Lent has arrived (tomorrow)! So it’s time for my traditional Ash Wednesday post. Here are my thoughts on what to give up (or do) for Lent.
For you with a depressive or bipolar condition, instead of giving up candy, cake, or coffee, try giving up the following:
- RESISTANCE -to admitting you have a depressive or bipolar condition or seem to be heading for relapse
- PRIDE -that says, “I can handle this on my own.”
- SHAME -in the belief that you are not good enough or “strong enough” because you have depression or a bipolar condition
- FEAR -that prevents you from seeking help
- GUILT -to the point that you don’t believe you are forgivable because of the things you did while seriously depressed or manic
Certainly pray, fast, and give alms but also do the following:
- GO TO CONFESSION -because it will help you get rid of unreasonable and excessive guilt and make you feel more a part of the community. Take care of this spiritual aspect of your illness. It will help you stay well.
- SEEK HELP OR AT LEAST CONSULTATION –regarding any symptoms you may be having. This is the virtue of humility in action.
- MAKE THE EFFORT – to walk or otherwise exercise, give your self a healthy treat (not necessarily food) once a week, make sleep and socializing a priority, and each day go outside and notice one thing that God created.
For those of you who do not have a depressive or bipolar condition, Lenten sacrifices can come in the following forms:
- REFRAIN –from making judgments
- GO EASY ON YOURSELF –if it seems you cannot help no matter how hard you are trying
- MAINTAIN HEALTHY PERSONAL BOUNDARIES –even those ill should not be allowed to overstep proper boundaries.
- TREAT THE AFFECTED THE SAME –as everyone else
- RESPECT –the affected person’s privacy. DON’T ask if they are on medication or are in therapy. Those closest to the individual will know that information and it’s no one else’s business.
Have a blessed and fruitful Lent!