I was raised in the Church and baptized and confirmed at eight years old. The gospel was a way of life for me and for most of the people around me. The Holy Ghost was a very familiar presence in my life.
When I was excommunicated, I felt an almost tangible feeling leave me. I felt like my thinking process had been disrupted and slowed, and making decisions was confusing and difficult. I was anxious and had a hard time feeling peace.
I never realized how losing my membership would change my life completely. I could no longer wear the temple garment or attend the temple. I could not pay my tithing, serve in any calling, take the sacrament, or bear my testimony or pray in church. I no longer had the gift of the Holy Ghost. Most important I was not in a covenant relationship with my Savior through the ordinances of baptism and the temple. I was devastated and frightened.