You know the saying….”I’m not paranoid, it’s a rumor started by those people who are out to get me”. I guess I’m still suffering from a bit of paranoia. And it’s not because I think people are out to get me.
Maybe history would help in this case…..
I belong to a small congregation of one of the largest churches in the world. Because all the congregations are small, and we believe and practice a form of 1:1 type of teaching we all know what’s going on in everyone’s home. No, we aren’t supposed to gossip, but truthfully, a religion that has almost every carnal sin band makes gossip fly at a greater speeds. Not in a catty way, but in a “how can we help her with her depression/anxiety/OCD/financial problems.” kind of way.
The problem is, I’m so bad with helping other people that I feel so unworthy to have other people help me. I know the Bishop can’t share what he knows about me due to the priest:parishioner relationship. And you might think that the other conversations you have with your visiting and home teachers would too, and I trust my people but it’s the ‘other’ person in my home likes to share with everyone she meets about what I’m going through, how I’m making big strides, how I’ve been struggling with the rent and so on. It’s the Christlike attitude of wanting to help to alleviate suffering and to bear one another’s burdens to make them light
Why am I whining about this? you might ask. I have this image of me going to church and walking down the hall with people’s sympathetic eyes following me, the silent prayers being said during casual conversations, knowing I’m lying when I say I’m ‘fine’. See, that’s the paranoia, they aren’t out to get me, they’re out to help me when I want one bastion of freedom from my day-to-day dealings with balancing drugs, mother, emotions, and the surprises bubblings up of morsels if enlightenment from my subconscious.
Like paranoia, I have no proof that anyone knows anything other than I’m normal. This unfounded fear has been keeping me from partaking of the sacraments of church, the camaraderie of fellow believers and the comfort that comes with it. I’m denying myself opportunities to grow and to learn and to just be normal. I have to stop giving into the paranoia, I can’t let it rule my life and after-life. It’s bad enough the depression/anxiety is robbing me of the now, I can’t let it rob me of eternity too.