I’ve posted a new link on the sidebar: Mental Illness: How Can Congregations Respond? Some folks have continued to ask what churches can do to help and another friend sent this article in response.
I’m looking for a place to worship for Lent/Easter, a place where I can find some healing, hopefully a congregation where I don’t have to do tons of education about my condition but can get the spiritual care I need in my mixed up state.
Today’s tsunami in the Pacific is an image that resonates with me deeply these last few days. A tsunami wave (very simply put) begins with a shock that pushes the ocean floor up sharply, creating a bubble/wave in each direction, a wave full of energy that must be released. Out in the middle of the ocean, it creates a tiny blip and no one knows it’s there. But when that energy bubble in the form of a wave approaches land, it pushes its way on shore with unequaled force, changing landscape, structures and infrastructure alike.
And THAT is how it felt these last 6 months as I’ve been plunged suddenly into the world of managing bipolar. And how it felt this past week as I was swallowed by recovering from a rough ECT, escalating anxiety, and a violent mood swing. I compare my experience to a tsunami wave not to downplay the tragedy of earthquakes and tsunamis around the world but because the explanation of what happens in the terrible waves resonated with my experience of sudden diagnosis, a rush of information in a world I didn’t know well at all, and the confusion of feeling and of thought that destroyed and continues to destroy all sense of myself. I can only begin to imagine, let alone experience, the devastation after earthquakes in Japan, New Zealand, and Haiti, just to name a few.
My internal condition is quite a bit of devastation to bring to the steps of a church. Will there be a congregation able to receive me and others like me?