Bipolar disorder is marked by mania and depression.
When I’m manic, I lose sleep, my mind races, I talk too quickly, and I can’t sit still. I come off jittery and overwhelmingly excited over petty things.
I make plans, plans, plans, with people and for my life. They’re big and fun and grand, and often a bit too lofty.
When I’m depressed, I sleep too much, my mind slows, I talk too slowly (or I don’t talk at all), and I only want to sit or rest. I come off lethargic and seem underwhelmed by nearly every activity.
I refuse to make plans, I isolate myself from friends and family. I feel shame for feeling so down, and I don’t want to cause others to sink to my level.
Doctors want their patients to be stable.
“Stable” is a buzz word in the world of mental illness. We don’t want to be too energetic or over eager, but we don’t want to be too sad or underwhelmed.
We want a happy middle ground between a crazy high and a sleepy low. We want an even, strong, secure stance.
In the world of mental illness, we aim for normalcy.
But I’m not normal, so I aim to be able.
I’ve always been the odd one out: adopted, Asian, young, boyish, etc. I’ve never melted into a crowd easily, in some form or fashion I keep sticking out like a sore thumb.
Originally, I hated my diagnosis, because I feared it made me stick out too much. I felt sad, because I lost a life I loved in Nashville, and angry, because I lived a faithful life until now.
These days, I know I’ll never be perpetually stable. My disorder is called bipolar, so it throws me into a world of dichotomy, of yes and no, of black and white, of being “read” all over by strangers, family, friends.
My friend Britt prays that I can live in the grey. She prays I can be steady, steady, steady. And I am so grateul for her prayers.
I may never be stable, but with God, all things are able. He is the One who Heals, Protects, Redeems. He is the One who Fights my over-energy, and under-sadness.
He is the One who makes me new, not because I need to be fixed, but because I am a broken, sinful human being.,
We are not always stable. Our life crumbles to pieces when tragedy, betrayal, darkness strikes. We can ever be able, with God on our side.