Message 1 of 2 (796385)
12-29-2016 12:21 PM
A submission for an opening post for a topic of discussion in the Comparative Religions section of EvC Forum
I was raised Catholic and learned exactly how to walk the walk and talk the talk, and I even thought that I believed in God (now I guess I really didn't). Becoming a bachelor of science, I approached my personal religion in a systematic and analytical way. As a result, I was a spiritual child who never really found God. Scientifically, I couldn't come to any conclusion that He1 wasn't there, but there are other people out there who are "bachelors of religion", and I trusted that they had to be on to something. I accepted that God exists, and went on about my life. Along the way I've argued here as a theist who know that we've evolved from apes and likes to nerd out on evolution and cosmology while trolling people who I know are incredibly wrong. Know that not everything I've said has been a position that I wholeheartedly agreed with, and realize that when you're not sure what the answer is, you can test an answer by using it in an argument with other people on the internet. That's like the whole philosophy of Wikipedia, ain't no shame in my game.
Anyways, my life has been privileged, and I have been successful. And yet, I find myself unhappy because I am battling addiction. It turns out that trying to solve emotional problems with a scientific approach hasn't done me any good over the years, and I am not that well. I learned a new way to approach solving a problem, and when I applied that to my addiction problem, I started trying new solutions. One of them ended up being that whole "seeking a higher power" thing that 12-step refers to (I am not an advocate of 12-step, y'all just know what it is).
I ended up turning to God (meaning what that means to me), and I got a response. It was non-verbal, but I knew what I had to do. I don't think that source of knowledge was myself. I was at a place where I didn't know what to do, and I didn't know where to go for help, so I said fuck it and opened myself up to God in the way that I thought I should (and have never done so before), and it hit me hard. I am now driven to change my life in a way I have never been before. Don't worry; I am taking this slowly and I have a lot of support, thankfully.
I've seen my medical doctor and I am physically well, so I am seeking some counseling on my mental and emotional health. I haven't been to my first appointment yet (its soon), but there's a lot of work in preparing and I've realized that this place is a creative output for me that I enjoy and that it is also a valuable resource for discussion.
I am also a fairly intelligent person who has learned that he may be experiencing being Bipolar, and that it is not impossible that I could need medication. If my experience with finding God was just my first manic attack, then that is exciting too - that means that I've been successful all these years while I've been depressed, so if I can get well then I should only do better, and I have a plan.
Also, these two things are not necessarily mutually exclusive, so I don't feel like its one way or the other.
I'm not yet convinced that drugs is the answer to my problem, and my doctor agrees that I should seek counseling first, which I'm doing. I'd also like to spend some of my time here arguing anonymously2 on the internet with strangers who I can relate to, in an attempt to learn.
For the purposes of this thread, I'd like to hear from other people who believe that they have found God, and learn more about what their experiences have been like for them. I'm also using this place for therapy, because I've realize how much I like to write and I think this is good for me. If you want to talk that side of it, feel free to reply as well.
I haven't really learned how to pray yet, and by that I mean in a way that I find value3, so I don't. Friends in RL are telling me that I'll figure it out. Anybody here want to help me?
How do you pray? How do you pray? I feel like it might just literally be "to relate to God".
For the non-theists: Is there such a thing as "secular prayer"? I suppose that would be literally "to relate to the void". Would you think there would be any value in that sort of thing? What about for a person who has an addiction problem?
1: capitalizing words like he when I refer to God, and even the word god, is purely syntax for me, but I am doing it out of respect.
2: I do value my anonymity here so please respect that. If I simply refuse to talk about something, that is why.
3: Remember I was raised Catholic, I totally have a bunch of prayers memorized. I just don't really know how to use them in a way that helps me.