Tag Archives: support

For One of the Least of These: Helping Those Who Hunger for Love

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness, addiction, or abuse   (c) 2018  Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

Sarah felt lost. Her thoughts fluctuated between I do not need anyone, to I am bad for needing anyone, to why does no one care?

Her sense of aloneness and guilt exacerbated her doubt she was lovable at all. Shame joined the mental torture.

At the same time, her behavior told a different story. She was friendly and funny. Her need for affirmation was great. At times she realized she was fishing for approval, yet most often was unaware.

Her spirit had been crushed by absence of love from significant family members. Early in life she learned she was on her own. In second grade, a friend apologized that she would not be able to attend Sarah’s birthday party. Sarah cried, not because she was sad, but because she was in awe that someone cared enough to consider coming to her party.

The hole in her heart caused her to search for love in unhealthy ways. She truly did not know better. She was hungry, starving really, and the only solution was love.

Jesus said that when we see “one of the least of these” who is hungry and feed them, it is the same as doing it for him. That is because his love for hungry people is so great, he is blessed when their needs are met. He also loves givers, and rewards us when we become so.

He was speaking of those who are poor financially. He meant literal hunger and literal food. In another place he spoke of those who hunger for righteousness.* That is, people who desire to honor God.  In the same teaching, he promised blessing for those who mourn.**

God is one who cares intimately about our inner being. We can care too when someone like Sarah enters our sphere.  One way to do this is to offer time and listening. Perhaps we can help her find a good counselor or therapist and get her there. A simple and meaningful way to let a person know they matter is to say so. Emails, texts, calls, visits… all make a difference.

Beware becoming someone’s sole support. Sarah did not need a human savior, although she felt she did. One way to tell if a line is crossed, is to check if the relationship is changing. Friends do not become therapists. Pastors do not become on-call servants. Parents do not become doctors. Discourage dependence on you by not saying yes to every plea.

We can point someone to Christ and God’s love without judgment and criticism. By expressing sincere acceptance, we extend his compassion.  God’s love is so vast that our sins, flaws, mistakes, and even negative self-talk are not enough to make it stop.

Without question, God says we have to believe he exists. It is also imperative to believe that his Son Jesus, paid for our sins on the cross. This same Jesus resurrected and lives now as our Lord and Savior. These are foundational and necessary tenets of saving faith.

People like Sarah will begin to experience joy when they realize their inherent value. God’s love shines through the Bible and in our spirits. It is big enough to fill the emptiest caverns of need.

Counseling helped Sarah begin to see her worth as God sees her. Eventually she no longer yearned for people to meet her deepest need. God’s love has filled her to the brim, and even difficult circumstances no longer diminish her peace of mind. 

Today’s Helpful Word

Matthew 25: 37, 40 

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you…?’  … The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

***** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

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

If you are struggling emotionally today or 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.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.

*Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

**Matthew 5:6  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.

-empty heart by XYMONAU; cross heart BA1969, both of rgbstock.com

 

 

 

 

isaih 61: esv The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;[a]afflicted
  he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
    and the day of vengeance of our God;
  to comfort all who mourn;
3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;

Suicide Prevention – What NOT to Say or Do

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who fight mental illness, addiction, and abuse  (c)2018  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministries

Attention:  (If you have lost a loved one to suicide, I recommend you not read this particular article. Instead, go to a survivors of suicide support site.)

If you are reading this because you want to know the best possible ways to prevent suicide, you are not alone. Many family members and friends, if not most, who find that a loved one has fallen into a deep pit of despair, try their best to help.  Love is not the only solution, however.  Stigma guides most people instead of facts.  For that reason, I am glad you are here.

Suicide prevention is a recurring theme at Always The Fight Ministries. After seven years, my point of view on suicide prevention has not changed. We prevent attempts and deaths by increasing effective support for those who hurt. The key to providing effective support is knowledge.  

This is Suicide Prevention Month in the U.S.A.  Suicide is scary as a topic and reality.  Fear can lead us to a thirst for knowledge, or we may hide, or try to make difficulties disappear by using anger.  Here are some of the UNhelpful reactions to severe depression and suicide that I have witnessed or heard, or heard about.   

What to Avoid:  Vitriol, Distance, Distrust, and Bewilderment 

Vitriol

A suicidal person asked a family member to dole out their sleeping pills for safety reasons. Instead, the family member placed the full bottle on the night stand next to the one who was struggling to stay alive.   

“Why save lives? If someone wants to die, why not let him kill himself and decrease the surplus population?” 

“[He] was weak. With all that money, he could have got help. He was totally selfish.”

Distance 

“It is none of our business.”

“Don’t you play the suicide card with me!”

“I don’t know what to say or do.  I’ll leave him alone – he needs his space.”

“If I mention suicide,  I might push her toward it. We won’t talk about it.”

Distrust 

“If someone can hurt himself or herself,  he or she must be capable of violence. This same person might “snap at any time”  and harm someone else!”   [I cannot count how many times I have heard this misinformation.] 

“I do not believe in mental health disability. I just don’t!”

“Depression is not an illness. It is just self-pity.”

“Suicidal thinking is caused only by demons that have to be cast out. Then the person is fine.”

“People who attempt suicide and don’t die, didn’t mean it. They just want attention.”

Bewilderment

One spouse pleaded and shouted in frustration because her husband was hiding in a closet, too depressed to face the world. 

“How can I fix my depressed husband?”

“She attempted so many times, it’s just manipulation.”

Misrepresentation and misunderstanding of the facts are the basis for the above reactions and comments.  For helpful reactions that go a long way toward prevention of suicide, click here.

Today’s Helpful Word

Job 16:

“I could say the same things if you were in my place. I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you. But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief.”  – Job speaking to his friends while he is suffering

***** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

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

If you are struggling emotionally today or 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.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.

*speech bubble by STARISOB of rgbstock.com; two woman from kozzi.com

 

Bad News, Good News: How to Change Your Perspective When a Relationship Ends

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2018  Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

hands

Good news and bad news are matters of perspective. 

Bad news:  Friendships and marriages do not always last.  

Good news:  We have power over our response.

One possibility is to hide.  In our houses, under a workload, or staring at a phone, we can wear cold smiles, vowing no one again will get close enough to cause us pain.  Such a decision rarely works for our best.  Loneliness grows when we disconnect.  

A healthier choice is to reach out despite our feelings. Bruised and weak,  anger, confusion, self-loathing, or a depressed mood may fill our days.  Making a call,  sending a text,  or meeting up with friends is challenging when we hurt. It is risky too.

Yet this is the very reason  to reach out. We need support, second opinions, and distraction from our troubled thoughts. 

Create your good news

How does one reach out knowing something unpleasant might happen? We just do.  A therapist once suggested that to fight isolation I go to a convenience store late at night and chat with a clerk. Going to church, speaking with co-workers, attending a local game – each idea has merit. Sometimes helping others through volunteerism is a positive way to escape a self-protective cage. 

Small steps are monumental when recovering from damaged trust. Since emotional safety does matter, take time to observe a person in social situations before leaping into a full friendship. Listen for clues to his or her attitude and notice character traits.  Once the safety test is passed, seize the opportunity to trust again. It is the best bet we have.

When a friendship or marriage is lost, we may feel alone. This can change. Let us hope instead of hide, and find as well as be the kind of people we want to know.

 **********COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness, abuse, and addiction. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral 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 are yours.

 

Sloooow Dowwwwn. Your Impatience Will Not Help Someone’s Depression Go Away

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2018  Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

I guess it is simple enough.  People struggling with depression want it to go away. People watching others struggle with depression want them well.

So, we all agree.

Depression is yucky.

Frustration

Bryan wanted to return to work.  His boss was growing impatient. His wife was arguing for him to get off the couch.  His therapist warned him moving too fast could cause a set-back.  Bryan was sick of it all, and especially sick of himself.

Why couldn’t he work like normal people? He hated the stupid mistakes he was making – like drinking too much last night and fighting with a friend.  He was neglecting his wife and children, staring into the television 14 hours a day.  In his negative thinking, fueled by fierce major depression, his life was a waste.  Maybe everyone would be better off if he was gone.

Bryan never attempted suicide. If he had, it would have been no one’s fault. His boss, wife, friend, children, and Bryan had reason to feel frustrated and impatient. A sense of normalcy was challenged. Their needs were unmet. It hurt to suffer and watch suffering, however they did not know what to do.

Fragility

The therapist encouraged him to take small steps forward. “Go ahead, get off the couch and eat dinner with your family. Then the next day, maybe do the dishes or go for a short walk.”

In the midst of a major depressive episode even little tasks can seem overwhelming.  Exhaustion comes quickly. Eating dinner or taking a shower can, in many cases, be all a person can handle each day for a while.

Bryan tried.  I saw him begin to feel more like himself. Eventually he worked half days, and then returned to his old schedule. Here’s the truth – no one was able to make his depression heal faster. Depression ran its course, and Bryan had to take it slow.

Another man pushed himself too hard and ended back in the hospital.  I too tried to sign up for too much too soon. It is frustrating being so fragile. All the while, depression is fueling  negativity and self-loathing.

No “Fixing” 

When you want to “fix” your depressed loved one, or express anger at someone’s slow recovery, take a step back. Maybe go for a walk yourself. Learn about depression; ask your loved one what they are feeling. Practice careful acceptance and avoid judgment.

Anger does not produce what we all agree is best – putting depression behind us.  Yes, depression is yucky. It challenges all involved. Patience is how to beat it.

 **********COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness, abuse, and addiction. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral 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 are yours.

*MOTORCYCLE by SULACO229 and SLOW by ALBION on rgbstock.com

 

Your Depressed Friend May Need You to Make Like the Ends of a Dog’s Legs

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2018  Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

Yes, that’s what I suggest – to best support a friend in distress, we need to make like the ends of a dog’s legs.

Huh?

Do you recall those occasions when you spoke out of turn, said something regretful, or insisted on your rights without much regard for others? You’re not alone. It happens.  Some of us  have received friendly rebukes or even been held accountable. We learn and improve.

I waited too long

Earlier this month, I heard something disheartening from a surprising source.  Because my emotions were strong, it seemed prudent to wait before bringing it up. However,  time passed quickly. Two days ago, those emotions came out in a disproportionate response to another issue in the moment.

A therapist once told me, “If we do not let our emotions out in healthy ways, they will come out in some other form, usually destructive.” This is one reason people self-medicate or engage in self-injury, or die by suicide. Holding feelings in harms mental and physical wellbeing.  It is also why some of us let loose those words we later wish we could take back.

Oh, Samantha

Everyone knew when Samantha was in a room. She had a way of drawing attention to herself. This is not a compliment in her case.

Samantha non-stop talked. She bragged this was her right, and if anyone didn’t like it they could shut up and listen. Then she laughed. On the surface she appeared disinterested in another point of view.

I watched as everyone around her grew quiet. Samantha had her audience and was glad. Regardless her motive, she effectively shutdown the rights of everyone else to speak freely. Consequences of her behavior probably left her lonely.

Wisdom is… 

Effective support for a loved one who is struggling with depression, anxiety, or any mental health challenge,  means being slow to speak and making the effort to learn.  That’s where wisdom is –  in listening and learning.

Unless a health condition interferes, we have control over what we say, how we say it, and when.  To avoid causing harm to a vulnerable person, and not commit mine or  Samantha’s mistakes,  it is best to take one’s time and hold back the rush of words.    

Take to heart the dog’s legs principle:  

Before opening the mouth to speak, make like the ends of a dog’s legs…   

and PAWS!

 **********COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness, abuse, and addiction. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral 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 are yours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Had I Known – A Poem for the Fearful

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2018 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

Whether a  dream, goal, friendship, treatment plan, or any other relationship or effort will end in disappointment is something we cannot know.  We are certainly guaranteed to stay stuck if we do not take a risk.

Had I Known

Had I known…

I would have run

kept quiet

hid

secrets would be secret

bravery, silenced

 

Had I known…

my spirit would still be caged

 

What are few to thousands more who…

reject

fear

avoid

lie

dismiss?

Had I known…

I would have embraced few’s misery

and escaped “freedom’s” disappointments

 

Yes, I would not have cared to fight

and not won

 

It is good God holds a mysterious future!

Because I did not know, I…

took a risk 

believed you

gave it my best

Now I know…

taking a chance was worth it

because life grew from intolerable

to hopeful

to promising

to fulfilling

 

I would not have tried – had I known

So glad I did not know…

that you would  break and run

and leave in silence 

Today’s Helpful Word

Deuteronomy 31:8 

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

 **********COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.

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 are yours.

To All the Great Actors: Reveal Yourself

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness, Addiction, and Abuse   (c)2018  Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

Beneath every outward personality lies another. It is more secret, and reserved for those near in proximity and heart.  Generally, that less-revealed side is most active when we feel comfortable. This may be among friends, with a safe confidant, or at home.

Typically, we put our most likely to be accepted face on in public. It makes sense then, that people in the office, at weekend parties, at church, and in school only know what we want them to see.

Quite frequently I hear “I’m a great actor. No one knows what is going on inside. No one sees me.” Interestingly, these same speakers are often complaining that no one understands. It’s a mixed up world when we long so deeply to be known, and yet live silently in fear of expressing our inner self.

That is not weird. It is human.

How about taking a risk and exposing a little of your hidden self?  For example, maybe you like to sing in the shower or invent solutions to problems.  Perhaps you have favorite movies or past times most people do not know about. Are you confused or hurt? These are all topic options for more openly sharing your other side.

3 pointers for revealing more of yourself

  1. Know your audience. If you want to get something off your chest, choose your confidants wisely.  Significant people in our lives may not always be the safest ones. Look for a person who will be non-judgmental and is not a gossip. 
  2. Join a group. This may be a support group or basketball team.  Whatever your past time, be in a group where talking about it is okay. For example, joining a church with like-minded people gives me the freedom to be more myself in that context.
  3. Leak slowly.  Perhaps you are a bucket about ready to run over.  I get it. However, save the torrent for after you know people well. Either that, or spread the joy by choosing more than one person to talk to, offering smaller bits to each. 

I have made the mistake of telling (almost) everything to people, only to find them backing away, using the information to their advantage through gossip, or basing blame for their shortcomings on me.  For this reason, I understand wariness about exposure. 

Through trial and error, I learned the above 3 pointers. Take my advice, if you will.  It is better to eventually find the right people than to keep yourself locked inside.  

Today’s Helpful Word 

 

Sustained Loneliness Can Be Life Threatening. Here Are 10 Ways to Escape That Trap

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness, Addiction, and Abuse   (c)2018  Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

The human need for connection is both cause and solution to many of our emotional and physical ills. 

Our heart-cry is for deeper, more meaningful and consistent relationships. 

Psychology as a science sometimes seems a little behind-the-times. Doctors in this field have found that people are social beings with a basic need for companionship and connection. This is common sense, and a fact I am sure most human societies have understood from the beginning of time. 

Still, deeper study on human behavior shows the negative physical effects of this unmet need.  In The Dangers of Loneliness , written by Hara Estroff Marano and published at https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200307/the-dangers-loneliness,  the author writes, “…the effects are distinct enough to be measured over time, so that unmet social needs take a serious toll on health, eroding our arteries, creating high blood pressure, and even undermining learning and memory.

Loneliness occurs when we realize the pain and emptiness isolation creates.  “Chronic loneliness is something else entirely. It is one of the surest markers in existence for maladjustment,” Marano continues. “…The net result is that the lonely experience higher levels of cumulative wear and tear.”

Ten ways to finally escape sustained loneliness

(1) Challenge your expectations. Do not wait for rescue while you shrivel away.  It is not coming, because no one is humanly capable of meeting your every need.  Your mental and emotional health is  your responsibility. Support is a reasonable hope, nevertheless, we often have to find it.  

(2) Don’t be invisible.  Be with people and make a noise. As a quiet person, you may be great. However no one knows this about you unless you speak.  Express who you are in some way that others can understand. Verbally, writing, participating, music, and art are means to this. Avoid  vagueness: no one is a mind reader.

(3) Invite.  Loneliness is both a result and cause of depression, anxiety, and neurosis. In turn, the one who is chronically lonely may incidentally build walls that prevent others from coming in or wanting to.  Invite your neighbors to dinner or tea. Watch sports events, or have an art party.  Love to teach? Volunteer to tutor. 

(4) Be pleasant. Make those amends. Quit complaining. Take your hands off other people’s lives and your nose out of their business. Speak life and encouragement to others so they will want to spend time with you.

(5) Accept invitations  and show up.  Opportunities to get out of your home and head are positive. Your nephew’s piano recital may seem like death to you, go anyway.  Attend  the neighborhood conservation meeting. Watch football with  your grumpy father-in-law.  Hopefully you  find enjoyable events, however, the point is to go out and mingle. Period. 

(6) Make relationships meaningful .  Do your connections lack depth? Insert some. Be vulnerable without whining. Listen actively and look to better understand those around you. Share your hopes and dreams and search for commonalities. 

(7) Invest in people. This is similar to number 6, except this is serving. Give of yourself. Volunteer.  Can you share what fills your days  with others who may also feel lonely? Does a young mother need help with fetching groceries? Does an elderly man need rides? Take the time to exercise number 6.

(8)Compromise.  Wish you could travel and lack of money keeps you home?  Skype, Facetime, email, social media, or old-fashioned letter writing (which is special these days), and occasional phone calls are all means to be with people you miss.  If you don’t have a computer, go to the library. Smile and say hi to people. Many libraries have free classes, too. 

(9) Step past personal pain.  Chronic loneliness. Wow. Have you thought about the implications of that?  Emotional neglect and abuse form a vacuum inside a person that may never feel quite filled.  Isolation, self-inflicted or not, may result.  Anxiety disorders, PTSD,  and general physical and mental limitations are all reasons to reach out for help. It is available.  Call helplines, online volunteer efforts,  churches,  and local resources to ask about help for a specific need. 

(10) Ask positive questions. This list falls short of an even ten. You fill in the blank. What can you do to get your own needs met?    

I know it is difficult. It is doable. I know it is terrifying. Facing the fear brings rewards. Change is hard, even if it is for the positive. Change can set us free. 

Today’s Helpful Word 

 

  • The Dangers of Loneliness By Hara Estroff Marano, published on July 1, 2003 – last reviewed on June 9, 2016; Psychology Today © 1991-2018 Sussex Publishers, LLC | HealthProfs.com © 2002-2018 Sussex Directories, Inc.

Ask, Listen, and Save a Life

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness   (c)2017 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

Imagine for a moment, you are in a pitch-black room.  People you believe to be in the same room are speaking in your direction. However, you cannot understand what they mean; some of the language is foreign, and then there’s the gibberish.

They say, “We love all this sunshine! Isn’t this wonderful?”

You incredulously mention the room’s darkness. “Do you understand where we are?”  

You hear, “It’s bright, you are just refusing to see it.”

True story

The doctor’s blurred face hovered above mine.

Click. Click.

My vision was doubling at a fast pace. Due with my first baby in two months,  I wondered what this ophthalmologist could add to the various diagnoses and advice I had already received.

Click. Click.

He stepped back. In a brusk, commanding voice he said, “Nothing wrong.”

Surprised, I realized this was the first doctor to deny the problem. Birth control pills, a need for prism glasses, and even stress had been blamed for the worsening double vision I first reported five years earlier. But not this. Not “nothing wrong.”

“Everything in this office is double,” I said. “The machines, your face…”

“You just imagine.” His broken English was angry. He glared at me. I was intimidated, and afraid to say more.

“But it’s worse than a month ago…”

“It not worse. You just notice now.” He was raising his voice. You leave, come back see me in six weeks.”

His confusing words drove me to seek yet another opinion. Two months later, newborn in tow, a neurologist announced the news.

“You have a giant aneurism growing behind your left eye. Let’s do surgery today.”

Saving a life starts with listening

It is frustrating when one’s feelings and experiences are invalidated. Whether by a misogynist doctor or a good friend, it is not fun being ignored. In the world of mental healthcare, dismissal is dangerous.

If a person is showing signs of depression, and perhaps you have picked up on some dark thoughts, do not walk away. I know it is hard to face the idea that a loved one is suicidal. I know it is awkward and potentially embarrassing to bring it up. I know it is scary to think of frustrating that person even more. But do not walk away. 

A simple question can cost us emotional energy. It does not have to. Ask your loved one non-judgementally, “Are you thinking of hurting yourself? Are you considering suicide?” By doing so you allow them to feel accepted, safe, and loved. You show you care enough to be involved. In this world, that is rare. 

Be special. Be the one who listens. Save a life.

Today’s Helpful Word

1 John 3:18

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; 

let us show the truth by our actions.

************

Comments are always welcome (see tab below).  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 can be yours.

Contesting for Mental Health are Fighters Who Fully Grasp the Concept of a Strong Mind

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

Ephesians 4:1,2 

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

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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.