Today was a good day.
One of those days where
I caught myself singing
when people weren’t
One of those days where
you moonwalk down the
hallway when nobody’s around
or I would’ve
if I knew how
Hope will do that to you.
Things just looked different today.
It didn’t matter that it was so cold when I
that I had to try to put my clothes on
while still wearing my pajamas.
My students were oddly
well behaved almost all day
and the ones who weren’t….
I talked to them and the behavior stopped.
At lunch time my frolleague (friend/colleague)
brought in her album.
I’d asked to see wedding pics
and other pics when she was younger.
It was nice spending time talking to
somebody about something “OTHER THAN”.
Other than my health problem.
Other than their problems.
Other than our students’ problems.
Other than the world’s problems.
When all you do is look at problems
Jesus looks really small.
My Jesus has been pocket sized of late.
Rather than hoping in him
I was hoping that nothing else bad
would happen to me.
I began to expect the bad
because so much bad
has already happened
and will most likely
continue to happen.
My life seems to be a neverending
string of ridiculous and unfortunate events
(“unfortunate” because they keep
happening to me and it never really lets up)
There is a major change brewing at work.
On the surface it doesn’t look good
and I’m worried…
but rather than wring my knuckles
I enjoyed my students
sang songs in the hallway when
nobody was around
and enjoyed looking at
photos as my frolleague proudly
showed off her family.
When she asked me
about the massage therapist
I couldn’t contain myself.
The hope just came gushing out.
The best part of today?
I came home and clipped
I was kinda looking like a Wookie
about the paws.
Uh? No. Just joking.
My nails looked great, but they had to go.
Seriously? I told God yesterday
that I would clip my nails
and play my guitar
once I finished braiding my hair.
I need the nails to braid otherwise
it hurts my fingers.
I haven’t played my guitar
in so long I don’t even remember when
I played it last.
I missed my nails the minute I cut them,
but playing my guitar
was like meeting up with an old friend.
I’m good enough that you couldn’t
really tell that I haven’t played in months.
I praised God with worship music…
And the praising gave way to praying.
It is hard to sing worship songs to God
and not want to pray to him.
I did pray about some of my problems
and some of my friends’ problems.
I prayed about some of my students
and their problems.
And I prayed for this world that
we live in that is so sin-sick
and none of it seemed as big
as it felt yesterday.
I wasn’t looking at Jesus
in the shadow of my problems
I was looking at my problems
in the shadow of the Son’s light.
I had perspective.
I had hope.
So I contacted the therapeutic masseuse.
I asked her a bunch of questions
and she gave me a bunch of answers
that make me feel something I haven’t felt in a
After all the surgeries
and the physical therapy
and the prayers
which gave way
and more pain
and more tears…
might actually get
Now some might think
that because I let the pain
and the everydayedness
of the past four years
get to me
that my faith was somehow
Heck, there are still times when
I feel like my faith is “less than”
but I never stopped loving God.
I never stopped believing in him.
To pretend that I’m not in pain
so I can look like Super Christian
is to lie.
To fake like I’m all happy
when I’m not
is also a lie.
The one thing I like best about God
is that he knows everything there
is to know about me…
and loves me still.
He’s not asking me to lie.
He knows Bipolar Girl cannot
fake joy she doesn’t feel.
He’s not asking me to.
He knows that I cannot grin through the pain
and that if a shark ever ate off my arm
I’d whine and cry about it
and never set foot
in the ocean again.
Again, He’s not asking me to.
And if this specialized
doesn’t work out
after I invest the considerable
amount of money in it,
I am going to be depressed AND mad….
And God, in all his omniscience,
will be expecting me
to rant this out with him
and I won’t have to pretend
that I’m not
depressed or mad…
because God won’t be asking me to.
He knows everything about me
and loves me still.
But for now?
With this shiny new possibility on the horizon
I am going to pray about it and seek God’s will
I am asking…
him to heal me.
And in this moment
I feel something I haven’t
felt in a LONG time…
I feel hope.
I started to rethink the whole
“heal me of my unbelief” thing…
Yes, I want to have faith in God
that is unencumbered by doubt,
I would have sold my kingdom
and a few subdivisions for physical
healing the past few days.
I’m feeling marginally better
and my sense of humor has definitely returned.
Sea-bands have stopped much of the nausea
and I can eat real food again.
I’ve also decided to look for somebody on island
qualified to do abdominal massage to treat adhesions.
Traditional medicine just wants to do a bunch of expensive tests
like “nuclear scans”
(Do I even like the sound of that??)
and then cut me open
like I’m a pinata stuffed with
I’m not having anymore surgery
so there has to be another way.
I’m now also willing to consider acupuncture
despite my fear of needles.
I have tried modern medicine for the past four years
with no healing.
I’ve tried prayer for the past four years
and people keep waiting expectantly for me to get healed.
There are those who say that God has already healed me
but I do not understand that…
not when every day sees the same old pain
and with each passing year new pains have been added on.
I cannot share this marvelous testimony of healing
because that testimony isn’t mine to tell.
Do I believe that God heals?
I do with all my heart.
Has God healed me?
If he has…
I don’t see it.
Much like the people
mentioned in Hebrews
who were promised things
that they never received
in this lifetime…
In fact, they kept getting a load of
crap piled on top of all the bad stuff
that was already happening and…
yet they continued to hope in the Lord.
Though he has yet to heal me…
I will trust in the Lord.
If he chooses to use this specialized massage
to relieve my pain, PRAISE GOD.
I might end up with a new song to sing
and a new dance to do while I sing it.
I don’t even like people to touch my shoulder.
I would never have agreed to this two years ago.
In fact, I heard about it circa two-three years ago
and couldn’t even think about doing it.
Now, I am largely over my issues
and I’m making inquiries.
But what if I do it….
and I don’t get healed?
What if it makes it worse?
It is all still a bit too granola crunching,
tree hugging, Birkenstock wearing for my liking
and I’ve got my doubts.
This could go sideways.
Then I guess I will be like those folks in
who did not received what was promised,
yet continued to hope in the Lord.
I haven’t found anybody on the island yet.
I’ve got a very promising lead.
Lord? You haven’t promised me healing.
I haven’t been healed.
This past few weeks I have actually felt like crap
and I have been alone and afraid…
but I will continue to hope in you:
Hebrews 13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
Hebrews 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Major revelations can be had watching television.
I’m watching a show involving prison inmates who help solve crimes
and one guy (a psychiatrist stripped of his license)
asked an emotionally broken woman
if she thought she deserved to be happy.
A big fat glaring light bulb went off.
I do not think I deserve to be happy.
Oh, I have glimpses of happy
every now and then,
but in the long term…
I don’t think I deserve to be happy
because I am too broken
and broken doesn’t get to be happy.
I even told my coworker this a week ago
when we were talking about getting married.
She’s divorced and in her 40s and has every hope
that she and I will get married
(not to each other).
I looked at her and basically said that I was a hot mess
and there wasn’t a stable man on the planet
who could possibly want that.
If I met a guy with all the baggage I have…
I would not rush to take that on.
Chronic health problems.
You tell me… in what equation
does all of that equal happy?
Next I thought about the people
who broke me.
I have had no actual closure
with any of them…
but I want it…
because I forgive them.
What I have a hard time
What I can’t quite forgive..
is all the choices that I made
in my brokenness
that kept the cycle going…
that continued the breaking,
well into my adult life.
If I am broken
it is my own fault.
They might have broken me initially…
but I kept up the breaking
and that’s on me.
You can’t find happiness
if you don’t think you deserve it.
This revelation is news to me.
And yet I feel like I’ve
visited this thought a million times.
Oddly enough, he asked her this question
in the context of free therapy
which led me here — the free therapy chair.
Lord? When did my own forgiveness
become more important than your own?
When did I stop believing that you would fix
my brokenness and that I could be happy
in THIS world? Somewhere along the line
I stopped asking for healing (physical and mental).
Now I want to keep praying until something happens.
Lord, I am not going to stop asking
because I want to be happy:
Please heal me of my unbelief.
Y’know that post that I did
about “the air I breathe?”
Well I made it to church
today and THAT was the song they
played during Communion.
It kinda came out of nowhere
like a strong breath of fresh air.
It felt like God was talking to me.
Of all the gazillion worship songs
that have ever been written,
that they could have chosen…
they pick the one that would
feel like God’s response to me
about all the stuff that’s been hitting my fan.
Yes, I made it to church.
And, yes, God knew I was there.
And, yes, a woman came up and
asked where I’d been and how was I doing…
And all that rehearsing that I’d done in front of the mirror?
Went out the window.
I didn’t quite freeze… but…
I told her that I’d been having a lot of health problems
and I’d rather not talk about it.
and she didn’t make me feel
like a broken crayon.
She just hugged me
and said she was glad that I was back.
Then the Pastor’s wife came up to me.
She has really kind eyes.
She looked intently into mine and told me
that they’d been praying for me.
I’d asked them back in July to pray for me.
I’d sent them an email asking for prayer
because I could feel me slipping away.
The fact that I was there even though I felt sick
was answered prayer.
I like this church.
I’m new there but it always felt like
I was coming home.
I usually feel stressed out in most churches
and I wonder why God sent me there…
but the weirdness that I felt at this church
was all me.
I couldn’t fault them for anything.
Bipolar Girl had come out to dance like
it was a Vernal Equinox or something
and I had gotten swallowed up by my own drama.
I really did want to go back because
my church was the best thing in my life.
My family? They hate me. Estranged for over a decade.
My health? Declining on all the major fronts
My job? The source of most of my stress and burnout.
My friends? I have pushed most of them away.
Hobbies and interests? I don’t have any.
Dating relationship? DOA since 2004. Crashed and burned.
So when I say that my church was the best thing in my life…
I’m not lying.
I didn’t feel broken while I was there
until that damned Vernal Equinox
My entire life needs a jump start.
Praise God that he gave me a message
early on in my faith:
“Perseverance must finish it’s work
so that you may be mature
not lacking anything. “
I might whine and complain…
but I also persevere.
I might want to give up…
I might even retreat a bit
…scale back on relationships
stay in my house and not shower for days….
but I don’t give up.
You can’t win the game if
you walk off the field.
I always get people to pray.
And God always answers prayers.
Unfortunately, I have been laying down
with the air knocked out of me
feeling like I could never overcome
all of the stuff that’s been
hitting me from all
But today it felt like God gave me CPR.
He IS, after all, the air that I breathe
and he got me back to the one place
that I have longed to be.
I made it to church today
for the first time since July.
Unfortunately, I felt as sick
as the proverbial dog
(“sick as a cat” just doesn’t have the same ring).
I spent most of the service in the bathroom wondering
why God had gotten me there in the first place.
Then it dawned on me.
He’d helped me get past the awkward “first day back” questions.
That only has to happen once.
Whether I am well enough to go or not next week isn’t the issue.
I went today.
And God reminded me that he is the air that I breathe.
And then God sent a woman to come talk to me
She said a whole bunch more that I needed to hear…
but of course she would,
God sent her and he knew exactly
what I needed to hear:
his words spoken to me…
like a line from that song that I like:
Your very word.
Spoken to me.
am desperate for you…
I am lost without you….
You are the air I breathe.
It’s been since July.
I haven’t been to church
I have had a great big greasy ball
of reasons not to go that seemed reasonable
at the time…
but seem hollow now:
I was dealing with some deep depression.
I had to work on Sundays to keep up.
I was physically ill.
It’s all true
Most of it still is true…
but I don’t want to tell people.
But when I finally do show up
and well meaning people ask,
“How are you doing?” or
“Where have you been?”
I will freeze up.
I don’t want to admit
that the bottom line
was that the bottom had fallen out of my world
and I was the most broken crayon in the box.
I was too dysfunctional to attend church.
I know that nobody will think that except me.
But it has always bothered me that my Bipolar affects
my ability to just be.
Most people go to church and have some happy slappy experience.
Church can be traumatic for me at times and I run from that.
I do not have to work.
My depression is only about a 6
and I haven’t thrown up since the last time
despite the nausea.
I’m sick, but I drove into town
to go to WalMart
if I can go to WALMART,
I can go to church.
I want to go to church.
I’ve wanted to for weeks now…
I just don’t like having mental breakdowns
in a room full of people…
and when I am as mentally/emotionally vulnerable
as I have been these past few months
breakdowns are on par with
“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatball.”
As it gets close to the time I have to get ready
a reason, that seems valid at the time, stops me
and I stay home
feeling very much like a broken crayon
who will never fit in the box.
I have to leave in 15 minutes.
Lord? Color me normal.
Yesterday I thought about calling in sick.
The bathroom is too far from my class to reach
if I started throwing up
and tossing my cookies in my class
in front of my students wasn’t going to happen.
But yesterday was our monthly half day,
the day where we’re supposed to get a whole
lot of computer work done
and there was a mandatory training.
PLUS I’m taking Monday off
(I never do that)
and I had to prep for the sub.
I couldn’t miss work
so the plan was to go in and do as much
as I could before any cookies started getting tossed.
Did I mention it was also cleaning day?
I HATE cleaning days with an intense passion.
We only do it when big wigs are coming
so it’s generally gnarly
but yesterday was different.
One thing I like about teaching young adults
is that I can just be straight up with them.
I told them I felt like throwing up but we still needed to clean;
divvied up the tasks; designated two supervisors;
and started my computer work while they got it done.
Normally I have to supervise and hunt down runaways.
I have never seen the cleaning done so quickly
and as a team,
though they did grouse about cleaning the bathrooms.
Since they are gross and disgusting I didn’t blame them.
I COULDN’T blame them
so I cleaned the toilets myself.
This surprised them AND me
and made them work that much harder.
*Note: the smell of toilet cleaner generally
makes me vomit when I’m already sick,
so I’m not sure why I felt like I needed to be the one
to clean them.
(TMI, I know, but free therapy is a free for all)
I held my breath until I could get out of there
with my cookies
still in stationary….
and I made it through the whole day without hurling.
I couldn’t eat anything
which made the staff potluck suck,
but I was just pleased that I made it through the day
as long as I did.
I even got the most important computer work done.
The best part of the whole day, however,
was that I talked to our new HR person.
I have never worked for a company large enough
to actually have HR, so I haven’t known that I needed it.
Our last HR director was a horror.
She made me so miserable
when I was having my last surgery
that I almost didn’t want to have it.
This new woman was different.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act
companies are required to make reasonable
accommodations for employees with disabilities.
So much of what happens at work negatively
impacts my mental and physical health
that I should have been camping out in HR…
but under my previous supervisor I thought
I just had to suck it up and take it
even if it meant me
having to come in to work on Saturday and Sunday
because I couldn’t keep up with the workload.
Even if doing so was making the walls
of Bipolar World
Recently, two staff members (including my current supervisor)
helped me to realize that I could ask for the accomodations
just like our students with disabilities do
and there was nothing wrong with me for asking.
For the past three years
I have watched work erode away
and it didn’t have to be that way.
When I tried telling my previous boss
that work conditions were negatively impacting
my health and affecting my ability to do my job
to the best of my ability,
she told me not to tell anybody.
That we could give always my classes
to another teacher.
But where would that leave me?
I started to be more afraid. I started to become
more depressed and paranoid.
I might have disabilities,
but I still need a job.
I have no family
and my support network has dwindled
If I cannot work and take care of myself
that shopping cart starts to seem
like a very real possibility.
She told me that I should be “careful
who I talked to about that”
and I believed her.
I told her one day that I didn’t think
really understood the needs
of people with disabilities
and she YELLED at me…
which made me cry
and then feel ashamed for being so broken in the first place.
She took it personally because she sees herself
as the “face of the company” to us
and to suggest that there was a problem was to suggest that
she wasn’t doing her job.
That was one reason I rarely blogged about work
even though it pretty much takes up all of my life.
I was afraid she might find my blog and it might get
me in trouble.
So I did become careful
about who I talked to at work
about my health problems.
I stopped talking to her altogether unless it was
related to students. She used to be my friend
and I used to like her.
Instead, I put on the “professional” mask
and acted like everything was ok
even though my mental and physical health
were falling apart.
Suicidal thoughts were surfacing
and I couldn’t tell anybody.
I felt like suicide was the inevitable
outcome of my life.
I tried to reach out to a few people –
one of them told me to think positive thoughts.
And I did blog about that because it didn’t help.
It only made me feel more broken.
Yesterday I felt like I advocated for myself.
I told the new HR director what accomodations
I thought I needed
to make it easier for me to do my job
and why I needed them.
I gave her the back story that I’d been too
afraid to share with anybody
and she was great.
I am not sure how it will turn out, but it looks as if the
major accommodation might be granted.
There are two that are questionable…
but what’s the worse that can happen?
I had the courage to ask.
They could say, “No.”
They can’t fire me.
I’m doing my job
and I do it well
given my circumstances.
If they did fire me,
Christian or no,
I’m alone with not savings or resources.
A shopping cart is NOT
going to factor in my future reality.
I still feel like I’m going to throw up
and I haven’t eaten anything today
other than a piece of a banana…
I hurt and I feel physically weak…
but I feel emotionally better.
I should have said something
a LONG time ago.
Lord? Thank you for giving me the words to say and the courage to say them.
“…don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time.” Matthew 10:19
After I logged off I threw up like a hose.
Dinner was SO much nicer
I went to bed sleeping with my head elevated
and I feel weak this morning.
Oddly enough, my mood is good.
Today is going to be a really long
stressful day at work.
If I cannot complete the required work,
I refuse to go in on the weekend
I am over that.
In the past I elevated my job
to near god status.
Whatever demands my job made on
me I complied
despite the negative impact on
my physical and mental health
because I was always terrified of
losing my job.
When you are single and alone in the
world… with a mental illness
losing your job is a real fear.
The fear of living in my car or pushing a shoping
carthas ALWAYS been a real fear for me.
Today I am going to talk to HR
about accommodations that will
make it easier for me to do my job.
Maybe that what my job will come down
off the thrown and be just that…
I have the next four days off.
I’m praying that God will help me take some other
things down off of throwns
I put them on…
Ok… I got nothin’ to end this one.
Time to go to work.
*Editing not included.
Today I was as sick as that dog that everybody
is always talking about,
but nobody new it.
And the Oscar goes to…
for her role as
A Healthy Woman.
I used to think I couldn’t act.
That I was too stiff.
All this from a failed assignment
in middle school drama class
involving a Snoopy the Dog doll
and a really bad a capella version
of a Michael Jackson song that I
only knew a handful of lyrics.
Nobody actually laughed me off the stage
but the shocked silence had the same impact.
Act One: Comedy scene.
I love my first period class.
They can make me laugh
no matter how I feel.
Plus, it’s first thing in the morning
so I’m fresh.
My sense of humour is still peak
and there is still hope that the day will get better.
We did a special project today that was just amazing.
The whole class participated
and the student in charge got major props.
Act Two: The Food Network
One of the cooking students
did a special project.
We got to go into the cooking classroom
How can you NOT be happy about that.
I didn’t have to dig deep for emotion.
It was right there ready to lick the bowl
Act 3: The Graduate
I teach a class for students
who didn’t get their diplomas.
Today I rallied the troops to support
one of the students who is taking her final exam
tomorrow in town.
I have never seen them work together so well.
Act FoUr: Curtain Call
The class earned a free day.
We spent the last class of the day playing games.
One student wanted to play Boggle with me.
It’s my all time favorite game.
He beat me.
This never happens.
My “good sport” routine
was so good I almost believed it.
By the time I got to my car I was in great pain
and wanted to cry
I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to drive home safely.
I prayed a little prayer and turned the key.
There wasn’t a single issue on the way home.
That shocked me because there is ALWAYS something
upsetting on the way home.
It’s like I’m a drama magnet for people with road rage greater than my own.
Today? There wasn’t even a single care behind me until I was nearly home.
The driver was rude enough to tailgate me in a 20mph zone…
but I did not slam my foot on the brake as I normally do.
I just called him an !@@@###
and then said, “Yes, Lord, I did call him a !@@@###”
without feeling any real remorse.
He made me pray for that Oakland mother of four who was shot
in a road rage incident this week.
Her family actually.
How do we live in a world where somebody
thinks it’s ok to shoot somebody else because they don’t like
No matter how bad my day could have been,
it wasn’t THAT bad.
When I got home I was spent.
I couldn’t even think of walking today
my body hurt so bad.
Instead, I sat on my deck and watched the Son.
I see Jesus in the sunset.
The colors were amazing—
a brilliant shade of pinkish-magenta
and steel grey clouds gathered
around the setting sun.
As I marveled at it I cried.
All the stuff that I’ve been holding in?
Still couldn’t come out.
I didn’t want my neighbors (who are deceptively close)
to hear me sobbing my eyes out.
Years ago I mastered the art of crying silently.
I should get an Emmy for that alone.
I thanked God that I live alone and that I could come home
and just be still.
Nobody knows better than Jesus just how much my home means to me.
Jesus was with me this morning and heard my prayers
He heard my questions as I read Luke.
I haven’t picked my bible up in months.
He doesn’t like it… but he’s not going to love me any less.
The timer on the stove just went off.
I took a hydrocodone and I’m getting sleepy.
The sun has set but I know it will rise tomorrow
as I go through this whole routine again.
I feel so sick right now….
but the Son is with me.
It has been nice to just write.
Of course, letting my inner sad sack
out shows the world what a real whiner I am…
but since I’m never claimed to be anything else but,
I am not ashamed.
Today ended better than it started.
I love it when God does that.
I started out singing the blues
but he changed me tune.
My students helped me take the mask off
and just breathe.
I felt better physically as the day progressed.
Nothing was spinning
and I didn’t have to write on the board much
so nobody noticed that my hands were shaking.
I admitted to God and myself
(but mostly God)
that I dislike two of my coworkers
and didn’t have the energy to keep
And the sky didn’t open up
and St. Peter didn’t whack me in the butt
with a lightning bolt.
I always feel so guilty
when I don’t like people.
How am I ever going to LOVE
them if I can’t get past step A?
Today I felt no guilt.
With so many OTHER things
that God is working on in me…
I think he has grace for this one area
so I’m not going to guilt myself out
or beat myself up.
It takes two to do the dysfunctional tango
and if they even try to meet me half way
I’ll put my clogs back on and
return to the dance floor.
I’m at home in my robe.
The piece of junk that I bought on Amazon.
Smelt like wet dog for months
now I’m wearing it until I can get a mainland friend
to buy me a real bathrobe.
But I digress….
I did my one mile walk.
I watched the setting sun from my deck.
I thanked God that my day with my students ended well.
Just because I focus on the bad doesn’t mean
I’m oblivious to the good
that God brings to me on a daily basis.
He is, after all, the air I breathe
and the rising Son on my horizon.
I have much to give thanks to him for
and I won’t ever forget it
but the bad isn’t going to go away
if I slap on the happy Christian mask
and pretend that everything is ok
and that I’m thankful for the bad.
Thank you Lord that the sun came out today.
It rained most of the morning
but God didn’t let that interfere
with the goodness.
Now if I can only go to sleep
and not have to get up to pee every two hours
…or wake up without choking
Then you can “bet your bottom dollar”
that there will, indeed, be Son.