I don't know about you, but I hate putting puzzles together. I don't have the patience for sorting through all the pieces, matching like colors and designs and then assembling them. I'm sure it's satisfying to snap the last piece into place, but the perseverance and patience it takes through the process is just more than I am willing to commit to.
It's interesting then, that, lately, I've been comparing my mental health to a puzzle. To me, looking at mental health as the pieces of a puzzle being fitted together makes perfect sense. Here's why: I truly can't say that there is only one thing that has gotten me to the place of being mentally "well". Rather, it is a number of little "pieces" that have been carefully ordered and combined to create a complete and lasting picture.
To be sure, some pieces are more prominent than others. Medication has played an important role, as has counseling/therapy, and lately something new I've discovered, tapping meditations. For the next few weeks, I'm going to be sharing about the pieces of my mental health puzzle and how they have been intricately designed to give me a much better state of well being. My hope in sharing these pieces is that you will take a look at your own mental state of being and begin to see what gaps you might be missing. Once you identify what pieces might be missing, I hope you make a concerted effort to fill in some of those gaps for the sake of finding your own path to freedom.
The first and most vital piece to my mental well being? My relationship with God. By that I don't mean that I have all the answers religiously speaking. Nor do I think that I have something with God that no other being on the planet can have. Simply stated, it's a living, breathing, active relationship - with a God who loves me with an everlasting love. It's one that's been built over time. It's a relationship that, on occasion, I have wanted to give up on. He never has. I truly believe that it is a relationship God wants to have with each one of us, a personal connection that he is always in pursuit of.
Truly in all the chaos and crisis I've run across in my life, God has been my constant guide and companion, a silent partner in some ways. He has always been willing to teach me and to lead me, to comfort and to care for me. As with any relationship, there have been plenty of times when I've been angry with him. Truthfully, He probably has been with me as well. But, in general the relationship has been real and vital.
How has this relationship helped me with my mental health? Because I'm in fellowship with the One who made my brain and knows all its intricacies. He knows all the things that have been haywire about it, as well as all the reasons why it doesn't always work the way it should. I truly believe, I was given this condition so that God could shape and mold me into who He wants me to be. On a more personal level, I think He gave me this challenge so that I would reach for His hand and ask for His guidance. Like I stated before, God is the One who has pursued me all along, even when I wasn't pursuing Him.
So how can God fit into your own mental health recovery? Quite frankly, if you don't want Him to, He won't. I think God is a gentleman and He won't show up where He's not wanted. However, if you find yourself in a place where you feel at the end of your rope, listen to The One who is calling out to you. Reach out your hand and take hold. You won't be disappointed. He is the only true source of all comfort, hope and healing.
My prayer for you, readers, is that stubbornness and willfulness won't stop you from getting the help you need. May God grant it for Jesus' sake. Next week's topic: Medication and the role it's played in my mental well being. 'Til next time.