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cb1500

Please help me.

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Be sure to let us know how the meeting went. We don't mean to pry, but we do care.

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34 minutes ago, older said:

Be sure to let us know how the meeting went. We don't mean to pry, but we do care.

 

Not a problem at all, I will gladly share how it goes.  

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3 hours ago, cb1500 said:

 

I don't really know what to say or why I'm posting this, but I'm honestly ready to just break down crying.  I nearly passed out last night from a panic attack.  

 

 

Crying is exactly what you need to do!   Not allowing yourself to express what you feel is part of the problem.  You would not be "breaking down".  You would be letting yourself be human.  Society has put a terrible burden on us by conditioning us to not cry.  It is very cathartic and would likely prevent the panic attacks. 

 

ALL emotions are okay, and when blocked, create problems.  Appropriate expression is healthy, mentally and physically.  

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34 minutes ago, Weezer said:

 

Crying is exactly what you need to do!   Not allowing yourself to express what you feel is part of the problem.  You would not be "breaking down".  You would be letting yourself be human.  Society has put a terrible burden on us by conditioning us to not cry.  It is very cathartic and would likely prevent the panic attacks. 

 

ALL emotions are okay, and when blocked, create problems.  Appropriate expression is healthy, mentally and physically.  

 

Yeah, you're right.  I kind of have a hard time expressing emotions like that.  Not too long ago, I probably wouldn't have even considered going to one of those groups to talk about anything, and I would have kept it all in.  

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cb1500:

 

You will find the group beneficial. Many years ago I went to a couple of groups about a couple of things (not religious) and the big benefit was finding out that I was not the only one with a problem. Just hearing others helped me realize that it wasn't as bad as I thought, and I figured out some ways to deal with it. (And I also saw some folks who inadvertently showed me what I did not want to become.) I'm fairly certain that you'll come out of it stronger and with some tools available that will help.

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Well, I just got back from the group meetup.  The people there were nice and supportive, and It was really good to be able to talk with people who have the same mindset.  One of the group leaders is a former minister who's now an atheist, so that was very interesting to see.  I don't feel quite as alone anymore.

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Yeah...we humans suck at being alone, usually. I mean we naturally tend to try and find validation from others. Which is a double edged sword but independent verification is one of the bedrocks of modern science. :) nice to hear it helped.

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1 hour ago, cb1500 said:

Well, I just got back from the group meetup.  The people there were nice and supportive, and It was really good to be able to talk with people who have the same mindset.  One of the group leaders is a former minister who's now an atheist, so that was very interesting to see.  I don't feel quite as alone anymore.


It sounds like you got involved with a good group.  So glad you had a positive experience.

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8 hours ago, cb1500 said:

Well, I just got back from the group meetup.  The people there were nice and supportive, and It was really good to be able to talk with people who have the same mindset.  One of the group leaders is a former minister who's now an atheist, so that was very interesting to see.  I don't feel quite as alone anymore.

So glad to hear this cb. It's important to stay connected to people who have the same mindset because the majority of the world are believers in 'something'. It can be very confusing when you first start out.  Ex-c was a life-saver for me so hopefully we can be here for you when you need us. Keep us posted.

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I've been reading through this thread and realized that your experience is a lot like mine was. The fear of hell was something that I struggled with for a long time as well (and I still experience it from time to time). At one point I thought I was free from it, but then it came back with a vengeance because of a whole new set of stressful situations that came at me all at once, so I understand what you have been experiencing completely. It's also pretty awesome that a former minister was involved in the group you went to, so it just shows that you can be free no matter how deep you get into the religion.

 

I hope today is going well for you and I want to say good luck to getting over this nagging fear. I'm certain that you will be able to do it eventually and then you will realize that the Christian hell isn't any more terrifying than Anthony Freemont's cornfield.

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On 1/28/2020 at 12:04 AM, cb1500 said:

Well, I just got back from the group meetup.  The people there were nice and supportive, and It was really good to be able to talk with people who have the same mindset.  One of the group leaders is a former minister who's now an atheist, so that was very interesting to see.  I don't feel quite as alone anymore.

 

I know the feeling. When I came to my senses with regard to religion, I was immersed in Christian culture and felt so alone. None of them could understand where I was coming from. I went through a few years with my only escape being online, but then someone on this site mentioned meetup.com and I found one in the area. Joining that group (and then another one) was a major help to me. I'm so glad that you've also found what appears to be a good group, and I hope it is as rewarding for you as mine were for me.

 

Welcome, by the way. Sorry I'm late to the party here.

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2 hours ago, crazyguy123 said:

I've been reading through this thread and realized that your experience is a lot like mine was. The fear of hell was something that I struggled with for a long time as well (and I still experience it from time to time). At one point I thought I was free from it, but then it came back with a vengeance because of a whole new set of stressful situations that came at me all at once, so I understand what you have been experiencing completely. It's also pretty awesome that a former minister was involved in the group you went to, so it just shows that you can be free no matter how deep you get into the religion.

 

I hope today is going well for you and I want to say good luck to getting over this nagging fear. I'm certain that you will be able to do it eventually and then you will realize that the Christian hell isn't any more terrifying than Anthony Freemont's cornfield.

 

Thanks.  The past couple of days have been pretty good.  I also just started therapy, and even the first session helped get me into a better mood.  The sun came out today for like the first time in almost two weeks which helped as well.  The last two weeks were just pure garbage, and I hope I never go that low again.  I'm glad to hear that you, and so many people on here have been able to get over this fear.  It's amazing how many helpful resources there are these days for people like us dealing with this crap.  

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2 hours ago, cb1500 said:

The sun came out today

   

Yes. The storm always ends and the sun always shines.

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Just wanted to give a little update.  The therapy and medication is definitely helping me stay positive.  The intrusive religious thoughts seem to be getting less frequent and extreme.  Unfortunately, I just had an argument about religion with my sister.  The conversation started with us just trying to understand each other and get along better, but it ended up turning to religion.  I tried really hard to be respectful, but she started using the same tired old apologist excuses, and it just went downhill from there.  It would be really nice to get along with her better, I just don't know.  Religious fundamentalists genuinely freak me out.  

 

On the plus side, I didn't have a major panic attack after the conversation like I would have before I started therapy.  That does not change the fact that I still have a really strong negative reaction towards religion.  

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19 minutes ago, cb1500 said:

 The intrusive religious thoughts seem to be getting less frequent and extreme.  Unfortunately, I just had an argument about religion with my sister.  The conversation started with us just trying to understand each other and get along better, but it ended up turning to religion.  I tried really hard to be respectful, but she started using the same tired old apologist excuses, and it just went downhill from there. 

 

Oh man I can totally relate to this. I have a fundie sister that I try to reach out to (she is a decent person aside from her belief system, and we used to be close as children). I still reach out to her at times but I try to keep things unrelated to religion or our parents. I mean, if you think about it, our whole relationship got twisted and recasted to be about pleasing our parents or validating/disproving/arguing about our beliefs and it's just not fair. Any conversation we try to have at that angle is already pre-scripted by our parents who turned us against each other... and it's better to try to connect us for just being us... I mean I missed the times we used to have long conversations about random fantasy stories, novels, or video games. We had a real connection before religion hijacked our narrative. Just saying.. I empathize.

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On 2/20/2020 at 8:30 PM, DestinyTurtle said:

and it's better to try to connect us for just being us... I mean I missed the times we used to have long conversations about random fantasy stories, novels, or video games. We had a real connection before religion hijacked our narrative. Just saying.. I empathize.

 

Thanks.  That's what I miss the most too.  We started having trouble getting along a little bit before the religious shit became an issue, but that is what really divides us now.  Just another reason to dislike religion.  

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Guest freedwoman

I read the OP post then skimmed through everyone else's. 

 

Trust me. You did not commit the unforgivable blasphemy. You didn't commit it because no God exists to commit it against. 

 

I know how terrifying that fear is. But trust me there is nothing to be afraid of.

 

Warm hugs hun. You sound like you can use them. 

 

🤗🤗

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On 2/26/2020 at 10:56 PM, freedwoman said:

I read the OP post then skimmed through everyone else's. 

 

Trust me. You did not commit the unforgivable blasphemy. You didn't commit it because no God exists to commit it against. 

 

I know how terrifying that fear is. But trust me there is nothing to be afraid of.

 

Warm hugs hun. You sound like you can use them. 

 

🤗🤗

 

Thank you so much for the kind words.  I've been feeling a lot better lately.  I honestly thought that I wouldn't make it through this, but it seems like I have.  

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31 minutes ago, cb1500 said:

I honestly thought that I wouldn't make it through this, but it seems like I have.  

  

:clap:

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Guest freedwoman
1 hour ago, cb1500 said:

 

Thank you so much for the kind words.  I've been feeling a lot better lately.  I honestly thought that I wouldn't make it through this, but it seems like I have.  

Well good for you hun! 💪👊👍🤗

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cb1500 Several of the experiences you describe sound like classic Obsessive Compulsive Disorder symptoms. If your therapist or counselor has not mentioned OCD, it might be worth investigating the subject. Most OCD patients I know have properly self diagnosed their own condition simply by reading a description of this condition. Their diagnosis was then confirmed by a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.

 

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/index.shtml

 

https://www.nami.org/learn-more/mental-health-conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder

 

https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/

 

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/375073

 

 Many state and local OCD support groups exist across the U.S. 

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On 3/11/2020 at 1:48 AM, Misosthriskeia said:

cb1500 Several of the experiences you describe sound like classic Obsessive Compulsive Disorder symptoms. If your therapist or counselor has not mentioned OCD, it might be worth investigating the subject. Most OCD patients I know have properly self diagnosed their own condition simply by reading a description of this condition. Their diagnosis was then confirmed by a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.

 

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/index.shtml

 

https://www.nami.org/learn-more/mental-health-conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder

 

https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/

 

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/375073

 

 Many state and local OCD support groups exist across the U.S. 

 

Thanks for the links.  I actually have been officially diagnosed with OCD, and I will be joining a program to get help with it within the next few months.  

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Hey @cb1500, I only happen in occasionally, I happened to see this, and I'm REALLY hoping you're still here.

 

I didn't read the entire thread, but if nobody has mentioned it, I'm 1,000% certain I know what your issue is: "scrupulocity," a religion-based form of OCD. I recognize it like the back of my hand. I could have written your OP myself years ago.

 

I have written about it here:

 

https://www.quora.com/What-can-I-do-to-overcome-my-fears-I-am-a-Christian-and-I-believe-in-God-and-have-accepted-Jesus-The-mere-thought-of-selling-your-soul-scares-me-I-dont-want-to-do-that-Can-you-please-help-me/answer/Teresa-Bryan-Peneguy-2

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3 hours ago, ScaryBlackKitty said:

Hey @cb1500, I only happen in occasionally, I happened to see this, and I'm REALLY hoping you're still here.

 

I didn't read the entire thread, but if nobody has mentioned it, I'm 1,000% certain I know what your issue is: "scrupulocity," a religion-based form of OCD. I recognize it like the back of my hand. I could have written your OP myself years ago.

 

I have written about it here:

 

https://www.quora.com/What-can-I-do-to-overcome-my-fears-I-am-a-Christian-and-I-believe-in-God-and-have-accepted-Jesus-The-mere-thought-of-selling-your-soul-scares-me-I-dont-want-to-do-that-Can-you-please-help-me/answer/Teresa-Bryan-Peneguy-2

 

I caution against attempting mental health diagnosis (Or any health diagnosis for that matter) on this forum. We are not a mental health center and should not be attempting to diagnose our members here even IF you are a trained professional. There are appropriate places for it, this is not one of them. We try and help and support our members as best we can, but nothing is a substitute for trained professional mental health care.

 

Thanks.

LF

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@cb1500

 

I completely understand the struggle. I too dealt with the same issues you are going through. I do not know exactly what will do the trick for you, but my fear of hell subsided as I dove into higher criticism (especially Robert M Price and Bart Ehrman) and it undermined the "authority" of the Bible. Hell is a concept that was extrapolated from the Bible. If it was not for the Bible, i.e., really people, it would not even be a concept you considered. You, and the rest of us, were indoctrinated/conditioned to believe hell is actually a thing. There is no evidence it actually exists.  I recommend attacking the foundation, that is, the Bible, and realizing it does not hold up to scrutiny. It is a book written by men. There is no reason nor evidence to believe there is any kind of deity that inspired it. Any "evidence" you will come across will be convictions, anecdotal, etc. There is not sufficient evidence to suggest there is an anthropomorphic, magical, invisible being that has any power to reincarnate people and shoot them to some dungeon where they get roasted forever. There is not even evidence we have a soul. These are all concepts and ideas passed down from our ancestors who thought some really weird stuff - those guys were not scientist. Even those we tout as being the great minds, the philosophers, they came up with stupid stuff all the time. I attribute that to the idea that their philosophy was NOT based on good science, it was based on religion, intuition (a terrible device for determining reality), casual observations, and cultural norms.

 

Make no mistake, this is not an easy process. You will have problems, you will get anxiety. It is just part of shifting your worldview; it does take time. Here are a few key statements that helped to adjust my mindset and to temper my anxiety about hell:

 

1. Even if there is a hell and some being is able to send you there, it is not possible to know exactly what you would have to do and believe to avoid it. I know this may not sound comforting, but it is true. Just the Christian tradition has thousands of adherents all claiming to know "the truth" and they all disagree with each other on what that truth is and what it means. Right before my deconversion, I cried out to god to show himself to me so I could inquire what I must do and believe to be the perfect disciple in order to avoid an eternity of punishment. Never got an answer, no way that could indicate a loving god is in control of the show.

 

2. Try to reconcile the concept of hell. If you are there for eternity, surely at some point you get used to it. Consider those monks and others who self-emulated and never even winced. They obviously found some way to ignore the pain - you will get an eternity to master that technique, something to look forward to! When I think about pain, I know I tie a lot of my avoidance to pain to long-term effects if I do not avoid it. For example, if I was to place my hand in a fire and just let it sizzle, sure it hurts. But more than that, letting it get charred beyond recognition means that I am losing the utility of that hand for the rest of my life. That to me is more concerning than the immediate sensation in my nerves. Take that long-term concern away, then the pain in the moment loses some of its tenacity.

 

 

3. Stay true to you convictions for the sake of your honor. What I mean by that is that if you only look to the Christian God because you are really just terrified of him, imagine what it would be like spending eternity with him. Forever walking on eggshells fearing he will lash out. Does that sound like a loving father or an alcoholic father who is on the verge of throwing a beating at any moment? Personally, I would rather get roasted for standing by my convictions of what is right and fair than cowering down in fear. Easier said than done, I know. Pain is a powerful motivator and it is easy to be overcome with the fear of it.

 

Food for thought. Perhaps you will have your own reasons that will help you overcome your anxiety and I will be interested to hear them. I am sure everyone here is more than gracious and will gladly help you deal with any problem you have! Having trouble with a particular apologetic argument, lay it out and watch it get crushed. The evidence is on our side! Religion is nothing but unproved and un-provable  assumptions and speculations. Apologist think they can win the day being witty and playing word games. I think Dr. Robert Price put it well, apologist are really trying to buttress their own beliefs through their apologetics, because deep down, they wonder if they are on shaky ground.

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