A lot has shifted in me since I met her seven to eight months ago.
Instead of the ever painful “where is she?” I constantly asked myself in the past, it turned into “This person is right in front of me… I more than love her to death, and her me.” That, right there, changes a man. I am loved completely like that and know I love her just as much.
I can tell you there are ways that are very basic that it changes me, as well as ways I do not yet understand.
This is the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.
Deep in the darkness,
Demons rode our shoulders; Now
possessing God’s Light
God’s Light is frying our demons of the past. All of what we went through was worth it for a future with each other. God has turned a lot of darkness into light in our lives through each other. We found each other in the dark. Thank you, God.
One may expect nothing good coming from completely losing one’s mind to madness, and dealing with the aftermath. I often heard the cliches about how I would be a stronger person as a result and I would learn so much through these experiences. However, looking back, those words of encouragement only spoke of the beginning of what I gained resulting from embarking on the recovery process.
I did a little bit of reflecting in my journal this evening about what I have lost and gained over the past fourteen years, since I was diagnosed with bipolar I following a psychotic break.
Here’s a small list of profound losses I experienced within the past fourteen years:
My physical health and good looks
My religion, which was a foundation of my life
My sense of identity
My sharp intellect and ability to learn new things went into remission
At a couple points, I lost my mind completely
My ability to adequately care for myself and my environment
I still struggle hard with my physical health and my ability to adequately care for myself. However, in the past fourteen years, I’ve regained much about the other items on the list.
So, not only have I gained back most of the above list of losses, I’ve found the following:
I’ve broken free from the institution of religion
I’ve broken the generational cycle of madness
I understand family and friends better
I’ve learned who I am and what I need to explore about myself
I’ve embarked on the road to recovery from severe verbal abuse and isolation growing up
I’ve discovered some things never go away, such as my analytic mind
I’ve confirmed my passion for writing
I’ve found wisdom and a new way of seeing the world
I can explore a rich spiritual identity and experiences
During recovery, there are seasons and there are trends. It was pitch black for many years of my life. I had therapy nearly every week for 9 months after my first episode, often focusing on the reasons why I shouldn’t commit suicide. All seasons of recovery present their challenges. Over time, the light becomes brighter, and during the seasons, this light will fluctuate.
However, just know that the deeper my pain, the deeper my loss, the more constitutive my loss… the deeper character I gain, the more I find, and the more cohesive I become as a result of these experiences. I’ve reached a point where I have become someone that is beyond my wildest dreams or imaginations, compared to fourteen years ago.
I’m at a brightly blossoming point in my road to recovery. I still have a ways to go, but I’m making progress faster than I have ever before. The truth is… those cliche encouragements did help a little bit when I took them in good faith. The darker the valley, the harder it is to climb out and the longer it takes to climb out. I had faith in myself that I could get through when I was unable to call on God for help and no one could be there for me.
One thing is always true: have faith in yourself. No matter how bad it is, you can overcome.
It’s been a long time since I’ve spoken to you from the heart, let alone written from the heart.
This journey is a lonely one and I’m in the middle of a piercing darkness. The light of your son is there in Christ Jesus, and it keeps me going, but it does not satisfy my here.
Thank you for showing me the Beyond, the Heavens, and Hades through my psychotic breaks. Without these visions, I would be more empty, fragmented, and lost.
Continue to show me the way you intend for me, and continue to give me the strength to push forward.
I know I will end up falling astray and will inevitably miss the mark of truth. God, I pray you show me truth and the way to shalom, for myself and those around me.
Keep me humble and malleable. Don’t let me lose perspective. I pray that all areas of knowledge, such as the scientific, philosophical, religious, and the spiritual may one day be united. I pray I may be an instrument in this process.
So many things have been going on in my life… and much that I just cannot talk about anywhere but in my journals. God is making things happen around my friends and I. I don’t know where this is going, but I’m managing to stay sane throughout all these things.
If this were to happen to me a few years ago, I’d probably be in the hospital by now. I’m now strong enough that I can not only just stay sane but incredible things are happening in the process. I can be there for important people in my life and they are there for me.
Sometimes, I wonder if I’m in a psychotic episode.
Only this is not psychotic… this is God working in real life. Through extraordinary circumstances, 2 of my closest friends met from thousands of miles away for 5 days and fell in love and now he’s moving here with me to find a place in my hometown!
In high school, I was really good looking and I could have almost any girl I wanted. However, I trusted God with everything back then. Then, my first psychotic episode happened along with a Bipolar I/schizoaffective disorder diagnosis. I started taking meds. I assure you, the trauma, the stress, and the meds all together caused me to gain a lot of weight. As a result, I’m fat now.
I don’t call them battle scars, but wounds that can heal. It’s been top 5 in my worst struggles in life I’ve ever had, that is, being fat. I remember how good it felt to feel good about my body and have all the energy and health and ability to do the things I want to do. Now that I’ve managed the trauma, the stress, and the meds, I sense a reckoning at hand soon!!! 🙂
If it’s worth anything, after going through those vivid psychotic experiences I went through, I found the other side is a wonderful place and it’s intricately connected to everything here, now.
It’s not a matter of who ends up there or who doesn’t… it just is. We’re all part of it, whether we know it or not.
One way I can describe such a perspective is waking up in a dream and having that become reality, being awake and asleep at the same time… becoming the living dead. The dream itself is nearly incomprehensible.
The living dead’s eyes are open and see what God allows them to see, never more than what we can handle.
Twelve years ago, I was newly diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, reminiscent of bipolar I. I’m now spending a little bit of time reflecting on what that was like at the time.
I remember that every detail had a purpose and God was in control of every aspect of every detail. Every detail, big and small, came from God and I denied myself in the process. It seemed like the Christian thing to do, to deny oneself and give the reigns to God to control.
This added fuel to the raging fires of bipolar problems I was going through at the time. My mood was varying between mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed, sometimes cycling multiple times a minute. One second I feel like things are looking up and God is in control and everything is going to be ok until it hits me and I get a sinking feeling that I will amount to nothing and the pain comes, which is darker than hades itself and all I want to do is kill myself and make it stop.
On top of that, I was extremely confused about who I was. I had no clue, other than that I was successful and intelligent at one point and I felt I was no more. I had lost everything and it wasn’t coming back ever again. I didn’t even like how I looked even though I was a very handsome young man.
My psychotic break was the cherry on top of this whole situation. My mind went places no one could understand. It left me completely and utterly alone, cut off from God. If I were to start thinking about religion or God or start praying, my delusions came back and my mood would skyrocket on the spot. Prayer was of no help. The Bible only fed my delusions.
I was lost in every true sense of the word.
Now, to give you an idea of how lost I was, bring all of the above to the forefront of your mind and don’t stray your attention away from it. All of it happens at once in varying degrees. This was my world, then. It was all I could know and experience for months if not years. Demons followed me and coerced me, God was there and all powerful but controlling and deliberate, yet oh so distant from my mind, heart, and soul to the touch.
I’ll try to put it all together:
I have no idea who I am other than that I’m a loyal follower of God that holds everything in his hands and nothing happens without his say so, but when I try to pray or talk to Him, my heart races and I get an adrenaline rush then my mind starts racing and I have to stop only to keep my head from going up Satan’s ass so to speak, who is also trying to convince me that I’m the second Christ or the antichrist (it sounds silly but all I have to do is say the words and I become more powerful than I can imagine) and he’s using his will power to coerce me into believing one of the two (or both), that is I’m the second Christ or the antichrist, and while all these things are on my mind, my mood is skyrocketing and plummeting by the split minute so God feels so close then so far away the next instant then my mind races again about how I’m such a failure and can’t go anywhere in life and I should just shoot myself now or slice my wrists, but my therapist reminded me that I’m a person who has people in my life who would miss me if I were to die, but it won’t stop and it needs to stop!
It hurt. This was only the surface.
My heart goes out to everyone who has just come out of a psychotic episode. You’re not alone in this experience, no matter how mysterious it was.