Assuming you have a way to make a living, work will fill up a major portion of your time. If you don’t – if, say, because of leaving Scientology, you lost your job because you were working for a Scientologist, that’s a different story – which we’ll go into another time.
It’s hard to replace the vital sense of purpose you have, when you’re convinced you’re saving the world, as you are when you’re in Scientology. At the beginning of every Scientology course is a policy you have to read, called “Keeping Scientology Working.” It tells you that Scientology is mankind’s only hope. And it delivers that message over and over, every time you take another course.
They just keep repeating it until you believe it. As a consequence, many people – once they get out – feel a sense of loss, when they no longer have something to do that’s as important as saving the world. They’ve lost their purpose in life.
Losing one’s religion can be a serious thing.
So once you get out, you may feel at loose ends for a while, until you find something useful to do. Or until you realize that it’s OK to take time to enjoy life once in a while.
There are many ways to fill up your time after leaving Scientology.
There are things to do that you never had time for, while you were “in.” If anybody knew you were doing them, they would have shamed you for being a “dilettante.” Here are just a few:
- Take a class. Community colleges are inexpensive. You might discover a new career you can pursue. There are also hundreds of online courses you can take. Explore them. Lynda.com is an excellent resource, available for free through the public library.
- Do something frivolous, just for the heck of it. I took a belly dance class — and got shamed for it by a friend who was trying to get me back into the fold. “What would your friends at AOLA think?” she said. (My “friends“? Hahahahahahahaha!)
- Pamper your body. Get your hair done. Get a facial, massage, and/or a body wrap. Luxuriate in the sensation of it.
- Find a side gig and get immersed in it. Most people after leaving Scientology need to recuperate from the financial devastation it has caused. Now is the perfect time to explore new ways you can profit from your hard-earned experience. You could write a book. Many Ex-Scientologists have done so.
- Study yoga, and get nerdy about it. Go to classes regularly and become a part of that community. It’s quite a welcoming tribe.
- Go to neighborhood or community meetings and meet your neighbors. Help them accomplish what they’re trying to do. And don’t tell them, “Scientology can handle that.” It can’t.
- Go to a meetup. You can find them online at meetup.com. You’ll find people with interests similar to yours. You do have interests. They didn’t go away when you got into Scientology. They were just suppressed, “for the greater good.”
- Binge-watch a TV series on Netflix that you never had time for, while you were busy saving the world.
- Get healthy. Find a healthy diet you like, and stick to it. (I’m doing Bright Line Eating at the time of this writing — lost 20 pounds already.) If you’ve gotten a lot of auditing, I daresay you’ve accumulated a few extra pounds from being made to eat when you weren’t hungry. You’re supposed to be “sessionable” for auditing sessions, and if you don’t pass the “metab” check on the e-meter, you get sent out to get something to eat. I’ve seen slim and fashionable women go away to advanced organizations for an extended period and come back frumpy and forty pounds heavier, just from trying to be a good Scientologist who doesn’t waste the auditors oh-so-valuable time by not passing the metab test when they show up for session. Learn to listen to your body. It’s not just an encumbrance. It gives you valuable data for staying healthy, and you’ll be healthier after leaving Scientology too.
- And my favorite – discover your public library, and read a book – just for pleasure. In fact, I do binge-reading. Is that a thing?
Guess what. You were probably meant to do more with your life than LRH had in mind for you. I figured that out, after leaving Scientology, and you can too.
Will the world end without you to save it? I don’t think so. The world is quite resilient.