God has been leading me some pretty intense trials over the last two years. Separating myself from the benzodiazepines the doctors prescribed me 5 years ago has been excruciating, not only for me, but for my family as well. One year ago I was ready to end it. I had lost hold of hope in recovery, and in a sudden hypomanic decision I thought it made the most sense to just end it all right there.
Luckily for me God was still there, in spite of my crazy mind-state, in spite of my following the enemies plan for my self-destruction. I clearly heard Him tell me to “get up”. My fight wasn’t over. The hardest part of all of this has been the fact I’ve been so stable. I have been so angry with myself for somehow not seeing the signs, and not letting myself suddenly swing into a hypomanic state. I was Recovered, and doing fine, what happened?
Relapse is part of recovery, and it’s ok!
Relapse, the very idea of it, does not sit well with me. Underneath this “hot mess” is a very organized and literal person who likes order and checklists. Make the bed, check, Clean the kitchen, check, Recover from bipolar, check! I took my meds, exactly as the doctor prescribed. I talked with my support team, including my family and friends. I exercised, ate right, didn’t drink to much alcohol, and still my mood fluctuates.
It is constantly humbling to admit that I am not in control. Honestly, I think my faith and determination have helped me not totally fall over the edge, because without God I would have ended my life a long time ago. Knowing this doesn’t scare me, like it does my mother, but it gives me hope that if God can do this for me, He can be the same strong tower for you.
This last year I ended up reading Beth Moore’s book, “Breaking Free,” amongst many others. The key verses she uses to illustrate breaking the captives free can be found in Isaiah 61:1-4. It renewed in me my personal calling to reach out to those who suffer, like me, from mental illness, and encouraged me to continue talking about it.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
The Lord God has anointed each of us with particular gifts, but He has called all of us to spread his good news. I don’t have a fancy degree in theology, in fact I studied interior design. While I could design you a house and make it beautiful on the inside, I’m the least qualified to be spreading any news about God’s scripture! But God didn’t call me to Teach, he called me to REACH. To reach out to others just like me.
To expand on the rest of Isaiah 61:2-3 I want to share with you God’s plans for my restoration, and maybe this will help you with yours. This is what the scripture says:
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
The following is a list of what God told me he would restore in me:
Stability for Brokenness
Wellness for Depression
Sanity for Mania
Tranquility for Anxiety
Wholeness for Psychosis
Rejuvenation for Fatigue
Satisfaction for Irritability
Slowness for Racing Thoughts
Modesty for Hypersexuality
Rest for Insomnia
Cautiousness for Risky Behaviour
Forgiveness for Guilt
Healing for Self-harm
Nourishment for Gluttony
Restoration for Relapse
I pray that if anyone of you is reading this list right now, and feels one or more of these tugging at your heart, that you would surrender to God and take all the pain from you. You don’t have to say anything more then, “Jesus, help me.” It is a simple prayer I myself utter several days a week, if not all day everyday when things begin to pile up. I am encouraged and humbled by how God response to the simplest of heartfelt utterances. “I can’t do this anymore,” has at times of my life become my motto, but now there is more. “I can’t do this, without your help God,” is the cry of my heart.
I am so far from perfect. I fear I will never understand the sin of Pride, as life keeps humbling me in ways I can not foresee. As long as I continue to rely on God, every second of every day, I know for certain He will provide for me. It is my sincerest hope that you will come to trust God for every second of your day. Dealing with the ups and downs of mental illness is so very tough, but God promises us Restoration for our Relapses.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.