Mental illness is real. SO REAL. And sometimes it bothers me we don't talk about it enough.
Nearly one in five people suffer from a mental illness...
So why are we trying to cover them up?
Why are those that have them so ashamed?
Why does our society label those with them as "broken" or "weak"?
I don't have answers to those questions, but I feel it's important we talk about it more. I think these questions are great for pondering whether you have a mental illness or not. Because I wish to be the change I see in the world, and talking about mental illness needs to be changed, especially in our LDS culture, I'm going to start the conversation.
I have a mental illness, in fact I have a few. Sometimes I forget I have one, and other times it's the only thing on my mind. Sometimes I try to fight it or push it aside, other times I accept it and embrace it because I know without a doubt I agreed to them in Heaven, before coming to earth. No, I didn't do anything wrong. No, they aren't a punishment. I like to think of my mental illness as a blessing. In fact, let me name a few reasons why.
10 Reasons I love my Mental Illnesses.....
1. When I'm having a good day, I love it that much more. I make the absolute most of my good days and I cherish them with my whole heart. You can't know joy without sadness.
2. I have more gaps in my life, giving me more of a constant reminder that I have great need for the Savior and the atonement in my life.
3. It keeps me humble. Because I am constantly reminded of how imperfect I am, I can remember that other people aren't perfect either and we are all on the journey together.
4. It's a constant opportunity to rely on God, my mental illness saved my testimony at one time.
5. It puts life in such a beautiful perspective in the moments it stops raining.
6. It gives me a desire to help others, love others, care for others, and listen to others because I know how much I need it at times.
7. When I'm having a weak moment, it gives me greater purpose in prayer. Allowing my faith to grow as I trust my Savior's healing ability with all my heart, might, mind, and soul.
8. I have a strong ability to release emotions, acknowledge my emotions, and embrace them all as they come and go. Emotions are apart of life, they come from Heavenly Father and they help us find answers to some of our most important questions.
9. I have had the opportunity of witnessing God's hand in my life when I needed Him most, He has eased my worried heart more times than I can count.
10. I don't have much of a choice but to embrace change. Change is hard and uncomfortable, but change is constant with a mental illness, so I learn to not worry about it and put my faith in Christ while I enjoy the ride.
I love this YouTube clip, I love that line that says... "Know your mental illness, and do something about it." Don't try to cover or bury your mental illness. You have no need to be ashamed, and if any one ever makes you feel that way, they aren't a right fit for your life at this time, and that's okay. You are enough with or without a mental illness! Christ doesn't just feel some of the gaps, he fills all of the gaps. While you may be in pain, and relief won't come as quickly or instantaneously as you wish, it will come. In the meantime, allow your mental illness to teach you something! I am a strong believer that trials are our greatest blessings and healing comes after the tears.
If you have a mental illness, and you would like someone to relate to or talk about it with, I would be happy to talk with you. I am not a psychologist. But I am a daughter of God who has found hope and healing the in the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I wouldn't be able to get through it any other way than through the gospel. The atonement, faith, prayer, scriptures, and my Heavenly Father is what gives me hope on a daily basis. Comment below or email me if you have any questions or think I can help you in some way! We are all in this together. :)
Also, this talk is a MUST read - Like a Broken Vessel