Delight in Disorder: Cultivating My First Book

I am going through a medication change at the moment. It is a slight "tweaking," but it makes me drowsy much of the time. It is difficult to concentrate and muster the muse for sustained creativity. I thought it best to recycle an older post. This once was written March 8, 2017. It was the first post published in this blog. I had 12 subscribers then. Now I have 449. My guess is that some of you haven't read this. For over twenty five years,  I have journeyed with this illness from manic (even psychotic) peaks to dark valleys of despair.  At both extremes, I have flirted with death—coming very close to ending my life and doing great damage to those around me.  For no apparent reason but the mercy of the Lord, God has kept me alive, saving me  from certain destruction. Yet, I have also found genuine delight in [...]

Delight in Disorder: Cultivating My First Book2020-06-21T20:40:10-04:00

Leaning on My Tribe: An Appeal for Prayer

Yesterday, I published this blog post about the “mixed state” I’m now experiencing. Immediately, encouraging words and uplifting prayers came pouring in. For this, I am very grateful. Knowing I am not alone in this battle gives me more confidence to endure. But the attacks remain fierce. On my morning walk today, voices were yelling at me all the things I’ve done wrong in the past and how I am bound to fail in the future. It is not a coincidence that the Adversary is advancing the war as my ministry grows stronger. One of my readers, Paul M., suggested I appeal to my friends and readers to engage in collective prayer for me as I walk through this valley. So, I am doing just that. I would appreciate your hopeful thoughts, encouraging words, and, particularly your uplifting prayers. I need your prayerful support. I believe God hears the prayers [...]

Leaning on My Tribe: An Appeal for Prayer2020-06-18T15:37:41-04:00

Escaping the Self-Centeredness of Mental Illness

Mental illness can be one of the most self-centered ailments there is. By this I do not mean that people who battle mental illness are necessarily self-centered. No, I mean the illness itself consumes our minds in such a way that we become unable to see beyond the realm of our own emotional pain. This is not our fault. We are not to blame, at least not for the way our minds work. Contrary to what many believe, our aim is not to draw attention to ourselves. This may be the result, but it is not our desire. One of the worst episodes I've had happened on December 1, 2016. I was blindsided from the rear and, in spite of little physical damage, I went into sort of shock. I was taken to nearby hospital. As they tried to transfer me onto a gurney, I became convinced I was paralyzed. [...]

Escaping the Self-Centeredness of Mental Illness2020-06-07T19:06:01-04:00

What’s in a Name? A Serious Title Change to my Book.

As I approach the Eleventh hour toward submitting my book for publication, I am calling everything into question. The other night I recorded an audio version and found 33 changes I wanted to make. Then, my mind turned to the title.  When Despair Meets Delight: Stories to cultivate hope for those with serious mental illness. Does this best describe my mission and communicate my message? I had some doubts. Not about it all. It was just not quite right. And the part that wasn’t right was SERIOUS! What is a serious mental illness (SMI). I first found the term on the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) website. While the definition has been in flux of late, SMI tends to refer to those diagnoses which are typically most debilitating, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression. But this is a very subjective scale and even the “experts” disagree on [...]

What’s in a Name? A Serious Title Change to my Book.2020-06-04T17:03:17-04:00

Mental Illness or Demon Possession?

Let me make this clear. Mental illness is not demon possession. If you are a faith leader and someone asks you to exorcise a friend or family member, don't do it. What can you do instead? A good pastor friend of mine has shared with me a screening process to rule out lesser afflictions before one might consider a chronic diseased soul. Examine the environment. Take a particularly close look at the relationship dynamics of the person presented as the problem. Often families and other intimate groups target one member and poured all their disruptive thoughts and feelings into a scapegoat who responds with peculiar and sometimes even volatile behavior. It can be very difficult to examine the lives of those convinced they are only acting out of love. They may themselves become angry with you, even abusive. Be sure to tread lightly and have back up before you take [...]

Mental Illness or Demon Possession?2020-05-30T05:00:34-04:00

When Despair Meets Delight: The Journey

In June of 2019, I began to conceive the notion of doing a second book with the working title of When Despair Meets Delight: Stories to Cultivate Hope for Those Impacted by Serious Mental Illness. It didn't gel until around August and I had a number of false starts. In October, I hit my stride and within that month had a rough manuscript of 27,000+ words. I sent it to my personal editor, Leanne Sype, who spruced it up. I then sent it to Moody Publishers for consideration. Amy Simpson, an acquisitions editor from Moody, reviewed my manuscript and wrote back: Thanks for sending your manuscript my way. I have had a chance to review it, and I’m sorry to say Moody is not the right publisher for this project. We generally don’t publish memoirs, and while your manuscript is extremely well written, we simply aren’t the best fit. I [...]

When Despair Meets Delight: The Journey2020-05-07T02:33:25-04:00

The New Asylums: A Dialogue on Mental Illness Behind Bars

I have been aware of the prevalence of persons with mental illness who are incarcerated. I also know first-hand how quality in-patient psychiatric care has all but disappeared. Still, this chart portrays the crisis of mental health care in our nation. And, from the numbers I've seen, it's only getting worse. What follows is a dialogue that took place in perhaps the best Facebook groups I belong to: Advocates for People with Mental Illness. I wish these folks were in policy-making posts rather than the ones we currently have.   J:   Neither peak seems to be healthy, at least not long term. I wonder where the curve would be in a good system. D:  The community health care system that was promised after institutions closed is a dignified response to caring for people who live with mental illness. Much cheaper than institutions and so much more effective and respectful. [...]

The New Asylums: A Dialogue on Mental Illness Behind Bars2020-04-16T14:10:02-04:00

When Darkness Meets Delight — Diagnosing the Problem (part one)

Rev. Roberts, you have bipolar disorder. What? I was in a medication-induced stupor. My mind was in a haze. Was I dreaming? Bipolar? I had heard of it, but I couldn’t connect with it. What did it mean for me? I couldn’t take it in, so I turned over and went back to sleep. Maybe dreams would take this dreadful diagnosis away or at least infuse the hope I needed to handle this new reality. Rest wouldn’t come as I tossed in a hyper-vigilant wakefulness, staring beyond the walls. I got up and walked to the central nurse’s station. The nurse on duty wore a gentle and kind expression. She had a glow about her and seemed to float above her rotating chair.  She asked what I was looking for. I told her the diagnosis I was given and that I wanted to understand what it meant. Suddenly, her expression [...]

When Darkness Meets Delight — Diagnosing the Problem (part one)2020-03-15T13:17:57-04:00

Your Help With Hope For Troubled Minds

Loved ones of those struggling with serious mental illness (SMI) are often reluctant to express the emotions of their heart with God or others. They hide in the darkness of doubt, fearful God has abandoned them and that the faith community doesn’t understand. Hope for Troubled Minds: God’s Love for Those Loving Someone with a Serious Mental Illness shows how these persons can find support, strength, and stamina to faithfully walk alongside their loved ones within the body of Christ. This is the overview of my book proposal I sent to Moody Publishers. So far, I've gotten a warm reception.  So, I'm off to a good start. Almost. Sort of. But I'm not there yet. The book I'm aiming to write does not match the target audience, which is: My primary audience is loved ones of those diagnosed with bipolar of other serious mental illnesses (SMIs). They have faith in [...]

Your Help With Hope For Troubled Minds2020-03-08T20:39:41-04:00

Naming and Claiming: Thoughts on the Word-of-Faith Movement

by Katie R. Dale Bipolar Brave My heart is guarded against the Word-of-Faith Movement, an evangelical Christian movement “which teaches that Christians can access the power of faith or fear through speech.” (wikipedia.org) Here are a few paragraphs from Wikipedia that explain the Word-of-Faith movement in more context: “Distinctive Word of Faith teachings include physical, emotional, financial, relational, and spiritual healing or prosperity for those who skillfully manage their covenant with God. The movement urges believers to speak what they desire, in agreement with the promises and provisions of the Bible, as an affirmation of God’s plans and purposes. They believe this is what Jesus meant when he said in Mark 11:22–24 that believers shall have whatsoever they say and pray with faith. The term word of faith itself is derived from Romans 10:8 which speaks of the word of faith that we preach. Healing The Word of Faith teaches that complete [...]

Naming and Claiming: Thoughts on the Word-of-Faith Movement2020-02-19T19:44:31-05:00
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