Tag Archives: Disorders

For One of the Least of These: Visiting Those Who are Sick

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness or Abuse  (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

Please imagine the following scenario:

Your fifth day in the hospital begins. It is yet another day of little sunshine, with many more to come. The brick wall of the laundry blocks your view. Cheer is missing too. Nurses and an occasional doctor come and go. Some are compassionate, others all business. 

You hurt. Moving, even shifting in bed is difficult. Lunch is served, but you are not hungry. Soon it is time for therapy where others expect you to try harder to advance toward wholeness.  

Few people know about this hospitalization because you find your reason for being here somewhat shameful. You are certain that most of your loved ones and friends will assume you brought it on yourself. They will say, “Why don’t you get it together? Make better choices!” You’re not in the mood to hear it.   ♦♦♦

How do you react to this story? Do you sense why shame might be part of hospital admission? What do you assume is the health issue?  It may surprise you that I am describing a motorcycle accident recovery and not a psychological problem.

Not everyone who is sick has a physical illness we can see. Some of us struggle or have struggled with brain injury, brain tumor or aneurism, mental illness, or even learning disabilities. None of these are visible, yet each deserves compassion.

Visiting the sick, specifically those with mental and behavioral disorders, is as simple as entering the hospital and walking to a person’s room. Yes, there may be locked doors and bars on the windows, but you are safe. Your loved one with depression (or any other mental health challenge) needs your encouragement and to know he or she is loved.  

Know someone who could use a visit? Take with you tender loving care, a listening ear, patience, a smile, and prayer. That is all you need. 

The For One of The Least of These series:

Feeding Those Who Hunger for Love       Offering Living Water to Those Who Thirst

Welcoming the Stranger      Covering the Emotionally Naked and Vulnerable

Visiting Those In the Prison of Addiction

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Today’s Helpful Word

Matthew 25: 37-40 

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you … sick… and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers (and sisters), you did it to me.’”

**** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

Two Masters?

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) Nancy Virden 2013

The woman sat alone in her kitchen and thought about her loneliness.  She felt she had done everything she could to have friends, and you know, a life. Yet here she sat with no one around, no one to call, and no one who cared. At least, that is what she believed.

So she turned to the one thing she could count on to provide relief and a sense of control over her emotions – her addiction.  Tonight she felt like having a pizza. Why not? She thought, I know I shouldn’t… but who cares?  

Hours passed. The third late night show ended, hope of a good night’s sleep, gone. She finally decided to wrap up the leftovers. 

Only there were not any.

Grabbing the last piece of crust she had meant to throw away, she ate it as she climbed the stairs.  That was good. I deserved that. Never mind I feel stuffed – it doesn’t matter. No one cares anyway.

Sound familiar? In this scene and many like it, pizza could be substituted with a substance or behavior. It is truly an addiction they  now fight, as the once-upon-a-time relief has become their master.

No one is ever released from pain through addiction. Instead, it brings destruction, shame, and poorer choices. Those emotions that tell us we need support are stuffed down and ignored.

Sometimes a person’s addiction can be observed by those on the outside because of what it has done to the addict’s body, mind, and quality of life. People shake their heads and mumble things like, “I’m glad that’s not me,” or, “what is wrong with that person that they should be so weak?” Some think, “I’m better than that.”

Unfortunately I am both kinds of people in this story. As the woman in the kitchen and as the one who felt superior to other addicts, I did not acknowledge my life was out of control. My wake-up call was when attempted suicide proved how I’d been doing life was not working.  Silly for me not to have noticed before? The mind of an addict is one of denial, rationalization, and believing flat-out lies.

Now I’m learning how to become free as are multitudes of addicts across the world. The two masters thing did not work, just as Jesus said it wouldn’t. We will end up in servitude to the vice we choose, and despise the One who can actually meet our needs.

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NOTE: I am not a trained or licensed mental health professional. I am not a doctor. I speak only from my 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 can be yours.

*picture by KATAGACI from rgbstock.com