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I Can't Seem To Shake This Fear.


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I believe in evolution.

I have done the research.

I have looked up the Bible contradictions(speaking of which, has there even been a Christian who manages to give even a somewhat decent explanation of those?)

My OCD, Depression, and Anxiety has not gotten better after re-converting due to fear.

etc

 

Yet, I can't seem to return to agnosticism. I don't know if it's my OCD but I'm scared that Christianity really is true, Satan is real, I'm going to die soon, etc.

 

How did you manage to break the fear? Sadly, I won't be able to completely not be scared until I'm better but I doubt I'm the only one who was scared. I can at least try.

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How much time has passed for you?  It took me several months to get over the fear.  Knowledge doesn't do the trick because fear is an emotion.  Counter the bad emotion with a good one.  Watch vids that mock Christianity.  Try Nonstampcollector on youtube.  There are many others that are just as good.

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Second to last week of May is when anxiety got really bad and depression set in.

 

I'm starting to get a little better but I just cannot shake this fear that despite all the evidence against it, it's true.

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When we go to a movie, we can get really emotionally involved in it, even if it's fiction. I remember seeing "The Truman Show", and my wife was really, truly angry about it!

 

It's called "suspending disbelief". Some people are better at it than others. There are things that everyone knows are not real, yet some people are more prone to suspending disbelief than others, so they get more emotionally involved.

 

You've said that you believe in evolution. You've said that you realize that the bible is full of contradictions. (I would add failed prophecies.) You've also said that you've done the research. The problem is that the idea of hell always seemed so real to you that your logical disbelief in it cannot overcome the image you've created in your own mind. But you know your imagination is nothing more than fiction. It's like a dream, or a story you envision and have embellished based on stories other people have told you.

 

Clearly, this isn't going to be easy for you. But you have to stop suspending your disbelief about hell and embrace that disbelief. If all of the stuff about god and Noah and Adam and Eve in the bible are ancient stories made up by people trying to explain stuff they didn't really know anything about, and if the idea of hell didn't even exist for the Hebrew people until sometime between the old- and new-testament, then it is clearly a fictional place, the stuff of scary stories. You aren't going there. Your non-Christian friends and family members aren't going there. Your grandpa or great grandpa who never went to church isn't in hell. There's no god that is going to send everyone who was born in a country with hardly any Christians to hell just because they were told their whole life that Shiva was the goddess who was real. It's just a horror story, a nightmare that a lot of people say is real. Most people, most Christians even, never think about it, never imagine themselves or their friends going there. To mast people who claim to believe it, it doesn't actually seem real. Yet, here you are, knowing intellectually that it isn't real, and it does seem real to you.

 

You are able to walk away for scary movies. Walk away from this.

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It's going to take time.  Focus on why Christianity is funny.

 

 

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Your feelings of fear are real, but they are based on irrational superstition. 

Fear serves us humans--we're taught to fear poisonous spiders and venomous snakes and stinging insects as children to keep us safe. Once any fears are planted in us, it takes more than weed killer to get down to their roots and kill them completely. 

 

You can teach yourself with systematic desensitization to stop feeling irrational fears the same way that someone overcomes an irrational phobia of germs. 

 

Be patient with yourself. Every time you feel this irrational fear, stop and recognize it, don't give it any validity, just laugh at it--seriously, mock it in your own mind and think, "That's silly and it's not real." Then release the thought. Once you get good at banishing the fear, it will come back less and less frequently until it never comes back at all. (You can also replace the looping bad thoughts with something YOU'd prefer to think about--maybe a goal you have or a favorite song or a fun project you have in the works. You can refocus your mind on something happy and relaxing.) 

 

It might help to keep in mind that YOU are in control of your brain. Think of it like a committee suggesting impulses and feelings to you, but YOU, your conscious self, gets to look at all the suggestions and decide which one to heed. You can over-rule any suggestions your brain makes. YOU are in charge. Once you shoot down a bad suggestion over and over again, it will quit piping up with its bad idea and allow better, good, rational ideas to take its place. 

 

Brainwashing doesn't vanish overnight just because you recognize logically that your fears are based on old, irrational thinking, but be firm with your brain and keep reminding it you know the truth now, and that you're in charge, and it will fade and vanish. You can do this. And this is a really empowering exercise that will help you with more than just your de-conversion. It's a really important life tool to learn how to listen to your own brain but to remember you are in charge of it. 

 

Christians give too much credit to "God" for irrational fears and thoughts, thinking maybe God is trying to tell them something. Once you know and fully accept that it's just you, your own mind 100%, you can truly take charge of your own thoughts and actions. It can help with your OCD too. 

 

Very best wishes to you!

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If there were a god and he were mean enough to create hell to send his own creatures, knowing when he created them that he would do so, we are all (all humanity) in deep shit anyway. That kind of monster could not be trusted to follow his promises concerning heaven or anything else. So Xtians are not as secure as they think they are even if Xtianty is true.   But I'm more than willing to take the infantismal chance that hell is real and reject the belief.          bill

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I feel the exact same way as you Hunter93. I feel happier without Christianity, happier without going to church, happier without worrying that I am sinning.....but for some reason, I still feel like I am being deceived by the devil and that it is all real. I am very afraid that because I am so happy without God that God will reach down and take away my happiness somehow. whether by taking away my boyfriend who is one of my main sources of joy or by causing something terrible to happen to me.

 

There are different sides to faith: intellectual and emotional. Intellectually, I am an agnostic. Emotionally, I am not sure. I don't necessarily FEEL God, but I am afraid of being wrong, sinning, and going to hell. So, I am very conflicted about religion. Emotion is incredibly powerful and can overpower any facts (you can see this demonstrated within Christianity). But with anxiety, you tend to dwell on emotion much more than a person with little anxiety. It can definitely keep you up at night. Anxiety is very hard to deal with as I well know. When I feel too anxious, I go read facts about God not existing or I come to these forums and browse until I can deal with it. Sometimes I talk to my boyfriend about what I am feeling because he can relate to deconverting as he deconverted 6 years ago. I encourage you to find someone who you can safely discuss your anxieties with because I've found that talking about it really helps. 

 

This is by no means something that has to happen overnight. You may take a few days to deconvert to (unfortunately) years to deconvert. I have to continually tell myself not to despair when I struggle because it may not be resolved instantly. The most important thing with anxiety is just to breathe and work through it slowly. Trying to force something may only cause panic attacks or worse anxiety. Coupled with depression, you may feel even worse. Just breathe. Take little steps and one day you will look back on this and be proud of how you came through. biggrin.png

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If there were a god and he were mean enough to create hell to send his own creatures, knowing when he created them that he would do so, we are all (all humanity) in deep shit anyway. That kind of monster could not be trusted to follow his promises concerning heaven or anything else. So Xtians are not as secure as they think they are even if Xtianty is true.   But I'm more than willing to take the infantismal chance that hell is real and reject the belief.          bill

I second this. If he sends anyone to hell, then nobody could feel secure with him. It would show that he's hatefilled and should inspire terror not trust.

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Strangely, I never experienced any fear of hell after de-converting.  I suppose when I lost any trust in Jesus' ability to fulfill what he promises, belief in hell must have gone out the window along with everything else.  From everything you've posted here, it sounds like your problem is clinical and can't be treated with any intellectual tricks or realizations about Christianity.

 

I'd only reiterate my earlier suggestion that even if you have "re-converted," which I assume amounts to just telling yourself that you believe in Jesus, make sure you DO NOT get involved with any Christians in social activities or church/Bible study attendance.  This will make it much harder to leave once you recover from your OCD.

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Fear of hell was such a horrible part of my life since childhood that when I deconverted that aspect of it was a relief and after 6 years I can still say that the fear hasn't returned. I think it's because I'm absolutely sure that the Bible could not be true, I mean it could not be the Word of God as I used to believe. That's a relief and it's helped me a lot losing that belief. Since I thought it all out 6 years ago and concluded that the Bible isn't God's Word I haven't gone back on my conclusions. My OCD was largely on the theme of hell so ceasing to believe has taken a huge burden off me.

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My OCD pretty much revolves around the fear I sold my soul, the fear of death, and the fear of karma. But, I think I have feared hell before.

 

I should also mention even during the time when I could be considered deep in Christianity(by that, I mean Bible studies at school during lunch, bringing the Bible to school and reading the NT every day at lunch, etc), I never said evolution was false. Later on, as I became more liberal, I believed evolution.

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My OCD pretty much revolves around the fear I sold my soul, the fear of death, and the fear of karma. But, I think I have feared hell before.

 

I should also mention even during the time when I could be considered deep in Christianity(by that, I mean Bible studies at school during lunch, bringing the Bible to school and reading the NT every day at lunch, etc), I never said evolution was false. Later on, as I became more liberal, I believed evolution.

 

A lot of Christians believe in evolution (not all) but a lot of liberal, progressive Christians believe in it.  The disbelief of it stems mostly from fundamentalist sectors of the religion. 

 

You just have to keep doing your therapy homework and remember not to interpret every good thing that happens to you as some kind of sign. I remember even as a Christian, I finally came across a study where it was pointed out that too many Christians thought they were so important to God's will and all this stuff was going on with angels and demons in the background when, in reality, all this stuff would actually be very mundane to God and even Satan if they were real. God or Satan don't care if you buy YuGiOh, Pokemon, Magic, or whatever cards they might be. I mean, if either entity can really sell or buy a soul off such cheap materials, they weren't so powerful to begin with. I'd only believe I'd sold my soul if a galaxy dropped into my house with people in it and I was told I could rule it. I understand your agony, Hunter, as I HAVE been there (several years ago), but it does get better and eventually the fear will lessen.  It's good to really write down what causes you the worry, triggered it and really ask yourself what other alternate explanations could there be? There's always an alternate explanation and it's always way more mundane than you'd think. 

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My OCD pretty much revolves around the fear I sold my soul, the fear of death, and the fear of karma. But, I think I have feared hell before.

 

I should also mention even during the time when I could be considered deep in Christianity(by that, I mean Bible studies at school during lunch, bringing the Bible to school and reading the NT every day at lunch, etc), I never said evolution was false. Later on, as I became more liberal, I believed evolution.

 

I think I've read you mention once before that you suffer fear from karma.  Karma is a funny thing; it doesn't seem like an entirely fair system since it causes you to suffer and/or reap the benefits of something you did in a past lifetime.  But it's infinitely (literally) better than hell, since punishment is one-for-one.  You don't go to an eternal hell under any circumstances, and in the Hindu version of karma you can alleviate it through prayer and puja.

 

Now, I know most folks here are opposed to religion in all its forms, but I didn't ditch Christianity to start being silenced by anyone else, so I'll go ahead and quote some religious scripture.  You might find chapter 3, verse 8 of the Bhagavad Gita to be somewhat helpful.  Or not.  In any case, here it is: "Do perform your duty as prescribed by the scriptures; for action is superior to inaction. Besides, even the maintenance of the body would not be possible for you, by not performing action."  Now, commentaries I've read on this say that it's an instruction to make all the prescribed food sacrifices to God and such.  But the basic message seems to be that you can't simply remain still in the hopes of not having to fear karma.  That seems to be your mindset, with your giving up on your card-collecting hobby and such.  I don't know what your counselor says on this, and he or she certainly knows a lot more than me.  But giving up on your regular activities doesn't seem like a good idea, and you certainly shouldn't do so if you're somehow afraid of karma.

 

If you think Christianity might be true, it's certainly rational to fear hell.  It's eternal, and it never gets any better.  If it were real, it would be the worst thing ever, and I'm frankly surprised that anyone can believe in such a wicked concept of God (I say this as someone who once embraced that belief).  But if you're going to fear karma, you might want to read about it so that you realize it's not something to be feared.

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Speaking of which, in regards to cards I got after the intrusive thought, there was one point I got so scared that I asked God to destroy them. But, I'm scared something bad will happen. Maybe not now, not tomorrow, not next year, but something bad WILL happen. That's a fear that I have.

 

And, while there is no credible evidence to suggest Satan exists, how do I know he doesn't? That's a big thing with my OCD.

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Oh, and now that I think about it, I stopped collecting one of the card brands for most of 2011. The kid who told me that it was evil and stuff might have something to do with that.

 

Ask yourself this: As a Christian, would you rather have kids be into something like Pokemon or Yugioh or go out and do bad things? Even now as former Christians, would you rather have the first or second? The answer seems pretty obvious whether Christian or not.

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Speaking of which, in regards to cards I got after the intrusive thought, there was one point I got so scared that I asked God to destroy them. But, I'm scared something bad will happen. Maybe not now, not tomorrow, not next year, but something bad WILL happen. That's a fear that I have.

 

And, while there is no credible evidence to suggest Satan exists, how do I know he doesn't? That's a big thing with my OCD.

 

Proof usually rests on those making the claims.

 

As you said there is nothing creditable to satan is real so what is the hang up? I fail also to see how that is in anyway a matter of Obsessive compulsive disorder.

 

it is called faith you either choose to believe based on something other than proof real physical proof or you choose not to based on that same thing or rather a lack of it.

 

Sounds like you already decided and are now trying to understand that decision.

 

Let me help you. There is not god therefore not satan heaven hell or any of the other garbage that goes with religion and all of its intolerance.

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Speaking of which, in regards to cards I got after the intrusive thought, there was one point I got so scared that I asked God to destroy them. But, I'm scared something bad will happen. Maybe not now, not tomorrow, not next year, but something bad WILL happen. That's a fear that I have.

 

And, while there is no credible evidence to suggest Satan exists, how do I know he doesn't? That's a big thing with my OCD.

Proof usually rests on those making the claims.

 

As you said there is nothing creditable to satan is real so what is the hang up? I fail also to see how that is in anyway a matter of Obsessive compulsive disorder.

 

it is called faith you either choose to believe based on something other than proof real physical proof or you choose not to based on that same thing or rather a lack of it.

 

Sounds like you already decided and are now trying to understand that decision.

 

Let me help you. There is not god therefore not satan heaven hell or any of the other garbage that goes with religion and all of its intolerance.

Uncertainty. OCD plays a role in this because of uncertainty.

 

I should have mentioned that I do not believe in hell(that's not even mentioned in the Bible if I remember correctly).

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Speaking of which, in regards to cards I got after the intrusive thought, there was one point I got so scared that I asked God to destroy them. But, I'm scared something bad will happen. Maybe not now, not tomorrow, not next year, but something bad WILL happen. That's a fear that I have.

 

And, while there is no credible evidence to suggest Satan exists, how do I know he doesn't? That's a big thing with my OCD.

Proof usually rests on those making the claims.

 

As you said there is nothing creditable to satan is real so what is the hang up? I fail also to see how that is in anyway a matter of Obsessive compulsive disorder.

 

it is called faith you either choose to believe based on something other than proof real physical proof or you choose not to based on that same thing or rather a lack of it.

 

Sounds like you already decided and are now trying to understand that decision.

 

Let me help you. There is not god therefore not satan heaven hell or any of the other garbage that goes with religion and all of its intolerance.

Uncertainty. OCD plays a role in this because of uncertainty.

 

I should have mentioned that I do not believe in hell(that's not even mentioned in the Bible if I remember correctly).

 

 

 

If you don't believe in any of this what exactly are we even talking about at this point?

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Hell is not one of the fears I'm dealing with now. I can't say it will remain that way because with OCD and anxiety, something might happen in which I freak out. That's what happening with my current fears.

 

I regret not noticing this before all of this happen.

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