What I Wish Christians Understood About Mental Illness
Today guest writer and blogger Marisa Slusarcyk talks about the true cost of mental illness. Be sture to check out her backstory post over at her blog Trendingmama.com.
We Pay with More than Money
Total $144.35 CDN
*Not including meds that I don’t buy EVERY month, also doesn’t cover anything OTC like Tylenol or Advil or allergy medications.*
That’s a lot of small numbers equalling a fairly large amount and for many people that number is significantly higher. You see, those are the prices of my medications to HELP (not cure) my PTSD and its underlying symptoms, which for me, are insomnia, anxiety, paranoia, suicidal ideations (and attempts!), flashbacks and nightmares, depression, and I am sure I am missing something.
I also have to buy bandages and antibiotic ointment for when I give in to the evil in my head and cut myself in a futile attempt to end things or in the very least find an escape. It only takes me a few seconds to pop the blade out of a perfectly good razor.
All of that said, I am blessed to be one of the few who gets disability from our government here in Canada. It took me forever to be approved, a million suicide attempts and hundreds of scars and over a year from the date I had originally applied, but I couldn’t work anymore. The public caused me to be paranoid and the time to think never ended well. I tried working alone, in offices and even volunteering. It felt good for a few months but normally ended when I would quit because I was spending more time in bed trying to end my pain than I was living.
Sometimes, I feel like a chess piece being chased around in a stalemate, unable to be captured or defend myself. It is rare now, but sometimes that razor still falls apart and slices into me like a hot knife through butter and then, I feel like I have failed.
What is “Normal”?
I look at the people covered in tattoos or those who have severe and irreversible body modifications and I wonder why what they do is considered “normal” and is generally accepted when what I do is not? Why has society drawn a line saying that those who are mentally ill need to find a better coping mechanism, like reading or running but those who have no diagnosis are able to have metal studded implants and their faces permanently painted like a cat.
It gives me a lot to think on and I realize that there are simply stigmas that we can’t seem to run from, stigmas that we can’t seem to change and I wonder if I am so wrong, how are these people right? Isn’t the need for a cut the same as a needle on fast pace jamming in the ink of a tattoo?
Why is it that I am the “sick” one, and I am made to feel so taboo?His body is tattoed to look like a cat. Why do people think that #mentalillness makes ME the 'sick' one? #StoptheStigma #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth Click To Tweet
So, instead of depending on therapists in fancy offices who haven’t had any experience with my type of pain I walked away from their Porsches and fancy words and reached out and up and uttered a few simple words that changed my life, “Please, God, why?”
Don’t get me wrong, there was no earth shattering response that answered the question, but I do feel like the question is no longer being ignored. My pain is known and has been all along. God didn’t plan for my extreme abuse, but He does plan to use the remnants of me to bring Him glory, or as I like to say, I will use my gory to bring Him glory.
I always thought I was a Christian so I can’t exactly pinpoint when God became more than a book or an imaginative figure that I had only toyed around with, but I do know that in seeking Him and trying to find out who He is, what His plans are and where the future will bring me, I have somehow stumbled across answers that I had never thought to ask and I have asked questions that have never been answered.
I have learned that His timing is perfect and that medicine isn’t evil the way some celebrities may have you think. It is perfectly fine to take medication for anxiety or depression and to speak your soul because God already knows all of it and He is the one who has allowed doctors and scientists to create exactly what my body needs.
I have also learned that using my words whether they express my pain or my gratitude, are heard and read by many, and that by sharing I am able to give not only myself a voice, but bravery to others to do the same.I am learning to share and use my voice to give bravery to others to do the same. #StoptheStigma #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth Click To Tweet
We can totally defeat those nasty stigmas surrounding mental illness and what it means, we can be the barrier-breakers and the givers of hope in a world that often times seems hopeless.
Women in Recent History
In the last 100 years, give or take, women have been recognized as “people,” earned their right to vote, wrote books without having to use a male pseudonym, have entered the work-force and get more and more equal rights every single day.
As a woman with mental illness I want a diagnosis to be understood instead of feared, I want medications to be available to everyone who needs them. I don’t want to be looked at as the frail little lady who can’t handle life when in reality I have lived so many more emotions than most. As someone with mental illness I want the stigmas to be shredded and the laws to change and every doctor to be properly trained.
I believe that God is using my story to help educate and cause a change.
Born and raised in Kenora, Ontario Canada, Marisa was a teen mom who has overcome incredible circumstances in order to provide the best life she can for her small family. Avid reader, blogger and a God-loving Christian, are just a few of the titles Marisa holds. Reading the Word and learning about God and His plans for her life are her current mission.
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