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.