It was just about two weeks ago that I found out that others didn’t hear noises in their heads like I do. I have had them all my life. Normal sounds. A car door slamming. A bell ringing. A buzzing sound. Someone saying my name. A ping.

This is just one symptom of my mental illness. Right from the start the nurses in the nursery in the hospital where I was born immediately noticed that I was the “most nervous baby” they all had ever seen.

Alberta Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1971. There was a great pouring out of the Spirit in the area at the time and there were revivals going on all over town. Embry Williams was preaching at a week night revival at Alberta Baptist Church. I don’t remember the sermon or what really happened that night, but I do know that I walked down and “publicly professed” Jesus Christ as my Savior for the first time.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t think there has been a day in my life that I have not known Jesus Christ personally as my Redeemer and Savior. Not only that, I have always unconsciously “known” that I was being led by some sort of “spirit” or “inner leading voice”.

I believe in some way that when the Lord “gifts” those of us with these “mental illnesses.” Our inner spirits are more open, and we therefore more easily bruised and hurt by everyday life. But then again, we are also extra sensitive to the feelings of others and are the best empaths in the world.

I felt these leadings and pullings on my tiny little spirit and soul even as a baby.  I was on the Crusader’s walkway just toddling around Broadmoor Baptist Church, in Lipscomb, Alabama.

Monday mornings would find me at my Granny’s kitchen sink singing “How Great Thou Art”, while washing tiny, little communion cups filled with Welch’s grape juice…. which I indulged in before it went into the dish water!

Then Granny and I would exclaim that little 2-year-old me would be the most sinless Christian in Lipscomb. We’d laugh and laugh.

Granny left me just before my sixth birthday and went to live with Jesus. All the adults kept trying to hide the fact that Granny had died from the younger children but, I knew when I saw her empty bed that she went to live with Jesus and it didn’t bother me.

We left Lipscomb the next year and moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I felt a little lost because I had no one that understood my special “moments” that Granny always told me to “lock away in my heart.” 

I remember before she passed that I saw a nest of baby snakes in her front yard and ran inside and told everyone. In my four-year-old mind it was important, so that they could go and kill them before they scattered all over the yard but no one believed me. I started crying because they were calling me a liar then, Granny took me into the kitchen and said, “I’m sure you did see them! They’ll probably head on over to the creek so don’t worry. You just take seeing those baby snakes and lock that in your heart as something God only wanted you to see alone.” Granny was Spirit led like that. So, ever since then, when I see something or hear something that no one else sees or hears I chalk it up to something that was meant for only me to see or hear. That’s how I have come to deal with my mental illness.

There have been countless hours spent in psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric doctor offices, neurologists, psychologists, therapists, hundreds of people that have put in hundreds of hours on my psyche alone.

There are twelve pills I take every day to keep me in balance. Still, I slip up often and I fall twice as much. Medication helps take the edge off but you must learn to cope with your symptoms as well.

That’s where Jehovah Rafah steps in, Jesus Christ the Healer.

I am a woman of God but, I believe God gave these men and women of medicine the knowledge and intelligence in the field of psychology and medicine of the brain to help me overcome the obstacles of a lifelong illnesses that I will have until the day I die. These two combinations of my faith in Jesus Christ and my doctors and therapists working together along with my cooperation has made a world of difference in my suddenly moving rapidly to mania to depression and back and forth again.

I’ve recently developed a new symptom and I will have to schedule a new appointment earlier than expected with my psychiatrist this month. This is, also, expected in people with mental illnesses. We’re constantly having to rework our medication plans.

There’s so much that entails and wraps up every little aspect of your entire life when your living with mental illness. It’s so much easier knowing that you have the Spirit of Jesus Christ walking with you every step of the way through daily battles and the lifetime war going on in your head.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33