A Christian With Bipolar Disorder

Hey Guys 🙂

I feel like I keep apologizing for this each time I post, but I am sorry for my absence lately.

I have been thinking a lot. There have been many changes going on in my life at the moment. Good changes but not without its growing pains.

To those of you who read my blog and relate to the challenges of mental illness, I am sure some of you can relate to what I am about to tell you.

As someone with bipolar disorder, I have moments where I have all the energy in the world. I can multitask like nobody’s business and about 3 hours sleep is all I need. I become super social and everything is rainbows and butterflies.Too bad those periods of mania couldn’t last a little longer!

Currently, I can safely say, I am not going through a manic phase right now. More like a “I don’t care” phase. Not super depressed to the point of suicidal thoughts or anything like that but just simply “blah”. Low energy, lack of motivation, lack of appetite. Content to hibernate in my house. It’s nothing personal…it just is.

I can feel this indifference starting to lift hence why you see this post today. I am slowly but surely starting to have the drive to write again but here’s the thing. I cannot promise consistent posting at this time.

I have tried this before and eventually I have to just go away for a bit. The catch 22 of the disorder. Trying to find balance and consistency. It’s certainly not easy and hands down the biggest frustration I have with bipolar disorder.

So yeah, if you see me fall of the map for a little bit, chances are I am going through a low period.

Like I mentioned earlier, I have been thinking a lot. I have been noting some of the ways having bipolar disorder effects things like my work, interests, activities, my relationships and yes even my faith in God.

Before I really started embracing my faith, I never really gave this concept much thought but I am starting to see that my faith becomes altered depending on which end of the bipolar spectrum I’m on.

For the most part, things are fairly balanced. I take medication. I see my doctors on a consistent basis. Despite that, it’s not a cure. I am still going to have bipolar moments.

When I experience mania, I notice my faith and desire to keep God at the top of my list quite easy. I make note of Him everyday. I am more willing to contribute and going to church is a happy social event for me.

When I am experiencing the depression side of things, I start to question my faith, going to church becomes a challenge, the main reason being, I don’t feel comfortable around people during that time. The public social outing I normally enjoy becomes riddled with anxiety and a lack of interest in general.

Sometimes I wonder, is it possible to be a true follower of God when your views and beliefs tend to shift because of mental illness?

I guess I throw the question out there because I honestly don’t know the answer. All I do know is I believe in God and I believe He is with me always. I have been posed the question “Are you a fan or a follower of God” At this point, I know I am not a true follower if I measure it against a list of criteria, however at the end of the day I do believe.

My fear is, if being a true follower requires more than simply believing then how I am ever going to achieve follower status when my brain has shifts in mood and thought that are sometimes very hard to control?

I would enjoy any thoughts or discussions on the matter. Am I the only one who has pondered this? Are there other Christians out there living with mental illness who face the same struggle?

Take Care ❤

Cavelle

Share The Love!

Hey guys 🙂

I apologize for dropping off the blogosphere in the last two weeks. As some of you know, I started a new job and I have gone from not using my brain in 3 months to now having it stuffed to the brim with information. I love it but it has not given me tons of time to sit down and write. I will get my groove back as I adjust so please bear with me in the meantime. 😉

Now that I have that out of the way, I want to share something with you. I have connected with someone who I feel could help a lot of people here and someone who has helped so many already!

Her name is Shannon Marie and I would like to introduce who she is and what she does. 🙂

Shannon’s story is truly inspiring indeed! She has managed to take the dark moments in her life and turn them around and create her own business in the process. Shannon is in the business of empowering women. ❤

“I guide women to activate healing within so they can live life purposely on their spiritual journey”

Shannon is a Self-Love, Mindfulness & Personal Development Mentor. It is Shannon’s goal to help women like herself leave that dark cloud behind them. As women, it is so important that we lift each other up. Shannon’s mission is close to my heart as I can relate to her past on many levels including abusive relationships and substance abuse.

I invite you to learn more about Shannon by visiting her via the link below 🙂

http://www.shannonhipson.ca/

Also, it just so happens Shannon has a webinar coming up! 🙂

April 7th, 2017 @ 8PM Atlantic Time

Shannon Hipson

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/b8173d85775e0dc2cde7dc3c8da9331e

This would be a great way to meet, connect and support Shannon. I plan to attend myself so maybe I’ll see you there! ❤

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

Mustard Seeds To Mountains

 

Hey guys 🙂

I am feeling so blessed right now. It’s amazing how God answers prayers that you didn’t even know needed answering.

Since turning back to God nearly a year ago, it’s surreal at times how much my life has changed for the better. I have to say, aside from meeting my soulmate, going back to church has been a big part of this change.

Before that moment, you would not have seen me in church. I had no interest. In fact, I was cynical about the idea.

2 Timothy 3:1-5

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

Wow Timothy, brutal words my friend. I can’t say I was all of those things but it stings to read this verse and in hindsight realise, I was one of those people you should avoid. I have always had good in my heart but God was not at the top like He should have been. He was more like a pang in my heart that I kept shoving down.

Turning back to  God was terrifying for me at first. I was at a rather low point in my life but…

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It’s never God’s intention to punish us. We are His children and like any parent there comes a time when you have to let your children go out into the world and hope they will take with them all the lessons you have taught them. God has that same hope and he’s waiting for you despite all of your mistakes and shortcomings. You think this would be an easy concept to understand but it was difficult for me to accept.

When I started going back to church, I became painfully aware of my sins. It had nothing to do with people in the church judging me (a misconception I had about church). On the contrary, I was accepted with open arms…new territory for me. I had never had that kind of support before.

I spent the first few months of church crying nearly every Sunday. The whole experience was overwhelming. All the emotions I felt as I started to face myself for the first time, knowing I had brushed aside God’s love. My faith had been suppressed for so long. I felt shame and guilt but also an overwhelming release of negativity.

As time passes, my faith in God becomes stronger more and more each day. My church is beyond supportive of this relatively new journey. I don’t feel like I am walking alone anymore. There are people who are more than happy to walk with me and cheer me on. It makes me cry for a totally different reason now. Tears of joy for a change.

What a difference it makes when you let go of the people in your life that hinder your faith and in turn, surround yourself with people who are not ashamed to walk with God and actually want to walk with Him. It was a huge step for me to walk through the church doors knowing the last time I went to this church, I was a child.

Now that my faith in God and the support of my church is a constant in my life, there is simply no way I can turn back. I am hanging on for dear life and God is not about to let go of my hand…it reminds me of the first time I was able to swim in the deep end of the pool without having to cling to the edge. God is my swim coach. ❤

What I take away from this transformation is that God is willing to work with even the smallest inkling of His presence in your life. There are times I still have to give myself a shake and realize that no, I am not dreaming.

As you build on your faith, God starts throwing more and more blessings your way. Sometimes we think we have to pray for these blessings and yes, prayer is vital but God I have discovered, is a cool guy. He likes to throw out random blessings just because. Bonus blessings if you will.

That’s what God has done for me and my fiance recently. We’re getting married this summer. Sooner than we had originally planned for.

I thought planning this wedding was going to be stressful but the outpouring of support in my church has made me realise there are truly good people in this world who are ready, willing and able to help.

My fiance and I are not used to this and we don’t even expect it yet there it is right in front of our face and it’s been there the whole time. We just needed to get real with ourselves. Get real with God and be true to ourselves for a change instead of compromising with people who are so far removed from our core values and most of all our faith in God.

If I had one piece of advice for anyone out there on the fence about their faith, just know that God has left you a trail of mustard seeds to follow. These mustard seeds lead to a mountain and if you are willing to climb that mountain, God is waiting for you at the top. Sky’s the limit after that and when God returns, there is a place for you beyond your wildest dreams. ❤

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

The Truth About Lying

liar

Hey guys 🙂

Today I want to discuss the art of lying. No, not so you can become a better liar but so you can spot one.

We have all told a white lie here and there…if you try to tell me you have never told a lie, the truth is, you’re lying.

It is human nature to fudge the truth a bit in order to spare someone’s feelings or avoid petty conflict but if you add up enough of these little lies it can quickly snowball  out of control.

But today, I am not talking about the little white lies we are all guilty of telling. I am talking about the compulsive, pathological liar.

Many of us are being lied to right now and don’t even have the first clue it is happening. This is because the brand of liar I am talking about is a seasoned veteran. In many cases, said liar actually believes their own lies and this my friends, is the most dangerous liar of all.

I am going to tell you what to look for so you can avoid being a victim to lies.

First, we have to address the core reason for lying and ask the question “why?” in order to understand said liar. There is one main reason to lie –

To avoid the consequences of truth. Simple enough right? But it goes much deeper than that.

Are you ready to go down this rabbit hole?…Ok, let’s begin!

Low Self Esteem: 

Most likely, the person in question is suffering from low self esteem. They are stuck in denial about what is actually happening (or not happening) in their lives and would rather lie to themselves and others to avoid confronting the real issue at hand, which in many cases is quite painful and brings shame. Who wants that?

When we think of low self esteem and what it looks like, many of us picture that person with the hunched shoulders, who stares at the ground with the quiet voice and cares little about their choice of attire but that isn’t who I’m talking about today…

The Narcissist:

A lot of us assume that the narcissist has deep rooted self esteem issues and toot their own horn to compensate for lack of self esteem but this is where things get a bit tricky.

You see, the narcissist may have deep rooted psychological issues at their core but they actually believe they are as good as they say they are.

The narcissist believes in the idealized version of themselves that they present to you. They have the answers to all of life’s questions and they are more than happy to share whether you asked or not. They come off as arrogant, nothing is their fault, and they feel they are superior in intelligence compared to you and most people.

The narcissist rarely follows through with agreements and obligations. They may at times even admit they are wrong but the truth is they are paying lip service in order to get you off their back. They don’t truly believe they are wrong so they take on the role of being the “bigger man” in order to make you believe they have emotional maturity and you are in fact the one lacking it.

Along with narcissistic behavior, we discover a plethora of personality traits that bring us deeper into the psyche of a liar.

According to Támara Hill, MS, LPC  from PsychCentral.com there are certain personality traits that make a person more likely to lie.

She lists 13 in fact-

Certain personality traits where pathological lying may occur include:

  1. Narcissism or self-centered behaviors and thought patterns
  2. Selfishness
  3. Abusive attitude
  4. Obsessive, controlling, and compulsive behaviors
  5. Impulsivity
  6. Aggressiveness
  7. Jealous behavior
  8. Manipulative behaviors
  9. Deceptiveness
  10. Socially awkward, uncomfortable, or isolated
  11. Low self-esteem
  12. Tempermentalness
  13. Anger

 

I highly recommend reading the rest of her article. It is an excellent, 6 minute read and jammed packed with valuable information you can use to protect yourself. I will share the link below:

6 Subtle Characteristics of The Pathological Liar

So who else are we dealing with besides the the narcissist?

The Sociopath:

First, I need to make it clear that the sociopath and psychopath are not one in the same. The main difference being, the psychopath has no conscious whereas a sociopath path does have a conscious (although weak) and knows that what they’re doing is wrong yet do it anyway.

Now that we have an idea of the personality traits we are dealing with, I can share with you some of the tells that give away a liar nearly every time.

You hear about micro expressions in particular but today I am going to bypass that because most of us just don’t have the time or desire to be that detailed…at least I don’t! So here are some plain as day signs to look for:

Deflection:

Pathological liars have mastered this art form. If you hit them with the truth be prepared to have them switch up the subject pretty quickly or make the conversation about you. They are good at lying on demand so to simply come to them with evidence of the truth will not phase them as much as you think. Remember, they like this game and are willing to play it for as long as it takes to win.

 Liars Stay Calm:

Almost too clam in fact. They want to be the one in control so they take careful, calm, manipulative jabs at you to stir up your emotions as a way to once again, deflect and make this about you.

Once they have you riled up they will say things like “you’re crazy!” This person will do anything to protect their lie, so they are more than willing to dish out low blows.

Do your best to fight fire with fire by staying just as calm, but know what you are up against because the liar does not quit…they can’t quit because they need to keep their story in check so they deflect to buy time to get their lie back in order…On that note, I recommend you read…

The Swiss Cheese Story:

The liar isn’t perfect and they are bound to fumble at some point. Pay close attention to what the liar is saying and compare it to past stories. Question the liar on this and you will see their mood change rather quickly. They go from being calm and smug to angry and annoyed…if you look really close you can see the steam coming out their ears as they angrily formulate more lies.

At first, the liar will have the answers to all of your questions and please note how quickly the answers spu out. Just like a boxer will let his opponent tire and then knock him out in one punch, you need to do the same with the liar.

Start connecting the dots and question the ones that don’t make any sense. Keep questioning and you will start to see the liar is running out of answers and once again deflection comes into play yet the liar will still not admit defeat…trust me…

Trust Me:

Liars overcompensate and exaggerate their version of the truth. The liar will over use phrases like “trust me” and “I swear” or they will start to question you…”What? You don’t believe me?”

Insult To Injury:

When the liar realizes you are not quite buying what they’re selling they will act insulted that you would question their oh so honest ways. Don’t be surprised if you hear the phrase “How dare you!”

Mixed Bag:

The reason a pathological liar is skilled at what they do is because they know how to mix a little bit of the truth into their lies in order to make the lie more believable. It’s always a smoke and mirrors show designed to keep you guessing and doubt yourself.

How do I defeat the liar?

Simple answer? You don’t but I will give you some simple advice that lets you know you are not in fact going crazy like the liar wants you to believe.

Less Is More:

Do not get into a war of words with the liar. Listen to the liar first and foremost as they will reveal something to you…their lie.

The liar will talk, and talk (especially the narcissist).

As they talk, they will add in all kinds of unnecessary details to answer your questions (which they cannot stand) so keep your lips zipped and your ears open. The more silence you provide the more the liar is put off and feels the need to fill in the gap.

Trust Your Gut:

You may not have all the pieces or concrete evidence but your gut is very sensitive to BS so always stay in tune with that gut feeling because it knows before you do most of the time.

In closing, do not beat yourself up if you do happen to let your emotions get the best of you or you discover you have in fact been taken on a ride of lies. What goes around comes around and even the Bible has some choice words for the liar…

Luke 8:17

For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recharge Your Spiritual Battery

 

battery-clipart-battery-recycling-clip-art

Hey guys 🙂

Today I have decided to take a more spiritual approach to a post I had written about burnout in the workplace. If you care to read that post I will link it here

Just like there is burnout in the workplace, I feel you can also experience burnout on a spiritual level. As a Christian, I try my best to keep my faith strong but it’s not always that easy when you are faced with the struggles of everyday life.

If you have been keeping up with my blog, you know that I live with Bipolar Disorder and not only do I advocate for God but I advocate for mental illness.

Mental illness does not come without it’s challenges and in my case, when you are in the throes of  depression or mania (sometimes both, called a mixed episode) your mental state becomes skewed and leaves you vulnerable. It makes it difficult during those times to reach out to God and ask for His help.

I want share some ideas that I feel will help keep your faith and overall well being strong. Whether you live with a mental illness or not we are all vulnerable to the chaos that exists in this world. It is imperative that we protect ourselves from it. ❤

Pray And Practice Gratitude:

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I know. This seems obvious but many of us will only pray when things get messy. What about when things are going well? We should always acknowledge God in prayer good or bad. Prayer during the good times shows gratitude and practicing gratitude on a daily basis is scientifically proven to improve psychological and physical health. For more information on that I will link you to an article I found –

7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude 

Even if you don’t believe in God, practicing gratitude will strengthen your overall well being and if you live with a mental illness, this is especially important.

For those of you who do practice your faith in God a simple verse from Psalms is a wonderful way to start your day –

Psalm 118:24

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

I also turn you to Proverbs (my favourite book ) –

Proverbs 3:6

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Prayer and gratitude is not only valuable but very powerful. Make a point to include it in your life daily. ❤

If you are in need of prayer or someone you know needs prayers I will link you to my Prayer Requests post. I would be more than happy to pray for you and with you. ❤

 

Keep Your Inner Circle Close:

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If you have God in your life, He is the center of that circle. Never let it stray from there. In general, nurture the people closest to you. If you are living with mental illness I know this can be tough to ask of you but it is important that you do not shut out the people who truly love and care for you. We all need love and acceptance. We all need a hug and someone to tell us “Things will be Ok” but it takes two for this equation to work. Make sure to put your best foot forward to reciprocate that love and acceptance.

Before I found God in my life, I was surrounded by the wrong people. I allowed them to drain me on many levels. When I accepted God into my life and made a point to move closer to my family, I purged a lot of negativity and people out of my life. I have started to keep my life as simple as possible as a result and I must say…it’s the best thing I have ever done for myself.

I am rather selective now of who I allow into my inner circle. In the past, I was a welcome mat for all kinds of negative, toxic influences which leads me into my next tip –

Create And Stick To Your Boundaries: 

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For me, it started with God. I make it a point to not let people get in the way of my faith anymore. My faith in God brings me peace and I refuse to let anyone mess with that.

As a rule, if it doesn’t feel right, if you have that nagging feeling in the pit of your stomach, if you feel something does not line up with your morals and values…stay the heck away from it. Do not let people walk all over you and bring you down to their level of negativity. You are worth more than that and saying no does not make you a bad person. It means you respect yourself enough to know what your limits are.

Creating boundaries will either make people respect you or send the ones who have a problem with it running for the hills…good… If someone has a problem with you respecting yourself then they don’t need to be in your life. Period.

Galatians 6:5

For each will have to bear his own load.

I hope some of my ideas help you to stay on a straight path. These are just a few of the ways you can protect your well being and your faith. I feel the three I have listed are the core values you should try and hang on to most. If you do that, the rest will follow.

In closing, I invite you to share any experiences  you have had that has improved your life and has helped to keep your path straight. Sharing with others is another great way to rejuvenate your spiritual and mental well being. Let’s help each other recharge those spiritual batteries! ❤

 

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer Requests

5641685_keep_calm_and_lets_pray_together

Hey guys 🙂

I was giving it some thought and I can’t believe I didn’t think of this sooner. We offer it all the time in my church. Prayer requests.

Many times we forget that there is not only power in prayer but in numbers. Today I want to extend my blog to anyone who may need prayer today. ❤

I want to offer up my sincere prayers to you. Please feel free to contact me via my contact page and I will send you prayer personalized to your needs. ❤

Matthew 18:20

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

I encourage you to share requests in the comments section as well so that others can pray for you and with you.

If you feel other people need prayer, please feel free to reblog this post. Let’s form a prayer chain today and come together knowing God is watching over us.

God hears our prayers and He’s ready to answer them. ❤

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle