Real Life Stories of Mental Illness

Most days I was hopeless and numb, barely able to get out of bed. I had lost everything that was dear to me, my marriage, living with my children, and my financially stability. Whenever my dear friend of almost 17 years would come to see me, she would find me either crying uncontrollably or completely emotionless. I was void of joy and hope.

When you experience a mental health crisis, it has the potential to affect your thinking, your mood, and your relationships in a profound way. To say that this happened to me is oversimplifying what I’m going through as I face my diagnosis with bipolar disorder.

I had connected to a psychiatrist, but I knew I needed to see a Christian counselor who could help me sort all of this out. Unfortunately, my insurance had nothing to offer and I was too exhausted to even know where to turn.

Bipolar disorder is a disease of judgement that removes your ability to see yourself, your relationships, or your circumstances as they truly are. As I came crashing down from a mania episode that nearly cost me my life and did cost me everything else, I had no energy for an all-out search for counseling.

By the grace of God, I found His Heart Foundation through a friend at church. His Heart was able to connect me to Rebecca, a Christian counselor who specializes in bipolar. The church donated toward my counseling, the counselor lowered her fee, and His Heart provided a scholarship.

Even then, as I drove to that first appointment I didn’t feel like following through with therapy. I wanted to avoid it. But with many different people making it possible, how could I?

Having a Christian counselor is amazing! She validates my feelings and yet points me to the truth. I am learning what it looks like to understand mercy. I am not my bipolar illness. Going to therapy is a big part of me fighting the illness for myself. Week after week I am encouraged with the truth.

I am learning to redefine who I am according to what God says about me. I am not my illness, but I am facing the consequences of this disease. I am learning more about my authentic self, and who God created me to be. I am worth it. It’s hard, but I’m not giving up.

This is not something that you just get better from, like a broken arm or a cold. It’s a long time process, and a lifetime commitment to healing.

If I could say anything to someone who is struggling today, I’d say: Don’t wait, get to counselor as soon as possible, before your illness damages your relationships. Don’t be afraid of a diagnosis. There is hope. Go get help from His Heart Foundation today!

Don’t Wait—Connect to a Counselor Today:

Further encouragement from Linda:

Beloved by Jordan Feliz

Remind Me Who I Am by Jason Gray