Recovering Catholic

sent in by Lynne

I'm a person who chose to be a devout Catholic. My parents took me to church, had me make all the sacraments (except the nunhood of course), but I chose to absorb the religion into my being. (they were not particularly religious)

This is the hardest part for me - I have had cognitive dissonance with Catholicism for 15 years now, but I just realized I am finally now in recovery. The effects of being a die-hard Catholic are still plaguing me - even though I quit going to church 15 yrs. ago. My big issues that still haunt me are: feeling guilty for silly reasons, a neurotic desire to help the needy, a huge fear of conflict and expressing anger, being sicky sweet to people, but inside highly judgmental of them (my biggest regret), and thinking mundane things are immoral. Unfortunately, all this greatly hindered my social skills (as you can imagine), and this caused me to suffer clinical depression on and off for years. I recently decided to go to the root of my problems that were causing the depression, and realized they stemmed from my "Catholic personality."

I have great hope for the future that I will recover from this religion. I found a young woman's website who wrote her own personal "12 step program for Catholics Anonymous." It was brilliant. I tweaked it some to fit my own situation, but already it has helped me. I will work on the steps with my therapist, since my city does not have a Catholics Anonymous meeting anywhere. I highly suggest people who were "addicted" (and I believe I truly was) to religion to write their own 12 step program. AA works for so many people, and I really think a program like that will help me.

New York
Joined: technically, 5 months (baptism)
Left: 26
Was: Catholic
Now: agnostic, recovering Catholic
Converted because: thought it was the right thing to do
De-converted because: it made a mess of my life

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