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Editor's Note: We are a non-religious magazine. However, we acknowledge that spirituality is an important part for some. Our Faith column is a place for anyone to discuss how faith positively affects their mental health and how to improve the conversation around mental health within faith communities.
Oftentimes during recovery, we view our journey as the path by which we are meant to overcome, to defeat something less than which exists within. While it is true that mental health issues can hinder us from being the better, healthier version of ourselves, we must remember to always see things through The Lord’s eyes. It’s a common tagline: “God does not make mistakes.” We are exactly as He meant us to be, even with our flaws and scars, visible or unseen. In the same ways He renders us broken, He makes us extraordinary. We need only to look closely to see it. We are perfectly made imperfect.
As someone who has suffered with depression and anxiety issues nearly my entire life, I know how easy it can be to see your disorder as the worst part of yourself.
We allow our fears and shortcomings to define us and hold us back from continuing to grow or heal. Through my commitment to recovery, I have begun to see things more clearly–most importantly, the positive ways in which my struggles allow me to shine.
My OCD has ruled my life for more time than I’ve ever managed to control it. It makes me irrational, sets me on edge and causes me to do and think things I don’t want to. I have definitely sought God in my anger and frustration, seeking an answer for why my mind works the way it does.
While I can’t know why these obstacles have been placed before me, I do know the same part of me responsible for my obsessive thoughts and compulsions makes me excellent at multitasking. I am organized, particular, and focused. Details interest me, as do the ways they come together in a greater picture. OCD might be my greatest weakness, but it has also gifted me some of my greatest strengths.
In the same way, my anxiety makes me a worrier. I am cynical more often than not, and always looking for the worst-case scenario in every situation. I am the definition of an over-thinker, and I ponder things until I’ve created a much bigger problem in my own head than what’s ever existed in reality.
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It’s exhausting to feel “at the ready” all the time, always waiting for something bad or unexpected to throw things off course.
Anxiety might prevent me from perceiving things optimistically, but I have no doubt that it encourages me to consider things from a more unbiased point of view.
I might be an over-thinker, but I’m an incredible problem solver. I am patient and I take the time to see a thing from every direction, weighing it, evaluating it. I can create solutions knowing that I’ve done so after careful and thorough consideration.
I’m not going to say that I always love the parts of me that are damaged. I am only human, and I struggle with the challenges God has set before me. Recovery is a process, not a destination, and I have only just begun to gain control over my own little piece of this world.
I am not perfect, but I am perfectly made. Just as I am. While it’s easier to focus on our own shadows, there is light in every space, if we have the faith to look for it.
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