Sadness has a face



We finally got around to watching Inside out at the weekend.

It used to be the case that we were first in line with any animated movie but the march of time has lowered the appeal of them in the eyes of our kids. My son and I are now at the head of the queue for Bond and Ethan Hunt instead of Disney Pixar.

As a family we do love movies, we are usually the ones who smuggle microwave popcorn and bags of sweets into the theater and laugh inappropriately at all of the wrong things. Thankfully our kids share this slightly quirky sense of humour and we at least entertain ourselves, even if nobody else gets it.

I had read about this movie last year when it was released but it had largely fallen from our radar. With everything that has been going on inside this cranium I was intrigued at the concept of emotions having a face.

It would be fair to say that I really loved it, I don’t want this to become a movie review but if you have trouble with mental illness it is quite enlightening, albeit unwittingly.

For me, the idea that two of your emotions disappearing into the inner recesses of your brain could render part of your character colourless was genius. That describes exactly how it feels for me when the illness strikes. It isn’t just that joy is there and refuses to come to the party, sadness, anger and gloom are in control and the others are locked up somewhere, Guantanamo maybe!

Let me precursor this next bit, I personally believe in a living God who wants a relationship with me and allows certain things to be in our lives, as a pastor I was involved with people who were healed of illnesses while others died slowly of theirs. I have prayed to be released from my own illness (as has my wife) and also to not live any more, these were not granted.

If you don’t believe in God that is your decision and I respect it, however, illness does not respect faithful or unbelief as some would have us believe. Some of the greatest minds have been afflicted in other ways that could have held them back, Stephen Hawking for example has produced some of the world’s greatest thoughts while imprisoned in his body.

The ignorance attached to mental health is thankfully being highlighted more and more. Across the board in medical to church environments there are people who know only what they have read who are causing great harm. I am not saying that you need to have lived it to help others as that rules out most of the medical world, but there must be a greater understanding of the individuality of this particular field.

Too many pastors want to pray out dark demons from people who are ill. We are not in the middle ages for goodness sake! Like I have already said, I have experienced and do believe in miraculous healing but we need to get a grip.

Depression is an illness, not an idea that you can’t shake.

At the end of our Disney movie all is well. The point was a good one, we need all of our emotions together to make up the whole person, they just need to be in harmony and balance. Sadness is a small part and only a manifestation of a deeper problem, we all get sad and should from time to time. Depression is a clinical inability to see otherwise and varies hugely in intensity from person to person and day to day.

I will always hate the dark days where all you can do is hunker down and get through, but if by having this I can break some misconceptions and perhaps help others to know we are not freaks, then it may just be worth the pain!



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