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Welcome to the desert of the real

Hey fellow ex-j-dubs. It's nice to know there's a growing online community like this I can be a part of. Honestly, this site almost feels like a haven. We share a spirit of fellowship that is unique. So I'd like start of by thanking the creators of this website. Merci.

So here it goes; a concentrated version of my story... (by the way, I tend to write in a poetic fashion. Just because I enjoy it)

Born and raised a witness. Second youngest of eight children. Poor family. Rural out port community.

I can honestly say that if I were given the choice between re-living my life up to present, or never existing, I would choose the later. Ever since I've been self aware, I've had this looming cloud of sadness following me. Nevertheless, believe it or not I would consider myself an optimist. Because today; I am closer to happiness than any other day.  I've already broken free from the shackles of mind-control, and I've reveled in the truth that is reality.  I'm no longer living as someone who I despise. Yet, the challenge to become a person I  love, that remains...

23 years old. Depressed. Confused and frustrated. Read Dawkin's the God delusion. Enlightened. Freedom.

The last meeting I attended was last spring. It was the memorial. As I sat in the front row (because of lateness), I had an unwavering smirk on my face. For years, I was lost to the answer of the ultimate question; does God actually exist? I thought there was no way to know for sure, and felt a relfex of guilt whenever I searched for answers. Until one day, enough was enough. I consumed whatever information I could grasp. Meditating and growing day and night.  Emerging as an atheist in complete confidence.

24 years old. Alone, more-so. Frustrated. Struggling to find my place in this world.

In a nutshell, as much as I convince myself everyday that I'm an intelligent, attractive, funny, friendly person, my self confidence and esteem are as inconsistent as the weather.

So I'm looking for some advice on how to overcome the bad social habits one typically creates while they're a JW. Now this post is a bit low on real details, but it will have to do for now.

Hi Jimmy, congratulations on you escape. It does get better and you wil rebuild a social network. Be proactive, get out there and meet people and remember everything you have been taught about the world is just BS.

Jimmy, thank you for your post and the information you have given. You are that funny, intelligent person you believe you are. Part of leaving a group such as this one is that it can affect our view of ourselves. You are bullied into staying and bullied once you leave. This can lower our self esteem, after all if so many people think negatively of us and demonstrate it publicly then we would have to be superhuman not to feel the weight of it.

Remember though that it is bullying. Finding good cult exit counselling can help and restore our sense of worth. You are lucky to be free with so much living ahead of you and a chance to explore your potential.  Resolving and making peace with the past can help give us future direction.

Welcome to The Broad Road!

You have friends here, we look forward to getting to know you.

My sis and I found that meetup.com was a great way to find good people with similar interests.

There are also many good FB groups and we have a chat here every Friday.

Keep your chin up, and if you ever want to talk PM me.

The real truth will stand up to any scrutiny.

Take control. Something that I think a lot of exJWs have to relearn is the concept of being autonomous human beings for the rest of our lives. We were raised in a semi-hive/cult setting which has conditioned us to be completely reliant on approval of others in our congregation and quickly upon leaving the 'organization' all structure and control are turned upside down. 

Do not isolate yourself. I agree with everyone else that has commented; connect with people. What has helped me is to travel. Travelling has really defined my sense of relativity to this world and has helped me build a tremendous amount of confidence. If you can afford it, I'd strongly suggest it. 

Stop feeling guilty. Know that being 'selfish' and egocentric is okay. In fact, as 20 somethings it's expected. Try not to let guilt take over. Hone that passion/self-awareness for productivity . Productivity that will start the ball in developing a positive self esteem. 

And finally-live. Do impulsive things (non life threatening) but nevertheless LIVE.