Life on a Roller Coaster (Day 3 from Cleansing Thoughts)
I have thought of that day many times and wondered and wondered how I could have been so afraid of a pile of a constructed medal. The only power it had over me to generate fear had been created in two ways---first by the man pilling the switch, and second was within my own mind. As much as I hated to admit it, as I stood in line, I fed those fears by allowing my imagination to cause me to lose all sense of reasoning Consumed by my own fears and pride, I had allowed myself to be drawn in by what I believed to be its power. Even harder to admit was the fact that I did not want to appear afraid in front of my grandchildren, so I put up this false front of strength---not to conquer my fear, but to give in to my pride. I thought of the times in my Christian walk when I had done this very thing because I did not want to appear as showing a lack of faith in the eyes of my brothers and sisters in the Lord. I would suffer through times of great trial without seeking their support in prayer.
You see, my life has been a never-ending emotional roller coaster ride caused by a biochemical imbalance in the brain referred to as Manic Depressive disorder. I was diagnosed as having Bipolar II. Basically, this means I deal with severe long-term depression, while the manic episodes, called hypomania, are milder and short-termed. During these episodes, I feel in an extremely good mood, energized, and ready to go. I can accomplish in a single day what it would normally take me a week to do. This is the time when my creative ability peaks and I need little to no sleep, so I stay up way into the night writing, studying, or cleaning. However, because of this, I need to be very careful in the decisions I make for I can be prone to impulsiveness that could have serious repercussions.
Unfortunately, manic-depressive cycles are rarely balanced. During the depressive cycle, feelings of hopelessness become so strong that I would give anything for it to end; however, the end is rarely insight and could continue for weeks. After days of insomnia, it would become difficult for me to concentrate, causing me to second-guess everything I did. Unfortunately, this was the stage when I thought more of death than life because it felt like the only means of escaping this ride. This disorder was hard enough to deal with before I knew the Lord, but it only added another bur) den. Unable to deal with its effects, as a new Christian, I prayed that the Lord would just take it away or take me home. Then the feelings of guilt would overcome me, and the battle of the mind would begin. The soul against the spirit. The soul is the mind, will, and emotions versus the spirit or the new me created in the image of Christ. I knew the word of God. I had hidden it in my heart but as a new Christian but my ability to stand on it became impaired, so the conflict broadened.
What had proven very difficult for me was that after I was diagnosed, I stayed in a seminormal state for years then out of the blue, catching me totally off guard, the ride began all over again. I plummeted into a deep depressive cycle that seemed to last for months. Then the hard reality of life really hit me. When I asked for prayer from a sister in the Lord, I got judgement instead. I was ridiculed for not standing on the word of God for my healing. A prayer request turned into a chain of gossip. At the time, I could not deal with the depression and my own feelings of guilt along with their lack of understanding and compassion, so I did the only thing I felt I could. I pulled even further away and began a long spiral of discouragement and self-condemnation. Basically, I shut myself off and entered an inner world of darkness through the day, and when I was alone at night, while everyone else was sleeping, I would cry out to the Lord to hold me so I would not slip away. I believe it was during those times that He held me in the secret place of His heart. Just when things felt as if they were leveling off, a false sense of security settled in, but this roller coaster ride of life was not over, for just when I thought I could gain control of mt life again, I entered a series of several mood swings. One minute I was fine and the next nothing pleased me. I was hard to get along with and tool my moods out on everyone and everything. Before I knew it, the ride had begun all over again.