Saturday, 11 October 2014

Emotions, truth, BPD and faith.

So yesterday was world mental health day, I didn't write anything, I didn't think of anything I felt I could share. Not that there isn't a lot that needs sharing stigma that needs challenging and other things, there is, but one day can't change all of those, I wish it could. For me every day is a mental health awareness day, every day I learn more through my struggles and challenges of living with a mental health problem. Sometimes it is hard to share things and make people aware when your going through it. I don't have all the answers. I do know what it's like to have a mental health problem, but I am still learning.

Today I saw someone tweet a quote form Will van der Hart, which said this "Your life doesn't start when your healed, it starts when you find Christ." This got me thinking about 'life'. Being ill isn't the way I want my life to be, it often doesn't really feel like living at all, however I became a christian quite a few years ago. No, I don't fully understand Christ, but I don't think that is what the quote means. However, I am lucky enough to be able to journey with Christ through the ups and downs of being ill, and I am living a life, I am spending time with God, with others. I am getting through each day and learning each day, I am living life.

This leads me back to a point I have been directed to a lot recently. Feelings and emotions are not what we should base our truth and our lives on. Just because I feel a certain way doesn't make it true. Not that feelings are bad, but they shouldn't be what runs our lives, they should play their very valid part, but they are not the main part. Combatting feelings with the truth can provide real comfort. For example, I often feel alone - I am not alone, I have an amazing God who is always with me and I have great people around me, thats the truth - knowing the truth doesn't always make me feel less alone, but it reminds me that feelings pass and that I do not have to live my life based on them. Feelings and emotions are a massive part of BPD. Feelings for someone with BPD are extremely intense and overwhelming and can change very rapidly, which can often leave people feeling like their decisions are taken away from them because the emotional reaction caused is so strong the actions are done before the thoughts are processed. People with BPD have a really hard time trying to STOP then THINK then DO. There tends to be a more DO then STOP then THINK automatic brain process, but with practise Im told this can change. But emotional decisions can be a part of anyones life, and generally a not very helpful part. We can combat it with truth.

So I challenge people to think about their own mental health, you don't have to be ill to have problems with it, being aware may help you make changes that prevent illness. You don't have to be ruled by your emotions. And remember, as I remind myself, that is a bumpy path, mistakes are OK, learn from them and keep taking steps, and if you cant then let Jesus carry you.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Day 17, Jack Monroe's book.

Today I am thankful to God and worshipping him because of Jack Monroe's book, A girl called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes. I got the book quite a while ago, and it has really been a blessing to have. 

Part of the journey I am on, with being unwell, and being too ill to work, is being in the benefits system. The money I get each week, and have done for over a year, is classed (by the government) as not enough to live on for a period longer than 3 months. Most of that journey I have been seriously blessed by friends giving and humbled by the way God has provided. Since moving out of supported housing and having to manage bills for the first time I am learning to budget tightly to get through each month without getting into trouble and one of the things that has really helped me is this book by Jack Monroe. It has recipes and explains how she went on a journey of living on £10 per week for food for her and her son, which believe me is not easy! The simple tips and recipes she has written from experience have helped me be able to cook easy healthy meals, and helped me not yet need the help of a food bank yet, like so many people do. 

Living on little money isn't easy, and is even harder when your poorly. I can't do everything I need to do to live as cheaply as I could if I was well, sometimes I can't even summon the energy to cook, but when I can these recipes help.

I recommend the book to anyone, struggling with poverty or not. If you have the money spare and the ability to do something to help people struggling with poverty then please do! Volunteer at free social groups that support people, at the homeless shelter; donate to food banks; campaign for better services. Use what God has given you to help those who are struggling, just as those who are struggling are trying to!

What are you worshipping God for today?