This can be an exciting and scary time; everyone has their own unique experience. Also, just because you have decided to leave a faith does not mean that you take on an ‘ex’ label. Although some religious sects can teach a rigid idea of what it means to be a ‘Christian’ or ‘Muslim, belief is often more fluid than that. The most important thing is self-identification. You can choose a label which you feel most comfortable with or no label at all. It is not always necessary to categorise yourself in any particular way so that your time with these things.
It can be exciting because often it takes time, effort and research to choose a different set of values to the religion that you were born into or decide for yourself. For many people leaving religion is a moral, intellectual journey so finally concluding can be satisfying.
You may find that leaving religion has opened up your sense of freedom as you know longer feel that you have to follow the rules or religious traditions any longer.
Leaving religion can also cause anxiety as you can be worried about how others may see you or whether you have made the wrong decision. Finding that you know longer believe in God, for instance, doesn’t necessarily shake off the fear of hell for example.
For some people, leaving religious belief for agnosticism or atheism is a relatively simple process. For others, it can be an isolating and challenging time. We recommend that you let others know how you are feeling whether they are a family member you can trust or by reaching out others who have been through something similar.