Welcome! I am aware that the title of this post may cause some to completely question the validity of truth I am about to share. Trust me, I questioned it too. I hope you stick around, open your heart and hang on for quite the story.
Textbook wise I was your typical case of rapid cycling bipolar disorder. First major episode at age 15 with suicide attempt, and nothing short of a big emotional hot mess, whether it was up or down. At this point in my life, I was a rebellious atheist, desperately wanting this life to end. But why?
As my teenage years continued anyone who cared for me hoped that I would outgrow these surges of emotion that would rage through me. But oh how I wish that were so. Little did I know at that time I had just gotten on to the roller coaster ride that was to be the next 2 decades of my life.
As a ‘typical’ bipolar case fits of mania followed by months of depression just became the norm. These would oftentimes result in periods of time in which I was cycling at such a rapid rate I would plow on through knowing the next hour or day was to be drastically different.
In my late teens and twenties this manifested as “life by day”, and “life by night.” When I turned 18, I went to many different doctors and psychologists without my parents trying to figure out what could make me, “normal”.
One doctor decided to give me a script for Xanax, full knowing I was a binge alcoholic and regular user of marijuana. Combined with full-blown bulimia, these made for quite the cocktail of events.
I will not go into great depth of detail into personal stories as it is in the past. I praise the Lord He has delivered me from the guilt and shame those years brought to me. But, as an avid bar hopper with no dignity or care for purity, my twenties were nothing short of a blender full of all the sins.
living by labels
By the time I was 24, I was an angry feminist who labeled herself as bisexual, leaning towards being a lesbian, and strict atheist. My main goal every day was to party. How I managed to graduate college, while working full time as a server is beyond me. I cracked it up to good ole’ mania. Kept me up when needed and the downs always had some vice to grab onto.
How a feminist ends up in an abusive relationship makes no sense but nothing apart from the truth does. I found myself in an abusive relationship, oh and we were in Costa Rica. Did I mention we decided to go there for 3 months after knowing each other 1 week. After all, we were soulmates. I was surrounded by tropical beauty but so broken on the inside.
When we got back to the country, the relationship had been ended beyond repair. I found out I was pregnant. My immediate thoughts were to keep the baby but one thing led to another and there I was getting an abortion, otherwise known as murdering my child. This was the biggest catalyst and pivotal moment of my life.
As I was broken beyond recognition, I somehow knew there was a God. This threw me for a loop as I was determined to hold my label of atheism. I mean I had cried out to “God” so many times before why was He just answering now. I wish I would’ve understood what salvation was then. It would’ve saved me from so many more episodes, but alas that foolish heart of mine was wicked above all else.
new age deception
I dove headfirst into the new age and occultism. At 25, my mania pulled me through, and I was a self-disciplined student of the light. My addictions for substance changed into addictions of mantras, chanting, yoga practices, rituals, new moon ceremonies, and prayers to the divine.
It was like I went from hot mess Detroit girl to peace-loving hippie overnight. I moved to the Big Island of Hawaii, and hopped on the rainbow train. Never in my life had I felt more alive and in love with life. The biggest kicker I would talk to “Jesus” every day. He was my master. I was practicing Reiki, and manifesting my twin flame.
Let me pause. Praise God, He knows everything in and out of time, because it is only by His grace, that anything has worked out.
At this point, I had left the ‘bipolar’ label behind and cracked it up to my youth. I couldn’t even imagine being suicidal again, or putting myself in dangerous situations like I had before.
My emotional state was completely cool, and zenned out. I was creating my reality. Then I was pregnant again, this time intentional. I was happy and he was happy. My mom was happy we were getting married. She made sure that the wedding happened before the baby came not after. Now, I praise God for it too.
However, with the pregnancy hormones in my system again, hello emotions. Once my son arrived I fell into a deep postpartum depression. Praise God, I got pregnant again. Those hormones evened me back out.
In my mothering journey, the bipolar took the form of extreme attachment parenting. I was convinced that my children would be able to tell me the secrets of the upper dimensions. At this point, I didn’t think I had an episode for so long that there was no way I was bipolar.
When my youngest was one, I was introduced to Buti yoga. I became obsessed. Hello mania again. I practiced hours a day and began teaching classes. I went on to receive my 200hr YTT. It was my belief that everything bad I went through when I was younger, was all to help other women in their emotional healing.
And then, it happened I had my first vision. Many of them actually. They were of jesus. He told me to bring yoga to Christians. So that is exactly what I did.
I started to hear the voice of God, or so I thought. It directed me to a Pentecostal church. Teaching wow, work out worship, also known as Christian yoga, I claimed to be “born again”.
I was reading all the translations of the bible, yet deep inside I didn’t understand what salvation meant. I didn’t believe in a literal biblical hell. From all the new ageism I was in my mind went way out there in after death scenarios, and hell was never one of them.
Everyone at my church was amazed at my testimony. They praised God for it. I was convinced I was going to really take off Christian yoga. I was about to launch a video series called Tone Thy Temple. And then well I know God stepped in. Praise the Lord!
God had other plans
I started to get really sick. Like I couldn’t teach classes even though I had been teaching for 2 full years regularly. I looked like I had perfect health, but I could hardly move. Once I got better, I took a job serving, now that the boys were weened and not toddlers.
I would work evenings, and my husband during the day. I hadn’t worked in a restaurant since I was 24. If you’ve ever read anything on bipolar disorder you know then that there are certain ‘triggers’. Let’s just say I was triggered, and it went deep.
For the first time since I became a mom, I was drinking again. It seemed so normal because everyone I worked with drank. I started having anxiety attacks again, but this time with no Xanax to tame them.
It was a confusing time. I would read the bible and think why am I able to do all these things? If I was born again, why could I not find victory over my flesh? I definitely did not feel like a new creation in Christ. I still had such a heavy shame and grief over my abortion like it had just happened. For the first time in 6 years, I was feeling suicidal again.
Then, I remembered all the years of counseling sessions, “bipolar disorder is just something you’re going to have to learn to live with. Staying on medication will help.” And so forth.
I started researching the disorder for the first time in my life, and had no idea that “religious experiences”, “visions”, and “extreme forms of euphoria” could be part of it. This basically summed up the last 5 years of my life.
Then I got really scared.
I was a wife and mother now. Staying up late, I would read stories of people who refused treatment and then ruined their entire lives in their thirties and forties. I did not want this to happen.
So, I sought out a doctor and came up with a treatment plan. I quit my job, as that was a clear trigger. We came up with detailed action steps to take in order to help my “symptoms.” And then, Jesus saved my soul, and I have never been the same since.
Saved by the blood of the lamb: New Creature in christ
It took me years of true bible based saving faith to realize that I had been cured. I still get baffled sometimes that my past is what it is. I continue to stay the same person for longer than 6 month periods of time. All throughout my entire life, I would change every 6 months or sooner. I would be so completely engulfed into whatever new thing I was into until it changed yet again.
As an adult, this started to become embarrassing, as I ran into people, and they would ask, “are you still doing this, or into that?” I would always have to answer, “no, actually, I’m into this now.” With your typical manic type response.
It’s so wonderful that my hope is in Him and Christ alone. Having my actual being stay unchanged and growing in his perfect grace. I have finally found rest knowing that He has plans for me, and all I have to do is follow them instead of some ego trip or manic episode.
mental health awareness
I understand the sensitivity concerning mental health. There is a taboo concerning bipolar disorder and everything it entails. Even discussing it is a big deal. Let alone putting it out there.
I am NOT a doctor, and am not claiming that this a reality or truth for every case:
What is bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder from my faith standpoint is nothing more than severe spiritual oppression, possession, and sin problems. It is easily curable with Christ. There are solutions He gives in His word: fasting and prayer.
My brain still may work differently than that of a sane person, but by no stretch am I doomed to forever be on drugs and just accept my disorder.
We all have different struggles to overcome in life. Jesus can overcome them all. Modern-day psychology tries to fit people into boxes that God never intended. Jesus went around healing the sick, casting out demons, and preaching Truth.
“Therefore If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Do I use my bipolar disorder as an excuse. Not at all. If you or anyone you know has suffered from mental health sickness then you know it is not wanted. Just as no one wants cancer and seeks treatment in many forms to be cured. The mental health patient grasps to any glimpse of hope that they don’t have to always be this way.
There are certain brain chemistries and even a sane person can throw them out of whack with given choices. The bipolar patient through their own choice chooses sin.
Certain sin can open a person up to demonic possession and or severe oppression. Possession in particular can appear to both the individual and outside world that they have no control over their actions. It can certainly feel this way. They stop the sin the spirit/entity/demon may leave for a period of time. But, it will likely return if that person does not accept the free gift of salvation.
You may say, well no one chooses to be bipolar. Very true. I didn’t choose to be abused as a small girl by the boy next door, but it happened and created a ripple of spiritual oppression and sin in my life. Psychology would say that it was induced trauma to the brain.
My bible tells me that fornication is the only sin against one’s own body. It becomes a spiritual battle at that point. Women were created to only be with one man. Why do you think that Jesus cast demons out of harlots? Because they couldn’t help themselves. They needed a protector and redeemer. Just as everyone does.
The best way I can explain the spiritual difference in relating to demonic influences is as follows. My entire life up until salvation I had thoughts and feelings of suicide off and on. When I was in a manic episode I could still in my mind understand suicidal tendencies and thoughts. After salvation, I literally can not grasp it. This life is such a gift.
When I remember times from my past, it really is like recalling a movie or book I read, instead of my life. That’s because those thoughts weren’t from me. Satan wants souls to die unsaved. He wants souls to burn in Hell with him, instead of rejoicing in Heaven with Jesus.
In writing this I hope that seeds will be planted, watered, and that souls will seek Christ.
Because apart from Him there is no true healing. For decades of my life, I lived with symptoms that needed a spiritual heart transplant, but I was on the ‘waiting list’ just coping and dealing the best I knew how.
Mental Health doesn’t just affect the individual. It creates a ripple that disturbs all of society. It starts in the family unit and moves to the workplace and on the streets. If you know someone who is struggling with mental health issues, never underestimate the power of kindness, compassion, and mercy.
There is intense guilt, and shame associated with bipolar disorder. Praise God, He delivers. He sets the soul free from the bondage of sin, guilt, and shame. For he bore the weight of ALL sin on the cross, for EVERYONE. All you need to do is come to Him. Lay your burdens down at the cross.