Monday, August 21, 2006

Something New for Someone Old(ish)

Well, after some time of considering it, my son Cornelius has persuaded me to start my own blog. A year ago I hadn't even heard of blogs or blogging. I considered it something very mysterious. But I love to talk. I love to express my views. I have a lot I want to say. That's what happens as a person ages. And I've recently reached the age of 60, something I'm actually quite proud of and not ashamed to let everyone know.

As my profile shows, I have bipolar disorder - have had since I was 19 years old. Life has been difficult, as it is for anyone with such a disease. But all in all I consider myself fortunate. God has been good to me. My life is full and, except for times when my medications need adjusting, I'm happy. I have a husband who loves me, a 33-year-old son and daughter-in-law. I also have many friends. My church is very supportive of me and has encouraged me in my desire to start a faith-based support group for individuals with mood disorders. We're starting this in September and I'm very excited about this.

So many Christians don't understand psychiatric problems and tend to think of them as indications of not being right with God. I know this is not the case. As long as I take my medications, and as long as they are working, I function well. It's only when I stop taking them that I run into severe problems. Medications correct the chemical imbalance in my brain; they do not alter my personality in any way. I walk close to the Lord and work for Him by helping those who suffer from mental illness as I do.

One of my favourite Bible passages is in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. "...the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." The suffering I've experienced with my disorder has taught me how to be compassionate towards others. I value that.

Although life has been difficult, I can honestly say that I don't regret anything I've gone through. I wouldn't be the person I am today, without the experiences I've had. They have all given me fodder for the writing I do. They have helped me understand thoroughly what people go through - people who are stigmatized unfairly. With those experiences and with the writing skills God has given me I can try to make a difference.

God has given me comfort and strength when I needed them. He has given me friends at church who care about me and support me when I'm not well. I am so grateful for His abundant love.

Well, there it is. My first post. I don't know where this blog will take me, but look forward to this new adventure.


Dream Writer said...

Finding comfort in God is so important no matter what we experience in life.

Great blog! Looking forward to reading more.

moonlightwriter said...

Welcome to the blogging world! That is wonderful that you are starting a support group, I pray it will be a blessing to all.

Dobro said...

You blog well!
I go through mania and depression with intermittent
hospitalizations while being medication compliant. I am glad you have people in your church whom you can depend on.

Anonymous said...

Hi Marja,
I went to your archive in August 2006 to read of how you started your blog and am encouraged to read of your life experiences with bipolar. I hope to read through as many of your archives as possible as I can identify with some of the struggles you have had with this illness and also the stigmas, but also by the mercies of God - the joy, the creative side and the usefulness of bipolar, through which I am providentially led to start my blog recently. Like you I am also benefitting from my experiences of severe darkness and pain, and using it, by the grace of God, to comfort others who are going through severe trials in their lives with the same comfort that God has comforted me. Take care. May God bless and use you for His glory.