Double Room (A.K.A More Thoughts on Being Bi-Polar)

For someone who has Bi-Polar disorder I really do not write much about it. By now I guess this means Bi-Polar has become part of the every day “norm” dealing with it like any other daily challenges. It has been over three years since I was diagnosed and accepted this reality and since then something quite remarkable continues to happen . . . I am still Bi-Polar. You may think “remarkable, how can the fact that you still have a disorder that impacts your life be remarkable?” and my response would be “because it is.” Going a little deeper than just “because it is” my mind goes back to those few years ago when my acceptance of this lot first began to take hold. I prayed, prayed, prayed and prayed and nothing ever changed. No amount of seeking or understanding lead to me seeing God bring a cure to this. One day as I was praying/thinking when out of nowhere the answer finally occurred to me, I was asking God the right way, but for the wrong thing. Instead of asking God to do His will I was asking Him to do mine. If God was not curing me, taking the Bi-Polar away, then He was allowing it to remain for a reason and because of that reason just as much good, heck even more good, could come from it than bad. In my mind I think the illness sort of gets a bad wrap. I will be the first to admit for some it is a cop out, but that should not keep us from trying to understand that for others it is a legitimate struggle. For example take myself, as long as I keep up with my medication my symptoms are rare, but when I do not I enter a whole different irrational reality. Even in these things, symptoms or not God continues to teach me so much especially when it comes to dependence. It is one thing to have to depend on the material, but the immaterial is completely a other ball game. Not only do I have to depend on God to meet my physical needs I must also do so to meet my mental. You never realize how much you take for granted the ability to think rationally until you have had an episode where all your mind could think is irrationally. I am so thankful that He has provided to with the means for mental stability because there are many who are Bi-Polar that are not so lucky. More and more as human beings are given understanding of the mind there are certain illnesses we have to realize are a true reality for some. This is doubly important for not only those or are in ministry, but Christians in general. There are so many variable we have to take into account when it comes to ministering to people and mental health is not one we should exclude from that list. Just as Christ ministered to people by who they were and how they thought we should seek to do no less as we build relationships and seek to meet the needs of the people we interact with. We have to be able to understand a person’s needs before we can help there needs. If you want to minister to a homeless person you see on the street who is hungry, you may have to meet their physical need if only for a moment to effectively meet their spiritual need. I write my own experiences to show a little transparency on how we as believers struggle and have needs. Sure not everyone we minister to is going to be homeless or hungry, but the immaterial can be just as hard a struggle/need, as the material. A person’s internal afflictions are just as important to understand as their worldview or anything else that plays a role in their thinking. How people think dictates how they act. Back when I was diagnosed I pursued educating myself on this so called disorder that was within me, and as I came to accept it I found many around me wanted to reject it. I lost a large portion of friends on top of being the recipient of consistent messages with phrases like “You are not trusting God enough”, “It is a sin issue not being dealt with”, “It is all in your head”, “You just need to step out of it.”, and so forth. As you may have guessed none of those responses provided much help. At the same time I do not blame them, even I was a skeptic months into my diagnosis and as humans we attempt to ignore, reject, or explain away what we do not understand. The people who did make a difference in my life, who  effectively ministered to me through all of this, were those who saw me as any other person and sought to understand what Bi-Polar was and how it affected me. Being Bi-Polar is not an excuse, but more of an explanation for one’s action. I am still a sinner, albeit a sinner who is saved by Christ, but a sinner nonetheless, and as such being Bi-Polar does not make me responsible for my actions any less. Bi-polar is just another element to who I am and what I struggle with. That is the reality, like every other believer I struggle. Our struggles my be different from on another, however that does not change the fact that everyone struggles all the same. Someday in this life if not the next God WILL remove this earthly ailment from me. For now I must persevere by depending on Him knowing that He has and will continue using this through me to know Him and make Him know. When it is all said and done I live in the truth that terms like Bi-polar, medications, symptoms, highs and even lows, they do not define me, Christ and Christ alone is my definition.


About Chronology of Chris

-In Christ -Student of Life, Theology, Philosophy and Education -Avid reader (C.S. Lewis, Alvin Plantinga, Francis Schaeffer, James Sire, Martin Luther, Luis de Molina, Gordon D. Fee, David R. Anderson, David Kinnaman, Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Schulz (Peanuts), Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes), Hunter S. Thompson, Douglas Adams, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jean Paul Sartre, Soren Kierkegaard, etc.) -Amateur philosopher -Field researcher for this privilege called life -Defined not labelled -Silly, yet serious -Knowledgeable and experienced -People over facts( facts have their place), souls over figures -More than an "about me" box can contain -His will, not mine
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