A year ago on Good Friday, I put my depression and anxiety on a cross and surrendered all my fear and mistrust. Like, literally.
The church had passed out little white slips of paper to everyone and set up along the altar these giant wood crosses with nails sticking out of them. The pastor asked us to write down our burdens on the little piece of paper and stab it through a nail on the giant cross. I remember looking at my tiny piece of paper and thinking it just wasn’t big enough to hold my depression. I’d need another slip of paper for my anxiety. Maybe a stack of little papers for everything else. But I scribbled some words and stood in line to put my burdens on the cross.
I was six months sober at the time and miserable. Waking up in the morning was the worst part of my day. Some mornings i woke up I’d start crying involuntarily from the sheer heaviness of void I felt. To say I felt empty would be an understatement. Also, I tried not to burden others with it. I struggled to connect to people. Struggled to understand why I was alive. I was surrounded by people but felt separate, disconnected, “other.”
My anxiety would kick in the rest of the day. Overwhelming me in waves that made it hard to concentrate on anything. My work suffered. My friendships suffered. My relationship with God suffered.
Three months later, I was off all psych meds. It’s been nine months and I haven’t had any relapse in my bipolar 2 disorder. After years of struggling with incapacitating unstable moods, I have been given stability. Peace. Serenity.
The other day I was driving and I felt a little bummed out and I was like, man, maybe I need to see my doctor. Maybe I need DBT again. Do I need to call someone? Ohhh, sadness started creeping in. My disappointment that I was heading into a depressive episode began to overwhelm me. How long would it last? How bad would it be? Would I make it out alive this time?
Drive, drive, drive.
Then I realized I’d had such a busy day with friends and work, I’d completely skipped eating. Like, the entire day. So I drove through like a Wendy’s or something and got a chicken salad, parked my car and listened to a podcast, and by the time it was all done and over, I felt like a human again. I had to laugh at how stupid and huge I’d made low blood sugar seem. But I guess if you’ve ever suffered through enough depressive episodes you’d understand the dread that comes with finding yourself in one.
Anyway, I don’t really have an ending for this because of course if bipolar disorder really exists, I’m still at risk for a manic or depressive episode down the line. So I just want to praise God now for the reprieve I’ve been given and the miracle that is His love.