I do want to say one more thing about I Will Not Hide (http://marjabergen.com/books) because I believe it’s the most important book I’ve written, and probably the last one to address problems faced by people with mental health issues

What I share with you here, are some bits and pieces from the Introduction of the book. This will give a better picture of why I wrote it.

Among other things, it’s a story about how I worked for many years to reduce the stigma of mental illness.  It tells how I founded the Living Room faith-based support ministry.

Using dated journal and blog entries, I’ve brought together materials that show what went on inside me as I went through struggles, both while positive things were happening, as well as when I unexpectedly came to be mistreated after nine years of caring for others. What was it like for the leader I had become, to suddenly lose her reputation and be ostracized? How much was due to my own poor mental health?

I tell this story in true Living Room fashion—with vulnerability and unashamed truthfulness, looking at the pain I, as a person with mental illness, has suffered.

But I believe God had a reason for what happened. Because of it, I’ve written this story, hoping it will help readers understand the pain mental illness can bring. Without the hurting and being hurt, this story would not have a reason to exist.

I want to clear my name, the reputation I so suddenly lost. And I want to clear the names of others living with mental ill health who are treated unfairly in some way.

There was pain on all sides—to myself and to those who hurt me. I did what I could manage to be the best I could be. And—I’m thinking as I write this—maybe those who hurt me were the best they could be as well.

My suffering included great emotional pain. And yet, I believe it was the best place to find Jesus. That testimony will form part of the book. Readers will see how God can bring healing and transformation—not despite great setbacks, but because of them.

marja