I began attending a Unitarian church last year. The first day that I went, I felt like a square peg in a round hole. Later , I realized that I felt like I didn’t have a right to be there. I corrected myself. Everybody has a right to be in church.
After the service, there’s a social gathering. Unless someone approached me, I’d be frozen. I did okay if someone started a conversation, but felt like too much of an outlander to start a conversation myself.
I wasn’t attending for months due to work. When I started going back, the sermons were about service to human need. The church isn’t about God or Jesus, but about being a community and helping people. I began to look at myself. All my focus is struggling with my mental problems, self-absorbed. I haven’t done anything to help someone else. I felt that with all my problems, that I could never come close to measuring up to that. The past 3 times I went, I left feeling terrible. I don’t really belong there.
The last time, I left the meeting room feeling awful. A woman approached me, she said that she felt tears coming from me. That was kind. But I couldn’t tell her what was on my mind. I merely said, “It’s difficult to feel connected to people when there’s something about me that separates me from the rest of the world.” If I told them about my mental illness, either they’d be ignorant, or I’d be too embarrassed to ever return. But, I always feel separated from the others because of it.
Last time, I considered maybe not going to church anymore. If it’s causing me to feel bad, maybe it’s best. Yet, right now, the problem lies in my head, not with that church. I dunno. I can never really fully participate in the church’s activities. Well, I have to find peace with myself first I guess.