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My Time In a Mental Institution in The Philippines
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This story starts in The Philippines where I was vacationing and visiting family. To say the least I had begun to stray away from God. The details in which I strayed away from God I will not specify. Needless to say, I fell in sin, was off my medications, and God used a certain special way to bring me back to him; I was checked into a mental hospital in downtown Manilla. As soon as I was checked into this place I knew God had called me back to him and that he was disciplining me and prompting me to focus entirely on him.
Now sadly this hospital had many rules. The whole hospital had no windows, there was no bible allowed, and the staff were often abusive to the patients. Consequently, I learned many things in there and became so much closer to God.
There was a girl I met in there. She was so brave. The staff were often abusive to her and they’d grab her and wrestle (torment) her sometimes for 3 hours straight in the night. I'd wake up to the sound of an innocent girl screaming in terror all night and it wasn’t nice. It broke my heart. She was a kind soul going through pain and didn’t need to be treated like that. She also wasn’t a danger to herself or others in anyway. I get that mental institutions are necessary and helpful In our society but there should be a system where all the patients are treated in a most tranquil environment; where it's like an oasis or something along those lines. All mental institutions should be free of staff abuse to the patients.
With the bible being prohibited, my soul hungered for the word so much so that I sought it out with all my heart in various ways and learned the true importance of the word. I would watch the hospital television just hoping for a bible verse to be quoted on the television that I could memorize. In addition, I would look in the newspaper for any bible verses that God would grace me with and every time I came across a bible verse, I memorized it with all my heart and would meditate on it thoroughly. All I can say is we really do neglect the importance of the word until it's taken away from us. I prayed everyday that I'd get access to a bible or get to experience the joy of attending church again. Luckily, eventually I received a small Christian book that had some bible verses in it and that was such a blessing.
I remember one day I prayed with all my heart that God would let me talk to and have fellowship with another Christian in there and God answered my prayer. A girl who was a born-again Christian came to visit one of her relatives and she ended up talking with me. We then ended up talking about our faith for 2 hours and then we prayed together. She also shared some bible verses with me so that I could get through my days in there. Our God is great and always provides for us.
Also I met many Christians in there who were imprisoned in that institution. I learned alot about my faith from them. They were the kindest and strongest souls I'd ever met and some of my most fondest memories are of time spent in there with the other patients. To this day I miss them so much as they were some of the realest, kindest, and most genuine people (I’m sure they’re the kindest people in this world). I pray for them everyday as many of them had been in there for almost 7 years without even seeing the outside world; let alone sunlight through a window.
Moreover, during my stay there I was the most bored in my life I'd ever been. While I was there I truly learned the importance of prayer. Sometimes I would lay in bed and pray to God for 3 hours straight and I can say that during those moments, not knowing if I'd ever get out to see my family again (who lived on the other end of the world), I truly felt like I was in the shadow of The Lords wings. I believe that was the closest I'd ever felt to God because where calamity increases, grace abounds all the more. I had no choice but to pray and rest in the shadow of The Lords wings until the storms of destruction passed by (Psalm 57:1 reference). It was also then that I had vowed to God that I would become a pastor if I ever got out of that mental hospital.
One bible verse that really helped me was: "No, the word is very near you, it is in your mouth and in your heart so that you may obey it." Deuteronomy 30:14 This bible verse helped me to know that whenever I was alone, Jesus was with me. It also reminded me of how despite my circumstances I had to obey The Lord and witness to others in the Psych ward.
In the end after almost 2 months in a mental institution likened to that of a jail, I was discharged and allowed to return to my family in Canada. I thanked God for my freedom and I now cherish and give thanks to God for my freedom with every breath that I take. I remember when I got out it had been so long since i'd seen sunlight, breathed in fresh air, or even seen the sky. I felt dizzy and almost fainted as I wasn’t used to the fresh air. However I was so happy, as seeing nature after being locked up is the most beautiful thing.
Since then I’ve been on my medications and life couldn’t be better. I've been in mental institutions 3 times in my life and to be honest if I were to get put in a mental institution again I wouldn’t mind it. I would welcome it as at least I'd get to be helping others and I’d get to be spending time with the kindest most genuine people again.
This article is dedicated to those who are institutionalized for life. They are the true kindest souls; diamonds in the rough. They have the most beautiful souls and are dealing with the cards they’ve been dealt with braver than anyone.
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07 Oct 2019
I have lived in Manila and can imagine your feelings of helplessness. I am pleased that your story has a happy ending. It inspires me to pray for those that are not getting the help they really need.
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