Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Scrupulosity - my ongoing battle

This post may not come as a surprise if you've read some of my previous posts or indeed follow me on twitter (@garethdawson), but in any case here it is.

I have OCD. I've had it all my life, in hindsight, and I live with it rather than suffer with it but it's not always easy (although there are many others out there who have it worse than me).

One aspect of my OCD that I struggle with the most is scrupulosity.
There is plenty of good information out there on the finer detail of what scrupulosity is, so for now I'll stick with the following: It's a OCD specturm disorder which causes the sufferer to suffer from religious and/or moral guilt/doubt.

With me it's more religious other than moral (although the moral side of it does come into things every now and then) and it comes in the form of doubt.

A bit of background:I wasn't raised in a deeply religious household, I had no religious ideology forced upon me and I never had.
In my teenage years I found Christianity at odds in life as I was experiencing it and began reading about other religions. I found the pre-christian religions of Northern Europe fascinating and within them found an approach to life, and an explanation for day to day life, that fit.
At that point I became a pagan, I suppose. I have always read widely on the subject of faith, and atheism, and I've always been a bit of a agnostic theist more than a died in the wool pagan of any particular flavour - although Heathenism ticked a lot of my boxes. It still does.
It is worth saying that all that time I still held a fondness for liberal christianity and find churches fantastic places to spend some time (and it might be the Welshman in me, but I love a good hymn!). But I find the theology/dogma too exclusive for me to be able to subscribe to.

For a quite a while this contradictory approach caused me no problem at all, although the scrupulous side of my ocd was always there niggling away.

It was a few years ago now when it became a real issue for me, and it has been that way pretty much ever since.

The way the scrupulosity manifests itself is often like this:
1. It pushes me to make a choice between two clearly different beliefs.
2. It then causes questioning of that choice from the point of view of the option not chosen.
3. It then questions the answers to those questions from the other point of view, causing a vicious circle of question, answer, doubt and frustration.

As you can imagine, it's not much fun.

The worse bit is that when looking for help with this kind of religious comparison is that is wealth of for and against information out there and believers in either will inevitably promote their chosen faith, always with good intentions.

My scrupulosity means that even trying to find some stablility as an agnostic is really difficult.

And so it goes on.

Yesterday I thought I had go through my last bout but it's still here.

I get frustrated that it keeps happening, I wish I could find a way of beating it for good, which I will.

I am doing well with all the other aspects of my OCD, I WILL get this sorted one day.
I hope it's soon.

I've written this post more for me that anyone else.
I hope that maybe it might help someone in the same position to feel not so alone with it.
I'm lucky, my wife is such wonderful support that I do wonder how I'd cope on my own.

Until next time, take care out there people and be excellent to each other!

1 comment:

Gareth said...

The following link is a post a wrote when in a healthier place than I am right now, I will get back there: