View Full Version : Restablishing Fellowship Membership (X-tian Content)


Impetus
11-28-11, 09:08 PM
For many years I was active in a non denominational Christian Fellowship. They are very grace oriented, and very little doctrine; in fact if it isn't in the Bible, it doesn't fly. They're a very logical oriented sort of crowd. Nary a robe or communion bread. Wine is for recreational purposes. They grew out of a college campus home group movement that started about 40 years ago.

The past couple years we have been much less active, and for some reason I was very hesitant to go back. Not sure why exactly, guess I felt as thought I wasn't understanding grace very well so I didn't want to get my head confused. (have super low self esteem issues, so for 30+ years I had the ideas of entitlement and derserving pretty loused up. ie thought they were the same)

Went back last week, and it felt odd. Like I had to "push away" the teaching because I'm really not as bad as my flesh thinks I am. Not sure if that makes sense, so I'll give it another try.... I tend to see myself as inherently wrong and/or undeserving, so in the past I would take the messages literally and beat myself up with them. (see, I WASN'T understanding grace, at all!)

I've fought long and hard to stop viewing myself as being so horrible. I think it's the right direction to go, I don't think God wants me to feel that way. But I'm so afraid I'll get it messed up again.

Has anyone else had a similar experience or had to restablish their faith following an adult diagnosis?

StoicNate
11-28-11, 09:54 PM
I had a very brief interest (2-3 days) where I wanted to become part of a religion, but I lost interest in it rather quickly.
I'm ok with being an Atheist.

anonymouslyadd
12-13-11, 12:18 AM
I think the fellowship groups are a really good thing. When I was going to them, it was comforting to have a place to go on a regular basis. I enjoyed the intimacy, which I never experienced in Judaism, at these fellowships.

I was going to church for about two years regularly and then sparsely for about a year. I was extremely involved and devoured the scriptures. I was even more involved than my ex. I'm still a little angry at her about some of this stuff.;(

During the latter half of our marriage, we were not attending church or fellowship groups. She never liked them by the way. I think it was because they were too intimate for her, and perhaps she didn't have the maturity to have spiritual discussions in that fashion (funny because on occasion she told me that I was immature:confused:). Another funny thing was my perspective that I was bad with people. However, I found that environment to be nurturing.

My ex began to want to go to church again but didn't want to go without me. I didn't want to go. An ultimatum followed and occurred in the winter of 2006. She wanted me to pray with her everyday and read the bible with her everyday. I cringed at the sound of having to do something everyday.

I had not been diagnosed with ADD yet.

My ex held to the ultimatum, and I experienced a lot of anxiety, during this time. The anxiety was horrible. After getting scared by a butterfly as I got out of my car one day, I decided to make an appoinment with a family doctor about going on anti-anxiety meds.

After a fight, my hopes of not repeating what my parents did were dashed when we separated on June 30, 2006(fairly certain that was the date).:( It was devastating to have her gone even though I could be such a jerk and probably made her feel like I didn't want her in my life.

Two months later my therapist told me I had ADD.

At the time of our separation, I accumulated two years worth of anger at God. I was angry about the way my house went and for things not going my way. The reality was that I had undiagnosed ADD, which made me take on too many things. It compounded everything I did in my life.

I also began to question my faith, which some people can handle. Others, like my ex's father, were unhappy.

The judgments from my ex and her family smacked me in the face like a gusty wind during a snowstorm. They blamed everything on me, and her mom called me deceptive. She was like my surrogate mom, and saying that I was deceptive hurt. After she learned about my ADD and what it was like for me to read, she told me she felt guilty.

Around the time I was divorced (February 2, 2007), I wondered about my faith and went to a Methodist church, which felt less judgmental and more open.

I missed the old church where I was married. The pastor was your everyday guy, and he had a lot of guts too. I remember telling him about some inaccuracies I found in the bible, and he admitted that there were. I'll never forget that. He was also there for me when I needed to talk to someone.

After the brief excursion with the Methodists, I realized I didn't want to go to church post the ADD diagnosis and was probably trying to do it to someway get my ex back. Man, if you need to be a certain way for someone, I don't think that's love and acceptance. Also, I think I'm too afraid of the judgments that can occur.

Recently, I've revisited what religion means to me, as it generally seems to play some role in people's lives. I do believe in God, and I think my beliefs are somewhere in the Judeo-Christian realm. I type this in confidence that I believe because I want to believe, not due to pressure from my ex's family.

Grace is such an abstract concept to me. I don't know that I'll ever grasp it and maybe it's not supposed to be grasped. I don't know.

I hope my story wasn't too much off topic. I wanted to share it.

Blueranne
12-13-11, 12:48 AM
Has anyone else had a similar experience or had to restablish their faith following an adult diagnosis?

Man I feel like I want to cry after reading your thread. Im going through a lot of religious termoil right now. My chruch believes in grace and works equally. I just cant live up to some of the things I agreed with when I joined. This kills me and adds to my depression and anxiety. It makes me wonder if I would still have depression if I had never known anything about religion. I dont know. I do know with my diagnosis there seems to be no way I can live up to what is expected of me.

anonymouslyadd
12-13-11, 12:58 AM
Man I feel like I want to cry after reading your thread. Im going through a lot of religious termoil right now. My chruch believes in grace and works equally. I just cant live up to some of the things I agreed with when I joined. This kills me and adds to my depression and anxiety. It makes me wonder if I would still have depression if I had never known anything about religion. I dont know. I do know with my diagnosis there seems to be no way I can live up to what is expected of me.

I was constantly in a rut and felt like I couldn't live up to the teachings of the bible. Forgiveness was shown to people who were suffering though, and I think I'm in that category.

Between the ADD and my emotional struggles, being in a church/religious environment seems impossible.

Impetus
12-15-11, 03:32 PM
Man I feel like I want to cry after reading your thread. Im going through a lot of religious termoil right now. My chruch believes in grace and works equally. I just cant live up to some of the things I agreed with when I joined. This kills me and adds to my depression and anxiety. It makes me wonder if I would still have depression if I had never known anything about religion. I dont know. I do know with my diagnosis there seems to be no way I can live up to what is expected of me.

a point of embarassment on my part is how long I've been a believer, since 1997. I "should" be a mature believer by now... but I'm not!

an important element for us is prostelitzing. Not like go beat on people's doors and wake up the baby.... more along the lines of getting out there and developing relationships with people, yadda yadda yadda. (no disrespect intended, just tired brain)

I'm a terrible "witness." how am I supposed to develop these mentoring type of relationships when I'm weird, irritable, confused and sleepy?!

I was constantly in a rut and felt like I couldn't live up to the teachings of the bible. Forgiveness was shown to people who were suffering though, and I think I'm in that category.

Between the ADD and my emotional struggles, being in a church/religious environment seems impossible.

none of us can live up to the teachings in the Bible, that's the whole point of grace. Someone took on our sins, and paid the ultimate price for them. And depending which version of Christianity you participate in, all you have to do is ask God to count his son's death as payment for your sins. That's what grace is supposed to be, a free and undeserved gift. But, you have to ask for it.

you're right, there should be much patience shown for those that are suffering. But seriously? at some point I should be able to get it together! annnnd, there I go again. :o

Blueranne
12-15-11, 04:40 PM
Yeah well, it aint gunna happen for me. My struggle is learning to accept that and not hate myself over it.

Kunga Dorji
12-18-11, 09:54 AM
For many years I was active in a non denominational Christian Fellowship. They are very grace oriented, and very little doctrine; in fact if it isn't in the Bible, it doesn't fly. They're a very logical oriented sort of crowd. Nary a robe or communion bread. Wine is for recreational purposes. They grew out of a college campus home group movement that started about 40 years ago.

The past couple years we have been much less active, and for some reason I was very hesitant to go back. Not sure why exactly, guess I felt as thought I wasn't understanding grace very well so I didn't want to get my head confused. (have super low self esteem issues, so for 30+ years I had the ideas of entitlement and derserving pretty loused up. ie thought they were the same)

Went back last week, and it felt odd. Like I had to "push away" the teaching because I'm really not as bad as my flesh thinks I am. Not sure if that makes sense, so I'll give it another try.... I tend to see myself as inherently wrong and/or undeserving, so in the past I would take the messages literally and beat myself up with them. (see, I WASN'T understanding grace, at all!)

I've fought long and hard to stop viewing myself as being so horrible. I think it's the right direction to go, I don't think God wants me to feel that way. But I'm so afraid I'll get it messed up again.

Has anyone else had a similar experience or had to restablish their faith following an adult diagnosis?

From a non Xtian background:

Properly practiced spirituality is the CURE for ADHD.
"improperly practiced" spirituality will palliate the symptoms. THat might be good if it is a stepping stone.

Most of us make a little improvement then think we have "got it". Then the next time things go pear shaped we fall into depression and abandon our spirituality. That is a bad plan.

There are many forms of spirituality
Your issues are the same as mine as a Buddhist.

We must not view ourselves as horrible.
From a Christian point of view - to do so would be to question God's wisdom in creating us. WE Buddhists think much the same thing- but express it differently.

As Buddhists we talk about "right view". One of the ways this pans out is that we must train ourselves to show compassion and love to ourselves - just as we do to every other being.

After all - if we have not tried out our love on ourselves- how do we know it is worth offering to anyone else.

My POV is- choose your spiritual friends wisely- on their personal qualities NOT the brand of "spiritual soap powder" they are selling.

A worthy spiritual friend is usually calm and kind, and if he/she lapses the lapse is noted and the person establishes a plan to prevent further relapse.

If I see someone and think "they really act like someone special"- I pay close attention to that. I watch them, and often copy them move for move, word for word. That is how I learn.

SB_UK
12-25-11, 01:01 PM
I don't think God wants me to feel that way.“I am God. And you too are God. The only difference between you and Me is that while I am aware of it, you are completely unaware.”Properly practiced spirituality is the CURE for ADHD.

'Properly practiced spirituality' becomes possible when 'we become aware of it' (context - as above).

Simply :-) define ~ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika)God~ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_wave) to the satisfaction of your own mind, and we're ~~there~~; you need to believe your model for God though (there's no confusing one's own mind)
- and for that we need observational data.

It's possible to know the unknowable; the trick is simply to see that 'to know' and 'unknowable' apply to different domains.

I can know every intimate detail on Harry Potter - but I'll never meet him (for he is unknowable).

Haakenlid
12-25-11, 02:02 PM
I'm not religious, but I do feel like I've gone through similar experiences. "Growing apart" from a community, without really wanting to or understanding why. And later wanting to return, but not really knowing how.

What I felt was that I didn't live up to the commitments and the growth that the community deserved from me. And as this continued over time, I felt like a moocher, getting much more out of the community than what I actually gave back to the others. The bad conscience slowly drove me away.

But I've come to realize that the no one in community put obligations and judged me for not living up to it. It was all me. And I probably also underestimated what I was giving back to the others. This is common depressive thinking. You might feel like a failure, but that doesn't mean that the people around you share that impression.

Is there some sort of priest or spiritual councilor in your church? Have you talked to them about how you feel. If there's one thing I know about Christians is that they love the prodigal son story, and an important part of a priest's job description is to listen to peoples worries and make them feel at home in the congregation.

sarek
12-25-11, 02:55 PM
I think AD(H)D and any kind of doctrine or authority do not mix well. We will always keep asking questions and sooner or later the authorities, whether secular or religious will run out of answers to satisfy us.

Lunacie
12-25-11, 03:48 PM
I think AD(H)D and any kind of doctrine or authority do not mix well. We will always keep asking questions and sooner or later the authorities, whether secular or religious will run out of answers to satisfy us.

Ah, maybe that's why finding Wicca felt like coming "home" to me, the lack
of doctrine and authority fit me so well. In other religions, it seems like
they expect the answers to fit everyone, and in Wicca we learn to look
for our own answers, the ones that fit us whether or not they fit anyone
else.

Impetus
12-25-11, 03:55 PM
I think AD(H)D and any kind of doctrine or authority do not mix well. We will always keep asking questions and sooner or later the authorities, whether secular or religious will run out of answers to satisfy us.

So VERY true! Whenever my high school classmates ask why I'm not Catholic anymore, I tell them there were too many rules to remember, ha!

... and I suppose there is a lot of truth to that statement... the fellowship I belong(ed) to doesn't really have any doctrine, everything is sort of decided based upon how "fruitful" it is to the believer, new believers, and non believers... I mean, out right hurtful behavior isn't tolerated. They'll try nicely to get someone to start making better choices, then there may be some fellowship discipline if they are in a leadership position... we have no formal membership, so you can't be kicked out or anything like that.

we moved far away from our fellowship and haven't found anything that fits where we live now.... and it's been a few years since we were part of a home group, so I feel a bit adrift in it all.

Unmanagable
12-25-11, 04:24 PM
The labels tripped me up. I tried to learn a little bit about each one, attended several different services, and have engaged with many diverse folks trying to figure out which one was for me. I just became more confused and less satisfied spiritually.

Having way too many "rules" to remember in each one and repeatedly hearing how adamantly each sect would preach their way to be the only way and judging or damning others for not thinking as they do, etc. isn't how my heart or head works, so I never fit into a religious groove, so to speak.

I take what resonates with my heart from each and try to do right by others. So far, that way is the only way that has ever felt right. Kindness and love are the two things my personal "religion" is based on. That doesn't work for everyone - and that's okay.

I find my "church" in volunteering, going to the mountains, music, being with kids and animals, helping a stranger, etc. - not in a designated building, one day a week, where everyone is usually on their best behavior.

I get all kinds of disapproving looks, glances, stares during holidays, etc. when I express my opinion regarding spirituality. I was raised in a pretty strict southern baptist atmosphere.

Kunga Dorji
12-30-11, 12:32 PM
I think AD(H)D and any kind of doctrine or authority do not mix well. We will always keep asking questions and sooner or later the authorities, whether secular or religious will run out of answers to satisfy us.

I agree
Interestingly I am on the brink of requesting that the spiritual director of our Buddhist Institute accept me as his student/ disciple ( Vajra master).
This is a role that implies a very high level of trust as I largely am expected to do as I am told!
I have spent 2 years considering the possible candidate and think I should know reasonable soon if the candidate is suitable.
http://www.shambhala.com/html/catalog/items/isbn/978-1-57062-857-3.cfm?selectedText=EXCERPT_CHAPTER

http://www.zhaxizhuoma.net/SEVEN_JEWELS/ENLIGHTENMENT/FindVM.html

I should qualify this statement a little- as I have come to realise that for years I have been following a vajrayana path but without a master- and have often caused considerable upset and distress to many (myself included) by doing so.
I think that many people are doing this- as many of the esoteric teachings are now available freely over the internet!

SB_UK
12-30-11, 12:51 PM
I think AD(H)D and any kind of doctrine or authority do not mix well. We will always keep asking questions and sooner or later the authorities, whether secular or religious will run out of answers to satisfy us.

*Yes*

C.G.Jung (paraphrase)
"I do not want an Institution in my name.
I want others to have the freedom (which I myself required) to explore
- without artificial constraint of having to accept aspects of another's belief system -
{{{reality}}}"Also of note (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situationist_International):
'Situationists considered themselves highly opposed to all ideology ... ....'

SB_UK
12-30-11, 01:43 PM
Restablishing Fellowship MembershipThe fellowship of the ring
"Frodo, however, remains wounded in body and spirit after his ~difficult journey (http://rovingthinker.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/statue-jesus-carrying-cross1.jpg)~ bearing the weight of the One Ring ... ..."

Re-establishing Fellowship Membership - x-tian (and some) content

Kunga Dorji
12-31-11, 11:15 AM
The fellowship of the ring
"Frodo, however, remains wounded in body and spirit after his ~difficult journey (http://rovingthinker.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/statue-jesus-carrying-cross1.jpg)~ bearing the weight of the One Ring ... ..."

Re-establishing Fellowship Membership - x-tian (and some) content

The trick to this is to understand that it is precisely Frodo's wounds and his authentic response to them that allowed him to achieve that which he did.

It is the same for all of us.

I would not be a part of any fellowship that did not value my authentic individual response to reality, as I am the only individual viewing reality from my unique locus in time and space.

I have absolutely had enough of other people half listening to my perspective and then telling me what they would do based on their flawed understanding of the reality they think I am experiencing.

SB_UK
12-31-11, 02:13 PM
The trick to this is to understand that it is precisely Frodo's wounds and his authentic response to them that allowed him to achieve that which he did.

Whilst Gollum fell with his preciou$.

"The "rotting" explains the drug's nickname. At the injection site, which can be anywhere from the feet to the forehead, the addict's skin becomes greenish and scaly, like a crocodile's, as blood vessels burst and the surrounding tissue dies."