Author Topic: An odd case...  (Read 1011 times)

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Offline TristanCross

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An odd case...
« on: January 27, 2012, 07:11:04 PM »
I'm in the process of converting (though, I haven't even been to church in about 3-4 months). I believe the Orthodox Church is the true Church that Christ established. And yet, I am making no effort anymore to follow Christ. I don't pray much anymore, don't fast, don't go to church, don't love, don't appreciate things, don't have any patience, etc. All I do everyday is wake up, go to work, smoke a lot of cigarettes, eat a lot, curse a lot, watch TV, play video games, go online, jerk off, and go to sleep. That's it. That is my life. I'm pathetic. I'm sick of life. It's boring, I am fat, smell like cigarettes and lumber, have greasy hair, have dandruff, have bad eyes, am dirty, am clumsy, am constantly depressed, suck at being social, am anxious, am lazy, am angry a lot, etc...

I'm one of those rare idiots that finds the truth but doesn't care enough to change their life because of it.
"Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbor. "
— St. John Chrysostom

Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2012, 07:19:53 PM »
You are certainly not rare; many, many people go through this.

Go to Church.  I notice that the more I do that, the easier it is for me to do th rest.
I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

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Offline Shiny

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2012, 07:42:33 PM »
Wow that OP sounded like me a year ago, without the cigs and being fat of course. You have my prayers man, do not despair!
“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

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Offline Hiwot

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2012, 08:17:57 PM »
Dear Tristan, here you are sharing your struggle, so you do care. you do however, need to bring this before the Lord and say what you said in here exactly how you said it, that way you get the much needed help from the right source. you are perhaps thinking that you are not praying unless you are standing before an icon, or with a prayer book and praying with formal prayers. you need to remember that prayer is much more than that, its a heart felt cry towards God, you can pray while you eat, drink, walk, work, or even while you find yourself sinning i.e. cry out to him as you are sinking in whatever sin you are drowning in. Whatever chain you find yourself tied with, whatever prison hold you, you can cry out to him from there. trust that help will come.

Mark 4:37-39 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.


Lord have mercy!
To God be the Glory in all things! Amen!

Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2012, 09:24:04 PM »
TC,

Hiwot has given you some sound advice. And if you can talk to a priest, that would be a very good idea.

However, the words that have raised flags for me are constantly depressed.  All the spiritual issues aside, depression can be indication of a medical condition you might not be aware of. Of course, it might well be indicative of your spiritual issues, but if it's not and is a result of an underlying medical condition, it might be that no amount of prayer and Church attendance will help. You might find that in fixing any medical condition that is causing you to spiral a lot of the other things will be easier. Never easy, but easier.

It's dangerous to be constantly depressed. A trip to the doctor as well as your priest might benefit greatly.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 09:25:28 PM by Riddikulus »
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Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
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Offline TristanCross

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2012, 11:13:37 PM »
TC,

Hiwot has given you some sound advice. And if you can talk to a priest, that would be a very good idea.

However, the words that have raised flags for me are constantly depressed.  All the spiritual issues aside, depression can be indication of a medical condition you might not be aware of. Of course, it might well be indicative of your spiritual issues, but if it's not and is a result of an underlying medical condition, it might be that no amount of prayer and Church attendance will help. You might find that in fixing any medical condition that is causing you to spiral a lot of the other things will be easier. Never easy, but easier.

It's dangerous to be constantly depressed. A trip to the doctor as well as your priest might benefit greatly.

I'm already being treated for depression. However, there's no such thing as a true "happy pill" and therapy is one of the dumbest things in my opinion (just sitting and talking to a random person about nothing while getting no advice or true aid in your struggles for $50 bucks when I could just talk to a friend for free.....it's all about the money for these yuppies. I wish I could be a therapist, just listening to people talk about their crappy lives like mine and get paid for it. No effort involved....)
"Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbor. "
— St. John Chrysostom

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2012, 11:36:09 PM »
TC,

Hiwot has given you some sound advice. And if you can talk to a priest, that would be a very good idea.

However, the words that have raised flags for me are constantly depressed.  All the spiritual issues aside, depression can be indication of a medical condition you might not be aware of. Of course, it might well be indicative of your spiritual issues, but if it's not and is a result of an underlying medical condition, it might be that no amount of prayer and Church attendance will help. You might find that in fixing any medical condition that is causing you to spiral a lot of the other things will be easier. Never easy, but easier.

It's dangerous to be constantly depressed. A trip to the doctor as well as your priest might benefit greatly.

I'm already being treated for depression. However, there's no such thing as a true "happy pill" and therapy is one of the dumbest things in my opinion (just sitting and talking to a random person about nothing while getting no advice or true aid in your struggles for $50 bucks when I could just talk to a friend for free.....it's all about the money for these yuppies. I wish I could be a therapist, just listening to people talk about their crappy lives like mine and get paid for it. No effort involved....)

Yeah, but I was thinking more of an underlying cause with depression being a sympton not the main event. Whatever, I wish you all the best and Lord, have mercy. :)
I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)

Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2012, 12:05:24 AM »
Tristan, have you tried another therapist?  This question may seem sarcastic or something, but it isn't meant to be.
I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011

Offline xariskai

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2012, 01:32:03 AM »
You should speak to your priest. Try to pray the Jesus prayer; start just once a day if you cannot pray more!

Demons will attack the catecumen; your struggle may not be only with flesh and blood.

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." -Prov 4:23




(The Jesus Prayer:  "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner")
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 01:54:07 AM by xariskai »

Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2012, 01:59:15 AM »
When I first read this, I had to make sure it wasn't my own post from a while back...


First off, it's ok.  Your human.  I was the same as you (except the cigarettes).  You'll find that having Christ's presence in your life (and after converting, having his physical presence in your body!) really changes you.  While I could still stand to loose a few pounds, I no longer struggle as strongly with my old sins.

This is something I had to tell myself when I was in one of these little slums a new convert goes through : "Get off of your butt and go to Church!" (pretend I said the "a-word", to make it more effective  ;) )

Seriously, it's simply laziness.  If any convert or hopeful convert tells you they haven't experienced this, their not Orthodox.  There is a reason that we hear so often in the services of the Church supplications to God not to be silent to us, to hear us.  The reason these are in there is because, even the composers of the liturgical services sometimes didn't feel God's presence!  They, whom we so often pray to/for, had their struggles, too.  That's why they put it in the liturgy, because everyone struggles.


This is a quote that I've read that I think applies in your situation, as well as my own.  It is by a man whom I hope to meet some time before I die.

‎"Holiness comes only to those who struggle.

Not an hour should pass without taking time to examine our heart, for the hour of judgement can come at any time, and we must be ready to give account to God for our life.

There is no spiritual improvement if we do not seek to please God with holiness of life. If we find good in our deeds, we must attribute it to God. If we find we've neglected our spiritual struggle, and acted with foolish abandon, we, in our weakness, must turn to God in repentance.

We must resolve to turn ourselves around, with God's help, and fight against the enemy of our souls. Holiness comes only to those who struggle."

-Abbot Tryphon of All Merciful Savior Orthodox Monastery, Vashon Island, Washington, USA


You see?  We will struggle.  The question is, will we turn to God?



I'm not knowleadgeable like I was when I was first converting.  I need to brush up on my reading.  I'm no saint, either.  I do remember that very, very commonly said saying among Orthodox that has been etched into my head, of which I'm reminded daily (whether I like it or not!)

"When you fall, get back up!"

It's as simple as this.  Go to Church!!!  Get to your prayer corner, ask for forgiveness from God (never stop doing this!), and go be with Orthodox faithful who will help you boost your faith!!!  Dry spells like this often make one question his faith in God and his Church, but you will come out stronger for it in the end!  I can say this, because I'm still recovering from a "dry spell", myself.

Second in importance only to prayer, is to go be with Orthodox faithful.  We here on OC.net are nice to talk too, but you need to be with real people, in a real Church.  Hold the hands of the old ladies, sneeze at the incense, and get prosphoro crumbs allover the place!  Just go to Church, you'll feel so much better!!!




Now, let me try taking my own advice...  ;)



Your in my prayers!
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 02:16:52 AM by trevor72694 »

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2012, 04:25:32 AM »
I'm in the process of converting (though, I haven't even been to church in about 3-4 months). I believe the Orthodox Church is the true Church that Christ established. And yet, I am making no effort anymore to follow Christ. I don't pray much anymore, don't fast, don't go to church, don't love, don't appreciate things, don't have any patience, etc. All I do everyday is wake up, go to work, smoke a lot of cigarettes, eat a lot, curse a lot, watch TV, play video games, go online, jerk off, and go to sleep. That's it. That is my life. I'm pathetic. I'm sick of life. It's boring, I am fat, smell like cigarettes and lumber, have greasy hair, have dandruff, have bad eyes, am dirty, am clumsy, am constantly depressed, suck at being social, am anxious, am lazy, am angry a lot, etc..
A lot of people in your shoes, bro. I can relate to a lot of this stuff.

You could get some head and shoulders and cut your hair, though, if it would help.
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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

Πλούσιοι επτώχευσαν και επείνασαν
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Ουκ ελαττωθήσονται παντός αγαθού

Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2012, 04:29:38 AM »
as to the hear/dandruff problems, I also suffer from them.

Before I was 16, I always had dandruff really bad.  I would be sitting in class, and the girl behind me would pat my back, and say "You have this white stuff allover your back!"  I didn't tell her what it was, or it would have been even more embarrassing...

Then I went to California.  I drank 4x the amount of water when I was there for a week, I don't know why.  When I came back, my skin and hair were better, and it was all because I drank water, and started to wash my hair everyday.  I know some people say you shouldn't do it everyday, but when I don't, I look gross.


So, drink lots of water.  Cut out soda and don't over do it on the milk.  Wash your hair everyday :)

Offline FountainPen

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2012, 09:27:23 AM »
People who are resigned to a life like you describe wouldn't necessarily post about it on a forum, which suggests you want something more than this. Knowing that is what you want, the only question remains is how you are going to achieve the changes. No one can do this for you, not your priests, pills or a counsellor. They might all help a little in some way but you have to work out how it is you might attain what it is you want starting with really small steps, small changes and accepting the help and support that is around you if you have that too. You got yourself to this place and it's only you who can gradually make changes to your daily routine to break this cycle you're in.

I used to be really anxious about all sorts of things but especially family relationships. Anxiety used to lead me into escaping behaviours all the time and this started to be a pattern in my life. Every focus was on conquering the behaviours by all kinds of spiritual trickery but really, it was the underlying anxiety that needed addressing. Once i dealt with that i found i didn't need to do the things i was doing, the same drive wasn't there any more and my life slowly started to change.

Heavenly Father, thank you for Tristan. Thank you that you are leading and guiding him into the truth that will set him free and that you will never leave him. Amen
None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try. Mark Twain

Offline Thomas

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2012, 11:00:10 AM »
TRistanCross

May I suggest the following book Conquering Depression from the Saint Herman of Alaska Brotherhood available from Light and Life Books. It helped me through a serious depressive period of my life as well as several other people I have referred it to. May the Lord protect and keep you from harm!
Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas

Offline Marc1152

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2012, 12:15:39 PM »
I'm in the process of converting (though, I haven't even been to church in about 3-4 months). I believe the Orthodox Church is the true Church that Christ established. And yet, I am making no effort anymore to follow Christ. I don't pray much anymore, don't fast, don't go to church, don't love, don't appreciate things, don't have any patience, etc. All I do everyday is wake up, go to work, smoke a lot of cigarettes, eat a lot, curse a lot, watch TV, play video games, go online, jerk off, and go to sleep. That's it. That is my life. I'm pathetic. I'm sick of life. It's boring, I am fat, smell like cigarettes and lumber, have greasy hair, have dandruff, have bad eyes, am dirty, am clumsy, am constantly depressed, suck at being social, am anxious, am lazy, am angry a lot, etc...

I'm one of those rare idiots that finds the truth but doesn't care enough to change their life because of it.

There will usually be some sort of "push back" against anyone in the process of converting. It's not just you or some sort of personal laziness.

Say a short pray or two every day and get to Church. You will see the obstacles
 and lack of motivation melt away. For every 1% of effort you make, you will be spiritually strengthened x 10. 
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Offline quietmorning

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2012, 05:45:46 PM »
Tristan, praying for you - Lord have mercy - it will be a lot different once you are able to receive Holy Communion. . .when I was a Catechumen, it was like needing to swim out in the middle of the ocean - and I just didn't have the strength.  This is a great time for you to really learn how truly completely needy you are for His strength - because when you have it, it's so easy to claim yourself as responsible for it. . .this will serve as a reminder that it is His strength that saves you in every instance, not your own.  His strength is made perfect in your weakness because all the glory goes to Him as you KNOW it isn't you. 

Gifts sometimes come in brown paper bags.  :)

In His Mercy,
BethAnna

Offline Jason.Wike

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2012, 11:31:25 PM »
This might seem like a weird suggestion but I suggest reading this article, Deciding What to Do With Your Life.

Offline recent convert

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2012, 10:33:55 AM »
I would also suggest looking whatever good deeds you can do, give thanks to God that you can, & pray for those who you extend your kindness towards. Things like charitable contributions, blood donation, volunteer at the church etc. I am rather solitary myself & have had minor ongoing depression for many years but when I finally truly understood our Lord's commands to give alms, pray, & fast (Matthew 6:1-18), I realized purpose for living & the need to conform to His will. I will also struggle with my sins to the day I die but this is where St. Paul's references to physical endurance (1st Timothy 4:eight) kicks in.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 10:46:26 AM by recent convert »
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Offline peteprint

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Re: An odd case...
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2012, 03:15:51 PM »
Tristan,

Thank you for posting this.  I needed to hear it and the responses you received.  I get in ruts frequently and it helps to know that none of us are unique in this respect.

Lord Have Mercy!