Church Through the Eyes of Devastating Mental Illness

Day 10 of the 12 Days of CHRISTmas

The shiny tray comes around to me. I grab a piece of bread as I pass the tray to the person next to me. As I partake of the bread I remember how long it has been since I wore a dress and sat in a physical chapel. It was nice to hear the sounds of children crying. It reminded me that I was in an actual ward.

church-addictionAt the treatment center I went to a sacrament service held in the music therapy room due to the fact that there was a piano in there. It was nice to be able to take the sacrament each week. I help me stay focused and was a nice break away from the normal therapy sessions.

It wasn’t until later that I was able to get approval from my treatment team to be able to go to an actual church nearby for sacrament meeting.

Section ten of “The Living Christ” explains what the restoration meant to me that Sunday as I partook of the sacrament:

We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth— “built upon the foundation of . . . apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).

Because of the restoration I can now have the gospel in my life and be able to go to church. Before entering the treatment center, it was very difficult to attend due to my mental illness. It wasn’t until I was locked in a building all day, every day, including Sunday, that I realized how much I missed going to church. There is something about being told you can’t do something that makes you miss it.

Even though I was able to partake of the sacrament. I missed having a calling. Having friends at church that I was excited to see each week. I missed being a part of a large ward family that looks out for each other.

“Are You Sleeping through the Restoration?” by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf helped me realize why I actually missed going to church.

Sometimes we think of the Restoration of the gospel as something that is complete, already behind us—Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, he received priesthood keys, the Church was organized. In reality, the Restoration is an ongoing process; we are living in it right now. It includes “all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal,” and the “many great and important things” that “He will yet reveal.”

He went on to explain that addictions “may cause us to sleepwalk through this significant season.” I missed out on so much at the height of my addiction and mental illness. It was very difficult to get to church and if I was there, I wasn’t mentally.

I am so grateful that I am continuing to recover from my eating disorder. I know that going to church is going to become more meaningful to me as I continue to recover.

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Read Day 11 of the 12 Days of CHRISTmas by clicking HERE

Read Day 9 of the 12 Days of CHRISTmas by clicking HERE


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