You Are Not Alone

This week is National Mental Health Awareness Week and in honor of the 1 in 5 Americans that suffer with a diagnosable mental illness I would just like to say “You are not alone”. 

Seven years ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder and today I am proud to say I am a survivor.   

I would like to begin first by telling you all how grateful I am for all of the wonderful, loving people in my life that have helped me overcome my illness, and are still helping me to this day.  If it were not for the unending love of my parents, my church family and some truly awesome friends, I might have become a casualty of this disease.

When I was first diagnosed bipolar at age twenty-five it seemed like an insurmountable obstacle to overcome.  It has been the giant monster in my closet ever since.  No one ever questions the severity of cancer, diabetes, or physical handicaps but for some reason when it comes to my personal illness others have used it as a weapon against me.

I am telling my story to help others who may be suffering from depression or other disorders that might color your entire perspective on life.  I know that the simple fact that I mention my story makes me vulnerable to attack by those who may not understand what mental illness means.

To all those who may have experienced periods of extreme sadness or hopelessness, I say
Life goes on.  You are valuable, you are important.  Help is available. 

Since I began my treatment for this disorder I have gone into remission and been able to maintain a healthy outlook and live a happy life.  At one time I thought I had to be strong enough to handle everything on my own, and it was overwhelming.  It was not until I discovered that my strength is perfected in weakness that I was able to find joy in my life. 

I have come to realize that true strength is knowing when to ask for help, and being humble enough to accept help when it is offered.  G0d has a plan and his plan is perfect, even if it does not seem so at the time.  We are all human, and we are all weak. 

As 2 Cor1nthians 12:9 says:
 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Chr1st’s power may rest on me.”

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Vicky says:

    Very well said Chrissi. Always here for you!

    1. Vicky –
      Great to hear from you! I hope everything is going well back home. If Samuel and Grace ever want to Skype let me know, I might even be able to get them a Chinese lesson from one of my students or a Chinese pen-pal maybe.

      1. Vicky says:

        We would love to skype and learn a few words! Just have to remind me what times lol

      2. I have a reading group on Thursday Evenings so I could have a chinese student teach them sometime on your Thursday morning around 8:30 or 9 am. Alternatly I can have an American friend talk to them but I think they would like to talk to a chinese person more. Tell me what time would be good for you and I’ll ask my students who is available.

        Also I was thinking that maybe if some of the students wanted penpals I could probably find them a Chinese penpal via email.

        So maybe (your time):
        Thursday mornings at 8:30 or 9:00 am EST
        Friday nights at 9:00 pm EST

        That’s only if they want to talk to a Chinese person. I can talk to them anytime. 🙂

  2. Cindy says:

    You made me cry! I am glad you are able to openly talk about it; it will make you stronger. Bryan and I love you. Still crying!!!

    1. I love ya’ll so much. You’ve helped me through some really tough times. It’s like Vicky said though, G0d works things out, and he uses us where we are. I’m just lucky to have such great friends in my life. Not everyone has a family like Cedar Springs.

  3. mars says:

    You are an amazing young lady! I am so proud of you! Hugs and kisses!

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