What’s normal anyway…

Posted in faith, mental health with tags , , on September 30, 2008 by johnnamusing

The other day I was at my parent’s house and came across a book I hadn’t seen in years called “Mama, Get The Hammer There’s a Fly on Papa’s Head!” by Barbara Johnson. If you ever need to just laugh when things are crappy or even when they aren’t then she is a great author to read. Her books are filled with all kinds of stories, quotes and sayings. She has one that I love about what is normal- “Normal is a setting on the dryer”.  I love this one because there have been so many times, with all that I have been dealing with, that I have thought or said “I wish I could just be normal again”. I know that’s not an uncommon feeling and that it is not just something that people who are dealing with mental health issues feel. Whenever I start feeling like that and I remember that quote I remind myself that I am still me. Yes I may have too deal each day with taking medicine and other things that go along with taking care of my mental health but it doesn’t take away from who I am. I’m still intelligent, creative, compassionate and a lover of God which are all the things I was before I started down this path.

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What’s new

Posted in dissociative identity disorder, mental health with tags , on September 27, 2008 by johnnamusing

It’s been a busy few days trying to get some things in order.  I got my DID blog Faces of Me up and running and also started working more on my jewelry. In between all that I’m still working on my book and doing some painting. There’s a gallery near my grandmother’s house that displays artwork by people with disabilities so I may drop in there the next time I’m over that way. The other day I was looking at videos on DID and there was one that really struck a nerve. It was short and nicely done but some of the art was triggering which is why I didn’t post it but here is a link if you want to see it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUaLXDIyfew . The part that really struck a nerve is how she was afraid that if people knew about the DID they would leave her. She said it was like re-victimization. I think that has been one of my biggest fears also. I have had some people change towards me when they have found out. In the past I have also halted my healing process because of it. At this point in my life I have realized that God had given me the ability to dissociate so that I could survive the things that I went through and not give up. For that I will ever be grateful.

Excellent Video about DID

Posted in dissociative identity disorder, mental health with tags , on September 22, 2008 by johnnamusing

Plea

Posted in faith, poetry with tags , , on September 19, 2008 by johnnamusing

I know

Ive not been forsaken

But inside I really feel dead

My faith has gone down

The drain of despair

And I wonder

If Ill ever get back there again

You’ve engraved me

In the palms of your hands

But all I feel is

Whirlwinds around me

Help me to see

That you are still here

That you care as you did

When these same winds

Engulfed my young life

Please breathe on me again

That I might once more

Have hope.

 

 

 

(I wrote this a couple of years ago when I was deep in the heart of the wasteland. I felt lost and alone but He was faithful and has given me hope again.)

The Stigmatization of Living With Mental Illness

Posted in depression, mental health with tags , on September 18, 2008 by johnnamusing

I don’t know if its the results of movies, news or just society in general that adds the most to the stigmatization of people living with mental illness. Actually as I think more about it, the biggest thing that contributes to the stigmatization is just the basic lack of knowledge about mental illness. I do admit that groups such as NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) are doing alot to raise peoples understanding, but for years a person living with mental illness was looked upon as being unintelligent, someone to be afraid of, or someone to be hidden away- “don’t let the world know/see”.
The truth is, that there are several famous people who if they had been “hidden away” then society would have missed out on the great contributions they gave. To name a few of them:

*Abraham Lincoln, former president of the United States, lived with clinical depression
*Albert Einstein, scientist, lived with bipolar disorder
*Ludwig Van Beethoven, composer, lived with bipolar disorder
*Virginia Woolf, author, lived with bipolar disorder
*Vincent Van Gogh , artist, lived with bipolar disorder
*Lionel Aldridge, athlete, lived with schizophrenia

As a christian living with mental illness, I think the stigmatization is even harder to get rid of. People expect you to pray away the depression, get “delivered” of other personalities, not need to take medication, etc etc. What then happens for the one living with mental illness is either 1) they end up getting worse or in the hospital because they stop taking the medicine they need, and/or 2) they end up in more despair than they were before because they can’t meet the “expectations” that other people put on them.
Being a christian living with mental illness can be a very lonely place. You start thinking “If I only had more faith” or “Im not good enough” or “God has given up on me”. Even though those thoughts are not true its hard to stop believing them when some people around you reinforce those thoughts by their reactions to you.
Ok time for a reality check,- If your a christian living with mental illness, then know that God hasn’t given up on you. He says it in His word over and over that He will not leave or forsake you. Believe me when I say that He knows all that you are going through. He sees the dark times that you are struggling to walk through and He is crying along with you, and cheering when you make steps.
If your a christian who has friends or family members living with mental illness then don’t give up on them and don’t give up on yourself. Your words of encouragement may seem to fall on deaf ears but trust me they are going into hearts and taking root. Keep speaking them! Let your friend cry when they need to, laugh when they can, and talk if they are able. Just knowing that you are there will make a difference. If you don’t understand their illness try to read up on it (NAMI is a good place to look).

Lost Hope

Posted in poetry with tags on September 18, 2008 by johnnamusing
I lost you,
Held you tight
For a while
You kept me strong,
Believing
There was something
Out there for me
But every time
It was in my reach
It quickly flew away.
If you would only come back
And put the pieces together
I could rise
From this pit I'm in
And shake off the cloud
That hangs over my head.
I dropped my sword somewhere
And the fears overtake me.
Where is my Knight
To bring you back to me
And send the fears
Running again.

Self Portrait Collage

Posted in artwork with tags on September 16, 2008 by johnnamusing
Self portrait collage

Self portrait collage