether your life will be governed by a myth or by the search for truth. You are way too honest to ever give up the search for truth in favor of myth. I would be astonished if you ever

permanently returned to Xtianity, considering how far you have come.

 

But I do understand why you have difficulty letting go of the faith. I feel that pull, too, sometimes. The attraction of Xtianity to me and I expect to you and many others was not the promise of eternal

life, or the transition to a mysticism through the "holy spirit", but its promise of placing each of us in tune with god's plan for our lives. This plan we expected will transform us into the truly kind,

compassionate, loving, giving and forgiving person we always wanted to be. That was what I wanted and I suspect it is what you wanted. No faking allowed. God, according to the Xtian faith, we thought would help us attain that goal, which would make us happy and satisfied. But it never happened to our

satisfaction. Not by a long shot, despite our best efforts.

 

This longing was so deeply entrenched in our hearts that it has been extremely hard to give up. Indeed, while typing this I have felt a hint of some of that longing that I had to give up. It has been an

enormous disappointment to find that Xtianity was a scheme dreamed up by some very devious men for

their own power. But that is the truth of it. We wanted the truth, didn't we? Now we have it, whether

we like it or not.

 

So we've had to pick up the pieces and move on. Now the responsibility to become who we want to be is

on us. Challenging, but also exciting. So, good luck in your struggles and good luck to all of us in

our struggles. bill

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Hey Brother Jeff, you have already received great advice so I won't offer anymore but I do want you to know you are in my thoughts all the way up and over there in Alaska. I don't have bipolar but my psychiatrist has said I have many similarities to it with whatever mood disorder it is that I have. When my brain chemistry is going crazy it is so damn hard to believe the things I told myself when I was 'normal'. For me I don't feel drawn to christianity (prob because of what I went through as a christian) but I do feel pulled very strongly in other dangerous directions no matter what logic I apply. The pull is so strong. I guess I just wanted to say I feel your pain and hope you can find a safe way through this time without having debts or re-conversions to deal with. You must be a very strong and intelligent person to have the insight and ability to live with bipolar that you have. Believe in yourself! 

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