When people get overwhelmed by deadlines at work or at school, they sometimes say I’m going crazy or I’m having a panic attack. These are such casual remarks that seem empty to others but to those who are suffering from mental illness, it a different matter.
Many people do not understand what I feels like to live with a mental disorder. Sadly out of every five individuals one person suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses.
Below is a collection of revelations and descriptions of what it live to live with mental disorder.
Maybe if people would try to learn a little more about mental illness they would have compassion and treat these individuals with love and respect.
Here are some descriptions, that were said by people who had a mental disease. I have changed the names.
- I Don’t Have Control
Mental illness feels like you’ve lost control of yourself. You don’t know who you truly are because this disease controls you and takes over your emotions. It lies to you and tells you that you are worthless. You always wonder if the things you do are your personality or the disease. And on top of the oppressing feelings, society stigmatizes you into violent, scary individuals. While very few are violent or scary they are put into that box, even if they receive treatment or prescribed medicine to cope with their disease.
A few years back I was a facilitator at a mental illness support group. I had to find places that were on side streets, basically have the group in secret or no one would come. Because they would fear what people would think of them.
This group was to help them learn to coping mechanisms that would make them live their lives fully. It was a safe haven for people who felt them feel like outcasts in society.
- I Can’t Move On
Mental illness feels like a crushing stone on your chest making it hard to breathe. It makes me feel trapped, not being able to stop the flood of past memories or the continual cycle in my head. It makes me feel helpless, alone, scared of myself, scared of everyone else, embarrassed and ashamed of who I am. – Susan
They usually have a therapist that helps them through the dark times and reminds them to take one day at a time.
- I Don’t Know Who Is The Real Me
Mental illness is faking a smile so others around you think your okay. It’s forcing yourself to get out of bed in the morning because if you don’t your anxiety will kick in. It’s hating to be alone but not having any energy to hangout with others. It’s having exhaustion but being able to sleep. It’s a constant battle with yourself, everyday, to just keep pushing forward and hoping for the better. -Gary
- I Need You To Understand Me
Sometimes I need people to just pay attention to what kind of emotions responses they need to give me when I’m in a melt down and don’t think this life is worth fighting anymore. I need someone to be there for me and think to themselves: okey she’s anxious right now, hold my hand and tell me I’m safe and everything will be okay. -Patty
- I’m Not Lazy
Getting out of bed every morning is hard. People think I’m lazy but I’m to exhausted to fight another day like yesterday. My depression has a funny was of pushing me down, I don’t want to cancel plans but when depression take hold of me, I hurt all over and am struggling to move. -Stephanie
- Don’t Judge Me Unless You Know How I Feel
Why I have self-harm scars and my history with self-harm. People see it as a teenage thing. It’s hard to explain why I self-harm and that it’s not an effective coping mechanism. But on a bad day it’s the only thing that numbs the pain. It transfers the emotional pain in to the physical and I can get a few minutes of relief. – Jane
- I Try Hard To Be Normal
When you are living with mental illness you can still be a normal functioning adult but be fighting a constant battle inside yourself. Every single step make you feel like you have concrete shoes boots on because your mind puts up mental roadblocks. Day to day activities are done, kids are taken care of and off to school, but your mind is telling you every little possible thing that could go wrong, negativity, frustration and fear all rule your thoughts. Feeling like you’re not good enough, yet you know you are. Feeling like your not good enough, yet I’m fight so hard to do as much as possible.
- I’m Not Making It Up
A lot of people don’t realize you might hear voices with major depression. It depression with psychotic tendencies. It not my inner self that’s talking to me. There different voices and sometimes they want me dead. I can’t tell people this or even talk about it because they freak out, and they will think I’m a dangerous person and avoid me. So I just fight this on my own. -Jerry
- I’m Not Strong Like You
My sadness, out of fear that others will judge me because of how minimal my problems seem to be. Little do they know these small problems are so much bigger for someone like me. I’m constantly told not to beat myself up, or that’s nothing to cry over. Sharing is hard when some people can‘t understand what it’s like being in my shoes. -Ruth
Mental illness is real, and with help and medication people can learn to cope. And live full lives. But there are instances when Dr’s can over medicate someone with a mental disorder.
It’s alway best to tell Dr and therapist’s everything.
Almost every experience I’ve had with individuals with mental disorders stem from a dysfunctional family life. Talk to people before you judge about anything.
I was very fortunate to have had my experience with mental disorder as a facilitator.
There is hope out there and you are not the only one, to feel the way you do.
I’ve been thinking about idols the last few days. I prayed to God, “if I have any idols in my life, reveal them to me.”
Idols are someone or something you or worship other than God as though it were God. What would you put before God.
Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble! – Judges 10:14.
We tend to think idolatry as a sin of the past or an eastern mysticism thing. We certainly don’t have idols in western culture right? Actually, idolatry is surprisingly modern and very prevalent in our culture. Part of the reason we don’t think about idol worshiping today is because our definition of idolatry should off. We think idolatry is confined to bowing down to a golden statue or praying to a wooden trinket. Since we don’t do those things, we assume we don’t have idols. Since we don’t do those things we don’t have idols.
But we do have modern day idols. Lots of them. They look different that the idols of the past, but we still practice idolatry today.
Before we look at idol worship today, we need to get a better definition of what an idol is. What exactly is idol worship? And what is an idol.
What Is Idolatry? What Is An Idol?
An idol is when something or something becomes more important to us than God.
Even good things can become idols when we make them the ultimate thing in our lives. Anything, or anyone, can become an idol if we place value for that thing/person above our value of God.
In ancient times that would have looked like bowing down to worship a golden statue. Modern day idols look different- more like getting our identity from or jobs or staring at our cellphones, or playing games all day. Even someone in our life’s can become an idol. Anything that becomes more important than God becomes an idol; and we all have them. Idolatry today might look different, but it is all around us.
Idolatry is alive today. Is it that a 12 inch tall statue or piece of wood can do something bad to us? Or is it that we do something awful to ourselves when we place adoration and attention that should go to God? When it comes to idolatry, the danger is not in the item… it is in us.
An idol is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, and anything that you seek to give you.
So, what does the Bible say about Idolatry?
Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. -1 Corinthians 10:14
Put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. -Colossians 3:5
Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations. Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save. -Isaiah 45:20
Those who cling to worthless idol turn away from God’s love for them. -Jonah 2:8
Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the LORD your God.- Leviticus 19:4
Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips.- Psalm 16:4
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those why by nature are not gods. Galatians 4:8
The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood-idols that cannot see or hear or walk.
The acts of the flesh or obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, fractions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.- Galatians 5: 19-21
God sets the precedent for His people early on that His people shall have no other Gods except Him.
Idol worship today might look different, but it still exists. We shouldn’t let anything, even a good thing, take the place of God in our life.
For years I felt really close to God. I was growing in my faith, talking and walking with God, and even though things weren’t perfect, life was going well. Then suddenly I felt stuck in a rut, I felt like I wasn’t growing in my faith and was becoming distant from God. It wasn’t until I tried these steps below that I noticed a positive change in my faith in my spiritual walk. Here are 3 simple steps to deepen your relationships with God no matter how far away from Him you feel.
1. Reach Out
It can be easy to become overwhelmed by life, but instead of holding everything in reach out for help. If you don’t feel God in your life as you used to. Don’t be afraid to come to Him. God knows our deepest thoughts and the desires of our hearts. No matter how long as it’s been since you’ve truly felt God’s presence; please know that calling out to Him is the solution. God doesn’t ever push us away. He loves us, He pursues us, and He wants us to grow in our relationship with Him. Admitting that we need God’s help is not a sign of weakness; instead, it’s expressing a desire to know God better.
2. Limit Distractions
Life is full of so many distractions and unforgivable there are many things that can hinder our walk with God. The hero’s of the Bible weren’t strong on their own power, but the Bible says that they walked with God. They had temptations and weaknesses of their own, but their desire to do God’s will had a greater hold of them. Sometimes in order to walk with God, we need to walk away from the things that are driving us away from Him.
If anything in your life has taken precedence to spending time with God, consider putting it on the back burner for awhile. When social media, computer games, entertainment or future plans take precedence, it can be nearly impossible or find room for God. Consider limiting the amount of time you spend on these activities and use that time to grow closer to God.
3. Be Intentional
Set aside time where you can be alone with God in a place with few distractions. Waking up 1/2 hour earlier to read the Bible and pray might be just the thing to help you strengthen your relationship with God. Or maybe you could listen to an audio Bible or the radio while preparing dinner. God will meet you where you are and since the Holy Spirit dwells within us, we can spend time with God in a variety of places.
When we seek God with all of our hearts we draw near to Him, we will feel His presence once again.
I thought I would give you a few ideas on how to strive to be better than you were yesterday.
- Become more observant. Notice everything that surrounds you. The world is full of examples, ideas, words, wisdom, mistakes and experiences.
- Collect ideas, ideas and thoughts tend to evaporate from your mind too fast. Try to capture then before it’s to late. Try writing down, or sketch every single one.
- Read, read a lot. Reading is probably the best investment of time ever. Devote at least 30 minutes a day to reading. I always have a book with me.
- Analyze your day. Consider what things you manage to do well and what mistakes you’ve made.
- Start writing. The biggest value of a good writing skill is that it cultivates a discipline. First of all, the discipline of thinking. Your thoughts will cease to be random and chaotic. They will gradually become systematic and structured.
If you do these things every day. You life could change immediately.
If you are committed to being a better person today than you were yesterday. Better thoughts, better decisions and better actions.
Trying too hard to get what you want in life- love, respect, and happiness-often has the opposite effect; you end up lonely, dejected, and miserable.
There’s a part of the Navy military training that’s called drown-proofing where they bind your hands behind your back, tie your feet together, and then dump you into a 9-foot deep pool.
Your job is to survive for 5-minutes.
The vast majority who attempt drown-proofing will fail. Upon being tossed into the water, many of them panic and scream to be lifted out. Some struggle until they slip underwater where the proceed to lose consciousness and have to be fished out and resuscitated.
But some make it and they do so because they understand two counterintuitive lessons.
The first lesson of drown-proofing is paradoxical: the more you struggle to keep your head above water, the more likely you are to sink.
With your arms and legs bound, it’s impossible to maintain yourself at the surface for a full 5 minutes. Even worse, your limited attempts to keep your body afloat will only cause you to sink faster. The trick to drown-proofing some to actually let yourself sink into the bottom of the pool. From there, you lightly push yourself off the pool floor and let your momentum carry you back to the surface. Once there, grab a quick breath of air and start the whole process again.
Surviving drown-proofing requires no superhuman strength or endurance. It doesn’t even require that you know how to swim. On the contrary it requires the ability not to swim. Instead of resisting the physics that would normally kill you, you must surrender to then and use them to save your own life.
The second lesson of drown-proofing is a bit more obvious, but also paradoxical: the more you panic, the more oxygen you will burn and the more likely you are to fall unconscious and drown
In a sick and twisted way the exercise turns your survival instinct against you. The more intense your desire to breath, the less you will able to breathe. The more intense your will to live, the greater the chance you will die.
This drown-proof exercise tests emotional self-control in situations of extreme danger. Can you control your own impulses? Can you relax in the face of potential death? Can you willing risk your life in the service of some higher value or goal.
These skills are far more important that a training soldier’s ability to swim. They’re more important that his resilience, his physical toughness, or his ambition. They’re more important that how smart he is, what school he went too, or how good looking he is in a suit.
This skill-the ability to let go of control when one wants it most-is one of the most important skills anyone can develop. And not just for training in the Navy but for life.
Most people assume the relationship between effort and reward is one to one. We think that working twice as long will produce twice the results. That caring about a relationship twice as much will make everyone feel twice as loved. That yelling your point twice as loud will make you twice right.
I tried for many years to fight for my marriage. I was exhausting myself to make things better between us. All I did was burn myself out and was heading toward a nervous break down. I chose to stop fighting and things started to get better.
The assumption is that most of life there exists on a linear curve that there’s a one to one ratio between effort and reward with everything. For example: I knew a teenage that tried drinking twice the normal amount of red-bull so he could study for exams and still be able to win a scholarship for playing football. All that happened was he ended up at the hospital emergency room having a heart attack.
The linear curve only exists for mindless, repetitive tasks like driving a car, filling out reams of paperwork, cleaning the bathroom. In all these cases, doing something for two hours will double the output of doing it for an hour. But that’s because they require no though or ingenuity.
Most activities in life do not operate along the linear effort/reward curve because more activities in life are not basic or mindless. Most activities are complex, mentally and/or emotionally taxing, and require adaption.
We tend to lean into fear and uncertainty and just when you think you’re going to drown, just as your reach the bottom, it will launch you back to your salvation.
Have you ever wondered who you truly are? Weather your activity personality is your own or one shaped and defined by your parents and other influences that impacted you in your formative years? Can you distinguish between who you are and what you do? Between your essential self and the one responding to other people’s standards, expectations, demands and critique? You were born an original; have you become a copy? Has your unique and individual voice been silenced or drown out by the noise and turbulence of others surrounding you?
Something to think about.