Sunday, May 02, 2010

The good in bipolar

Almost every day over the past while I wake up feeling awful. As the day progresses things usually improve.

This morning it happened again. I felt so depressed. But as I sipped my coffee and looked out over the yard, the patio, and my favourite chair, I thought to myself, "How can I possibly feel such depression? I have everything a person could want. I have "stuff," I have a husband and friends who love me, I have God. I have work to do that I love - usually love (though at that moment I couldn't appreciate it).

I couldn't figure myself out. Felt ashamed of my negative feelings. And I journalled about it, asking God to please help me be thankful as I ought to be. Asking God to erase the feelings of depression. Asking God to help me feel the way I ought to feel in light of having such a life. I felt guilty for feeling so down.

When my husband got up, I told him about it. How I just couldn't understand why I would be feeling this way. I was perplexed. He reminded me, "I think you must have an illness." Ah, yes!! I have an illness. I actually needed him to remind me of it.

But I did count my blessings as I worked through those negative feelings. I gradually started looking forward to church. And I got through it all once more. By the time the worship started, I was actually feeling quite high. Amazing! Amazing how this illness works!! From low to high within a couple of hours.

What can I do with this? Can any good come out of all this? Yes, I think it can. I think, as a friend told me, it helps us who live with this bipolar disorder, see things more vividly. The great contrast between the highs and lows makes us experience sorrow and joy is a deeper way than the average person. Bible passage can speak louder to us. And I want to share what I learn from it all. How I want to share!

6 comments:

More Than Conquerors said...

Dear Marja,

I can fully identify with your struggles. I sometimes forget too that I have a medical condition that can cause difficulties with my mood for no apparent reason. I am learning that it is important for me to identify the symptoms and to try and separate it from my personality and identity in Christ.

Thank God for a kind husband who understands you so well and able to remind you and help you see things from a more realistic perspective. Such support is truly a gift from God.

I too am learning to count my blessings and I find that writing them down and sharing with others help me to focus on God's goodness and sovereignty even in allowing me to have this medical condition. God is faithful. He will not allow us to be tested more than what we can bear. Through each difficult challenge, He is drawing us closer to Himself, to know Him and make Him known to others. I love to share too :)

Thanks for your love and prayers. You are such a blessing from God! May God continue to bless your walk with Him and make you a blessing to all who come into contact with you. You are so loved!

With love and prayers,
Nancie

marja said...

Hi Nancie,

Thank you for this.

Yes, I know how you write your Thankful Thursday posts and that would probably be a good thing for me to be doing as well. I'm considering it.

And yes, God does draw us closer to Himself through our trials. And that's one thing about bipolar that we can be thankful for.

Thank you so much for your love and encouragement. I love you too.

Have a great week.

Love, marja

Wendy Love said...

Marja,
How well you express what we ALL go through. What you have described could be any given day in my life! And yes, it is so easy to forget we have an actual illness and so easy to try to analyze our feelings and figure it out. What to do with it all? Just keep plugging away with God's help....

marja said...

Thanks Wendy,

Yes, it's a constant battle, isn't it? I like what Nancie does, writing down her blessings and sharing them with others. When I journal I always thank God for things, but that's not sharing it with others, is it? I think there's real power in sharing.

marja

Anonymous said...

Hi Marja,

This is kind of "aside" from your main post but I'm wondering if you have spoken to your Dr. about your constant mood changes. Maybe there is something he can do to help out? I know many people who experience this and their Dr. have to adjust the medications as symptoms arise, but it can make life more comfortable.

Thinking of you,

Kathy

marja said...

You're right, Kathy, I need to talk to my psychiatrist about this. It's been going on far too long. I'll be seeing him this week. I'll go through my journal and make a chart as to what's been happening.

marja