This is my first ever blog post…my introduction to the world of blogging. I wonder why I waited so long to do this. It’s going to be a learning experience for me, and for anyone who happens to want to read this. But what the heck. I love learning new things so we’ll just have to struggle through this together.
As an introduction, I want to be upfront with readers. I am a Christian in the sense that I have accepted Salvation from my Lord Jesus Christ. I have a relationship with Him. It’s not that I deserve to have one with Him, but that He desires to have a relationship with anyone who wants it, who comes to Him and listens to Him. I made a decision to follow Jesus when I was a teen. I don’t regret that decision for even a moment. I know that whatever life throws at me, He is walking with me through it all.
I also want you to know that I have bipolar, or what is commonly known as “manic depression.” Bipolar doesn’t define who I am; it is just an element or facet of my personality that has taken up quite a bit of my attention from time to time. I’ve been online since 1998, and discovered quickly how hard it is to find other people out in the cyberworld that have bipolar and are also followers of Jesus.
There seem to be a few, and the ones I found back in the late ’90’s are still friends. We connected through one of the earliest social networks online at MyFamily.com. In the past decade plus, we’ve laughed together, struggled with our mental states together, and everything in between. Some appeared for awhile and then drifted away. Our season together was over and I pray that our little group was able to help in some way.
But right now I am concerned because my greatest struggle is with friends who haven’t been able to understand the nature of bipolar. They get it confused with depression especially when some of us experiencing bipolar shift over to the depressive side of the continuum for long periods of time. Depression, most of the time, has cures and is most often short lived. Bipolar, in contrast, is how we are wired up. It is permanent and we have to learn to live with it. Yes, we take medications. But they are for life. And most of the time they can only cut down the highest heights of mania, and fill in a few of the valleys of depression.
What I see in the Christian community is a need to learn about disabilities of all kinds, including the mental (invisible) illnesses. They are just as life altering and devastating as any physical illnesses. The community needs to embrace us and help us in our special needs.
Case in point. I went to college and taught a few years before realizing I had some kind of depression that needed to be dealt with. So I went to the psychiatrist. It took the 2 of us many discussions, and trials of medication, and interviews with my parents before he diagnosed my bipolar. We settled on a course of medications that I am still taking today, about 20 years later.
I wasn’t devastated with the diagnosis. Instead, with a name/condition in hand, I set out to learn everything I could find about bipolar. Even now, I get newsletters and read about new developments in research about mental illnesses. I use this information to help others I get to talk with, trying to encourage them, to alter their diets, change their daily routines, and take charge of their thought life. All those things are good coping techniques if we are persistent and know about them.
So my purpose for this blog is to in some way reach the Christian community, link with other followers of Christ, especially those with some kind of mental illness, and raise awareness in the Christian community of the great need to reach out to those with disabilities, especially mental disabilities and invisible disabilities.
God bless you and thank you for reading this!