Anatomy of a Bipolar Attack

I've been wanting to write this for a couple of days but sometimes you have to let the thoughts just come together as you ponder.  Sunday we had our monthly leadership meeting.  It was officially announced that I was stepping down as coministry leader to concentrate on the newcomer's class.  Not being in upper leadership is less stressful and it allows me more time with my beautiful wife.  With my work schedule I wasn't able to get their early and when you leave the house on Monday at 6:45 am and don't get home till 10, well, the day becomes long.  And Ginger was just taking her medicine and going to bed by the time I got home so we had little time to decompress together.  I had, for the past couple of months, been talking to my leadership, my mentor, and Ginger as well.  More importantly, I'd been praying and seeking guidance from God as to which direction He wanted me to take.  And I love the newcomer class.  It is a humbling experience to see people who come in for the first time and you remember your first time.  And now to look at all the friends (and family) I have there (Ginger and I are the darlings of our Celebrate Recovery) is just amazing.  With this comes less time at the monthly leadership meeting (drop an extra meeting) and you'll see the point of this post momentarily. 

During our meeting we had a "discussion" about small groups.  What is not relevant, but many strong opinions were expressed to the point that Ginger's bipolar began to manifest.  I didn't realize at first, until we were on our way home and I heard the words "I don't know why God is letting this happen."  Simple statement that some may say is just the "enemy" attacking.  But for those that know about hyperreligosity dealing with bipolar, this is what is known at a bipolar statement, the beginning of an attack.  The chemical reactions in her brain are affected by stress, even what seems to be a heated conversation.  She was beginning to fear having an anxiety attack at work.  She had taken her medicine at the first signs of the attack, but the medication takes about an hour to kick in.  At this time it had been about 40 minutes.   If we would have had to stay for the extra meeting, the attack would have become full blown (which explains the paragraph above).

Let me stress something.  This had nothing to do with God punishing her, or "letting things happen".  I've heard these words several times.  I've learned to try to find the trigger quickly, in this case the meeting.  At first I tried to reason and then I remembered my comment of trying to explain quantum physics to a rabbit.  Well I told Ginger that, and she laughed.  That is a very good sign, it means the attack hasn't taken full root.  We were a couple of minutes from home so I kept her laughing (I'm good at this with her).  Let me say something else, people with bipolar do best with structured lives, where things are as predictable as they can be.  We have a specific routine on Sunday and it was altered because of the meeting.  We usually take a nap.  Well, we got home and I said, well, let's take a nap.  We crawled into bed and soon Ginger was asleep.  One of the things she said before falling off to sleep was she was concerned about making her chicken and vegetables for her lunches (which she cooks now!).  One of the things I've said is, if I can take some of the stress away from Ginger I will to help the bipolar.  So she woke up to the smell of cooking chicken and vegetables.  You guessed it, I got up and began cooking.  So our routine got back on track, we watched Celebrity Apprentice, and her mood was so much better, the attack gone.  Sleep helps, but as well the "stressor" (cooking) was eliminated when she woke.  She had to do nothing but relax the rest of the night.

I write all this to inform.  So many people think it is a matter of willpower, or mind over matter.  It's not.  Medicine plays a part, communication takes a part, God plays a huge part, and our faith in God guiding us through attacks has never been met with an empty prayer.  God has always delivered.  No, bipolar hasn't been taken away but God works through me, works through her friends, and works through her.  Ginger is not shy about her bipolar.  She gives her story in the hope that others will find comfort that someone who is Christian and bipolar can lead a fulfilled spiritual life.  We work hard to achieve this and our love grows deeper each day.  This is a glimpse into our life.  People on the outside see our love, see our happiness, but behind all that is alot of hard work.  I'd have it no other way because when you've met your soul mate all the rest is small potatoes. 

Baa

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