Tuesday, March 7, 2017

living with three dogs...

recently, you may have read in our family christmas newsletter a bit about our family story with depression.  One of the amazing things that came out of that was the amount of people who reached out and said things like "I never knew" and "thanks for saying something" and "i'd be glad to talk."  The moment you say something is the moment you take away shame and secrecy.   The most touching gift was one from Ontario.  A small book.

As you know, we have two dogs: the lovely distinguished big dog (ilala) and the crazy wild little dog (arrow).
However, this book reminded me of the third dog we live with... A black dog.  You can see the story in the following video.  I had a black dog, his name was depression. on Vimeo.  It's a World Health Organization illustration, and it does a good job with the metaphor.

One of the problems though, is that i really recognize, now, more than ever, some of my concepts and beliefs about recovery from mental illness: and how some of those concepts don't align between my personal belief system, and my progressional knowledge.

For instance, a recent struggle I have faced: is recovery from illness mean living symptom free? or does it mean coping with the symptoms that may continue to plague you?  I mean, if a person defines recovery as "symptom free," and I believe that may not actually be possible, how does that affect my actions/reactions/conversations? is that selling the person short, and losing hope? or, alternatively, is it being realistic?  If a person defines recovery as "symptom free" and recovery is defined by a person's own goals, than is that what we strive for?

That's hard for me to wrap my head around.  I struggle with that.
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Meanwhile, I am doing something called "the five marks of love" as a study through this Lenten Season.  Hopefully to have me feel a bit more connected to my anglican roots, and to provide me something to meditate on occasionally.

this week, the first "mark of love" is tell.  We are encouraged to ask 5 people some of the following questions: How have you known and received the love of God? What for you is the Good News of the gospel? What do you understand the Kingdom of God to be and how has this influenced the way that you live in the world?

Would you be willing to share that with me? I would love to hear and have you share that good news.