Skip to comments.Blessed with BIPOLAR?
Posted on 07/12/2009 9:53:03 AM PDT by YaZhynka
I cracked up for the first time - on June 4, 1988, three weeks short of completing my Masters degree in Psychology. Some would say I had a nervous breakdown. The psych ward doctors said it was major depression. I say that I saw just how evil my sin is in the eyes of God and it scared the hell out of me.
I cracked up, broke down, and de-pressed. I cobbled together some mad reality and blew a fuse. I despaired, decompensated, detached, and derailed. I lost my mind, never to be the same again. Thanks be to God! Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ!
One year later, during my second tour of duty as a psych ward inpatient, I completed my Masters degree in Psychology, taking my final class on three hour passes from the hospital. I woke up in the psych ward, went to class at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, and returned to the hospital for the rest of the day and night. Now thats bipolar! Psych grad-student by day. Psych ward patient by night. Two weeks prior to completing my degree, I kicked, thrashed, wrestled, clawed, and bit literally to keep from being restrained. I ended up strapped to a bed with a thorazine needle in my arm.
On February 2, 1980, I signed a letter of intent to attend Georgia Tech on a full football scholarship. Six months later I left Atlanta, never to return.
I did not know it until years later, but I was steeped in depression from the time I checked in at Field dormitory for Georgia Techs training camp until the day I boarded a red-eye flight back home. I was sad, scared, guilt-ridden, and disconcerted, all while trying to compete at a level of football bigger, faster, stronger, and more complex than any I had ever played.
The anguish over the decision to leave Georgia Tech did not get resolved for twenty years. It hurt. I had busted my butt since I was twelve years-old to earn that scholarship. But without treatment, without some understanding of the disorder that I did not then know I had, leaving, drinking, and/or cracking-up were my only options. Toughing it out would have resulted in all three.
Did I make the best choice by leaving Georgia Tech? Maybe not. A full-blown crack-up in 1980 might have speeded my recovery. It was going to happen sooner or later. Leaving Georgia Tech may have simply delayed my inevitable and necessary crack-up by eight years to the aforementioned 1988 hospitalization.
So why did I leave? Why did I throw away the profound opportunity of a full football scholarship? Why did I give up on my boyhood dream just as it was being realized?
Fear. No, not fear of college football or Georgia Tech or the streets of Atlanta. I was afraid, in 1980, to go face-to-face with myself - alone. I was afraid to deal then with the sin God moved me to confront in a psych ward eight years later.
In December 1999, I was granted a full-tuition, merit-based scholarship to attend St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami, Florida. On March 23, 2001 I was immediately expelled without a hearing, without due process, and without notice of any charges against me. It happened within hours of the Dean of the law school learning that I have bipolar disorder.1
St. Thomas University claimed to have received allegations that I had made threats against the school. I had not and never did.
Further, when I later represented myself in my federal lawsuit against St. Thomas,2 there was no one to come forward to say that they had heard me make the alleged threats against the school.3 In fact, the woman whom I expected to be the schools star witness against me filed an affidavit stating that I had never made any threats and that she had never alleged that I had made any threats. I lost anyway. I was a resident of Pennsylvania suing a Florida law school in a Florida Court.
I have looked at the above events, cried, cussed, and called it all a nightmare. A tale of wasted potential and opportunities blown to pieces. It is now a tale of God working in all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28); a tale of amazing blessing in the extremes. Blessings all of it! The dizzy joy, the mad energy, the intensity in everything and the depression, despair, anger, failure, and lost opportunities. All of it Blessing.
Don’t give up, you can help alot of people if you can relate to their plight personally. Man, what a story. God bless.
Wow! I had my problems with 1st year of law school. I finished but never returned. God has something else for me. I await his divine guidance.
BPD it’s a b!tch, a blessing, a b!tch, a blessing.....
Seriously though it can be at times the most fascinating and helpful condition when you are compulsed into a subject and you don’t let it go until you have it figured out.
On the flip side the compulsory effects can leave you feeling deflated and defeated on a level normal people do not suffer when you can’t get what ever you tried to obtain.
Then there are the sacrifices you make because you don’t have time, even though you do, or the relationship issues.
Those are just some side effects, for me anyways. At least tegretol and klonipim keeps me from going into full manic sessions, which is solid.
Thank you. Your post is a great encouragement. The days of giving up are gone. Our God is for us and NOTHING can be against us.
Please get professional help. Your account of the St. Thomas affair makes no sense at all, and representing yourself in court in a case of that type is nuts — especially when you can’t even be consistent about whether it was state court or a federal court. It’s not a “blessing” to have your life in perpetual disarray, and imagining that it is, is just another sign that you urgently need professional help.
Great sad story. I feel for you, I truly do. however, do you realize you seem to be using this religious belief as a crutch to explain away something human? Not being judgemental, I see this in all so called “born agains.” If it helps, good for you, good luck with the rest of your life.
Yeah, it didn’t add up to me, either.
Representing myself in Federal Court was a wonderful adventure. It was a Federal court located in the southern district of Florida (just to be consisitent) and the Eleventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals. I learned more than I could have possibly imagined about myself, the law, and God. And I do attribute every good thing in my life(including bipolar)to God. I’ve never heard anyone prove that He does not exist. Anyone who tries is living on faith just as much as I am.
*-mark for later.
I completely agree with GovernmentShrinker.
Bipolar disorder, like major depression is a chemical disorder.
You CANNOT think you way out of it. It’s not your fault and no decent person will blame you for it. It is a biochemical illness, and there are many new medication that can successfully treat it.
Please seek help. You cannot do this alone.
for all who have expressed concern for me: Please know that I have been in treatment continuously since 1994. I have not missed even one dose of medication in 3 years. I have a tremendous life, a loving family, and more peace and joy than just about anybody I know. Anybody who has bipolar should get treatment and stay in treatment. but I insist that my bipolar life has been a blessing and will continue to be so.
I am glad you said that. Someone I love very dearly has BPD and will not ever consider any treatment for it BECAUSE she believes her uncontrollable emotions are a blessing from God. To get treatment would be to alter the way God made her in her mind.
I insist that my bipolar life has been a blessing and will continue to be so.
Isn't all life a blessing to have? Creating suffering for self and others ... not so much.
Nobody is arguing with you about the existence of God. But the purpose of going to court is not to “learn about yourself, the law, and God” or to have “a wonderful adventure”. Either the reasons you gave in your post for why the school expelled you are not accurate (and are not the same ones the school presented in its defense in court) or the school did indeed give evidence of the threats in court, despite your claim that they did not.
It was very, very unwise to try to represent yourself in this court case (and perhaps unwise to bring the matter to court at all). I have no idea what happened in the courtroom, but in your post, your fail to even mention the cause(s) of action under which you brought the case, and so there’s no reason for anyone reading your account to think you were treated unfairly. Your belief that being a legal resident of Pennsylvania suing a Florida resident corporation in a federal court located in Florida had something to do with the outcome of the case, is a symptom of disordered thinking.
God has provided a world in which there are many avenues to get help for psychiatric disorders. Thumbing your nose at those avenues and pretending you’re doing just fine, is turning down God’s generous gifts.
Are you currently employed? If not, how are you supporting yourself?
I would want to tell your loved one who has bipolar that the treatment is also a gift from God that can help her to harness (not eliminate) her strong emotions in such a way that Bipolar will be an even greater blessing. When the energy, impulsivity, racing thoughts, and grandiose thinking are gently harnessed they can help one succeed. They become vitality, initiative, brainstorming, and big goals accompanied with some inspiration and confidence. Put that into the hands of God and he will do something magnificent.
I would too but that isn’t possible from me. I hope that someone will help her see that.
Do you believe that everybody who goes to court gets the justice to which they are entitled? That makes me wonder how you could have accused ME of disordered thinking. And you did say that you “have no idea what happened in the courtroom.” Further, I did not file the lawsuit to “learn about myself, the law, and God.” T
ose were by-products of my attempt to be compensated for the damages I incurred.
Contrary to your assumption that I am “thumbing my nose” at treatment, I have stated in other posts that I have been in treatment continuously since 1994 and have not missed even one dose of medication in 3 years.
I am not currently employed. 18 years after first being diagnosed, I applied for was awarde social security disability benefits. However, not being currently employed does not change the fact that bipolar is a blessing to me. One can be greatly blessed regardless of whether he has a job. Am I not free to decide for myself what is a blessing in my life? Or is that determination the province of a shrink?
Speaking as one who has suffered from depression for better than 30 years since I was a small child, I do not consider it a blessing in the least, I find it akin to having Satan’s jackboot on my neck. A curse and horror of unimaginable proportions.
I would never deny the intense suffering that is a part of bipolar disorder and depression. It caused me to seek admittance to a psychiatric hospital. but I, too, have dealt with this for more than thirty years and it has not been all suffering. And my greater point in all of this is that suffering, in itself, can be blessing.
I would encourage you to stay in treatment, to seek God desperately in the midst of depression, to praise Him simply because of who He is even if you are angry with Him (I’m not assuming that you are angry with God, but if you are, then I say let Him know it - even angrily - and listen for His reply and keep seeking Him)and believe expectantly that He will bless you and that His grace will be sufficient for you. That is what He promises when we surrender out lives to Christ and that is what He has done for me. I pray the best for you.
I do not blame God, I blame Satan (amongst others). I am not angry at Him, but I do feel as though I have let Him down. Treatment, however, hasn’t been much successful, and is often a trade-off for swapping one set of problems for another. Extremely expensive to boot. Doctors can only go so far. The awful side-effect of it crippling my physical health over time to the point that I cannot have a normal life like an average person is the worst of all. I just cannot see it as being anything but a curse and an enormous burden, with some days so bad, it’s like having a 2-ton weight pushing one face-first into the ground and you cannot even breathe.