My name is Leonard Francis and I'm new to all of this ATHEIST stuff and I have some problems. I would like to get advice from as many people as I can. First off I have to share that I'm SUPER SUICIDAL. I suffer with a huge depression problem that I'm getting treated for but nothing seems to work. Anyway...I'm a black man from the south and if you didn't know, black people from the south take GOD very seriously. They pray about any and everything. From paying bills,how to feel,what to do,where to go, what to buy, winning football games,job changes, EVERYTHING. When things don't go my way or I need something all they do is say "take it to GOD". Well I've been doing that for over 30 yrs and to tell you the truth, Ive never really been happy at all. Nothing ever seems to work out for me no matter how much I've prayed or how hard I tried. A few years ago I came to the conclusion that maybe there isn't a GOD at all. EVERY SENSE THEN MY LIFE HAS GOTTEN WORSE AND WORSE. I lost everything I owned. I lost my job and I was hopeless. Hell...I'm almost homeless again cause the month is almost up and I still have no job to pay rent. I get very depressed and even tried to kill myself several times recently. I'm so pitiful that I can't even do that right.

I'm the only one I know who really doesn't believe in GOD and everyone say its cause I've blasphemed. That things won't ever get better cause I disowned GOD. But when I did believe and prayed very hard...I got nowhere. They say its cause I didn't have enough faith, but its hard to believe in something good when everything always goes wrong no matter how hard or how much I try. I really don't understand the whole "BIBLE" thing cause it really doesn't make sense to me. I can't just "UP AND START PRAYING" just cause everyone else is doing it. Can't GOD understand that?

Everything went bad for me. My job was lost,severe back problems, homelessness you name it. WHAT CAN I DO TO TURN THINGS AROUND? I can't get a job for nothing, and to top it off...I can barely walk or stand for a long period of time cause of my back.

IS THERE ANYWHERE I CAN GO FOR ADVICE? IS THERE A ATHEIST CHURCH OR SOMETHING TO GO TO FOR GUIDANCE? WHERE CAN I GET A JOB WHO DOESN'T DISCRIMINATE ABOUT RELIGION OF LACK OF? HOW DO ANY OF YOU PROSPER? SHOULD I BELIEVE IN GOD? HOW CAN I TURN MY LIFE AROUND? PLEASE HELP ME!!!

PLEASE GIVE ME SOME ADVICE...... ANYONE ANYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Comment by Samuel Muriithi on October 22, 2012 at 1:44am

Leonard i second all the posts here by every1 suggesting you find something akin to an atheist support group I'm sure you'll find friends there who will be more than willing to support and help you through this.

Comment by Daniel W on October 21, 2012 at 11:45am

Leonard, by recognizing that there isn't someone "up there" you take the first step to having control of your own life.  Every journey starts.  One step at a time.  One step at a time.

*

Everyone has their "demons".  Even thought demons aren't real, we still have our challenges to deal with.  

*

Not knowing your story, all I can say is keep working on changing your life.  It doesn't all come at once, and there are steps back as well as steps forward.  But but working on it, there can be more steps forward, than steps backward. 

*

Just knowing it's not a "god" who is punishing you for some past sin, is a step in the right direction.  There also is not a "god" who can keep you form moving forward.

Comment by Leonard Francis on October 21, 2012 at 10:53am

Please keep all of your comments and advice comming. It really helps!!!

Comment by Leonard Francis on October 21, 2012 at 10:53am

Thank you all for the comments and opinions. It feels great to have people concerned about a fellow human being. Im trying my best to gain a positive attitude but its very hard when nothing ever goes your way. I realize I have a serious diease(although I never thought beings depressed was a form of diease)and its really taking its toll on me because even thoigh I get all these wonderful feedbacks and support...I still would rather be dead right now. I just wish there was someone I could actually talk to or a place I could go that wouldn't turn up their nose just cause Im not sure about the whole GOD thing.

Comment by Shawn Brown on October 18, 2012 at 12:41am

Now that you prayer does nothing, I think it's time for some self-reflections and to hold yourself accountable for you life. Such as if a door closes go look for another. That's what I do. I do not worry about stuff I can not control. What's the point anyway.

As for your job situation, you should find out what you really want to do (keeping your back in mind). Keep it realistic but do not sell yourself short. Set your goals, break them into smaller goals if they're too big. Such as if a goal will require multiple steps or several months or years to accomplish. 

I'm a black man, and I grew up in the church (out west not the south). I was a religious up until my late 20's. I even looked into the nation of islam. When I was in college I use to pray before exams, but realized my grades reflected the effort and understanding of the material. That understanding was my first step of realizing that I'm responsible for my own life. Prayer only can offer emotional comfort. It will not deliver anything else (job, good grades, a spouse, etc.)

So lift your head up and take charge of your life. Dont dwell on the negative things. Learn from them and move on.

Comment by Regina M on October 17, 2012 at 8:30pm

We don't have a church, but we do have meet-ups. Try going to this site: http://www.meetup.com/ and see if there's an atheist group close to you.

Depression is a bitch, I've been there too. I'm glad to hear you're getting treatment for it. I hope that you're not just getting medication, but also some counseling. If not, please look into it. It really helps to talk to someone impartial. I know it's hard to switch your world view over from "someone's out there so life has meaning" to "nothing out there, does life have meaning?" In between looking for a job, can you volunteer somewhere? make a connection to others? Make small steps. But it all comes down to this: we only get one go round on this silly little planet. Why not make the most of it?

I hope you find help here. This is a good group

Comment by Samuel Muriithi on October 17, 2012 at 8:02am

Don't kill yourself. Youre an atheist now which means you realize that when it ends IT ENDS no do overs no glowing winged chariots, nothing so you owe it to yourself to make the most of it. You stopped praying now you can get up and try to find a way to better yourself.

Comment by roland707 on October 16, 2012 at 10:33pm

I'm not black, but I am in the south. I know how ingrained religion is in the culture and how atheism or even being catholic or jewish is considered weird by everyone, and can get a person (even a big ol german-anglo person) discriminated against. It's fuckin hard and lonely. This site can seriously help with the loneliness. 

You are not being punished for not praying hard enough. Just like people in New Orleans with hurricanes. They pray like a Mutha and get hammered anyway. Prayer does nada. You know it. Nobody is hearing that stuff. It's wasting brain power.

"There is no spiritual daddy out there to help me. I have to be responsible for myself."  This idea has made me improve in every conceivable way over the last two years. Don't kill yourself Leonard. This is our only chance. Stay around to do something good for someone else. 

Good luck to you man.

BTW- I have a brother in your same predicament. Work injury made him almost crippled. He's on SSI. No choice. He's atheist, too. He's getting by. He's been that way for over ten years. 

Comment by Mike Johnson on October 16, 2012 at 9:38am

Leonard ... Depression is a bitch.  You've gotta fight that shit first and fast.  Are you on medication for it?  If not, get on some.  

Second, work on your health.  Do whatever exercise you can do.  One of the proven ways to get through depression is exercise ... just move.  Start small with whatever your back will allow.  Your back may improve as well.  Eat ONLY healthy food for at least a while.  Go to the store and buy only veggies.  Eat only veggies for a week.  No junk food ... no fast food.  It's harder, but it makes a difference ... AND it's cheaper.  

This is the most important advice ... and it may be IS the hardest.  I've been depressed and down on my luck, but I'm not a black man in the south ... and therefore, I give you the right to tell me to fuck off and that I don't understand.  But it's important to say (in my opinion) - make NO EXCUSES.  You must not blame others for anything.  ONLY You have the ability to improve your situation and by posting here, I can tell you're trying.  Praying won't help.  You're in a hole right now and no god will pull you out ... and unfortunately you can't count on others to do it either.  YOU have the ability to do it ... you just need to find it again.  Let others pray FOR you, but f* them ... it's all about you.  Focus on yourself first.  Find your confidence.  Find your fighter. 

I truly hope things improve.  Don't give up.  

Comment by Daniel W on October 15, 2012 at 9:22am

Leonard, I hope things turn around for you.  I don't have an answer.  I wish I did.  It's tough having the pain and not being able to work.  I would keep my atheist thoughts to myself if they get in the way of finding work.  Work is more important.  Good luck to you.  

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