Why do I write and speak on the topic of mental health, namely bipolar disorder?
I remember being diagnosed with Bipolar like it was yesterday. I had been involuntarily committed and was hot and furious. After my evaluation, I was asked if anyone ever diagnosed me with bipolar. Having NO idea what it was, I adamantly said NO. I do not have bipolar. My experience with bipolar in my early 20’s was minimal, and my interpretation had mostly come from what I saw on TV.
Even in my denial, they kindly advised me to research, talk to my therapist, and evaluate my own thoughts. It didn’t take long before I knew they were right. Not only did I have this mental health disorder then, but I had carried it for a very long time.
My guess is the abuse I endured as a very young child, which began around 6 or 7, had forever changed the way my brain would function, eventually leading to those misfires and imbalances we’ve come to understand.
Early on, it was a taboo topic that people feared and looked down upon. All mental health was about being crazy, depression was not being ‘happy enough’ or unmotivated to embrace life. Add in the Christian element, and I was told I wasn’t trusting God enough and that I needed prayer and deliverance (not untrue, but illogical in the sense they meant). One person even thought a visit to the Catholic church would remove the ‘demons in my brain.’
Before it became a trend, I began talking about my fight with bipolar disorder. I led Christian support groups for depression- interestingly everyone but CHRISTIANS showed up. I incorporated mental health in my role as a Sunday school teacher, women’s ministry participant, and faith leader. Though my goal was to make others comfortable with the topic of mental illness, and give them a familiar face to understand it better, I was gifted with courage I’d never experienced, and a voice I didn’t know I had.
The person I was pre-diagnosis, versus the person I am today, seem foreign to each other, yet both are me. I am a transformed warrior for Christ. I would be unable to embrace my whole story if I left part of it behind.
This is my authentic truth- a place to share my journey, to uplift, encourage, and empower those fighting just like me. You are a valuable, worthy, and loved child of God. Whether you are moving in the neutral zone, looking up from the depths of depression, or flying high trying to maintain the mania- you are loved.
If you are looking for support and understanding, you have come to the right place. I am a published writer, motivational speaker, and energized Christ-follower. Welcome to Authentic Truths!