When I was 16, I was still involved in the religious life of our family, though in order not to quarrel with my parents, I stopped wearing a cross necklace on my chest, stopped praying, and only visited services once a month after my mother reminded me. The problem was that I didn't need the religion, it stopped me from engaging in real life.
Because of the eternal fasts, I was constantly missing the birthdays of my friends, did not celebrate my own, did not go to parties, because it was impossible to have much fun. It was forbidden to eat meat on Wednesdays and Fridays, it was forbidden to work and clean the house on Sundays, so I was forced to do it on weekdays when I was already busy.
It was forbidden to listen to "bad" music, forbidden to go to music concerts. Every little thing that was associated with faith infuriated me because it contradicted any logic. And I realized that the most important thing is that faith did not let people think. The religion is ruling people, but they don't even mind that.
Often people like to bring different miracle stories from life in proof of the existence of God. For example, a homeless person came to ask for food, and later in the temple, they recognized him on the icons. The priest prayed for the health of an old lady and her legs stopped right at the services. Someone lost something, prayed, and immediately found it. This is nothing more than self-hypnosis, which is a cure for all diseases itself.
When I started to notice the obvious substitution of concepts, I wondered where the truth was and what was really going on. Obviously, I turned to a real, experimentally verified, scientifically evidenced field — biology. I studied how the hormones (mood regulators) act and tried to find what physiological processes make us believe in miracles.
It turned out that the simplest school education was enough to understand that we are ruled by chemistry, not by God.
This simple truth allowed me to look at things from a different angle and opened up new opportunities. Now I could not simply write off achievements and failures on God like my parents always did. It became clear that everything in this life depends only on my actions, not anything else.
Living with such thoughts has become more difficult. There turned out to be no invisible insurance, no promised paradise after death. From now on, the people who surround you, the skills that you possess, and the future that you are building yourself have become the only things that are truly important.
Faith makes you more passive and obedient, it makes you think that your life is already all planned out, so you don't even have to worry about things. Atheism makes you build, develop, and create a favorable atmosphere around yourself and make the people you love happy because there will be no second chance.