Sunday, November 11, 2012

How-are-you-I'm-fine (but not completely)

I found the perfect new shoes. Actually, they didn't pass the "I'm certain they wont hurt my feet by not fitting quite perfectly" test, because I decided not to give that test this time. Instead, this is what I got; tennishoes that have leather (or fake leather) around the toe and sides instead of that mesh stuff that is "in" now. And shoes that are supposed to make it harder to slip! Both good things, since these are to be my winter shoes. And I sprayed them with water-resistant spray for added protection. I decided to get new shoes yesterday when I saw that my old ones were like bald tires, missing tread in key areas.

Another thing I did yesterday was drive to the second-nearest mall to find these shoes, which involved crossing state lines and driving for a short while. This is important because I was setting a precident to keep driving even during the winter when it is cold and dark. Actually, it was remarkably safe since the snow had melted off the roads and they were mostly dry (hence, mostly no ice). But I was still proud of myself for going ahead and taking the longer option to drive to this mall (instead of shopping a million stores locally - I was getting tired of that route).

Today being Sunday, I got out of bed with the excitement of wearing my new shoes. But I carried the Sunday edition of OCD/anxiety and depression with me as I went to church. It is seriously annoying how the attending church experience spikes my mental problems. Then, in church, I realized that I have done what I didn't want to do; I have hidden my mental struggle from the people around me. Well, I suppose I was always planning on keeping lots of it to myself, but the whole "how are you? I'm fine" exchange? I didn't want to have to do that. But I had done it at least three times before I got to my seat. Nonetheless, what would the alternative be? "Hello, person who is welcoming people and holding doors or passing out bulletins. How am I? Well, actually, the anxiety and depression that haunt me are very busy intently haunting me right now. See, I have OCD. OCD is like [insert thorough description here], and I have these kinds of OCD [insert another description here], thus I am currently enduring this type of suffering [insert impossibly accurate description here]. But don't worry, I'll be fine." Instead, I claimed a more ordinary "fine"ness and continued into church.

We did vary from our normal routine when the pastor decided to invite people with health issues, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual, to come up front (but we got to sit in the front row, instead of some more obvious place like kneeling in front of the non-existant alter) and someone would come pray with them. Well, I figured this was a good time to releive my fake or real conscience by asking for prayer (you know that James passage about sick people coming to the elders for prayer?). I'm thinking it was at least partially real, with an OCD megaphone on top. But anyway, through this, I was able to talk to a lady in the church and admit my struggle so that it was shared. And she prayed.

Anyway, the pastor nicely confirmed at the end that the church did not teach that if we had enough faith, we would be healed. I actually don't like asking for instant healing, more for help (I still ask for instant releif from the pain, though :)    ). I guess I feel like if I got healed instantly, that I'd have an unfair advantage and wouldn't be able to help other people as well whome God didn't choose to instantly heal. Because thus far, I am one of the people without instant complete healing, who takes medication and sees a therapist and doesn't need any extra guilt that if I was only a better person, I wouldn't feel this way.

But the rest of my morning at church did go better, so God did give me relief, and not because I was full of faith that He would heal me, because I wasn't full of faith that He would heal me. :)

Next week, I'm scheduled to play guitar in church. So if OCD is correct, I'll be starting to ruin the church. Now I really wonder what someone from my church would think if they read that statement. So just in case anyone who knows me reads this and is concerned, please ask me, and I'll explain more fully. You can rest at ease that the church wont be magically destroyed by my simply standing up there playing guitar. Meanwhile, I just might be suffering through another exposure to my fear, even though I'll probably tell you I'm fine.


  1. Abigail, I know what you mean about the "I'm fine" routine. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to really say how I am, but I guess that's not what the social ritual is really for.

    I'm glad you were able to talk with someone who prayed with you. And I'm glad you had a nice experience at church.

  2. You won't ruin the church by playing the guitar. You will uplift people by playing the guitar.