It’s not all fluffy bunnies

I wanted to write this post because I am afraid I might not have accurately portrayed things to you all. I’m afraid that my posts make it seem like I think mental illness is easy, that I’m always able to find some lesson in the stuff I go through, and that I’m always thankful for this. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

In all honesty, mental illness sucks. I hate it. I trust the Lord through it, but sometimes it’s because I have no other option. If I don’t trust the Lord in this, I am really screwed.

I haven’t been myself in over three years. That is a long time to feel like a stranger, and this illness has cost me a lot of relationships that were really important to me. Even if the relationship didn’t totally die, it’s changed, and forever probably. I feel like I’ve lost almost as much as I’ve gained, though what I’ve gained is more precious.

I want everyone reading this to know that I know how hard this is. I only know my own illness (bipolar II), but I know it’s hard as hell. I know that sometimes, making it through the day seems like an impossible feat. I know what it’s like:

    • to look around your house, see it in complete disarray, but just not have the energy or real inclination to do anything about it.

 

  • to no longer care about the things you used to care about.

 

 

  • to want something too desperately but somehow not be able to take the steps you must to make it happen.

 

  • to just want to turn off. to lay down and sleep forever.

 

 

  • to feel like there’s a monster inside of you that could come out at anytime.

 

  • to be afraid that you will get angry and say things you don’t mean.

 

 

  • to be frustrated to the point of tears over something you know logically is stupid.

 

  • to be afraid you will embarrass yourself with your illness and the behavior that comes with it.

 

 

But, I also know there has to be healing for us. Through meds or through miracles. God’s just shown Himself too faithful to me to believe otherwise.

I struggle, y’all. Iā€™m not very good at dealing with this. I don’t do the “right” thing all the time. I don’t have a whole lot of joy in this most of the time. how much of that is illness and how much of it is my sinful nature? I can’t say. but I don’t care really. Iā€™m waiting on the Lord and giving Him everything I’ve got, even when it’s not much at all.

At least it’s honest.

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20 thoughts on “It’s not all fluffy bunnies

  1. Great post, Rachel. I know you suffer, sweet daughter, and I suffer knowing that. Your mother and I love you very much and pray for you through the day, everyday. God has allowed this in your life for reasons only He knows. Our prayer is that he either heals you outright or grants your doctor the wisdom to prescribe the proper medication.

    You are always in my heart…

  2. Rachel

    Your right Mental Illness is a bummer, I have panic attacks that people would not believe, I also have had to deal with depression for many years, I am praying with you that they get your meds right and pray for me they still do not have mine a figured out yet as well,

  3. Rachel, You express a lot of what I have been through. My mental illnesses of choice are panic disorder and agoraphobia! šŸ™‚

    I have admired you from a distance as I see how you share so eloquently and honestly. I don’t understand a whole lot about bi-polar but I have to believe it can be very tough at times and discouraging.

    Your honesty is important for others to read as there are those who lurk and don’t post as well as others who are posting.

    I pray God’s best for you Rachel. I am truly moved as I read what your father writes to you. What a real blessing. that is. God bless!

  4. daddy, you know that your prayers and mom’s prayers sustain me. i am so thankful to have you both as my parents and my friends. your understanding and empathy mean so much.

    maryb, i am so sorry for what you are going through. i don’t have real panic a lot, but when i do…wow. it’s completely debilitating. i can’t imagine going through them more often. i will be praying for you. getting the meds right seems to be a lot of science and a lot of “luck.” it’s hard to be patient waiting for that right cocktail.

    E, i can’t believe how many crazy christians are out there! maybe those atheists are on to something. šŸ˜‰

    thanks for the encouragement. the illness makes it hard to commit to the writing, but i think it helps me, and maybe it will help someone else.

    and i am truly blessed to have my dad and my mom. we had a lot of strained years, but when i finally surrendered, the Lord truly brought me home.

  5. Rachel: I will always read your blog. You have so much to offer, you don’t know. God is using your blog to give comfort to others and to help them open up about something kept so secret and misunderstood for so long.

  6. Rachel, thank you for this blog. My husband was recently diagnosed with bipolar II and he directed me here.

    You did so much to explain to me what he is going through. I now understand him in a new way. Please know that your honesty is blessing people far beyond your circle.

    I see that is exactly what your father said. What he said is so true.

  7. sierra: wow. i am so glad that this was able to help you. please continue to visit, and let me know if i can help in any way.

  8. I came across your blog when I did a bipolar search…. you took the words right out of my mouth. What an insightful and accurate post of some of the bipolar deliemas. It is always comforting to hear it expressed so well. I have a very understanding and supportive family as well. Although it doesn’t make much difference when I’m ill it still is the best thing next to my Zyprexa.

    Wishing you the best.

  9. yes, mary. bmyth AT hotmail DOT com

    email me there and i’ll send you my real address. that’s the spammy one that i put out on the web. šŸ™‚

  10. Rachel
    Depression has been my constant companion since I was a child. About 10 year go, I found help through medication. I started taking them when the church said that depression was a spiritual problem not a physical one. I am very open about the issue and try to make those who have been abused by statements “like if you would just be better Christians and trust God more, then you’ll have victory over depression” to know that if through prayer and consideration, it’s OK to take a medication.

    To those who’ve never wrestled with it, you may be well meaning in your counsel but it’s like fighting a spiritual battle with both hands behind your back. For me the medication I take allows me to fight the battle head on, with the power of God.

    Steve

  11. Steve

    I could not agree with you more about your comment, Unless you have been there you can not understand, Today has been a day from Hell for me with my depression and Anxiety issues, even with medication. I had some one tell me today to snap out of it, but they did not give me a snapper. I think they mean well, but statements like that hurt more than they help.

    Maryb

  12. ooo steve and mary do i know what you mean! it is excruciating when someone says something that basically implicates you as the cause of your medical condition that you can’t control! it is so hurtful and makes you wonder if they’ve been listening to you at all!

    thank you both for coming. i promise i am trying to update more often. when i’m feeling bad, it’s hard to do. but i want to do it and i think the Lord wants me to as well. by His strength…

  13. E: thanks for poppin’ in and for your thoughts. Things have been getting better, though I’m afraid as to the impact of our current situation (see latest post). But, the everlasting arms remain.

  14. Just popping in to say hello. Posted a dissertation to you on Bill Walden’s blog. I’ll leave the link to the website here as well.

    http://psycheducation.org/

    For anyone wanting to understand Bipolar II better this is a great site.

    I so relate to your comments on feelings you go through being Bipolar II.

    Look forward to corresponding more.

    Scott

  15. steve h

    May not know me, but we’ve met a few times. Let’s just say you played in a park north of you with Darrel. This (mental illness)is an issue that there is much confusion, ignorance and misunderstanding of in the church. Of course the natural reaction is to pull away from or judge things we don’t understand. Hopefully all of us out here discussing it will bring some light and understanding to the matter in the church. Really, the need for us as the body to listen too and discuss all the burdens we carry as the body and don’t fully comprehend that we might be of one accord.

  16. scott: that is an AWESOME website. i found it shortly after my diagnosis and it’s been tremendously helpful in understanding my condition.

    glad you can relate! please continue to comment here. šŸ™‚

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