Therese Borchard is an excellent writer and knows how to carve out a niche well with her writing. Her touching and very real blog at Beliefnet, "Beyond Blue" often moves me "Beyond Words" as she writes unhesitatingly about her struggle with mental illness, something that has effected many of my own friends and family. It is a serious and treatable illness, one that often goes undetected. Therese takes us into the midst of her struggle and how she deals with it in this touching post.
On a discussion thread at Group Beyond Blue, Larry wrote: "Underneath my mental illness are simply enormous, even incalculable, mental reserves. And if my illness strikes again, I need to remember those reserves are there, even if I can't get to them right now."
I had an opportunity to do that yesterday.
I journeyed back to the exact spot where I felt a calming hope when I was so desperately seeking a solution to my severe depression three and a half years ago: to the 10-foot statue of Jesus in the lobby of Johns Hopkins's Billing Administrative Building, where Eric and I stopped on our way to my psychiatric evaluation in March, 2006.
I remember that moment so clearly.
I looked around at all the students with their backpacks and wondered if I'd ever be able to use my brain again. I peered skeptically at the doctors--wondering if they were thieves wanting to steal any creativity or passion or zest I had left in me with the toxic drugs they would pump into me.
I was so afraid.
Until I saw that statue. And read the inscription, written in capital letters on the pedestal: "Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).
Suddenly I felt lighter. As if Jesus really did relieve me of the backpack of rocks I had been carrying for a good year. I began to cry, to release all the fear inside of me. I couldn't stop crying until we arrived at the consultation.
Now, of course, I can see it in perspective.
That moment at the statue was, indeed, the beginning of my miracle. It was thirty minutes before I would meet the psychiatrist who would be able to successfully treat my bipolar disorder.
Read the rest here and then offer a prayer for all those who have mental illnesses and those who care for them.