A New Community
Probably the most important issue a lot of ex-JWs face is the loss of community. Whatever your experiences – most likely good and bad: Jehovah’s Witnesses certainly place a big emphasis on the community, strengthened by different types of gatherings, The Watchtower and Awake, shared rules and values. In the mean time, close friendships and relationships with those outside the religion are strongly discouraged. Whatever the true intentions of such rules and structures, the effect is the same: Witnesses are isolated as a group. Leaving this group ex-witnesses find themselves in a social vacuum, experiencing loneliness and possible mental issues as a result.
Building new community ties takes time but it can certainly be done. Your workplace as well as group hobbies are great places to meet new people. Big cities offer more possibilities than small villages and you might consider moving if your situation allows it. The internet offers yet new opportunities to make new contacts. Platforms such as reddit.com enable interest based communities where you can meet likeminded people all around the globe. In time, we’re also planning to organize online integration circles for ex-JWs and their allies through this platform. If you want to join, share your story or simply reach out for help – don’t hesitate to get in touch.