So where else can we go?

by Julia Orwell 34 Replies latest jw friends

  • Julia Orwell
    Julia Orwell

    No, I'm not misquoting Peter talking to Jesus again, or relating a conversation I had with a JW.

    I'm asking something a little different.

    I began my fade in Jan this year and completed it at the memorial on 26th March. Since learning TTATT and becoming mentally free, my depression has improved, I see colours better, and my anxiety issues have dissolved. I returned to teaching high school after years away from it, and am a substitute teacher at some local schools. I've built a nice clientelle with some nice schools.

    My husband is also faded from JWs and has a beard, my family have given us a lot of support, and we have been saving for a house deposit when I've been getting enough substitute work. So what am I asking?

    This last week my depression has come creeping back, and I can't deal with teenagers this week. I'm a good teacher, but when your cognitive functions pack it in the kids run all over you because you're weak, and that of course adds to your feeling of losing control of your mind. If my schools call me any more days this week I'll just tell them I'm not available, because I've had depression for years and know the signs of going downhill into an episode, which usually results in a breakdown. I feel that happening.

    Why? Things are great now with TTATT. I thought this afternoon, maybe "Jehovah" of JWs is true and because I've "left" him I've lost his protection. Then I remembered I used to have breakdowns all the time as a JW and have to take weeks off work. So that's not the reason.

    But I'll tell you something. I'm scared. If I can't teach, I have to find work in my other area, administration. That work pays 1/3 and is boring as hell. And it's hell hard to get part time work (I physically can't work full time due to the ongoing effects of an infection I was hospitalised for in Nov 2011) and my nerves for teaching are fraying. I'm searching for admin work, doing what I can in my own way. But I'm scared. I've got to think about the future and what my health will allow me to do. I also have to quit teaching for as long as it takes to avert a breakdown or depressive episode. No longer can I just go, "Ah, Jehovah will provide." And somehow, I always managed. I chalked it up to him helping me like the WT propaganda told me.

    Looking back, what helped me rather than Jehovah was my own foresight, planning and determination. I still have those things as much as my depression addled brain will allow. I would like to study adult education maybe, but I like teenagers. I don't like it when they go feral though.

    So what I'm asking is, where will life take me next? What can I do? Where were you 6 months after leaving JWs? Is it normal to experience the liberation of leaving and reclaiming yourself, and then settle into your old psychoses?

    Thanks heaps,


  • Julia Orwell
    Julia Orwell

    I also feel like I'm a terrible loser: heading for mid thirties and in this predicament. I think of all the career opportunities I turned down as a JW. I feel being a JW made me into a loser. After 6 months, the extent of what I've lost to them is hitting me.

  • etna

    I've been out for 5 years and 2 of my older kids are still in. I'm still very bitter, but Jehovah never provided. I did everything for the borg, helped with quick builds out in service, had book study at my place and always helped financially ones that I thought were my friends as I had a business. But I'm so much better off now. I have true friends that don't look down on me because I didn't reach 10 hours a month. Now people accept me for what I am. Times are tough in Australia, they aren't like they use to be and I'm sure things will get better for you. Especially now that you are true to yourself and not live a lie, like we use to.


  • bildad

    So sorry to hear about your situation.

    Major and Manic Depression (bi-Polar Disorder) are in my family. Have found that medication surely helps. Over the yrs I have observed that many give up as they try various medications that might work. My advice, DON'T GIVE UP.

    Depression is not a spiritual sickness. Just like diabetes your body may be experiencing a chemical deficiency of some sort. There are a variety of medications that could help.

    Even though you are not an active JW doesn't mean God doesn't still provide. You have already learned that these episodes pass. In a few weeks you may not feel this way at all. Hold on to that prospect. In the meantime get plenty of rest and try to get outside and walk.

    Hoping the best for you.

  • Julia Orwell
    Julia Orwell

    Thanks for understanding. I'm on medication which really helps, and I might book an appointment to see my psychiatrist/specialist in the next couple of days. Tomorrow I will get on my bike and ride to the beach. I love doing that. I just worry about my next step, since I don't have a stable job. My husband does, but since his back injury he can't work full time.

    I guess I just feel a bit low.

  • Phizzy

    Dear Julia, I feel your pain and your panic, I too recognise when a "downward spiral" is beginning. Is it practical for you too seek some proper Therapy ?

    I know it can be expensive, and finding a good Therapist is a bit of a Lottey apparently, but I found it helped me, and mine was able to help me see the way to control going "down".

    I am still not out of the woods, I cannot get myself to do many things I should do, I simply do not have the strength to face them, but at least I stay out of the "danger zone". Medication as a short term help may also be useful, to get you through and out the other side.

    Be assured we all are wishing all the best for you.

    Edited to add, your comment above was posted while I typed, you are too damn quick for an old fart like me !

    The exercise and communing with nature are both very therapeutic I find, plus communing with beer !

  • steve2

    Glad to hear your depressions lifting Julia. I think a more pertinent question that Where else can we go? is How can we best be? Once we get out of the yoke of the organization, we are free to treat ourselves in more balanced and helpful ways - it's like we're learning to breathe all over again and to enjoy the moment.

    When my well-meaning JW family asked me where else could I go, I gave 2 answers, not necessarily both at the same time; namely, "As far away from Hell as possible" and "Somewhere safe". Ouch.

    Still, it remains a valid question for me even to this day. As a reflection of my ever-growing maturity, if you asked me currently Where else could I go, I'd suggest McCafe for starters.

  • bildad

    Glad to hear you are getting help and seeing a Psychiatrist. I remember there was a Question From Readers in the 5/15/63 WT as to whether a Psychiatrist would have to change jobs if they became a JW. Why did they have to even ask? Because, mental illness was considered a "Spiritual Weakness" not a biological illness by many in the Org.

    I had a friend who had to leave the missionary work because of her depression. Later diagnosed manic depressive and began medication. She later returned to a foreign assignment becaus the mess helped so much. BUT, as she was going through the depression she told me one of her fellow missionaries thought maybe she was not reading WT Pubs enough! Wasn't that encouraging? She remained a witness till her death a few yrs ago. One of finest people my wife and I ever knew. Her experience was a tremendous help when we suffered from the same illness in our family.

    Sounds like you have a plan. Stick with it.

  • HarryMac

    At this point in your journey away from the JW's you might be at the point that this can be said... 'The Honeymoon is over'. I'm saying this with kindness. All that freedom, and learning TTATT, etc... wild ride! A total trip. The dust settles and quiet contemplation of your losses can happen more easily. I still have it happen to me... though less frequently and intensely as time goes on. The big thing to remember is that it gets easier.... and easier.

  • bildad

    becaus the mess helped so much.

    Meant to say, "because the Meds help so much!"

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