Having an "Existential Crisis"

Old 03-05-2009, 01:50 AM
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Question Having an "Existential Crisis"

Hey Sec folks,

It's been awhile since I've been in here but this seemed like the right place to put this. I mentioned this to a friend on here and so I thought I might as well share it with the whole board.
I was wondering, does anyone ever get "Religion Envy"?
I do. For some reason the past year alot of Christians have been coming into my life one way or another and I noticed how HAPPY they seem to be.
I was born without any kind of belief system or religion, instead I have always been an intellectual sort and so I've always had the tendency to THINK and over-analyze too much and I've realized, I'm pretty unhappy!
My way of thinking has never really worked for me all these years.
If I could just have some faith in some invisible God or deity or whatever, I might be alot better off. I used to find happiness and a feeling of wholeness in smoking p-t and drinking, of course, but those don't work for me.
Neither is constantly thinking "If I just had this...if I just had that" or "One day everything will be as it should" as been my M.O. for the better part of my adulthood.
Now I'm not going to rush to the next church or convert myself or anything- I wouldn't know where to begin and I don't believe in Jesus (because honestly I don't know who he is) and I'm bothered alot by the hypocrisy that exists in alot of mainstream religions today.

I know what alot of Twelve-steppers answer to this will be, but my mind has already been made.

I'm just wondering does anyone else get this?
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:34 AM
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Hi LaDita,

No, I've never had religion envy. Haha. But I can see that it could be comforting to have something to... lean on? blame? hand over the tough decisions to?

I'm assuming you've read up about different religions to see if any of them grab you? Although it would be hard to "believe" in something if you just simply *don't* believe.

I know some people who find a lot of peace through meditation - not in any particular spiritual discipline. Have you tried that?
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:48 AM
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Originally Posted by slowchange View Post
I know some people who find a lot of peace through meditation - not in any particular spiritual discipline. Have you tried that?
I've tried meditation, but I am much too fidgety for it, I'll get it one day, but I don't think it's really what I'm after right now.
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:56 AM
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Wow...yep...i have had this.....usualy when things are really going bad and I am in alot of pain....I just wish so bad that something would just come down and set thing right for me....

Makes perfect since to me.....just like I sometimes wish i would win the lotto and daydream about how wonderful that would be.

I am one who began my recovery but going to AA with a belief in god, although not a christian. I came to NOT beleieve in god after about 2.5 years sober.

Sure, there are moments where I wish in loving caring all powerful and all seeing and all knowing....exsisted...

Course wishing isn't the same as believing.

I happen to do AA and the 12 steps as a non-believer in god, and i always was struck by the fact that what is encouraged is "a god/higher power that MAKES SENSE TO YOU". (i don't do quotes exact...not my strong suit)...

I think it would be lovely for there to be this "god" out there, but it just has never made sense to me...

Made me chuckle this morning to read this, cause i don't actually know wht existential means (LOL ... and no i am not going to look it up!). but i guess maybe i've had and existential crisis as well I know I have had a godless "spritual expereince".
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:47 AM
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Can't say I have had religious envy.. but I do relate to some of what you are saying about people who seem to have some peace or happiness that is really essential in them (though in my experience I don't relate this to having a religion).

I had a very Catholic childhood, and gave that all up as soon as I had free choice, but I do find that I still take solace in the feeling of something like surrender or letting go of control.. When I was a kid it was to a God, but as an adult it is just to "whatever" - the universe, this community.. I don't know what.

I am not religious at all now .. not in AA - but can't do without some sense of what might be called spiritual - or non-tangible... I don't really have a word for it.. I do practice meditation (a relaxed zen form) and try for regular moments of quiet reflection.. and read poetry when I feel a need to get connected a bit more..

I really think the greatest "practice" for me is just really being present and doing what I am doing at the moment with as much respect and attention as I can - whether it is doing my work, cooking, cleaning, driving, whatever.. This sobriety stuff has been an unexpected gift in this way because I feel so much more present - sometimes almost scary how much more present sobriety makes us..

thanks for this thread..
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:21 AM
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I have not experienced this. I work for a guy who used to work for the televangelist, Oral Roberts. The entire office of 15 people, besides me, is over-the-top christian. They seem very happy. However, when I talk to them, all I feel is pity. I feel sorry that they live in a dream world...that they can't face reality...that they live in fear of a vengeful god.
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:44 AM
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I have no religious envy and quite frankly I don't see religious followers being any happier than non religious people. I was bought up Catholic and went to Catholic schools so I am well versed in religion and know a lot about the bible because if you didn't you would get the strap. A great way to handle ADD.
I see a whole lot of the world's problems being due to religion and that disturbs me.
A religion based on love and peace would make some sense to me but I don't need a group to make me happy.
Happiness has to come from within and I try to remove the things that make me unhappy and try to replace them with things that make me happy. We are here for a good time not a long time.

I don't meditate but I do do breathing exercise as suggested by the Heart and Stroke Foundation during a clinical trial I participated in to lower blood pressure by calming one's nerves. They hooked me up to a machine that reads your blood pressure every second then had me perform certain physically and mentally challenging tasks.
You could visually watch how stress affects your blood pressure. It was eye opening.

Then they introduced me to the 4-4-8 breathing method, which is a common form of meditation btw, and I could see that after a few breaths my blood pressure would rapidly decline to below my normal blood pressure. It was amazing to see it right before your eyes. The needles actually went down rapidly as you watched.
Anyways I do this 3 times a day 3 sets of 12 breaths and my BP has gone from quite high to normal and this is when I was still drinking heavily.
If you are interested in the mechanics of 4-4-8 breathing let me know and I will post it.
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Old 03-06-2009, 02:24 PM
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Thanks LD for this thread. You have hit the nail on the head for me these past couple of weeks.

I got talking to a christian friend of mine a couple of weeks ago who i hadn't seen for a few years. I could tell he was so happy with his faith, he has a nice house, car, job, wife, kids. We were best mates at school, i have been comparing how my life went to his.

These last couple of i have been thinking i wish i had his sort of faith, you see i was brought up religious and yes i do envy people who have a faith, i know it gives many a peace of mind.

You said in your OP that you wouldn't know where to start, you don't know who Jesus is, neither do i, so even though i have this envy, it wouldn't work for me.

Thanks, i can so identify with the post.

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Old 03-06-2009, 03:21 PM
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I go to the fishing church. Me and my Higher Power Lucky. He always catches more than me.....that's cuz he's the God of Cereal and Whatnot.

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Old 03-06-2009, 03:23 PM
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Churches scare me. Religion scares me. Religious peoples scare me.

that is all. carrion.
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:31 PM
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I've felt the envy. I've even considered believing just to feel better. That thought vanishes in the 10 seconds it takes to play out the shallow hypocrisy of believing for the sake of believing.

So it then comes down to thinking about what you do believe about your life and being human. It's easier to do that sober. It's easier to forget about all that bother when you're not sober, but then it's worse when you f-up your life by not being sober.

So one thing you can believe in is....being sober.
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:01 PM
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I'm gonna put star stickers on my eyes and genuflect madly in the street like some kinda possessed monk.

not really. it would be fun though.
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:47 PM
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Thanks nands! You planted that little seed about looking up existential today which I didn't have to do, but I came back now and looked up existential crisis and bumped into this goofy quiz, which btw told me I'm having an existential crisis too. Of course, hah! Browse Tests

gotta love this typo in their first question:

We'll start with the big one first: is there a God (or gods)?
Yes, of course!

No, that's aburd.

I'm not sure, and I think about it a lot.

I don't know, and I don't care.

hmmmm, I think it's a bird, or a burd, or a plane, or (everyone together now class) a flying spaghetti monster
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