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Please tell me I'm not alone


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I'll try to keep this short and to the point.

 

I'm trying to find others in similar situations, or those who have been in a place like this, who can offer some advice.

 

Like most of you, I grew up in strict religion. I'm so sick of 'telling' my story that I won't do it here. Suffice it to say that I feel since I left that religion 8 years ago that I am unfit for real life. I've come to a point now that the stress, fear, anger, rage, dread, loneliness and everything else is too much. 

 

I've taken stress leave from work which is good but now I just sit at home wanting to kill myself. I've been to the doc and been 'diagnosed' with "clinical depression", whatever the fuck that means anyway. (I know what it means but just not how to deal with it) 

 

I feel like I'm at the end of my road. I have no family or friends left from religion because now I'm the evil sinner going to hell and the past 8 years have proven how unable I am at developing and growing healthy relationships with normal people. I'm well and truly fucked...

 

Of course there is SOOOO much more that is relevant but I'm running out of energy just writing this much so if this makes any sense and you can offer even a bit of advice or even just knowing there are others in similar situations will help.

 

I spend a lot of time here reading your stories and it helps. A lot.

HUGS to you all. I'm glad I have you at least.

 

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Hey.  I can't say that I am or have been in a similar state.  But have you tried to join or participate in any non-Christian organizations or group activities?  For example, atheist, agnostic, or freethought Meetup groups.  There are also various Recovering from Religion locations/chapters.  Or maybe a Unitarian Universalist congregation.  Or are there any outside hobbies or activities you enjoy that you've tried to meet like-minded individuals?  Or it may help to get out of the house for a while or take a trip somewhere for a few days. 

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I am sorry you are going through this right now!  This past year has been the end of an unraveling process for me. I ended up in a therapist's office feeling completely numb and lacking any drive. Come to find out, this is called depression(I thought it was just my shitty personality)!!  Went to therapy for a bit, wasn't enough. I started on antidepressants and it has been amazing. It is like I have rejoined the human race. I am still seeing my therapist and it has continued to be helpful. It is actually more helpful now, with the meds, because I am not using up so much of my energy fighting the depression and just trying to get through the day. It was so exhausting!  

 

Do do you have a therapist and/or option of taking meds?  Self- care is also so important. Basics like getting sleep, meals, drinking water, getting fresh air. That list sounds overwhelming when you are hit by depression. I know. 

 

Best of luck and take it one day(or one hour) at a time!  It was important for me to be able to recognize that the creeping fog of numbness was not me: ingratitude/discontentment/or a crappy personality. It is an actual thing- a brain chemical imbalance. 

 

You are not alone!  Take care!

 

 

 

--oh, a friend had told me once about something called religious trauma syndrome- and how leaving religion can cause a cluster of symptoms like depression/anxiety/issues with forming relationships outside of religion. Not sure if that might be helpful. Here was an article I read:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2013/03/religious-trauma-syndrome/

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C.D. You are not alone in this. We are here for you. Have a careful read at what some of us are saying on this thread. (hug)

 

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Hey! You are not alone!!!!

 

I know the feelings and thoughts you describe. I have an awesome counsellor who helps me and I cannot recommend this strongly enough!

 

I have just come through a dark time. During this time I had to force myself to get up and go for walks outside and force myself to visit with a friend here or there. It's an awful place to be and I'm so saddened that you're struggling. 

 

Can you find find a good counsellor? Walk dogs at the local animal shelter or humane society? 

 

Please keep us posted!!!!!

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Hey! You are not alone!!!!

 

I know the feelings and thoughts you describe. I have an awesome counsellor who helps me and I cannot recommend this strongly enough!

 

I have just come through a dark time. During this time I had to force myself to get up and go for walks outside and force myself to visit with a friend here or there. It's an awful place to be and I'm so saddened that you're struggling. 

 

Can you find find a good counsellor? Walk dogs at the local animal shelter or humane society? 

 

Please keep us posted!!!!!

 

So glad you're feeling better hon!! ((hug)) 

Great encouragement!! Thanks!

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I can't say I've experienced anything this bad, but please:

  1. Listen to those who've posted here who do know what you are going through;
  2. Get back in touch with your doctor and seek professional help for this - and insist that it be with secular practitioners.
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You definitely aren't alone. I'm doing through a suicidal patch as well. I'm sorry that it hurts so much and that it takes everything from you, it's truly one of the worst things to deal with because there's nothing "apparently" wrong with you. I would echo what other people have said about therapy, talk to your doctor about medication if you can afford it. I would also agree with Ellinas, make sure it's a secular practitioner. When I saw a religious one she could never seperate her faith from the sessions and it made me even worse.

 

That aside... I know it's hard but keeping yourself to a schedule helps. Forcing yourself to get up at a certain time or by a certain time (doesn't have to be early, when I don't have work I usually tell myself I have to be out of bed at least by one), making sure you eat at least something, trying to get outside at least once a day even if it's only for a few minutes, even if it's in the middle of the night. Just making yourself focus on things other than how much you'd like to die. Find white noise that works for you to block out thoughts, I listen to let's plays on youtube or a live chillhop station.

 

It's hard and I'm sorry. I hope you can find some peace soon.

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 I can't really say it's been that bad for me. But I also haven't told my whole family. Only the immediate family, wife and children. I am feeling more and more that eventually I may have to tell mom even tho I don't want to. She has been urging me to go back to church lately. I also don't know how I would do that without showing her what I have found that lead me to that conclusion and I don't think she would fair aswell as I have if she did open her eyes to the truth. She is in her late fifties and a revelation like that at this point would be devastating im sure. I may just have to suck it up, n go to church with her every once in awhile. 

 

That being said tho it erks me that christians don't see how painful truly losing faith is to some one. For most of us its not like it was an easy thing. The few times my wife and I have discussed this I've been sure to point that out. I've said several times, on this site, that when I think to much about my christian life I tear up. I truly felt a salvation experience, I truly believed Jesus had payed the ultimate sacrifice for me, and I truly believed he was the Son of God. When a faith like that comes crashing down your not a bad guy you are a victim.

 

You mentioned how you are the "evil sinner" now. My advice to you is to not think of yourself in that light. You are not the bad guy here. You are a victim of a cult. No different than any other "extremist" group that makes the headlines of news papers and cnn. Many people have been in your shoes before. But more than that I want you to see yourself as an overcomer. Your friends that are in the church are still being oppressed, lied to, and used. You have come out of that and now know it was all a lie. Yes it's going to hurt. For how long no one can give you an answer for that. But you can get through this. Those christians that are looking down on you now are the true ones that should be pitied. We are here for you. Please keep us posted.

 

HUGS

 

Dark Bishop

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I'll try to keep this short and to the point.

 

I'm trying to find others in similar situations, or those who have been in a place like this, who can offer some advice.

 

Like most of you, I grew up in strict religion. I'm so sick of 'telling' my story that I won't do it here. Suffice it to say that I feel since I left that religion 8 years ago that I am unfit for real life. I've come to a point now that the stress, fear, anger, rage, dread, loneliness and everything else is too much. 

 

I've taken stress leave from work which is good but now I just sit at home wanting to kill myself. I've been to the doc and been 'diagnosed' with "clinical depression", whatever the fuck that means anyway. (I know what it means but just not how to deal with it) 

 

I feel like I'm at the end of my road. I have no family or friends left from religion because now I'm the evil sinner going to hell and the past 8 years have proven how unable I am at developing and growing healthy relationships with normal people. I'm well and truly fucked...

 

Of course there is SOOOO much more that is relevant but I'm running out of energy just writing this much so if this makes any sense and you can offer even a bit of advice or even just knowing there are others in similar situations will help.

 

I spend a lot of time here reading your stories and it helps. A lot.

HUGS to you all. I'm glad I have you at least.

 

You sound like a real nice person, understanding, intelligent, sensitive, a real gentleman.

 

Now here's the thing, Christianity tells you the opposite about yourself that you eventually believe.

 

So you need to know the truth of what you really are, not what those old beliefs have told you.

 

Once you see the real you, you will like you for you.

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  • 4 weeks later...

CD, many of us have been where you are at. It's really important to find a good secular counselor who can help you with this, as well as meds if you need them. You've already heard this advice from others. I want to emphasize the secular though, as right now I've a counselor who is religious, and it does change things, although he's a great counselor. One thing that really helped me in getting over the "I'm a sinner" aspect of this was reading a really great book by an ex-fundy who is herself a psychologist, it's called Leaving the Fold by Marlene Winell. She has some great activities in that book that can help you gain perspective on things and the book is written precisely for people who are going through this struggle. It takes a lot of time, it sucks everything out of you just about, it easily messes up many areas of life and yes, most of us feel damaged and I'm guessing many of us even after several years away from religion. To some extent, the past is always with you.

 

If the fear and dread are related in any way to doubts that the religion you left might still be the truth, you need to complete this deconversion process by educating yourself and forming your own opinions. Read, read, and read some more. I'm saying this because i've seen a family member who left but didn't deconvert fully, and the fear is able to get a grip on them too easily.

 

You are not alone! ((hugs))

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We stand with, and for you, brother!

 

I call you brother, because you are of kindred experience to mine own. 

 

Never forget, you are NOT alone!:)

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--oh, a friend had told me once about something called religious trauma syndrome- and how leaving religion can cause a cluster of symptoms like depression/anxiety/issues with forming relationships outside of religion. Not sure if that might be helpful. Here was an article I read:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2013/03/religious-trauma-syndrome/

 

The psychologist who coined this term often posts in the blog. If you can make it out to the Bay Area of California, she holds occasional workshops there.

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I've taken stress leave from work which is good but now I just sit at home wanting to kill myself. I've been to the doc and been 'diagnosed' with "clinical depression", whatever the fuck that means anyway. (I know what it means but just not how to deal with it) 

 

I feel like I'm at the end of my road. I have no family or friends left from religion because now I'm the evil sinner going to hell and the past 8 years have proven how unable I am at developing and growing healthy relationships with normal people. I'm well and truly fucked...

 

I've also been diagnosed with clinical depression, although I had depression long before I deconverted.

 

I have been suicidal, and I have been in therapy sessions and support groups where other members were suicidal, and I can tell you one thing: when you have depression, your brain lies to you. It tells you that things are hopeless, that life is not worth living, and that your situation will never change. Remembering that my brain was lying to me is part of what got me through the suicidal episode.

 

The other part was thinking of how devastating my suicide would be to my loved ones. I've been in support groups where one of the members was convinced that her family would be happier if she died!—but this was also the depression talking. I am hoping that your family's abandonment was done out of a misguided interpretation of love, and that they do not actually want you to die or go to hell.

 

I have been lucky. Although I do not have a brick-and-mortar non-believing community where I live, my family and friends have not abandoned me, so I cannot give you specific advice on that front. Nevertheless, I do miss the community afforded by church, and I think it would be helpful if you can find a non-believer group in your area.

 

I'm sorry I did not see this thread when you first posted. Please post and tell us you are OK!

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Hi

Go to YouTube and search for guided meditation tracks for relaxing, discovering yourself or something that resonates with you.

Lie down and relax and listen. Maybe get one with subliminal positive affirmations. Read the feedback to judge if its right for you also.

Best Wishes.

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