Friday, April 6, 2007

Moral Disorder

written by Margaret Atwood

If you want to tell and story about a family, and you want to connect other characters' stories throughout, and you want a book of compelling-on-their-own short stories - then give up, Margaret Atwood already did it.

I am intrigued by mental illness. It is something I am researching for my own endeavor in the world of a writer. One of the short stories in this novel revolves around a sister's mental illness and the destruction that shoddy medical opinions and mis-perscribed medication take on her. I have discovered that in life, misdiagnoses happens, doctors can be misinformed, or not informed at all on a subject, disease, condition or there is the always depressing money factor. Either the doctor is in a low-income clinic or the doctor is in a high-class practice being somewhat forced to see low-income patients. Either way, the care this patient receives may be less than helpful.

All of that aside. Any form of mental illness is devastating and thus intriguing - at least to me. Why are any of us given a clear mind, a strong understanding of life and its challenges, or an ability to change and adapt to pain, suffering, love, happiness? By God's grace. By God's love.
But why are we also given the challenges, the pain, the suffering, the love, the happiness? By God's grace. By God's love. These are my only answers and my only explanation. I don't quite understand each in their fullness, but I don't mind. To know God has a say in my life, a desire for me and a plan has peace attached, but it also brings me the fear of the unknown trials and pain. That is the pessimist in me - quite the opposite to my last blog, eh? I have a hard time viewing life (as a whole) feeling joyful for the good God has in His plan and more dread in the fear of the challenges and devastation.

I would appreciate insight and opinions.

I've been learning recently about God's love and the fact that His love for me does not always translate into warm fuzzies. At times, His love includes pain and at it's worst, tradegy. To attempt to remain thankful. God is teaching me this lesson, over and over again. I am trying to be thankful living in His will, whatever tragedy befalls and I hope you attempt the same. I am a blessed woman. Thank God for His Love.


elixir said...

Thank you for this blog. I have re-read it and pondered it for a few days now.

I too am fascinated by mental illness...I think because I have an uncle I've never met who is schitzophrenic (sp?).

I am tempted to think that much illness, mental included, is linked to our diets and the diets of our parents and grandparents.

Yet, even if somehow mental illness could be erradicated, I am quite sure that the pain and suffering and tragedy would still befall us. For some reason in this broken condition it seems to be a very effective way for God to work with our souls.

Perhaps it is also to help us yearn "that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life" (2 Cor 5:4) or to help us continue seeking the "city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God" (Heb 11:10).

I don't know...but I look forward to hearing your continued thoughts on the matter.

Jen said...

These verses remind me that no matter what God knows all things about me and He will never leave me.
Psalm 139:1-16
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. 5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it. 7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” 12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

Doesn't that give you comfort to know He knows you better than you know yourself?

Anonymous said...

uh huh, this is good that you ponder it.. you dig deep. always so thoughtful and thinking deeply and provocatively - you are a self-starter learner and are amazing.
don't be holding back on your own writing. you have it let it flow.