Marja Bergen

author, mental health activist, follower of Christ

Month: May 2020 (page 1 of 2)

Following in his steps

  …if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:20-21   As we follow Jesus we might be surprised at what God will call us […]

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4. Our rights – not for myself alone

I was still like a child in ways. What was happening bewildered me. I had developed strong bonds with those who had showed me love. Like a child clinging to her parents, I could not let go. Only after thousands of dollars’ worth of psychotherapy did I learn to recognize the truth about what happened. […]

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3. Our rights – not for myself alone

Friends had betrayed me. My whole community betrayed me. I found myself ostracized. My feelings of self-worth plummeted. Gradually I forgot that I had done anything good at all. One of the worst forms of discrimination is when there is a conflict between a well person and someone with a history of mental illness. This […]

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2. Our rights – not for myself alone

People with mental illness are too often treated in ways that make them feel inferior—ways that make them feel they’re not as much of a person as others are. If that could only change! Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah when he announced the following in Luke 4:18. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, […]

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1. Our rights – not for myself alone

I’ve gone far enough with my story. There’s lots more, but much is already covered elsewhere. I now want to tell you what motivated me to write this series. I feel my rights as a human being, and the rights of others with mental illness, are too often considered unimportant. Yet, not taking them seriously […]

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Not for myself alone – part 7

I had been told I’d been too demanding. Relying too much on friends. Constantly needing to email and talk. I’ve told before about how I felt guilty about this behavior and how I tried to change. A few times I asked for boundaries, thinking I needed firm guidelines, but was told I was always welcome […]

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Not for myself alone – part 6

In the days following, I looked for support, calling a few friends to ask for prayer. But no one returned my call. Are they thinking there’s something wrong with me because I was excluded from the group? With support disappearing, I felt like my faith was under attack. I was alone. Abandoned. I said earlier […]

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Not for myself alone – part 5

I used to get terribly angry when I was wronged or when I witnessed an injustice like stigma. I still do. With passion I fought, one of my favourite scriptures close at hand. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6) But does being hungry for justice […]

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Not for myself alone – part 4

In an effort to find peace within myself and build understanding about living with mental illness for others, I’m trying not to judge, but to realize there are two sides to every story. I want to show how some otherwise good people hurt me, but I also want to show what caused that to happen. […]

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Not for myself alone – part 3

I recently plowed my way through what must have been a few hundred emails I had sent to my friends during that unfortunate year. As I read, I was filled with shame. “Oh, Lord! How I must have sickened them! Such an imposition! Why couldn’t I have left them alone? What was I thinking to […]

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