Mental illness is ugly.
Don’t get me wrong. People with mental illness are wonderful, beautiful fascinating human beings worthy of respect and dignity.
But mental illness, when it manifests, is ugly. It’s ugly the way death is ugly, the way sin is ugly. If you’ve ever been to a funeral of a family member or a friend, you know. No attempts to pretty it up or make it easier do any good. Death is profoundly unnatural, as something not intended for this creation. It’s a vandal’s mar on the canvas of a skilled painter. So it is with mental illness, with any sickness really.
In the face of such ugliness, I’m glad Jesus is coming back to fix it all.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Rev 21:4-5)
It’s Friday, August 8, 2015 at 6:56pm.
By this time last week, Mr. B was delusional. He could still tell the difference between the delusions and reality. But within 24 hours, on Saturday night, he was gone. His short term memory, his ability to trust others, follow conversations, and perceive his need for food, water, or rest was gone by Sunday morning. It happened that fast.
I marvel at the goodness of God that Mr. B took his meds again on Sunday afternoon. People told me a bipolar episode can happen fast — especially the manic ones. (Depressive ones, thankfully, set in a little slower and are easier to respond too.) I barely had time to wrap my mind around what was going on. In 24 hours, my precious Mr. B crashed and burned.
Now, he’s waving at me through the window, smiling, happily watering his plants, blowing me smooches. How I love him! How glad I am to be able to have a conversation with him! Though to him, he’s never left, but to me I’m glad he’s back. Mr. B is on the mend.
Thank you, Jesus, that because of You even an episode with bipolar is not the end of the world.
Yesterday I wrote about God saying no.
It’s easier to have faith in a God who says yes. Believe me, God says yes to many of my prayers. (The reason Mr. B and I have wedded bliss together is because of God’s yes.) When God says no, that’s when we’re put to the test.
Really, from God’s perspective, life isn’t about getting what we want. The Bible is up front. Sometimes God uses situations to put our faith through the fire on purpose.
When things go wrong and God comes through, I realize that God is so much bigger. Bigger even than a yes would have shown me.
Who doesn’t love the assurance that there is such a big, powerful, loving God out there?
His name is Jesus.
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-8)
Sometimes God says no. Anybody who prays will face that reality.
Everyday since January, I’ve prayed God would heal my husband and make this transition off meds successful.
And God said no.
What happened to all those prayers, I wonder? God heard them. He knows my heart, my pain, my suffering. Even more He’s know that of my husband.
And He still said no.
I can’t explain God’s answers. He is who He is. He chooses to do what He does out of who He is. Not out of who I want Him to be. But I know He is good, He’s got my back, He’s got a plan for what He allows, He cares about me. Because of that, I can be okay with a no.
Until the more worldly cares catch up to me, thoughts from an eternal perspective give me a lot of comfort.
Sometimes I wonder if God gets more glory from not coming to the rescue. Sometimes He sits back, though I pray and pray, and lets Satan win out. Or so it seems. After Satan’s damage is done, God steps in. He puts back together the pieces. He makes relationships stronger, creates opportunities for His gospel, spreads love and life in the aftermath. He turns Satan’s work on it’s head, instead of stopping it from happening.
That’s what Jesus being nailed to the cross was all about.
Sometimes I wonder if God’s up there saying to Satan, “Haha! Is that the best you can do? I’m still bigger. Just watch this!”
I hope I can hang to this peace, though I see the damage and yet am waiting for God’s redemption.
It’s 10:01am, Tuesday, August 4, 2015 — two days since Mr. B’s episode with bipolar.
Mental illness is very anti-climatic.
All one’s focus, energy, and ability is bent on one purpose. Sometimes for days. Convincing a loved one to take their meds again. Or getting them to the hospital. Or sometimes even finding them if they’ve run away. In the movies, once that one purpose is complete, everything gets all better.
That’s not how mental illness works.
Having that med swallowed, arriving at that hospital or finding them safe is just the turbulent beginning of the long, slow struggle back towards stability. It’s the worst is over. And things get easiest. But boy does it happen slowly!
None of that “one fell swoop” business as in the movies.
How much do I need Jesus — no words can describe.
Praise God for this wonderful hormone! It’s been carrying me through the past several days. Still running on adrenaline a little now. It’s going to take a while to decompress. Stress has its benefits but it’s not met to go on forever. I can’t take stock of the damage until it’s subsided.
Oh yes there’s damage. There’s a lot of my personal prayers and hopes and dreams that came crashing down. I bet I’m gonna be mad at God. Always glad He’s big enough to take it. I can’t ever win an argument with God. His word always wins out. And somehow I leave feeling good about it.
Until then, it’s time to calm down.
Pray for no more adrenaline.