The Religious Exercise That Helped Me in Residential Treatment

Below is a journal assignment I wrote in 2013 while in residential treatment. The assignment was given in one of the Christian groups they provided. The assignment, which I found therapeutic, still helps me today whenever I refer back to it. We were told to introduce ourselves from our God’s perspective. I’ve often beat myself up, felt the anger at God, and questioned my purpose here on Earth. This assignment didn’t necessarily help give me exact answers, but it did help show me grace that I often am unable to see through my own:

Ashley has been close to my heart ever since I created her. I know she questions me at times why she was even born if she can’t accomplish what she believes her purpose here on this earth is. I and others remind her, though, that she is only 21 years old. It scares her because she believes she will have to live with the pain for the rest of her life here on Earth. I again try to remind her through my word that both pain and sorrow may be there through the night, joy comes in the morning. I know her three favorite versus that go along with that are Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11, and Phillipians 4:13, which she holds onto dearly despite her having trouble believing them right now. Ashley is a true fighter in my book even though all she believes is that she has failed in my eyes. I try to remind her I do not count her sins or keep a record of wrongs. She is also not a mistake. I do have beautiful plans for her, although she believes none are there. I see how compassionate she is towards others and how much she cares for others despite her lack of patience and irritability at times. I know she tries her best to please me despite her believing that all she is doing is failing me, but I know her true heart’s desires. She tries to remember not to try to please others because that is not her job, especially when sharing her own faith and testimony. She’s realizing now that it’s impossible to please everybody. I know she is still working on finding a line between pushing things on people and being controlling because she believes I am in control of everything.

Image via Thinkstock.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Mental Health

Francesca Timbers Creates Pins Designed to Help Reduce Your Anxiety

Francesca Timbers is always on the lookout for creative and fashionable ways to raise mental illness awareness. First, she created Motivational Tattoos, a line of temporary tattoos shaped like band-aids featuring motivational affirmations for people with anxiety and depressions. Next, Timbers launched self-care stationary, turning her tattoos designs into stickers and creating dissolving thought cloud [...]
Colorful illustration of woman's face comprised of flowers

My Mental Illness Does Not Make Me Less Human

I was with some people when they made comments about another person supposedly having a mental illness when it wasn’t known if he or she did. I have heard other people say not to take someone seriously because they’re “crazy.” I told them that I have mental illness and that it was no laughing matter. [...]
Hillary Clinton holding a microphone

How Hillary Clinton's Mental Health Plan Leaves Out Those With Serious Mental Illness

Donald Trump has not introduced a mental health plan, so we can’t evaluate it. But Hillary Clinton did introduce a mental health plan. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it is not as good as the bipartisan Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H. R. 2646), which passed the House by a vote of 422-2, and [...]
crowd of people walking

What Finding a Kindred Spirit Means in Mental Illness Recovery

I can count on two hands the celebrities I met during my first hospitalization in London. However, I can only count on one finger the friends I have made and kept through eight inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations spanning 15 years. It’s no small feat to share with someone you have been in a psychiatric hospital once, [...]