Is God really with me? Why did He do this too me? Am I being punished? Am I not good enough? As someone who lives with Bipolar Disorder, these are questions that I struggle with. Ive always wondered about God but I never did anything about it. In fact it was a Pastor that basically forced my hand – “You must attend Church for 6 months before I’ll read your wedding vows” Now I had to go, I wanted to get married, so I had to go. The church my future wife was attending was pretty charismatic so it was pretty intense for this newbie every Sunday. Finally by brother asked me to check out the Church he and his family were attending.
We did and we stayed there for 13 years. It was there that I decided to get baptized. 2005 was the year. 2005 was the year this emotional and spiritual roller coaster began. Not only did I begin my new Life with Christ it was then that I began to walk away from Him as well. Confused? Let me try to explain.
I began my new life as a Christian but I also started noticing that life wasn’t fun. I should be happy, but I was sad. Sad all the time it seemed. Agitated. Not how a “New Christian” should feel. Off to the doctor I go. “Your suffering with depression” the doctor said and a prescription was written to cover that problem. This went on for a couple years. script after script was written but none of the pills really worked. I fell away from God, leaving my wife to attend Church by herself.
The depression turned into bouts of struggling, then times of great highs where I would spend money like crazy and act like I was a single man around other women. Then when the credit card statements would come in at the end of the month I would see the damage and the crippling depression would start all over again. What a vicious cycle. Where was God? I don’t know. I think He left me. I wasn’t a model Christian at that point. He couldn’t be with me.
This went on for some time. High, low, high, low. The doctor sent me to see someone in the Niagara Mental health system. I’ll leave names out. They had no idea ( in my opinion) what they were doing.
They told me that my whole and ONLY problem was the fact that we were in so much debt. They sent me to a financial planner who told us they would pay off all our debt and we just had to make one easy payment to them each month…Problems solved…We said no and we walked.
More time goes by, months? years? I cant recall. I struggled constantly, both with my mental health and my walk with God.
One day at Church an assistant Pastor suggested I go seek Christian counseling at a nearby center. So I made the appointment.
It was then my life would change. I would finally get some answers. I credit Pastor Darrell Mills ( who by the way never gave up on me but I walked away from him with this depression) for suggesting I seek counseling and I credit counselor Kim Christink for suggesting that I suffer with Bipolar Disorder and for getting the ball rolling to future counseling and care. I guess God was with me by placing these two men in my life although at the time I didn’t see it.
Fast forward several years, here I am today. During that time I resisted God, was angry that He did this to me.
I spent a period of a couple years basically in robot mode…..go to work, come home and spend most of my time in bed. Suicidal thoughts were always on my mind. I had a carefully thought out plan. It was a constant on my mind. God? Ya…forget it.
Life was Hell. God left me, or did I leave God? Regardless, between the depression and very unhealthy leadership at Church, going was the last thing on my mind.
We left that Church and started to attend Lakemount, well OK my wife started to attend I was walking far away from there. I just couldn’t go…after all what sort of Christian was I? I couldn’t read the Bible, my concentration wasn’t there. I couldn’t pray- why? My concentration wasn’t there and finally ( and this is a big one) the last thing I wanted, was to be around people. All I wanted was to wallow in my depression. It’s all I could do. It was my familiar place. The meds weren’t working God wasn’t working, life wasn’t working. Suicide sounded good.
To be continued…….