Thursday, January 2, 2014

Life with Bipolar disorder



Hello. My name is Jen and I am bipolar.
This is not written for sympathy, but for the hope of support, encouragement, and most importantly - awareness.
Here’s my definition of bipolar disorder: “It’s like death to life all over again.”
It is a cycle I wish could be broken.
I foolishly thought that I had it all together. After all, I knew the saving grace and love of Jesus Christ and I was under the care of a well-known Christian psychiatrist, Dr. Frank Minrith. What more did I need? I was in a spiritually high place, giving over all my insecurities and baggage to the Lord. I even professed my changed heart and beliefs to the entire congregation on Easter Sunday during the Beautiful Things service as I shared my testimony. (Beautiful Things by Gungor)
And then came the fall to “death.” I began to feel like a phony. Satan started to whisper his lies to me and I began to believe it. I pulled away from actively participating in church, from other believers, my friends, my own family and ultimately God.
I withdrew from the people I knew that I should turn to in times of trial. Instead of lifting my head up towards Him, my head was hung in shame. I thought I was “over it” and had conquered my mood disorder. I faded from the foreground and into the background of my life, eventually disappearing all together. I felt isolated in my own mind. I was aware that strongholds lead to isolation. Why couldn’t I put this knowledge into practice?
I don’t like to admit this, but I hit my lowest point in May. It was an impulsive action but one that occupied my thoughts on a regular basis. I tried to take my own life by ingesting 90 Klonopin. As a result, I was admitted to the hospital for a week. The following week I did it again! I KNOW better than to attempt suicide but the dark, overwhelming feelings and thoughts completely engulfed me and the disorder reigned, alongside the Enemy. I am convinced that I would have died had it not been for my husband who kept me from choking on my own vomit during my state of unconsciousness. All glory to God for having the upper hand and sparing my life! I am certain He still has a purpose for me on Earth. {Jer 29:11}
Thank you, Lord, for giving me second, third, and tenth chances!
I have climbed my way with Christ’s strength back out of the pit of depression and have rejoined the living.
If you notice that I’ve pulled away to any degree, I ask you to please keep me accountable. We all need to come up for air sometimes. Will you be my breathing buddies?
I also urge you to be mindful of others around you. Do you know someone who was once a social, thriving individual that has morphed into a quiet, withdrawn introvert? Or the opposite? Is it you?
The Lord’s greatest commandment is to love one another as Christ has loved us {John 15:12}. This year, I challenge us all to love more, even those who appear unlovable.
Here’s to breaking free from strongholds! Writing this was a major stronghold for me because I feared my personal struggles being known. I was afraid of what others may think and of their judgment.
Recently, a special person in my life shared a song that captures the simplicity of what the company of another can do. Sometimes, in my darkest hours all I need is someone to sit next to me awhile until it passes. Is there someone who could use your company? You can sit in complete silence if needed - just be with them!
God loves you just as you are, right now, wherever and however you are. Don’t hold back from knowing His fullness, love, grace and mercy because you don’t feel worthy. We are all sinners, even after claiming Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
{Rev 3:20} “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
Sit With Me Tonight by Garrison Starr