No One Said Remission Would Be Easy
Updated: Jun 21
Hi everybody, and thank you for joining me in my next featured blog. So much has happened since my last on May 12th...let's get right to it!
While my last two blogs focused on the journey of writing the book and finding a literary agent, moving forward I'm going to focus on the reason for the book. That is, telling the painful story of living my entire adult life with Manic Depressive Illness, or Bipolar Disorder as it later came to be known, but also of the subsequent joyful journey of renewing my life in Christ. He is my Savior, Healer, and Provider, and the One who showed me how to get to the other side of a very dark mountain. As the title of the book indicates, it happened when I finally became Grateful in ALL things, good, bad and indifferent. I did it through Faith, Healing and the Gift of Music. It happened once I realized how I loved the Giver so much more the gift.
Wow, how my life changed! I found myself living in remission and able to secure successful work, develop my craft, enjoy and respect relationships and most importantly, embark on a richer faith life. All of those things suffered tremendously before I was able to come to terms with the fact that I was underestimating a vicious disease and what it was doing to me, camouflaging itself as health when in reality, it was slowly wittiling away at all of the above by causing a flawed thinking process and even paranoia. How confusing it must have been to the people around me, to whom I appeared fine, until that awkward point in the conversation that left them scratching their heads, wondering why the run on sentences and expression of fear. These were things that would eventually cause them to leave my life.
For anyone who knows the ugly truths of Bipolar Disorder, episodic thinking does not always mean complete disfunction. Often times, someone with Bipolar Disorder may appear perfectly fine, just making some poor choices and therefore chalked up to immature, disruptive, or difficult to be around. Those people do not know those ugly truths, and were often compassionless. How could they be anything else? They didn't know what they didn't know. I get that now, and I elaborated on it in my book.
So, here I am today, living in remission. What does that mean? It means my work, craft, relationships and faith life are solid. On paper, I have never been happier or more productive, and nothing appears broken. That's what is on the surface anyway. But what is going on when I'm not pushing through five jobs, helping care for a mother in a dementia decline, being a covid teacher and learning to live on my own again after fourteen years, having just left a husband who displayed some of the patterns that caused past trauma.
There were nights over this past year where I would cry myself to sleep with ideation and catastrophic thinking, reliving past trauma doled out by people to whom I gave far too much control, and whom apparently still had some kind of hold on me.
The emotional immune system I spoke often of in my book was impaired again and I didn't address it until recently.
I would love to say that I went through all of it with grace, but why lie? LOL. On the contrary, emotional triggers were going off like land mines in a war, inducing painful moments and tearful, fear-filled, profane rants with people I knew I could trust. Each one left me with a deep scar. Trust me, just because you didn't say it to the hurtful person's face, doesn't mean you're heart is clean.
Was my trauma real or contrived by a cunning and deceptive disease? Boy, that's a great question. If you're asking it, consider being a shrink. That is something I had to come to terms with, but not without help. Yes, I asked God to heal me. I asked Him to make clear in my mind and heart, the truth about the people in my past and present, so that I could put that thinking to rest, and maybe extend the olive branch where I may have made one too many admitted missteps.
Now we all know that Jesus is a Healer. That doesn't mean medical care isn't sometimes required. So, after more than a year of mounting stress and tearful, fearful nights that were now multiplying, I reached out for help, medical help. My brilliant doctor knew just what to do. Though I was trepidatious about changing my medication after years of success, but I could not longer live with the flawed thinking that was escalating. Here's where God showed His Glory.
These transitions can be brutal. I was still working, and praying that it would not cause disruption in my life. God kept me through this process, as He always has. Have you ever looked out a dirty widow you could hardly see through, then wiped it crystal clean and enjoyed the view? That's the best way I can describe what this new regimen has done for me, and God kept His promise that He would not leave me throughout the process.
Has my traumatic past changed? No. Is it affecting my present or my future the way the disease once again told me it was? Also, no. Glory to God Who brought me through another one. Praise Him for His Grace and Mercy.
As with all emotional situations in life, I wrote about it. As I was reliving those painful relationships, I wondered if they would ever be repaired, or would that olive branch remain broken. I guess that's a conversation for another time.
God inspired me with a song, as He always does when I'm working through something difficult. But how do you make the words "olive branch" singable? Lol. You don't apparently. As a songwriter, I look for creative ways to say things we've all heard before.
So, I did some digging.
I learned the Greek goddess Athena had a sacred tree...the olive tree. This sent me writing furiously. Well, this song kind of wrote itself. You can probably put the rest together as you listen to, "Athena's Tree."
Fun Fact: I self-recorded this with a very handy home studio, little over the size of my fist. It's a very basic recording, but it speaks to my heart, and I hope it does yours.
Please look for the corresponding podcasts on Apple and Spotify to name a few.
See you next time. God Bless! (Click below for "Athena's Tree")
© 2021 Maria Eva Jacobs, iwarble music, LLC