Tag Archives: Christians

I’m Coming Out. My Confession.

As a child, I remember thinking differently than my peers. I felt like an outsider. Like I was on the peripheral looking in at life happening around me. Sort of like watching a movie.

Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash

By the time I reached junior high school, it worsened. I had confided in a school friend who would listen to me for hours while I lamented as tears ran down my face like a faucet.

I somehow had the wherewithal at fourteen to find a therapist which I paid for with my allowance I had earned by ironing my father’s shirts. She had diagnosed me with dysthymia (persistent mild depression). I saw her weekly until she fell asleep in one of our sessions.

In my late teens, I remember things becoming more pronounced. One day I would wake up full of energy and be ready to take on the world, and the next, I would feel utterly hopeless and depressed. There was no explanation for these extreme shifts in mood.

The fluctuating moods were accompanied by my loyal companions; fear, dread, worry and guilt. I didn’t know at the time I was struggling with anxiety until I had experienced my first panic attack in my late twenties.

By that time, I had become impulsive and spontaneous. I would feel a surge of energy pulsate through my body like electricity which made me feel invincible. There was so much I wanted to do and accomplish that I wouldn’t sleep.

I took unnecessary risks and made bad decisions that if it wasn’t for the grace of God, I’m sure things would have ended badly.

I was enthusiastic, adventurous and lived for the thrill of excitement. Everything I did was over the top, exaggerated and extreme. I flirted with danger because I was addicted to the adrenaline rush and loved the exhilarating feeling it gave me.

In this state, everything seemed alive and vibrant. Life was good.

Until it wasn’t…

It was only a matter of time until the dreaded crash came. I went from being high to drowning in a sea of hopelessness and sinking into a quicksand of despair. Everything around me became devoid of color; a still life black and white photo; grey, lifeless and dull.

The rollercoaster high’s and low’s kept happening, combined with an ever present restlessness and gnawing irritation, like stew simmering in a crockpot or a rumbling car motor that never seems to shut off or a dormant volcano brewing beneath the earth’s surface.

I lived like this for years not knowing why.

Fifteen years ago, things came to a head after giving birth to my eldest son. I had suffered from postpartum depression. My son was colic and would cry all night. I wasn’t getting any sleep and worked a stressful job. Between the lack of sleep and stress, I began to spiral. It was then that a therapist suggested I get evaluated by a psychiatrist.

After an hour and a half hour of what felt like an interrogation, I received the verdict. Her words shot out like fists punching my face.

I didn’t believe her, so I went for a second opinion and was given the same diagnosis.

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After years of hiding behind the shame and living in silence, I decided to come out.

I’m a Christian who suffers with chronic pain and physical and mental illness. And I am not alone. There’s plenty of people out there struggling like me, who lurk in the shadows because of shame and fear of being found out.

They vacillate between denying their illness, pretending away their illness or praying away their illness, thus refusing treatment they so desperately need.

Instead, they self-medicate by either drinking, drugging, eating, spending or sexing.

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I’m speaking specifically to Christians right now, if you are struggling with mental illness, don’t allow the church or anyone from church tell you mental illness is a spiritual problem because it isn’t. Please don’t listen to anyone who tells you, you lack faith or you must have unconfessed sin or that you aren’t praying or fasting enough.

Mental illness is not a spiritual condition, but a medical one that needs to be treated like diabetes or cancer.

Please contact your local National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) and get support. You don’t need to suffer in silence or struggle alone.

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Silence is the result of stigma and judgment by family members, friends, co-workers, church members, and society in general who aren’t educated and misunderstand, misinterpret, and marginalize those who suffer from mental illness or any invisible illness.

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Truthfully, these past two years have been the most difficult for me. My life has completely changed and it’s been hard for me to reconcile and adjust to. Believe it or not, it’s taken me over 15 years to finally accept my diagnoses.

I didn’t want to come out because most people walking around react to words like bi-polar, OCD or schizophrenia as a joke or they associate it with characters from “Psycho,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” or “A Clockwork Orange.”

This is why I’ve kept it hidden for so long, but now I no longer want to because there’s too many people suffering in silence. For this reason, I chose to come out and join the tribe of other voices advocating and fighting against the stigma.

Posted in anxiety, bi-polar, blogging, christianity, faith, Medium, mental illness, OCD, PTSD | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Christian Know-It-All’s

Do you know them? Have you come across them too? They’re all over the internet.

Everyone has a blog, or a platform lately. Have you noticed everyone has something to say?

Christians bloggers especially, with their puffed up piety and superiority. They swear they know-it-all.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

I can’t help but detect a hint of arrogance and condescension in their writing. Reminds me of those judgmental Christians you find at Church. You know the ones I’m talking about? The ones who act like they got it all together, who do no wrong and tell you their false opinions of you?

It’s amazing what tone a blog can take, when the bloggers themselves write as if they know-it-all.

I hope to God I don’t ever come across that way here. I do not claim to know-it-all and never will. I am forever learning.

I have had bloggers who are in the “niche” unfollow me on Twitter or Facebook, because of my stance on topics such as homosexuality, gay marriage, pornography, etc. They seem to believe their opinions are worth more than mine and they’re only reserved the special right to speak their minds and write what they believe. Even if I don’t personally agree with it.

Truthfully, I come across and read a lot of things I don’t personally agree with. However, you won’t be find me unfriending or unfollowing them because they believe differently than me.

Yes, there seems to be a certain “acceptable” group, I shall call them, the cyberspace clique. Reminds me of high school. So glad I’m passed all that. Perhaps this is why I don’t care for the term, Tribes, it doesn’t hold a good connotation for me.

One thing I do notice among these peers is they are young. I have nothing against the youth. But to whom I refer, they seem to come across as know-it-all’s. Which quite frankly, they have not fully lived life yet to be giving such assertions.

Mind you, these are “Christians” we are talking about here.

Where is the humility? How are they truly representing Christ in their writing or actions? They act superior, all knowing ones, who will correct others in a heartbeat. They will point blank disagree with you, unfriend you and then write about it on their blogs, hoping you won’t notice.

They are good writers, they are mastering their craft well. Yes, they are accepted and revered in their cyberspace community. They pat each others back, speak sweet nothings to each other and then shun those who don’t believe as they do.

They spout their arrogant and pious pontifications while hiding behind the cloak of religion and doctrinal precipices.

I can understand why Ghandi said, “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” I couldn’t agree with him more. I would add to this, “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christian bloggers.”

Dear readers: This is my platform, where I have the right and freedom to write uncensored, share my thoughts and speak the truth. My prayer recently has been that we go beyond the superficiality of religion, piety and cliques, to representing Christ in action, with love and humility. Even if we don’t agree with each others stance, theology or position. We should be mature enough to treat others how we would want to be treated, even if we don’t agree. We need to remember that we are not know-it-all’s or better than anyone else or superior to one another. Only Christ reserves that right, stature and position, not us. Thank you for reading and God bless you.

Posted in blogging, christianity, faith, writing | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , 6 Comments