Getting Help Is Not Just About You

My little dog Itsy is a special little girl. I have this stuffed animal. It is a monkey with a little stethoscope and medical bag. It is my little doctor monkey friend. I do not routinely keep stuffed animals but this one I have. One day Itsy found the monkey and decided it would become her new chew toy. I did not intend for the monkey to be her chew toy so I took it away and set it up on the mantle. Now 4 months later every night she climbs up on the chair scratching at the mantle trying to get to the monkey. She is a dog that turns in circle all day, cannot find her food bowl yet she knows exactly where this little monkey is hidden. She is quite the interesting little creature.

We to as humans have our idiocies and issues we face. Some of us have diagnosable conditions. I myself have a learning disability, PTSD and a major mental illness. I often encounter others with similar conditions and struggles. In christian circles I will sometimes encounter people that warn against modern medical care for mental illness. Rather than encouraging counseling services and such they will discourage it. It is rather old thinking in my opinion. Or people do not understand they need care to begin with.

Thus I have been faced with the question of “does seeking modern medical care for my struggles mean I lack faith in God?” For I have had a few people even suggest this. My answer is absolutely not. Rather I have faith that God works through professionals. People trained for particular issues serve to do the works God wishes. For he gives them the authority and knowledge to do so. My faith has lead me to care. Similar my belief in God’s greatest commandment to love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself is often what motivates me to seek care.

When I am mentally unwell I am not very good at loving much of anything. I am a better friend, employee, daughter, etc, etc when I am healthy. I see this in many others who are going through depression or even challenging grief. Depressed people find it hard to love others. I personally take my medications, seek out counseling services and manage my condition as best I can because it helps me fulfill God’s greatest commandment. I have faith and trust that God is working through the professionals and doctors in who’s care I am lead.

Living with chronic illness is challenging. Chronic issues not only impact yourself, they impact all those around you. We can sometimes be unaware of how our own illness affects others particularly those we love. There is a limit to what we can do but seeking treatment is often not only for ourselves. It is for others.

Counselors in particular specialize in relationships and human behavior. Seeking care to improve your relationships and learn how to love others better is one of the greatest investments your can make. Sometimes we wait to long. It is the difference between going to the dentist for a check up verse waiting until you have an abscess that is infected and your face is now swollen and red. Don’t wait until life in imploding rather make an investment even now. Particularly if you are the loved one or person who I would call a bit “special,” like my little dog Itsy. Nothing wrong with “special.” I adore my dog Itsy but there is no denying she is a special one.

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