Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Peace, Pain, and Prayer

This past week I experienced very isolated moments of peace of mind in which physical and mental pains were both absent.  These times included the relaxed moments just before I fell asleep and the times I spent at a meeting or sharing with someone one on one about the grace and love of God.  The rest of the time I have been spiraling in mixed manic episodes of bipolar disorder.

I have lost the ability to care for my children.  Making dinner, giving baths, helping with homework, and even being in the same room with them is normally inconsistent, however, for the last two days it has been impossible.

The same is true with my own self care.  I must force myself to eat, sleep, and shower.  The last few nights my limbs shook uncontrollably.  My daughter asked me if I was shaking as I brought a spoon to my mouth, spilling milk and cereal back into the bowl.  “Yes,” I said, “I guess I am cold.”  “I’ll go get your robe,” she said.  What she didn’t realize was that the robe would not help because the coldness was coming from with inside of me.

For a days in a row, I surrendered to the Lord, my Higher Power...on my knees, I cursed and screamed and cried, then begged and pleaded for him to help me.  My tears fell on the pages of His Book.  His Word tells me this:
  If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.  Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14, 26-27)
This is what I heard:
God first.
Family second.
Be ready to accept persecution and suffering.

Again, turning to my Higher Power, I searched for peace in His Word and he tells me this:

Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  (James 1, 2-4)
I will persevere.  I am persevering.  Over the last six years I have been persevering, admitting my powerlessness, believing in a power greater than myself who can restore me to sanity, turning my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand him (Steps 1,2, and 3).  Trusting God, cleaning house (Steps 4-10), improving my conscious contact with him through prayer and meditation (Step 11), and helping others (Step 12.)

By "accident" I came across a prayer I wrote eight months ago.  It reads:

     Would you, O Lord, ever completely abandon me? Would you not ever grant my request to live in your loving peace? To beg you for serenity, sanity and soundness of mind is what I do today! This peace that eludes me is ever more maddening!
     Please, Lord, do not leave me in the hands of the demons.  Expel them from my mind.  Drive them to the depths of hell in the name of your son, Jesus Christ, that they may no longer have control of my thoughts, my emotions, my mind.  That you may control my thoughts, my emotions, my mind is my greatest desire.  That the pain and misery of this world may not entangle my soul and suck the joy and fun and happiness from my life.
    I know that you want me to have joy and happiness in my life.  I have that desire, too.  Please tell me that it is possible. Please tell me that there is a way to experience this on this Earth.  Please connect my mind to the path that will lead me to joy and happiness so that I may not cause further misery, worry, pain and suffering to my beloved family.
     Oh, Lord, I beg of you, grant my request as you see fit.  Save me from my diseased mind.  Thy will be done not mine, in Jesus' name.  Amen.

And here we go once again...

My doctor cannot seem to find the medicine that will kill the monster inside my head for more than several months at a time.  I started yet another new medication tonight...

and as I continued to persevere, His Word reveals this to me:
But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it. But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. (James 1, 5-6)

Thus, tonight, I asked Him in faith, without doubts, for wisdom so that I may continue to persevere and not become hopeless and He tells me this:

Hold the physician in honor, for he is essential to you, and God it was who established his profession.
From God the doctor has his wisdom, and the king provides for his sustenance.
His knowledge makes the doctor distinguished, and gives him access to those in authority.
God makes the earth yield healing herbs which the prudent man should not neglect;
Was not the water sweetened by a twig that men might learn his power?
He endows men with the knowledge to glory in his mighty works,
Through which the doctor eases pain and the druggist prepares his medicines;
Thus God's creative work continues without cease in its efficacy on the surface of the earth.

My son, when you are ill, delay not, but pray to God, who will heal you:
Flee wickedness; let your hands be just, cleanse your heart of every sin;
Offer your sweet-smelling oblation and petition, a rich offering according to your means.
Then give the doctor his place lest he leave; for you need him too.
There are times that give him an advantage, and he too beseeches God
That his diagnosis may be correct and his treatment bring about a cure.
He who is a sinner toward his Maker will be defiant toward the doctor. 
(Sirach 38, 1-15)

I am ill and I am powerless (Step 1) and I believe He can restore me to sanity (Step 2.)  This week, I prayed, I listened, and I meditated (Step 11).  I continue to turn my will and my life over to Him (Step 3.)  If not for working Step 3 daily, I would not be alive writing this right now because I have alcoholism and mental illnesses that all want me dead. 

Today my side of the street is clean and I shared with my sponsor about where I am at right now (Steps 4 and 5.)  Everyday this week (and many, many other times) I have been willing and I have humbly offered my petition to God to remove my shortcomings and character defects as he sees fit (Steps 6 and 7.)  

Today, I once again have "given the doctor his place" and I pray, once again, that "his treatment brings about a cure."

I humbly ask that you pray for me, too.  Thank you, dear friends.


  1. I'm sorry you're feeling ill and that the disease is still so debilitating.

    God be with you in this journey!

    It was so hard when I depended SO MUCH on physicians and medication to do what willpower and people and counseling couldn't, and harder still when they failed.

    That experience Dr. Silkworth shared still speaks to me now in such a clear way. I feel deeply this pain and emptiness that you write about, I remember it with a clarity that makes my gut hurt.

    That part in the text, I'm sure you relate as I did... the manic depressive...least understood ... and Dr. Silkworth's relation of the depressive alcoholic whose "probem was so complex and his depression so great, that we felt his only hope would be through what we then called "moral psychology," and we doubted if even that would have any effect."

    God I wanted to die when I read those words, I knew it was me, I felt like there wasn't hope for someone like me.

    I'm so grateful that this program gave me an understanding and a process by which darkness was alleviated!

    I went through so many different types of medication, so many different dosages and combination's -- so much heartache and terror as each failed. As the doctor's just kept pushing new and different drugs and all of it failed.

    I was exhausted and frankly pissed ...all this modern medicine and all these drugs all this research all those specialists and nothing works, nothing was working... I was becoming so hopeless, so fed up with the world...

    I thank God that the rest of the chapters were the key, that someone who seemed to understand in a way I never really believed someone could, had found me right there, and shared with me an understanding of this program that I had never been able or willing to receive before.

    Thanks so much Marie for continuing to share your journey, I pray for the relief you seek to come to you!

    I pray that you continue in this program, continue to seek more to be revealed in the process! I hope and pray that God can send you the relief and the answers you seek.

  2. I will pray, and continue to pray for you. I wish I was there and I would cook, clean, and care for your children until you were ready. I have a dear friend who suffers from this dibiliatating disease too. She has endured years of meds, looking at her life from the outside, feeling like she wanted to participate but couldn't. But the grace of God has helped her survive the suicide of her 18 year old son, and the divorce of her husband two years later. She still deals with demons but there is a peace about her. She smiles a lot, she laughs a lot and for the first time in her life I believe she is happy. I have known her for over 8 years and have watched the growth. I hear your pain but I see your strength, your faith, your will to turn it over to God and I know that he will bless you, faithful servant. Just know that their are people praying for you and traveling with thoughts of you on a daily basis. You are loved child of God.....

  3. Marie, I hope that this time of suffering and pain will be removed. Prayer is a great help. Keep your hope within. All good things will come and this too shall pass.


Thank you for sharing!