Wednesday, 10 October 2018

World Mental Health Day

As someone who has suffered from depression and anxiety for all of his adult life, I thought today,which has been designated World Mental Health Day, might be a good day to break my blogging hiatus.

When I was young, I looked forward to having a family. Aside from the very positive influence of my own family and the regard with which the institution is held by The Catholic Church, I liked the idea of working hard to support people I loved. I always remember wanting a huge family; plenty of rascals enjoying themselves in a farm house with lots of land and animals for adventures. At no point did I consider such a life could be difficult.

As an adult, once I had realised that my depression and anxiety were not going to magically disappear one day, I convinced myself that I would never be able to cope with the demands of marriage and family life. I was terrified that the burden and responsibility would be unbearable and that I would buckle under the pressure.

Today, I am a married man with a beautiful wife who is carrying our unborn son who we cannot wait to meet! What has changed?

The ostensible answer to that question is nothing; I still suffer from depression and anxiety. The reality however is wonderfully different. I believe I can cope. I have days when I'm on my knees but I have faith that I will soon get back up. Where I once believed I would be a burden to a wife and family, I see a woman who loves me, with all my faults, failing and difficulties. Together with my family, she supports and inspires me to better things. I have a little person on the way who I'm looking forward to introducing to this fascinating world in which we live. My faith in the promise that "God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear" [1] has been renewed. I see my marriage and fatherhood as my vocation; it is the way I hope to get to heaven.

Prayer to St. Dymphna

Lord, our God, you graciously chose St. Dymphna as patroness of those afflicted with mental and nervous disorders. She is thus an inspiration and a symbol of charity to the thousands who ask her intercession.

Please grant, Lord, through the prayers of this pure youthful martyr, relief and consolation to all suffering such trials, and especially those for whom we pray. (Here mention those for whom you wish to pray).

We beg you, Lord, to hear the prayers of St. Dymphna on our behalf. Grant all those for whom we pray patience in their sufferings and resignation to your divine will. Please fill them with hope, and grant them the relief and cure they so much desire.

We ask this through Christ our Lord who suffered agony in the garden. Amen.

[1] 1 Cor 10:13

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