Raw & Real: Sometimes, I have this overwhelming, very human urge to strangle ignorant individuals, but I quickly remember to breathe and save myself from some jail time. After all, I've been an ignorant individual in my lifetime too. Whether through a lack of knowledge, lack of wisdom, lack of communication, I've no doubt others have wanted to strangle me too. Fortunately, they all breathed, and saved themselves jail time as well. :)
The more study and real life recovery that I do, the greater I grasp how this psychological wound from childhood drives so much of what has happened in my life. Without this knowledge there would be no recovery for me, I'd not have known what needed to be addressed and recovered from at the Neurological, the brain, level.
"My Mental Health Challenges are not from a lack of relationship with God nor from a lack of seeking Him in all things. My Mental Health challenges are the result of a psychological injury in childhood that causes unconscious responses in Adulthood at the neurological (brain) level. Without my relationship with the Lord I'd have never left the bed." Linda Meredith
Back to the feeling like strangling situation. More often then not I don't feel a need to strangle anyone. However, when someone gets all up in my face that my mental health challenges will be solved if I just seek God, or return to making God the centre of my life, the centre of my decision making process, and at the time I'm being raw and real with them that I'm triggered and have no control over being overly emotional, well, I guess they might like to give thanks that I do have a healthy relationship with the Lord, and I do have a tonne of self control... you know, that fruit of the SPIRIT. :)
As people of Faith, the language around Mental Health has to change, the understanding around Mental Health has to change, and we need to be the ones changing this discourse. A psychological injury made different parts of my brain different sizes plus how my body and brain function is different to those who have not experienced complex trauma. Be prepared to have empathy and understanding and ask questions, but do not tell someone their relationship with God is in question.
If someone breaks a body part, your first response isn't, well, maybe you'd better seek God for direction, or if someone has liver damage, your first comment isn't "you'd better get your relationship with God right." NO! Your first response is kindness, compassion, understanding and asking how can I help you or be here for you today, here, now.
And if someone has the courage in today's climate to openly admit they're struggling with their Mental Health, then it's time we all had the same responses. Kindness, caring, compassion and if I don't understand then I'm going to ask questions, or help look for answers. The last thing anyone needs to be doing is calling someone's personal relationship with God into question. EVER.
Now, let me be also very, very clear. Without a relationship with God I'd never have gotten out of bed, I'd not be as recovered as I am today, and I'd not be helping people globally in recovery either. Science only recently discovered the spiritual part of our brain, and it's up to us whether we utilise it or not (they've shown that in scans already).
Science is showing us how this Psychological wound impacts our brain and our body, and how we can begin to turn things around. Obviously we've got a long road ahead of us because we can't even talk about Mental Health with family, friends and community without shame wanting to shut us down. I've already been shut down fully, so there's no going backwards for me. Losing the ability to speak, to remember words that I'd known for years, to function at all, means there are more people in the world who are experiencing this too.
The question then becomes are you willing to learn, to understand, that this wound needs addressing with similar respect as other physical wounds you may or may not see? Are you willing to be a kind, compassionate, understanding individual who chooses love as their example in life? Are you willing to lead with faith and be practical too? One really smart pastor I know explained how faith is practical, and if it's not practical, it's not faith.
We just need to know our one next step, and take it.