I have already posted on how hard this winter has been. It is not just about bipolar disorder but about all the crises my family has faced: wisdom teeth, molar infections, sinus infections, timing belts, valve damage, medicine reactions and toxicity, Parkinson's symptoms, Tardive Dyskinesia, repeatedly being over-drawn, no heat, all the way to the sewer backing up into the basement, and more. Are we having fun, yet?
But I want to write about what all this can do to ones faith and hope. Personally, I find it difficult to praise and worship when life is so dark and hard. I am no Job ("Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him."). Times like this it is easy to feel ignored or neglected. It is difficult to even have hope. So I went to see my priest.
He tried the Job angle. That didn't work. But this did...he reminded me that I am a part of a community, that if I couldn't bring myself to believe, couldn't bring myself to have hope, that THEY COULD and for me to hold tight to the hands of my friends and let them believe for me.
So, I will.
I think that is why I follow so many blogs on bipolar disorder. We all have bad days (weeks, months, seasons,...) but somebody is bound to be posting something hopeful. I cling to that.
Something else my priest suggested was centering prayer. I won't go into the details of it here; it is on the internet, if you are curious, But, I tried centering prayer years ago and thought I would jump out of my skin. Essentially you meditate for 20 minutes focusing lightly on a chosen word which indicates your consent and intention to be in the presence of God. I felt claustrophobic, panicky, and hyperventilated.
This time, my priest says, I can sit by the door.
Do you believe in synchronicity? This morning's post by Christine Valters Paintner (Abbey of the Arts) deals with text from Joel where God says "return to me with your whole heart." I'm trying.
I am not an expert on bipolar disorder... I just live with it. This is my blog of hope and encouragement.