Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2017 Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry
Losing over half your blood supply is not healthy. I know, because that is what the worried faces of doctors told me last week. After four transfusions and as many days in the hospital, my job is to rest and allow my body to build back its supply. As of Thursday, it is up to three-fourths of the needed amount for me to be declared well.
Jimmy Kimmel (host of Jimmy Kimmel Live) announced recently that his newborn son required heart surgery hours after birth. Kimmel’s hopes, as most parents, are for his children to be happy, healthy, and to live to old age. Taking his baby to a specialist was a no-brainer.
I highly doubt if anyone thinks I should feel shame for going to the emergency room when I could barely walk. In fact, I was avidly supported by friends and family with visits, meals, and well-wishes. No one is booing Kimmel either for allowing a pediatric cardiologist to help his baby.
Yet when our body misfires in the brain, there is skepticism, judgment, or lack of understanding what to do. Support may be a few mumbled words and prayers, but usually quickly dies out.
It’s not that people do not care, they lack effective knowledge. So much hearsay and false information is believed, that trying to explain mental illness can be headache producing. Personally, it is tiring and annoying to address the same issues repeatedly with some who choose to remain close-minded. Those relationships are not the ones I want or pursue.
If you are a regular reader of these blogs, chances are you are a learner, eager to know what to do and say is when a loved one’s mental health is challenged. I’m grateful for you.
Sometimes our bodies need a little help. That is why we use medications and vaccines, surgeries, and IVs. When our bodies grow weak in one area, we try to fix it so we can go about business as usual. The same is true when our brains grow ill. Medications and specialists are available to help bring us back to health.
Building back a blood supply is easy and temporary. Building a healthier mind is neither. Those of us in the contest for mental health are not lazy, weak, spiritually ignorant, stupid attention-grabbers. We are fighters who fully grasp the concept of a strong mind.
May is Mental Health Month, and we appreciate your support.
Today’s Helpful Word
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” -St. Paul
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.