You allowed me to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder on March 18, 2016.
My mom asked me if I was mad at You. I wasn’t.
Anger is a natural response to a wrongdoing — to something not going your way, to someone betraying you. Somehow during my diagnosis and depression, I never shook my fists to You.
It wasn’t until over a year later — just this week — that I bursted into tears full of rage, bitterness and utter contempt. I wailed, “WHY. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?! WHY DID YOU PICK ME OF THE BILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD?!”
You did not respond — no audible “I’m sorry,” no clarification, “because.” I sat in silence as I whimpered in my bed until 2 a.m. when I fell asleep.
In church, every now and then we sing, “You give and take away, you give and take away.” Then it goes, “My heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be the name.”
We highlight and praise the blessings You give: children, jobs, raises, cars, food, spouses, etc. We post on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter about when we go on vacation, when we make an excellent meal, when we get engaged.
But You take away, too.
The other night, I made a list of what You took from me when I was first diagnosed:
- My reputation
- My job
- My friends
- My openness
- My confidence
- My security
- My delight
- My life in Nashville
- My hopes
- My ambition
As I wept over the list alone in my room, I contemplated if You ever gave me back those things. You has given me some since, but I have yet to fully see all of the fruit I lost last March.
Lately, I’ve been identified with Naomi from the book of Ruth. Naomi loses her her husband and two sons within a span of a short time, likely to hunger because there was a famine going on at the time. She’s stripped bare of her family and income, so she returns to Israel after living in Moab.
Naomi, whose name translates to “Pleasant,” then decides to be called “Mara,” which means “bitter.” You took away her whole world — her security, her reputation, her loves, her life. I think she’s allowed to be bitter, to admit that she is resentful of what You allowed to happen.
I am absolutely furious.
I do not understand why You chose me to live with this disorder — I will never fully grasp or likely even cope with the fact that I am the 1 in 5 Americans to struggle with a mental illness (including anxiety).
In my eyes, I was best by March 18, 2016. My life was so good before this — I was successful, I was respected, I was known. I did college right — plugged into a church, found lifelong friends, graduated with honors. I thrived in Nashville — a new home with new friends and a new life.
But now, for the rest of my life, I will suffer from impending depression and mania. I will live in fear of severe depression taking a toll on my career, my relationships, my life. I need to monitor my sleep, energy and mood.
I will never be a full-fledged twenty-something. I can’t stay out too late with friends, I can’t drink without considering my medications, I can’t go on impromptu vacations without thoroughly assessing my rest and ability to travel.
You did this to me. You wrecked me. And I will never be the same again.