Even though I was indoctrinated at a young age to believe in Christianity, I never felt comfortable in churches. As a child, I had moved a lot and witnessed many different churches. Although each church shared similarities, there was one common message that they shared: “My way of teaching the gospel is the correct one, and everyone else would lead you down the wrong path.”
When I was in elementary school I was put into a small private christian church that preached the ideology from the Left Behind books. One time they made me watch the movie adaptation of that book. It scared me as a child and what I was told by the leaders of this school, “if this movie scares you, it’s because you’re going to be left behind.”
Let’s just say I’m not the bravest person when watching movies. As a young child I was afraid of the Little Mermaid due to the last fight with Ursula. I get lost in the movies that I watch and I begin to ask myself, “what would I do if I was in this situation?” To be fair, most horror movies don’t allow for the best experiences for the people inside the movies.
My transition from Christian to Atheist would begin with me falling ill to what I now know is a mental illness. This mental illness affected my way of thinking and required medication to allow me to function. The doctors thought I had schizophrenia, but many years later they believe I have schizoaffective disorder. It’s like bi-polar and schizophrenia mixed together to form a much worse condition.
I was in high school when I got ill and I did not immediately lose faith in Christianity. My mental illness didn’t push me away from the church, but rather made me more manipulated. I went to a church did study with young adults my age. One of the lessons said that people got diseases due to something that either they did, or their ancestors did.
This got me thinking. Why am I burdened with a disease that causes me to lose who I am and makes me lose control? Is that part of the all loving god? I’m a nice guy who didn’t get into trouble, nor did I wish trouble on anyone else. Why am I being punished?
A little while later I stopped going to this church and I foolishly stopped my medication. I thought maybe I wasn’t sick. Maybe just maybe I had a mental breakdown in school and now I’m better. Foolish me.
This was around 7-7-2007. With a lack of medication and paranoia of the date, I had thought that this was when god would return and take his believers. My brain broke and I began to wish I was no longer living. I asked god that if he was real, he would take me from this world and let me live among the angels. The next day I woke up and I was still on this planet.
This was the first time I had questioned my faith. My irrational mind started to put pieces of a puzzle together, such as that all gods existed, or none at all. I ended up doing something irrational and I was placed into a mental hospital once more. A different one this time. This is where they found out that I was schizoaffective.
After regaining control of my brain, I had realized that if such a kind and loving god existed, then he cares little for his creations. I took this as a sign that he did not exist. I went from a true believer that was scorned by my own belief, to a more rational and thoughtful person.
I fight every day with my mental disorder. The more it tries to break me, the stronger I get. Although I have been hospitalized many times, I have come to accept my fate of needing to take medication. Well maybe fate is a strong word. It’s more like a necessity.
I can freely say to myself that I do not believe in a kind and loving god. So that’s how I became an Atheist. My mother’s side is still Christian, and to keep the peace, I don’t argue with them out of both love and necessity.
Thomas ‘Tom Cat Studios’