March 11, 2016

If I could have a wish I would wish that life was a little more black and white. Actually.. I would probably wish for money because who wouldn’t, but after that I would wish for life to be a little more simple.

I remember being a kid and it seemed like life was black and white, you did your chores you got rewards, you didn’t.. and you got the look. However, with time came an understanding that things are not so simple. Simple would mean something breaks and you fix it and ta da! its all better. Not simple means something breaks and you try again and again to fix it but yet it will not budge. You put all the effort you can into it. You use every ounce of energy, every bit of creativity, every smidgen of strength and yet it does not move. It should work but it doesn’t. Because life is not so simple.

And mental illness is not so simple. Some of the saddest tears I see in my line of work are the tears of someone who tries over and over again and can’t seem to move an inch. I’ve tried getting sober 10 times and I can’t do it. I’ve tried every therapy there is and my depression won’t leave. I’ve memorized so many Scriptures and my anxiety still plagues me. As I sit and watch the tears of hopelessness I can’t help but wonder: Why can’t life be simple? Why can’t your effort produce an equal amount of results like we were promised as children? Why can’t there be a quick fix?

As someone who gets the privilege of seeing the tears, I also get the privilege of seeing the hopelessness and the pain. And it is a privilege. I wish I could convey that more deeply to everyone I meet, whether clients or not. Its a privilege to be in the pain. Even when its not black and white or simple.

To those that are in the pain and cannot seem to move, I say this: Don’t give up. I know it feels like it will never change. I’ve been there. I know it feels like it will never end. Like you cannot cope with out the drugs, porn, food, or whatever it might be. It feels impossible. It’s not. It’s not simple. You spent years building this way of coping and it may take years to get out of it ,but out you can come. It’s not your fault. I see your effort, God sees your effort. You are such a gift. You are an inspiration. Your life matters.

To those that know someone in pain, I say this: Don’t give up. Even though they seem to do the same thing over and over again. Don’t give up. Even though the anxiety seems to be about the same irrational thing again and again, don’t give up. They need you. Yes, put up some healthy boundaries, but keep the walls down. Tell them you are in it for the long haul and mean it. You are so lucky you don’t fight their battles. And you are so lucky your character can grow by walking through their battles with them.

Life’s not simple. Oh how I wish it was. I wish I lived in a Disney movie where the good guy always wins pretty quickly. But since I don’t, I leave you with some finishing thoughts: God cares more about your character than your circumstances. Its okay to get knocked down over and over again. Pain is easier when it is shared.

- Carissa