I look in the mirror and quickly look away. My eyes see a broken and disoriented mind long before they see a loving heart. Under this disheveled exterior lies the desolate and barren ground of a hurting soul. My quiet disposition has replaced a confident being. I wonder if it is acceptable to step away from the routine of being healthy and capable. The same ravaged look of being bedridden with the flu falls on me now.
Depression is more than sadness. It is the loss of pleasure in all aspects of life, a complete disconnect to daily living. I am here in my life, but I feel I am standing somewhere on the outskirts looking in. From far away, things look regular and routine. However, up close, you see the jagged edges and broken pieces of a shattered soul. When I step into myself, I face a stranger.
With the turmoil behind me, now is the time to move ahead. This plan does not include elaborate steps to overwhelming success. Yesterday, it included getting dressed. Today, I cleaned my house. These are the successes and goals of my current situation.
Some people understand, and others don’t. I am not here to fight for understanding when I barely discern it myself. I stay a course of healing and working to push ahead. For me, the fear of mania looms large in the recesses of my mind. Like a devil in preparation for destruction, the manic side of bipolar is ominous.
Depression may be shrouded in darkness, but mania is red, fire, fierce. For the sake of living, it demands attention. The old saying of ‘keep your enemies closer,’ represents the battle of mania. You cannot turn your thoughts away, nor can you obsess.
The art of balancing mental illness is proof of who I am — a fighter defined by the resilience and stamina within the hills and valleys of my march. Bipolar disorder hides away, then appears when we need more from our minds. So we fight. Alone, we take up and prepare for a war within ourselves. A hidden battle that others never see.
Alas, we remain alone temporarily. Calling in the reinforcement takes courage and surrender. Jesus is here. Dressed from head to toe in armor I neither relate to or recognize. His power is dominant and overwhelming. He has both infiltrated my thoughts and held me in a silence that comforts the fears of my soul. I fight to be enveloped by the fighter in me. If I am to survive once again, then my only hope is to let go.
So that is what I do. I swirl in the sweet aroma of a victory I cannot see, but He has already won. One day, I will understand and comprehend. For now, I trust. One step at a time. One day at a time-trust.