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Lost Sheep

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This is significant to me because I have a mental illness. I have schizoaffective disorder a combination of schizophrenia and a mood disorder – in my case bipolar. I am extremely high functioning for someone with a severe mental illness. This allows me to share my story about what it’s like to live with a mental illness in a less threatening way. But I want to be clear, I’m no different from those you want to label “crazy”.

I have scary symptoms. When I’m unstable I believe I’m literally in hell, alienated from God without any access to the peace and forgiveness He offers. I hear Satan’s voice in my ear and believe I have demon bugs crawling out of my skin. My greatest fears materialized, I cry and scream in agony for God’s forgiveness. I can’t do anything to alleviate this pain. Even suicide offers no relief because I’m already in hell. Suicide wouldn’t change anything.

Does that shock you? On the one hand, I hope it does. I hope my acting skills are good enough that I’m not obviously mentally ill. On the other hand, I don’t want to give you an easy way out to accept me. You see, I am THEM. That person you see on the street talking to themselves, those that lack the social skills to interact with others in a non-threatening way, that’s me you’re afraid of. Those you don’t understand or can’t relate to, those you look away from or ignore, they are ME.

Matthew 18:12-13 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.”

We are the lost sheep. Help us come home.

Photo by Robinson Recalde on Unsplash

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