“I feel like I’m going crazy!” “You’re insane!”
We’ve all said something like this before—to ourselves and to others.
With life’s pressures—demands from work, assignments from school, everything (good and hard) about our family and friends, sudden last-minute occurrences, unforeseen tragedies, bills to pay—we’ve also feltlike we’re actually going crazy. The solution, often, is to just stop, regroup, get perspective and make some changes like prioritizing, cutting something out, a well-timed mental-health day.
Many of us can regain balance and troop on into the great adventure that is life. But what if there is something legitimately wrong in the invisible world of your mind? How can you tell and what do you do about it? While western society has made many advancements in mental health, we still have a long way to go. Sincere conversations about mental illness are happening more and more but the stigma of mental illness still exists, perhaps most stubbornly in the Church. Maybe it’s because people who suffer from mental illness look “so normal” and have days when they’re “functioning just fine”.
However, our guest this week, Lyndsay Thompson, sheds some light on what it feels like as someone who suffers from mental illness, more specifically, being bipolar. It’s just not the same as from the outside looking in. We see her face, but we don’t see her mind; we see her from the outside, but we can’t feel her anxiety, the mental weight and emotional turmoil of being bi-polar. Yet I love that Lyndsay puts God right at the centre of even her mental struggles. She knows that He is good and that’s the foundation of her hope in life. His goodness and His power are her security in her mental health.
The struggle is real, everyday, but her attitude is not one of passive acceptance and self-pity but rather courageous obedience and dependence upon our Almighty God. Everyone, mental illness aside, can learn from this. Moreover, let’s all be more aware of this issue so that we can be a source of encouragement and support not stigma and condescension. Finally, if you feel like you suffer from a mental illness, talk to someone and find out for certain. You’ll be better equipped to handle whatever it might be when you know what it is. Praying always, may our minds be stayed on Christ Jesus our Lord.