I've been an atheist since my pre teens, and feel more comforted by my way of life every day, but today I am having a hard time. I have been out of work for a year now, and while my wife makes good money, we have a mind boggling amount of credit card/loan debt, and it's very quickly getting the best of us. So much so that we are seriously considering bankruptcy, and find that very scary. I've been applying for jobs for a long time, and today I pounded the pavement all day without a glimmer of hope.

I have a Christian radio station on one of my car stereo settings, that I listen to for a laugh once in a while, and put it on today. My moment of weakness came when they were talking the usual 'God-is-listening-and-has-a-plan-and-ask-for-help' mumbo jumbo, and I almost asked for assistance. I didn't of course, but I got a good understanding of why people talk to God, as pointless as it is. My problem is I am finding myself a little depressed and needing someone to boost my spirit. I am always optimistic, but I think you can be TOO optimistic, and now it's just gotten to the point where I think I'm just wishfully thinking. My wife is there, but I tend to be the supportive one in our relationship, and now it feels like my world is caving in. 

I don't remember if I have a point, but I just had to get it off my chest

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Sorry to hear about your shit that's happening, my friend. All I can advise is to remember that it's because religion prays on suffering that it is repulsive. To quote Hitchens, "distrust compassion. Prefer dignity for yourself and others." You'll find a way through the rough patch, no matter how hard. You're lucky to live in a good country, and always bear in mind that no matter how bad things may become, you have the health, mental agility and drive inside yourself to get where you long to be.

Stay strong. X

Great point Tom!

All I can advise is to remember that it's because religion prays on suffering that it is repulsive. To quote Hitchens, "distrust compassion. Prefer dignity for yourself and others."

Hi Marc, I myself have been looking for a new job for over a year. I currently have a job but the pay is peanuts. But I stay strong and apply to every job that fits me the instant I see it. I currently use http://www.startwire.com  Check it out!

As Tom said, the bait of religion is this idea that there's someone out there who's listening, cares, and will help you when you're down. Everyone longs to go back to a simpler time when we were kids and our parents took care of us: if we banged our knee, someone would kiss it and make it better. I think that's why the idea of a "loving Father" watching out for us is so alluring. I can't tell you how often I wish I were 8 years old again with no responsibilities!

As comforting as it may be to imagine someone is helping you out when you're down, it actually diminishes your own hard work to crawl out of the hole you're in. Like everyone in here has already said, you will get through this. It's not in you to just give up. It's tempting, but simply isn't something you'll allow. You'll only be worse off if you stop trying, and you already know that. When you're secure again, guess who should get the credit for the immense effort it took to succeed in such seemingly impossible circumstances? YOU! 

These people who imagine someone helping them out aren't taking credit for their own strength. That's really too bad. If you realize you're the one fighting for your life and surviving, you'll have more confidence when you face your next obstacle. Because, no matter what you may tell yourself, there really is no one helping you (expect your wife and friends, who count for a lot more than imaginary friend), so you might as well acknowledge and continue facing this challenge head-on.

Wake-up has good advice about working out and maybe finding some hobbies that keep your mind engaged and your body alert/healthy. Write, read, try creating some art... find something to keep you going until all this works out.

Good luck Marc! We're here for ya :)

When I filed for bankruptcy, it was the biggest relief ever, in spite of the consequences. I hope you can avoid it but it is certainly not the end of the world.

Just remember when you hear that mumbo jumbo Christian garbage "God has a plan full of meaning and peace for you" it is BS. Many Christians are some of the most hateful people I know. If someone falls for that garbage and turns religious, I imagine what happens in a lot of cases is they fall into a church and get support from other church members and this does in fact make them feel better and give them more strength to cope but it doesn't make it true that their God actually exists. It just makes it true that there is safety in numbers.

Thanks Mabel and thanks everyone. This bankruptcy feels like something that will have to happen, and it seems like the biggest decision of our life. I'm sure not having this 800lb gorilla on my back will feel better, but I can't help but feel humiliated and like a failure. 

I know there's no point in seeking help with fairy tale characters, and it feels nice having other people to talk to. We're not sure if we want to tell our families, but I doubt we'll be able to hide it very long.

Bankruptcy is not a moral failure(unless you charged up your card planning to declare, then that's theft).

You say you've been out of work for a year which I read to mean you were "downsized". Not your fault. So get those debts off of your back! You can reaffirm any debt you need like your house or car, but otherwise let them go. It'll provide you with an opportunity to learn to live without credit cards. In my view, that's always a good thing.

I see your pain. Once i did spend about a year without finding a job myself, and i wasn't even entitled to unemployment benefits, employment insurance as we call it here in the north :-) It was tough, and we did end up loosing our house on that one. But then it got better. I can tell you, it will get better. Maybe you just need to think outside the box, and make your own job, and not wait for someone to give you one. But most importantly, you must no feel that you are less in any way, shape or form because you don't have a job. You are the same good without god human with or without a job. So chin up. And if there is something we can do to help a bit, i don't think you should hesitate to ask. 

Hey Marc

I know what you are going through only too well - 3 years ago I was out of work, completely broke, desperately lonely and having suicidal thoughts due to a recent diagnosis of Bipolar disorder. It is during these incredibly dark moments that you really start questioning everything and it is natural to want there almost to be a supernatural something to get you out of this - a guardian angel or just anything to help. But it was my reason that saved me - firstly I knew that it was very unreasonable just to let all the stuff against me win and take that leap of the balcony to a swift yet terminal solution. Secondly I knew that the only way out of this and to win through was persevere and just not give up.

3 months later and I took an entry level IT job (I had worked in the industry for many years) and through my own belief, sold myself to the guy behind the desk. He was convinced that I would leave but I proved him wrong and my perseverance paid off when I was offered a promotion not only to a far better job but also to the US - it was also around this time I met my lovely missus - again through my own efforts and slightly alternative methods (craigslist if you must know). As for the debt - well I left that behind which is not probably the best advice to follow but it worked for me :) And today, well everything is much better - I even have a son as the result of it all which makes it all the more amazing

And now here I am happily saying to you stick with it and don't give up. I am not here to tell you it will be easy but dedication will pay off and there will come better times. And just remember you control your destiny and no preacher, church or man in the sky has any influence. Your judgement and your decisions will get you out of this but I hope our messages of support go a little way to at least believing you are not alone.

Very best of luck!

Sounds like a pretty typical Xian lure: "Oh, is your life not what you want it to be? Pray to our god and he MIGHT actually make things better!" Kudos to you for catching yourself and not caving under pressure. I'm in a similar situation myself, except it's college loan debt, not credit card. I ended up having to move back in with my parents, and I've been stuck with unemployment for nearly a year now. It's a horrible situation, but it's one that you can absolutely pull yourself out of it! Just keep pushing on man.

Hi Marc, sorry to hear about your troubles. I too am struggling with depression and part of that is my financial situation. One thing I would recommend is for you to develop a plan to get rid of that debt. Make sure you do a bit of research and understand how each debt works. Then you can decide how you want to tackle them.

I heard of one method called the snowball method:

  1. make your minimum monthly payments on all debts (this keeps your credit rating good and debt collecters off your back).
  2. pile all of your "extra" money into the debt with the highest interest rate
  3. once the highest interest rate one is payed off, use the portion of your income which used to go into that to pay off the next highest interest rate (like a snowball gathering more snow).

The reason I say to pay off the one with the highest interest rate is because this is where your money will have the best effect. Don't forget to save a little bit of money for bills/food/whatever.

Anyway, give it a go. Obviously you have access to a computer, I would recommend using a spreadsheet application (Micro$oft Excel, Libre Office Calc, Google Docs, for some examples) and building a plan and budget. I think this will help immensely with your mental health and hopefully get you working on that debt.

Feel free to add me as a friend if you want to chat or ask some questions.

Thanks,

    Matt

Thanks Matt, but I am beyond shuffling money and budgetting. We are in the high 5 digit figures of cc debt, and sadly have hardly anything to show for it. We haven't missed payments yet but we're getting there. 

I'd love to know if anybody else has gone through bankruptcy though...

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