Joshua 1:5 - No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
We’ve all watched movies where the hero is blindfolded, thrown into the trunk of a car, driven out into the middle of the wilderness and dumped on the side of the road.
Life can feel like we are that hero dumped on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. We don’t know where we are anymore. The rules have changed. We’re alone. We feel abandoned. What do we do now?
Sometimes we’ve allowed ourselves to get so tangled up in our pain and loneliness that we check out on our loved ones and friends.
In our heads, it is them that have abandoned us, but sometimes it is our own doing that got us here.
With a mental illness, we see life differently than those who are healthy. We can view the world as us against everyone else. We may in fact have friends who are on our side, but we’ve abandoned our hopes and dreams, and picked up our fears of what the future may bring and how we will deal with it alone.
Those around us may have their hands reaching out to us, but we only see those hands as being palms out pushing us away.
The fear of abandonment is one of the strongest enemies our minds can face. It causes us to make choices that almost guarantee that we will be alone because of our actions.
Whether you travel the road of chronic pain or whether you’ve been captured by a mental illness we’ve all felt the fear of abandonment from those we care about.
How do we stop this fear and live our life within the safety of those who really do love us? Wikihow.com in their article, “How to Overcome Fear of Abandonment,” shows us what causes the fear of abandonment, how to work through those emotions such as taking responsibility for our fears instead of blaming them on everyone else, how to question whether your thoughts make sense, and identifying any behaviors that push others away.
It is possible to stop being afraid of yet another person abandoning us and become stronger in reaching out to create new relationships. In the meantime, remember that God will never abandon us of forsake us. He will always love us and walk through our struggles with mental health and the fears that can stem from them.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.