High profile loons represent!

Things like this make me very proud of what I’ve done/am doing with my life.

I left church more depressed than ever. What was wrong with me, it seemed so easy for them to believe, to heal, to be all better (at least that’s how it seemed then, now I’m not sure how much good any of those people feel)? Why couldn’t I?

Faith didn’t help, I was defeated and just like I had always done before, I believed in nothing, but this time hating myself for it.

I went to college, and for two years I struggled. Alone, angry, and wanting it all just to end.

I tried to end it. I failed (thankfully)– To add insult to injury the police officer who drove me to the ER told me, “God would find you and you will find him someday”

Current boyfriend is involved in a group at KU called SOMA (society of open minded atheist and agnostics). I didn’t get into the idea of an atheist group right away… I was worried it was like a church for nonbelievers. So I held back for a while, but the more I went I heard things like, “there’s nothing wrong with you for not being able to believe that nonsense” “I want to help” “there is nothing wrong with being who you are”. I didn’t need a god who made no sense, I didn’t need faith, I had those around me.

Things were still up and down, I still felt alone, I was still trying too hard to hide what I was. I felt like Dr. Jackal and Mr. Hyde. I was still so ashamed.

Then there was a conference, I did not get to attend.

During the conference I got a phone call and text messages. It was my boyfriend. He apologized over and over for all the times that he hadn’t understood, for every time I didn’t meet a normal expectation. I froze. What happened?

I got on youtube to watch this person who had made by boyfriend understand, who had brought a room to tears.

His name is JT Eberhard

I watched his talk, I bawled. Someone was brave enough to bare themselves to a world of stigma and distain, and explain that everyone else needed to give a shit.

Long story short, I got to meet him this weekend and even if it was just for a moment it was amazing to hug the person who helped so many people understand me.

Don’t let this fool you, I’m still mean and as full of piss and vinegar as ever.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Steve R.

    You’re just a teddy bear JT. I’ve watched your youtube clips and you’re inspiring

  • Karen Winter

    “Things like this make me very proud of what I’ve done/am doing with my life.”
    You should be very, very proud!

    Happy Valentine’s day!

    And, thanks for making me smile on my birthday!

  • Dana

    That is just amazing, JT. What a lovely gift to both of you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/llamagirl kevinbutler

    Good to know that people with mental illness can go on to do great things! I’m hoping I can go on a road similar to JT’s, although our mental illnesses (and personalities, for that matter) are quite different.

    Shameless plug: JT will be teaming up with Matt Dillahunty to debate the existence of god at the North Texas Secular Student Convention on April 14th in Frisco, TX! More info: http://www.ntxsecularstudents.com

    I’m not saying that it’s going to be a bloodbath, but it’s probably going to be a bloodbath.

  • The Lorax

    Wowee! Well done, boyo. It’s one thing to get a “Thanks for the help”, but that’s above and beyond. Go get yourself a cupcake.

  • Andora

    Don’t let him lie to you. He has a hugging addiction! Vicious level: Null.

  • Celeste

    You really did change a lot of lives for the better that day, JT. I admire you more than words can say.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Daniel Fincke

    Great work, JT

  • Aliasalpha

    Hmm, the name JT Eberhard sounds kind of familiar, where could I know it from?

  • http://www.davidrutt.me.uk rutty

    The world needs more people like you JT, warts and all.

    You are a magnificent human being. Thanks for being you and for having the courage to share. It really does make a difference

  • anthonyallen

    I hope to one day be able to write a letter like that of my own, one of these days.

    Although the process is finally beginning (thanks, incidentally) sadly, that day won’t be coming anytime soon.

    Thanks for all that you do.

  • fastlane

    I have to add, the self deprecating thread title is great!

  • Adam

    I felt the same way as the letter writer when I realized I could no longer honestly say I believed in Christianity. It took the help of a friend for me to finally accept that my atheism was not a disorder. Religious indoctrination can be pretty long lasting sometimes. I still feel its effects today sometimes.