11/12/2013 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Roadblock ~
My mother and grandmother were very religious. We went to Catholic church every Sunday, then over to grandma's for pancakes. It was a lot of fun.
One problem I had was an over-active imagination. I constantly thought I was upsetting God and setting myself up for punishment. It was crazy how passionately I prayed every time I thought of a bad thing, or looked at a girl the wrong way. My life was a mess.
When I was 15, I woke up on the floor of the bathroom with my dad looking over me and telling me paramedics were on the way. I had had my first epileptic seizure, and the worst was yet to come.
As the years went on, my seizures were few and far between, but they were definitely there. My stressful "worship" of God continued, and really did me no good. Finally, when I was 30, something in me changed. My seizures started coming more frequently, and it became obvious that stress was a trigger for them. I still stayed faithful to God, even though the seizures were just getting worse.
Then 7 years ago I had a Grand Mal seizure that sent me to the hospital. I lost my driver's license and my ability to hold a job. My life was ruined. I became incredibly depressed and nearly suicidal, but I still prayed for help, even though I started having more frequent panic attacks every time I even thought of a sin.
After seeing a therapist for a few months, he suggested I try meditation to help control my stress. I began meditating, and as I did, I began to think. I analyzed my belief in God, and acknowledged that fearing God was a major source of stress, which contributed to my seizures. Maybe belief in God was doing me more harm than good?
Despite the fears I had, I decided to change my religion. I studied Buddhism and loved how liberal it was with its beliefs. I could believe whatever I wanted, it was my choice. Fantastic! However, I still had panic attacks and was still fearing punishment from God.
After a year of Buddhism I realized that although it is a much better philosophy than Christianity, it still believed in hocus-pocus, and I didn't want to think that way anymore. So I became Atheist. I began reading books and joining forums to help me break my fear of God. Thankfully, my therapist was an atheist, too, so he gave me some encouragement.
So what's the point of all this? Well, my stress greatly dropped, and the seizures, although still frequent, are nowhere near as powerful as they used to be. My self-confidence rose, and relations with other people grew stronger and stronger--except for one person.
My atheism bothered my wife. Although she is not very religious, her faith is very strong. The changes in my life lead her to make changes in her life. Although she claims that atheism isn't the sole factor for her wanting to end our marriage, I believe it is what set the ball rolling. We just have a lot of irreconcilable differences now, even though we agree that we are both much stronger people than we were a couple years ago.
I will never believe in a God or Jesus Christ again. I've learned way too much to ever have faith again. And my life is better now in every way, except for losing my wife. I know that the years ahead will be better than the last 20, because I have found myself and know who I want to be. Atheism saved me. I feel sorry for all the Christians that won't open their minds to the truth of atheism. Fearing God ruined 20 years of my life. Now the rest of my life is my own to decide, and I am actually looking forward to it.
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