I’ve been missing meetings and curtailing my FS activities, even avoiding many of my JW friends by declining invitations to do “non-theocratic” activities with them (reverse shunning…take that JWs!!!), and unless I decide to DA (or get DF’d) a complete fade will be very hard to achieve (mainly because of my loved ones), but I’m learning to master the art of what I like to call the: “less committed witness” (or 1 st degree fader).
I have submerged myself into the study of the gospel (using non-JW material) and the history of the Christian church. I’ve also been listening to sermons online from other denominations. I’m re-discovering Christianity, and achieving a relationship with God and his Son that I never had before. I savor the scriptures and delight in my moments of prayers.
As my level of commitment to the JW is on decline, I realize how irrelevant the JWs are becoming to my life. It’s unbelievable how easy REALLY is to disconnect from the whole thing. All it takes is finding something else to do with your time, and focus your mind and spirit on other stuff.
My advice to the new ones is this, DON’T go “crazy”…by that I don’t mean to minimize your feelings or the pressure that you might be under as result of discovering that this is a corrupt, mind abusing, cultish group. I was a train wreck when I first made my discoveries… I had many sleepless nights, developed a taste for alcohol and sleeping pills that I didn’t have before (I was a non drinker and a sound sleeper). I even went through a mild-depression that complicated things at work and at home. I felt that my world was tumbling down. Don’t get me wrong…I still struggle with the BS (specially during the DA assembly)…but such episodes are less frequent and shorter in duration. So, you’ll notice that time and patience are really our best friends in this journey. Take your time to sort things out and work on your fade, and be patient with yourself and the loved ones that you’d like to help (my wife has gone from, “I might divorce you if you leave”, to reading another bible translation with me, joining me when I miss some meetings, even leaving early from the meetings that I don’t go to… just to be with me ).
Again, the JW are irrelevant to the world in general, they live in a world of “their pure imagination”…Life is better when not conferring to them so much power over our lives and emotions. I’m discovering that, and even if I don’t get 100% out, I think I’ll be joining humanity and be living a fulfilling joyful life.