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.
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.