A wise man once referred to mental disease as; the dark abyss of the mind. A crater of darkness in the brain for which there is no relief. It has been my privilege in life to care about, pray for, and love a number of people who have bravely struggled through this blackened landscape of emotion. Such devastating diseases of this nature vary in degree as well as intensity for not only the people who live with and love the sufferers, but for the victims themselves. Everything from Postpartum, Bi-polar, anxiety, Obsession,Disassociation, schizophrenia, borderline personality, and attachment disorders have touched the darkness.
The worst part of these diseases is there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Many people know what it's like to be in pain, depressed, tired and worn out. We also know that when we rest, heal, and "get back on our feet" those sicknesses are temporary. Have you ever imagined how you would cope with those feelings if they never went away?
A dear friend of mine suffers from Dis associative Identity Disorder, formerly known as Multiple personalities. This disorder is formed through extreme trauma at the hands of the most trusted care givers, and at a very young age, before the age of seven. The condition is deepened and worsened with continued abuse and trauma, but before the age of seven experts believe the broken pieces of the mind can be put back together. My friend didn't have the chance to learn what was happening to her until she was in her twenties however, and now she struggles daily, and for the rest of her life. If it's not the paranoia, anxiety, depression, hallucinations, and physical pain. It's the expense of therapists, medication, treatments, and hospitals. The side effects of both the disease, the trauma to her body, and the medications make her life a dark abyss, indeed.
The good news is, she is actually a fabulous cook, an avid hiker, a dog lover, a preschool instructor, and a primary teacher. She loves, laughs, inspires, and sets an example for people like me.
Anyone with chronic disease of any kind knows how easy it is to slip into depression when your body and/or mind betrays your desires to be happy. I was warned years ago that diabetics are prone to depression. After I lost my father, I sank into that very quagmire of darkness with out a fight.
Yet, anyone who knows me now, knows I am severely optimistic. I love life, people, my family, my friends, and my Savior more than anything. It doesn't treat, heal, or eliminate the diseases. It doesn't bring health, rest, or relief. It does bring hope.
"The best medicines are listed as: Love, Laughter, and hope. I will never see this world, my children, my grandchildren, or the ones I love. I hope that one day when I can see, i will. I'm not sure it even matters though.
The hope that keeps me from losing my mind is not to recover what has been lost. It is the hope that nothing is truly lost.
Its not the hope that there will be an end to life and release from pain. It is a hope that life learning will never end, even if it comes with pain.
It isn't a hope that soon it will be over. It is a hope that even though it will never change or get better; I will.