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hey adv. I've been feeling quite anxious the last few days.

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hey adv. I've been feeling quite anxious the last few days. I'm 23 and i'm a sikh, that is my religion. Actually I am an atheist, but I've grown up in a religious family, I don't believe in my religion but have always kept up the pretense of it to keep my parents happy.

As a sikh I am expected not to cut my hair, this is the hair on top of my head and on my face, I have always felt ugly because of this, especially when my beard started growing, but just over the last few months I looked in the mirror, and managed to get a good look with styling my beard (not cutting, I used hairspray), and right now for the first time in my life I am happy about the way I look, the problem is, as a sikh, i cannot cut my beard and have to let it continue to grow. I have been keeping my beard "In shape" by plucking out hairs using tweezers, but I'm getting anxious now, because my beard hasn't spread anywhere else on my face now for about two years...

This is making me very anxious, because i'm scared if i keep plucking hairs my mom will notice, and she will get upset, only yesterday she was telling me about how good and loyal i was, and how proud she was of her sikh children (i have a sister).

I don't want to look like pic related, i want to look the way I do now, I don't want my beard to grow anywhere else on my face, I can't sleep because im contantly going on facebook and Instagram and looking at pictures of other sikhs with beards that I don't like, I can't sleep ant night, I can't concentrate and ive even been getting chest pains.

I've been venting to a couple of friends and they are telling me it's a first world problem, and they are right, Im healthy, im in a stable family and ive got a good education/career lined up, but this anxiety feels so horrible...
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Dude, fuck religion and do whatever you want.
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>>16593139

I can't, It would break my parents' hearts...
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>>16593142

So your parents happiness is more important then your own?
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>>16593161

In a way yes, my mom hasn't had a great life, she got married into a family that treated her like a slave, so I don't want to be the one that breaks her heart even more.

But my own happiness depends on their happiness... Plus I don't even know how they will react.

I also feel like I owe them something, they have paid for EVERYTHING for me, they have put me through 5 years of medical school, paying my rent and tuition. Just this year they bought me a car. They did all this because they thought I was a good Sikh boy, I don't care if they take it away from me, but I cant handle the fact that they will be hurt so much by this.

I hate my beard so much though, its driving me crazy
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>>16593126
hey sikhfriend. people from many different backgrounds worry about maintaining their appearance to develop standing in society. that's not limited to the first-world, that's every-world-ever. your friends might be trying to look out for you by reminding you to be calm in joking sort of way

this type of anxiety is best fixed by dunking your head in cold water a few times every hour and meditating for a couple of minutes

if you're this concerned about the feelings of your mother, then you are a good sikh. intention matters
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>>16593142
>I can't, It would break my parents' hearts...

Trust me, they will get over it.

Is it fair to them that their only son is living a lie just to make them happy?
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>>16593259
>living a lie

kind of downplays the nearly pathological levels of anxiety someone has about a beard filling out and places the blame onto their parents
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>>16593265

To be honest other aspects of culturally pretending to be a sikh have also been causing me anxiety aswell...

I fell in love with a muslim girl, and have been obsessed with her for the last 5 years, I met her when i moved away from home for university, and im going to be moving back home next year, My parents want me to have an arranged marriage, so in the end she will be the first and the last girl I will ever love. Im not allowed to be with her because she is a muslim, and that's a big no-no, so that's caused some anxiety

Another thing that caused anxiety is the fact she doesn't even like me, I told her I liked her, but she didn't wanna date or anything... so i guess that's causing a bit of anxiety too.
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I'm curious hoe your beard looks now.

Also in my religion if you screw up you can always get back in God's good books. If you cut your hair are you kicked out or just made a mistake and have to regrow it?
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>>16593273

In terms of the religion itself there were 10 leaders of the sikh faith called gurus, kindof like the "popes" of the sikh faith, they were the creators and leaders of the faith. The 10th one just said that sikhs shouldnt cut their hair... no one knows why.

Some people say that your hair regulates your emotions (sounds like a load of shit, i know)
Some people say that it is like a uniform so you can instantly identify other Sikhs
Some people say it keeps you humble and makes you stop worrying about your looks

And in terms of forgiveness... I have no idea, I don't really care if god does or doesn't forgive me, because I don't believe in god, or at least the sikh god. Its my mom who I care about...
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>>16593272
Forgive me for my ignorance, but is there a less extreme/more modern version of your religion? Like one that believes in the same fundamentals but is more progressive (a.k.a. You can cut your beard). You'd avoid the arranged marriage, be able to cut your beard, and your parents would be at most disappointed but not devastated. If you could find some middle ground that believes in the same thing but has less strict practices, that would be perfect.
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>>16593281

There are many sikhs that cut their beards. Most of my cousins do... but some don't. My parents look down on the sikhs that cut their beards, and its mostly about pride. My mom and dad want to be proud about having a sikh son with a full beard and turban, they want to feel easy about thinking my long beard will help me get into heaven. There is no "less extreme" version of my religion that my parents would be satisfied me being a part of
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>>16593272
okay, yeah, you're living a lie - at least a little lie, maybe a big one

i know you don't want to hurt your parents, but you've got to weigh their desires for your future against your own. what is more important to you - autonomy or cultural homogeneity?

it might hurt their feelings that you're not as faithful of a sikh as they originally imagined, but they don't want you to be miserable, either. no parent wants that, or should want that. consider the suffering your mother endured - just because she was trapped by circumstance doesn't necessarily mean she wants you to be
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>>16593280
I know you don't care about God/prophets but I was asking to know how bad a "crime" it would be to your parents. If it can be forgiven in the religion then more likely that they will forgive you too. But if it's a complete no no get kicked out then it's harder.
My friend married outside her religion and the way her religion works meant that as a women her kids won't be the same religion (if she was a man and married someone outside then at least the kids would still be in the religion).
So it was a pretty big deal that she wanted to do this and at first her dad wanted to disown her. But they worked things out and now everyone is happy.
So it might be hard at first to break it to your parents but in the end they might come to accept it.

Also, can you maybe wait to tell them until you've got a job and can support yourself?
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>>16593287
If many sikhs cut their beards, maybe there are discussion boards about it where you can get help and support from other people going through the same thing you are.
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>>16593313
I see what you mean, unfortunately the "Long hair" requirement is actually quite vague, and there isn't really the concept of forgiveness in the same way there is in Christianity. The official rule i guess is just to grow your hair and not cut it, if you have already cut it, then stop cutting it and keep growing it.

In terms of waiting for a Job, i will be finished med school this June (if i pass my exams) so I would in theory be independent, and I could tell them then, but I'm not sure if i'll have the balls to.

>>16593321

I have tried going on some sikh forums, most people just give the same advice you guys do, just do what you want and accept the consequences. I think deep down i dont want advice, because I know there's only two choices, live a lie and keep my parents happy, or take control and upset them

I don't think i need advice at all, I just feel shit tb h
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>>16593339
I think wait until after you finish school, not because you are using your parents but to just concentrate on your exams and not worry about any other stress. If you stress out now your parents money will have gone to waste cos you might not pass your exams.

When it's time to tell them, don't just blurt out "I'm an atheist and I've been lying to you this whole time"
Instead go gently, telling them something like "I've been thinking about trimming my beard, the face masks we wear at work don't contain it and it's interfering with my ability to help people. But I know this means a lot to you so I wanted to discuss it with you first"
So even if you go head and cut it, at least they feel you didn't go behind their back (even if you technically have been by plucking it)
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>>16593918
Yeah, for the last three years i thought i could pluck it and no-one would ever notice, but now i feel like i should just come out to my parents. I don't think I could let them know i'm athesist, but I seriously need to tell them.

Im thinking maybe october/november 2016...
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