Here’s Your Label, Ma’am

What’s your label? Are you obsessive, anxious, depressed? What about the “technical” label? Do you suffer from Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, OCD (religious, relationship, sexual, et al), BPD, maybe even Psychosis??

I get the need to label things. If you know what’s “wrong”, you then know how to “fix” it. But what if labeling things does more harm than good? Some traits of mental illness aren’t all bad. What if you try to fix what doesn’t need fixing?

I’ve been ruminating on my “character flaws” and wondering which are actually bad and which are acceptable. It’s not feasible to want to change everything, especially not all at once, so that’s why I need to determine what I can “live with”.

Currently I actually find it pretty acceptable that when I receive praise from my clients, I subsequently feel a lot of guilt, and the compulsion to pray. The only reason I find this acceptable is that it is not a dire issue. I feel this “quirk” keeps me humble, and I didn’t even recognize it as anything but my own personal…”thing”, until examining things I do that maybe are not so normal. It, unfortunately, does happen on a regular basis, but I think the exposure may naturally help me to deal with it. Well, it will either get worse naturally, or better. I want to hope better. I am not subconsciously sabotaging my work to avoid praise, so that tells me I can handle it on some level.

I know starting prayers over is an issue that will eventually need to be fixed…but it’s a “not right away” issue. It’s not distressing. I’m guessing it’s because I’ve done so since being young, so it’s no big deal anymore. It’s “old hat” as I like to say.

I am not sure what I do want to fix, or what I can fix. I would like to be able to “think” about God’s love (more than a fleeting thought or consideration) without it bringing about a panic attack and tears. And yeah, I know that one is a hot mess that’s hard to explain…and I worry I won’t be able to fix it because I don’t exactly feel comfortable talking about it. I don’t like admitting it’s an issue, at least out loud to another human being. But perhaps I can learn a technique for something else I can apply to this issue, or at least, that is my hope.

I think the most pressing thing I need to tackle are my thoughts when I attend church and the time following (and all the time in between?). I feel like I want to avoid going because I sit there and feel tortured half the time, when all I want is to sit and listen/learn and…be. The thing is, I actually enjoy going, and I very much enjoy the actual sermon, but it’s just…distressing.

All told, there are a handful of “issues” I need to fix, whether they are related to OCD, specifically scrupulosity or whatever you want to label it, or not. They need to be addressed and worked on. The label just helps in a general sense, I suppose, to know what helps others lumped into that same category. I admit, I have love-hate feeling towards labels. I like knowing, but hate being labeled. I feel like I don’t fit in a neat little “box” of these list of symptoms XYZ. I also feel like not everything that is considered a symptom is actually bad. If I’m not harming anyone at all, in any way, then what is the ultimate problem with something if it’s not distressing to me personally? Just because it isn’t “normal”?

I want to invent my own label, truth be told. And perhaps I will. I am creative enough to come up with something. Hopefully I don’t obsess over it. Ha. Likely will, likely will.

Down the rabbit hole we go.

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