Today’s post is my 200th. And I want to use my 200th post to take a moment and reflect on why I take the time to write these posts. Yes, it is therapeutic and yes I like to write. But it is more than that. It is something I feel needs to be done. Something I feel like I should be doing. And it ties in with something that was the pastor was discussing at church this past Sunday. Specifically, he was talking about answering God’s call.
His point was that when we talk about God’s calling for us, it isn’t directed to any one person. God doesn’t go to one person and say, “hey, Joe, it is your job and your job alone to feed the hungry.” Rather, God puts the calling out to everyone, and waits for someone to respond. I joked under my breath that God sounds like a telemarketer, simply cold calling everyone and hoping that some people answer that call.
Yet, it is true. God’s work isn’t something that will be realized by any one person. It takes all of us. And that is especially true when it comes to something as daunting as breaking the stigma surrounding mental illness.
God and my faith were essential parts of my recovery and they remain an essential part of how I manage my demons. I have looked back on my past and seen only one set of footprints and assumed that God had abandoned me, only to realize He was carrying me because He still had a plan for me. And now that I am able to talk about my battles, now that I am capable of letting other people know they aren’t alone, that others have been to hell and survived, it seems pretty ungrateful for me to not use that capability. Part of how I do that is through this blog, and this post marks the 200th time I’ve answered God’s call to greet the suffering of mental illness with compassion and openness.
I don’t talk about my faith as often as I should because I recognize and respect that not everyone believes what I believe. Yet, this calling, this striving for a world where stigma is a thing of the past, isn’t something that requires faith. Anyone can have compassion. Anyone can reach out to someone who is trapped in the darkness and say, “it is okay, I’ve been there too, and I know the way out.”
So to all of you out there reading this, thank you. I am grateful for my readers. I am hopeful that my words find someone who needs them. And I am optimistic because I look around and see that I am not the only one answering the call. Others are speaking up about their experiences and answering the same calling that I am. And together I think that we can make stigma a thing of the past. So thank you for reading, and an extra thank you to those of you who answer this calling in your own way.
Until next time…