I was absolutely, totally and unequivocally sure that I was doing the right thing. No classmate rejection, no "odd-man out," no amount of derision from ANYONE made me feel bad, or even gave me pause. I did field service, meetings, and WTS publications study with unreserved enthusiasm and complete confidence. As an 8-yr old, I preached to adults with the arrogance of youth, and as a teenager I gave talks to the congregation like a little Samuel. I spent my summer vacations studying Rutherford's books as if they were divine revelations, and was a regular pioneer before I graduated from high school. I eschewed a free ride at virtually any university without regret, as I had NO doubt that the world was about to end. Destruction of people around me? No my problem. Holidays, parties, friends? Not time or need. Went to Bethel, and can clearly remember my first night there, laying on a cot, oriented E-W with head toward west, thinking "I have finally reached my goal. Dear Jehovah, please bless my work here."
Then, spent the next 30 years struggling, drinking, doubting, apostasizing.
So, my journey started as PURE HEAVEN, and degraded into SELF-DESTRUCTION. I am only now just beginning to see what I sacrificed. It took me 40 years to get to this point, and I am sure that I will spend at least the next 40 years figuring it out and healing.