May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so my posts this week are about different mental health issues. My hope is to help in a small way to lessen the stigma surrounding mental health. When I consider what Jesus said in my theme passage for this series in Matthew 11:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
It seems to me that those of us who follow Jesus should be willing to help others who struggle with issues like PTSD-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
While it has not been a major thing for me, there are times that a certain trigger causes me to experience anxiety to the point my blood pressure goes up and I can’t seem to think clearly. That is when I go to a doctor, any kind of doctor. It can be as simple as a phone call from the doctor. I should probably explain that.
When I was sick 25 years ago, I lost memory and had difficulty communicating. I was trapped inside a body that wasn’t functioning properly, but in my spirit I knew it wasn’t the real me. When the doctor finally diagnosed the cause and started me on medication, it took five years to piece my life back together and discover what God was calling me to. Because of being sick, I had to leave the bible college where I was studying for ministry. I had lost everything.
So when I go to the doctor, get a phone call from the doctor, it all floods back. I speak three languages, but when I see a doctor I clam up and can’t communicate. I have learned to write things down before I go, so I can focus.
My case is mild. As long as I don’t go to the doctor, I am okay. Of course living with chronic illness makes seeing doctors unavoidable. My case is not severe like people who have been through terrible traumas like war, being victims of assault, being in a car crash and losing loved ones for example. But going through what I did has given me empathy for those who struggle with PTSD.
When I pray, it helps me to remember that Jesus understand trauma. I shared about it last year in a post- Jesus understands trauma. Jesus was rejected by his own people, put through a rigged trial, deserted by friends, tortured, and crucified. He understands trauma. That is who said, “come to me all who are weary and heavy laden.”
If you are reading this and struggle with PTSD, please seek help. There is hope. Also please remember that Jesus understands trauma and is ready. willing, and able to help those who seek him.
If you know someone who struggles with PTSD, be a friend, a listening ear, but don’t throw simple cliches at them. Recovery can take time.
If your struggle is severe and you are having thoughts of harming yourself, in the U.S. you can contact the Lifeline by clicking on this link- Lifeline. or you can call 1-800-273-8255.
Try to remember- Your Story Isn’t Over Yet. My story wasn’t over when I was sick or while I was trying to piece my life back together. God wasn’t done with me yet. I love the video I am sharing by Rachael Stevens- Your Story Isn’t Over Yet, so I am sharing it again.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.