The Catholic Church Has Its Hooks In Me.I'm not a lapsed Catholic, I'm a trapped Catholic. I am miserable and anxious when I try to practice Catholicism. I feel like I will fail my children if I bring them up in Catholicism. I have been disenchanted with the Church for something dumb like 9 years. The time I have spent unhappy as a Catholic is several times longer than the time I spent happy there.
But I can. Not. Leave.
I grew up as an Episcopalian, in a pretty liberal but nominally religious family. I became conservative, traditional, and super religious as a teenager, then converted to Catholicism in an uber-traditional parish. By 2 or 3 years later, my problems had begun. I realized I wasn't that conservative, unquestioning person I tried to become. I finally separated from the church and spent 2 years happily practicing as an Episcopalian. But the Church drew me back. I returned to Catholicism and became miserable. I dreaded going to church, but went every week, just like I was supposed to.
Six months ago, I started on antidepressants. That cleared my mind enough that I was able to resume my practice with thr Episcopalians. But now, the draw to Catholicism is grabbing me again, more forcefully than ever. I can't go long without thinking about it. I torture myself by listening to Catholic radio. I scour websites and forums for answers and hungrily read all the articles about how anyone who chooses the Church and then leaves it has no chance of salvation. I went to Mass yesterday in secret and told no one because I knew it was bad for me. I was deeply depresed for the rest of the day.
I am afraid I will always be this way. It has already been 9 years; if I haven't sorted this out by now, how will I ever? I feel very strongly that I would be much happier as an Episcopalian, but I can't make that oficial break. I am too scared. Scared of changing my mind again. Scared I will reach my death bed and regret it. Scared I will die and realize I had the chance to be saved and threw it all away. Scared of hell.
What do I do?