At this point, I can’t really remember what I have and haven’t said on the blog regarding scrupulosity and my experiences. I also wrote an entire book basically on this subject, so there’s that as well. But I have been asked to once again discuss my experiences, so if I repeat, I apologize. Here goes.
Do What They Say
I had scrupulosity growing up but didn’t know it. I read the scriptures about people repenting and thought that it sounded a lot easier to just not do bad things than have to repent later, so I tried to be really good all the time.
While this made life so easy for my parents, it reinforced my OCD. I wasn’t going to swear, cheat, do drugs, drink, smoke, have sex, whatever. I didn’t even have a boyfriend in high school. I went to church. I went to seminary. I read my scriptures and prayed. Why? Because that was what I had been taught to do, and I did what I was taught to do because I wanted to go to heaven. I didn’t want to have to meet with the bishop and repent.
But, like I said in my book, college brought new friends and new opportunities to explore my identity and my world. I watched R-rated movies. I got a boyfriend. But I still did most big things as the Church instructed.
In fact, for about 35 years I have done what the church told me to do. I accepted callings, went visit teaching, served a mission, had kids, got married in the temple, went to the temple regularly, kept the Word of Wisdom, and all the rest. Because I was a good person and had scrupulosity.
But then I went to therapy. I learned that it was all part of my OCD. I didn’t have to kill myself for church. It was something my OCD wanted me to do.
Some Produce and Some Change
During this time, I went to the local Farmer’s Market, bought some produce, and received my cash change. We sat down by the playground so the kids could play. And then I started wondering if I had been given the correct change. What bill had I used? A ten or a twenty? Did he give me the change for a twenty when I only gave him a ten? What do I do?
This, weirdly enough, was a turning point in my life. I agonized in my head over what I should do to be “honest.” But then I started to think about my therapist. What would he do? And what would be the consequences of my actions?
One of the things I (my OCD) thought was “If you aren’t honest, then you won’t be able to get to the Celestial Kingdom!” But therapy-mind said, “but maybe there is nothing to be honest about. Maybe you did get the correct change.”
And eventually I arrived at a middle road that has changed my entire life. I thought, “maybe it’s okay if I don’t get into the Celestial Kingdom.”
My Own Path
This one simple thought changed everything. I was killing myself to try and be perfect in order to live up to all of these standards when maybe that’s not really what I wanted in the first place (or last place, as it were).
Now I evaluate my choices personally, as a living breathing individual. I take into account my personality, my needs, my family, and my life. I do what is healthy for me and my mental health. I analyze and think through things that used to be easy choices because “the church” had already made them for me. And sometimes I make the same choice as “the church” but other times I don’t. I don’t. And I say, “maybe it’s okay if I don’t get into the Celestial Kingdom.”
And I keep living my life.