First, let me apologize for not writing yesterday.
It was a very full day for me yesterday. I ended up falling asleep on the couch with my wife and son. We needed the family time, and apparently I needed the sleep. It actually will work out because today I am going to write a double feature. One in the morning and one in the evening. So, it is more of a sorry, not sorry kind of sorry. lol.
Today I will be covering my last couple of years of private struggle that those closest to me could feel but probably in their own heads were thinking “No, not Johnny, he is so good at such and such so he couldn’t have that.” Let it be known that I do not have a degree or even a college class studying either one of these, so my explanation will be anything but scientific in wording, but very accurate in experience.
What is my goal with all of this?
Well, I will tell you I am not trying to convince you of anything with this blog. I am simply trying to put into words what I have gone through and am learning to go out of; hopefully it will bring hope to you if you have had similar struggles or know someone who has. I think it is important to share my belief system again, first. I truly believe when your body, mind, and spirit are in alignment on Jesus, His word, and others around you it will bring your belief system and actions together (or lign up with each other/ be consistent). I have had to simplify my theology to this: God good, Devil bad. Every good gift comes from the Father above, and the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Knowing this, I know God could not and would not make a mistake with me nor anyone. My struggle came with choices I have made along the way that exasperated the mixed up wiring in my brain. If I or anyone was born with mixed up wiring the word says God causes all things TO WORK TOGETHER for our good. I do not subscribe to a version of Christianity that says God causes all things. That would be a sick, sick perverted father to dis-form his children in any way in order to bring him glory. So, this is a very short version of my back story that God is good, and the Devil is bad. His word says that He does not cause sickness but can use it for my good. HUGE DIFFERENCE THERE!
Now on to mental illness (almost)
I have heard so many Christians talk about mental illness as a demon. Actually, sometimes this is the case. But sometimes it’s faulty wiring along with a multitude of wrong thoughts (beliefs about yourself) and actions that can cause more harm- no demon necessary. Trying to cast out a demon that is not there can really jack someone up.
When I went to my christian doctor she said, “You know what Johnny? You are brave for coming to get help. If more pastors came in for help in this area the church would be thriving.” If we get hurt physically we go to the doctor to fix the broken bone, or antibiotics for an infection. Why is there such a stigma on mental illness, that in many times can be cured with proper treatment? The reason a broken bone is healed is because you sought and received treatment. It looks something like this:
- The doctor first is going to prescribe you some really good pain medicine to help ease your body from discomfort.
- They then will take some X-Rays to see exactly where the problem areas are
- They usually consult with a team he/she trusts to come up with a plan of action before acting too quickly (more on why this is so important later)
- They will set the bone if possible or do surgery to fix the broken bone
- If needed they will put screws and other medical sounding stuff in the bone to keep it in place
- Then, they will say something like “DO NOT USE THIS FOR SO MANY WEEKS”
- There will be a couple of check ups along the way
- Finally, they will determine if it is healed or not
Why are you talking about broken bones instead of Anxiety and Depression?
Simple, I am trying to compare it to how everyone goes to the doc when there is something physically wrong. There are a ton of physical health supplements on the market nowadays; but we place a stigma on mental health. Especially in the church, we say things like well just go pray about it, or you are not standing on the Word. Can you imagine having a broken leg and going to a pastor and him saying “Well, you need to stand on the word.” Doesn’t that sound ludicrous? Yet we hear that all of the time when confronting our brain.
I am going to go into more depth of my journey to get help from a professional in the next blog but I want to end with this:
The first step to fix a broken brain/mind is some form of easement. Whether that be breathing exercises, to medication like I took. That is just the first step. It is not enough when having a broken bone to take pain medication because you will feel temporarily better but the bone will not heal properly. A properly healed bone is actually stronger than before, but one that heals off balance will be weaker than before. (Note, this is NOT the first step if your mind has just minor trauma: Romans 12:2 says to renew your mind with the Word and you will be transformed.)
I have seen many people get help from a doctor and the end all solution is to take these two pills for the rest of your life. (Sometimes that is needed and I am not knocking that, but there are more steps to take than that. It won’t feel good in the process but you will thank me for going through it once the process is over.) If you want to heal stronger than before then there is help, but you have to be willing to pry, cut, dig, and search for it. The enemy doesn’t want you free, but I do!
My name is Johnny and I am on a journey to Get, Grow in, and Give my heart. Will you come with me?