Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How do you comfort the mentally ill?

My dear friend who struggles with much the same illness as myself was asked if she was speaking in church on mental illness what she would say.  Since we are to "mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort" this is an especially pertinent topic.  

She replied that she had a list of questions.  Here they are:

Am I still welcome here?

Are you sure?

What if I don't get better within 3 months?

Can you accept that this isn't guilt and repentance isn't the solution?

Can I be just as worthy as you?

Will you please stop saying "forget yourself and get to work", "count your blessings", "the best way to forget your troubles is to serve someone else" and/or lecturing on all the ways my being mentally ill is ruining my children?

Will you trust that I am seeking healing in the best way for me, and stop suggesting doTERRA oils and berating antidepressant meds?

Can you go the rest of forever without telling me how much worse someone else's trial is? How about we never, ever say that to anyone ever again?

If I open up to you and admit that today the demons are winning and I'm scared, will you be brave enough to return the email/text/phone call?

I will be a daily reminder "that but for the grace of God, go [you]." Can you stand to look at me?

Are you sure?

What if I can never serve as much as you ask me to?

Am I still welcome if all I can do is not die? If I cannot help perfect the saints or preach the gospel, can I still be yours?

Can you love me for who I am, not what I bring to the table?

What if I try to get better every single day, but I never do? Can you still love me? Will you?

Are you sure?

So much truth here, and so much learning for me to take in.  I'm grateful for her honesty about her reality.

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