Lately, I have been reading a lot of different people’s experiences with mental illness. The stories vary from depression to anxiety, Bipolar Disorder and one that specifically spoke to me yesterday about a woman that had a schizophrenic breakdown. She said she felt like demons were trying to keep her from God’s love towards her. She said all she could say was the name “Jesus” until it finally stopped. She went to the Dr. and was put on medication that helped her to start leveling out. When you are experiencing psychosis it literally seems like demons are taunting you. Sometimes this LAPSE of reality happens when you are under severe stress or you are internalizing a lot of emotions without expressing yourself. This happened to me one time a while back. I was under severe stress because of my circumstances and some relational issues with a family member. At the time I had a necklace with a wooden cross on it. I took the cross off and carried it around for days gripping it in the palm of my hand. I don’t even know if I was able to pray, but if I was it was probably saying the name of Jesus also. God knows every intricate detail of the way we are wired…including our brains. This was a very trying time for me, but I know God was with me. While I was going through it my daughter was also really suffering with her illness. It seemed like during that time we were both fighting for our lives in different ways. One day we were riding down the road and she played a song. She said it was for me. At the time she had no idea what was going through this brain of mine. People with mental illness tend to try to put a smile on their face so the ones they love so dearly will not worry about them or think they aren’t okay. I don’t know what made her say that, but she’s always been spiritually in tune. I had never heard the song, but the lyrics spoke to me that day. They said:
If you’re going through Hell keep on going, don’t slow down..If you’re scared don’t show it..You might get out before the devil even knows your name..Well I been deep down in that darkness I been down to my last match Felt a hundred different demons breathing fire down my back And I knew that if I stumbled I’d fall into the trap that they were laying yeah But the good news is there’s angels everywhere on the street holding out a hand to pull you back on your feet The ones that you been dragging for so long you’re on your knees you might as well be praying guess what I’m saying if you’re going through Hell keep on going….
And with that being said this illness can seem like literal Hell sometimes and the ONLY way to get through is to hold on until God brings you through. Because HE will…He did me because I held on until I got my peace again. Only people who have experienced the darkness of depression and other forms of mental illness get what I am talking about. The wars that we have in our brains are brutal at times, but I am thankful that my heart and soul is anchored. We have to really depend on God for strength and use whatever tools He gives us to get us through. Whether that is medication, prayer, a wooden cross, a song, etc…we will prevail..That woman is doing great today, but that experience left a mark. A mark that I could relate to and gain understanding through my own personal experience, She did say she has a bible verse that she holds onto and it just happens to be my favorite also.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.