Maybe god actually brought joy

comments 10
the godless side

hands-804934_1280Sometimes my experience of my life is heart-achingly sad.  It’s been over 2.5 years that I’ve been godless, and, despite my “enlightenment,” consistently I find that it is very difficult to find joy.

According to the bible, the following are the result of the holy spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.”

Contrary to Christian teaching, I’ve found that without the spirit of god in my life, there is now MORE love, MORE peace, MORE kindness (especially genuine kindness!), I don’t even know what goodness means, and MORE gentleness. (As for faithfulness and self-control, those seem inapplicable without the belief in sin, although I find myself deeply committed to my loves–my family, and acutely aware of not causing harm to others).

But joy?  It’s hard.

Depression is dark and plaguing, painful, confusing.  Dimming the skies of my life with an overcast grey that discolors the rainbows of simple moments.  More often than not I want to curl up in a ball and cry from the despair.  It’s not because there is no life after death.  It’s not because I don’t have someone to talk to (pray to) all the time.  It’s not because I don’t have some warped, constant abusive love that I found awkwardly comforting as a Christian.  To be honest, I don’t even know why the joy is gone.  What was once one of my greatest gifts as a Christian is now one of my greatest losses, and perhaps the only evidence, though cruel it may be, that I see for the existence of god. — my absence of joy.

The Author

I'm a closet atheist christian missionary. Paradigm shifts happen frequently for those who allow themselves to think critically about currently held beliefs and openly about new ones. I’ve developed the skill, or perhaps addiction, for change but the community around me is slow to catch up -- and would damn me if they knew where I stood.


    • Sorry for the delay Zoe! Depression has been on and off most of my life, but not like it has been these last couple years. Not sure why it’s been so debilitating 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wondered if it might be postpartum that got things going again for you. I had it with my first, well actually I miscarried and then a difficult pregnancy/birth two months later and well, in hindsight it PPD was missed. I also had terrible PMS.

        My point is I wondered if it might be exacerbated by hormone/chemical issues.

        I see others wondered that too and that you are taking care of you by making some changes. ❤


  1. Good to see you again, Teal. I do not think it is a faith thing. I think it is a hormone/chemical thing. Didn’t you just have another baby? What you describe sounds very much like postpartum depression, not deconversion. Now that I no longer believe, I feel all the same things you feel – more happiness, more forgiveness, more love, etc – but I also feel genuine joy. However, the joylessness you describe – the darkness, the despair, of wanting to curl up in a ball – sounds like how I felt years ago when my daughter was a toddler and I had a miscarriage. I was not myself. This is when I was a believer, and no amount of bible reading or prayer or sacrifice made me better, as hard as I tried. It took my husband and my family constantly telling me something was not right for me to seek help. It was only when I went to counseling and took Lexapro that I was able to climb out of the darkness. I strongly encourage you to find a counselor in your area (non-faith based) who specializes in postpartum depression to see if that is a possibility. You are not alone and this is not permanent. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m sorry for the delay! Thank you for the insight! I think you are right, it definitely feels like a chemical imbalance problem. I was diagnosed with PPD after my first and took some anti-depressants for awhile, but got off of them a few months ago because they didn’t seem to be doing much. But now I actually just started some therapy work this week so hopefully things will look up soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ktrinh4213 says

    Hey, Teal, I’ve been an atheist since I was about 17 or 18, and I’ve been battling with depression and existentialism. I think it’s fairly safe to say it doesn’t have anything to do with deconversion–you sound pretty happy that you’re no longer part of any faith tradition. I don’t know what it might be, but maybe you need a little introspection to see what, if anything, might be missing from your life. Seek comfort and solace from your loved ones. I’m doing my best to fight my depression too, and I know it can be extremely helpful to have someone you can reach out to. I’m here if you need me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry for the delay! Thank you so much for the encouragement, and I think you are completely right. I actually just had a really deep heart to heart with my husband last week and we are going to be pulling a majority of my responsibility in our business so that instead I can focus on personal inner healing. Introspection sounds just like what I need, and hopefully I will find some solutions soon!


  3. Gorf says

    I hope my advice isn’t too hollow and naive. Maybe purge yourself of all cynicism, contempt, bitterness, etc–even if it’s directed toward people/groups that aren’t close to you. When I first met you, you seemed so full of love for other people. You seemed to accept me immediately, even though I am a bit abnormal. I don’t know if I read you correctly at the time, but I hope that hasn’t changed about you. 🙂

    I admire your enduring love and patience with children. You still brighten people’s days and spread happiness to others. I’m sorry you have to bear this depression. In the end, time will help you heal and you will find joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Apparently I completely missed these comments when you first posted this a few months ago, but their importance still remains. Thank you 🙂 And I think you are right, I’m actually stepping back from our tea business for awhile so I can focus on purging like you mention /introspection to deal with some of the issues that have just been depleting me for so long. You have mutually always been so kind to me too, I’m so glad you are in my life!


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