Tag Archives: open letter

an open letter

To Christian parents, mentors, therapists, teachers, and well-meaning friends of people who struggle with mental illness: you don’t have to make every single conversation with your depressed loved one circle back to God. Sometimes it’s important to leave those conversations for another day, or leave them altogether. Sometimes all the other person really needs is a kind, understanding word, a hug, or just your quiet presence as you silently let them know you’re there for them. With all the things spiraling in the mind of a mentally ill person, it often only adds to the guilt and confusion and frustration to have someone you care about be able to do nothing other than talk about how God is the answer to everything.

Because while, yes, He is the answer, it’s not YOUR job to tell them that. It’s not your job to make them feel God’s presence or to convince them that God’s love is the only thing that matters. Because sometimes a hurting person needs to be told that their pain MATTERS, regardless of whether or not God works that pain for good. It’s your job to simply love them. Because sometimes they need to know that YOU love them, because you are what’s right in front of them.

I know you mean well, and I know you think it’s necessary to connect EVERY little thing to religion, and I know you may even question my own faith for saying this, but frankly, you gotta let it go. You over-harp on the one thing you know, and never consider that there are other components to someone getting healthier. The fact that YOU don’t have any other coping mechanisms for struggles in your arsenal is NOT an excuse to guilt trip someone else with constant talk of God. Seriously. It’s exhausting. Give it a rest already.