So to start off I would like to tell you this is not Robin. This is her husband, Grant. I do have to just take one moment and tell you one thing. Stories you have heard about me that may paint me in a less than a manly light have been greatly exaggerated. :) I think to boost the ratings. I really don't do that many silly things, say that many silly things or cry at all. I AM A MAN, Manly man. There, glad I could get that out of the way....
I skipped Church today! There I said it. Member of the bishopric and all, I just couldn't go. Spent a great day yesterday in Vancouver at the temple with the Youth from our ward and really enjoyed the day. Felt the spirit and just enjoyed the peace the temple brings into our lives. So what changed? Why in 12 hours could I not go to church? I will tell you my dirty little secret. I am bipolar. Wow, there it is I said it. This is the most public forum I have ever used to say that. It is really terrifying actually to put that out there. Some of you are going to get it and others won't. You know what? I am okay with that.
So what does being bipolar and not going to church have to do with each other? Sometimes nothing and sometimes everything. I will tell you another little secret. I hate crowds. I hate having to put on a smile, if I am feeling particularly down and pretending that all is okay. It really grinds me. So I avoid it and that is how I felt this morning when I woke up. I just could NOT do it. I was having a good weekend and then something changed and I just could not do it. SO what changed?
I will divert for just a moment and talk about something else for a moment. I had a particularly hard day at church last week. Someone said something that just grinded me hard. Don't get me wrong this person had no idea it did or even knew the flaw in their logic. I had relied on the same logic for years and unfortunately it got me no where. This person was talking about someone whom is chronically ill and not attending on a regular basis. They basically indicated that the person was lacking the necessary faith to overcome and attend. WOW. There are some fundamental flaws in that but I will not get into it right now. I will tell you this. If you are suffering from a mental disorder you best seek professional help. No amount of extra scripture study or prayer is likely to cure you. I know miracles happen, but sometimes they happen thru the proper care as well. This is where I said some will get it and others will not.
Let me be clear on one thing. I have a deep and firm testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have seen the overwhelming evidence of God's mercy in my life.
"We must remember that we did come come earth to find our worth, we brought it with us." Ardeth Kapp.
I have often felt worthless, useless and overwhelmingly sad, and on the other side of my bipolar I feel anxious, agitated, and angry. I don't stay up late on my manic phases painting rooms or going on cleaning benders for days on end. I feel anxious and agitated, anger flows freely and with out thought. So where do I fit in in a gospel that preaches Christ like attibutes and I so often fail. I say my prayers, read my scriptures, get priesthood blessings and also see a psychiatrist and take regular medications. That's where I fit in. It is not my lack of faith that keeps me ill but a lack of brain chemicals to balance out the load of human emotion.
I am a child of God like you, I just need a little extra help.
" I testify that no one is less treasured of God than another. I testify that He loves each of us--insecurities, anxieties, self image and all. He does not measure our talents; He doesn't remember our professions or our possessions. He cheers on every runner, calling out that it is the race against sin, not against each other." Elder Jeffery R. Holland.
"Our perfect Father does not expect us to be perfect yet. He had only one such child. Meanwhile, therefore, sometimes with smudges on our cheeks, dirt on our hands, and shoes untied, stammeringly but smilingly we present God with a dandelion--as if it were a rose or an orchid. If for now the dandelion s the best we have to offer. He receives it, knowing that what we may later place on the alter. It is good to remember how young we are spiritually." Elder Neil A. Maxwell.
So when your brother or sister stands at the alter sick and broken with their dandelion and you with your rose, do not question their lack of faith. Embrace them, encourage them, maybe wipe away some of their smudges with your tears of joy that they are there at all.
I would close with a little advice from a sick someone to all out there who may be suffering needlessly through overwhelming feelings of sadness or inadequacy. Seek help! You are not alone in this.