Scrupulosity? Or God?

So, a little background, I’m 19. I’ve had anxiety and depression since I was 11, and currently I think I might have had undiagnosed ocd for a while. I’ve been pretty much housebound for about three years with chronic illness. The thought “God wants you to be a nun” keeps entering my head and, although I’ve never really felt called to marriage, I really don’t want to become a nun. My reasons for this are that I don’t want to leave my family, and that being isolated and stuck somewhere with the same people forever would drive me completely over the edge, as the only thing that’s been getting me through these last few years of being ill is “one day you could get better and be able to have an interesting career and travel places and do things.”

My mind replies to this with
1)you love your family more than God? Jesus said that was bad
2) you love the world and living in the world more than God? That’s also bad
3) The only way you can become a good person and do something worthwhile is if you become a nun. The only reasons you don’t want to become one are because you’re selfish, afraid of commitment, and afraid of loving God
4) If you don’t become a nun that means you’re too selfish and lazy and you’ll go to hell. stop thinking of excuses to ignore God.

I’ve also been struggling with extreme doubts over my faith in general lately, and I’ve become obsessed that I’m “Not actually ill, and I’m making up the fact I’m ill/overexaggerating my illness for attention/because I’m lazy” even though doctors have told me that I have an illness (although it’s not something that can be easily or objectively measured- fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome) and being ill has pretty much uprooted all my plans I had for my life- doing my a-levels, going to university, etc. So I’ve become obsessed that "What if I’m not actually ill, and come judgement day, God will be like: “You wasted valuable years of your life being lazy, so you’re going to hell”. Or, i’ve been thinking “watching some tv to distract yourself from pain is bad, if you watch tv instead of praying that means you don’t love God.” or “You should get rid of absolutely everything you own, otherwise that means you love objects and things more than God or other people.” I’m trying to give some things away and spend more time praying, because honestly I could do without some things, but it feels like it’s never enough and that God is mad at me and I’m doing things “halfheartedly” or “my way” instead of what He wants.

I think this is probably scrupulosity. I’ve been consumed by doubts about everything and fears that I’m doing everything wrong and will go to hell for it. But I’m scared, that what if it is God sending these thoughts, and not acting on them/wanting to act on them is a sign I’m a terrible and selfish person? I think at this point I’m scared of God more than I love Him.

Does anyone have any advice or reassurance? Also, can you pray for me please?

This sounds like a lot of anxious fantasizing, and I don’t day that to belittle you. Trust your doctors in what they say medically. Beyond that, please discuss your anxieties with a priest, if possible.


I’m so sorry you’re struggling. Please talk to a doctor, and a Priest. They will be able to help you.

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Not all are called to the life of a religious. It does not mean there is lack of love for God.


1600 Life in the Holy Spirit fulfills the vocation of man ( chapter one ). This life is made up of divine charity and human solidarity ( chapter two ). It is graciously offered as salvation ( chapter three ).

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Many years ago, there was a saying among religious (people who belong to an Order or Congregation) that God does not give a religious vocation to those who – for whatever reason – are unable to follow that way of life. Considering that you are housebound, with a chronic illness, it would be considered unlikely that God wants you to be a nun – not while you are ill, at least.

I feel it would be better for you to put that notion aside, and focus on getting well.

It is a mistake to think that the only way you can be a good person – or do something worthwhile – is to become a nun. You can be a good person simply by loving God, and by expressing this love, not through prayer and worship only, but by kindness towards your family, and towards those who are there to help you. Also, and this might seem strange, you need to be kind towards yourself. You need to accept that you are a person of worth; a person loved – not only by God – but by those around you. Be merciful to yourself; and trust in the One who is Mercy itself.

Remember the parable of the widow’s mite. It was but a small offering in the eyes of the world, but it was all she possessed; and this made her offering great in the eyes of God. Give of yourself all that you can bear – no matter how little – and that will be more that enough for Him, I can promise you that.

My God bless you, and give you both happiness and peace of mind.

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I have chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia myself. I was told by a pain management specialist to get a daily nap of at least 30 minutes, and two hours of recreation. My recreation was shutting myself away under headphones with the Zune on random selection.

I also began taking Magnesium Malate. The malic acid helps the fibro.

I was beginning to get better, then hubby had his seizure. Then I was driving him for six months. Then I had a wreck, (Millenial with revoked license blew intersection) totaling one car. Back to square one.

I would highly recommend meditation on the Sacred Passion. If you’re still physically a virgin, you can be a Consecrated Virgin in the world. Third Orders, oblatures, lay associations, and secular institutes are open to you, as well. Have communion brought in to you. If the priest brings it, have confession, as well. Do online adoration: Honor the hour of Divine Mercy (3 to 4 pm) by praying the Divine Mercy chaplet and rosary within that timeframe, if possible.

Exercise is always recommended. Walk for 30 minutes to warm up, then do gentle muscle stretches. Be sure to cool off with more gentle exercises.

Mrs Cloisters OP
Lay Dominican

Thank you, I’ll consider these things

I’m not sure if I could become a consecrated virgin? (I’ve never had sex with someone else, but I’ve done certain things on my own that I’m not proud of. not to be crass)

What’s an oblature? Google is being surprisingly unhelpful

As long as you are physically intact, you’d qualify.

Oblature is an offering of self to God, and affiliating with a particular monastery, usually of Benedictine spirituality. You’d work with the Oblate director on a schedule for yourself.

The intrusive and compulsive thoughts are indeed likely part of your anxiety/OCD/scruples and that needs care of a mental health professional and your local pastor/spiritual director. These are obsessive thoughts and need treatment. This isn’t a DIY situation, please talk to your therapist.

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What does that mean, though? I thought virginity was a spiritual thing

Physical virginity means never having had relations with a man (or woman, if a male). There is such a thing as “second virginity” where a person is a “penitent” and keeps chaste for the sake of the kingdom after a life of promiscuity.

Your Diocese has a Vocations director (one for men, one for women). Call them, make an appointment to talk to them.

Get involved with some Young Adult events through your Diocese.

Pray, sure will.

I hope I can be of some counsel to you. When I was around your age (that has been 40 years ago), I experienced similar promptings about the priesthood. My first advice is to take it to a competent, orthodox, holy Catholic priest. I did this and he flatly told me that he did not think I had a vocation. I should have listened to him and let it go at that. Instead, I continued to agonize over it, and if I have to say it, it has only been in recent years — since the birth of my son — that I have been fully at peace about it.

Some things to consider:

  • Is it something you want to do? Of course, for the believer, “what I want” is not the end of the line, but it’s a pretty strong indicator. Would God prompt you to a life that you would only resent continually?

  • There could be an OCD/scrupulosity component. Again, take this to your priest. Bring up the possibility if he doesn’t.

  • You mention an illness. Take care of yourself. God wants us to do that.

You are fine. God is in charge of all this. Be well.

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