What it’s Like Living with Bipolar

If you’re up in the middle of the night, you’re not alone. There’s something to be said for not ordering Starbucks at 5pm….but there is much to be said FOR doing so. 🙂

The other night I couldn’t sleep, by no fault of Starbucks. You see, I have a disorder called Bipolar. I was diagnosed in July 2017 and while there is a stigma that comes along with that, I’m actually not ashamed. Bipolar can be dark and isolating, but it can also be beautiful. I’m at my most creative when I’m hypomanic, and honestly, stuff gets DONE. Everyone experiences the disorder differently, but for me, my brain is like a giant game of “Association” during hypomania. My mind bounces from thought to thought. Or maybe I’ll become fixated on one project and cannot sleep until it’s done. (I’ve been known to paint entire rooms on a whim during my bouts of mania.) OR I will start several projects then burn out right before a depressive episode, at which time I’ll beat myself up for rarely finishing things I start. The brain is complex, people, and when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in Eden, we broke at a cellular level. My brain is broken, but God is a mighty Redeemer and the ultimate Physician. ***(And taking medication is NOT an indication that one doesn’t have enough faith. I’m not a doctor and I can’t and won’t give you medical advice, but if you suffer from mental illness, it is OKAY to seek professional help! God gifted people with those skills for a reason.)***

During those late nights of insomnia and my “game” of Association, I’ve learned to pray in a different way than I ever have before. For example:

I pray for:

  • My mother-in-law’s ministry to hospice patients
  • Hospice patients to recieve healing
  • Healing for my friend, Sarah, and her trigger finger surgery
  • Sarah and her husband’s adoption journey
  • Orphans
  • Thanking God for my adopted niece and nephew who once were orphans
  • My nephew’s time at college
  • My college roommate and her transition to Japan
  • My friends, Sarah and Andrew who long to be missionaries in Japan, and their current ministry
  • My husband’s ministry to the youth
  • My specific small group in youth ministry…

Do you see how it works? There are connections leading from one thought to the other. This is a beautiful way that God is redeeming my brokenness and working out all things for good.

There are so many stories of God working good from bad, but Joseph specifically comes to mind. In Genesis 37 it reveals that Joseph was his dad’s favorite. (My dad’s favorite was my oldest sister.) Anyway, his brothers got super jealous and plotted to kill him. They dumped him off in a dry well, but then ended up selling him into slavery. *Spoiler alert* He ends up becoming a man of great power, saving his brothers’ lives and many others, years later during a terrible famine. God brought good out of the worst of situations. He’s in the business of redemption.

So, look, I don’t know what you’re going through or who your enemies are, or what giant you’re up against, but God is a REDEEMER. He brings good out of the bad and ugly all throughout history. He will do the same in your life if you trust in Jesus. And if you’re having trouble talking to Him, try out my game of Association. It’s beauty in the broken.

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