Five years ago- at about this time in fact- I was driving to work after a weekend in which my mind had been racing. As I drove down the slip road onto the A48 at Cardiff Gate, there came a sudden moment of absolute clarity. I no longer believed in God. Before I doubted, vacillating between faith and terror of a world with no God in it, suddenly there I was on an empty lonely planet, in which I was merely a collection of atoms doomed one day to be no more me....
Five years on. I am still just a collection of atoms. I still yearn sometimes with sighs, sometimes with tears for those days of certainty of faith and hope, of joyful religious experiences and friends united in purpose and values. But I also rejoice in the loss of guilt and puzzlement and the gain in the simplicity in which I now see the world. I have new friends, with new common values and purposes. I have experienced life in ways that previously would have been closed to me to even contemplate. I have explored and laid down the guilt and the fear that for so many years tied me in knots of anxiety and depression and though I have not yet defeated it totally, victory is within my grasp.
Five years on and I have few regrets.
Five years on and I celebrate today as a liberation, and mourn the loss of those positives my belief was attached to, but not the loss of the belief itself.