The phase of atheism many (but not all) former theists go through after releasing their belief in a deity. In some ways, they closely mimic the stages of grief, and for good reason.
- Denial and Isolation
In this first stage, the fresh atheist almost does not know what to do with themselves. Without a deity, the world radically shifts, so many fresh atheists refuse to talk about it, instead trying to maintain life as it was before, when they were a theist.
Many fresh atheists spend a long time in this phase. Trolling online, being abusive towards religious friends and family, arguments, even with other atheists, can all be a part of this process.
- Regaining control
Once the fresh atheist realizes that they themselves are responsible for all of their actions and have no one left to blame, the logical next step is to begin reorganizing everything, from moral code to life goals. This step can be the most difficult, which is why I think so many atheists get stuck on Step #2.
Realizing that the religion you believed was empty leads to realizing the people who taught you that faith have also been duped. Most of the time, this is parents, whom we normally love. Add to that the realization of how much death and destruction has happened at the hands of the religious, and sadness ensues.
Once the fresh atheist comes to terms with the facts and gets beyond the raw emotion, the atheist can then move on to what all of it means to them, and what,if anything, they should do about it.