A Sober Agnostic’s Crisis of Faith

Things are really hard right now. Every day, I feel overwhelmed. Like so many others, I’m navigating uncharted waters without so much as a compass. The uncertainty of the moment weighs heavily on my mind and the challenges we face as a family feel insurmountable. It’s a game of wack-a-mole.

My company has been highly supportive of all employees during this pandemic and for that I’m grateful. There have been many opportunities to connect with the feelings and trials of the pandemic presented to us by management in the form of webinars and talks. The People Team has brought in many guest speakers and has worked diligently to help employees make sense of things that are hard to comprehend.

And yet, I still feel isolated and alone. My job has been reduced to a series of video conferences and fire fighting. I spend my days in a subterranean room that has been my office for 10 years and at the end of the day I spend some time in other rooms of the house, only to go to bed and get up and do it again.

While the company is doing well, my fiscal Q1 was miserable, perhaps the worst performance numbers wise in my career. I know it will get better, but I don’t know when. Underperformance and I don’t make good bed fellows. It saps my energy and I see it as a reflection of myself even if I know that it is not necessarily an indication of my efforts. Even when I know things are not in my control.

My son has been extraordinarily challenging since school started. I won’t say much more than that I’ve really struggled with what the next right thing should be for him, for us, as we try to navigate his seventh grade year. He started the school year in person, which was a small blessing as it gave us a sense of normalcy that we’d not had in months. But he is now doing remote school, and that is an added stress to our days.

I am trying to take time for self care, going for walks, runs, and bike rides, but at 48 there are only so many miles I can grind out on a daily basis to keep myself slightly sane. I’m making meetings. I’m eating well. But there is a lot on the plate. I’m practicing gratitude (you may have noticed based on my posts). All these things help, but to be honest, I’m struggling.

Struggling to make sense of things. Struggling to do the right things. Struggling to keep my cool. Struggling to get on task and to stay on task. Struggling to connect with others. Struggling in so many ways. Struggling to trust that the universe has my back. Struggling to believe that even if things are not okay, I will be okay.

I’ve long held this belief — the belief that no matter what, things will get better. That no matter what, nothing lasts forever. That I’ll be okay. I am clinging to these beliefs right now. I’m holding on. But it’s hard to keep the perspective. Hard to know it in my core the way I’ve known it all my life.

This sober agnostic is having a crisis of faith.

16 responses to “A Sober Agnostic’s Crisis of Faith”

  1. I am really sorry.
    I sure understand these feelings.
    I constantly remind myself, all will be well.
    Working during this time is stressful enough, everything is made more stressful right now.
    Even grocery shopping seems like an ordeal… masking, sanitizing, distance etc.

    I’ve been struggling myself because of having a family member through my mom out of the house, and had used up a ton of her money, has put a big stress on Keith and I. We had to arrange everything long distance, as well as have her travel here and take care of her for awhile.

    There were times I never thought it would get better. I went on sleeping medicine because I kept having panic attacks all night.
    I accepted things as they are, and remind myself to keep doing the best I can. It’s all we can do.

    I wish you some peace today, Damien.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh Damien.. this is such a heartfelt and painful post. I know you know this but you are not alone. So many are struggling. It’s such a strange time. Is there something you can do to try and feel like everything is normal, even if it’s only for an hour or two? I don’t know what that would be..

    Love you my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hug
    My daughter pretty much did not attend school from mid grade 7 until this year, grade 10.
    Social anxiety, procrastination, not fitting the school mold. All issues.

    She is catching up and doing fine.
    If your son doesn’t quite put his all into grade 7 don’t worry. He will be ok.

    Working from home is challenging. Life does feel a bit confined…but I try to focus on the easy commute and good coffee. Plus, comfy clothes.

    It is an interesting year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, Anne, you don’t know how badly I needed to read this. We continue to wrestle with whether it would be best to pull him out. So much to deal with. He’s smart and well ahead from an academic perspective. It’s the social challenges, ADHD, and Trauma that are so hard for him (and us.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • A former student of mine (“high functioning autism” ) last year had his family relocate to a new area in SoCal. Parent is a well educated educational OT service provider. The young man struggled hard at his new middle school and eventually stopped going for several months. NOW he’s doing home school with a small cohort of other kids and doing Time4Learning program. He’s writing short graphic short stories and meeting or exceeding all the academic grade level expectations he was failing at the last several years. #StillHopfulToday

        Liked by 1 person

  4. ❤️ he needs you to be on his side. Schools is all about conforming. Not everyone fits their boxes.
    Go with your gut. Involve him in the discussions. Even at 13 he is old enough to have a voice.
    Doing this changed Cleo’s life. Other people don’t always agree, and sometimes she is lazy and plays video games all day. But she is no longer depressed and she is optimistic she may be a doctor, or a famous writer one day.

    Hug. Being a parent is hard. As long as our decisions aren’t made out of fear of criticism it will be ok.


    Liked by 2 people

  5. Appreciate you sharing the struggle D!
    It often feels like I’m the only one ~ it’s BS but the feeling is intense.
    Sharing is how it works – #WE

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, this is how it works. I also feel like showing people that you can have several year and still be suffering and struggling is important. Doing much better today.


  6. […] I’ve been writing these gratitude posts for a little over a month. It’s a solid practice and it has helped me immensely. But it’s also a cover-up. If you read my gratitude posts it looks like I’ve got the world by the tail. If I don’t write about the challenges that I am facing, then you can’t know about them. And the truth is that things are fucking challenging right now. Just as challenging as they were back in November when I wrote this post. […]

    Liked by 1 person

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