Saturday, December 21, 2013

My Name Is Julie Johnson. I Have ADHD.

Hello, my name is Julie Johnson and I have been re-diagnosed with ADHD and it feels amazing.  Since I am pretty vocal about taking responsibility for one's own mental and spiritual health, I wanted to write about my own, long suffering struggles with ADHD but that felt extremely overwhelming to a brain that is learning to S-L-O-W  D-O-W-N thanks to my new friends, ADHD Meds. 

 As a Christian, I want to be open about addressing how mental health impacts my very own relationship with God.   When my brain starts moving quickly when I am in the presence of someone who is deeply hurting, I know they can sense I am not really present with them. I can be distracted and deep into 20 other thoughts that come into my brain.  When this happens, I have also lost their trust to connect and be vulnerable.  And then I have lost my ability to truly listen and learn.  Since I believe God manifests himself through our personal relationships, letting those 20 other thoughts rule my brain in the presence of someone else's struggle prevents me from truly feeling the presence of God. This way of thinking is just not alright for me anymore.    

So this morning, I woke up, opened up my brand new RX of Strattera after praying over the pill bottle and let the good Lord do His work through the magic of prescription medicine.  I went to yoga and cried through every pose and  for the first time in years, I was fully present in the feeling of each pose.  I was able to focus on how beautiful my body felt being in stillness, lengthening, strengthening--truly just being.  This is true restoration and healing.   Mental and spiritual restoration is a packaged deal of counseling, medication, exercise, prayer and community.  This is my net. One entity of this net cannot exist without the others.

I guess if I can't change the fact that I have this disease, I am going to own it.


Debi Hedtke said...

I had no idea dear. God bless you and keep you. I pray that the medication and meditation give you the peace you need to be fully present in all your relationships. May the peace of the Lord be with you.

julie johnson said...

Thanks Debi. It's funny how it manifests itself in my life but it's more important that I am in control and aware of it. Thanks again.

bellefrogworks said...

Medication can be a complete blessing -I struggled with terrible anxiety all my life until it was changed by the gift of medication. My ability to connect with God and others was completely changed. A diagnosis can help rid us (at least me) of the thought that I am weird and this is how I have to live. I am so glad to hear your story.

julie johnson said...

Thanks! Yes, I really think the church needs to better about addressing mental health as a real spiritual issue. For some of us, the ability to connect deeper with God, we have to alter our brain chemistry. I feel like for so long the church addressed mental illness as a fight with devil (maybe it is) but we need to address it in real life terms. Glad you are doing well :)