Monday, September 06, 2010

Bipolar no fun

I've been toying with the idea to post again, though my moods are still not stable. I'm finding I'm rapid cycling and even at times having mixed moods - depression and high together at one time. Don't ask me to describe it or tell you how it works. It just does.

But I need to write. To express all the thoughts and feelings that I have inside. So much on my mind.

What prompted me to post now, at this point, is the re-publishing of an article I wrote a long time ago. How I regret having written that piece! How I wish I could take it back! But it has been published in quite a few places and there's no way to go back.

The title of the article is "Finding Meaning in a Life with Bipolar Disorder", which also happens to be the subtitle of my book, A Firm Place to Stand. The latest place it was published was here.

I wrote (cringe) "Mental illness is not all bad. I have lived with bipolar disorder for over forty years and have found it has many benefits. I couldn’t imagine living without it and am not at all unhappy with my life." And - oh my goodness - I want to take that back.

Bipolar can be horrific. It can ruin relationships, break families apart, totally make life unbearable. I am finding that now. It's taking all I've got to try to cope. It's taking all I've got to keep trusting God. It's taking all I've got to try and make me a person my husband can bear to live with. This is so hard on him!!

Yes, having this disorder has helped make me the person I am - creative, compassionate, and I draw close to God daily. But I'd rather not have it. I'd rather my life were easier. I'd rather I wouldn't make a fool of myself as often as I do. I'd rather be able to have better control over my emotions. How I wish I could be stable!!

Today I had to back out of a speaking engagement because I simply couldn't commit, didn't know how I would be at the time of the event. There are too many things I simply daren't do, because the stress of it might trigger an episode. When I'm well I can speak quite well. But when I'm down I simply shouldn't try.

Yes, I've accomplished a lot with Living Room. But I'm finding myself less and less able to keep up with the work I've started. And I long for someone who could eventually take the baton from me and run strong, in good health, able to lead an army to champion the cause of Christians living with mental illness.

So, yeah, bipolar disorder is a bummer. I wish I could be normal. And yet, I need to say with the psalmist, "and yet I will praise God." He's my only hope.


Coco said...

I'm glad you posted this Marja. It's real; bipolar hurts. I'm sorry you're having a hard time, and I hope you step onto firmer ground very soon.

marja said...

Hey Coco,

Thanks for commenting. Thanks for identifying. So good to share with people who understand.

Firmer ground. Yes. It would be so good to be there. But - as Psalm 40 says - when I wait patiently God WILL give me a firm place to stand. And I have to hang onto that. It's a truth.

Jane said...

I am sorry you are hurting so much, Marja. I hope you are able to find relief soon. I admire your honesty in this post.

marja said...

Hi Jane,

Gotta say, I've suffered more than I do now with depression. It's just that it would be nice if I could count on myself a bit better. And if I could live without needing so much support. And if I could only make my husband's life a bit easier.