Thoughts From MY Cluttered Mind offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Bipolar Disorder myself and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Monday, April 7, 2014

"F" is for Faith #atozchallenge



Faith is a hot topic for many people, and usually the one thing you never discuss with friends, besides talking about politics of course.  In some ways, however, it is the one thing that brings us together and keeps us believing that anything is possible.  When I think about faith, it has many meanings and are quite varied. 

I need to have faith in my doctors, that is without a doubt one of my top priorities, if don’t trust them, then I am not open to what they have to offer in ways of treatment, knowledge and advice.   I have had some that were not worth the space they took up or the time I spent in their office and for many years I gave up on even going to a psychiatrist or psychologist, I had no faith in what they could do.  I was off my medication, which as one would expect turned out badly.  When I did decide to try again, new town and different doctors, it was the same-old  story and was nearly two years before I could finally start to believe in the people I entrusted my mind too.  Today I have a fantastic psychologist who if she ever retires I will follow her around; the woman is a saint in my book.  My psychiatrist, I was referred to from another doctor has been a godsend and figured out that maybe the reason no medications were working for me was because my diagnosis was wrong.   He has promoted more non-medical treatments, and I am good with that.  Faith in psychiatry has been restored, at least for now. 

For me personally though, faith is much more complicated.  I have had times of devout worship and periods of running from God, pissed off and angry.  Today I am somewhere in the middle of the two, not sure what it really means sometimes.  I saw a quote not long ago that caught my attention, “Religion is for people who are afraid of going to hell; Spirituality is for those who have already been there.”   For me that hits home, I have a strong faith, and I believe in God.  I know he has kept me safe and alive more times than I care to mention, but I am more spiritual and find His presence in many places and focus more on that than being a building once a week.  

One last thought about this idea of faith, maybe one we don’t think about often, but I have a lot more lately, involves friends, family and society.  Being able to trust in those closest to us is one of the most important aspects of our existence.  Without faith and trust in those that we spend time with, we are empty in a way.  We need people around us, to share our lives with, to laugh and cry; we were never meant to be alone.  Sometimes it seems easier though and that is when we have lost faith.