The Importance of Community

One thing that my mental illness has taught me is the importance of community.  Growing up, my family was not intricately woven into our local town like a friend of mine’s was.  His family attended the local church, and participated in community suppers.  His parents volunteered at the fire house, and his mother was a teacher at the elementary school.  Every time I was with him in his town, such as grabbing a bite at the deli, he would meet someone he knew and have an interesting chat with them.  This was alien to me.  I didn’t understand it, and I didn’t realize what I was missing.

When I got sick after college, I had moved back home and was very isolated.  I was at odds with my family about my plans to take a year off, and I was spending a lot of time alone.  I consider this a factor in contributing to me getting sick.  Our understanding of the world is made up of our shared experiences and relationships.  When I started to experience psychosis, my experience was so different from the people around me, that I was having a very hard time relating to anyone.  This left me more isolated and alone, and a downward spiral ensued.  At that point it was too late, and despite my best efforts to connect with people, I needed some form of intervention.

In today’s modern world, in which the drive for economic growth has left people disjunct and isolated from the world around them, like commodities themselves, it’s almost like our society is suffering from mass delusion.  We can see this in our politics today.  People are having a hard time agreeing on simple facts.  I feel quite comfortable in this, because I have already had my belief system broken down.  I’m no longer afraid of losing my mind, but I can see why it is so frustrating for people.  In the absence of intimacy and true relationship, we are left trying to convince others that we are right.  The need to have a shared understanding of what is true is such a deep need, and is so human, perhaps that is why so many people are trying to convince others of their beliefs on the internet.  Without this, they feel like their world is less real.  They need to convince others so that they can convince themselves.  I know that ego death is a painful process, and so I can have compassion for them.

Nowadays, I feel that I am the healthiest I have ever been.  Physically, I feel incredible thanks to following the Medical Medium information.  I have a greater network of relationships then ever before.  My relationship with my family has healed somewhat from the damaged caused by my illness.  I am a member of my local church community and have met many people in my town.  I don’t relate with everyone on everything, but I can find little ways to connect with different people.  I have one friend who loves Elon Musk like I do, and we always chat about the current events related to him and his companies.  I relate with others about Jesus being my personal Lord and Savior at my local bible study group.  Though we don’t see eye-to-eye on everything, I chat about health food with some of my coworkers at the natural products company that I work for.

I try to relate to people in the little ways that I can, and to find commonalities in the human experience.  I truly care about others and am interested in learning about them and their lives.  Even though I’d love to share more of my personal understanding with more people, I appreciate any common threads that I can find with others, and I have learned that everyone has something to offer.  It’s humbling, but it is also enriching.  I still feel alone sometimes, but ultimately I have much more connection with others, and my life feels more whole.

I love Charles Eisenstein’s definition of health from the video below, “health means wholeness . . . and I think a whole human being is someone with a full complement of relationships”:

 

 

10 responses to “The Importance of Community

  1. Hi Joshua. So glad you are doing so well. I contacted you about a year ago about our son with schizoaffective disorder. He also is doing homeopathy with the same doctor as you. I just wanted to let you know that he is fully recovered, no meds and no symptoms for over a year! He is back at school for computer programming and is happy. I loved reading your book, as no one in my community believed in what we were doing for our son. It was good to know someone else had a similar healing story.
    I am starting a homeopathy study group in my town. Hopefully those that are looking for wellness will find it. I wish you the best in your future.

    • Hello Ivy, Thank you for the update. I’m so glad that your son is doing well!! I’m amazed at your courage in pursuing what you thought was right. God bless you and your family. Warm Regards, Joshua

  2. I’m inspired by Ivy’s powerful story and very thankful for your service Joshua. It’s a blessing. I may be in the same situation with a similar diagnosis. I’m sure you may be busy but do you have a contact email where I may ask a question or two? Or do you have a preferred way to be contacted? Thank you so much.

    • Hello Juan, thank you for your comment and kind remarks. I made a decision early on that for my own mental health I wasn’t going to “work” with people individually. All that I have learned on my journey I share in my blog, podcast, videos, and books. I hope you find the information helpful to you on your journey. If you have a general question that may be helpful to others as well, I would be happy to answer it in the comments section of a related blog post. I wish you the best, and God bless you. Warm Regards, Joshua

  3. Thank you very much for your response and reminder of the importance of community in this post. In the community I live in I’m not sure of all the resources. Do you have any recommendation as to how to find a homeopathic doctor in the area? I am in Northern California and would really love to try the homeopathy to help me get an important part of my life back. Any pointers where I could start this search would be so appreciated. Thank you.

    • Hello Juan, unfortunately I do not know any homeopaths in your area, but I have worked with homeopaths over the years virtually by phone and video conference. You could try contacting one of the national homeopathy organizations listed on my “Homeopathy Resources” page for a lead, but you may just have to do some research online and find what feels right for you. I wish you the very best! Warm Regards, Joshua

      • Thank you so much for your response and where I could find some links on your page. Before I start the online search journey, would you be open or comfortable sharing the contact information of a practitioner of homeopathy with experience in mental wellness and illness, that you’ve worked with or know of? I don’t mind how far they are from me. I’d be really interested to call to say I’m looking to work with them possibly or see what they say if I’m looking for someone with similar hemoepathy experience to theirs but closer to my community and area. I would be grateful to take a first step like that in my journey. Thank you either way much. Best.

      • Hello Juan, the practitioner that I worked with during my illness was Dr. Mark Janikula. I wish you well. Warm Regards, Joshua

      • Thank you so much Joshua for the information. From what i saw online I believe he may have a location in California. It’s great to know that some may be willing to speak over phone or video too. I really appreciate it and will search or call this week to start get more informed asap. All the best in your valuable work. Best regards.

        Ivy thank you so much for the ideas. I appreciate it during this time of uncertainty, mixed with moments of strong faith. I hope the best for your family and study group.

    • I would Google ” homeopathy, mental illness, ” and the name of your area. And then call the practitioners that come up, and see what type of experience they have for your condition. Call several people.

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