My pastor told me it was a sin not to feel joy. Here’s what happens when churches ignore mental illness.

as seen in The Washington Post reported by Charlotte Donion on September 26, 2016

During one of my manic episodes, I was convinced there was a conspiracy against me. Everyone was manipulating my surroundings to create a narrative I couldn’t figure out. I wanted to know who was in charge. I also wanted to know who was safe.

I texted my pastor at the time to see if he could meet with me. I drove to the bar next to our church on a hot June afternoon and met him at one of the tables outside. I tried to tell him my concerns, but he dismissed me and said, “Let’s just pray.”

He bowed his head and started mumbling a prayer that made no sense to me. The string of words exited his mouth and floated off like bubbles blown by a young child into the warm, humid air around me.

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