Most of my current friends are from "support groups".
Some people I met while I was in treatment for an eating disorder.
Some I met at a CALM (Community After Leaving Mormonism) support group.
The nice thing about meeting friends there, is that you can get right down to talking about the stuff that is bothering you. No one balks if you talk about trauma or abuse in an eating disorder support group. Pretty much everyone there has their own intense story, and they are trying to figure out how to survive hell just like I was. It was very helpful to have people who understood and who I could talk to.
Leaving the church was incredibly painful, difficult, crazy, and very lonely. I am so glad I found the support group. Again - no one balked when I expressed anger, sadness, and frustration at the things I learned in church (or that I learned about the church). Nobody tried to persuade me to feel differently - because we were all going through pretty much the same thing.
The thing I have started to realize recently is that I don't NEED either of these support groups anymore. (Which is AWESOME!) But now I want to find friends that share more common interests, instead of common pains. (Just to clarify - the friends I've made in those places are still very important to me... It's just that I want to expand my life to include new people.)
This summer, I joined an organization that helps train Mustangs.
Last month, I joined a club called Trout Unlimited. They get together once a month and talk about fishing. Then they go out fishing and camping together. Freaking awesome!
Tonight, I start a scuba diving class.
I will still be very involved in educating others about abuse vs. healthy relationships. (It is very important to me to be here in case there is anyone else who needs support.)
I will never be able to completely get away from the church, because everyone in my family is still a part. So, I will probably always write about and be involved with issues. (I also still have a desire to be there for anyone who was like me. I want them to know there are more options than what the church teaches.)
I'm also ready to move forward into LIFE. I don't know how that will go as far as blogging... There's not much to say after a great ride, or a good fishing trip, or even a scuba diving class. How many times do I say, "Today's ride was AWESOME!" before everyone gets tired of reading??