Today I woke up at the crack of dusk, after having spent a restless 15 hours in bed. I was anxious about things beyond my control, tortured by my past failures, questioning my purpose. Some people compare themselves with others who do less and feel good about themselves. I compare myself against my best self and feel miserable.
At my best, I wake up, take my meds, brew some coffee and nurse it while doing a devotion. But I’m not at my best. The first thing I did was pull up my emails to see if there were any more contributors to our upcoming mental health podcast, “Revealing Voices.” There was not. I felt very discouraged. Was I doing something wrong? Had I sensed a need that isn’t there? So many unanswered questions. So many unanswered prayers.
I took a deep breath and pressed on. I checked my LinkedIn account. I noticed I had a message. It was from a man I’ll call Akbar from the Middle East:
I am coping with bipolar disorder, too. I spent really very bad days. But since 2011, I am get used to live with it. There are no attacks anymore. But it is not guaranteed that you will never get a depression or mania attacks. Just praying not to live all again. I wonder about your study. Do you help people who has the same disability? Your passion is impressed me if you help people. I wanna learn how you help people? You make me happy if you share your experiences with me.
How amazing is that? First, that God would lead Akbar to my site and that we could celebrate together the progress we have made living with bipolar. I appreciate A.O.’s honest admission that we are not healed from bipolar, but we do learn to better cope such that the depressive and manic attacks do not rob us of hope for a better life.
This is what I wrote back to Akbar
Yes, I have lived with bipolar 1 for over 20 years now. I still have many ups and downs, but I cling to faith in Christ that I will survive and that eventually things will get better. I don’t have all the answers about how to best live with bipolar, but I am very happy to share my story. You can read my blog, delight2014.wpengine.com, and order my book from Amazon “Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission.” In March of next year, I will be doing a podcast and will mention more about that on my blog and through social media. Thank you for reaching out, Akbar. I pray you enjoy this day and many more to come.
UPDATE ON REVEALING VOICES CAMPAIGN
As of 7 pm on Friday, November 24, we have raised $650 towards our goal of $3,000. Hit the link on the title above to find out more. Please pray, share, and give to make it possible for people around the world to hear and respond to “Revealing Voices: The mental health podcast raising unanswered questions, sharing unanswered prayers.”