Many of us former Christian Scientists talk about the many stupid little habits or thought patterns that frame aspects of our lives that come from our time in Christian Science. Perfectionism is one of the big ones–for some, including myself at times, it gets so bad that we’ll waste inordinate amounts of time perfecting even the smallest detail of whatever task we’re working on, even if it really doesn’t matter that every single ‘i’ is dotted or ‘t’ crossed.
As I commented on a thread in a Facebook group, I was reminded of another stupid thought process that I and many others still deal with: feeling guilty when I call in sick to work. Often, when I call in sick, I feel a weird sense of guilt–like I’m doing something wrong, or I’ve screwed something up somehow. It’s stupid, I know. I’m human; I get sick. It’s a part of life, and every normal person knows that. However, a lifetime of having “sickness is not real, it’s an illusion of error or mortal mind…” drilled into me, makes me unable to accept the naturalness of simply being sick.
My employer doesn’t care. They know that being sick is part of life. That’s why we have sick days. Now, if I’m out more than three days, I need a doctor’s note, but there’s nothing wrong with that. I work at a front-line social services agency, and honestly, I’m not doing anybody any favours by coming in to work sick. Many of our clientele live on the streets and/or deal with addictions–all factors that contribute to compromised immune systems. The last thing any of them need is for me to give them the flu because I was trying to ‘demonstrate’ that sickness is some sort of mortal illusion! If I’m sick, my employer wants me to stay home, rest, and look after myself, and not pass anything contagious to others. That’s just best practice in life.
Deep down, I know there is nothing wrong with being sick; I know I haven’t done anything wrong by being sick and staying home; and I’m not screwing my employer. But, I just can’t help these stupid thoughts sometimes. Thanks a lot, Christian Science!