LC Johnston

Spirituality and Mental Health

Following our weekly support group meeting November 11, 2018, our covered topic being Spirituality and Mental Health; I have given great thought to this topic prior to, during, and since. It inspired me to consider this topic for my next piece. 

Interestingly, since I picked this for a topic many additional pieces have come to my attention while working on this writing. 

One fascinating concept that was covered was a spiritual crisis. Meaning that a study found individuals facing spiritual crisis would be more likely to develop PTSD according to the study. For me and many others on parallel paths, it was acknowledged that not only was there a spiritual crisis when the development of the condition and symptoms began but many of us (in the group and outside the group) found great purpose, spiritual growth, individual growth, and even found the process to become a positive change in our journey and growth process.

The transcending of our prior self to the manifestation of our current self that fought through the journey and the personal growth that must occur to overcome spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally. 

With great adversity comes incredible growth. The primary fascinating observation I have had helping, learning, and watching others with PTSD is their huge desire to help (heal) others, how volunteer work, nonprofit work, higher callings and other outlets for the passionate assistance of others is extremely common. Interesting realization in my opinion and in many ways reminded me of the below article where the Doctor equates mental illness in his culture to “the birth of a healer”. I have seen many Veterans and Individuals that suffered from PTSD turn their journey, symptoms, and condition into positive changes, overcome the negative aspects, and grew to be their best version of themselves. 

My condition literally took me on a long and grueling journey, through the darkest, most shameful parts of myself, and back. I had to reevaluate my entire life, opinions, and beliefs all while still trying to live each day. Continue parenting and being all my many roles in life. Having been in the field of mental health prior to my condition, was a major cause of embarrassment for me particularly; as if I could and would be exempt from struggling in life and having feelings. While realistically this should have not deeply affected me as it did; it was one of my many obstacles’ to overcome to get to this point today.    

How we measure our own worth has a lot to do with this journey. For example, my own personal worth was totally tied to my identity as a soldier. I have seen and heard this many times from many people. Once that part of my journey ended I was lost and in a sense felt without purpose. Yes, I am a Mom and have other purposes however I had lost a big one that I felt tied into every other purpose in my life. You do not become a Warrior because you go into the military, many of us go into the military because we have always been warriors. Understanding that our purpose is bigger than a military mission, an overseas campaign, and any other measurement of what is a Warrior. We are Literally Warriors of Life! PTSD is a gateway to finding our full purpose (for others it can be any number of other illnesses, injuries, and conditions). Keep Marching on Warriors.

Until next time wishing you much Growth and Grace.

https://www.jaysongaddis.com/the-shamanic-view-of-mental-il,lness/ 

https://educateinspirechange.org/spirituality/shamans-believe-mental-illness-is-something-else-entirely/ 

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