Are You Challenged to Accept Other’s Limitations?

August 25, 2016

Are You Challenged to Accept Other's Limitations?

I stood over my daughter’s bed and screamed at her, “Get Up, Get up, Get up” as she repeated back, “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. It seemed like the most absurd response I had ever heard. This reaction and behavior were unexpectedAfter all, I was her mom, and she was to do what I had asked of her. Obedience was something that had come relatively easy up to this point; besides that, it was time for school.

Oh my gosh, was this the dreaded teenage rebellion settling into our home or was it something different? Up until this point, I had some control – not that I had perfect kids, but they were pretty good. Now for some odd reason, I couldn’t get her out of bed.

I tried the patient and kind way, “Honey it is time to go to school,” The angry mom way, “I said get up, do it now.” Then the teaching Mom way, “it is quite simple you just put one foot in front of the other, see this is how you do it.”

Yes, I demonstrated the way one foot goes in front of the other. Okay, laugh – it is funny now. I finally gave up and out of exasperation left the room. Here I was the Mom, and I couldn’t get my child out of bed.

I was so frustrated, angry, and I felt like a failure!

 This was new territory, and I didn’t like it. Little did I know, this was the beginning of my introduction into the world of mental illness. On that day I had no idea what the “real” issues were. My life changed that day from orderly control to chaos and frustration in a quick minute. That control I prided myself on soon became a world of the past.

I needed to move from control to acceptance, or I was going to drown.

We need to – “Accept Mental Illness is Real.”

Recognizing mental illness is real has been challenging and quite a journey. It did not happen overnight. It is easy to sit from my vantage point and say, “If I can do it, you can too.” Up until this point, it never occurred to me that people just might have different limitations than me. Then to complicate matters even more, those limitations in the world of mental illness can change at any given moment.  After all, she got up yesterday, why not today.

I have read, studied, taught, and learned an immense amount about mental illness and what it feels like to be depressed. I know it is silly, but I have even laid in bed and tried to be depressed in the hopes that I could understand my loved ones and offer better help.

Don’t get me wrong, all of this learning has helped tremendously and gotten me a lot closer to what it is like to live in the mind of someone with a mental illness. It has taught me skills to cope and ways to help and support my loved ones.

Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes

But the truth is, when you boil it all down, I still don’t know what it is like to feel clinically depressed. No one can walk in someone else’s shoes; we have to walk in our own. It is impossible to know if it is too hard for another to get out of bed.

I found fighting against the reality of mental illness to be a waste of time and energy. This precious time and energy could be put to better use. Judging someone else’s abilities also just left me frustrated and worn out.

Knowledge and acceptance have spurred compassion, empathy, and understanding which brings about a better Mom for the unique needs of my family.

I encourage you with whatever you are struggling with in someone else to

Choose Acceptance

After acceptance, you can begin the journey of understanding. After all, isn’t that what God does? He accepts us right where we are.

What are you challenged to ACCEPT?

 

23 Comments

  1. Reply

    Brandi Raae

    I really like this thought: “Knowledge and acceptance have spurred compassion, empathy, and understanding which brings about a better Mom for the unique needs of my family.” 🙂

    I can’t relate to mental illness, but I can definitely relate to feeling like a failure in the mom-of-teens department! I, too, seemed to have so much more control when my kids were little. It can be SO difficult sometimes to muddle through the teen years!

    Thanks for sharing with us at Literacy Musing Mondays.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Oh, those lovely teen years. They sure can be difficult. I am so glad we are out of those. Maree

  2. Reply

    Barbie Swihart

    I am so thankful you are writing about mental illness. I come from a long line of women who have been medicated for depression at one time or another, including myself. A mild form for me but it comes in unannounced and unexpectedly and throws me off my feet. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Barbie, Thank you so much for sharing your own experience. I have not experienced it personally so it helps me, help my loved ones when I can connect with others that know first hand what it feels like to have depression. I can attest I have seen it rapidly take over unannounced and unexpectedly. I think those that fight mental health problems are brave, strong, and amazing.

      Thank you also for your encouragement to write about mental health challenges. I believe the more we educate and talk about mental health the better we can help and find more compassion instead of judgments.

      Hope you are enjoying your weekend,

      Maree

  3. Reply

    Debbie

    Acceptance is hard sometimes, especially with mental illness my son has schizoaffective and his brother would question whether it was real or if he was faking as did my other daughters but fortunately they all support him in his journey now even if they do not understand thankful for that small blessing

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Debbie – I am sorry your son has to struggle with a mental illness. I know it is hard for the entire family. You are so fortunate that your other kids support him. Have you ever taken the NAMI class Family to Family? It is a great class for the entire family. Blessings, Maree

  4. Reply

    Karen Del Tatto

    Thank you for continuing to share your journey so transparently and the lessons the Lord is showing you in the midst of it.

    I found myself pausing to reflect about “accepting others limitations” and realized this can look very different and be found in many different circumstances, yet the acceptance would be the same for all; for the very reason you stated – Jesus accepts us, we must show grace and accept others in their limitations.

    Thanks for this edifying post.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Karen, Thank you for your encouraging comment. I am so glad you paused to reflect. Wishing you a Happy 4th of July. Maree

  5. Reply

    Sarah Koontz (@sarahekoontz)

    Love this: After acceptance, you can begin the journey of understanding. That is such a profound truth. We each have our battles, struggles, wars to fight. This life was never promised to be easy, but with Christ we are able to love and learn through it all.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Sarah – I love what you said, “but with Christ, we are able to love and learn through it all.” So true when we anchor to him possibilities are galore. Maree

  6. Reply

    Esther Dorotik | Chosen & Cherished

    Oh, Maree, this is such a needed topic in the community, including the Christian community. So many struggling people who need help, not judgement. I lost my younger brother to a tragic event as a result of mental illness. There’s just not much help available for adults. I am so glad your daughter has a praying mama who does the homework needed to deal with this very real issue. Blessings!!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Esther, I am so sorry you lost your brother. Sending prayers up for you and your family. I am not sure when your loss was, but I know the pain lasts a lifetime. I happen to be at the NAMI National Convention this week learning more ways to reach out and help families that struggle with mental illness. Thank you for stopping by and leaving such am encouraging comment. Blessings, Maree

  7. Reply

    Sarah Geringer

    Excellent post, Maree. When you’re dealing with mental illness, it does change “normal” situations. I can relate.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Sarah, I feel so lucky in that I received two comments from you today. Thank you for stopping by and reading. Maree

  8. Reply

    Michele Morin

    These are wise words for navigating the rough waters of parenting — or for dealing with any of the difficult people we encounter. The more we love someone, the harder it is to take a “hands off” approach to loving them. Thankful that God is available with wisdom and plenty of grace.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Michele – I agree with what you said, “the more we love someone, the hard it is to take a “hands off” approach.” I am trying to exercise a bit of that this weekend. I know the key is leaning into God. Maree

      1. Reply

        Bette

        Thanks for the reminder, Maree, to “lean into God!”

        1. Reply

          Maree Dee

          I know for me its the only way I get through the rough stuff. Praying as I send this to you. Maree

    2. Reply

      Bette

      I have been reading over several comments made over the past few weeks tonight because my husband & I are spending time with our daughter who struggles with borderline personality. She & her husband have two little boys (an infant & toddler) and, unfortunately, are stuck in denial over her mental illness. After only being in their home approximately 24 hours, I have found myself being unfairly targeted & used, once again, as a “scapegoat.” However, I am hanging onto the fact that “with Christ, I can love & learn through it all”, no matter how upsetting, hurtful and difficult it may be. Thank you, Maree, for providing this wonderful blog and support group!

      1. Reply

        Maree Dee

        Bette, Praying for you. I know it must be difficult, but you are so right with Christ you can love. Let it roll right off. Maree

  9. Reply

    Bette

    Thank you, Maree! I have been holding on and not giving up for over 25 years, thanks to the strength God has provided me. I am determined not to quite and so appreciate your blog which helps me keep going, despite my very difficult and painful circumstances. It makes me so sad to know a young child is being used as a “hammer” as well, but I know God has His eye on him!

  10. Reply

    Bette

    Thanks for that story and for the encouragement; I have a similar story of a daughter who I discovered has mental illness, so it provides comfort to know that I’m not alone. While I was originally challenged to accept the fact that she had a serious disorder, my challenge over the last few years has been to accept that she is in extreme denial over it. It’s a real challenge, especially now that she’s married and I have a grandson, to accept that she is very hostile towards me for believing she’s mentally ill, and has chosen to turn it around on me, refusing to be in relationship unless I “abolish” that thinking! HELP!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      You are definitely not alone. That is a lot to accept. I always say one step at a time. Remember acceptance doesn’t mean we give in, give up, or agree with the other person. It just means we accept things as they are. Don’t lose hope. Things can change. I know she is blessed to have a mom that won’t give up.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: