I hate mental illness! It doesn’t matter what form it comes in – depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc. It lingers like an unwanted relative awaiting your big payout to come and then cash in. It lurks in the darkness ready to strike out and attack at your weakest moment. Mental illness sucks!
There are those who say, “Get a grip!” or “Just get over it.” It’s not always that easy. Depending on the condition or attrition of the illness it can be very damaging to everything you hold dear – particularly relationships. See, getting a grip can be challenging and just getting over it impossible.
There are many of whom I’ve spoken to in groups who share experiences; from
not being able to focus to not being able to leave their home. Dreams, nightmares, reoccurring thoughts, fits of anger, and the like plague many; not just my fellow veterans. Rape victims, those who were in car accidents and survivors of other traumatic events are a part of this population. Trauma can and have caused such debilitating circumstances to occur.
I’ve also had the awesome opportunity to speak with those who love and care for people who have mental illness. Man, the sacrifice, the pain, the frustration they feel and the love that covers it all. No one knows about that life like they do. Loved ones and caregivers see what’s behind door # 1, 2, and 3. And at times they want to trade it in for the envelope hoping it’s a plane ticket anywhere. But, in spite of it all their love prevails.
I realize that there is no quick fix. One thing I do know is that despite the diagnosis (and I think I talked about this before) God is ready to help. His love covers everything. I never have to fear that He’s going to walk out or file for divorce. He won’t ignore me or even yell at me. He loves me through it. “So where was He when….?” Yeah, I know that question well. “Why did He allow ….to happen to me?” That one too. It’s been said that such experiences build character, resolve, and toughens you up. That maybe, but too many put on the “tough guy” or “strong woman” facade when deep down they’re broken.
But I’m reminded over the weekend that God will be and is with us. He never said we wouldn’t go through situations, trauma, etc. In fact, the scripture says,
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33 KJV)
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] (John 16:33 The Amplified Bible
Now honestly I don’t always understand nor am I always confident (at least not in myself). I am, however, confident in this one thing, “He who has begun a good work” in me “shall complete it.” This is a process. I fight for it. And though I tire of the the battle at time, hate the conditions, and don’t always feel life fighting, I know that in the end- if I don’t quit – I’m victorious. Well, actually I’m victorious now. Not because of me but because of Christ.
And so, the fight continues. I strive to win every battle, run the race, and work out my soul’s salvation and I do it in the midst of feeling less than, in the midst of feeling like giving up, in the midst of being perplexed, and the list goes on. David said,
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies… (Psalm 23:5a)
The table is for me and my haters get to look on. What?! Hey, guess what? The food isn’t bad either. I don’t have to watch my weight or how much I eat. (lol) Anyone can come and dine at this table. There are some delicacies too. Hmm. But, I will eat my portion for this moment. And when I get hungry, and I will, I will eat some more. God’s buffet is the best ever!
So what about mental illness you started ranting about? There’s something special just for that. I feed on the positive and starve the negative. At least I try. Remember, this is work. Better yet, it’s war. If I could really tell you what goes on in a given day in my head you’d be like … WHOA! My comments are true … I HATE MENTAL ILLNESS. I’ve seen first hand how it destroys. But I’ve also seen how people have gotten through it.