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Q. I just do not know why I do the things I do.
I just feel like I do not know who I am, and
I am the worst monster. I have to discover some joy in my life!

A. Remember that, at its root, scrupulosity is an emotional disorder. It exaggerates the bad and conveniently explains away the good. As a result, any little error seems to be catastrophic and any good feeling just one more sign of what you think is your unworthiness. This is a disorder, a sickness. It reflects only a small part of your life. Remember, there is also joy even in the midst of great suffering. I urge you to train yourself to pay attention to happiness and the good. Don’t give all your energy to the sorrow and the difficult. You can do it, one day at a time.

Q. At work I had some brown clay and put
it on my desk so that it looked like poop.
I removed it almost as quickly as I put it there but now, when I remember it, I wonder if I committed a grave sin.

A. You didn’t commit a sin of any kind. Your action may have been adolescent, but at least some of your coworkers might have thought it was funny. I suggest you see what you did as inappropriate humor, not a sin. I fear you think your action was sinful not because it’s adolescent or inappropriate but because you formed the clay to look like poop, which emerges from the body. Your difficulty seems to come from your belief that any sexual or off-color human action must somehow be sinful.

Published inSA Mailbox