For several of the many possible reasons, I realized that I could no longer hold fast to the faith that I once built my life around. When this realization struck me, it was emotionally painful. Worse, most of the ways I had coped with pain and grief before were no longer open to me, as they were all forms of prayer- alone, in a group, or with a Bible. I could not really turn to my Christian friends or my Christian family for support, as they saw my doubts and concerns as an attack against them and all that they valued. I could not go to my pastor- I was the pastor!
Things I did that helped me get through this time of grief and pain:
- Go for a walk outside/get some healthy exercise.
- Fill a playlist with upbeat MP3s (Jonathan Coulton, Weird Al, Tom Smith, ABBA, etc), and listen to them whenever possible.
- Pick up an old, creative hobby I hadn’t engaged in for a while (roleplaying, in my case. Yes, I am a geek.)
- Spend time in a social activity with friends (without discussing religion).
- Find ways to help people as I had when a Christian, without the Christian trappings (and realize that I am still the same person I always was).
- Find a support group of people who have gone through similar struggles (this site was a huge help for me!).
- Find people I could talk honestly to (see previous parenthetical).
- Journal (blog) the experience, and/or what led up to it.
- Remember to breathe!
- Explore different faiths, different fellowships, different philosophies, and find out what I wanted from them, what I could offer to them, and (most importantly to me) what I could put my faith in.
How about you? What helped you through your de-conversion, if it was painful, or helps you through other times of trial now that prayer is no longer an option?