Have you experienced mental illness stigma?
Have you been a victim of mental illness stigma? The worst stigma I have felt as someone with bipolar came recently by an acquaintance and when I was a paralegal at a law firm.
But, I know that my mental illness stigma via friend or stranger will not last. One day, I will have a new label.
A Small Stone Changes Everything
I was looking for something in my night stand this morning to no avail. Then I saw a smooth, white stone sitting next to my lamp. I picked up the white stone, dusted it off and rubbed its glassy surface.Just for a moment, I felt peace about my current situation regarding the acquaintance’s stigma toward me.
Then, I journeyed back five or so years ago when my church was having a campus wide 24-hours of prayer.
When I first arrived at church, I went into the worship center. The lights were down and the blue lights were accenting the fog from the dry ice. Once I found a seat, I began to focus on the intent for being there. The worship band was playing prayer-focused melodies. I sang along for a few minutes, getting even further enmeshed into a prayerful mindset.
On my way into the church, there was a guide booklet to assist me in my prayer walk. When I left the worship center, I headed for the second floor fellowship hall. Upon arriving, I noticed it was transferred into a tiny prayer oasis.
There was a musician in the middle of the room singing songs. I saw on all four walls of the fellowship hall tiny stations set up for pray. In the guide book I received, I saw directions for each prayer station.
At the first prayer station I went to, had these white stones. I picked up one and proceeded to read the material that corresponded with that prayer activity.
In Revelation, the white stone was given by God and a new name was inscribed on it . Translation is that people who belong to God, will be given a white stone when they get to Heaven. The stone will have a new name on it.
To further clarify: it means if you were labeled on earth as an embezzler, liar, drunk, thief, prostitute, cheated on your taxes or had an affair, those labels do not stick anymore once you are in Heaven. You pass through those pearly gates and you get a stone with a new name/label.
The Stone, a new name
Let’s face it, this life is tough even without a mental illness. Now, I am not saying my whole life was horrible. What I am saying is that to have a new identity like whole, pure, clean, loved, blessed, would take all the mental illness stigma and throw it down the toilet.
So when I looked at my glassy white stone this morning, I remembered how that acquaintance treated me, and it doesn’t sting as bad.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, for whosoever believes in me, will not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Have you been stigmatized because of your mental illness? Tell me about it. Tell me how you got through it. firstname.lastname@example.org