Struggling...A Lot

This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
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Deepthinker
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Struggling...A Lot

Post by Deepthinker » Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:59 pm

My mental health has deteriorated over the past several months. I've really been trying to make everything work with church, teaching gospel doctrine. I've been telling myself that it will be better with 2 hour church, and only teaching once a month. I don't know if that's true.

I'm depressed, have suicidal thoughts, I'm anxious and stressed. I wake up at 3am not being able to sleep, I have dreams about being in a plane that suddenly does a nose dive into a black hole, dreams I've never had before, or maybe just not remembered because I was sleeping better.

Last month I told my wife about my suicidal thoughts. Her reaction: "Oh sorry, I've had those before". Then she goes back to looking at Pinterest on her phone. That tumbled me further, it confirmed how alone I am. I'm tired of feeling alone, tired of sacrificing my mental health. I'm tired of hiding myself, and not being able to just be me.

I came home early from church today, and she's texting me why'd I leave. I've told her before and I've skipped out several times the last few weeks. Maybe I just need a break, but it feels like I just don't want to go back, that I want to remove the church from my life. My recommend is up for renewal in February and that's weighing on me too.

I'm ready to meet with our bishop, tell him where I am, but I'm not sure exactly what to say. I want to do things in the best way possible, so I could use all of your advice. I'm thinking of sending an email to just close family, a brief and concise email, just so they know.

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slavereeno
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by slavereeno » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:11 pm

DT I am so sorry to hear that you are in such a painful state. If your thoughts of self harm are serious, my first recommendation would be to seek professional counseling immediately. I can understand the feeling of living the mormon life when you no longer believe. Teaching GD would be very difficult. I am only teaching Sunday School to 11 year olds and that sometimes drives me a little bonkers. Maybe its all from not living authentically, but its important you find some peace of mind.

I can empathize with the sleep problems. I often take about 1/4 of a tablet of Unisom or some melatonin to help me get back to sleep if I wake up in the early morning. I am sorry your DW didn't show more concern.

I understand how that feels. I envision the day that I can ditch the garments and stop pretending, often, probably daily, living the lie sucks.

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Emower
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by Emower » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:35 pm

If the church is at all a cause of this, you can give yourself permission to cancel your involvement without guilt, regardless of your level of belief. That is easier said than done with family etc, but at the very least you can cut out some stressors.

It feels like a major obstacle to come out and tell people you just don't give a flip anymore, but it's really great to do it. For me once I just accepted it, it was kind of like feeling nauseated.you can fight it for hours, or you can just go throw up and get it over with. It feels better once it's done.

What can we do here for you? I can post some cat pictures...

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Hagoth
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by Hagoth » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:00 pm

DT, obviously your wife doesn't understand that you are REALLY having suicidal ideation. I think you need to see a therapist so you can get some clinical validity for her to consider. It might help her understand that this is the real sh*t. Do you think she would shrug it off if it was made clear to her that death might be a more attractive option to you than playing pretend Mormon?

Do you have a health plan that will cover counseling? If not, maybe the shock of therapy bills will help her sit up and notice.

Maybe you've been covering up your angst too much trying to fit in and be a good boy? Does she have any idea of the degree of torture and lonliness that comes with a faith crisis and efforts at faking-until-making?

Pleasing the church and its adherents is not worth trading your mental health for. Please get some help.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Reuben
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by Reuben » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:08 pm

Bleah. I've been in the moderate version of this before. It sucks.

Any chance there's an additional physical cause, such as sleep apnea?

The dark night isn't something you just shrug off. Can you enlist your wife's help with a direct statement? "I need you to help me get to a therapist or a doctor" might work.

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wtfluff
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by wtfluff » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:11 pm

I agree with everyone else: Seek professional help.

Also remember we're all here virtually for you to vent to any time.

If you need some in-person NOM support we are also here to support in any way possible.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Who taught you how to hate?

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jfro18
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by jfro18 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:42 pm

I'm so sorry to see this -- I agree with the others that you really should look for a therapist to talk to. I did that a few months ago and honestly it hasn't led to any breakthroughs, but it is nice to talk to someone and get both some validation and some understanding.

The sleep stuff I've also had issues with - I wake up every day at like 5:30AM and I can't fall back asleep. It comes and goes, but usually when I'm stressed it happens for days/weeks straight before it goes away for a while.

But please look into finding someone to talk to professionally... in the meantime vent here so we can help in any way we can.

It sucks to be stuck in a position where you discover the church is a lie but you're surrounded by it nonetheless. I hope you can get some good advice through therapy to help your wife understand this is a real problem that won't just go away on it's own.

And please keep us posted -- I've gotten so much help/relief from being able to vent here and get advice and I think it can help anyone going through this situation at least a little.

Good luck!
Josh

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2bizE
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by 2bizE » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:23 pm

DT, please know that you are not alone, even though you may feel that way.
It is hard being stuck in the middle. Professional help, can really be beneficial.
~2bizE

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Angel
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by Angel » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:42 pm

Sounds like you need a support group - if your spouse is struggling too, that might be good to do some kind of group together. What city do you live near? Maybe someone here can help with local resources for you?
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Anon70
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by Anon70 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:05 am

Sleep is so crucial. I hope you can find a way to sleep and find peace.

I also hope you can find a way to live a more authentic life in regards to church.

Rooting for you-check in here often. Many of us are in similar situations I’ve found and the support from others in here has been really amazing.

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deacon blues
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by deacon blues » Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:34 am

I can’t add anything to the posts above except to say a good therapist/psychologist really helped me, and it’s been good for me since then. Medication may work wonders.
God is Love. God is Truth

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Red Ryder
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:06 am

Deepthinker wrote:I'm ready to meet with our bishop, tell him where I am, but I'm not sure exactly what to say. I want to do things in the best way possible, so I could use all of your advice. I'm thinking of sending an email to just close family, a brief and concise email, just so they know.
DT, you have a tendency to overthink this as evidenced by your statement "I want to do things in the best way possible". Here's the thing.

There is no best way possible!.

Just be honest with everyone and ask for their support. Then do what you have to do. It's going to be hard and tough, but look at where you're currently at? It can't be worse than now? Your mind and body are telling you to quit living with this toxic duplicity. It's clearly time to act and move forward without the church in your life.

What's the worst that will happen? People will adjust and move on. I've seen it in my own family when my brother sent out an email saying they quit being Mormons. Everyone was shocked but everyone has accepted it.

In regards to meeting with your Bishop, I think you can easily step away from the church for a time by explaining exactly what you have told us. Keep it simple and don't get into the details of your faith/unbelief. Simply tell him you are taking a break to work on your mental health.

You don't owe anyone anything more than that. You owe yourself the right to take a break while you get healthy.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Hermey
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by Hermey » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:24 am

1.) Stop attending - immediately. You need to put your mental health and well being above all else. It's like an oxygen mask in an airplane emergency. You have to put yours on first before you can help anyone else. And, you don't owe anyone an explanation, even the bishop.

2.) Find a good therapist. They can be lifesavers. Literally.

At one point seven years ago, I found myself at/on a bridge. I was worth more dead than alive and felt like I was essentially losing everything. In the end, it simply came down to two things: 1.) There was a sign on the bridge with a phone number to a hotline. I didn't call it, but it gave me a moment's pause; 2.) It was that pause in which I tried to find a reason why not to jump. My reason was not being able to leave a note for my kids - I couldn't do it with explaining 'why' to them. I had inadvertently cleaned my car out completely the day before and didn't have anything to write a note with/on.

Now that I look back on it, it makes me really angry that it got that point. Life has gotten so much better since then. I'm glad I didn't go through with it.

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redjay
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by redjay » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:41 pm

get help.

understand that life can be wholly better - this is not how you are, or need to be.

Get selfish. Reclaim your authority and happiness.
At the halfway home. I'm a full-grown man. But I'm not afraid to cry.

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by RubinHighlander » Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:30 pm

Deepthinker wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:59 pm
I'm ready to meet with our bishop, tell him where I am, but I'm not sure exactly what to say. I want to do things in the best way possible, so I could use all of your advice. I'm thinking of sending an email to just close family, a brief and concise email, just so they know.
How well do you know your Bish? This is local leader roulette and could turn out badly.

Are you in N. Utah? I'd buy you a beer or coke and chat for a while. Talking through the $hit is cathartic.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

Wonderment
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by Wonderment » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:42 pm

One of the thoughts that adds a great deal of stress is the worry about, "What will the church think?" "What will the bishop think?" "What will the relatives think?" "I cannot meet their expectations of me." "If I don't attend church, I will let everyone down", and so forth. I believe that thoughts like this are causing you anxiety and stress, and the stress is affecting your emotional health.

Please be assured that the church will be fine, the bishop will be fine, everyone will be fine. Simply say to the bishop, "I need to take some time off from church due to some health issues I'm having." That is all he needs to hear and all the ward needs to hear. It's a voluntary organization, and you don't need to go into great depth with him. One sentence will be fine. You owe him no further explanation. Keep it simple.

As a suggestion, find a therapist who can support you by explaining that you are not there to live up to the expectations of the bishop, the ward, your relatives, etc.
Also as a suggestion, I think your wife needs to attend counseling also in order to get to the root of her disinterest and apathy when you try to communicate with her -- but if she will not attend, then attend by yourself.
Best wishes to you, and please keep us posted. -- Wndr.
You don't owe anyone anything more than that. You owe yourself the right to take a break while you get healthy.
Red Ryder is exactly correct. You don't owe anyone anything. Also, tell your wife who is texting you that she needs to put down the phone and have a heart-to-heart conversation instead of looking at social media, texting, etc. If she texts again, tell her you need to talk to her privately in person. Don't give in to her insistence on hiding behind her phone. Some people have a social media/ phone obsession, and they cannot talk one to one even with their spouse. It's a severe problem. This may be true of your wife.

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crazyhamster
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by crazyhamster » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:20 am

First, I can tell you from having been there depression-wise, it WILL get better. Please don’t do anything drastic. Second, as soon as possible seek help, even if it is simply one of the crisis support lines.

I’ll echo those above in encouraging you to also seek some therapy, both for yourself and with your marriage, and in not worrying about what the church thinks. It is clearly causing you great distress and it’s time to make some changes. I also know from experience that resolving that cognitive dissonance is a great relief. It’s time to think about you, not others at this time.

Finally, please post again here to let us know you’re okay!

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Hagoth
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by Hagoth » Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:03 pm

Wonderment wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:42 pm
One of the thoughts that adds a great deal of stress is the worry about, "What will the church think?" "What will the bishop think?" "What will the relatives think?"
You might try doing a rosary every morning. I recommend saying 20 Screw-ems and 20 Hitchens*

But seriously, "screw-em" has been my personal mental mantra whenever expectations of others threatens to cloud my judgement regarding religion. It's a very powerful and liberating incantation if used wisely.



* “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Hagoth
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by Hagoth » Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:03 pm

crazyhamster wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:20 am
First, I can tell you from having been there depression-wise, it WILL get better. Please don’t do anything drastic. Second, as soon as possible seek help, even if it is simply one of the crisis support lines.

I’ll echo those above in encouraging you to also seek some therapy, both for yourself and with your marriage, and in not worrying about what the church thinks. It is clearly causing you great distress and it’s time to make some changes. I also know from experience that resolving that cognitive dissonance is a great relief. It’s time to think about you, not others at this time.

Finally, please post again here to let us know you’re okay!
We don't hear from you enough, hamster!
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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MalcolmVillager
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Re: Struggling...A Lot

Post by MalcolmVillager » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:42 pm

So sorry DT. This really sucks. I have been there. Worth more dead than alive, both financially and spiritually for my family. I started off a bridge into a dark abyss. It was a fleeting moment. I am generally not a depressed type. It runs in my family but luckily it is a very fleeting thing I experience once or twice a year.

Professional help is super valuable. Dont be too big a man to ask for help, space, boundaries, etc...

Most of all just know this too shall pass. When it is dark, the light will soon increase. Let me know if you ever need a phone call. Those can be cathartic when the NOM page just falls short of that real human connection.

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