Thank you all. I read carefully through all of your comments, and more than once. The support is comforting, and, it does help. So thanks again. I do value your input, and hope to hear more of your thoughts.
Well, you've all collectively convinced me to dump the Jehovah's Witness idea. Since every single one of you felt it was a bad idea, and since you are all people with far more experience than I do when it comes to this religion, I think its in my best interests to take your word for it. I didn't like a lot of the things I've read here about this religion, particularly some of the restrictions suggested. To me, art, music, and literature are some of best things in life, and I would not gladly part from them. I'd already heard about the alienation and it did not bother me much, seeing as at this point I don't have much of a family, and as I've said I've lost my friends. I suppose the "insta-family" that would come with a cult religion like this one, however fake, is a somewhat pleasant thought. However, Forsharry's point about my future with the Jehovah's witnesses was quite a salient one for me. I do hope to one day have children, assuming I get better of course, and I don't think it's fair to subject them to anything like the isolation of this religion So thank you for bringing that up. It is sometimes difficult to think for me to think about the long term when I am so preoccupied with the present and the near future.
As for why I was looking into the Jehovah's Witnesses as opposed to another, less drastic religion, while I sort of guessed the JW would probably have the ugliest long term results, the appeal of it was the immidate short term effects. The immidiate love of these sort of cult-like groups is a pleasant idea to a desperate, lonely person such as myself. Yeah, I'm sure the love is fake but... it is something, and right now I have nothing. These days choices that will help me in the short term but will screw me over in the end often override choices that will make keep me suffering now but will eventually help me later. These days, even lying in bed all day long takes effort, and every day i make it through it feels as if I've just done something very difficult, although in reality the only thing I've done is just keep breathing. I feel like I need some immidiate help, something right away to at least help me take a step in the right direction and make a little bit of difference in my life.
Anyway... while I've ruled out the idea of joining any drastic religions, I'm still considering giving Catholicism a second try. I've decided to try going to mass a couple of times (i used to go every Sunday), just to see how it'll make me feel now. Also of interest, a few people suggested a non-denominational christian study group as a better alternative. Could you tell me more about this, and how would i go about finding one? I'm pretty unfamiliar with that but it seems like something that may be worth looking into. As for my reasons for wanting to try some religion, there are several. Like I said earlier, first of all I'm having some trouble holding on and am looking to latch on to something fast, as fast as possible. I'm not expecting a quick-fix solution to all my problems, and as others have pointed out, I agree that having it fix all my problems is very unlikely. But I'm hoping it might give me something to look into, and possibly pursue, and that's a start. Also, while I've been agnostic (I shouldn't have said atheist earlier, that's not quite right) for the past few years, I've also been thinking - even in healthier times - that it would be nice to able to believe in God in general, as it gives a source of hope, a source of love (from God), and removes some of the fear associated with death. I also think that I could much more easily accept religion or Christianity now than I could earlier... I've already sort of gravitated closer towards it on my own. In the worst of times, i sometimes catch myself praying subconciously to *something* even if a true belief isn't there... and that's been happening pretty often recently. The aspect of unity and belonging is also desireable to me, even though this effect will likely be much more minimal in a Catholic mass rather than the Jehovah's Witnesses. Hower, the most the most attractive part of the Christian religion for me is, not the other Christians themselves, but the idea that even if you have no one else, you are still loved and cared for by some higher power. If you can believe that God or Jesus loves you unconditionally, then you have a continuous and permanent source of hope and love, from a source that won't just get up and leave or just stop caring about you one day... as people often do. The next statement might seem kind of offensive for those of you who are religious, and I do not mean it in any kind of offensive way so I hope you do not take it as such - but I'm thinking of getting a dog for the same general reason, just to have a permenant source of love from somewhere, even if it isn't the as ideal as having another person there for me. As for reading the bible directly and skipping any sense of religion or formalities as some suggested, I haven't been in a "spiritual" state of mind for some time now, and if I am to pursue this I probably need some push or direction which would be greatly faciliated by some form of organized religion, even if it just means attending mass. And attending mass is also appealing because it will give me something to do. Finding something to to fill up the hours is difficult, and this emptiness makes me more depressed. So the idea of some sort of Christianity is appealing to me from a number of different angles.
As for the anti-depressants, I've been on Effexor for 3-4 weeks now. I did some research on the web and its some pretty nasty stuff. However, for those of you who commented, I would like to point out that I am extremely dilligent with the doses, and that I'm not mixing drugs. The second day on this drug, I had this sort of zombie effect in that all my feelings were almost completely numbed out, I couldn't feel much of anything, and quite honestly felt like a houseplant. While this is not really an ideal state of being, I was satisfied with it, because after feeling *too much*, feeling nothing was a welcome relief. From that day on I never used any other drugs besides the anti-depressants, because I felt I didn't really need these other drugs anymore. But now I feel as if the meds aren't working, or that they aren't working nearly as well as they should. Ever since I lost my sole source of support, much of the depression has returned, as has the hopelessness and the anxiety, coupled by the fact that I've never, ever, felt this lonely in my entire life. It seems that I'm basically screwed in terms of switching to other meds, because these ones appear to be the hardest ones to kick, even with the help of Prozac. The withdrawals are a nightmare - audio and visual hallucinations, electric shocks in your brain, the list goes on. I cannot handle that, not now.
I'm actually not receiving any councelling right now. I had when I was in my mid-teens for a while, but then discontinued. That was when I was diagnosed as depressive, by the way. At the time I was quite vehment about not taking any medications, and the doctor kept urging and urging me anyway, so I stopped going to therapy. I agree that I should be seeing someone right now, and I'm trying, but it seems like I'm going to have to wait. I'm still waiting for one doctor to call me back, and a clinic that I'm trying to get treatment from for the past month turns out to have a 2 month waiting list. I wish I could talk to a professional today, and I wish I could say that, but the only way that would happen is if I went to emergency, and if I did that, I'm afraid they'd hospitalize me. That isn't going to do me any good. I still would like someone to listen to me, even if it is just a shrink, and I think it will help. In the end though, the therapist is just someone whose paid to care, someone who wouldn't listen to me otherwise. And while some shrinks probably genuinely would care, maybe im just cynical but they seem to be the minority. Having someone who's paid to listen to you isn't nearly as comforting as knowing that there is someone who cares enough that they will do it for free, for as long as it takes, even if it is unpleasant for them. That's probably my biggest obstacle in getting better now, the fact that i have no one who cares about me. In the past, there was always at least someone, now there is no one. I know I won't find anyone for a good while - in the state that I'm in, I'm not the most pleasant person to get to know or be around.
So yes I do need to find friends, but that's something that always seems to have been easier for most people than it has been for me. My social needs are probably different than that of most people's in that I feel fully fullfilled socially even if i only have one or two friends, as long as they're very good friends that I can trust and that I know will be there for me. Befriending someone on a superficial level isn't that difficult, but I find these sorts of friendships very unsatisfying to me and in the end, they do nothing to help my loneliness. Further, I've always found that the number of people I'm able to really bond with is extremely limited. While I've never been particularly sociable, all my life I'd always had at least one or two good friends, people that cared about me and that I could talk to. When I was 15 though, I finally met a person that embodied everything I'd ever wanted in a friend. She understood me, and I understood her. We spent 5-6 hours a day together, every day of the week for 4 years straight. I know I'm still pretty young, but it seems unlikely that I'll ever be as close to someone as I was to her, or able to relate to someone on as deeply a level as I did to her. By the time I was 17 all my other friendships except hers faded away, and I made no effort to make other good friends because socially, I really didn't feel the need. I felt like I had everything I needed in her. That's where I made my mistake. I should have made the effort to at least find another one or two friends beforehand, back when I was in a healthier mindstate and would still be able to do it, just so that I'd have someone to fall back upon in case this one friendship turned sour. I guess the thing is I never even considered that an issue, because I trusted her with my life, and I just knew she would never turn her back on me. She abandonned me in my time of need though, cruelly and remorselessly, and I'm left in a permanent state of disbelief at how I could have been so wrong about this person, all these years. I still don't know what I did wrong, if anything. I don't know how I'll ever manage to let anyone close to me again, even though it's what I need to get better.
Thank you for anyone who read through this. I know it is long, I didn't mean it for it to be that long. Once again I appreciate any input.