I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and schizo-affective disorder. Each psychiatrist and healing practitioner I consulted had his or her own diagnosis and method for healing. I really don’t know how I became “mentally ill” when there’s no history in our family and I am a very religious person.
Recently I came across a psychologist who practices the psycho-spiritual approach in healing. He reviewed my case and history of trauma and told me straight to my face that what I am experiencing is actually a spiritual battle. The evil one used a lot of people to slowly break down my hold on Jesus and their hurtful words and actions made me depressed. I had forgotten to embrace my cross and my relationship with Jesus became unstable. Yes, I may appear to be pious in my outward behaviour, but interiorly I was easily tricked and manipulated by the evil one because I had forgotten who Jesus is. I had so many unconfessed sins that piled up and made the evil one’s influence over me stronger.
According to St Josemaria Escriva: “Sincerity is indispensable if we are to achieve greater union with God. If you have an ugly “toad” inside you, my son, let it out! As I have always advised you, the first thing you must mention is what you wouldn’t like anybody to know. Once the “toad” has been let out in Confession — how well one feels.”
So I let the “toad” out. It croaked loudly, hopped out of my heart and I hope never to return again. The priest was happy that I listed down all of my sins that I could think of. I felt lighter, happier and more peaceful afterwards. How amazing it is to be touched by God’s mercy and be in a state of grace. The devil trembled and fled because I made an honest confession.
Now, the memories of past trauma have been washed clean. As Jesus had forgiven me so also do i forgive people who have hurt me. I also don’t accept the different labels of depression, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder. I only accept God’s grace and faithfulness. And now, I feel better mentally and psychologically because I am now stronger spiritually. I’m still battling this spiritual warfare, but now I know Jesus is on my side and I have nothing to fear.According to Blessed Pope John Paul II: “Confession is an act of honesty and courage – an act of entrusting ourselves, beyond sin, to the mercy of a loving and forgiving God.”
So, if you want to experience the magnificent and unlimited mercy of God, I hope to see you in the confessional box letting out the toads in your heart. Take courage in knowing the whole heavenly court are rooting for you to be numbered among them.
“After confession,” says St. Chrysostom, ”a crown is given to penitents.”
The author has, since her confession, found a job as a bank executive after staying home for 3 years because of her “disorders”. Her personal heroes are St. Therese of Lisieux and Blessed John Paul II.