Disability Rights and Serious Mental Illnesses (SMIs)

Those who know me best know that I am not into partisan politics. My stomach churns equally from the Left and the Right. This does not mean I don’t care about political issues. It is simply not possible to live well in a Democratic Republic unless we are concerned citizens who keep abreast of current affairs and think critically beneath Facebook fodder and Twitter tweets. Politics is personal. It is not surprising that we care about issues close to us. If we are parents, are our children getting a good education? If we just graduated from college, what is the job market? If we are approaching retirement, how are our investments doing in the economy? In our diverse society, politics impact not only generations, but genders, ethnicity, faith, sexual identity, and other aspects of our lives. You don’t have to know me very well to know that my identity as [...]

Disability Rights and Serious Mental Illnesses (SMIs)2020-02-10T21:43:54-05:00

Disability Rights and Serious Mental Illness (SMI)

Those who know me best know that I am not into partisan politics. My stomach churns equally from the Left and the Right. This does not mean I don’t care about political issues. It is simply not possible to live well in a Democratic Republic unless we are concerned citizens who keep abreast of current affairs and think critically beneath Facebook fodder and Twitter tweets. Politics is personal. It is not surprising that we care about issues close to us. If we are parents, are our children getting a good education? If we just graduated from college, what is the job market? If we are approaching retirement, how are our investments doing in the economy? In our diverse society, politics impact not only generations, but genders, ethnicity, faith, sexual identity, and other aspects of our lives. You don’t have to know me very well to know that my identity as [...]

Disability Rights and Serious Mental Illness (SMI)2020-02-10T15:27:16-05:00

Revealing Voices: A Faith-Based, Peer-Led, Story-Driven, Stigma-Breaking Podcast

I was over at Studio E recording Revealing Voices with my good friend Eric over a glass of wine. Between sips, Eric looked at me quizzically and asked, "How many of your readers listen to our podcast?" I was dumbfounded. Literally found dumb. "I have no idea!" I exclaimed, "Furthermore, I don't even know how many of my readers know about Revealing Voices." [Note: Eric and I don't always drink wine, but when we do, we can be redundant and say things like furthermore.] How about you? Yes, you, Delight in Disorder reader out there. The one looking at this post on your mobile phone, your iPad, laptop, PC, or God-knows-whatever-other-kind of technology. Do you know about Revealing Voices? If so, have you checked us out? Let me share a little about our show: Several podcasts touch on mental health. Others bring up topics of faith. We offer a unique faith-based, [...]

Revealing Voices: A Faith-Based, Peer-Led, Story-Driven, Stigma-Breaking Podcast2020-01-26T20:25:49-05:00

Writing Like Crazy: living, loving, and laughing word by word.

You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world. ~ Ray Bradbury.   I fell in love with writing at a very early age. I've kept journals throughout my life and they have been some of the only things I've held onto in my many moves. Next to my faith, my body of work is the greatest heritage I hope to leave. One of my greatest regrets in life is the day I discarded a collection of love letters never sent. I did it out of embarrassment and a senseless notion that I needed to do in order to forsake all others. Losing these was like [...]

Writing Like Crazy: living, loving, and laughing word by word.2019-12-19T17:02:07-05:00

Where My Money Goes: A Heart Exam

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6.21)   “But money spent while manic doesn't fit into the Internal Revenue Service concept of medical expense or business loss. So after mania, when most depressed, you're given excellent reason to be even more so.”  ~Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness.   I did a financial review today. I do these frequently. Mostly when I'm manic. Instead of spending extravagantly, God has blessed me with an obsession to track my expenses down to the penny. This time I discovered that I pay $0.99/month for an iTune subscription I wasn't aware of. It may take several months, but I'll track it down so I can spend that $12/year on something more gratifying. Like a 12-piece Chik Fil A nugget meal. Many folks with bipolar have exorbitant episodes of spending when they are [...]

Where My Money Goes: A Heart Exam2019-10-16T23:33:44-04:00

My Angel of Mercy

It's been a busy week. We are at the National Correctional Education Association (CEA) conference. I have come along to support my wife Susan, who is President. While she attends to many various and sundry presidential matters, I am staffing her display table, selling her book Kicked to the Curb, encouraging people to subscribe to her blog, and sharing information about her business Nexus Point Consulting. Often, a week of being around people would do me in. While I flock to the spotlight, I can be consumed by the energy of crowds. When I took the Myers-Briggs I scored off-the-scale Introvert. I have learned to endure public duties, but they clearly drain me. As I write this alone in our room, listening to the white soul sounds of Slaid Cleves, Susan is still going strong at a reception honoring teachers of the year. It may take me a week or [...]

My Angel of Mercy2019-07-29T20:22:58-04:00

A Happy Father’s Day?

On special occasions, my Dad proudly wears a t-shirt that reads, "Jabez Elementary, Class of 1951." The truth is my Dad is quite intelligent. When he was 16, his father set him down and said, “You can quit school now and become a real man. Earn money for the family." Dad became the family's wage earner working third shifts at a nursing home. And he stayed in school to earn his diploma. Dad went in the military and was stationed in Germany. He has fond memories of seeing the European countryside and meeting new people. He’ll even tell you he learned to speak German and then share his vocabulary – “Eins bier. Zwei bier. Drei bier.” Dad got out of the service on a Saturday and went to work on a Monday at Cummins where he worked for 32 years, starting out on the burr bench and working his way [...]

A Happy Father’s Day?2019-06-16T21:26:50-04:00

God’s Crazy Love

In "Facing Mental Illness with Faith," (Huffington Post, 4/21/2016), Rob Lee writes this: How odd of God to call a mentally ill person to Christian ministry, but maybe God is a little crazy. Actually, God must be crazy, how odd of God to call humanity to be better and more in tune with God’s self. But God being crazy is precisely what makes God identifiable to some. God is just crazy enough to be real, and frankly some of us need a crazy God to keep us sane. Some of us facing mental health issues need to roll away the stone of mental illness and claim the resurrecting power of vulnerability and authenticity. How crazy is that? Some would say scandalous, maybe even heretical or blasphemous. God? Crazy? Perish the thought! But wait. Let's look deeper. God created ordinary people through whom He could do extraordinary things. Unlike human [...]

God’s Crazy Love2018-12-20T15:05:32-05:00

The End of the World (as they knew it)

There was a knock at the door and suddenly the lights went out. “It’s the end of the world!” said Maura, devotee of Jeanne Dixon. “We need to pray.” said Peter. At 16, Peter had found his way into a youth group. “First we need to confess,” said Father, a lapsed Catholic. “I’ll go get my cell phone." said Thomas,  I just downloaded  “The Virtual Vatican." Thomas had doubts, but he wasn't taking any chances. “Let’s just answer the damn door and check the breakers!”  said Sonya. Last year Sonya had come out as an atheist.  Two years ago, she came out as a lesbian.  The year before that, as Bipolar. Sonya answered the door.  Nobody was there.  She checked the breakers.  None of the fuses were blown. “I tell you, it’s the end the world!" “Let us pray.” “Father, forgive us, for we have sinned.” “Where’s my damn cell [...]

The End of the World (as they knew it)2018-10-07T20:23:09-04:00

Godly Sorrow Over Deadly Grief: Reflecting on my Suicide Attempt

Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;     my eyes grow weak with sorrow,     my soul and body with grief.  My life is consumed by anguish     and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction,     and my bones grow weak.  (Psalm 31.8-10) This week I shared my story with a youth group at Eminence Christian Church (IN). I started by having the youth turn to each other and say, "God loves you more than you can imagine," then, "God brought you here to be blessed." I then went through how God had orchestrated events in my life over the past decade to bring me there tonight. The event that almost prevented me from being there.  My despair over it. My book. The support of my family and friends moving back to Indiana. My blog post about suicide. The youth leader reading it and inviting me to come. The [...]

Godly Sorrow Over Deadly Grief: Reflecting on my Suicide Attempt2018-09-21T17:20:25-04:00