Is there a substitute for prayer during hard times?

Was born and raised as a 'Hindu' in India.

all the rituals, prayers, made no sense to me, though i just practiced without any questioning. finally quit.

went to england to do masters. had a real difficult time, with my relationships with people and finances. tried jesus. didn't gain anything. been to churches and all that. realized miracles won't happen just because you pray to someone. in fact, realized, there aren't any miracles.

back to india again, for good. living with a bi-polar disorder father. this has come as a 'shock'. I got him checked with a psychiatrist. this is one of the hardest phases in my life. am sure i will see through this. i don't want to fall back upon any god's this time. been there, done that. not again. some where, deep inside, a voice is asking me to 'pray'. do they call this 'cognitive dissonance'? i guess. my atheist friends out there, any suggestions? much appreciated, Sandeep

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Person #1: Do you smoke after sex?

Person #2: I don't know. I never looked.

Hello All, 

I thank each and every one of you for posting those amazing suggestions. I am indebted to all of you for coming up with those practical ways of coping with my situation. Simply put, I am overwhelmed at the response to my predicament.This is my very first discussion on Thinkatheist. Being sort of a shy person that i am, I was a bit shaky and apprehensive when trying to post my personal problem on this public forum. Then again, i realized you need to seek help when you need it. Again, honestly, there is something to take home in each and every reply. Thanks a ton. You guys are incredible. 

Exercise regularly, fresh air,  eat well, These  all produce positive healthy chemicals in your body that help keep your immune system strong and a bi-product is lower stress levels ! Don't take my word for it ask any Dr , when my mum was dignosed with B Cell lymphoma last 2 years ago and 5 months later my dad had a stroke those things kept me strong for my loved ones and most of all they kept me strong myself!

Sounds selfish BUT  you can't look after anyone else without looking after yourself first I learned!

Things will and do get better!  My mum has beat cancer and although my Dad is now in nursing home level care a year on i haven't prayed to anyone but my own physical and emotional health helped me do things for them and me and they survived !

So sorry to hear you're having a stressful and trying time right now my best wishes sincerely to you whilst you tackle your difficult time.

Reach out to friends! mine have been rock solid for which I am forever grateful. One gave me a lovely saying I think it came from the organisation called Beyond Blue.

"Tears are not a sign of weakness they come from being strong for too long ." Which aloud me a damn good cry ! 

By the way they are a fantastic organisation (Beyond Blue) that helps people with and dealing with families who have a member with mental illness and are not religious, reach out to those resources too .HUGZ!!!!

That was wonderful to read. thanks so very much...

I find great comfort in the fact that as bad as things seem to get, they can always get worse. I believe my happiness 100 percent up to me. A favorite movie scene is in "The Bounty" when captain Bligh (Anthony Hopkins) tells his crew floating in a skiff in the middle of the Pacific that they must "make the best of it".

Your welcome Sandeep and LOL Robert you reminded me of a lovely scene in the Bucket List where Jack Nicholson (plays an Atheist ) and Morgan Freeman  (plays a Theist) they  are in the Jet discussing religion .

They are friends both dying of Cancer and Morgans wistfully mentioning his faith and Heaven.   Jack suggests he himself  doesn't have faith or believe in Heaven and Morgan says something to Jack like "what if you are wrong ?"

Jack says well if you are wrong you lose ,  if I am wrong I win ! and smiles....

Hi Sandeep.  I think you might be doing what I have to stop myself doing quite frequently.  You are looking down a projected tunnel of time, and seeing all the obstacles and challenges that may be going to come your way, and then looking at them all together as if they are happening at once.  Meltdown alert!

Try to remember that these things that may come to pass, will not all happen at once.  Furthermore, there are going to be good things that happen in between the bad things, but you are not including them in your mix.  So in terms of coping, perhaps you could try to manage it week by week, as opposed to considering it all at once.

I do this a lot with projects, and once it was pointed out to me, I found I was able to recognise when I am doing it, and put 'tomorrows worries' aside until it is time to focus on them, and keep my eye on 'todays worries', giving them my full attention.

I think it speaks well of you, however, that despite your anxiety, you do not appear to be considering the option of just abandoning your dad.  That is a demonstration of the inner you already being aware of the fact that you will be there, supporting him.  Now you just need the rest of you to catch up :)

Yes you stood beside your father.

As my father approached his death, it became clear that I was having problems dealing with his decay. He had a stroke, was a big drinker for years to self-medicate his physical pain, had type 1 diabetis that was made worse by his drinking, early onset dementia likely caused by his drinking and excess pain medication use, he was suffering from delusions during his last few weeks making it hard to have a conversation or even say our good bys. He went down hard!

On the day of his death, I got a call from my mother to come quick, and stayed over with an aunt near the dementia unit. Most of the family was alienated from dad due to his cruelity and mean ourbursts over the years, so the family would often not attempt to be in his presence unless it was to help support my mother. Early that morning we got a call, saying that he had passed, so the family went to gather up the remains. When I saw dad's remains it was clear that he had wasted away, not able/willing to eat, leaving a shell.

Looking back, it is unclear what more I could have done. I am the oldest in my family so I wrote the eulogy. On my 43rd birthday. I read the eulogy to the family at the funeral.....   

First, Sandeep, learn what you can do, and what you can't, then dismiss all guilt over that which is impossible for you.

Bi-Polar Disorder is a serious affliction, and can be controlled with medication, but the problem lies in the fact that all to often, victims, while in the "manic" (happy, ebullient) stage, often feel they are cured and need no further medication, then when they inevitably crash and hit the depressive stage, they have no defense. This is when most suicides occur among victims of Bi-Polar Disorder. Alert all of your family members to this fact, and let them know, since I'm sure you can't be with him at all times, even if they must show him disrespect, he MUST take his medication as prescribed. That may be difficult to accomplish in a traditional Hindu family, but it is essential.

Learn all you can about Bi-Polar Disorder and share that information with all of your father's contacts, as in the long run, this will be beneficial to him. "Two hands working are worth a thousand clasped in prayer."

Thanks my friend. He is not complaining about taking medicine. Sometimes, I just ask ' dad have you taken your medicine'? and he then takes them himself. Mom also helps. So waiting for the day when he can stop taking those tablets and start acting normal. Thanks for all the support i received on the forum. Just amazing. 

Sandeep - I'm not sure you understand, Bi-Polar Disorder is not something that can be cured with a handful of pills. Your father will have to stay on the medication for life.

Yes he will need to be on medication. Am not sure if it' for life. I do not know. I am not a doctor. However I did get him checked with a psychiatrist. He is actually on medication now. I thought, I will go as per the doctor's advice concerning his medication. My old man staying on pills for life- the thought itself - makes me scary. Having said that, if that is what the doctor ask's us to do- so be it. I will have to 'suck it up' as someone said in the earlier posts and i will. 

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