Hello mental health champions, how are you doing?
Today I wanted to talk about the importance of hope and faith when you’re battling a mental health crisis. I personally have struggled off and on my entire life with mental health disorders and many times, crises. Now everyone may have their own thoughts and opinions on this and I think that is amazing. Anyway that you can find hope or believe in faith when going through a rough mental health battle is important.
I personally have always been a religious/spiritual person. I grew up going to church and I enjoyed learning about right from wrong and how to be a better person. Most importantly, I relied on my faith and spirituality to get through a lot of the turmoil I was facing. I think a part of why I put my faith in spirituality is because when you’re going through tough times, it can be hard to keep the faith. However, sometimes you feel so desperate for help and to feel better that you have to put your faith into something and so I put my faith in God. I wore my cross necklace and scapula throughout the entirety of seventh grade which was when my OCD developed. Mind you, I was suffering with intense intrusive thoughts. I was so scared of these thoughts that I was legit scared I was a horrible person. I thought I deserved punishment and to suffer. I was scared that I was evil and the scum of the Earth. When I put my faith in God, things felt less scary. I felt protected and strong with my scapula and cross necklace. I would grab it and pray when I felt scared and alone and it gave me some comfort in an otherwise- completely uncomfortable time. Now please listen when I say that you can’t just “pray” mental health disorders away. Most people need intense therapy, medication, etc. But for me, I also needed hope. I needed to believe that my life would get better and that I would survive the pain I was feeling. I needed to feel comforted and protected in some sense and what gave me that was having faith in God and hope for the future. I needed to believe in something bigger than me and bigger than this world to get through that pain I went through. I don’t think people can truly understand that pain, desperation, and guilt unless you go through it yourself. I HAD to put my faith in a higher power to survive that time and I believe it worked considering I am still here today trying to help others going through the same thing. Whoever and whatever you need to put your faith into is completely up to you! But I recommend trying to connect or believe in a higher power to help get through.
The next thing you need is hope. Without some hope and positivity, the fight can feel pointless. I tried to picture my future and goals for my life. I would write down what exactly I was fighting for. I was fighting for a family someday, my own business (did this already), success, a nice home, good health, etc. I would remind myself of that picture when I would feel overwhelmed and it was something to try and fight for. Having that hope and positivity that things would get better actually helped things to get better. Anytime I was ruminating with an intrusive thought I would remind myself that the thoughts wouldn’t win because I had so much left to accomplish in this world. I also wanted to change people’s lives for the better and I would not give up until I hit my goals and made that scared little girl proud. There are many times I thought I would never get better. There were times where I did get better and then the intrusive thoughts would relapse. There are times still to this day where I battle my OCD. But through this all, I kept the hope and faith that I would amount to someone who is kind, loving, successful, and inspirational. OCD has and always will be a relentless disorder. However, through my faith and hope, I know I will beat it just like I have every single time in the past. I keep this reminder close to my heart in times of trouble. I got a tattoo Sunday that serves as a reminder of my courage and faith. It is right on my left wrist and everyday I get to look at that and be proud of what I have survived and accomplished. If you’re struggling right now, please know you have a purpose and a bright future even if it seems unclear right now. You can do amazing things despite this disorder and you will get through it!
Talk to you soon brain battlers, Gracie <3
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