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

Recharge Your Spiritual Battery

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When You’re Feeling Discouraged

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Hey guys!

Today I want to discuss something we have all experienced at some point in our lives and that is feelings of discouragement.

I am currently feeling that way. I have been looking for work and just seem to be hitting brick wall after brick wall. It’s times like this when I should definitely be turning to God for His guidance and have faith that He has a plan for me even though I don’t see it right now.

Easier said than done sometimes, right?

So that being said, I have decided instead of allowing the feelings of discouragement to take over, I need to keep my head held high and not give up. As someone who lives with bipolar disorder, it’s crucial I don’t let myself sink into a depression over this so this morning I am turning to the Bible for guidance and encouragement.

I like what Joshua has to say in particular –

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

So true! I should know that but it’s so easy sometimes to get caught up in your own head and forget that God has your back.

Corinthians also has some excellent advice if you’re going through the same thing right now –

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

I have to believe that if you work for the Lord, He will work for you. 🙂

I feel I am also taking these negative feelings and worries and turning it into a positive by writing about it here. I know I am not alone and that many people can relate and perhaps by writing about it I might be able to touch someone who also needs their spirits lifted. That makes me feel good. It’s therapeutic and takes you out of your head. I love writing. ❤

So yeah, if you’re in the same boat, I feel you and just know you are not alone. If you believe in Him, turn your worries over to God. He’s always ready and willing to help. ❤

 

1 Peter 5:7

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

Monday is Mental Illness Survivor Day!

Come share and celebrate Mental Illness Survivor Day! ❤

My Loud Bipolar Whispers

Monday is Mental Illness Survivor Day!

We need to celebrate us! We are all strong and we are all…

SURVIVORS!

  1. If you are a bipolar disorder survivor or any type of mental illness survivor, please add the name and link to your blog in my comment section and I will add your name and link and your comments to the top of my page today.
  2. Also, I will add the name and link to your blog on the side of my page permanently.
  3. Please post a comment about your story and journey of being a bipolar disorder survivor or any other type of mental illness survivor or any other information  you want to add. Write as much information as you want to share.
  4. I want to compile a list of all bloggers writing about bipolar disorder and any type of mental illness.
  5. It will be very valuable for myself and for everyone to have a list of all…

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Mental Break – In Progress Update

Hey guys! 🙂

I know it has been some time since I have written anything here. The main reason being, I have reached a crossroads in which direction I would like to take Mental Break – In Progress.

Technically, I have had this blog for over two years now. The original premise was to create awareness about mental illness in order to combat the stigma associated with it and also to have an outlet and connect with others through something I have always loved and that is writing.

About eight months ago now, I went through some serious life changes and in the process I felt it necessary to delete my blog entirely. In hindsight, I wish I had given it some more thought before hitting the delete button. Two years of written work gone. Just like that!

After considering my actions, I decided no, I don’t truly want to give up my blog so I resurrected it and made an attempt to carry out the original blueprint but something changed…

I changed.

The blog and it’s current format does not speak to me like it once did and therefore I have struggled to write on the topic of mental illness that once came so easily to me.

After much deliberation, I feel I now know the new direction I would like to take Mental Break – In Progress and although I am not looking to turn my back on the original concept, it’s time for that concept to align with where I am in my life today.

As mentioned earlier, about eight months ago my life changed, in the best way possible. On July 1st, 2016 I turned to God to help me for the first time since I was a child.

I was raised to believe in God and went to church from an early age. I said my prayers every night before bed and my father would read the Bible to me and my brothers every night after supper. This would go on until I was around ten years old when my parents ultimately divorced. You see, even though God was present in our home, so was the devil. My home life for much of my childhood was surrounded with mental illness and abuse.

My father was technically diagnosed with bipolar disorder but did not follow through with therapy or treatment. He did not believe that he needed it. My father was also abusive.

Before I go any further, I need to make it clear that I am not trying to say all people with a mental illness are abusive because that is simply not true. The abuse in my family’s case was primarily from my father, whose father and mother were abusive to him and most likely my grandparents parents were abusive to them and so on and so forth.

My mother also comes from a line of family abuse and found herself in a marriage with more abuse. Needless to say, this took a toll on my mother and did not bring out the best in her.

As I entered into adulthood, I would end up finding myself in abusive relationships and I would retaliate with abuse…not my finest hour to say the least but the biggest form of abuse I endured was self abuse.

My entire 20’s was spent in a downward spiral to nowhere and during that time, I lost my way with God. I turned my back on Him. I doubted the word of the Bible, that God was truly watching over me and I scoffed at Christians and organized religion assuming that every church going person, despite their choice of religion, was feeding into a fraudulent, flawed and political agenda.

Now in some cases, that is true and there has been more than one church over the course of time that fits that bill but there are also many that don’t but at that point I just lumped it all together.

Like I said, I turned away from God and I started to focus on things like astrology, tarot cards, numerology…New Age philosophy and the list goes on. I was extremely interested in those subjects and I practiced them. They were my new found spirituality yet at the pit of my gut, God still lingered (although He was a faint light at the time). The thought of a Higher Power still existed in my mind but I attempted to call it everything but God.

Needless to say, during this time, nothing in my life was going right and the self abuse continued to get worse and worse.

When I hit my 30th birthday, something started to change. Perhaps it goes along with starting a new decade of your life. When I turned 30, I cried and I am not entirely sure why. Perhaps it was because I was so far removed from where I thought I should be in life and really had no direction that is until I started this blog.

Oddly enough, being diagnosed with bipolar disorder is when I feel my life truly started to take shape. Many people use their mental illness as a crutch but for some reason, I felt liberated by the experience.

As I started receiving therapy and treatment, I started to notice something. I was changing in a positive way and the people I surrounded myself with were not.

Two years later I would call out to God to help me after finally having enough of the self abuse and the toxic environment I insisted on putting myself in over and over again. It turns out God was waiting for this moment because as soon as I called out to Him, my life changed more than it had in 32 years.

That same day, I left a six year relationship that was not serving either party well and I hopped a plane and moved back to my home town to be closer to my family who had recently in the last year moved back home as well. This would be the first time in nearly a decade that our entire family would be together in person and not spread over long distances and Facebook messaging.

I was prepared to live alone and find myself. I had jumped from relationship to relationship with mild success at best and I was tired of it. I wanted to find me and felt the only way to accomplish that was to avoid romantic relationships entirely.

God on the other hand had other plans for me. When I arrived home my brother introduced me to his friend “D”. D and I discovered we had lots in common and in a short amount of time we found ourselves in love and are currently engaged.

Now on paper it could be argued that I was about to repeat the same mistakes but because I had asked God for help, he not only helped me but blessed me with my soulmate and to be honest, I was beginning to think the idea of a soulmate was foolish and a bunch of fluff.

D and I were on a similar path when we met. We had experienced much of the same hardships in life and self abuse and we both were trying to rekindle our relationship with God and so we took each others hand and started that journey together.

Eight months ago, I would not have fathomed this was possible. I would have told you to save it for fairytales.

So why am I telling you all of this? What does this story have to do with my blog?

Well, it explains the new direction I want to take my blog and that is the direction of God. Just as medication and therapy treats mental illnesses, so too does the word of God. God knows we are suffering and He wants to help you. He didn’t have to help me after everything I had done (or not done for that matter) but He did.

God cannot help us if we do not ask but when we do ask – Wow! He responds in kind. You help yourself by admitting you need help and as soon as you do that, God is so excited to help you.

I want to continue down my new found path with God through this blog and it is my hope that not only can I spread the awareness of mental illness but also the spiritual awakening I am currently navigating. It’s not always going to be pretty. I will stumble and fall. We all do and it may feel like no one has your back but I am here to tell you, God does. You don’t have to agree and I can only speak for myself but I can’t hide anymore and I don’t want to. I want to explore my faith openly.

I hope you will join me on my journey and I look forward to seeing where Mental Break- In Progress 2.0 will take me. I plan to revamp the blog over time to reflect this new path I am on so if you would like, stay tuned for more updates. 🙂 ❤

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Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trail Of Destruction. Stop Being A Victim!

Hey guys 🙂

In my last post I talked about the importance of seeing the positives of mental illness and bipolar remission in particular. Today I want to expand on that and talk about something that I notice a lot of people doing whether they have a mental illness or not and that is playing the victim.

Some people reading this are not going to like what I have to say and may feel I don’t truly understand their circumstances and that’s true, I probably don’t, but what I do understand is the longer you stay a victim of  your life, the further away you are from leading a healthy, stable and happy life and isn’t that what we all want? For some people, apparently not although they claim otherwise.

I stayed a victim for a long time. Especially before my diagnoses of bipolar disorder. Nothing was my fault and everyone else had the problem. I left a trail of destruction miles long and I insisted on staying that way.

The thing is, having a mental illness comes with plenty of challenges but that doesn’t mean it is an excuse to stay a perpetual victim. Truth is, whether you like it or not, there comes a point where you need to own your actions and you need to take responsibility for them. Stop living in the past. Stop playing the blame game and stop using your mental illness as an excuse for everything wrong in your life and for your actions. If you don’t have a mental illness, I know plenty of “normal” people doing the same damn thing.

Personally, I have to wonder if some people in general whether they have a mental illness or not stay a victim purely for attention. I don’t know if this makes sense but in some cases, people seem oddly content to be unhappy. They can talk the talk but they can’t walk the walk.

If you want to be happy in life you need to take a hard look in the mirror. Own up to the role you have played in your life and the role you have played in others lives. Stop being afraid of being happy! Forgive yourself and move on. Your mental illness does not have to define you! If I sound harsh to you then you are probably still playing the victim and if that’s what you want to be then expect nothing to change in your life.

As Einstein said…

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting the same result. 

So yeah, if you want to stay the victim, that is exactly what you will be. If all you want out of life is a pity party…trust me that gets old fast and you can expect people to give up on you just as quickly and rightfully so!

Own your mental illness, own your life! If you truly want to get on the path of a more stable life you need to work for it and you need to truly want it.

I am not trying to say you are not allowed to have bad days…we all have them and with mental illness it can be that much harder to stay positive at times and I am not trying to take that away from anyone. All I am saying is if you want your life to change…you need to change. It really is that simple.

Take Care! ❤

Cavelle

Meet and Greet: 1/13/17

Check out this awesome meet and greet! 🙂

Dream Big, Dream Often

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Evelina and I are Disney bound so that means…it’s the Meet and Greet weekend everyone!!    

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

See ya on Monday!!

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