Saturday, October 5, 2013

Courage to Add My Voice

A little while ago, I read a blog by my daughter where she addresses a talk given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, an apostle for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) during the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference this 5th day of October.  The talk is titled " Like a Broken Vessel" and he directly addresses the issue of mental illnesses with the focus being on depression.  He told us in this talk that those who are struggling should not be ashamed and that healing is possible.

My daughter was brave enough in her blog to admit her struggles with depression and anxiety.  Her courage has motivated me to add my voice with hers.  I have struggled most of my life with mental illness.  I too know what it is like to be depressed and depressed to a point of not wanting to function or sometimes not really feeling like I had a purpose for being on this earth.  I also struggled with a Disassociative disorder that made me feel like I was not normal and would never know what it would be like to live a normal life.  For the longest time I felt broken and often hopeless because the time that I grew up in, telling someone you had certain problems meant you were "nuts" and might have to be put away somewhere.  My struggles were added upon due to issues of abuse at different times in my life.  My ability to function and take care of my children was declining.  I knew I needed help and got down on my knees and turned to the Lord for help.  The Lord answered my prayers and I was blessed to receive help to heal.  The Lord as Elder Holland states in his talk is " the divine potter" that is helping to mend my broken vessel.

Writing this blog is out of my comfort zone. Even though it has been many years and I have experienced steady progress and success, it has been difficult to open up about the struggles of mental illness because of the fear of not being deemed "normal."  However, I'm tired of being afraid and realize that being deemed normal is not as important as the opportunity I have on this blog today to offer hope to others that are struggling with mental illness.

I testify that there is hope of coping and healing with mental illness through relying on Jesus Christ the Savior of the world.  He will help you, I know this because He has helped me. Day by day, year by year, he enables me in becoming more mentally and emotionally functioning.  He has walked with me not only through trials, but has provided me with accomplishments and success I had not previously thought could have existed. I ask any who struggle with mental illness to open the door to the Savior and invite his healing power into your life.  It isn't always easy, at times I still struggle, but because of the Savior I get stronger everyday and so can you.

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