Looking back I cannot believe I wasted some of the best years of my life on a religion I now think is not only is untrue but immoral. I know I will always be racked with shame and regret at my catastrophic stupidity but what’s done is done and as we welcome the New Year I look forward to a fresh start.
You and me both. I wasted 15 years of my youth (my entire 20s and half my 30s). I have gotten over it for the most part, but it still bothers me from time to time.
I was also a staunch salafi (some of my writings are still floating around).
On the embarrassment, it really hit me when I was going through some family photos and saw that I had missed weddings, births, birthdays, vacations, and holidays. I was in none of the pictures because I wasn't at any of those events. Life had gone on without me. What hurt even more was that I had lost family members that meant a lot to me, but I was spending so much time "spreading the dawah" that I was hardly with them. It is a pain that will never go away for me.
But as BerberElla said, I have actually grown from my misadventures in Islam and I am far less susceptible to be taken in by fairy tales and superstition.
Anyway, welcome aboard, and KNOW that you are far from alone. I know MANY converts personally that left Islam (it is mostly a revolving door where converts are concerned). I would estimate that I gave over 200 shahadahs in my time as a Muslim, but probably only around 10 or so are still Muslim today (and the jury is still out on them)
While most of them have gone on with their lives I have decided to use my knowledge and spare time to help people who may be on the fence on either leaving or embracing Islam by operating a blog (listed below) that exposes a lot of the silly beliefs and practices (things I did not know when I became Muslim)