A Letter to My Church

speechIf you’re struggling – and want those around you to understand –  how do you help them?

A woman I’m in contact with wrote this remarkable letter to her church – published in their parish magazine:

A Confession…

I have a confession to make. I have been diagnosed with a mental health illness. The question is will you now walk on the other side of the road?

It is not easy for me to admit I have a problem, namely because of the stigma, and because society is less accepting of a mental illness rather than a physical illness. Secondly I am a Christian and I feel that somehow Christians should be immune from mental health issues. I’m not sure if this is a view shared by others.

In March I was diagnosed with atypical anorexia nervosa. Over a period of months I had restricted my diet and my weight dropped.  I was at a high risk of sudden death but I couldn’t see it. The illness is overwhelming and overpowering. I was under severe pressure at work and at home and I felt that life was getting out of control. Unfortunately instead of asking for God’s help I found something I could control – my diet. I refused to listen to family and friends until I realised that I was in danger of starving myself to death. At that point I was admitted to The Priory where the long road to recovery began. It was at that point that I allowed God to take control of my past, present and future.

I stayed in hospital for two months and with God’s help and the support of family and friends I am on the road to recovery. Yes, I am mentally fragile and yes I am struggling still. I am indebted to those people who have supported me and not judged me harshly.

I was really helped by 1 Peter 5. 10. ’ He will make you strong, support you and keep you from falling’.

One day I will be strong again but until then please don’t walk on the other side of the road.

Everyone who suffers from a mental illness needs your love and support. There but for the grace of God go I.

3 thoughts on “A Letter to My Church

  1. What courage! if only we could all be so transparent, it would help others to understand mental health issues, encourage those with problems to admit it and ask for help and possibly enable help to be given with more compassion. Thank you.

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