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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hauntings and hopes

I can't understand why it is so...

Why it is that some people, can choose to get drunk, or get high on some kind of drug, and the substance abuse causes them to veer out of control and to do horrible things to the ones closest to them. And yet if they want it, more often than not they do find forgiveness and reconciliation and restoration if they hit rock bottom and come to their senses and acknowledge that they have to stop and take responsibility for their actions.

I've known lots of people who have been in that kind of situation, and I have seen God bring them back to the ones they love.

And then, there are those who have a mental illness... like bipolar... and it leads to actions that are just as destructive, because the person is just as uncontrollable. But as in my own case, there was never any substance abuse. There was no choosing to put a bottle to my lips, or to shoot dope into my veins or to smoke a joint or inhale a line of coke.

I thought that I was playing by all the rules of keeping my body and my mind physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. Not because I felt like I had to, but because I was utterly and sincerely wanting to.

And still, my own mind turned against me and tried to destroy me. In defiance of everything that I held precious and sacred.

There are moments when I almost wish that it could have been as easy as liquor or heroin. Because EVERYONE actually UNDERSTANDS those things. They can see them. They see loved ones drinking or shooting up. They see that it's a tangible choice and somehow, somehow that makes the damage and destruction that substance abuse causes FORGIVABLE.

There is no choice in mental illness. There is nothing that any of us with it choose to bring into our bodies that causes us to lose control of our thoughts and our emotions. There is nothing for others to witness with their own eyes apart from the hurt and suffering that we too often do cause. Others can't possibly see the agony that we are suffering: from a medical condition that can't be diagnosed with a stained slide or drawn blood.

Even marijuana shows up in a urine sample. If only bipolar disorder could be found as easily. That would be something: to have solid evidence that people can see and recognize that it's not something that's imaginary or just "in my head".

The person who I have been writing about in recent days - the one who said that I must "pay the consequences" of my bipolar - apparently believes that I really am a monster and a wicked man who never had faith in Christ and... I guess this person really does hate me now.

And it won't stop haunting me.

I keep praying to God, asking Him for... well, to be honest, at this point I don't know what to ask Him for. I know He's there. But He is still so silent. And once more I don't know if He can't hear me and the reason for that is because my mind is too damaged and broken for Him to hear my cries. There are times when I find myself thinking "Chris, if people who knew you best can't hear what you are trying to tell them, why should God hear you?"

If I didn't have Christ in my life, I wouldn't have to feel like this. I could escape that sense of predicament with drink or with drugs or with lust.

But instead I do know that I have Christ... and because of that I have been made to feel that as long as I have breath in my lungs on this earth that I will always be an unforgivable monster, driven away from so many who I have cared for in my life.

That is not the life of the Christian that I had thought it would be. That isn't what I hoped it would be at all.

My sole sliver of comfort at this hour is what one dear friend told me yesterday:

"If being a Christian was easy... everyone would do it!"
(Thanks for that, Nicole. It has helped to get me through more than you know.)

Yes, I do have more than a few friends and family who have been extremely supportive in their encouragements and their prayers. I just, cannot be thankful enough for God putting them in my life. If He is silent, then I have to cling to the belief that He did provide that aid and assistance. More than I'll ever feel that I deserve. I hope that I can be just as much an encouragement to others, if and when the times comes for that.

So I'm not alone. I'm never alone.

But even so, I am haunted with longing for forgiveness and reconciliation which, I am finally beginning to doubt will ever come in this lifetime.

Today is Easter Sunday. The day we remember that our Lord and Savior arose from the tomb. Today, I will and do choose to cast my cares and worries at His feet, just as my transgressions were laid at the cross and have been forgiven for all time.

Because that is all I can do now. Just, trust in the Lord. Trust Him with everything. Trusting that He does understand the pain and the loss... because there is nothing common to man which He did not already go through on our behalf.

I will trust Him. Because He is faithful... even when so much in this life is not.


Shannon said...

Happy Easter! I'll be praying for you and hope things work out! ^_^

Stephen said...

Chris, I want you to think about something -

The worst circumstance is bringing out the best in you.

You are writing what has needed to be said for many who don't have your gift with words and have never had a voice until now. Now, how would you have written it if you didn't have this pain and hardship?

God is using you for great things! This person you are writing about doesn't see that and you need to stop beating yourself up over it. But I am glad that you are giving your pain to God to turn it into something greater.

Anonymous said...

The person telling you this should be asked. Do they think they could do better than you've done if they had bipolar mental illness? I don't think so.

mom2twoboys said...

About the Christian walk--even those of us without bipolar struggle with "hearing God". Honestly, many times my prayers don't seem to go higher than the ceiling.

I don't know who the person is who's making you feel like an unforgiveable monster--but it's not Jesus.