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Depressed Atheist? (Oh, no! Not that!)

Old 05-15-2009, 02:45 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Daisy–

I'm glad it was helpful!

Bam—

one more thing I meant to say....I kept searching for meaning outside myself but where it was the whole time was inside myself. I needed to reconnect with my true inner self, figure out who that was, accept and love that person exactly as they were and let her be in the world
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Old 05-15-2009, 03:58 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Thank you everyone for your responses. Keep them coming anytime you think of something. I'll be re-reading this thread bunches. I hope something will click eventually.


sfgirl, I want to thank you so much for your response. Don't apologize...take all the time you need. I have all the time in the world to deal with this. I wish I could figure this out by 8pm tonight my time, but somehow I donít think thatís going to happen.


What you are saying makes a lot of sense...I'm just really confused right now. I'm having a lot of intense feelings and it's hard to be rational at the moment. I hope this feeling passes soon, and even if I don't "figure it out for myself", I hope at the very least I can come to a sense of peace/acceptance about it.


Originally Posted by sfgirl View Post

one more thing I meant to say....I kept searching for meaning outside myself but where it was the whole time was inside myself. I needed to reconnect with my true inner self, figure out who that was, accept and love that person exactly as they were and let her be in the world

This is what I'm afraid of. I'm finding it awfully hard to love myself. I'm hoping the therapy will help with that.

I even remember telling my therapist this last session that anything I ever do will never be enough. It just slipped out, but it's something I've been thinking of for quite a long time.

So I'm wondering where this leaves me. Am I at a crossroads? Or do I have the wrong visual?

The only thing I can do to deal is enjoy nature...and get totally involved when I take pictures. That's as close as I ever get to feeling "zen-like" (what I think zen is...I'm probably wrong). It's always fleeting, but it feels good.

I think I need to be patient and give myself time. I always want instant gratification, but why should I get it for this? I'll be as calm as I can about it and think...and wait...and think some more. And talk to you folks about it. Thanks for being here, people.
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Old 05-15-2009, 04:12 PM
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The only thing I can do to deal is enjoy nature...and get totally involved when I take pictures. That's as close as I ever get to feeling "zen-like" (what I think zen is...I'm probably wrong). It's always fleeting, but it feels good.
Sounds zen-like too me.
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Old 05-15-2009, 04:13 PM
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Totally, it takes time. I definitely don't fully love myself yet. I mean part of me quitting alcohol was me realizing how much self-harm I was doing by drinking and finally being able to love myself enough to stop that self-harm. And then recovery has just been building on that self-love. It doesn't happen overnight. It is definitely a slow process.

I think the want for it to be instant is an addict quality too. At least, I want it all right now as well. I always have to remind myself that in the real world, in the sober world it isn't like that. The gains are smaller and slower but....they are longer lasting and deeper. That is the trade off. But I had to wade through a depressive state before I started to feel connected...although I did feel like I was working towards something so even though I felt sad in early sobriety I felt like the hole was getting filled....

The book I mentioned is on limited preview on google books:

Mindful Recovery: A Spiritual Path ... - Google Book Search

Check it out and see if it is helpful. Another book I enjoyed was Kevin Griffin's book which is about buddhism and the twelve steps but I don't think you have to be into AA to benefit from it. He has a website that has lots of good links and info.

Kevin Griffin - One Breath

And then the other thing is don't try too hard. I have to try at recovery. But for so long I was trying too hard. I think I was trying hard to fix myself, now I am trying hard to let myself be as I am.......And I used to be really reliant on my rational mind. In a way I thought that was my value and worth in this world and now I realize that it is just one part of me. So much now takes place out of my rational mind. I find myself enjoying things more and feeling more connected because I am not always analyzing and judging which ultimately is very distancing.
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:20 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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I am an atheist. I have struggled with depression.

I have a hard time believing that theists believe the ideologies that they cling to. When is the last time you looked at a Christian and thought “wow they sure don’t behave like someone who embraces the Christian faith…” They do not appear to adhere to it’s tenets.

So why do they believe? Or should I ask why do they claim to believe? In my opinion because it fills a void. Because they feel like a part of the organization or part of a human collective. Even if they feel like no one in this world loves them, God does. That is very important for inner purpose and fulfillment.

Religion is comfortable. It makes people feel okay when everything is not okay.

It seems to me that depression fits perfectly with atheism. You don’t see things the way that they should be, you don’t see things the way you want them to be. You simply begin to see things the way they are.

And how are things? How are you?

What do you say? Well, I’m good. I’m fine.

Sick to damn death of this freak show of mutual admiration do nothings and couldn’t give a crap do nothings. Death could come and I could give a sh*t, it would be a refreshing change from fighting every single day to get one small thing accomplished in the name of making anything better or anyone care.

How about the divorce rate? Isn’t that fine? How about our government and our banks… Oh those are good. And all the people who are unemployed? Doing great, how about you? And all the genocide, and war, and terrorism and rape and slavery and serial killings and suicides and school shootings? Terrific!

Well, look on the bright side, you still haven’t caught swine flu.

Folks who think that depression and fear occur at the same time have not been depressed the way I have been depressed. What could there be to feel fearful about? Another carnival clown Cretin with pointless expectations? A Bengal tiger? Eternal damnation?

Bring it. At times I could care less, I wouldn’t feel like anything was getting worse.

Maybe you’re an atheist and depressed because you are paying attention. Maybe the truth just doesn’t feel right. Maybe all of the people who are positive thinkers are just kidding themselves. Maybe they aren’t as informed about all of the evil, messed up things in this world.

Addicts and drunks make dumb decisions. I think that at least some part of dealing with depression is trying to put happy moments into life, and making decisions that are not clouded by the fog of alcoholism or drug addiction enhances our ability to make decisions which lead to happy moments, in my opinion.

Last edited by Freepath; 05-16-2009 at 12:26 AM. Reason: booger on the screen
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Old 05-16-2009, 11:37 AM
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A Brain Scientist With A 'Stroke Of Insight' : NPR

This is an interesting thing I heard part of on the radio yesterday. Again maybe spirituality for the secular/atheist person. A brain scientist had a stroke and her cognitive part of the brain turns completely off. In those moments she has a sort of spiritual awakening. Strange and really interesting. You can stream the interview. I think she is coming out with a book on the experience. She is very matter of fact about the whole thing since she is a scientist.
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:21 PM
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What is your diet like? Is it supporting your emotional well being?
Often recovery programs never really speak to the needs of the body, and the foods or lack of nutritious foods play a major role in our moods.
Much love and light!~Cheryl
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:31 PM
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Thanks for the link to the interview, sfgirl. Just listened to it. The whole thing is pretty interesting, especially the second half.

I wish I could turn off the noise in my brain...that's why I started drinking. I guess I have to find another way. It's been hard to make art when I'm like this. I can't focus...


People, if you have time, listen to this.
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Old 05-16-2009, 02:21 PM
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I have to get out into nature and find my center. I read something that a person such as myself that is diagnosed as an empath or highly intuitive person has to literally be around water to be soothed. Then I delved into aryvedic healing which is thousands of years old and it says the same thing that water soothes the soul of people with too much fire.

Try some very soothing music I love music by Aurah it helps me calm down. Unfortunately rock music makes me want to party and then I go into grief mode for my doc. IT's a trigger. But Bam I hope you can find how to tame the beast.

I sometimes think I have it figured out and then something comes out of blue moon that upsets me. Have you tried deep breathing exercises? You've been very supportive of me and I wish I could help you too. You are an inspiration for me on this board.
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Old 05-16-2009, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by meditation View Post
I have to get out into nature and find my center. I read something that a person such as myself that is diagnosed as an empath or highly intuitive person has to literally be around water to be soothed. Then I delved into aryvedic healing which is thousands of years old and it says the same thing that water soothes the soul of people with too much fire.

There's a creek close to my house that I go to. I like to sit near it and watch the water flow by. A drainage pipe functions as a waterfall...listening to it is soothing. Plus, I take my camera with me and get pictures of ducks, geese and whatnot. It helps.
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