I wish I could describe this journey I’m on. I’ve found some ways that come close.
When someone needs glasses, they notice that things don’t look as crisp as they used to be, or how other people describe them. That person will express that their eyesight is not what it should be and get a prescription set of glasses. Often, overtime, this person will need to take several trips back to the eye doctor to get a different prescription because it has gotten worse. No one argues the actions that person has taken, yet no one can actually see through their eyes. Not one person on earth can say, “Okay, give me your eyeballs.. WOAH you really can’t see.” or “meh, you’re losing your vision but its still okay.” Nope. We all believe that person and allow them to go to the doctor several times until the doctor and patient agree on the right treatment.
Bipolar disorder is so incredibly similar. I, and some other BPs I have talked to, cannot see correctly. Things seem jumbled, awful, and ugly some days. Other days, they look way better than they should. And sometimes, both views are happening at the same time. But when a BP goes to a doctor and wants to start trying different treatments, I have found it is a lot harder to get support than a person who needs eye treatment.
Bipolar.. what does it feel like? Not being able to “see” correctly, yes. It also can feel like there is someone pulling on certain parts of my brain as if they were trying to stay on a mechanical bull. It feels like this person is struggling to stay on and accidentally stepped on a crucial part of the brain and now it won’t light up, or function, anymore. But when they did that, they also pulled on a different part which is now lighting up way too much.
Are you confused yet? Me too.
It’s not easy. No mental illness is easy, just like it is not fun to watch a love one have cancer, diabetes, anything that is hurting them. All of these life-threatening illnesses are not something to take lightly, and one not less than another just because it cannot be as easily seen. A lot of people with mental illness are labeled as “downers”, “moody”, “lazy”, etc. But if you could feel what our brains are doing to us, you would (hopefully) go easier. Sometimes being awake is enough of a challenge.
Where am I on this journey? Acceptance, but questioning. I ask God “why now, why me?” far too often. I just have to wonder; at age 19 this all started happening, and I was diagnosed at age 20. Why now? I was in the middle of discovering what I want to do with my life and now, some days I can barely think past my bed. While other days, I can do anything and everything. And every night I say goodbye to today and hope tomorrow is tolerable. I don’t know if I will wake up in a high or low. I just hope I am able to handle whatever extreme it is. Why me? This is a selfish thought that I am embarrassed to admit. But I have it. I don’t feel like I did anything to deserve this.
That’s when I have to remember who my God is. I have to remember that thought is from Satan. That thought is Satan telling me that BP is put on me directly by Christ as punishment from something I have done wrong. I have found multiple verses that prove that Satan is a horrible liar.
The Lord will fight for you. Just stay calm. -Exodus 14:14
This verse is direct from Moses’s mouth when the ex-Egyptian slaves are cursing Moses for guiding to the dessert to be killed. Pharaoh and his army of 600 came closer and the slaves continued to question Moses. Moses told the people to stay calm. The Lord is faithful and He will step in to protect them. God didn’t rescue them from slavery to let them be killed. Then Moses parts the sea through his faith in God and all the people live on as the army is stuck in the sea’s roaring waves.
If Moses can have such faith, why can’t I? He fought for Moses and his people. All Moses had to do was listen and be obedient. I can do that, right? He is willing to take on my biggest battle, I am more than thankful to not have to handle his dirty, ugly beast without my Lord’s helping hand. I hope people can one day say, “The Lord is fighting her battle”. That will be my triumph.
For that is what God looks like, He is our God forever and ever, and He will guide us until we die. – Psalm 48:14
This is a promise. Jesus died and rose from the grave to make this promise(along with others) known and validated. He is MY God forever and ever. He will guide ME until I die. (Sidenote: I’ve learned that when in low points it is easier for me to put ‘me’ or ‘i’ in the sentence.) With this promise being proven, it is clear here that I will never be left for the wolves. I will never be tossed in the air as if I am not worth the fight. I am worth it, and Jesus is fighting for me. He is guiding me through the darkness and pushing it back. BONUS: He will NEVER stop. Never stop loving. Never stop guiding. Never stop anything.
So by these two verses, Satan is a liar and Christ is my victory.
Keep going, kid. You got today.
Oh, my soul
You are not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know
One more day, He will make a way
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down
’cause you’re not alone