Puking on the side of Second Avenue in downtown Seattle was not how I’d pictured the end of the night. I lost my husband, hours ago maybe I’d like to say this has never happened before, but I can’t. Seriously, how has nothing bad ever not happened? It seems like I have a whole staff of guardian angels, I guess I need it.
To my left, maybe it’s my right, I can’t tell as I keep turning around and puking, is an EMT I met in the club.Lucky for me the girl he’s been hitting on befriended me. He’s called an ambulance and I’ll shortly be at Swedish. I know without a doubt God placed him here. I’m so drunk I’m thinking they both must be angels. What is so obvious to me now, even in this druken state, is that my semi-stability has just ended in a binge drinking disaster.
I’ll spend the next week in Fairfax, a nice little mental hospital on the upper east side. It’s ironic, my bipolar onset in my late teens pushed me away from God, and it would be the very same illness which pulled me back. Impulsive, quirky, beautiful and intelligent, I seemed to be a walking billboard for all the things that “could” go wrong in a young adolesent christan lady. A mixture of insecurity and jealousy pushed me out of the church’s youth group and on a path away from God.
It wasn’t any one thing, it was everything over a period of years beginning in ninth grade. The overwhelming lesson I learned by 15 was the Church was full of hypocrites and liars who would jump in an instant to make en example out of you especially if they could ruin you in the process. In Church, all I saw were vultures and blindfolds over God’s people. I read and studied his word, had a close relationship with Jesus, yet I couldn’t make sense of his Church. Maybe I missed something. Maybe I had it all wrong.
College didn’t help. My moods and my life became more unstable, and I clung to the only thing which made sense to me, academics. Cerebrally, I was drawn to history and art history while I pursued art and design. It wasn’t long before my study of western art and history intersected with it’s religion.
I delved into the beginning of Christian history and Catholicism, the Protestant Reformation and the evolution of the church and it’s impact on the very foundation of our nation. I began to see religion as just another socio-political tool. Friends were into Buddhism, Islam, Paganism, Shaminism, you name it. Growing up in a purely Judao-Christian environment I knew nothing about other religions except they were all “false”, whatever that meant. So I picked up some books and studied.
At 18 I met my first husband. He was really into going to church and being a Christian. He asked me to marry him and after saying yes, he told me how important it was to him that we both attend church and live a Christian life together. Why not? I began going back to church, trying to work through my issues and get over it all. A month after we married he told me he didn’t want to go to church anymore, and started staying out late and running around on me.
The marriage dissolved in a year, but not without taking a major toll to my mental health in the process. At 23 I would spend my first week in a mental hospital, and be officially diagnosed as bipolar. Seriously God! What did I ever do to deserve this? I had a great upbringing, lots of love, I am a good person, and yet I can’t ever seem to get my life together, it’s just falling apart around me. Why bother would be my motto until I was about 28.
I really tried to make an even greater mess of my life. Drugs, partying, lots of alcohol, a few more suicide attempts, I just couldn’t get it together. Another marriage would find me all alone in Hawaii seriously sliding downwards. I tried to successful kill myself, it just never happened. Someone always intervened. In fact, anytime I was out of it, lost, there would be some good samaritin there with an outstretched hand guiding me to safety.
The more I walked away from God, the more I tried to categorize him as some academics incarnation, the more his made his precesence known to me. One night I came home from the club and my roommate is standing in the kitchen with this 19 year old blond haired kid, and she says, “This is Orian, he’s gonna stay with us for a while, he’s living on the street.” Now I know what you’re thinking, who takes some bum off the street and invites him into your home? This can’t end well.
I never hesitated, I took one look at that kid and said yes. Though not a Christian, he taught me what it was to be one again. That kid worked hard, got a job, and made enough money to get himself back to the mainland. I’ve never heard from him again, but in many ways he changed my life path. Maybe that’s why God put him in my path. At 29 it had been a rough 14 years, but it was finally coming full circle again.
All my religion studies made it clearer and clearer to me the truth the scripture held. Even all the science classes, the geology, the anothropology, it was all clear to me that God was there, in charge, with a plan far greater then I could ever imagine. My 20’s sucked, but in going through them without God I realized he’d been there the whole time, like my parents were, waiting for me to make my own mistakes and coming if I called and really needed them. I had never felt so alone in my life by the age of 28. I was like a little kid who’d locked themselves in the closet. But the door was about to open, and life was going to keep throwing my hurdles.
I moved back home to Washington, divorced, was finally stable on medication and looking forward to my 30’s. I met a wonderful man, moved closer to Seattle and started school again. Life was finally great, until the pain started. What they originally diagnosed, and did surgery for as endometriosis turned out to be Fibromyalgia. Once again I dropped out of school. The lesson’s of my 20’s served me well, and this time God wasn’t locked out. Life isn’t perfect, but it’s definitely easier with him here. Now more then ever I am firmly convicted that God is who he says he is and Jesus is his son. We talk every day, often.
This year I’ve talked a lot of God. A year ago my little honey was born five weeks early. Thank God she was perfect, and we took her home the next day. But it was rough, especially for my mental health with the whole not sleeping thing! Then a few months into her life my mother fell ill with swine flu and ended up in the hospital almost dying. Two months later I had vertigo for six months, and a week into that my dad had a stroke and died. All this with a new baby, a custody babtle for my husbands daughter and a step son with behavioral issues. If I hadn’t had God holding me up, I shutter to think how my daughter would be growing up without me.
God doesn’t make things all better, he just gives you the strength you need to get through the day.