Horrible feelings in church

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.


The best churches suited for mentally ill people are

  • Russian,Ukrainian, Greek Orthodox
  • Roman Catholic
  • Presbyterian

Reason - Very few social interaction goes on at these churches. You just sit down and listen to the sermon/mass. :church:

source: internet

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I don’t try to hide my sz. Once, when talking about the state hospital, I said “Been there , done that.”
It is twice the effort to try to hide it. And a lot of people will sense it anyway. You’re not that big a secret.

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I used to got to unitarian churches. They are the most kind, liberal and caring people. I hope you don`t give up on that. It almost sounds like that lady wanted to talk to you. Did she ask why you felt that way? I hope you keep trying. Sounds like you are trying to feed your spirtual side. Good for youX

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I grew up as a Unitarian going to the Unitarian church with my family from when I was in fourth grade until I was in my late twenties. You’ll find jerks everywhere but generally our congregation was liberal, socially conscious, open minded, and tolerant. And most of the people were nice. They were my families friends, we saw them frequently socially and I did yard work for more than a dozen of them for many years. I got sick in 1980 when I was 19. None of the people rejected me or treated me any different other than being even nicer than usual. In fact when I was in my first group home I freaked out one night and walked several miles across town. I was in bad shape mentally and I called my parents and they called some of our church friends who lived nearby to pick me up and bring me to our friends house. I was really dirty and my feet stank because I was barefoot and I walked in water and then layed out in the sun than walked barefoot a few miles, the soles of my feet were literally rotting. But our friends took me in and fed me and let me take a shower. Then they let me sleep in the guest bedroom.I refused at first because the shower didn’t stop my feet from smelling and I didn’t want to dirty their spotless bed but they said, " Don’t worry about it". Anyway I have a few similar stories. The people at Unitarian churches are probably nice people who are not doing anything wrong but you are probably shooting yourself in the foot and the problem may be your own fault. They probably want to welcome you and get to know you but you may be stand-offish. I’m not saying you should give up and quit. I’m saying quite the opposite.But it just may simplify things to know that you are in control and in the drivers seat. Most church people I find have the best intentions. Like I said before there are jerks anywhere you go but this is not a bar or not school, this is CHURCH. People go to socialize and worship with other people (Chordy spoiled that word for me). They don’t want trouble or hassle they want peace and to be around other friendly people.'What you have to understand is that what I learned in AA when I joined in1990 is often true in church too. They told me in AA, " We will love you until you learn to love yourself". These people are giving you a fair chance.

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The Unitarian Church is almost the only one I’ve ever liked, trusted enough to almost go to. The Unitarian’s up here have a supreme food bank and they really helped me when I was homeless.

I couldn’t do as much in the church as others, but I could be in the back on off days and unload food donations and bag groceries for the food bank. It might not have been glamourous… but someone has to bag groceries for hand out when people need food.

See if there is some behind the scenes work the will help.

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i think you have been very, very brave doing that so i just wanted to say well done to you for trying.

if you cant go because you feel unwell then you cant go, as i have done myself, i have left it 3-4 weeks once but i started feeling bad that i hadnt gone and then i went again and i was glad i went back.

also it takes time to feel the real benefits from going and becoming comfortable with people, after time you get to know people and they all start to care about you, its good having all those people looking out for you like that.

also i have found that honesty really helps and when you start to open up people will really empathise with you, like i had trouble like you telling people about my mental illness but they were asking what i was doing etc so i told them and it made me feel better,

i didnt tell them what my mental illness was but i did tell them it was a serious mental illness and that led to another conversation about this person i was talking to who had a son with bipolar and it was interesting to hear someone elses struggles from his point of view, i think you will find a lot of people who know someone who has a mental illness whether it serious or not.

i hope this helps, i go to an evangelical church and i dont really know what a unitarian church is but it is still a christian church i guess and yes it is a meeting place for the community you live to share something in common and talk about their lives and help each other and the world, (they say the church is not the building, it is the people that attend that building) they are what make the church and they really want people to go.

the church has suffered so much lately, lots of old ones closing down and getting converted and the next generation…i’ve gone on too much, sorry for blabbing, i just want you to know that you are always welcome and so is anyone who wants to go, god wants us to join him, he wants to give us love and life everlasting, take care x

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