Mental illness is a dark sickness of the mind. When you face it from day to day, it seems as if there is nothing good about it. What positive side can you see of an illness that plagues your soul and mind? When you are suffering with mental illness, it seems like an evil curse. However, there is always a positive side to every heartache and trouble that we face.

   While struggling with mental illness, I thought God was punishing me. I felt like my life was a disaster and my illness was a living hell. The hole of mental illness was my dungeon. How could I see anything good about it? Living with a blanket of darkness deep within my very being seemed more like a curse.

   I read Romans 8:29, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,” and found a new way to view my sickness. In other words, God doesn’t let us face anything without a reason. There is a good side or reason for all our struggles. God has a purpose for everything.

   I had to find recovery to see there is something good about suffering with this illness. Mental illness gave me strength I didn’t know I had: Strength to face and fight a very horrible illness. Once I realized recovery was possible, I dug down into myself to find the ability to fight for recovery. This new found strength has helped me face many trials and tribulations. I figure if God can give me what I need to deal with my illness, I can handle whatever life throws my way.

   Suffering with mental illness has also molded the person I am. It has made me sensitive to others’ needs and problems. I am sympathetic to others who are struggling or are facing rough times. I like to listen to others and give them some encouragement. It has also made me proud of the person I am. I’m not afraid to admit who I am and what I have faced to get to where I am.

   Having this illness also gave me a purpose. Everything I learned through years of therapy and studying my illness has given me enough knowledge to write this blog. By writing this blog I can help others, teach others and maybe change some people’s views about mental illness. Facing this illness has given me the ability to speak out through my writing. I learned that the only way to take a step towards changing the stigma is by writing about it and telling my story. I’m not afraid to tell people I have mental illness. I believe God allowed me to deal with this illness so I can tell my story and what I have learned to the world.

   It’s hard to see, but God has a purpose behind life’s ups and downs. He never gives us anything we cannot face with his help and usually these things we go through lead us to something better. If I never had mental illness, I would not be writing this blog. If I wasn’t too sick to go on to a four year college I would have never made the friends I now have or met my husband. God has a plan for our lives and it may not be the same as we have planned, but God’s always knows what’s best for us.

   Look at your illness and see what good you can find lurking behind it. Find what purpose God has for your struggle. Maybe he wants you to write about it or talk about it. Maybe he wants you to use it to help others. Maybe he wants you to volunteer at a mental health association. Find the positive side to your illness. How does it change you? In what ways has it helped you? What inner ability has it uncovered for you? Then use the goodness of your illness to reach for recovery and stay in recovery.

   Now that I know God’s purpose behind my battle with mental illness and the good side to it, I stand proudly in his light.

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