I am not a survivor, my battle continues each and every day. I have survived thus far. I have not been taken by suicide, or by any of my regrettable choices in life. I have scars, I gain new ones, and I fight. I am a warrior.
There is no glory to be had, no glamour in what I do, only survival. In flight or fight, I chose to fight. In this battle you must decide you are going to win, you must decide you are going to live. Instead of hearing the beating of war drums, I hear the screaming and wailing of my brothers and sisters and add my own to the cacophony of it all. Bipolar is the enemy, and we must chose to fight it every day.
I have no sword, no guns, no physical weapons of any kind to fend of my assailant. My enemy does not lurk in dark alley ways, or lie hidden in wait for me to pass by. My only weapon is in my mind where this dark and treacherous battle takes place. While my physical strength may be zapped, it is my mental fortitude which is steadily tested.
So how do I get through it all? How do I prepare myself for battle?
It is a difficult thing to strengthen your own mind. I have spent 20 years fighting the voices, the hopelessness in my own mind. I have often asked God for help, I have prayed for strength, and have had numerous times in which I didn’t understand what was happening to me, and WHY God would allow my suffering. Once I came to accept that God did indeed have a plan for my life, and that He had not once abandoned me, it was easier to begin to strength my warrior skills.
The first thing I did was to strengthen my relationship with God. Joining a bible study, reading the word of God daily changed my view drastically. I began to feel strengthened, and I began to hear God’s voice in leading me.
The second thing I did was keep a list of scriptures, of the basics, the abc’s of my belief.
- “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
- “Submit therefore to God Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
- “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9
The other thing, maybe the most important thing, I did was to begin to thank Jesus for what he did for me. I thanked God for everything, every day, even on the days I felt I had nothing to thank Him for. If I could find nothing else to be thankful for, I could always be thankful for God himself, and that He send his only son to sacrifice himself for my sins.
Over time, and I mean like 10 years, this transformed my thinking. It was slow and tedious, and there are times when my illness throws me back into the brokenness of who I once was in this illness, but I don’t stay there in that dark place. I come out swinging, fighting for my stability, my sanity. I battle the illness in my mind, and I continue to wage war. Yes, it is a war I will probably spend my entire life fighting, but it will never beat me! I will fight, and in the end I will win. I am a Warrior.