I Am Hopeful


#1

First, please accept my apology for the length of this post as well as its less than clear purpose. I honestly don’t know what I am asking or why. If I don’t know, I can’t expect anyone else to know, but I just needed to get these thoughts out of my head. I’m not even sure where this should be posted. Forgive my ignorance.

I need to share a little background on me and my Christian journey. What follows is very personal, and even though I could close this site and never come back, it is both terrifying yet liberating to think of what I am about to share.

I have a debilitating case of Social Anxiety Disorder. It has ruined my life. It has prevented me from enjoying the most simple things in life - things often taken for granted. Though I am 25, I cannot legally drive, I have a 10th grade education, and I often struggle even with shopping. However, a change in my life has helped me to slowly improve. More on this in a moment.

About 4 years ago I “became” a Christian - a protestant. No denomination in particular, though I was a big supporter in the “it’s a relationship, not a religion” view. I began to sincerely study theology and church history. This studying is what eventually turned my world upside down.

I became disillusioned with my faith due to the amount of scripture twisting and history distorting required to fit my liberal protestant view. So, I left my faith for many months. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered Rome, and my faith was restored.

I literally cried, not something I’m known to do, when I discovered the One True Church. I belonged. I believed. I DO believe with every fiber of my being. I am home.

I have been reading scripture daily as well as well as praying the Rosary and reading the Catechism. These things have brought forth a brand new me. I have done things that my SAD would previously not allow. Besides being more sociable and outgoing in general, I visited my grandmother for the first time in her nursing home. I now plan to visit often, and not only her but others who are there. While I’m sure this doesn’t seem so amazing to those who have no experience with my disorder, it’s not a small step but a massive leap. I couldn’t be more hopeful about my future.

I am also grateful for discovering the Rosary. Where my prayer life was once less than a minute a day, it has now grown to at least 30 minutes of sincere prayer. Just having it in my pocket is a reminder that greatly reduces my anxiety when it flairs up. This has lead me to make and donate Rosaries to various organizations. I have also chosen a couple of charities to support - something I never did before. I hope that one day I will be able to help in a more hands on way.

I do not say these things in an effort to obtain compliments or praise of any kind. I am just trying to illustrate the incredible change that has occurred in my life.

However, there is one problem. I live about 10 minutes from town (very small town). This is the land of the Protestants. The closest Catholic church is a little over 20miles. I know the importance of the Sacraments and I DESPERATELY want to partake, but my SAD will not allow it at this moment.

They will start RCIA this September. I hope that my SAD continues to improve to point where I will be able to attend. I look forward to this day with far greater joy than any child who has eagerly waited to unwrap that big present under the Christmas tree.

It is my hope that I will soon join the church. That I will gain a new life. One that can be put to use to help others. These things, for the first time in my life, seem possible. My only fear is that I die and am damned before these things occur. I don’t want to be separated from God now that I know truly who he is and what had done for me!

But I am hopeful. Please pray for me.


#2

I will pray for you and I want you to continue praying, too. I know someone very dear to my heart that battles the same problem so I know how real it is. Just keep praying…don’t go backward—keep pressing for the prize!! You will be able to do the RCIA classes one day. Call the priest at the office & just talk to him. They may be able to do private classes with you. Remember to keep praying!!


#3

Hi,
The Rosary is wonderful! I do understand about your SAD because my son had it for years. He still does, but he’s learned somehow to cope with it, and it doesn’t affect him like it used to. He used to not be able to go out in public at all, now he’s a manager of a store, and deals with customers all day long. There is hope! I will be praying for you :slight_smile:
I’m in RCIA now myself, and it’s truly miraculous what God can do and how He can change us. I myself went through a complete change, to the point that my husband nearly left me and my family got angry with me for even going to church.
I want to give you a site that will make your Rosary prayer even better (at least it does for me )- scripturalrosary.org I started praying the Rosary like this after I had a dream where the beads were flowers (I found out later a rare type of rose after searching the internet for the flower), and each prayer was Scripture. I woke up not knowing what to make of the dream, then I found this site.
As far as RCIA goes and your SAD, call the parish that is closest to you (have you checked the archdiocese to make sure that the one 20 miles away is the closest?), and explain to them the issue you have with your SAD. I know in my parish, I’m the only one in the actual class, the others that are in RCIA have disabilities of different sorts and aren’t able to make it to class, so they bring the class to them.
One of the women has cancer so they ‘fast tracked’ her through RCIA and now even bring her the Holy Eucharist.
They will work with you, just explain. And if God heals you enough to let you go, GREAT :slight_smile: It could happen, believe me… God works miracles all the time, I’ve seen it in my own life.
If you need anyone to talk to that understands about SAD and about what you’re going through wanting with RCIA feel free to private message me :slight_smile:
Rachel


#4

[quote="sistermouse, post:2, topic:184714"]
I will pray for you and I want you to continue praying, too. I know someone very dear to my heart that battles the same problem so I know how real it is. Just keep praying...don't go backward---keep pressing for the prize!! You will be able to do the RCIA classes one day. Call the priest at the office & just talk to him. They may be able to do private classes with you. Remember to keep praying!!

[/quote]

I will be praying for you.May our Lord be with you,Rocky.


#5

Seasonal affective disorder
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression or winter blues, is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or, less frequently, in the summer,[1] spring or autumn, repeatedly, year after year. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), SAD is not a unique mood disorder, but is "a specifier of major depression".[2]

The US National Library of Medicine notes that "some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods. They may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up."[3] The condition in the summer is often referred to as Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, and can also include heightened anxiety.[4] It has been estimated that 1.5-9% of adults in the US experience SAD.[5]

There are many different treatments for classic (winter-based) seasonal affective disorder, including light therapy with sunlight or bright lights, antidepressant medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy, ionized-air administration,[6] and carefully timed supplementation of the hormone melatonin.[7]

For those of us that don't know what that is.

Luckily it's coming into spring soon, so there will be relief naturally. Our faith really does miracles all the time, Praise God for this, and it's good to hear of others storys about him doing them in their lives.


#6

THANKS FOR SHARING

THE LORD IS GOOD

I'll pray.


#7

[quote="VictorE, post:1, topic:184714"]
First, please accept my apology for the length of this post as well as its less than clear purpose. I honestly don’t know what I am asking or why. If I don’t know, I can’t expect anyone else to know, but I just needed to get these thoughts out of my head. I’m not even sure where this should be posted. Forgive my ignorance.

I need to share a little background on me and my Christian journey. What follows is very personal, and even though I could close this site and never come back, it is both terrifying yet liberating to think of what I am about to share.

I have a debilitating case of Social Anxiety Disorder. It has ruined my life. It has prevented me from enjoying the most simple things in life - things often taken for granted. Though I am 25, I cannot legally drive, I have a 10th grade education, and I often struggle even with shopping. However, a change in my life has helped me to slowly improve. More on this in a moment.

About 4 years ago I “became” a Christian - a protestant. No denomination in particular, though I was a big supporter in the “it’s a relationship, not a religion” view. I began to sincerely study theology and church history. This studying is what eventually turned my world upside down.

I became disillusioned with my faith due to the amount of scripture twisting and history distorting required to fit my liberal protestant view. So, I left my faith for many months. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered Rome, and my faith was restored.

I literally cried, not something I’m known to do, when I discovered the One True Church. I belonged. I believed. I DO believe with every fiber of my being. I am home.

I have been reading scripture daily as well as well as praying the Rosary and reading the Catechism. These things have brought forth a brand new me. I have done things that my SAD would previously not allow. Besides being more sociable and outgoing in general, I visited my grandmother for the first time in her nursing home. I now plan to visit often, and not only her but others who are there. While I’m sure this doesn’t seem so amazing to those who have no experience with my disorder, it’s not a small step but a massive leap. I couldn’t be more hopeful about my future.

I am also grateful for discovering the Rosary. Where my prayer life was once less than a minute a day, it has now grown to at least 30 minutes of sincere prayer. Just having it in my pocket is a reminder that greatly reduces my anxiety when it flairs up. This has lead me to make and donate Rosaries to various organizations. I have also chosen a couple of charities to support - something I never did before. I hope that one day I will be able to help in a more hands on way.

I do not say these things in an effort to obtain compliments or praise of any kind. I am just trying to illustrate the incredible change that has occurred in my life.

However, there is one problem. I live about 10 minutes from town (very small town). This is the land of the Protestants. The closest Catholic church is a little over 20miles. I know the importance of the Sacraments and I DESPERATELY want to partake, but my SAD will not allow it at this moment.

They will start RCIA this September. I hope that my SAD continues to improve to point where I will be able to attend. I look forward to this day with far greater joy than any child who has eagerly waited to unwrap that big present under the Christmas tree.

It is my hope that I will soon join the church. That I will gain a new life. One that can be put to use to help others. These things, for the first time in my life, seem possible. My only fear is that I die and am damned before these things occur. I don’t want to be separated from God now that I know truly who he is and what had done for me!

But I am hopeful. Please pray for me.

[/quote]

Oh, how blessed are you.

i am sure if you talk to the priest and explain your situation, you might get to do the RCIA one to one. Peace of our Lord be with you.


#8

Are you taking medication for your disorder?


#9

He has Social Anxiety Disorder, not Seasonal Affective Mood Disorder.

Victor, welcome. I will pray for you and I hope you find healing.


#10

Hi! So glad you have found the Church!
I definitely recall having some time ago browbeaten a young man who was very ill with SAD about the absolute necessity for him to be on medication. Two years later, he has a ton of friends, and you cannot even tell he has the disorder. :) Prayer is wonderful, but there are definite medical steps you can also take, if you are a good fit. I STRONGLY recommend you see a doctor. I know that every social thing is ridiculously hard for people with SAD - duh - but seeing a doctor could be one of the best things you ever do, if you haven't already.


#11

From all eternity, O Lord, You planned my very existence and my destiny. You wrapped me in Your love in baptism and gave me the Faith to lead me to an eternal life of happiness with You. You have showered me with Your graces and You have been always ready with Your mercy and forgiveness when I have fallen. Now I beg You for the light I so earnestly need that I may find the way of life in which lies the best fulfillment of Your will. Whatever state this may be, give me the grace necessary to embrace it with love of Your holy will, as devotedly as Your Blessed Mother did Your will. I offer myself to You now, trusting in Your wisdom and love to direct me in working out my salvation and in helping others to know and come close to You, so that I may find my reward in union with You for ever and ever. Amen.


#12

Hi Victor. I’ll pray for your healing.

Here’s a beautiful testimony to inspire you on your journey. I esp. like how the Mr. Schoeman talks about how every thing that happens is the very best thing that could happen to you. Your Social anxiety disorder may feel like a burden, but it’s part of God’s plan for your life

salvationisfromthejews.com/audio.html. listen to any of the “my witness” talks.

I know some of your pain. been there :slight_smile:


#13

Wonderful testimony! I will say a prayer for you on your journey! Stay on the boards here…there is so much to learn and many friends to make.


#14

Posts like yours make me cry, they are so touching. Our God is so good. Things will work out for you. He did not bring you this far to abandon you. Trust in Him to see you through the process of becoming Catholic, and in healing you. You are such an inspiration to all of us.


#15

Yay! It's so exciting to read these posts about people coming home :)

You did a very COURAGEOUS thing by simply posting your story here. I say that because I myself carry a cross of social anxiety. I know what it's like to be terrified and anxious of exposing one's most personal thoughts. Mine is pretty mild nowadays but it still presents its problems.

Do you know what, or I should say who, has gotten me to the point I am now?

GOD! The Everlasting, All Powerful, All Loving Father, Son, and Holy Spirit :D

It can be so hard to trust in the Lord sometimes but believe me He is soo much greater than your anxiety. He will bless you over and over again with the graces you need to overcome/cope with this cross. I'm telling you that it is absolutely imperative that you become a member of God's Church. The sacraments provide so many graces it is almost unbelievable!

I never went to see a doctor but perhaps that may be helpful to you. You may also want to try sitting with a counselor, even if it is just one time. I see a counselor through Catholic Charities who is doing a tremendous job in helping me re-train the way I think.

But perhaps you could also look at your SAD as a blessing. I noticed today, that because I am soo concerned with what other people are thinking about me and how I come off to people, I have been highly motivated to always be trying to improve myself as a person. By the Grace of God I improve every day!

That's awesome that you are able to visit your grandmother. I'm sure that pleases her very much too. It helps to focus on others and to try and find ways to brighten other people's day because the more you focus on someone else the less you tend to focus on your anxiety/fear. It works for me anyhow.

Just know that no matter what, the Good Lord loves you and knows exactly what you are going through. You are not alone in your struggles!

May God bless you and keep you ;)


#16

Thank you all for the kind replies. I have printed them off to remind me of your support.

Concerning medication, yes, I have tried several different kinds. Those that seemed to help caused such severe side effects that I could not continue to take them. Exposure to situations that I cause me anxiety is what helps me the most. Before, I did not have a goal. With nothing to strive for, it is hard to simply put yourself in those situations that create anxiety. However, joining the Church is something that I desire greatly.

I contacted the RCIA leader. He said that classes officially begin in September, but that I can sit in anytime that I feel comfortable doing so. He also said that I should make myself known to the Priest one day after Mass. I plan to do this very soon.

Again, thank you all for your replies.


#17

[quote="VictorE, post:1, topic:184714"]
First, please accept my apology for the length of this post as well as its less than clear purpose. I honestly don’t know what I am asking or why. If I don’t know, I can’t expect anyone else to know, but I just needed to get these thoughts out of my head. I’m not even sure where this should be posted. Forgive my ignorance.

I need to share a little background on me and my Christian journey. What follows is very personal, and even though I could close this site and never come back, it is both terrifying yet liberating to think of what I am about to share.

I have a debilitating case of Social Anxiety Disorder. It has ruined my life. It has prevented me from enjoying the most simple things in life - things often taken for granted. Though I am 25, I cannot legally drive, I have a 10th grade education, and I often struggle even with shopping. However, a change in my life has helped me to slowly improve. More on this in a moment.

About 4 years ago I “became” a Christian - a protestant. No denomination in particular, though I was a big supporter in the “it’s a relationship, not a religion” view. I began to sincerely study theology and church history. This studying is what eventually turned my world upside down.

I became disillusioned with my faith due to the amount of scripture twisting and history distorting required to fit my liberal protestant view. So, I left my faith for many months. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered Rome, and my faith was restored.

I literally cried, not something I’m known to do, when I discovered the One True Church. I belonged. I believed. I DO believe with every fiber of my being. I am home.

I have been reading scripture daily as well as well as praying the Rosary and reading the Catechism. These things have brought forth a brand new me. I have done things that my SAD would previously not allow. Besides being more sociable and outgoing in general, I visited my grandmother for the first time in her nursing home. I now plan to visit often, and not only her but others who are there. While I’m sure this doesn’t seem so amazing to those who have no experience with my disorder, it’s not a small step but a massive leap. I couldn’t be more hopeful about my future.

I am also grateful for discovering the Rosary. Where my prayer life was once less than a minute a day, it has now grown to at least 30 minutes of sincere prayer. Just having it in my pocket is a reminder that greatly reduces my anxiety when it flairs up. This has lead me to make and donate Rosaries to various organizations. I have also chosen a couple of charities to support - something I never did before. I hope that one day I will be able to help in a more hands on way.

I do not say these things in an effort to obtain compliments or praise of any kind. I am just trying to illustrate the incredible change that has occurred in my life.

However, there is one problem. I live about 10 minutes from town (very small town). This is the land of the Protestants. The closest Catholic church is a little over 20miles. I know the importance of the Sacraments and I DESPERATELY want to partake, but my SAD will not allow it at this moment.

They will start RCIA this September. I hope that my SAD continues to improve to point where I will be able to attend. I look forward to this day with far greater joy than any child who has eagerly waited to unwrap that big present under the Christmas tree.

It is my hope that I will soon join the church. That I will gain a new life. One that can be put to use to help others. These things, for the first time in my life, seem possible. My only fear is that I die and am damned before these things occur. I don’t want to be separated from God now that I know truly who he is and what had done for me!

But I am hopeful. Please pray for me.

[/quote]

Welcome Home Brother :)

Keep fighting the good fight, you are in my prayers!

Your brother in Christ,
Zachary


#18

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