Hey Everyone! Nice to be joining this community. I have been keeping an eye on atheist nexus for a while and I was surprised to see the ex-adventists section. Then I decided it would be cool to join and meet people who have gone through the same experience as I have. I hope everyone is having a great experience being a non-believer. Sure it is very tough breaking up from the routine and family but at the same time there's nothing more invigorating than knowing the truth and living truthful to yourself.
I've been at first an agnostic but then quickly became an atheist hiding in the closet still performing the usual family prayers and going to church etc. But after a while I decided it was time to come clean and be true to who I was even if it meant breaking with family and friends. My mom still loves me but I've grown apart from the rest of my relatives and larger family and friends.
I made many friends in college and now that I have graduated I have to pretty much start life completely on my own. I am quite worried about my future but at the same time I feel that I have made the right choice and that it has been the best thing that could have happend to me despite the hardships and despite the fact that the past 2 years of me coming clean have been full of hardship and the hardest years of my life.
What do you guys/girls have experienced? Does your experience relate in any way? And how did you feel after making that hard decision of coming clean to family or friends? Or are you still in the process of making such a decision?
I can certainly relate since I worked through doubts while earning my BA in theology and during my brief stint at the seminary. I wanted to just quietly slip out the back door but I was unable to. I quit in the middle of preaching an evangelistic series, left the seminary, returned home, and stopped going to church. It brought up questions for others and I was stuck answering them.
I can also relate to having to leave your life behind and start over. Its difficult as you adjust to such things as working on Saturdays, going to bars, socializing with people outside the world you knew, etc. The first three years were very lonely. Then when I moved to Boise two years ago I connected with the local atheist community and life has never been better.
Find a group and get involved. Give them some time to warm up to you, but it will be more than worth it.
Thanks for the great advice. My way of thinking has changed dramatically while studying computer science in college. I've learned the single most important skill in life: Critical Thinking. I think if more people applied it to everything in their life there would be empty churches out there. :-)
At the moment I am stuck at home which makes me feel quite lonely. I miss my college friends after I graduated last year and it has been a stressful and a dificult year finishing my masters degree this year. However I have a job ready to start with BT early this september so I'm looking forward to moving away from home for good but at the same time I am also worried.
I will take your advice and continue to find new friends and be involved in groups and clubs like i have been for the past 5 years in college. I find it difficult adjusting at times and I still feel that I am way behind my social skills since being raised in a very strict adventist home made it difficult for me to develop my social skills.
I can say for certain though that college has been the single best thing that has ever happened in my life. It has helped me greatly not only to achieve my goals but also to learn pretty much from zero to socialise with people, meet new friends and actually for the first time in my life go to a bar or pub as we call them here in Ireland.
The first time in a bar/pub is weird and foreign and it took me a good two years for that to go away. One thing that will help is that what you find in atheist groups is a lot of other geeks. All the things that make me a weird nerd elsewhere, make me cool. I would be surprised if you don't find that too.
Moving away is a good idea. I was fortunate that the job I got when I dropped out of the seminary took me more than 350 miles away from my parents. I love them and they are very supportive, but the distance is necessary to become your own person.
Hehe I can relate exactly to the same experience. It took me my full first year in college to be accommodated to the bar experience. Soon after I got involved in martial arts and gaming and archery clubs and societies where I met my friends who are nerds/geeks who think alike and I felt more at home.
Now I guess my next step is to move away from family. My new job will be in Belfast which is at least 300 miles away from where I life atm. So yeah distance will be good. My mom is still supportive of me but I do need the fresh start.
I guess I'll just have to wait and experience where life will take me from here on. At least I don't have any strings attached to anything or anyone back home. Thanks for sharing your experience Dustin. I shall keep in touch with the atheistnexus.