Letâ€™s face it, mental illness is part of a lot of peopleâ€™s everyday lives. They do their best to cope with it, either at work or at home. But one thing is for sure, it is far from being easy. Iâ€™ve been there! Itâ€™s not a question of lacking faith, or laziness or whether you come from a poor or rich family. Mental illness touches everyone. And it can come when you least expect it.
It doesnâ€™t mean you did something to deserve it, or that you are weak. It simply means, you are human and in todayâ€™s world, having to deal with all the negative that surrounds us, all the bills to pay, all the pressure, the lack of money, not knowing if youâ€™ll ever get out of debt or finally become healthy. It can become very hard for anyone to deal with all of that and sometimes, you just fall into that hole. You know the dark place that no one really wants to talk about!
For some itâ€™s a question of weakness and talking about it is out of the question.
For others, it is a very taboo subject. They feel incredibly ashamed of themselves and they surely do not want to be judge or even worse, for someone to preach to them in a condescending way.
You know when you are having a hard time, you battle the enemy as hard as you possibly can, you pray, you kneel down and just beg Him to take everything because you just canâ€™t anymore, and then that â€œfriend” who has it easier than you, tells you that you need to be patient and all will be fine…
Right then and there, thereâ€™s an explosion in your head and you want to scream!!!
That dear friend doesnâ€™t really know what else to tell you, understandably! Â Itâ€™s not easy for them either. Â But you know itâ€™s making things worse, not better.
Those little tiny things can make you go down even more. You then hear more and more voices in your head, telling you to do this or that. You have difficulty hearing Godâ€™s voice, and it sadly seems to be getting a lot more difficult to hear Him. And the enemy is there, always, waiting for the right moment to attack!
That story is about your friend. Itâ€™s about mine too. It can also be my story or yours. But this story is repeated millions of times by people just like me and you, all around the world.
Itâ€™s not easy trying to confront human misery. Itâ€™s even harder when that misery is close to you or part of you. Holding on and asking others to pray for you when you donâ€™t have the energy or the will to do so, will allow God to intervene. Do not throw the towel! Rather, hold on to it as if it were a lifeboat on its way to calmer waters.
You can overcome the darkness. Itâ€™s not easy. In fact, itâ€™s extremely hard. And sadly, not all people will overcome it, but many will and they will come out stronger and victorious on the other side. In the meantime, I suggest we should stop with the smart remarks, the judgmental smirk or that â€œeye rolling” when we see our friend is still struggling even if itâ€™s been a while and even if we were able to get through our hard times really fast! The worst thing we can do when somebody is struggling, is to tell them how our life is just so great by saying that we got our new boat, we sold our car in less than a day, we got a buyer for our house, we are going on our fifth vacation this year and we won the lottery…while our friend is struggling in all aspects of her or his life! Come on….weâ€™ve all done it! We have all at one point or another, been careless and damage was done!
We need to be careful and just watch our tongue. Not all things are worth saying. Jesus tells us we need to think twice before we speak. Instead, we just might give our friend a hug, a gentle touch, a smile and tell them we can pray with them. If they want to talk, listen or respect if they do not.
Pray, pray and pray for them. Pray for that person to beat the enemyâ€™s schemes. Pray for God to intervene and fast. Pray they get clarity of mind. Pray for the hope of a better life. Pray for joy. They sure need it.
Mental health is not always about the others. It involves you and me. It can be about you and me. The struggles are part of the story and if we take time to listen to the nonspoken words, if we listen with our heart and not always our brain, we can be inspired by those beautiful people, by their pain, by their struggles and wonderful victories, big or small. We have a lot to gain by loving people with the same love, God loves us with!