Sunday, October 23, 2011

When life is bigger than God....

My life has had good times, and bad times, and really bad times. The value of my life, to others and to God, never made sense to me. The idea that I am worthy of grace simply because I am alive is foreign to me. Yet, it's what I have begun to understand more and more each day.

Inside me is a kid who was hurting, a teen who questioned too much, a young adult who explored too much and got lost, and ultimately a human being in need of grace and forgiveness.

Many of us were raised to believe that blessings and healing and victory belong only to those who believe enough. Good news to those who do, but naive as well. The flipside: belief in that is that failure, sickness, and lack are signs of not believing enough. And what about those with great faith and yet find themselves in life's troubles?

The problem with this belief is that God's goodness is only reflected in the goodness of our own lives. It's not the pain or the difficulty or the challenges. Clearly, those are signs of a wayward heart...a faltering unexposed sin. 
Basically anything but blessings, success, and victory boils down to us not being enough.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Who's Fault Is It?

For well over a year I tried to beat my alcoholism and my eating disorder on my own; by my own strength. Then it came to the point to where I was seriously contemplating going to an inpatient treatment center for both my diagnosis. And to make matters more difficult my bipolar only fueled both addictions. Then it came to the point to where the judge told me I was to quit drinking.

For the most part the no drinking wasn't so hard. I had a newly restored faith in God and a new appreciation for the things I have in my life. Becoming free from my eating disorder was another story. My bipolar had been in charge for the previous four years controlling much of my thoughts and beliefs. My behaviors.

For a few months after the year in mental health court which I was accountable to the court or face prison, I remained sober and fairly stable. However, a few months after graduating the program I relapsed with my bipolar and began rapid cycling for the next few months.

Hospitalized for suicidal depression and suicide attempt. Episodes of mania. Jail. Periods of complete insomnia accompanied with psychosis. And my most recent, a psychosis blackout that has landed me in trouble again.

Many times I have felt the shame of my mistakes that have left me disappointed in my example as follower of Christ. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The safe god

There is a dreadfulness about God. Seldom is this said.

Down in our bones, mingled with our blood, silent and potent as instinct, is a dread of God. Part of our essence is a longing to flee. There is a fear of God, the Proverbs tells us, that is the beginning of wisdom, the threshold for knowing God. But that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm referring to a more primal, deep down craven terror, a black hole of unknowing.

We know we should desire intimacy with God. The better and saner part of our being does. But there is in each of us a dark impulse that prefers separation, a love of distance. We want to see God, just not face-to-face, but in rough silhouette, to hear Him, not the thunder of His shout or the sweetness of His whisper, but only rumors of Him, faint and faraway echoes.

Like the Israelites at the bottom of Mount Sinai we want a mediator such as Moses.

We exhibit a primal fear. The voice of God, the presence of God, holds not comfort but terror. The way tigers and tyrants, cyclones and cyclopses frightens us we fear God. So we want it muffled, mediated, caged. We settle for--no, demand--echoes, rumors, shadows. We long for hearsay about God, but do not ourselves want to hear God say anything.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Trouble with Bipolar Blackouts and Amnesia

I have come to realize that there are some portions of my life that I simply cannot remember. And that no matter how hard I try to fill in those gaps of lost time I will never succeed. I can lose spans of time of as little as a few hours or as much as up to a whole day. Stress seems to be the most likely trigger, rather it's stress of rapid cycling or external stress.

Blackouts are usually associated with alcohol. Then there are such things as blackouts from bipolar. I can disassociate from reality completely sober all the while functioning completely normal. You would never know my brain has dragged me into another place out of reality.

Most occasions I come back normal. Awoken unharmed with all my responsibilities successfully completed. But sometimes I'm at the mercy of my psychosis. I play a cat and mouse game. A follow the leader game. As if driven or lead by some strange force. Sometimes I awake after wandering off and in those times by God's grace I come to and am able to find my way home unharmed. I once awoke over 40 miles from my home with no recollection of why I travelled that distance. Another time over 130 miles away. Almost in another state. If there were any intentions I have yet to discover why, but for now it seems I just got into my vehicle and drove.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The dark night of the soul

Up until about three days ago I hadn't done much but lay around with a blank stare on my face.  I didn't even have the urge to write anything. So this is much overdue. Other than that I did only what was required of me to get by. Even some of my responsibilities I failed to follow through on. I could muster up a giggle now and then for something I found humorous. But for the most part I was indifferent to everything else.

In all accounts there was no external reason for my lack of emotions. As a matter of fact, just days before the oncoming of my depression I had been caught in a whirl wind. A whirl wind that apparently that had been taking me for a ride for the past three to four months dragging me up and down like a roller coaster. Rides of hypomania, depression and mixed states.

Now once again I was in a free-fall. Plummeting into that pit I am so familiar with. Again. I know the darkness all too well. Often times I become tempted by old vices when the darkness surrounds me.

Every time I am blind to the coming of my mania, whether it's full or hypomania. Others see it before I do. I never see it coming. But the depression is like an oncoming storm rolling in. It announces its presence and slowly creeps in until it has completely surround my whole being.

It's in my depressions that I feel the farthest from God. It's in my depressions my mind makes me feel the guiltiest over any mistake I make. Sometimes like my earthly relationship that neglect, I neglect God as well.

Where my inspiration comes from

A Recycled-Dad with Bipolar & Parkinson's, reflections on fathering and family life and other stuff thrown in'll love my Soap Box Rants

Blog with Integrity\\ Auhor Lupe Picazo

Why I call myself a Recycled Dad

I call myself a Recycled Dad because of the struggles with remarriage and being a step-parent and weekend dad. This is also about my life living with bipolar and how it affects me personally, my family and my job. It also reflects on the grace God has poured out on me throughout recovery from alcohol and an eating disorder. Recycled Dad is about my reflections on the wisdom God teaches daily on fatherhood and being a better husband in spite of being bipolar.

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