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Cub

Struggling; let myself down

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Hi everyone

How are we all getting on in the lockdown? I'm posting today, without much expectation, because I feel like I've been tremendously selfish this past week. In terms of coronavirus, I've been lucky; I'm not working but still being paid; have nobody else to worry about; and have enough food. I am, to use a phrase, sitting pretty. And yet, the last week has been tremendously difficult as I've been researching Christianity on the Internet; I began to think I was wrong about everything I believed in after being triggered by a Conservative webcomic and my searches took me to several different websites, takes and beliefs that have just left my brain completely pulverised. My friends have been reaching out to help me and trying to calm me down, but I don't want to burden them with all of this; everyone has got their own problems and mine feel theological more than anything. 

I've been concerned about several different aspects of church life, and I feel I've been utterly selfish. We're being told to use this time to explore and expand knowledge, but when you have OCD, and it's religious and you're trying to walk your spiritual path, it's so, so difficult. I've found myself reverting to old obsessive-compulsive patterns; going over things over and over, feeling relief, and then hearing a mutter of doubt and starting again. I used to be quite certain about what I believed in and I'm wondering is God wanting me to go through this struggle? I'm trying my best to go with it, but I'm hearing all these different voices in my head. In the meantime, I'm not getting anything done; no writing; no poetry and it's so hard to relax. I'll go out for my daily exercise in a minute which will help greatly, I'm sure; I need to get my prescription. But I feel I've been given the luxury of all this time and space and I'm not using it properly.

I know God will always love me and that's a comfort. But I don't know if I have to change everything I am; my beliefs in sexuality, etc. There were so many things I wanted to do in this time that would keep me safe and sane and now I wonder if I'm enough, if I'm allowed to do those things. I don't know what I'll do without them, if I can't do them. I believe what I believe, but I don't know if I need to improve those beliefs. I was struggling with my OCD before all this; and wondering if God is using this as an opportunity to throw me down the deep end?

I honestly feel as though I've just reverted back nine years when my OCD got so bad I had to go to the Priory and I wanted to kill myself. I feel exactly the same as I did then; selfish and caught up in myself and like I'm not focusing on other people who need better help. I'm quite an introverted person; I'm happy in my own company, but I'm not happy right now. 

I know with this, you need to take a leap of faith, feel the fear and do it anyway. But every time I've tried to carry on as usual, I've found myself shaking so hard. I don't know what to do and feel absolutely alone and like I've let everybody down. I'm scared of going on this journey, if this is what's required of me; and I'm scared that by the time we go back to work, I won't have achieved anything, other people will have done, and I'll be more stressed out than ever, and feeling alone.

Thanks for reading. :hug:

C x

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Hi Cub

I'm sorry you're struggling.  I can identify with some of this. Although I am not religious, my OCD often centres around what is moral or not, as if there is a definitive answer if I could only search hard enough (which of course there isn't, which is why OCD loves it). 

Have you ever tried doing some exposure - such as deliberately doing something you think God wouldn't like?

I've had some good results by deliberately making myself do things I see as wrong/immoral in some way (e.g. telling a lie or whatever) it has really helped me with this strand of OCD. As with any exposure though you have to make sure you don't do any safety behaviours including trying to figure it out.

GBG xx

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Thankyou, Ginger, for the support and kind words.

It's difficult at the moment because I feel no matter what religious text I look at, God is speaking to me but I wondered if that's partly because I'm on my own - well, I live with a family but we're all keeping clear of each other - and am making stuff up?  I know that not being perfect is the thing, and it was what helped me before; accepting our imperfections as human beings which helped me shed so much of what was hurting me. I understand the value of an exposure exercise, but right now I feel the pressure to try and be perfect; as though everything that makes me happy is being taped up. I'm sure my first psychologist would have some wise words to say; he was a theologist and always told me to be a little more naughty! :D He was also moved when I told him I felt like a bad Christian and told me that none of us were perfect; he was an expert on his field and explained that reassurance-seeking wouldn't be a good thing. I'm sure I can imagine what he would say right now, but it's hard.

I think figuring it out is where I fall down, yes! :D I try and seek for certainty, I suppose. I want everything to feel completely 'right' so I can move on but instead, things just got worse. I've found myself emailing religious figures (:rolleyes:); double-checking progressive theology to justify myself (😬); and of course - COMPULSIVELY PRAYING. A LOT. 

So yeah, things hurt a bit. It feels like six of one and half-a-dozen of the other. I also seem to have entered this 'mania' - this kind of 'look, let me prove everything is definitely okay!' with vlogging and an increased social media presence over the last few days. I've just felt like I've been sliding and sliding down a dark tunnel and no amount of prayer can seem to stop me. 

Thanks again for your kind words, Ginger. I hope all is well with you. 

C x :hug:

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2 minutes ago, Cub said:

 I understand the value of an exposure exercise, but right now I feel the pressure to try and be perfect;

i understand you feeling that way, but we all find exposure difficult or it wouldn't be exposure :) it's always going to go against what your brain is telling you to do.

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That's good advice! :D Thanks, Ginger. I guess what I feel now is that I've been taped up; my mouth has been taped, my brain has been taped, I just feel like I need to break out. I have recognised that constant reassurance of God's love won't help - obviously, it will, but not as constant reassurance; I need to push away from the edge of the pool on my own. 

So here we go. Let's give it a try. Walk first to pick up prescription, get some sun on my blotchy face. My best friend has also called to check up on me as well, which was lovely. 

Take care, Ginger. ❤️ Thanks again. 

C x

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