Women & Spirituality Conference

S3: Spirit and Mental Illness: Staying Connected When You Want to Pull Away with Melanie Howard

“I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining, I believe in love even when I can’t feel it, I believe in God (Creator, Universal Spirit, Goddess, Divine) even when [He] is silent.”

There is nothing more difficult than connecting to Spirit than when one is being dragged down by mental illness–chronic, incidental, or otherwise. When we are in the worst of the downswing, our instincts tell us to pull away from everybody and everything–even Spirit. Anger, despair, and overwhelming pain can even put us in a hostile relationship with the Spirit. But even a hostile relationship is better than none at all. In this class, we will discuss the difficulties of staying connected to Spirit in the midst of suffering, and spend about half the session writing letters to Spirit and reading them aloud (on a volunteer basis), and offering feedback if it is solicited. Together, we can explore and perhaps begin to heal our damaged relationships with Spirit.


Melanie Howard has lived with chronic depression fore more than thirty years. She is an accomplished Tarot reader and co-author of “Psychic Tarot: Using Your Natural Psychic Abilities to Read the Cards” (Llewelyn 2011). Melanie is also a children’s book author and advocate for early detection of childhood depression. Her article on the subject, “Born Broken” (working title), will appear in the NAMI blog in September 2023.

Melanie Howard
*due to the vulnerability and safety of participants, this workshop will not be live streamed or recorded.