“Lies and Light” is a series of original articles, aimed to combat the inner-struggles of mental illness with the light of truth. While framed in a Christian viewpoint, people of all backgrounds and beliefs can find universal truths here, to help them fight the lies a sick brain may be trying to feed them.
Lies and Light: 1
You are alone.
No one cares about you.
No one even notices you.
No one sees your pain or hears your cries.
No one will notice if you disappear.
These are lies. LIES.
Let us make it very clear, right here and now, that you are not alone. Read that bit again: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I get it. The loneliness and the pain and the darkness suck you in, they envelope and smother you. It is like walking around with weights chained to your limbs, and having a gag stuffed down your throat that keeps you from calling out for help.
You might feel this way all the time. Maybe it is a new sorrow, and you are drowning in shock and confusion. Or perhaps you have felt this way for a very long time, and have tried and failed over and over again to numb yourself to the agony.
We must overcome this feeling. No one, especially not you, deserves to feel this way forever. But you are the one who has to take the first steps, as excruciating as they may be, to lift yourself from the abyss. Only you can open the door to healing.
Healing takes many forms. It may mean reaching out to someone. Seeking medical treatment. Detoxing. Getting out of a bad situation. Time. But there is one source to which we all need to turn: The Master Healer.
It is only with the help of our Savior Jesus Christ that we can fully recover from the spiritual scars this lie can create. This lie that you are alone.
“Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.”
We will discuss two ways this scripture might be interpreted.
1) We are never alone because we have a Heavenly Father who loves and cares about us, and who longs to actively connect with us on our mortal journey.
To expand on this point, let us establish that you are a child of God. You have Heavenly Parents who nurtured and taught you before you came to this earth. Every person is your brother or sister. You are one piece of the giant human family. Without you, that family is not whole. Your Parents see you. They watch over you and love you. You are never alone because they are with you.
You also have a Savior, Jesus Christ, who speaks in the above verse. He suffered for you, and knows you perfectly. While no one else can fully understand your struggles, He does. Earlier in John Chapter 16, Christ speaks of the Comforter, whom he sends to us. This is the Holy Ghost, who can be with us always to comfort and strengthen us.
Taking a step back from the religious, think simply about the life you lead everyday. The people you pass on the street, or in the office or classroom, or in your home. Those are real people. Just like you are a real person. Some of them know your name, others notice the color of your hair, or the clothes you have on. They see you. Even if only subconsciously, you have already become a part of their lives. And they are a part of yours. You are connected.
And therefore, you are not alone.
2) Every man who leaves Christ, will do so alone. When they leave, they will be alone. But Christ is not alone, and with Christ we are not alone, because the Father is with Him.
While the first interpretation is more comforting, the second should be seen as a warning and a call to action.
At its simplest, it instructs us to not leave Christ.
Maintain your faith continually, and learn of Him. Become more like Him. Make choices to bring Him into your life, and your Heavenly Parents and the rest of the eternal family with Him.
When you lose your connection to the Divine, when you cut it off, or smother it, you will feel the effects. You will feel alone.
[*Note: Mental illness is not an indicator of spiritual weakness or rebellion. Depression and anxiety are not symptoms of a lack of faith. But where there shines the light of Christ, the darkness of the adversary will come to attack. Imbalanced brain chemicals and compromised emotions are the chink in the armour that the adversary needs to slither inside and feed us lies. These can be almost impossible to ignore. But as we take steps to improve our mental health, we can learn to distinguish the lies and cast them out.]
Because Christ is the One who connects the whole human family, removing Him from your life creates a barrier between you and other people. Isolation takes over, and negative feelings multiply. On the other hand, when you experience Christ’s love, you discover the way your love for others is expanded and magnified. (Keep in mind this requires a true connection to God, not just blind activity in church or rote worship.)
What is beautiful about this, is that we can always change. There is always more to learn and understand, and the path is there for each of us to come back to Christ and truth. Even when we feel alone, we can have hope that eventually, we will not be alone.
What is it like to feel alone? – Lamentations 3 (Old Testament)
I am scared I will always feel this way. – John 14 (New Testament) see verses 27-28
Will God really stand with me? – Helaman Chapter 5 (Book of Mormon)
Will God really answer my prayer? – “Fear Not; I Am with Thee” by Jean A. Stevens
What can I do if my mental health is causing me to feel alone? – “Like a Broken Vessel” by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
What if God has forgotten me? – “He Will Place You on His Shoulders and Carry You Home” by Dieter F. Uchtdorf