You folks are good people, so perhaps you can give me some advice.
It has come to my attention recently that I have been, in the words of my friends, "acting like an asshole" of late and I agree with them. The last few weeks, not a day has gone by where I haven't pissed someone off because I was thinking only about myself or because I failed to ask a simple question.
It's not like this is new. My friends and are are quick to point out that is my MO and has been for many, many years. I try and change. I try and ask but it usually only lasts a week or so before I fall back into the same problems. These past few weeks have been trying on a personal level which is why my behavior has gone from "annoying to assholeish" as one of my friends has put it.
Just to give a quick rundown of the last few weeks, basically the entire month of April, and what's happening:
1. Have decided to convert to Catholicism from being a Baptist. This represents a huge change for me and has made things with my family very, very ... awkward, to say the least. The last person in my family to leave the Baptist faith was exiled to Tennessee and that side of the family never shows up at family reunions anymore. It was many decades ago but that's how steeped in the Baptist faith my family is. Both my parents are heavily involved in our local Baptist church: my father's a deacon, and my mother is a preschool teacher there. All my siblings are heavily involved as well but the last few years I have grown spiritually weaker, if not dead all together, and I find myself not really caring anymore.
I want to care. It's not a matter of "Does God exist" so much of "He exists, but I feel like I'm on hold perpetually and I can't reach him" type thing. I believe in God. I don't believe the Baptist way is the way for me and after extensive research, Catholicism is the choice: they have plenty of rules and regulations, which as a military brat I'm more than comfortable in. I like structure.
But as you can imagine, this has put a lot of stress on me ... breaking away from the family on this, of all things, is proving to be very difficult.
2. I'm depressed. It's not merely a self-observation, it's one that my friends have been making for months and it finally came to a head towards the end of March where I needed to get some help. I've been searching the local area for a psychiatrist, someone to help with meds because talking it out hasn't worked at all. The thoughts still persist, the behavior still remains. I don't want to go out and do things. I'd rather stay in my room and avoid everyone if I could, simply because it seems I can do no right outside my room.
So, I've been searching for help in that area and I have yet to find one that I feel can help. It's getting to the point where I may just need to pick one and hope it works, but I need help. That's not debatable.
3. I was going to be heading back to school in the fall after a two year break to get my health in order, but with the impending conversion to Catholicism and my current mental health issues (I hate, HATE to type that), I'm in no position to attempt a college workload. My parents were going to be helping me out but the conversion thing has put a major damper on that ... they are non-committal at this point. So, that's happening.
So, all that said, I've been meeting with a Priest (a pretty cool guy, I must say) to help educate me on the Catholic faith and help me with the transition, at least before the class starts up in a few months. At our last meeting, as I was outlying my recent ability to seemingly piss people off no matter what, he made two very hard to swallow points:
1. My pride, my biggest flaw, is getting in the way of me asking people for help, of me asking in general. He's right on this, I HATE asking for help. Most of the things I need help with I did to myself ... in my mind, if I broke it I should fix it. No one else should have to waste time trying, but this is not how I should go about things.
2. That my other two big flaws, my extremism (I tend to see things in Black and White, Right or Wrong, ect.) and my stubbornness (I am unholy levels of stubborn) are part of my personality and likely won't change as I get older. Mellow out, maybe, but change? No, according to the priest.
My pride has kicked in for number two: I can't change? I used to think that about my body, about my physical health, but I did it. I changed it for the better. Why can't I change my personalty for the better? Why can't I mold myself into a person who asks and is considerate of others?
I want to learn how. I want to be able to say I can change those parts of myself, but they've been part of me so long (like, from day one) that I find it hard to imagine any way to go about it.
Which is what brings me to you good people.
How do I learn how to ask? How do I train myself to be more considerate of others, to think of other people and how my actions affect them?
Any and all thoughts, advice, comments, ect. are welcome. Thank you in advance.