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CHRISTIAN LIFE IN LONDON | FEBRUARY 2021 EDITION
New Day – You Are Not Alone
CURRENT COMMUNITY STORIES
what we say matters...
February Prayer Prompt
People, We Are at War!
BookMark - Always Know; See Hear Love (BOOK REVIEW)
Children in need around the world to receive 373,000 gift-filled shoeboxes from Canadians
Project Hope - London
Helping Hands: How to Minister to your Community During COVID
FINDING PEACE IN NEWFOUNDLAND
Prayer Time (HUMOUR)
The Churches of London:
West London Alliance Church Arabic Fellowship
Londoners’ Generosity Extends Food Bank’s Reach
Reel Review - Charming (MOVIE REVIEW)



New Day and YANA (You Are Not Alone) are London faith-based support group for those dealing with mental health challenges

Submitted by Donna (New Day member for 18 months)

The day feels endless, without any real purpose. You do many things, but nothing brings a sense of accomplishment. You look forward to bedtime, but once it arrives you find sleep eludes you. You cry over the smallest frustration. Suddenly your nearest and dearest have annoying habits you never noticed before. Your smile becomes a mask covering up a host of inner thoughts that will not stop dancing in your mind. Home is both a comfort and prison, where outings and connections are long for, but are so stress-filled when they do come your way, it hard to know which is worse.

If you think I am describing a day in the life under lockdown during COVID, you will be wrong. This was my life living with depression, but the effects of depression and the effects of a worldwide pandemic and prolong lockdowns have a lot in common, both resulting from being overwhelmed and our coping mechanism stretched to the limit.

I was fortunate when this pandemic hit to have been a part of New Day, a faith-based support group for those who are dealing with mental health challenges. During this time, having a safe space to share how I am doing, having the support of those who know what it is like and the fellowship of other believers, has been a blessing.

I would encourage anyone, to try our weekly meetings to take advantage of this wonderful resource that comes from mutual sharing, but allows for those who just want to listen, do that as well. We offer our faith and friendship, trusting God to do the rest. So, if you are feeling alone, either physically or emotionally, New Day is that weekly reminder that we are never alone.

Submitted by Geri – 3 year member of YANA

Several years ago I was desperate for a “solution” to my son's mental health problems. I felt hopeless, guilty, angry, inadequate and resentful. Why was my family going through this? What did I do wrong? Nobody could understand how I felt. Nobody got “it.” The children of my siblings and friends were doing typical things like finishing their education, getting partners and jobs, buying houses, having children, but my child wasn't. Why was my son missing out on so much? Why was my son ill? Because of the stigma I began to avoid social situations so I didn't have to navigate that dreaded question, “So how are your kids doing?”

One day I went to talk with my priest and did a lot of weeping. The priest suggested I attend YANA, a London Catholic Diocesan supported group for those who are caregivers of a family member with a mental health disability. The name, “You Are Not Alone,” was certainly appealing, but I was scared to join. I worried that I would cry in front of everyone- (I did and it was ok). I worried they would see my anger- (they did and it was ok). I fretted that my family's privacy would be compromised- (it wasn't; we commit to privacy). Now, I thank God for giving me the grace of courage to attend that first meeting. I experienced the fellowship of people, from various faiths, but who are just like me. We gather once a month at St. Michael's Parish in London. Now, with Covid measures in place, we meet through the on-line platform of Zoom.

Finally, I am with people who really get “it!” Whether attendees support a spouse, a child, a sibling, a parent, we caregivers experience similar feelings. With the help of these honest, open, understanding people I am learning to cope with my fears, anger, and disappointment. What I am discovering is that I have not found a “solution” to my son's mental illness, but I have found a solution to how I think about my son. I recognize the face of God in him. I see his worth as a precious child of God. Although my son's illness is chronic, and life is not easy for him or myself, I am learning to accept my son and his illness. I can clearly see his gifts, and as an added bonus, I can see my gifts too! Whether times are good or bad, I am not alone. I have God, I have hope, and I have my YANA friends. Please come join us if you are in need. Through God's graces we truly get “it!

For further information about either NEW DAY or Y.A.N.A. you may email us at newdayldn332@gmail.com or call 226-980-8924