Religion and Depression and My Experience

Beginning this topic with a note. this is focused on a controversial topic that I have felt the need to talk about. How it effects my life, and how it might effect others from teenagers, to the oldest of adults. It will contain possibly offensive context or ideas that combat religion. This isn’t a means to convince religion is wrong or anything. But to those who are at ends with it.

Starting this off, I am on the border of deist to Atheist. I do believe something is out there. But I do believe that no man made religion could ever depict or imagine a real deity, divine creator, or creators to perfection. Much of these thoughts have began with my natural skeptic mind and how I tend to question everything to the first page. It’s actually quite a bittersweet gift. I can get information, but at the dismay of my peers.

However since my mind has been inside the church for a good portion of my life. I feel many different feelings that tend to attribute to my paranoid mind and fears. I’m not quite open on the Atheist title to any of my church friends. However my family, and other friends outside of religion know about this. In a way, I am hiding a big part of myself to some really close people in my life.

Now how does this attribute to this topic? One thing that has been brought up in my counseling is that I am terrified to lose my friends. The people in my church are really close. They are a huge support group and assisted me in my teenage life. A lot of my teenage years have had many issues at home and I felt welcomed. However in the back of my mind I asked often “Why?”.

I have different views that Christianity regards as wrong. I find no issues in Homosexuality, and as brought up. I identify myself as Bisexual, which only hurts my self esteem since I’d be denying a part of myself that holds no gender barrier. I have no issues with sex outside of marriage. I don’t even understand half of the idea of sin and how no matter what we do, we always sinned. It almost made me feel worthless and somehow the christian god was to make me feel whole. But yet I only heard about how empty I am without this idea.

Let’s go back to the beginning of my faith. When I was in Jr. High, I was at a difficult time of my life. My dad died when I was in 5th grade, my grandpa shortly followed. I had so many sad thoughts because the primary people who influenced me were gone. I met my best friend, John. His family was Christian and the only way I could hang out with them if I attended church. This person was my only friend at the time in that school. I wasn’t popular nor was I good at talking with people.

From Jr. High till high school graduation, I attended this church. I began skeptical but as time went on, I thought I believed everything the bible had to say. Most of this time, I sought something as an answer to the pain I experienced growing up. Watching my family fall apart as my older brothers got into drugs and gangs didn’t help my young mind when I feared losing my brothers as well. I was comforted that if I prayed hard enough, maybe things would be fixed.

I won’t lie that things did change. For me at least. I stayed out of trouble. I had a good friend group. We did many different things such as charities, assistance with the Pregnancy Resource Center, Church Plays, held public dinners. It was fun and made me feel like I made a difference. But things didn’t quite change for the family.

I couldn’t convince my family to go to church with me. And all I heard in response to this was that I got to keep praying. No matter how much I prayed or asked others. nothing changed. I began questioning the meaning of this if nothing happens. The bible supposed to have answers, but nothing stood out. Even if it related. If I prayed for years on end and nothing came across. My prayers meant nothing.

According to the bible, my family are bound to burn in hell. A fear instilled onto us from the bible itself. If you don’t believe in this idea, you’re bound to head straight to hell. This idea made me feel horrible since I couldn’t do anything. My family didn’t follow along. and I couldn’t bare the idea of that. But no fruit was revealed from my prayers or words to convince.

Following graduation of High School, my church attendance became low. I didn’t believe the ideas. I didn’t care for the sermons. I only felt put down when Utah’s Gay Marriage was legalized and our church went heavy on the topic. I held these bisexual views and was only being shamed for feeling like this. I didn’t feel welcomed anymore.

The people in that church are not bigots. In fact it was quite welcoming to everyone. We held open sessions with LGBT groups who did believe in God. But the idea that love is restricted to one gender? I couldn’t grasp my mind on it. I have people in my life who are gay and married. they are happy and settled. But what makes that different than a man or woman? Because they cannot bear child? Or somehow that love is fake?

I drifted away with little to no attendance. Only going now because my best friends are the ones I want to keep close, but not push away with my skeptic thoughts. This has not made my mind settle that they’d accept me regardless. Because not only I’m throwing away the baptism I’ve done and the speech in front of the church. But also disappoint my peers who thought of the godly man here is backing away from “his commitment to Christ”.

I have observed many people drift away from religion. And when they admit they feel bad. Christians often say the Holy Spirit is making them feel guilty for leaving. But don’t you ever feel guilty when you do something against other people’s ideas? You leave one job for another and you’re shamed by your friends who work at your previous job for leaving.  Don’t we feel that our peers are the ones who shame us and make us feel guilty for leaving? Then have other professing Christians damn us or not believing their faith as our own?

People feel depressed when one leaves depression. People become frustrated at you. Disappointed, and in some cases, people try to wave off your mind as some phase or preach the gospel that means nothing to you at the time to bring you back. The people you are moving away from in their group look down on you. And hurts that person in the long run.

It is hard for those who leave religion because the people behind it can be the catalyst of shame and regret. Rather than understanding the mind of the person leaving, they try to persuade or make them feel terrible for the choice. It can be kind or rude. Some people will say they will pray that you come back to the truth. Others will try to preach to you.

To me, Christianity has not been the answer. It’s actually working against me with the stress on my mind. The fears that will come with leaving entirely. And the people who I love will possibly cut ties with me if I decide to leave for good. It hurts my mind to imagine these scenarios that might happen.

Now, again this isn’t attempt to dissuade you to keep believing. do what you want as long as you don’t harm others. But religion just doesn’t work for me anymore. I don’t see man made religion as an answer to purpose. I don’t feel the same hope and love anymore because of it. I can’t be myself without hiding big factors of myself from those I love. I don’t want to offend, but I won’t hide this much anymore.

These are just the thoughts of myself. I don’t blame religion for my depression. Many things contribute to it. but I would want people to see how I felt. How Religion can be good for some time, but also hurt you as well. I can’t be bisexual without being a sinful man in Christianity. I can’t be happy with myself without putting some imaginary man in front of me.

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History of Suicide and What Depths I’ve Fallen.

I want to start this blog with a note that this is a thought provoking and sensitive topic. I’ve got a history of suicide and suicidal thoughts and struggled rarely with such. So I do warn to my reading audience what this has within it. And I’m going to begin with what made me realize how far I’ve fallen in my depression.

Here is how far I’ve gone.

What I’ve linked above is my note on Suicide Project. A website that gives any and all folk a means to write their thoughts and even an open website to write a suicide note. As disclaimed, this website was made as not only a suicide awareness website, but also something that holds no voice against the depressed or suicidal mind. I made a post after one late December night where I needed to write something. And unfortunately  I wrote it in the most self pitying way. But it helped me release my thoughts, which in a way inspired me to blog abut it.

“The Suicide Project is a website devoted to allowing people to share their stories of desperation and depression… and ultimately of hope. We hope that by allowing people to share their stories of despair with one another, they can find a reason to live, a reason to survive another minute. Another hour. Another day.

This is not a place to share suicide methods.

This is not a place to find a suicide partner.

This is not a place to preach the gospel.

This is not a place to post random stuff on random topics.

This is not a place to spout hate. Or to create drama with other members. Or to login with multiple accounts pretending to be different people.”

That late December night, I needed something to write. I felt so down and wanted to talk. Needed to say something. When I stumbled upon the Suicide Project. I was able to post my story. I was able to get some people to read my story. While it was not a suicide note, I was also certainly saddened that I had nothing good to say in that note. I felt the need to complain about my position and where I stood. How my self esteem was falling apart because of my living conditions.

In no ways do I aim to compare scars. As another person in my position could easily handle this better than I did. In truth, we all handle situations differently. At this time of my life, I was slowly getting worse. And it was this website that gave me an extra edge to push forward. I got people to read and sympathize, and empathize with me. I didn’t feel alone in my struggle. I even admitted the first time to attempting suicide here noted in the link above.

I don’t recommend you just use anonymous websites to vent your frustrations. As I grasped at anything just to speak. But it certainly helped me and even had me break down in front of my family about the issues I’ve faced and how my isolation of myself became self destructive. I want people to understand again, this isn’t to compare scars since we all handle situations differently.

In the past, I used to have a structured lifestyle. I figured this out when I began counseling earlier this year with my mother along side me. In Junior High, and High School. I had a lot of order in my life. I went to a Christian Church, Had an amazing Youth Group, and had my entire family pushing me to graduation. I had so much keeping me proactive and involved. This placed so much value in me that I didn’t realize it. I was happy as a child growing up.

But after graduation, all of that fell apart. I graduated not only school, but the youth group that did so much from fundraisers, to church plays. We even made silly music videos for christmas and mother’s day. I’d post them if I wouldn’t get a copyright claim immediately afterwards. By the time I was eighteen, I was put into a whole other world I wasn’t prepared for. I didn’t have the order I became so used too.

I began working in Telepreformance shortly after graduating. Working as a Call Center Representative, I worked for Verizon and Xbox within that year. I didn’t get the working environment and met new folk that I never would imagine being with. Some people I worked with may have also reinforced the suicidal tendencies I’ve come across before.

A man named Marty was a Co-worker of mine. Both in the same training class, and worked till the Verizon segment was removed from our location. He had some pretty depressing views. He also was quite vigilant on the idea of drinking and later killing himself before he was thirty years old. Which at the time, he was twenty-five. I’ve never had anyone talk or even propose the idea. He was such a talented man too. He built computers, ran networks, and just had a great act for programming. As well as shared similar interests in gaming as well.

While we only worked together for six months, this man left quite a sad impression on me. And at that time, frightened me as well. He left a depressing note with me and did impact me. He was hell bent on the idea of living half his life before drinking it away. Giving the idea to a naive, eighteen year old adult like myself that the world is hopeless twelve years down the road for me. While he wasn’t a huge part in my depression now. I got this idea from him that would later become a vicious thought in the back of my mind.

Shortly after leaving Telepreformance before completing my year there, I didn’t have anything planned. Not only by the time I was nineteen, I have accepted personally I was bisexual. My church became so huge on the topic of homosexuality in their sermons, which at the time here in Utah legalized gay marriage. This began hurting me mentally that I was attracted to the same thing my church condones. Being a natural skeptic too, I began drifting away from the church. My attendance even today is still hinged upon my best friends from that church.

Unemployed, feeling ashamed of my sexual tastes, and now feeling the impact of my current position weigh upon me at home with my family. I began feeling worse and worse about myself. I can’t pay rent. I can’t feel welcome at the church when the sexuality I claim is considered the worst thing to happen in Utah. My self esteem began to deteriorate. I didn’t want to place myself in a position that didn’t help me at all. Which at this time, I was already questioning the bible’s integrity and passages.

Now, I don’t intend this blog post to be about my faith. that will be saved for a future segment when I dive into my past with this church and why I believe I’m not longer Christian, but a Deist in truth.

I have yet to disclose my bisexuality to anyone but my family, and two of my close friends. My church had yet to know of this. So I still keep that veil up and slowed my attendance now about here. My mind was just wallowing in self pity. I really didn’t know what to do or who to approach about my situation. I had a lot o negative reinforcement about my position. My mother and my step-father had nothing good to say about me lacking a job. Which only dug deeper into my already fragile mind at the time.

About around November is when I’ve attempted suicide for the first time. In the past, I’ve researched how to commit suicide. what overdoses did, what gunpoint can do. I found my parents’ 9mm in their room. And took it to my head. This attempt failed because of my lack of experience with guns. The safety literally saved my life. I never handled a gun alone before. I’ve gone camping and shot guns before. but not once has anyone let me hold any sort of gun alone.

My ignorance and lack of gun knowledge saved me from my first attempt. when I snapped back to reality about what I tried to do. I ran off, took my car and drove for hours. Bawling my eyes out because I couldn’t believe what I tried to do. Even today it makes me choke up for what I’ve done. But that wasn’t enough to motivate me to seek a solution to my mind.

Fast forward to January of 2015. I have my first mental breakdown. I face my parents where they yell at me with my lack of job and how I was doing nothing in the home. If I had a mind to care for at the time, I would have explained about all of this much sooner to them. But I felt guilt and shame, and knew how they’d react if I told them what I tried. I was so sick of being yelled at, and feeling so worthless. I decided to just leave.

I left on a sour note with my older brother. I told him he could have the car because I was out to commit suicide. He tried to halt me, and my mind had me bent on trying again. First on choking myself out on his arm that he held me back with. But then was convinced it was best to let me go. This was a cold January night. Likely -10 degrees by this time. I had only pajama pants and a thin coat on. I walked for hours on end. I couldn’t feel my arms or feet.

I don’t know where I walked. I was crying, and just venting. At this time, my family called the police and reported me as an endangered adult. Reaching out to any and all my friends and contacts who would know where I’d be. Which nobody knew where. I hate to say that I attempted to freeze myself to death at this time. I didn’t care and left on an impulse.

When I finally vented my mind, I didn’t go home. but rather I went back to my best friend’s house. I relayed all the things I’ve gone through and what I did to him. I never gave him  a chance to hold me accountable for the issues I’ve gone through. At least till now. I felt so ashamed, embarrassed, and guilty for what I did. For the pain I put my family through when I ran off into a freezing night. What was worse, how would I talk to my mom and step-father about it. How I dreaded speaking to either one of them.

My mom held an angry position about the situation. She was shocked, insulted, and didn’t want to believe I’d do anything like that. Not once in the family’s lifetime has anyone made the notion that suicide was the answer. but I went against that. she truly felt remorseful when she realized that the house felt nothing but negative towards my position and was even more sorry for not trying to understand my position but justifiably expressed her anger.

I owe her for the counseling I attend today. I owe her, and my step-father who convinced me to seek help. It took a mental breakdown to show the pain I was going through and even revealed to me how bad of a position I was in. Where I was readily eager to end my life. But also shows what values I still had to continue living. when I snap back to reality and feel ashamed for what I tried.

I want to end this blog on a message to my audience. From what you can read above, I have a severe issue of bottling my emotions. As a male in America, that is unfortunately the norm. To express these emotions is seen as weakness. My lack of social skills and as well as my position made me hurt. I could have easily fixed this situation if I came clean about my suicidal thoughts the moment I had them. But I bottled it down. I didn’t intend to burden anyone with such painful thoughts. I didn’t want people to feel half as worthless as I did at the time.

I highly want to encourage people to talk about their issues. Do not fear social normality. Or don’t be held to an invisible standard. If you have an issue, you need to speak about it. Mental health is such a fragile thing and the only way to fix our issues is to talk about them. To make our issues aware to others to find a way to treat or even fix them.

I thank you all deeply for taking the time to read all the way through this post. It’s quite extensive for my second post on this blog. I want to get my history out of the way to show where I’ve come from and what has led me to make this blog. I also hope it will aid anyone who comes across this and relates to it. If you feel or know anyone who is going through the same way. I would love to have this shared to them.

Thank you for reading ThoughtBlots and have a pleasant time.

Thoughtsblots and it’s beginning purpose.

My name is Travis, and I guess I can say welcome to Thoughtblots. This blog is not only a beginning to me, but also a means to document my series of thoughts and what runs through my head. This was something I wanted to think about trying since documenting all of these ideas and thoughts on paper didn’t work out. I considered starting a Youtube channel dedicated to vlogging my experiences, but the lack of a good quality camera or editing programs is just not suiting me well.

I’m an avid WoW (World of Warcraft) player on the server Moon Guard under the alias of “Kinria”. I’m also quite a gamer and thoughtful person. Born in 1995, I’ll be 20 come this May. And in truth, this blog was made to assist in a series of depression that has begun shortly after graduating from High School. If I can find an outlet to get these thoughts out, perhaps one man or woman could stumble upon this and relate, and even follow the steps I take to recovery. As well as a means to self discovery as a Bisexual male.

I want to set this blog as a means to vent my mind clear of any thoughts and keep it as an open forum if I can. I’m often shy to speak with people, as I do have issues expressing myself in person when I can elaborate myself in text, and even think ahead before painting the wrong picture. I also wish to have proper discussion with anyone who does stumble upon this. And even hope to open this blog to my friends and family to read where I come from, as I’m not a great person to confront another about issues and ideas I have on my own.

This is the beginning however, this blog is a new thing for me, so if my topics and expressions are a mess. This is all new to me and suited to help me vent most of all. Doing all the needed steps to recovery and get as far away from the depths of depression can take one. And we all need to start somewhere, and I feel a blog would be a great place to start.

I also want this blog to be able to speak my mind on any topics. From gaming to world events. To sexuality to faith. As a deist but not confined to one faith, I want my open mind to explore all routes and thoughts. and share my opinion to those who will value what I have to say or present. It might be a mess of a blog as some dedicate to certain purposes, but Thoughtblots is dedicated to help a voice that is confined inside myself because of the social paranoia and fears that keep it silenced.

I do thank you for stumbling upon this blog. As well as taking the time to read it. If you follow with my blog and read upon it, well I certainly appreciate the reading eye. I would also love to have an audience to approach and have open forum with. If there is anything that helps folk, speaking your mind always help people relieve the stress of daily life. And can provide purpose to push forward.

I also want to dedicate this blog to a weekly/Bi-weekly post. I won’t be devoted to write unless my mind has something to say and I’m eager to come onto this to write away. I assure there will be something posted within every two weeks to keep this blog relevant and remind me I’m still using this as a recovery and attempt at new things.