Posts Tagged ‘mental illness’

 

Yizkor after a Suicide

Posted on: June 10th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

My family doesn’t know the full circumstances of my wife Ami’s z”l death, but it was probably suicide. This is another prayer about suicide, following the recent celebrity suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade. Optional language appears in [brackets]. May all who struggle with thoughts of suicide find relief, speedily, and comfort in their hours of need. If you are thinking about suicide, please get help.

Yizkor after a Suicide
Oh grief,
How deep was the pain,
That my __________ (relationship, such as: mother, child, friend)
Could take his/her/their own life?
G-d of old,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To ______________________ (name),
Whose life was cut off by sorrow,
By hopelessness, depression and despair,
In a moment of inconceivable horror.
Even in this darkness,
Even in this grief and void that seems beyond repair,
Help us to remember his/her/their wisdom, talents and skills,
Our times together,
Our joy, laughter and tears.
[Give me respite from this profound sense of guilt.]
In this hour of desolation,
Bring our family comfort and consolation
As we pray for him/her/them to find a new peace
In the world to come,
[A peace he/she/they did not enjoy in this world].
May his/her/their soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here are some related prayers: “My Depression,” “Mental Illness,” “These Troubled Children,” “Suicide Attempt by My Spouse/Partner,” “My Child’s Suicide Attempt” and “Yizkor after my Child’s Suicide.”

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Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Re’eh: Cutting, A Prayer to End Self-Mutilation

Posted on: August 13th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

self harm princess cuttingSelf-mutilation is as old as the Bible. That grief came to mind reading this week’s Torah portion, Re’eh. “Ye are the children of Adonai your G-d; you shall not cut yourselves…” (Deut. 14:1) In ancient days, the practice was to gash oneself as a sign of mourning. Today, some people cut to manifest grief on their bodies, others say it creates a sense of calm in the face of depression, typically hiding the injuries in shame. This is a prayer on behalf of those who self-mutilate, including an option in [brackets] to name a specific person. It’s built on a prayer titled “My Child’s Self-Inflicted Wounds,” a prayer for parents of children who self-harm with drugs, alcohol, sex or violence against themselves.

Cutting: A Prayer to End Self-Mutilation
Child of G-d,
Please do not cut yourself.
You are holy, a gift,
Unique in this world.

What grief has taken root in your heart?
What sorrow has consumed your joy?
How deep is your pain that you take a blade
To your own flesh?

G-d of Old,
We call out to You
From the depths of confusion and fear.
What balm will ease this distress?
What consolation will end this torment?
What blessing will guide them back to wholeness,
Back to self-respect,
Back to love?

G-d of renewal,
Bless those who harm themselves with a blade.
Grant them comfort and well-being,
Healing of mind,
Healing of body
And healing of spirit.
Teach them to see the world through Your eyes,
As a place of joy and adventure.
[And look with care on __________________________ (name),
Who also suffers at her/his own hand.]
Grant them all the ability to be gentle and forgiving on themselves.
Lead them to new ways of expression on the path to happiness and peace.

For those of you who cannot find relief,
We pray that that time will soon come.
You are a gift of G-d in the eyes of heaven,
In our eyes, too,
And in our hearts,
Which bleed with your skin,
And our love will not end.

Child of G-d,
Please do not cut yourself.
You are holy, a gift,
Unique in this world.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: The majority of the illustrations I found online for this prayer are remarkably disturbing. See also: “My Child’s Self-Inflicted Wounds” and other prayers for mental health, including “My Depression” and “Mental Illness.” They appear in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Self Harm Daily

Yizkor after My Child’s Suicide

Posted on: January 25th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

suicide pic copyThe loss of a child to suicide is a difficult and painful journey. This is another yizkor prayer focused on the circumstances surrounding the death of a loved one. Optional language appears in [brackets]. Here’s a link to a prayer to be said by parents after a child survives a suicide attempt, called “My Child’s Suicide Attempt.” May all who struggle with thoughts of suicide find relief, speedily, and comfort in their hours of need.

Yizkor after My Child’s Suicide
Oh grief,
How deep was her/his pain,
That my child
Could take his/her own life?
God of old,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To ______________________ (name),
My son/daughter,
Whose life was cut off by sorrow,
By hopelessness, depression and despair,
Even in this darkness,
In this moment of inconceivable horror,
In this grief and void that seems beyond repair,
Help us to remember his/her wisdom, talents and skills,
Our times together,
Our joy, laughter and tears.
[Give me respite from this profound sense of guilt.]
In this hour of desolation,
Bring our family comfort and consolation
As we pray for him/her to find a new peace
In the world to come,
A peace he/she did not enjoy in this world.
May his / her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers For a New Day

Postscript: For those of you who don’t know me well and might worry, I write many prayers on difficult subjects that are not directly from my own experience. This is one that I have not personally experienced. My other focused yizkor prayers include: “In Memory of an Organ Donor,” “At the Hand of Violence,” “For Those Who Die Young” and “After an Accidental Death.” Here’s a link to an annotated list of memorial and yizkor prayers.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Ulrica Törning, as seen on Caring for Our Children Foundation

Before Calling Social Services

Posted on: January 4th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Social ServicesThis is a prayer for humility before taking a difficult step: calling a social service agency to report a neighbor, family member or some other individual perpetrating violence on others. Along with asking for wholeness and healing to be the result, this prayer also asks for an end to all family violence. Optional language and choices for customizing the prayer appear in [brackets]. This prayer will appear in my forthcoming book, Prayers from the Heart of Darkness.

Before Calling Social Services
With humility,
I prepare to take a step that may
Profoundly influence the lives of others.
The [violence / physical abuse / sexual abuse / emotional abuse]
Against _____________ (insert name of victim)
Must end.
The time has come to call [the authorities / social services / the police].
[There appears to be no other way.]
I do this with [sadness / fear / reluctance / shame / hope].
I do this in the name of safety and healing.
I do this so that justice and love may be restored.

Ancient One,
So many have suffered trauma inflicted by [loved ones/people they know].
Bring us to a time when violence and abuse are removed from our midst,
When friends and family treat each other –
Their parents, husbands, wives, partners, children, sisters and brothers –
With constant tenderness and steadfast care.
May this act be for blessing and not for curse,
For joy and not for sorrow,
For wholeness, consolation and peace.

G-d of Old,
Let your blessings rain down upon
All who suffer at the hand of family aggression,
All who suffer at the hand of daily terror.

Blessed are You, Source of peace.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: My prayers for mental health include: “My Depression” and “Mental Illness.” They both appear in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. A related prayer, called “My Child’s Self-Inflicted Wounds,” will appear in my forthcoming book, Prayers from the Heart of Darkness.

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter. If you like this prayer, please post a link to Facebook, your blog or mention it in a tweet. Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing.

Photo Source: National Union of Public and General Employees

My Child’s Self-Inflicted Wounds

Posted on: April 23rd, 2014 by Alden No Comments

teen_depressionThis is a difficult prayer for parents and children facing a horrible set of addictions: self-injury. This can often manifest as “cutting” or a food addiction. I’ve included a broad set of self-destructive behaviors in the choices suggested for this prayer, which appear in [brackets] including alcohol, drugs and sex. This prayer appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

My Child’s Self-Inflicted Wounds
How deep is the pain,
G-d of Old,
That my daughter/son/child
Commits acts of violence against his/her/their own body
With [food][a blade][alcohol][drugs][sex]?
I call out to You
From the depths of confusion and fear.
What balm will ease this suffering?
What consolation will guide her/his/their journey
Back to wholeness, to self-respect, to love?

G-d of healing,
Bless my child
__________________________ (full name)
With comfort and well-being,
Solace and relief.
Grant healing of mind,
Healing of body,
And healing of spirit.
Teach me to see her/him/them through Your eyes,
Eyes of love.
And teach her/him/them to see the world through Your eyes,
As a place of joy and adventure.

Well of Hope,
Grant __________________________ (first name)
The ability to be gentle and forgiving of herself/himself/themself.
Lead her/him/them to new ways of expression,
On a path to happiness and peace.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Other prayers for mental health include: “My Depression” and “Mental Illness.” Each of them appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Swarthmore College Bulletin

My Depression

Posted on: April 10th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

467px-Vincent_Willem_van_Gogh_002This is a prayer to be said by someone facing the hopelessness and debilitation of depression. According to statistics, 80 percent of people facing depression are untreated. This prayer can be customized to the particular issues facing an individual. Word choices are shown in [brackets], but are only illustrative. Please include whatever description is needed to help you with your particular situation. This prayer and three others on addiction and mental illness appear in my new book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

My Depression
I have fallen into blackness,
A hole,
A cave without light.
How deep is this pain?
This loneliness?
This suffering and isolation?

G-d of Old,
I call out to You
From the depths of confusion and fear.
What balm will ease my suffering?
What consolation will guide me?
I am afraid and ashamed.
I am sad and lost.

G-d of healing,
Be the light that guides me
Back to myself,
Back to my joy,
Back to my holiness and wonder.
Help me to stop committing acts of violence against myself
With [self-abuse][anger][shame][food][a blade][alcohol][drugs][sex].
I know Your healing power,
Your salvation and grace.
Lead me on a journey
Back to wholeness and to self-respect.
Help me to live a life of happiness and love.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here’s a prayer to be said on behalf of some facing “Mental Illness.” This also appears in my new book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

Mental Illness

Posted on: November 24th, 2013 by Alden No Comments

imagesCAP93FQPMental illness can devastate individuals and their families. This is a prayer to be said on behalf of a mentally-ill family member. It recognizes the power and the pain of these diseases and the depth of the fear and anguish that family members often endure. Word and gender choices are identified with slashes. Optional verses are shown in [brackets]. One blank line is to include the name of the disease and the other the name of the person with the illness. This prayer appears in my book Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Mental Illness
G-d of Old,
I call out to You
From the depths of confusion and pain.
My father/mother/sister/brother/son/daughter/friend/husband/wife/partner
Suffers from _________________________ [Name of illness,]
[Compounded by alcoholism/addiction/alcoholism and addiction],
A severe mental illness,
A disease of stunning depth and power.
I am afraid and ashamed.
I am sad and lost.
The possibilities are frightening,
Homelessness, poverty, an institution, jail.
[Sometimes he /she does not take his/her medication.]
[Sometimes he /she threatens me and my family.]
[Sometimes he /she disappears without a trace.]
[Sometimes it looks like we have lost him/her completely to this illness.]

G-d of healing,
Bless my [father/mother/sister/brother/son/daughter/friend/husband/wife/partner]
__________________________ (Name)
With comfort and relief,
Solace and peace.
Grant him/her healing of mind,
Healing of body,
And healing of spirit.
Teach me to care for myself [and my family]
In the midst of crisis and chaos.
Teach me to bring love and kindness into my day,
Especially when I feel hopeless or lost.
Teach me to trust Your will.

Blessed are You, G-d of health and healing.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here is a prayer “For Family Healing” and another for “R’fuat Hanefesh,” healing the soul. In the next few weeks I will also post prayers focused on alcoholism, depression and self-abuse.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Teen Link

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