"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
-- Maya Angelou
Edit 02/14/2011 2:18 pm EST: A friend let me borrow a book not long ago. It's called When God Winks At You. It's filled with stories of many people - including a number of celebrities - who experienced extraordinary coincidences and twists of fate that made them realize something: that God is watching over us. It's a very good book, and it written in a style that reads pretty quickly.
Ever since reading it, I have been praying that God might wink at me, too. And give me that personal assurance that "Chris, I know you are going through a very dark and difficult time. But I love you! I won't quit on you or abandon you. You are My child and I love you more than you could ever know and I will bring you through this."
I wish God would wink at me, and let me know that He didn't allow me to have this condition for naught, when it did lead to me hurting too many people.
Today, I am feeling... like damaged goods. Alone. Abandoned. Rejected.
I was a good person. I'm still a good person. I didn't ask for my condition or do anything to invite it to happen.
Mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder are diseases of the mind. Not the soul.
There was someone who was very precious to me, and I wanted nothing more in this world than to spend the rest of my life cherishing her, serving her, loving her... and having a relationship with her that put Christ at the center of it all. That's what I prayed for, for the longest time. God had to know that, wouldn't He?
But now, there is nothing. Because of a condition that hurt so many who were near and dear to my heart.
Is God punishing me for something? Is there something I missed in my pursuit of Christ and the life He would have me live?
This is the worst part of bipolar: that you are hurting and that you hurt others. You never mean to, but you do.
I have to be reminded that there was nothing that I could have done to have prevented this from happening to others and myself. But even on my best days, I harbor heart-wrenching regret for the pain that I caused.
That is something that I will never forgive myself for. And especially, I can never forgive myself for hurting her.
So I keep asking God to wink at me.
Maybe someday He will...
Edit 02/14/2011 4:45 p.m. EST: One person who has seen the video wrote this to me...
Chris, some of us have been on the other side of bipolar and other illness and apparently you don't know what that is like. You have hurt people, there is no denying that, and you need to stop putting the blame on God for 'letting you have the disease'.Yes, we do. I do, especially. I'm not perfect and have never claimed to be perfect. I can only follow Christ, the only One who is perfect. The One who I must cling to and rely on to carry me and my heavy burdens. Burdens that I would not want any person to have to feel crushed beneath.
I tend to not post when you say things like this because I believe you mean well. However, I do not agree with about 95% of what you say on the subject. I definitely agree that it is a struggle and that you will slip, heck we all do, but I don't agree that the blame should be on anything other than yourself. Now, with that said, once you realize it IS your fault then forgive yourself and move on with life. We all make mistakes.
But here is the problem with what this person is saying...
Suppose that I had been drinking heavily. And I get into my car while intoxicated and drive off and then I hit another car because of my condition and the other driver is killed as a result.
Would that have been my fault? Absolutely. The condition was my own. I would have been the only party that could possibly be blamed. The bottle of liquor did not grab hold of my mouth and make me drink it. That would have been my choice... and I would have to suffer the due consequences and gone to prison. Because it would have been my fault.
However much cheap booze can rob a person of his or her faculties, judgment and sound mind, mental illness such as bipolar disorder do much, MUCH worse.
And there is no choice. It's in the cards that a person is dealt from the moment their chromosomes come together in a mother's womb.
I didn't have to get drunk. As a matter of fact, I've never been drunk in my entire life. Neither have I done illegal drugs. A person isn't born with the desire for drugs and alcohol.
I was born with this. I will die with this. I am trying as best God will let me, to make the moments between now and the time I leave this world mean something.
I do hurt and feel guilty about the things that I did when my bipolar was unable to be managed. I wish people would see that and understand it and not see me as some kind of a freak, or a pariah.
You wanna know something? I'm not suicidal, even though I know what it's like to be suicidal. But all the same: I can't fear death anymore like I used to. And you wanna know why?
Because Heaven is the place where nobody says "goodbye" to you, ever again. And it's the place where the people that you love do know that you really did love them and would have done anything for them and that you didn't mean to hurt them.
I don't know if I'll ever again in this life see the girl who I do still love as my wife. Knowing that I will get to see her again someday, in the presence of God, is the most precious bit of hope that I have.