Yes, I know I touched on this in my last post, but I wanted to approach it specifically instead of telling you all the bad experiences I had.
I was diagnosed Bipolar 1 in 2002 (again, to refresh, I left out any talk of psychosis). I lived my life on the edge. I was more manic a few years after that when I Djed at a strip club. Yes, I was taking medicine, but I also started doing drugs which completely counter-acted the benefits of my psych meds. Slowly I got better and started to live with a couple of friends, who eventually got scared of all the med changes I was going through and how they made me violent and irritable. They told me that they didn’t want to live with me after our lease was done…. so, I went and lived with my mom.
After a few weeks there, I decided that maybe I should go to church to see what it was like… and I chose the church that I used to go to for Youth Group. It was 2009. At this time I was incredibly normal. No mood swings, no psychosis. And I was very very stable. So, I went, and was given such a warm welcome. I ended up going to the church every Sunday that I was home. And when I left, they researched a church for me to go to where I was going to live. I was definitely paranoid about that (and for the right reason), but I smiled and nodded as they handed over the information for the Church (turns out, it wasn’t a very welcoming church and had SO many members that they had to have 2 Sunday services. I felt completely lost and stopped going). Same thing happened when I lived in King of Prussia… and a few times during my stay there, I went back to my church, even though it was a half hour away. Then, finally, I moved back with my mom and went regularly again. Then… I just stopped going.
My mental illness kept getting worse. I had to be admitted to the hospital a couple of times, too. I went every once in awhile. Most of the time I couldn’t bear to get out of bed. Finally, in fall of last year, I went back to the church and stayed there. I will never doubt my decision. I go every weekend, unless I’m not going to be in town. I’m on the right meds, I like myself more, I’ve gone from crippling social anxiety to a much calmer state most of the time. I’ve also lost some friends in the battle, but I do not mourn it anymore.
I know a lot of people may be wary of religion (especially others who have serious mental illnesses), because they’ve got the thought in their heads that all the religious people want to pray for complete healing and go off their meds. It’s a horrible stereotype. People pray for healing, of course, but they pray for the doctors, they pray for the right medication to be administered. And they know that God put those people in those jobs to help others for a reason.
So don’t be afraid to try it. Obviously, if you don’t want to, that’s perfectly fine. I’ll never just tell anyone what to do.