Riding the Wave ... And the Trough

I am mentally ill, diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I, OCD, ADHD, PTSD and a vitamin B12 deficiency (a key element in brain development). For over 12 years, I took anywhere from 5-8 psychotropic meds each day, and have been recently giving myself a monthly injection of B12.

In January 2012 I was hospitalized for depression, and management of my currrent med cocktail. Immediately all but two of my meds were discontinued and, after a few weeks of adjustment, and some near hospitalizations, things seem to be going much better.

I have been on permanent disability since January 2010, and am adjusting to life on a very limited income.

My prayer is that in walking with me during the ups and downs of Bipolar Disorder, you might find solace, and benefit through my experiences.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Biggest Problem ...

Pastors around the world have so much in common; sharing the word of God through the life of His son Jesus Christ through His spoken Word. Physically, they have the same concerns; family life, personal health, normal day-to-day problems that face so many. Spiritually, they encounter challenges that other pastors face and, even when never faced before, are dealt with with the same Scripture, the Word of God.

Pastors are called by God to serve God, regardless of their imperfections or idiosyncrasies. They are adequately equiped to do the task at hand, regardless of what they think are their capabilities. They are called to serve in any capacity necessary; hospital visits, funerals, home visits, counseling, sympathy over aches, pains, disease and illness. The are to give, give and give, past the point where they have nothing left to give. And then they are called upon to give again. Is this fair? It really doesn't matter. It's covered by a favorite quote of mine, "It might not be right, but it is."

Now the "sticky wicket". The sympathies pastors show to others is very seldom shown to them. This is especially true when they are experiencing something they can't tell anyone about. I wouldn't expect you to know, since the sharing of this information might cost them their job, their standing in the community and the trust that is so necessary in their job.

In 2007, a UMC conference reported that 65% (over 400) of the pastors were prescribed antidepressants. I was a part of that conference, and I don't know a single one of these pastors (other than myself). To proclaim from the pulpit, "I am mentally ill", would usually be the begining of the reappointment process, at the very least. To tell often opens a chasm that can be too wide to cross.

Pastors need an outlet, a place where they can go and feel comfortable about sharing who they are. Silence is not a viable option, since it compounds the problem. Self-exposure is key to recovery; it is the first essential step.

Next, we'll talk about a novel way of breaking this barrier without becoming vulnerable.

No comments:

Post a Comment