Attempting to Be Social

As I’ve written in past posts, like this and this, I’ve spoken about how I’ve really struggled with socializing as an adult.

The older I get the fewer friends I have. It is partly because I have lost touch with friends I rarely see, got rid of toxic people and changed jobs two years ago. Now I would say I have 2 solid friends (maybe).

This morning my gas tank was on empty so naturally I went to fill up at the cheapest gas station. On my way I saw a sign for a cat cafe that will be opening soon! I was overjoyed because I love cats. The closest cat cafe is 30 minutes away so it’s not the most convenient.

I said to myself, “I could volunteer there. I could do that.”

So I emailed the place, submitted a volunteer application and will be attending their training this Saturday.

Working at a non-profit full time, I don’t often volunteer. I work with the volunteers that come to my work but I haven’t volunteered with a charity in a really long time. Going through so many ups and downs in my mental health discouraged me from doing anything outside my realm of comfort.

After working all of that out, I’m slightly anxious. Diverting from my normal routine scares me. It makes me uncomfortable when I have to do something different or when I have to be in a new setting. I’ve always had trouble with change even if it’s something small.

I’m going to give it a shot though. I think it would be good for me to get out of the house and maybe make a new crazy cat lady friend. Even if I don’t make a friend, I love cats so I will always have their company.

Do you have any tricks to help you through the anxiety of change?

All My Molehills Are Mountains

There is some saying somewhere about not making mountains out of molehills. I think that’s supposed to mean that we shouldn’t turn small things into big ones.

It’s this desire to be perfect that makes me so hard on myself about every little thing that I do. In my previous post about perfectionism I talk about how I want to be perfect in my character and the general things that I do each day. I don’t want to misspeak, make errors or make somebody upset with me.

The main goal is to never disappoint or upset anybody. Especially the people I care about the most, my family, boyfriend and friends.

Early this morning I heard my cat get sick (yuck) but I really didn’t want to get up to clean it. My mom ended up being the one to clean it since she’s the first up most mornings. I felt so guilty all morning that I didn’t just get up to clean it so she didn’t have one more thing on her plate today.

As a good person I should have got up! I should have been a compassionate daughter who got up to clean the throw up so she didn’t have to. It was totally selfish of me.

I was raised in the Christian faith where I had it drilled into my head that everyone else was more important than me. That doing selfish things wasn’t what Jesus would have done. That Jesus would have cleaned up the puke for Mary instead of going back to sleep.

I was taught to always be nice to people, to make others happy even if you’re not. That helping others made God happy which is what my life was supposed to revolve around.

I lost my faith in late 2012 and tried for many years to believe in Christianity again. I couldn’t do it. Now I identify as a skeptic. I’m open to the possibility that there is a greater being making the world work but I’m also open to there not being anybody out there at all.

This post is giving me a lot of insight into my own psyche. I think the perfection comes from the unattainable standards that Christianity set for me. Even in church and college (I went to a Christian university), people told me that we would never measure up to those standards but that we should try to anyway.

I think my anxiety clings on to the idea that I should serve myself last so that I can put God and others before me.  My anxiety says that any time I upset someone or act selfishly that I am a failure because it goes against how I was trained to think.

If there’s any other formerly religious people (of any religion, there’s a lot of similar teachings in a lot of them) reading this, what are your thoughts? What was your experiencing as you had to rewire your thought process after dismissing religion?

I plan to make a separate blog post detailing about losing my faith and the journey that I went through to try and find it again.