God and Mental Illness

When I was nine years old I prayed Jesus into my heart. I read the New Testement and fell in love with Jesus. It was comforting to believe that Jesus was there for me and could hear all my thoughts and prayers. I started praying and reading the Bible when I was nine years old.

As I grew older and became a teenager I found comfort in church. I felt like an outsider in the youth group but I continued to go to church for the comfort. I found comfort in praying and reading my bible. I wanted to get baptized and have a relationship with Jesus. When I was nineteen I was baptized into the International Churches of Christ. I felt like I belonged there. I felt as if I finally had a relationship with Jesus. This gave me great joy and peace within. Then I started to have depressions. I turned to God for comfort but could find none. I became suicidal at times but was afraid of going to hell.

After I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I felt like a spiritual loser. I felt abandoned by God. I didn't understand why God allowed me to go through such hard times. I felt so alone. I couldn't finish school so I felt like a failure. I had a hard time getting work. When I finally found work it was part time and not enough for me to move out of my father's house. I felt depressed and angry at God. I didn't understand what it was about me that was so bad that I had to go through deep depressions and anxiety. Why do other people thrive and live successful lives? Why couldn't I finsh school? Why was it such a struggle to keep a job? Why didn't my father believe in me?I was so frustrated and alone.

Then I met and married my husband. Finally things were turning around. Then I had to quit my job because I couldn't work anymore. I tried to get on disability but was turned down three times. I felt like such a failure. I couldn't keep a job and I couldn't finish school. I tried to go back to school but my depression would kick in and I would have to drop out. I finally gave up on my dream of finishing school. Where was God? He just left me alone to deal with my illness. I wasn't good enough for Him. I used to love Him so much but something changed. I couldn't go to church anymore. I just felt flatlined emotionally. I didn't have a love for God anymore. Then I began to doubt His existence. I began to feel better not believing in God than believing in Him.

When I was manic I would love God so much. His word would speak to me. I would even hallucinate His voice speaking to me. I would hallucinate His presence. I felt profound joy and love for God. When I was depressed I would struggle with my faith and feel abandoned by God. I would still seek God out , though. I would try to persevere through my depressions and rely on God. Then last year I stopped praying and reading my bible and going to church. I just felt spiritually fatigued. I felt tired in the heart. Believing in a God who would sacrifice His only Son for mankind and then condemn most of that mankind to eternal torment in hell just took too much effort. I still loved the idea of Jesus, though. I began to doubt that Jesus even existed. I began to doubt that the disciples existed.

Now I can truly say that I am no longer a Christian. Is this because of my illness? Maybe. I may be experiencing a new form of depression or emotional flatlining that is a result of taking my medication. I don't know. I just feel different now. I can't pray because what good would it do? I don't feel like reading the Bible because it's message just seems hollow. There are too many contradictions. I tried to live like a disciple for over twenty years. I feel like it was a monumental waste of time. I feel like a fool. God never answered my prayers. My desire for him was only fulfilled when I was manic or hypermanic. Meeting my husband and getting married was a coincidence. We fulfill our own dreams. We make our own desitiny. God has nothing to do with it.