I had a crazy, painful, dangerous manic break in September 2014. Adjusted meds, went up on Risperdal to 3 mg. That helped for a month and then I went into a four month depression. As always happens with me around Lent, I started to pull out of it a bit and quickly got manic. Adjusted meds again after emergency trip to my psychiatrist in Little Rock with Nathan. Did a hard scary thing to bring balance to my life and it has worked out. Things are getting better.
My spiritual journey continues along the winding, at times lazy, at times forced, at times joyous, at times scary path. God or No God?
Reading Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber has helped immensely. I think there really might be a place for me. I'm not tied to atheism or organized religion, one or the other. I can bridge them, and I am starting to figure that out. I don't have to be a manic second coming of Jesus, of all the prophets, though many times it has felt that way. I can just keep working away at my life and lead with Love and the heart revolution will happen with or without me. Some quotes from Pastrix:
"God was not sitting in heaven looking down
at Jesus' life and death and cruelly allowing his son to suffer. God was not
looking down on the cross. God was hanging FROM the cross. God had entered our
pain and loss and death so deeply and took all of it into God's own self so
that we might know who He really is. Maybe the Good Friday story is about how
God would rather die than be in our sin-accounting business anymore."
I hate, absolutely hate, the concept of Sin as has been taught to us. That we are born broken and only God can save us. The Methodist Church here in town has really helped with that. Jim Polk, the pastor, says it's never about how much we love God or whether we meet the mark or fail or if we doubt or can't feel love. We just can know that God's overwhelming abundant love is always there. The magnitude of His matters, not ours. And that magnitude is unimaginable. God-Love. I'm not saying there isn't a place for secularists or atheists....I love them, they are my people too. I get them, I really do. I have spewed their anger. I have been wholly satisfied that God is a fairy tale. I have sought Him at times and only heard echoes. I get it.
"I'd assumed that God was nowhere to be
found back then. But that's kind of an insult to God. It's like saying 'You
only exist when I recognize you.' The kingdom of heaven, which Jesus talked
about all the time, is, as he said, here. At hand. It's now. Wherever you are.
In ways you'd never expect."
Remarkably this seems a way to bridge my 'All
God, No God, One God, We God' statement with my 'Heaven is on earth right now
in present day' statement. That's the heaven I have seen, and that's the God I am
experiencing right now, in ways I'd never expected. Heaven is now and we all see glimpses of it here and there, but you know those times when the peace and perfection is so full you are swimming in it? It might last an hour. Well, for me that can last for days, or weeks. For all of us it's coming, the kind that lasts forever and makes us all new and lovely. Soon. I promise.
Bipolar is ugly. Menacing. And worst of all, it lasts forever. There have been days I am so tired I can't eat a bowl of cereal start to finish but then cannot fall asleep at night. Times when I think longingly of turning up a bottle of pills just to spare my loved ones from my misery and to finally sleep forever. Something won't ever let me take my life I know, but Bipolar can be hell on earth. Thank God for the mania, though that only lasts 2 weeks a year. It's a long way to get from Norfolk Psyciatric in 2000 to where I am today....a wife, mother, Social Security Disability Attorney, mental health advocate, public speaker, and author:
"Somehow I have a home and a husband, two beautiful and smart children, and a meaningful job I love."
But while Bolz-Weber can't explain her fortune, I can. I was born with a strength and hope that will move mountains. Maybe God put it there, maybe not. I know today His hand is guiding me. I'm 39 right now and life is all about work. Not just going to hearings for clients, no. I mean relationship work. Financial planning work. Mothering work. Therapy work. Philosophical work. But as of Sunday, I am starting to feel less like Sisyphus and more like I have a light, quiet breeze at my back. It will all work out. And I'll have to follow up my first book, Through the Open Door: A Bipolar Attorney Talks Mania, Recovery, and Heaven on Earth, with a second. I am calling it Into the Light.
May you all have a peaceful day.