On Mental Illness and Stress: Tips on How to Stay Sane; and ALIVE!

Author: Margaret Higgins

I am a 100% service-connected (US Army) disabled veteran.  I am mentally ill; and I have a concomitant stress disorder.

First of all: I now have God, and Jesus Christ, in my life.  They are my greatest helps.  (Scriptures such as: “Have no anxiety about anything.”  and “I cast my cares on Jesus Christ, for he cares for me.  He will sustain me.”  “I came so that they might have joy.  And that their joy may be complete.”  “For freedom, Christ has set us free.”- help me no end.  However, they must be practiced, to be affective.)

I read scriptures every day; and I try to go to church every Sunday.  My church congregants are my family…. my support group.

I see a psychiatrist, who has me on medications: to fit my specific disorders: I have schizoaffective; the bipolar type, with a concomitant mood disorder: a generalized anxiety disorder, the borderline personality disorder, and the narcissistic personality disorder.)

Don’t make the mistake of allowing your disorders to define you.

I try to keep my home as neat as possible; so that I will feel peaceful in my home environment.

I have a cat.  He is not defined as a service pet: but when I lay my head down on his body and fur, my stress just Melts away.

I live alone.  I have been retired since 1990.  (I taught emotionally handicapped children, as a Teacher’s Aide; after I got out of the army.)

I am very busy.  That keeps me from feeling lonely.

When I have a deadline to meet, a certain time that I have to be somewhere: I get really stressed out.  One thing I do is to recite scriptures that I have memorized.  Another thing I do, is to repeat over and over, to myself, these two scriptures: (1) “Be still and know that I am God.” and (2) “My peace I give to you.”  As I am reciting these two scriptures to myself: I breathe; in through my nose to the count of four; and out through my mouth- also to the count of four.

Helping others, Really helps me.  Reaching out.  (Getting “outside of my mind,” as Papa put it.)

My main message to the mentally ill, has been: To aim high.  And definitely don’t use your mental illness as an excuse for not being able to accomplish.

But my message to all of you brave Law Enforcement Officers, (Whether you are retired or not) is what the sign at the VA hospital says: (Roughly) “It takes the courage of a warrior to fight; It takes the courage of a warrior to ask for help.”

To sum up, I believe that: if you don’t take care of yourselves; stress-wise, and mentally: It could mean your very lives.


With all of My Respect, Honor, Support, Prayers, and Love,
Margaret Christie Higgins


Law Enforcement Officers, You can Always call the Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255- (24/7).
I have another suggestion for you; that Really helps me. (When I am really stressed out, for instance.)

Please call: 1-800-NOW-PRAY.  That will get you to a religious location, called ‘SilentUnity’.  Tell the man or lady who answers the phone: what your specific needs are, at that time.  Ask them to say a prayer for you.  Their prayers are beautiful; and some of them even improvise- and make up a special prayer, for You.

With My Love in Him, Margaret


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