May 19, 2011

navigating without a map

The walk down the church hallway was breezy with the faint smell of ocean. Our church is housed in what was once a business complex. Like many buildings in southern California, there are courtyards and open-air hallways- great on the many sunny days, a bit of a hassle on the rare rainy ones. But today boasts sunshine despite the cool breeze, and I smiled as I breathed in the light sea air. Then, I marveled at how rare these moments have become.

I’ve been struggling with how to jump back into regular blogging. The past month’s journey has included many personal challenges, many unsuitable for a public forum. It seems as though the fight for balance between honest writing and necessary privacy will never be resolved.

The April-of-Insanity lived true to its name, a strange blend of over-the-top busyness and my brain taking a nose-dive into the pool of bipolar hell. Such dark times feel impossible, and I couldn’t have survived it without the loved ones who walk beside me, at times leading me by the hand back into the light. They truly carry God’s love into tangible action.

Now, I write from “the other side”- you know, that place where you’ve walked through the rock-bottom valley and can turn around and see where you’ve been. You can also look forward to see you still have quite a way to go, because the journey is not over. But it’s only supposed to improve from here. And I suppose you’re wondering where “here” is…

“Here” is living day-by-day, keeping up with the tasks that continue to accumulate despite my slower-than-usual pace. “Here” is on medication again, a daily pill that provides the service of crazy-control in exchange for a long list of side effects that interfere with daily existence. “Here” worries less about the stigma of having bipolar disorder than just taking care of all the details required to manage it all. “Here” tries not to be frustrated with the inability to do everything myself, and instead gratefully relies on my friend-family for support. And “Here” wonders if life will ever be normal again.

So, to wrap it all up (for now)….. I have grown from hopeless to looking to God for a hope that never dies. Each day does have quite enough trouble of it’s own, so I’m not even going to try to worry about tomorrow (or the next day, or the day after that…). And when those peaceful moments of sunshine and ocean breeze occur, I will cherish them as precious- because that’s exactly what they are.