This morning I watched the TV show, The View. Pastor Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, were guests and they said a lot of things I completely agreed with. First, they discussed the tragic passing of their son, who suffered from various mental health issues, and eventually took his own life. All of us have experienced some form of depression in our lifetime. We don’t have to be diagnosed with clinical depression or other mental health diagnosis, to know that being in a state of depression is a very hopeless, horrible, and lonely place to be. I am not making light, I realize that chronic depression is much more serious than a rare bout of it. Sadly, some people who are in that state of depression, feel that things won’t get better and don’t feel that they have any worth in this world; leading them to often end their lives. One of the ladies on the panel asked about whether the person who has mental health hasn’t prayed enough, as if praying will alleviate and cure them of their mental health issues. Pastor Warren stated very clearly, that our faith has nothing to do with eradicating our mental illness and the stigma that goes along with treatment of mental illness, often makes people halt from getting the help, they desperately need. I don’t suffer from chronic depression, but I do have bouts of clinical depression. I know that there are things I have to do to try and keep myself “even”, like praying, meditating and eating right. That doesn’t mean I won’t experience feelings of depression, but as I get older, I know that I need to take better care of myself to try to arm myself with the best armor so that I can “defeat” those awful feelings of depression. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I know I have to hold on tight, and wait for the depression to “lift”. Pastor Warren said that no one would question him twice if he had to take a pill for his heart, liver or any other body part, but if he has to take a pill for his mental health issue, then people tend to judge you. My own church starts many services out with praying to God to rid people of all of their ailments, including fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, which are two things I live with. I often wonder how someone in a wheelchair feels? Do they think, if I only prayed harder, then maybe I could walk? I try not to dwell on that, I know that it’s all meant well, and I most certainly pray every single day for pain free days and a cure! But, I don’t blame myself or think that I’m not Christian enough or spiritual enough for God to heal me. A while back, I wrote a post about how my illness almost has nothing to do with me, it has everything to do with others around me and how they treat me!
Another point made by Pastor Warren and Kay, was about how hard marriage is. Marriage is very hard! I’ve been married for 13 years and I can’t remember having a “honeymoon” phase. It’s a myth that couples who never fight are perfect and that every day is all roses and chocolate. Give me a break! Marriage is a lot of work and there are times you don’t even like your spouse. You love them because you care about them, but truly liking them, is a whole other thing! Marriage is very hard and sadly, too many get married young or too soon and don’t realize what kind of work goes into it. Too often people think that if they fight, then it’s all over. Too often during a fight we say, “let’s just get divorced”, like it’s nothing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking counseling to work on one of the most important things in your life, your marriage. Granted, there are very serious reasons why people should not remain married; no one should live in an abusive marriage. But, too often we get irritated by the most minute things, that if you take a step back, you learn to pick your fights. My husband and I are about as opposite as it gets, although, the longer we’re married, the more we’re becoming alike. We don’t like the same TV shows or like doing the same events, but we focus on the things we do enjoy doing together. If anyone says being married is easy, then they’re lying or they want to have the facade that they have it all under control. There was a point in our marriage several years ago, where I moved out. We separated for about 3 months and then we decided to move back together. I realize that may not work for everyone, but it worked for us. I read that if you break a bone, the spot where that bone heals, becomes the strongest part of that bone. So I like to think that our separation has “healed” us of what issues we had at that time and we’re stronger than we were before.
Take your time, don’t rush into getting married. Forget about the fairy tale of wearing a beautiful dress and all the fancy things that come with a wedding. Instead, ask yourself, if we went to the justice of the peace, would I still be just as happy with getting married? If you say yes, then you’ll know it’s likely based on real love, versus the fairy tale. Never let anyone tell you it’s a bad thing to seek counsel for your marriage, or for any health issues you’re enduring.