What is Real?

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2015 Nancy Virden

photo-24745211-woman-and-cell-phone (1)What is it that takes over and makes us so afraid sometimes?

In the world of psychology, it might be diagnosed an anxiety disorder. A chiropractor’s assistant told me it was due to spine issues. One doctor whose practice is popular  online blames the sugar and food industry. In some churches it is called a spiritual problem, and to the extreme, even possibly demonic.  

At present I’m listening to a radio station where the hosts are suggesting Facebook makes us more anxious.

I don’t know what brings on severe anxiety. I just know that on social media we can paint our life picture however we want and look really put-together. Social media is fantasy. Real people in real pain, like you and me, look online and compare the fantasy others have presented to our very real experiences.

Everything posted is out of context. We are not challenged by real relationships, and we can live in the lies quite comfortably. But here’s the real truth. We all hurt. Sometimes we hurt very badly. Anxiety catches up with us and we can be afraid to admit it.

This morning I didn’t hide my anxiety. Instead, I reached out and asked my Christian friends to pray for me. I know the strategies for combating anxiety and keeping it from becoming overwhelming. I know how to distract myself from pressing matters that may be triggering it. I know how to do the best I can in the face of it. But I do not know how to live life successfully on my own.

I’ve tried to have surface friendships. Decades have been used up while I struggled silently. IT DOES NOT WORK.

So this morning I reached out to a friend for help who came over, and prayed and talked with me. It is in practicing real relationships that we are challenged and grow, becoming more capable of offering and receiving real love. Without that, our hopes of living a mentally healthy life is limited.

So what’s real? God’s love. Eye contact. Sharing misery and joys with a person who is in the same room.

Real is better.


Comments are always welcome.  NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

*picture from qualitystockphotos.com


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