I have been a believer almost all of my life. God was very real to me, and I went to church and even for years lived the life that I thought God wanted me to lead. Only this calendar year have I come to the fact that there is no god. It's very hard for me. Sometimes I still start to pray, just to catch myself and think what's the good of it? There is nobody out there. I find the idea of God now to be ridiculous. That there is some invisible creature out there who can change his all knowing mind because I sent the right idea at him at the right time is just laughable. I don't know why in my subconscious it's still hard for me to come to terms that I'm a atheist, even though on the surface I know.

Did anyone else have this problem? My husband is also an atheist, but he wasn't raised religious like I was, so he doesn't have the default "pray when things are bad" idea.

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Well, I think it's a habit like anything else, from biting your nails to bullemia. It will probably take some time to break the habit and direct your attention towards something more productive.

On the other hand I know that when you are going through a hard time it can be helpful to talk to someone; even if that someone is yourself. I generally talk to my boyfriend when "things are bad; his advice plus the act of talking helps me to organize my thoughts.

Two bits of advice that I hope you won't find silly: One, when I need someone to talk to and no one is handy, often I'll talk to my cat. Of course he doesn't understand what I'm saying, but just the talking helps. Plus he's an AWESOME snuggler. :-P Two, you can still use some form of "positive affirmations." Now I grew up in a really "New Age" family and people would often use affirmations to lie to themselves and think that they could make the lie true by repeating it enough. I was surprised to learn that repeating something to yourself didn't automatically mean it had to be self-deception--you can start the day by repeating an inspiring poem or something similar. I think this one is perfect for Atheists and Agnostics: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/invictus/ (Of course, you have to see the "soul" part as "personality" or "life," which seems to be what he meant.)

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

Also, this song may help drown out those hymns. :-P http://bababrinkman.bandcamp.com/album/off-that-single

Hope this helps!
The first week I became godless, I started out as a weak atheist. I stop believing in a god, but had a lot of agnostic tendencies. Months went by and I started thinking more critically. I pretty much see myself as a strong atheist(like a 7 on the Dawkins scale) now after nearly a year being an atheist.

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