Keep in mind that you are reading this post ten months after it was written.
It’s been an odd few weeks. The blog, to me, has only been live for a month and I feel as though it really hasn’t been as big a deal as I had built it up to be in my mind.
I mean, I knew that I wouldn’t be ‘successful’ straight away, it takes time for people to read what you write and interact with it. I can tell from the stats that I get a lot of hits and people seem to be reading the blog, I have had one or two people subscribing so far.
There was definitely a fear that when I shared my story, I would lose the respect of those I know, and that people’s impression or idea of who ‘Sam’ is would change, as they began to understand where I now am as they read my story.
But do people read this blog, who actually know me? Do they engage with me in this forum? Sure, there are some, but I think the main engagement I get with those I feared I would lose the respect of is going to be a slow burn, as they talk to me and as they begin to know first-hand what has changed.
There isn’t a normal way to tell someone you have known for years that you no longer believe in God. It’s amazing how everyone just assumes that you do, talks to you like you do and there isn’t the need to correct them without making it a massive deal, and making it all about yourself. It’s such an odd situation.
I just can’t believe that I made such a big deal about launching the blog in my mind. It has taken so much work to get to this point. To have a weekly post planned, to prep my social network, to pick a name, to set up all the social media channels and to communicate out to individuals, to be active in responding and engaging with those who get in touch and to reach out to others that I want to learn from and engage with.
I guess I now realise that When Belief Dies (WBD) is for me and it always has been about me. It’s my way of expressing what I have gone through, where I am at and what the next steps seem to be that I can see on the horizon of life.
It isn’t meant to be succinct and watertight in its arguments. It’s meant to be the real-life story and journey of a man who came to the realisation that the God he professed and worshipped wasn’t real, at least not to him.
Most of my closest friends, those that I shared this blog with confidentially have either not responded to my email, not interacting with the content, or don’t engage in any other way than reading it without me realising. Which of course is completely fine, but I want to engage with people. It’s been hard knowing 5 per cent of those I chose to share it with have cared enough to encourage me, respond to me on a one-to-one level or email me back. But it’s also broken my heart that 95 per cent have done nothing. People don’t care.
I don’t want to stew in my own ideas; I want to be pushed and pulled and engaged in thinking once again about the positions I have landed on intellectually. But I need to remember that this blog is for me, it is a story and a way of expressing life, not a social media channel or discussion group aimed at stirring up ideas, conversation and opinions.
I am sure, as I prove that I am going to be faithful in writing and posting honest content on WBD that I will get the followers who support me and encourage me each week. I hope this blog grows and develops over time, as I bring new ways of communicating and try new things. I hope that people yet to journey through the deconstruction of their faith will find it waiting for them one day and will honestly find it really helpful.
I hope that people will want to go back and read it from the start because it is a story, it isn’t a destination. Maybe it should be a book one day. It will be interesting to see what my children think about it when they are old enough to read their Dad’s story. Losing his Hope, Purpose, Destiny and Calling. Then finding himself still standing in uncertainty, realising that we all get on with our lives in this place anyway. It will be an interesting conversation to come.
I guess right now; if it weren’t for the one or two individuals who encourage me on social media or in the comments section under the blog itself, then I would probably have pulled the plug already. How pathetic is that? A month in and I have already questioned carrying on at all.
I know work has been intense, but I am getting used to that. Life is full-on with two young children, but I just need to be realistic with my weekends and not commit to too much. My wife has been really helpful in regard to the blog. I have space and time to prep the posts to go live each week. I don’t need to do more than that, I don’t even need to try and write a blog post each week if I don’t need to, though I often do as I find it really helpful to get this all down and then share it all with you.
Coming out hasn’t been such a big thing as I thought it would be. I think that has knocked me back a bit, and in regard to my closest friends, it has hurt a lot. But I also think it’s important, to be honest with you all about how close I came to throwing the towel in and then showing that I didn’t.
I have also noticed a stark drop off in contact from people at my old place of work. I guess when your face isn’t there each and every day, people forget that you exist. I feel isolated, lonely and if I am being honest, friendless. Leaving my known place of work, being less involved in church (due to the obvious) and starting a new job has definitely shown me that I need other people who I know and trust, and I need to see them on a regular, if not daily basis.
That even though I had little engagement on the blog or social media (to date), I kept going and I hope that it makes a difference to other people because getting this out has made a massive difference to me and my mind.
What do you think you would have done? Kept going or packed it in? Are you happy WBD is still here?
_End of Blog Blurb_
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It has taken me a few years to get to a place where I am able to share my loss of faith and to start writing about the journey that I am still on for you all. I hope you find it useful.
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Podcast: If you like what you read then you could always check out the podcast ‘When Belief Dies’, it is available on all major podcasting platforms or you can listen via YouTube. Dave and I upload and publish via Anchor FM each Wednesday at 7 am.
Grammar, spelling, capitalisation and punctuation: I am massively dyslexic. It has taken me years to get to the level I am currently at with writing and I have done this mainly through reading. I want to be better and ask you, reader, to please forgive any errors in my writing. I hope you notice improvement upon improvement over the coming years.
Time Frame: This blog is roughly twelve months behind where I currently am at in my journey out of religion. It’s important to remember that when reading and commenting.
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I’ll see you back here at the same time next week 🙂