I used to be that person that thought that mental illnesses were just something you could “snap out of.” That you choose to be happy and depression is something anyone can overcome. Little did I know.
I came across this picture a few months after I came home from my mission. It struck a chord with me because I felt like I had been wrongfully judged at times. Yes, I came home from my mission after 11 months because I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression after serving for 5. I came home a completely different person, a broken person. My Mom has said that the girl who came home was not her Al. That’s when I needed love and understanding the most, and I did receive that from others who had mental illnesses and could relate, but from those who didn’t… they didn’t get it. Some would try and get it but sometimes that made things worse because they would try and fix me and find the source of my suffering when there isn’t really one to be found. It’s just there. It just is. It’s part of you. I wish everyone could understand that. I wish I understood it before all this happened to me.
We, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, are supposed to love unconditionally and lend support when others need it the most. I am sad to say that I didn’t always feel that. And if there is anything you can do for someone who is experiencing what I went through, it is to be there for them and LISTEN. Don’t try and fix them or figure out the reasons behind their behavior. The storm they are walking through is sometimes beyond comprehension. Sometimes it’s beyond our own comprehension and even we don’t understand what’s going on and why. Yes, it’s frustrating. Another reason why we shouldn’t judge.
At times I believe Heavenly Father gave me this trial so I could understand better that this is far from something that can be shrugged off. And I want to believe that He gave me this handful so that I could help others with their handfuls. So that’s what I’m doing, I’m trying. Please let me know how I can help YOU or what you would like to hear/see come from this blog. Thank you.