Struggle brings about a large amount of anger. Our first instinct when facing a huge, life-affecting moment like mental illness or addiction, our first instinct is to feel some amount of anger. We may direct it toward the people around us, the events that occur, or certain aspects of our lives. Sometimes we may just be angry with life in general. It’s natural and bound to happen. We would be surprised to find someone who has never felt anger when coming to terms with their mental illness. For many of us, that general anger may be aimed at one specific part of our life: God. We live in a largely Christian country. While we have tried to be inclusive and accepting of various other religions, there is no ignoring the fact that Christianity is still one of the most dominant religions in the U.S. Because of this, a lot of us have grown up with the idea of God the Church in mind. Some have distanced themselves from it, some have completely walked away from religion in general, but there are some who still hold on to their faith and will continue to do so. We believe all walks are valid and accepted, but today we want to talk about those who maintain a personal relationship with their faith and God.
There is a very general idea in Christianity that God is everything. He made the world, He made us, and we believe He has the power to bring us the good in life. We pray to Him because we believe He can change our lives for the better; we believe that by showing our respect to Him that we can be worthy of his influence on us. We won’t debate the harm or good of these beliefs here, but we will talk about how to manage faith when dealing with mental illness, specifically the anger we may feel towards God.
Doubting Your Faith
Nobody asks to have a mental illness. We don’t believe there is a single one of us who actively pursues developing depression, anxiety, addiction, or any of them. Nobody wants to develop unhealthy habits that can damage a person’s life. It’s simply counter-intuitive. For those of us who consider themselves Christian, we may believe that God is the one who controls what happens in our life. Some may think He possesses complete control while others may view us as having free will with the occasional interference by the Big Man, or Woman, Upstairs. So, when we are diagnosed with these illnesses and struggles, when they first begin to surface, we ask ourselves and Him one question: why? Why is this happening, and why are you letting it? If God is all-powerful and God is good, then why would He let us suffer through this? Doesn’t he have the ability to change this? Can’t he help us? And if he can, did he choose to let this happen? There are so many questions you may ask yourself, and we understand the feeling of wanting answers. Unfortunately, we don’t have them.
We can’t tell you what God is thinking; we can’t even tell you if God thinks. We don’t know and we never will know. We can tell you that faith is built upon the idea of uncertainty. The very definition of the word is to believe without proof. These things very well may challenge your faith and your ability to believe in God. We aren’t here to convince you one way or the other. But we can tell you that it’s okay to feel angry with God and to feel doubt. If anyone were to tell you that they truly believed without a shadow of a doubt, we would tell you that we believe they’re liars. Faith will never be perfect, and it will be tested, especially in times like these. You are not alone in your questioning. Hundreds of people are walking that same path as you, and are trying to find the answer you’re looking for. We don’t know if those answer can ever be found. We can’t guarantee any of that; what it will come down to is what you believe to be true. Are you able to reconcile the existence of God with the existence of your mental illness? Can you truly believe in Him if you are struggling? Are you able to live with the doubt? There isn’t a right answer to any of those questions; there is just simply what you feel is right. You have to come to a place where you are happy, whether that’s in religion or not. You deserve to find a place where you can feel comfortable in what you do, or do not, believe in. Trust yourself to find that place and trust yourself to know what’s best for you. In the end, that’s what matters most.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 or [email protected]