Personal Stories

Faith and Therapy

by Dion Lucas

My name is Mrs. Dion Lucas, and I am an African American woman born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. I am a daughter of a preacher, and my occupation is a math instructor. I have been living with a mental condition for almost 15 years. However, I define my wellness plan by a simple equation: faith + therapy = my recovery.
I define water therapy by hydrating with spiritual and physical water. Reading inspirational scriptures (spiritual water) each day has given me an attitude of gratitude. Also, drinking plenty of H2O throughout the day has helped me maintain a healthy diet and weight while incorporating light exercises. Musical therapy is another support system that helps in my recovery. 
I am a percussionist and playing inspirational music throughout the day has provided comfort throughout my seasons of life. Doing daily tasks at work and around the house goes by more quickly while listening to music. Also, being a part of a choir and band has connected me with people at my church and in the community. My church family is an extension of my support system, just like NAMI is. 
I believed to cast my cares to God while growing up as a preacher’s kid. I believed He'll make everything work out for my good. This belief system is evident in many cultures, particularly with African Americans. However, I had to express to members in the faith community that there is a difference between being full of the Holy Spirit and going through manic depression. 
I was diagnosed with bipolar in 2006 when my moods were very unstable and required professional help beyond the support of my church family. I truly believe God created all of us and resources including medication to help everyone develop healthy lifestyles. Health providers are using more virtual communication to reach communities, especially those in low socioeconomic locations, so that no one has to suffer in silence. 
With the support of doctors and therapists, I can advocate for myself that recovery is possible for a person living with a mental illness. Now, when I get caught up in the spirit at church, my moods are stable enough for me to perform my daily tasks each week. Overall, I am thankful for the connection and support I received from NAMI St. Louis that has been beneficial to myself and my family. Thank you for allowing me to share my recovery story during Minority Mental Health Awareness Month this July. Take Care 💚