Marja Bergen

author, mental health activist, follower of Christ

Category: Day by Day (page 2 of 21)

Part 21 – Understanding those who don’t understand

  Written in 2009 As a person living with bipolar disorder, I used to feel frustrated that so many people did not understand mental illness. I was angry that people didn’t even try to empathize. But through my writing and educating others, I’ve learned that the problem does not lie with healthy people alone. It […]


Part 20 – Fighting injustice with love and humility

Most of the personalities we’ve featured in this series have been fighters for justice. It takes a fighter to change the status quo—to bring justice to an unjust world. But did God intend for us to fight with anger, as so many do? Speaking personally, I get terribly angry when I see things that are […]


A God-shaped void

  A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, […]


Part 19 – Human rights for all

  We have talked a great deal about human rights in this A Voice of One Calling series. Human rights define what we are all entitled to—a life of equality, dignity, respect. A life that is free of discrimination. It’s how we should expect to be treated as a person. In the last story we […]


Part 18 – Malala Yousafzai (1997 – )

  Malala was born in Mingora, Pakistan, located in the country’s Swat Valley. She became an advocate for girls’ education when she herself was still a child. Malala attended a school that her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, had founded. In September 2008, after the Taliban began attacking girls’ schools in Swat, she gave a speech in […]


Mental illness and the credibility gap

  Picture yourself: A capable person in most respects, having opinions and able to present them logically, having thoughts and ideas no less meaningful than those others have. Perhaps you’re a leader, a person who can make things happen. A person who can make a difference. But despite having many good qualities that make you […]


Part 17 – Terry Fox – finding meaning

  Terry Fox:  ” I guess one of the most important things I’ve learned is that nothing is ever completely bad. Even cancer. It has made me a better person. It has given me courage and a sense of purpose I never had before. But you don’t have to do like I did, wait until […]


I lost my good reputation

  An Excerpt from My Battle Against Stigma (revised version of I Will Not Hide) by Marja Bergen Perhaps it was my cries of pain that caused word about what had happened to get out. Stories about me spread like wildfire. I, the victim, was given the blame. The person in authority who caused my […]


Part 16 – Terry Fox (1958 – 1981)

  Terry Fox was an athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist. For most of his life he lived in the Vancouver area of British Columbia. In 1977, at the age of nineteen, Terry was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma, a bone cancer that necessitated amputation of his right leg. After the surgery, he progressed well, and […]


Part 15 – A reader’s story of rejection

NOBODY CARES FOR MY TEARS In the early eighties, our family was the only brown family in our church among all white people. We were new to Christianity learning step by step. Preparations were under way for Christmas shows. At home, I helped my children to practice the play. My younger son was very enthusiastic […]

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