Outside, the sun is shining. The first snowfall is melting slowly away. The boys are at school. Marc is working. I’ve spent the morning soaking up Bible verses, reading some of Michael J. Fox’s memoir Lucky Man, and researching further this messy business of bipolar depression disorder. I hate it. The label, the symptoms, and even the fact that I’m forced to take medication to keep me “level”.
Truthfully, I miss the high (or manic).
I was more fun.
I didn’t need sleep and life was certainly more entertaining.
They say one of the biggest struggles with bipolar folks is continually taking their meds. I get that. I would LOVE to get off but last time I ran out of one of my medications for a few days it sent me into a tailspin of sorts. So, trust me, I get it. But I wanna scream!!! I wanna cry for a day and wake up to a better feeling tomorrow. Bury my head in the proverbial sand.
I certainly DON’T want to open up and share any of this with a soul. I want to look and feel good and spread joy and hope all the time.
Its a tough place to be. Vulnerable. Fragile. Imperfect.
No one wants their friends or family and certainly not their Facebook peeps to know their dirty secrets and I’m no exception. You see, all the well-meaning people in my life that want to preach at me or fix me just don’t know any other way. I don’t blame them. They do and say things in love and I’m sure without judgement (or maybe a hint). They, like me, just can't bear to see someone down in the pits. So why write about the pain? Exactly! The reality is this…. I know that my story will help countless people one day and right now God is doing a work IN me. I just want to share in the present moment where emotion is raw and feelings are on display for the world to see …to see that you can be in the pit and still experience joy.
What do you mean you have joy? You sound like a hot mess!”, you say. Yes, I am, but no matter what it “feels” or looks like there is always hope. True story. God is my Hope. He sent His son Jesus to pay my debts on the cross. He paid for my sickness with His blood. I’m not ashamed to shout it from the rooftops, either. In all He gave us when He sent Jesus, He never promised that everyday would be all roses and gingerbread cookies.
Now I’m not a preacher, not by a LONG shot, but I know God well enough to know that He loves me and has a marvelous plan for my life (and yours). I’m thrilled to see just what He can pull off with this mess of a life in order to bring Hope and Joy into this dark world.
Isaiah 60 says “Arise, shine for your light has come. And the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you.” So we’re meant to shine in the dark world filled with sadness and depression. It’s a grand calling and even the thought of it lightens my soul.
This post may have started off hopeless….but I hope you can sense the power of God lifting that burden. Matthew 11 says “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
I’m infused with a new sense of purpose and hope just as I type these powerful words. Perhaps I shouldn’t be writing any of this until the “heavy moment" has passed but by then I talk myself out of sharing so as not to bring anyone down. I, like most of us, prefer to only interact with friends, family and Facebook when things are going well (or at least I can make it all seem that way).
Wrapping it up I’m reminded of my recent posts. Specifically the mention of gratitude. Why do I talk so much about gratitude and where does that come into play in my downtrodden state? And since I keep pushing the power of being grateful how am I putting that into practice? Journal and prayer, that’s how. There is such a magnificent power of praise and thanksgiving that cannot be put into words (at least not mine). Take a few moments and make a list of the things you’re most grateful for in this moment.
I am abundantly thankful for my dear, sweet, supportive family!
The sunshine & snow.
My ball cap & makeup (for days like today).
My Bible & highlighter.
A faithful car to drive and gas in the tank.
and many many more things.
My prayer for you today is that you will find (and journal) 5 things you can be truly grateful for and witness the power of gratitude at work in your life. From my heart of hearts I know nothing is impossible and this too shall pass. Look on the bright side and carry hope into the world around you. If I seem all over the place.....I'm not....I'm just here....in this moment.
I already feel better, thanks.