Lent has arrived! 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 depression or a bipolar condition, instead of giving up candy, cake, or coffee, give up the following:
- RESISTANCE– to admitting you have depression or bipolar condition or seem to be headed 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 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 have done when seriously depressed or manic
Certainly pray, fast, and give arms 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 apart of the community. Take care of the 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 yourself a healthy treat (not necessarily food) once a week, make sleep and socializing a priority, and each day go outside and notice one thing God has created.
For those of you who do not have depression or a 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 try
- MAINTAIN HEALTHY PERSONAL BOUNDARIES– even those who are ill should not be allowed to overstep proper boundaries
- TREAT THOSE AFFECTED THE SAME– as everyone else
- RESPECT– affected persons’ privacy. Don’t ask if they are on medication or in therapy. Those closest to them will know that information and it’s no one else’s business.
May you all have a blessed and fruitful Lent!
Picture is Ash Wednesday service on the USS Abraham Lincoln, property of the US Navy, public domain