A little confuzzled about teen life


#1

Hey there everyone!
My names Bethy and i’m a noob to these boards, haha.

I need a bit of help, i’m very confused and don’t know where to turn.
See, I come from a generally non Catholic background. I was baptised, and my parents took me for reconciliation and communion but thats about it. They both believe in God but preferred that once me and my siblings got a bit of a start that we chose our own ways and all. I chose mine, I choose to stay on this path :slight_smile:
But because of all this I really don’t have much help when it comes to religion. I really don’t have many Catholic, let alone practising Catholic, friends. I pray every single night and always turn to the Lord for guidance, but don’t really have anyone to turn to regarding religion in the physical sense. And I don’t know too much about religion in the first place. I have a general understanding and belief, but don’t know all the little things. So sorry if I say anything wrong on here, it’s purely ignorance! haha.

So basically I’m finding that as i’m growing up I have a lot more things I need to ask God for guidance with and a lot more moral decisions to make, which often aren’t supported by others around me. I recently dropped out of uni due to a sudden mixture of anxiety, OCD and depression which messed up my life a lot and left me looking for a lot of answers. My faith got me through the worst part of this, but I’m still having to start many things over which I need the help of others to do, and these others again don’t share all my views on life. But that’s okay, with the help of a psychiatrist, a loving family and a few great friends (and God of course!) i’m getting better. Thats not really the hardest part of everything. I’m also finding myself with a lot more peer pressure lately that is really hard to fight off. I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for the majority of this year now; he’s Catholic but isn’t necessarily a strong believer, as in he believes in God but has his doubts about some ways things work. Yet he still completely respects my faith and all decisions I make, and there are no problems there. The thing is everyone around us is putting there noses in and trying to decide whats best for us (and considering they’re non Catholics, I think you can guess what they’re saying … sigh). I’m walking a very fine line between keeping with my faith and trying not to offend or push away friends. Of course, I know whats right and what to choose, but its sometimes really hard :frowning: I don’t want to lose friendships with people because we can’t see eye to eye on everything.

And now, as religion and peer pressure seem to be really big issues right now (which unfortunately happened while my shrink is on holidays) I’m having a lot of trouble with the anxiety side. Last week I somehow convinced myself into thinking that it was completely up to me to look out for everyones souls and that I had to show them what was right or they’d go to hell and it’d be my fault. It was all the OCD talking, but it got really bad, within about 3 days I had to get sleeping pills to get any rest at night and started having panic attacks over it. So right now i’m in a bit of a messy place, I don’t really know whether stuff like this is my religious side talking or my crazy, feeling guilt for everrrrything side … and I don’t really know who to turn to physically for guidance. I’m terribly sorry for the humungous post but you guys just seemed so friendly and accepting and seemed like people who could I could maybe talk over stuff like this with and get a good, Catholic perspective as opposed to the non Catholic ones i’m surrounded by.

haha, I guess I didn’t really pose any questions here … hmm. I just really needed to tell someone all this who understood the way I believed things.
(And i’m so very sorry if anything i’ve said or may say in the future will conflict with anything anyone else believes, I’m still learning, haha!)

Thank you so very much for reading! :slight_smile:


#2

Go to your local parish priest. Tell him you’ve been diagonosed with OCD and anxiety. Tell him you need a referral to a good spiritual director experienced in helping people who have scrupulosity. Then start seeing the spiritual director regularly. This will help you as you discern between what is real and what is your OCD giving you compulsions in the area of religion.

Also ask the priest if there are classes you can take to become better educated in the faith since you did not receive much catechism as a child.


#3

Hi Bethy :wave:

First of all, kudos to you for choosing to stay on the path God wants you to be on despite limited support and peer pressure trying to pull you in other directions. What graces you must be receiving and how pleased God must be with you!! You are very mature to have made that decision on your own and I will pray for you as you continue on your journey.

I agree with 1ke’s suggestion of a spiritual director. Pray about this and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to a holy, wise priest to be your spiritual director. You’ll have someone who is there for you and praying for you, you will form a relationship with someone who can answer your faith questions, and you will begin to form your network or Catholic support. I hope you will consider a spiritual director.

It sounds like you are really on the right track, Bethy. Teen years/college years are hard, sometimes very, very hard. Just always remember that these things that seem so huge right now one day will not. And also remember, many of the people who you are close to now you may not be close to later. You do not want to give in to peer pressure and do things you know are wrong for people who may not even be a part of your life at all later. I know that you know all of this, you sound so mature. Just keep praying, pray hard and ask God to keep you strong and to guide you. I will pray for you as well.

God bless you, Bethy! Keep your chin up, you will be rewarded for your efforts. Remember also,

“Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:10

Blessings,
Bella


#4

Welcome to CAF! :wave:

I think you’ve already received good advice, but I just wanted to chime in and offer my prayers and encouragement. Hang in there! Being a teen can definitely be stressful!


#5

Aww, thanks so much for all your help!
It’s so great to hear such a positive response, and really really helpful to get this all off my chest! Phew!

I’ll look around for a church in my area, i’m pretty sure I know of one.

Thank you all so much for your suggestions and support! :slight_smile:


#6

Hello, welcome to CAF! If you are around the DC area, i can give you a name of a good catholic deacon…:heaven:


#7

Hi Bethy-
You’ve already gotten great advice here, but I just had to write you a quick note! Reading your first post felt a lot like reading something I could have written in college. I was diagnosed with depression and OCD (and Post Traumatic Stress) my sophomore year in college and went through tons of counseling and psychiatric help. I wish I’d had your faith at the time, I went pretty wild before finding my way home to the Church, so you definitely have a head start there. You’re moving in the right direction and you’ll have prayers from all of us here I’m sure (it always makes me feel better knowing that!).

The friend thing definitely can be tough. Only a few of my friends were at all supportive of my conversion and quite a few of them think it’s downright weird (or that I’ve become very boring). I don’t bring it up (although the lifestyle changes are obvious) but they usually do, as if they have to justify their lifestyle to me since I’ve changed so much. It’s kind of uncomfortable sometimes, but maybe our friendship can take away some of the negative ideas they seem to have about religion. Focus on yourself right now and on your relationship with God and pray for your friends. Hopefully they’ll make the journey on their own and I’m sure your devotion to your faith will at least make them think about the subject a little more. Ultimately though, they’ll have to make their own decisions, just like you have.

One other thing (I just keep having more thoughts pop into my head! I really wasn’t going to give any advice!) you might want to look into if you don’t already do it is praying the rosary. When I’m stressed or worried it gives me such an incredible sense of peace. Since I’ve started praying it every day it’s been truly amazing. And whenever I get upset I start praying it.

Prayers for you! And welcome to CAF!


#8

In addition to all thats been said above, are there any places you could go to look for some supportive Catholic friends? Many universities have Catholic groups, is there one near you? Up here in Canada we have one called Catholic Christian Outreach, but I don’t know what the USA equivalent would be.


#9

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