I know I wouldn't hear anyone refer to someone with cancer as being lost. Would I? No, of course not!
So why refer to those of us with mental illnesses as being "lost"?
Just because our brains aren't working properly, just because our emotions and feelings are sometimes all mixed up and we act a little "crazy", does not mean we are not "Christians" who have lost anything. We are not any less of a "Christian" as any other.
Just because we tend to get overly angry, rarely violent, over-react, and so on, does not mean we have stopped or are not "Christians".
I have witnessed more than a few people "acting out" or having trouble adjusting to an "episode" or "break" and was quite angered by the people around them looking on in either shock and/or anger. I even heard more than a few people over the years actually say, "someone should lock them away, they're a danger to us."
I could not believe, in this day and age, that there are still those that actually still think that way.
I myself have been told that mental illnesses were "sinful" and were not "of God". I have been told that I was cursed by the devil and was deceiving myself.
Sadly these comments came from "Christians".
I always thought that Christians should or would know better, and I would not face any kind of judgement or ridicule from any Christians.
The truth is, and what I did not realize, that I was thinking and feeling the same way, just from a different perspective.
We Christians are just people, sinners all of us. Prone to making mistakes, and without realizing that we were.
There is stigma and reverse stigma, meaning close mindedness from Christians and Christians who have a mental illness(es).
Thinking back to where it was first pointed out to me; would you believe it was an "Atheist" that pointed that out. That Christians were still people, prone to making mistakes. Ironic or what?!
Now, I am still not saying the actions and the words of those "Christians" who think and feel as they do towards of us "Christians" with mental illnesses are excused.
Neither are we "Christians" with mental illnesses who think and feel the same towards "Christians" who do not have mental illnesses.
But, people need to realize that we are not being sinful, lazy, or deceptive. We, or, our brains are sick. An imbalance of the chemicals in the body and the brain are what mental illnesses are. Man, I have said this more times than I can remember! Mental illness is in the same category as cancer and so on, that be the category of illness.
The stigma I mentioned previously exists because of not understanding, and through my experiences, stigma also exists because of those who are so arrogant, that they think they know about mental illness, it's cause and needed treatments and the actions needed to be taken around and with those who are ill.
That arrogance makes them ignorant.
No one, I repeat, no one, who does not actually have a mental illness or more, can actually know for sure. Not even those trained and schooled in mental illness can truly know what it is like.
Diagnoses are usually based on trial and error, and guessing, for lack of a better word.
I'm not saying those who are trained and schooled don't know what they're doing or talking about. They obviously they do, or they would not be doing what they are doing.
And the truth is, we the ill, need help, support from someone, and a lot of it.
Just because we know what it feels like first hand does not mean we can figure everything out, or anything, for that matter, ourselves.
When you get sick or hurt; where do you do? To the doctor.
So, when one's brain is sick and hurt; where do you go? To the doctor.
Basically, what I think I am trying to say is that both sides need to understand each other.
Fighting back and forth is not going to help anyone. It won't change the minds of anyone. Excuse the pun, unintended.
All the in-fighting is just making the devil all the stronger. For He is the one who is causing all of this great big mess. And all of the diluted kind of thinking. All the delusions on both sides to exist and thrive.
"Christians" need to stop referring to "Christians" who are mentally ill as being "lost", or "sinful". And, in turn, we "Christians who just happen to have a mental illness(es) need to try and and be patient, because those on the outside looking in just do not understand and are "ignorant", no offense intended, to what they see and are watching what is going on.
The only way the "stigma" surrounding mental illnesses is going to stop is through education and communication on both sides, not that I'm saying we are on opposite sides.
We must realize that we are all on the same side.
We are all God's children, looked upon, all of us, the very same way. None is loved by Him any less or any more than any one else.
We should all be looking upon each other as "brothers" and "sisters" in Christ. That is the only way we should be.
"One for all, all for one, and all as one under One." (Scott David Buckley)
It all comes down to, after everything is done and said, we should love one another as we are commanded to by God and said by Jesus; "One command I leave with you, that you shall love one another as I have loved you."
I guess that answers all my opening questions.
I think I have even taught myself something while writing this, as you might see as you read through this.
And makes my point, that we should stop arguing and the such between ourselves and start loving each other.
We all need to educate and communicate with each other, both sides listening and giving the benefit of the doubt.
Now, there is always going to be those, on both sides, that will plain refuse to listen to reason. Those are the ones who need love all the more.
Someone once said to me: "Love changes everything!"
We need to guard and still our tongues, and we need to educate ourselves as much as possible, thereby guarding our minds.
The tongue and the brain rarely are on the same page, so, think, then say, or don't say.
Lets just love each other, each and every one of us.
Love is the only way that we will do away with the "stigma" surrounding mental illness(es).
Remember, "Love is forgiving, and love is for giving." (Scott David Buckley)
I believe love is the meaning of life and the key to living a meaningful life.