My illness once was my life, when I was the bipolar poster boy

When I needed, I needed to know, needed help, needed support, community
My illness was all bewildering—new to a shattered world, my world
When the fulness of my life sunk into my illness
My identity reposed in the drop-in center
When the eyes of all consumers waited upon me
My category slotted me High Functioning: the drop-in center super consumer
When my illness was my life and I befriended NAMI’s salve
My life and acquired competences sent me all across the US
When my story lectured at local, state, national, and international conferences
My recovery article published me in university journal and recovery workbook
When my illness was my life and I was a textbook label, the bipolar poster boy

My illness echoes in my every life outside the doors of the drop-in center
My recovery calls me to thriving stories outside psychiatric textbooks
My illness recurs but ritual chant in archaic language of quaque hora somni pills
My recovery fashions me in the image and likeness of a wholeness I always was
My illness wrapped me in clouds, warped self-image flashing fragments past self
My recovery closes the textbook identifiers written upon a terrible chapter
My illness fades in the clarity now illuminating the mind it once dominated
My recovery lives as a poem, a song, a choir of friends, a cathedral of love
My illness shadows my awareness as a backward glance into the dark
My recovery belies the stigmata that would mark me as unholy, unwhole, ill
My recovery nearly makes me an unbeliever, that there ever was a time

My illness was my life, when I was the bipolar poster boy

Addictions and God-Image

When a person’s centre of interest is jarred and he or she is no longer pointed in the direction they have known, a person is vulnerable to addictions.  This is especially the case when a person’s God-image is lost.  The infinite power of the Deity steadies the soul.  When the God-image is lost, there is an insatiable drive to fill the emptiness.  A person seizes any temporal good at hand.  However, everything that is not God will never fill the emptiness left by a displaced God-image.  So the distraction seized becomes insatiable.  One craves it as a God.  But it is not God.  So a person cannot get enough of it.  This is the origin of addictions.

There are biological factors that figure into addictions.  Alcoholics have an allergy to alcohol.  Other addictions are said to turn on the neuro-transmitter called dopamine.  Addictions give a person a shot of dopamine.  But this shot of dopamine cannot compare to the ongoing peace and serenity of God.  When a person has a God-image in his or her heart, one does not crave the transient pleasure of a dopamine rush.  The Prince of Peace brings lasting contentment and a person feels whole.

This is particularly the case when a person loses a job, or moves to a new location.  Then there are also shocks to a person’s psyche when a new truth is dawning.  All these things shake a person’s soul.  They may lead to a new God-image.  But in the transition period, a person can be vulnerable to addictive behaviour.