Diagnosed with bipolar in 2002, I began the fight immediately. Once I gained knowledge regarding the illness, my life made sense. I was able to embrace my future because every piece of my mental past had come together and I felt a certain peace. It wasn’t perfect, and probably will never be, but it felt safe.
I worked hard to stay sane. I wanted my life to be as normal as possible. I brought my new Christian life and my old broken self into one, and I found freedom. Jesus made all things new, and I was in love. In love with my Savior, with His grace and mercy, forgiveness and love.
The tides would come, and I found myself riding them often. Some days I resembled a pro surfer, other days, I was drowning. But everyday, the Lord was there to lift me out of the deep, dark water, and gently guide me back to safe and steady.
I went years like this, and thought I was succeeding-both in victories and in my failures. A couple years ago, something changed. My optimistic enthusiasm was replaced with pessimistic fear. Silently, I battled these wars inside my own mind. As I look back now, it was a tragedy. My own self-defeating tragedy.
Hopelessly talking myself into a different mentality took a toll. I became exhausted and drained. Tirelessly, I fought to function every day (which I have). I realized tears no longer fell. I no longer smiled, and I was changed. Stress and turmoil impacted my life so often that my entire being was transforming. I have been trying to correct me since.
Today, the fight continues. This is not about healing. This is certainly not a list of ’10 ways to fix you’. This is merely a statement of truth- I have bipolar disorder. I have a mental illness that has yet to disappear.
Please understand, I have prayed for the Lord to remove this burden. Many Christians go around trying to convince us that we have demons in our head- and that’s all it is. They are wrong. There are chemicals, and wiring going on in your brain, these things get out of whack, create chaos and reek havoc. The delicate balance is disrupted, and the result is mental illness. The why’s, I’ve yet to understand. I resigned long ago to it just is. Research explains a few things, but the brain is complex. I get it. I also know circumstances probably didn’t help. God has saved me in every way, He would certainly cast out demons into pigs if He so wanted and needed to.
I know one day I could wake up and my great Creator will have removed and fully restored. It could happen while I’m here, or it will happen when I go home. My faith does not waiver on that. While I wait, I admit, it can be rough. The highs and lows make me sea sick.
I rest in one thing, as long as Jesus is here with me, I will survive. I believe I must accept my bipolar without shame. I must accept that who I am is not defined by bipolar. However, bipolar disorder most definitely is a piece to defining who I am. If you don’t know the difference, that is ok. You don’t need to. I do.