Thanks everyone for your valuable posts!!!
What is the best thing you did to recover after leaving the JWs?
What is the best thing you did?
After reading CoC, I decided the best thing could be for me to educate myself. I'm presently working towards my undergrad degree although I did not do anything about it last year due to a number of personal crisis. One of the best things I did was find JWD/JWN as it made me do research, reason and THINK outside the box----all no-no's when you're a Witness. I also found that doing my Project (8 months in the making) was therapeutic for me.
Was there something you did that wasn't worth the effort?
Yes and no. I'm still very angry and bitter at the religion as a whole for lying to us and screwing our lives up as well as the hand they played in my brother in law's demise last year. I'm seeing a Counsellor for it right now to help me try and deal with both the loss and my anger. I can't remember if I posted this before but the Counsellor I'm seeing was once a Witness herself. I did not know that when I first made the appointment and she only told me after I raged about the religion's horrifying policy of forcing members to commit suicide rather than accept blood. (She got DF'd after leaving an abusive husband when she committed adultery with another man.) I realize that raging at God, the hospital and the religion won't change a thing, but right now I just can't let go of my anger.
What would you recommend for others to try?
Educate yourself, get counselling if you feel you need it, and save for retirement-----you're gonna need it.
:What is the best thing you did to recover after leaving the JWs?
There can only be one answer to that for me. I never went back!
I think dropping acid did more to free me from the JW influence than anything else did. That's probably not the answer you wanted to hear but it's the truth. I have never looked at life or enslavement the same way since then.
wow some unexpected responses.
Isn't it great when you can reconnect with family that aren't JWs. They truly are a soft place to land. And I have yet to hear of any non-JW family rejecting a JW who leaves the WTS.
As I suspected learning all you can about the WTS and anything else is the #1 response.
Therapy is still ighly recommended. Mary That is awesome that you found a ex-JW counselor who really does understand in a way few others could.
Farkel so true. I think before the internet a lot of people went back simply because there was no place to land, and getting info was difficult. People stayed in the WT mindset. A few of us who left eons ago had a much harder time of it although I suspect you were busy finding ways to get educated about the WT far more than I did.
Robdar Interesting response. Not one I would recommend but glad it worked for you.
1. Admit that my entire World View was poisoned.
2.Scrap everything I believed.
3.Take every key word concept in my vocabulary and REdefine it aloud.
4.Commence re-educating myself from scratch.
5.Reading contrary sides of every important issue.
6.Studingly the basis of Philosophy: How do we know what we know?
7.Scrutinizing the history of Christianity from as many sources as possible.
8.Reading about Logial Fallacies and how they are used in arguments
9.Realizng every belief has a core foundational premise which must be understood before it is accepted.
10. Promising myself I would rigorously examine every "fact' before I allowed it inside my head.
11. Expand my view of the world by studying basic education: math, science, history, etc.
12. Engage others who are fair minded in discussion.
13. Vow to ALWAYS BE WILLING TO BE WRONG when confronted by the facts.
Like many here said, this website and the books by Franz and Hassan are a must.
But before I ever came here what really helped was to put myself in uncomfortable situations. Uncomfortable because they had been deemed so wrong by the WT. Doing things like socializing with non-JWs and doing things not approved by the WT like celebrating holidays. In time the uncomfortable becomes just the opposite- it feels totally natural.
I think your list is great. I like that you put "fact" into quotation marks. Too often we accept opinion as fact when it really is just someone's idea of something. We need to test those ideas and see how much or how little of them are actually provable. But then too often we can only prove something in NOT, Not what something IS.
I agree. I remember how scared I was the first time I bought a lotto ticket, or went into a church or had a Christmas tree in the house. But in life the more you do something the more natural it feels. Unfortunately some of those things are self-destructive so we need to proceed with caution.