Scars from mental illness are not always familiar, but they are worth looking at and getting a grip on. Most people in society today look at those scared by mental illness as not worthy or not equipped. You may not be able to see emotional scars like physical scars, but they are scars all the same. When it comes to emotional scars from mental illness, shame is seen in self-harm or isolation. So, what if we don’t have visible scars that stick out like a sore thumb but in emotional ways that sometimes no one sees. Physical scars fade away with time, but emotional scars stay with us.
Do people treat us as they do because they love us and want to help or is it out of sympathy only? Seeing how people look at me as I struggle with mental illness has always been a struggle. Feeling down now and again is normal but feeling down for prolonged moments every day is not.
What do I mean by my scars define who I am? We can learn to live with are mental illness or learn to live in recovery. We must not let the negative aspects of mental illness define who we are but let the positive aspects define us. The negative feelings we all face can be turned positive if we seek Christ Jesus, who will walk us through those dark and dreary times.
2Corinthians 12:7-10 “Therefore, to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” The word you translated in Greek is “you all,” meaning it was not just for Paul, but all believers who faces trials.
I could live in fear, thinking I could never accomplish things due to my mental illness, but the Lord had different plans. He healed me of my Learning disability and depression but left me with ADD and a sleep disorder. Does that mean the Lord did not cure me, or could I take those scars and use them to my ability? Jesus Christ helped me to write and publish a book. He also helped me graduate with a degree in Biblical Theology and Biblical Application, getting licensed as a minister.
He helped my wife and me to start a mental health ministry called Bro Hun Recovery Outreach. Yes, I have mental health scars, but they define me in making me the person I am today! They comfort me, knowing Christ is walking me through the trials they bring. Life is hard, but God is good.