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Struggling with it all

By Scott S ~

So my story isn't much different than anyone else's: raised conservative christian, kept out of mainline churches for most of my young life because organized churches were "too corrupt", met mainly in people's homes on Wednesday nights for most of my childhood, home schooled, virgin 'til I was 23... Pretty boilerplate stuff, right?

Fast forward 10 years. I'm married, have three kids and am a member in good standing at a local bible church, where I even volunteer to teach sunday school to 6th graders. And every day I wake up, I feel like the biggest fraud who ever walked the earth. Why? Because I don't think I believe in God, or the supernatural, or heaven, or hell, or any of it anymore. And it hurts. It kills in fact. I've had so many suicidal thoughts over the last few months (related both to the idea in my stupid brain that I can't get out about there being no God, AND the cesspool which is my marriage most days), and I honestly have borderline lucid moments when I just want all the pain to end and to have some peace.

I love my family, and my kids especially. But I feel like I'm the shittiest father ever for "lying" to them about matters of faith. Hell, I baptized my 6 year old not 3 weeks ago! I know all the logical answers, and when I'm thinking clearly, I can work my way out of the darkness and back into the light of sanity. But it's becoming harder and harder to find my way back from the daily routine of wondering how much better I'd feel if I just...wasn't HERE anymore, ya know? Is this feeling normal? How do I find a way to combat this overwhelming sense of loneliness and loss and emptiness and sadness and despair that threatens to overwhelm me on a daily basis? Is there hope on the other side of it all? Can I ever be happy or at least not miserable again?