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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Other · #1905268
Phoenix reflects on what God has given him despite him being mentally ill...
Phoenix spent the day with his parents.  It was a laid-back day filled with relaxation and minor tasks that his parents requested his help with.  Phoenix reflected on his experiences later that evening once he was at home in bed with his spouse.  His experiences.  Many of them had been extraordinary...extraordinarily bad.  But Phoenix had chosen to analyze it further than that.  Yes, he had had bad experiences.  He was mentally ill because of some of the experiences.  God had created him the way he was, with predispositions to mental illness and all those other things that go into getting a diagnosis out of the DSM-IV-TR.  Phoenix had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depression.  He was on an antidepressant, an anxiolytic, and an antipsychotic.  Without these, he could not function - he crashed.  Another element was required to avoid crashes in function as well, and that was ECT.  Oh, yes.  And weekly visits with his psychiatrist, the only man he trusted completely with everything.  Phoenix was a wreck.  He needed the VA and would for his entire life for his medical care and general life maintenance.  Phoenix had grown to appreciate the VA, as they had provided him with the care that he needed over the course of a decade now.  Phoenix would have shot himself long ago without it.  He would be dead.  Of course, had he not been in the military, he might not be mentally ill.  But it was God's will.  God's will.  That was hard for Phoenix to process.

How could it be God's will that someone be mentally ill?  Phoenix had come to believe that it was not God's will that anyone be in pain, but instead it was a result of the conditions under which we live here on Earth.  Things happen.  Bad things and good things both.  And we as people have to make decisions about how we are going to handle those experiences.  Phoenix prayed.  All the time.  Obsessively.  But Phoenix knew that all good things came from God.  So, yes, Phoenix was mentally ill.  That was a bad thing by most people's standards.  It was a bad thing by Phoenix's standards when he was not feeling well, which was most of the time.  Phoenix was analyzing this, though, in a way that he had not thought about it before.  Lying in bed next to his spouse, he thought about what it meant for him - Phoenix Jones - to be mentally ill and believe in God.  It meant that God had provided him with the best psychiatrist that he could ever have.  It meant that Phoenix got the therapy and the medications from that doctor that he needed.  It meant that God provided Phoenix with his medications and medical care through the government's VA healthcare system.  It meant that Phoenix, with the intelligence that God had given him, could be one of the greatest psychiatrists ever with his first-hand experiences of mental illness.  It meant that God had allowed Phoenix to meet people who truly loved Phoenix for who he was because there was no other way to love him.  It meant that Phoenix was special in God's eyes, having been taken care of so well under such morbid circumstances.  God had bestowed many gifts upon Phoenix that he had failed to recognize previous to this thought process in the comfort of his bed in the dark.  Phoenix decided he would continue to believe in God - a loving God who would not allow Phoenix to go without so long as Phoenix kept his relationship with God secure.  Phoenix realized that he helped many people all the time, simply by being his mentally ill self, and it was because of his experiences - the experiences that God had allowed Phoenix to have.  Phoenix was a messenger, a vessel, a representative of God everywhere he went.  Phoenix cringed for a moment at the thought, knowing that he did not always behave in a way that glorified God.  But God forgave.  God forgave.  All Phoenix ever had to do to be forgiven was ask God, and it was done.  Just like that.  Forgiving himself, however, was much harder.  That was what Phoenix really had trouble with.  Phoenix could not forgive himself.  Something to work on more in that therapy with his doctor that God had hooked him up with...
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