Mental Health Lockdown
After months of mental health lockdown caused by the world lockdown around me, I feel myself waking up. I fell into a deep abyss of raging silence and internal turmoil. In the ocean of uncertainty, I know coping with a complete shutdown and upheaval in my routine is detrimental. March 12th was my last ‘normal’ day at work. When we closed those doors of the church, I closed the door to normalcy within.
I did my best to connect with those on the outside. Zoom meetings commenced, and online services began, electronic communications ramped up. It took two weeks, and I checked out.
As I logged in, I felt more disconnected. Seeing faces on a screen was a constant reminder of the distance from my life. Frustration turned to depression within days, and I spent the next two months fighting myself to return. I could not handle the fear, anger, controversy, shaming, lies, and daily reports of doom and gloom.
While I appreciated the efforts to connect, it had an opposite effect on me. It took me some time to realize, but when I did, I began the climb back to sanity. I unplugged from technology and took a break. I pressed into substantial parts of my life, like sitting in the sun, exercising, and reading books. We kept the television off during the day, listened to more music, and played games.
Protest the World
As I regained a sense of calm, the unrest of a nation crashed down. Uncertain of people’s reactions, I monitored the news. Becoming increasingly agitated at what I saw, I reminded myself to turn it off and walk away.
I know I am not the only one. There is darkness in information overload, constant debating turned confrontation and reading the barrage of opinions and rude remarks. We listen, unpack, then regurgitate it back to the masses. All the while, filling our thoughts with worldly nonsense in a brain not capable of holding more. Processing is a function that tires you out. If you don’t prioritize your ideas, you will lose ground in mental clarity and stability.
I am not a fan of this world right now. I would give anything to head home and fall into the arms of Jesus. “Not today.” I hear it often. God has called me to stay put and work hard– for Him. The environment has changed, His mission for me has not. What comes next, I am unsure. I give my full attention to one cause, to know Jesus and love like him. If we all lived by that rule, nothing we see today would exist. I love that this is my church motto.
My mental health is a roller coaster ride; I will never escape. But the cart pushing and pulling me is steady, safe, and will endure. The arms that hold me during the twists and turns is constant and reliable. God can, and God will see me through. Jesus lived and died for a sinner like me. He desired for me to be free, and in Christ, I am indeed free. Our relationship is a gift for survival in a sinful world. The chains the world tries so hard to lock, never do their job. Freedom is found in Christ alone- He is the key.
The Future Reflects Accountability
We are in 2020, and it has been a crazy year. I used to imagine this period in time when I was a kid. I saw peace back then, a place of cleanliness, care, no pain, giving, and self-accountability. We have not reached that within the collective masses. I believe, as individuals, it is our job to achieve this in our hearts.
For you, it may not matter, for me, it is the road I lead to living within my mental illness and survive. My goals may seem silly, but I would rather be simple than irrational, hateful, rude, demeaning, illogical, or abusive. I hate to say it, but that is the base of what I see these days. I stand and kneel for Jesus Christ; no cause will change who I am and how I respond to God’s precious children. Speeches and lawless actions are reflections of broken hearts searching for something more.
This world disrupted life, but it will never disrupt my love for Jesus Christ or people in desperate need of a Savior. The mission continues until the days are done. I found peace within bipolar, I will fight tooth and nail to maintain it, no matter what the world is doing. This is not being complacent or silent; it means caring for myself as a valuable and worthy child of God.