21st February 2016

‘The LORD is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’ Psalm 34.18

I have spoken publically about my own struggles with depression that can occur from time to time in my life. Fortunately, compared to some people, I suffer relatively mildly and do not feel afraid of seeking appropriate help when that happens.

I have made this public because there is so much stigma attached to mental health issues. People who need medication for such things often fail to seek help because they fear it is a sign that they are not coping and should be stronger. Many of us believe that what happens in our head is something over which we should ‘pull ourselves together’ and that recovery is simply ‘mind over matter’.  Tablets may signify a loss of control and are often given derogatory names like ‘happy pills’.

For me, I came to realise many years ago that there are times when the chemical balance in my body goes wrong. It can be triggered by health issues or by life events. Sometimes I am able to take time out and work my way through it but at others a little more help is required.

People who suffer from mental health problems often suffer in secret. It seems incredible that the prejudice in society is still so strong that people think that I am ‘brave’ for speaking out.

One thing I would like to say however, is that I am very well. Your care and support has touched me greatly but a Sunday away from the parish, a yawn on a day when I’m tired or even a ‘down day’ is all part of the normal pattern of life and does not signify imminent breakdown. I have and continue to be supported by some wonderful friends, a good GP and the power of the Holy Spirit working in my life.

Particular thanks to those of you who have been prompted to share your own stories with me. My prayer is that we will continue to grow as a fellowship where it is safe to be broken and imperfect but still know ourselves loved and accepted.


 

Every blessing

 

Jenny                                                                                                          


2016 Archive
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