Friday, July 8, 2016

A Positive Spin

Six days after I turned 34, I fell back into the pit that is mental illness.  I had given birth to my third child exactly 10 weeks before, and I spiraled.  Fast.

This was nothing new, unfortunately.  I have dealt with OCD, anxiety, and depression for about as long as I can remember.  It's part of my makeup.  It tends to flare postpartum, so I should have expected a lapse.  I was not prepared, and that mental illness took. me. out.

The past 8+ months have brought both intense suffering and times of feeling perfectly normal (OCD tends to ebb and flow).  I've learned that if I can just hold on through those rough patches, then things always get better.  The suffering eventually lessens, and I've continued to outwardly function even through extreme difficulty.

I've prayed often (compulsively and not) about my mental illness, and yesterday was no exception.  I told God that I really wished that OCD was not a part of my life, which got me thinking.  It's easy to focus on the bad and the ugly in mental illness, but what about the good?  Wouldn't it be better to try to see something positive in it since it will most likely be around for the rest of my life?

Good has come in my: relationship with God, relationships with others, health, kids, and work.

Relationship with God 

  • much deeper than it would be if mental illness was absent
  • experienced God as my Rescuer
  • seen how much I need Jesus to be righteous because I cannot be righteous on my own
  • experienced humility

Relationships with others 

  • encourage others through my story 
  • connect with people I would not have met otherwise and on a deeper level
  • show empathy to fellow sufferers
  • witness for Christ and His faithfulness through my brokenness
  • show honesty
  • will be forever faithful to my husband
  • realize that everyone has something going on in their lives


  • eat plenty of vegetables and protein daily
  • exercise consistently
  • smell good most of the time
  • show vigilance with safety (that stove will NOT be left on!)


  • avoid too much screen time
  • eat plenty of vegetables and protein
  • are well-educated
  • know they are loved
  • are safe
  • have all medical care they need


  • am very thorough
  • execute my tasks well
  • am organized with my tasks
  • attuned to things that matter
  • committed to things

How have you seen mental illness as a positive?