General Conference Reminded Me I Do Not Walk Alone in My Mental Illness
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    General Conference Reminded Me I Do Not Walk Alone in My Mental Illness

    My struggle with mental illness often made me feel alone in the dark. But the messages from general conference helped me feel God’s light once again.

    Walking

    The author lives in Arizona, USA.

    For over six years, I have struggled with mental illness, specifically from borderline personality disorder. For a while, my faith in God was truly shaken because of the darkness this disorder brings. But gradually, as I’ve learned how to cope through therapy, I have been able to focus less on myself and my struggles and more on looking outward, on trusting Heavenly Father, and on serving others. As I’ve done this, parts of my patriarchal blessing have often replayed in my head, and I’ve felt prompted to make certain decisions and adjustments to build the life and become the person that blessing describes.

    By following those promptings and trusting Heavenly Father’s plan for me, I have found greater light in my life than I ever have (and I once assumed I would never feel bright again!). In the midst of turmoil, I am finding so much peace and hope for the future. I’ve also been recording these spiritual experiences, and when my extreme mood swings hit, I’m able to turn to those moments of light and once again bring hope to my inner storms.

    While watching the April 2020 general conference, I was blessed to realize how aware God is of all of us and how He loves us personally. He knows each of our individual needs and circumstances. Elder Neil L. Andersen’s talk truly spoke to me as he said, “When personal difficulty, doubt, or discouragement darken our path, or when world conditions beyond our control lead us to wonder about the future, the spiritually defining memories from our book of life are like luminous stones that help brighten the road ahead, assuring us that God knows us, loves us, and has sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to help us return home.”1

    I’ve looked back on the darkness that has been in my life these past few years, and after praying to see God’s hand in my life and ponder those spiritual moments I’ve had, I’ve been able to see that He and the Savior have always been with me every step of the way—especially in those moments when I have felt completely alone.

    I know that I have a purpose on this earth. To all who are stricken with any form of emotional or mental disorder, know that Heavenly Father has always promised that, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:18). When fears and intense emotions come and we feel utterly alone, know that if we pray to see God’s hand in our lives and reflect on those moments of light, we will come to understand that He is with us, walking with and carrying us forward. Just as He always has and always will. He knows what we need, and we can trust in the plan He has for us individually. God loves all His children, and we do not walk alone.