Razziel very thoughtful response.
In my case it was a two to three year process (pre internet years). First I stopped believing that the WTBTS was the 'truth' then I stopped believing the bible was the inspired word of god, then I stopped believing in the WT's version of 'Jehovah'. Then I felt that Jesus was only a Jewish rabbi with a different outlook......no small thing but not divine.
Along with my wife we moved out of the area we lived in and began a much better life, found new friends, got some education and used every hour of the thirty hours a week we had devoted to all things JW for ourselves. That extra time was like money in the bank!