Why is it so hard to "deprogram", trying to understand.

notsurewhattothink Aug 2012

Hi there,

I have to admit, I am having a really hard time "breaking" commandments which I know are not true, but were still a part of my life for so long.

I posted about having a "Break the Word of Wisdom" party, and it really just turned into a fight with myself. I don't know why psychologically I had such a hard time trying to break the Word of Wisdom, but I did. It felt as if everything was a struggle, and still somewhat is.

Anyway, my little party just ended up being a study session and having a cup of green tea and a sip of coffee. I couldn't bring myself to drink wine or beer or smoke..... :( Seems like Mormonism had a bigger effect on me than I thought.

Why is that, and how did you all cope?


On the other hand, green tea is delicious! And coffee, well, I can't say the same. Although I probably don't have the hang of things yet. I ended up dumping half a bottle of milk and a packet of chocolate powder and then things tasted really good, but by that time, I couldn't tell if there was coffee in there.


Re: Why is it so hard to "deprogram", trying to understand.
Coffee took me about a year to try after leaving and I didn't like it for almost another one after that.

Mixed drinks need the proper ratio and made with ice- then they taste good!- I will probably always be a sipper. I did love lemon drop shots (probably still do) throughout my party days. Discovered the truth about the Mormon church at 21- had just graduated from BYU-I- partied pretty hard till just before my 25th bday. I am engaged now and not doing a lot of drinking and partying(26 now). I sometimes will have a drink or two when I go out to dinner and when we sit around the table and play games. I try not to go over-board because then I black out... and that is not fun or I say just dumb things! The best is when you are on the dance floor tipsy. soo hilarious. Do it in good company and a safe place. Relax and have fun.

Go to Starbucks and get an iced grande caramel macchiato (mokeyotto) with an extra shot- that was the drink I first loved! At first I could only go through the drive-thru and hope no one was judging me. It's very hard at first to get away from the Mormon hold.

Re: Why is it so hard to "deprogram", trying to understand.
It may be linked to social relative self-esteem which is important for our identity. Setting more and stricter borders is more social - you link stronger and on more points to more people..

Re: Why is it so hard to "deprogram", trying to understand.
Well, I know it's been an adjustment for my wife who was born into the Mormon religion. It's all she ever knew. And after years of constant repetition, some things became just automatic. She's having to redefine several things in her life.

It's kinda like, if you take something out of your mind, you need to replace it with something else, positive of course.

It's just a matter of living your life now as the person you are meant to be. If you were never a smoker, making yourself smoke is not necessary. Same with drinking and such. Quitting smoking is an incredibly hard thing to do once you become a smoker. Drinking - different alcoholic drinks can effect you differently.

Often tea drinkers are not coffee drinkers and vice-versa.

I remember a hypnotist saying that even he can't make a person do what isn't in their nature to do. If you live a healthy lifestyle and you like it, why not stay healthy?

For me, having been only a brief convert, I found I didn't need to change much. I was willing to consider what the church had to say, but it did not change my personal feelings about deity. I already loved people and believed in helping others, so that didn't change either way. The only thing that changed for me was I had become a little regimented and now I'm back to feeling free again. And of course, not going to church on Sunday.

I never smoked, so no prob there. Smoking was not for me - I hate the taste, the numbing of your taste buds, it dulls your sense of smell. I've never liked just plain ole coffee personally. I always added cinnamon or chocolate to mine and make it real sweet with lots of cream. Or flavored coffee. As far as drinking, I had come close to being a full blown alcoholic. Stopping drinking actually saved my life. But I got the skin bloat regardless. (excessive alcohol damages your kidneys, liver and can bloat your skin cells).

Ultimately what you do is up to you.

Re: Why is it so hard to "deprogram", trying to understand.
But most of the social linking is quite superficial and unnecessary and unnatural, which you find out when you see it in retrospect.

Re: Why is it so hard to "deprogram", trying to understand.
You do not have to drink, smoke or have coffee... you can if you want to. That is the issue. It is about having the choice.
You can just try something because you want to try it, and if you do not like it, so be it.

Maybe try and change the way you think about that. You don't have to like coffee, but if you do, then thats fine.
You are free to experiment as much or as little as you like.

You are free!

You don't have to make yourself do anything. One way or the other.

Re: Why is it so hard to "deprogram", trying to understand.
I don't know about you but I being BIC I have 33 1/2 years of conditionning and indoctrination to overcome. It will take some time, especially on the things you have been taught not to do. Take it slow, no need to rush. A TBM would say that your reluctance is the "spirit" trying to tell you to stop, but that is simply not the case.

I don't know how true this is (I might have even heard it in church lol) but I recall hearing a few times about how they train elephants to stay put in Asia. When the elephant is young they tie it to a large tree that it can't get away from. They continue to do this at the end of the work day until the elephant gets older. Eventually they replace the tree with a stake in the ground, but by then the elephant doesnt realize that he can simply break free and doesn't even try. He has been conditionned into thinking he is trapped, when the truth js he could just walk away and nobody could stop him.

We are the same way. Just realize it will take time and don't rush things. You'll get over it eventually.

Re: Why is it so hard to "deprogram", trying to understand.
Here's the thing: YOU get to decide.

If you don't like coffee or beer....don't drink it.

Deciding not to smoke is a health issue, not a character issue.

If you like green tea.....drink it.

YOU get to decide.

Re: Why is it so hard to "deprogram", trying to understand.
Me (op) I was BIC, descendent of a polygamous family, named after Joseph Smith (last name isn't Smith...:) served a mission, visited the sick, always did my home teaching, always showed up to church even if I have the flu (stayed outside in the foyer), paid 15% tithing (I figured God would be fair back to me) did everything I was supposed to, so, I guess it's not hard to see why I am having such a hard time.

I wasn't planning on being a smoker (asthmatic), or an alcoholic, or anything else for that matter. I just wanted to charge forward and break the commandments with SPITE! It was the strangest and hardest thing to do, and I knew I wanted to.

I think green tea is wonderful, so I am going to stick with it, and I think I might have to work towards the other things, but for now, I guess it's just a matter of understanding why I am having such a hard time and dealing with it.

I repeat, it is the weirdest feeling (as some might know) to want to do something, try to do something, and still can't do it. I had the beer and wine right in front of me, but I tossed it. I had a pack of cigs (still do) but haven't smoked them (well, I forgot you have to buy a lighter...lol). *sigh*, I feel like that elephant tied down by the stick seriously. It's just a twig but I can't seem to break it...

Not saying it's necessary, it's just a matter of conquering my "false traditions" and knowing I am in control of myself, that's what this is really about. Once I feel like I have broken the twig, then I feel that I will know I am free of this mess. That's why I want to do what I am going to do.

Be patient. These ideas were not beaten into you in a day.
It can take time and lots of it to shake them. There's no rush.

Re: Why is it so hard to "deprogram", trying to understand.
Your post really made me laugh and like you more.

Your proposed 'party' showed how ready you are to grab life by the reigns and just go with the wind. I love that.

I went to dance clubs with my friends for years after I left the church and only had cokes while they were having beers or vodka tonics.

Then one time, on New Year's eve, I suddenly decided to join them in having a screwdriver. There was enough orange juice that it was good, but more importantly, it was a natural thing to do with friends.

What is important is that you are open to life now. That may include a glass of wine or not, but that's only a detail.

CA girl
Re: Why is it so hard to "deprogram", trying to understand.
Plus, just because you can make your own decisions now doesn't make it necessary for those decisions to contradict the church. Personally, I'd never start smoking - it just isn't me. Alcohol will always be something I drink very occasionally. I cook with it more often than I actually have a drink (last night's rum cake turned out yummy). Some people really get into it like my ex-boss who was an expert on different beers.

On the other hand, I just love coffee. I started out with a mocha frappuccino and tried all kinds of different blends. I like to rotate it out with tea though. Despite loving the taste of different coffees, even that I don't drink every day like some people. Sorry to ramble but my point is YOU get to decide. Try what you feel comfortable with (and try a variety. You may not like Earl Grey tea but you might like English Breakfast, for example). Later, you may be ready to try other things. I bought green tea and regular tea from day one, and went to Starbucks on day two but it took another year and a half before I tried alcohol. You make the rules now so don't worry if you aren't ready to try something or don't like something. It's not an all or nothing proposition any more.

Re: Why is it so hard to "deprogram", trying to understand.
Hugs to you seriously! For me that moment when I was no longer afraid hit while sitting in our daughter's hospital room the night she was diagnosed with leukemia. I became painfully aware of how many years I wasted of her precious life being afraid of the Morg. Life is too short! I have spent the last 4 years LIVING ! She is all better and thanks to exmo.org (I used to post under awake now) I got throught the mental religion mind F ....but honey life is short ......it can be very very short. Take just one step and then sit back and relaize all the fear over it you had was unfounded! You will be amazed !
Re: Why is it so hard to "deprogram", trying to understand.
I've been out for 3 years.

2 years ago I said my first swear word (I actually practiced it, and learned how to swear, as I had never uttered a curse word in my life).

1 year ago I started drinking coffee (occasionally. my body isn't used to caffeine, so a little does great).

A couple months ago I had 1 beer.
A week ago I had a sip of a Gimlet.

So yes- it is hard.

I'm not afraid to try them because of "sin", but I am afraid of what it means:
--further divergence from my wife
--I don't have the shield of saying "I am just as 'righteous' as you are" (even though I know I am, it muddies the waters for debates)

Some are scary because they align with health suggestions. I worry about the potential of becoming alcoholic (because I have no idea what genetic predisposition I might have since ALL of my extended relatives are mormon at least 6 generations back [8 in some cases]).

Others are scary because it's simply something you've never tried. I worried Coffee might mess up my digestive tract because it is new, much in the same way that Chilean food did. (FYI- it didn't. If anything my digestion is better if I drink a small coffee in the morning, not sure why).

Others make me worry that people will stop assuming I'm mormon. I don't have a habit of swearing (I always conciously choose to swear at this point)... but if it gets to that point, it will make people assume I'm not mormon, rather than assuming that I am. (which means I get treated differently, and I don't get to hear the "inside jokes" or "inside secrets" that I am still privy to).

Re: Why is it so hard to "deprogram", trying to understand.
It took DH and I a while to try anything alcoholic, that was a hard speed bump to get over.

I started out with frappucinos and mochas, then worked my way up to coffee with cream and sugar (still can't stand black coffee).

One of my favorite mellow drinks though is English breakfast tea with milk and sugar. Delicious!

Don't try to figure it out
Take a vacation from trying to figure it out. I went inactive while still believing because of life circumstances. I had a lot of drama in my life that took all my attention for a long time. When I had time to reexamine my beliefs, they fell apart.

I've tried to figure out how I got to a point that I let go of "that mentality" and I have no clue. I believe that by taking that vacation, the programming died.

I have been reading a book by someone who posts on this site sometimes--about her mission. I was blown away by reading some of the "mormon think" that I have shed--but I still can't explain how I did it.

I don't like alcohol except if it is in a sweet drink. Never had a buzz no matter how hard I've tried--I always wanted that "taking the edge off" my friends and family tell me about. I tried coffee once. Thought it tasted like cardboard. I wouldn't smoke, but I hang out with a lot of smokers (all family).

I am, however, an adulteress--though I don't see myself as one. I have been separated from my gay husband for almost 17 years. My old boyfriend came back into my life 7+ years ago. I need insurance, so I don't divorce. A mormon friend told me once, "I wish _____ would make you an honest woman." I told her, "He already did." Which life was more authentic--my marriage or a relationship with someone straight who wanted me?

I was as devout as they come. I am far enough out from my beliefs in mormonism that I answer to my own truth and not someone else's idea of what it should be.

Re: Why is it so hard to "deprogram", trying to understand.
Coffee contains xanthenes. Xanthenes are bronchodilators, (makes it easier to breathe). Aminophyllin, etc belong to a class of drugs called 'xanthine bronchodilators.' They are not used much anymore...

So, by drinking coffee you are helping your asthma...

Re: Why is it so hard to "deprogram", trying to understand.
I was BIC also but with a dad that later became inactive. My parents also later divorced. I attended seminary but by the time I got to BYU I had this urge to explore the world. Long story short, out on my own I ended up trying everything. First I tried alcohol, then cigarettes and later I experimented with drugs.

Many years later I am at the other end. I am vegan and don't even drink coffee (even though I miss it), but refrain because I always end up drinking more than the one cup a day I say I will. Quitting smoking was hard and I truly think the only way I was able to was because I was in another cult-type group for a time that had the same ideas as Mormons re. what it makes sense to ingest and not ingest. Alcohol was very hard to give up as well because I also abused it periodically. Also, my dad and grandfather became alcoholic so having those genes did not help me.

Incidentally, I am still very much interested in spirituality and am on a constant quest for spiritual knowledge and experiences. Addicts are also known as "frustrated mystics". Don't know if there are studies with percentages, but food for thought.

No one ever wants to be addicted to cigarettes or alcohol, yet it happens.

Just be wise and ask yourself why you want to pursue any course of action before you actually undertake it.

"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"