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 necessarily mean attacking it with anger? My dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) tells there is a healthier way. Using “radical acceptance” I’m learning not to judge how I was wronged but to let God judge. I’m learning to acknowledge what happened and the pain it caused, and then move on.

Through DBT I’m finding my way through this story I’m now writing, preparing to let go, safely recording it so that others may learn.

I’ve had extremely hard times with the hurt I suffered from everything that happened—most of it in 2015. But the greatest pain of all came when I was excluded from a study group.

In April I gave my notice that I would retire from leading my support group. That same month I learned that a study group would be starting. It promised to be a place to develop deeper relationships. And how I needed that! After giving myself to the support group for so many years I now longed for something for myself.

I had only one friend left who would spend time with me. Was it because I had spent so much time ministering to people with mental illness that I had missed opportunities for other friendships? …Or was it something else?

I eagerly put my name down to join the group. But two days before the first meeting I received a call telling me that I would be excluded from the group. The original reason given was that there were already two participants with mental health problems. To have me there as well would be unhealthy for the group.

I was the only one excluded. And why was I singled out? This question has repeated itself many times ever since. After giving so much to my support group why could I now not receive something I needed for myself? For days I begged the organizers to change their minds, telling them how wrong they were to do this. How could the church allow this to happen to one of their leaders?

I cried and yelled louder than I ever had in the past and probably ever will again. The pain was excruciating. The anger, over the top.

marja