31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

Stinkin’ Thinkin’ and Other Misrepresentations

An old woman in a mumu sat in an old recliner.

The office was tiny and cluttered with books. Slates on the windows were wide open letting in the humid morning air. The smell of rain was somewhat distant as I fidgeted in an equally old arm-chair waiting for her to say something encouraging, mind-blowing or life affirming.  Her words brought no comfort so I sat wondering how I could move out of this mentoring session with any hope for my situation.

Aunty was an old woman who was dealt many pains and trials in life. She suffered from muscle and joint disorders as well as other diagnosis. Gruff around the edges, she hated nonsense and was very stern. It was hard enough sitting in that small space with her, but even harder when she declared that my mental illness was my own doing.

She called it: stinkin’ thinkin’.

I do believe that Aunty, with all of her sicknesses, never suffered from one of the mental kind. Her life didn’t reflect it and she seemed as if she couldn’t relate to it. She believed that those who suffered from depression and anxiety placed that burden upon themselves to receive pity and allowed for Satan to infiltrate because we didn’t know better.

I struggled with her words for years. I loved her and that she was a dedicated follower of Jesus. She is basking in the light of Heaven these days, but her words motivated me to look further into myself and question if I was truly doing this to myself.  No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t do the two things she told me that I had to do: stop my stinkin’ thinkin’ and pull myself up by the bootstraps.

Mental  illness is no joke and I wasn’t sure how her advice would help me. It eventually didn’t and I truly needed to hand it over to the Lord. My brain and bootstraps stayed on the floor and eventually found their way to the trash.

Matthew 11:28 ESV 

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

The answer to how I would move on didn’t lie inside myself, it was always inside faith in the Lord. When I placed my entire life, not just the easy parts, but all the parts, my illness started to heal. My illness is controlled and used as a testimony.

It wasn’t about me fixing my mental awareness or allowing darkness to come in on purpose. It was about healing through the Lord’s faithfulness to me.

I don’t expect to ever be completely cleansed of these things until I hit Heaven’s doors. I do fully expect to rely on the Lord’s grace and mercies when I encounter trying days or seasons in my walk.

I do fully expect to rely on the Lord's grace and mercies when I encounter trying days or seasons in my walk. Share on X

Aunty was set in her ways, maybe an old-school way of thought. She mentored me in the way she may have been mentored by her elders. Hope for mental illness has come a long way just in the decade since I had those Sunday morning meetings with this dear loved one.

Join me as I track through 31 days of free writes with my Five Minute Writing Community. Today’s theme: HOW.  For more posts, please click here.

Join the conversation