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How My Catholic Faith Helps Me to Survive Bipolar Disorder

Living with bipolar disorder is like a perpetual roller coaster. It’s too hard a journey to make alone.

You Gotta Have Faith, Faith, Faith!

George Michael sang it best in his 80’s song “Faith.” Looking back on the past twenty years, as a woman living with bipolar disorder, I realize what has kept me going — my deep-rooted faith.

I was baptized as a baby and grew up Catholic. Beginning in preschool I learned about Christ and His endless love for me, and I felt His love early on.  At the time, my parents didn’t realize what a gift they had given me, a gift I would need the rest of my life.

Growing up, we went to church Saturday nights, rain or shine. Afterwards we would go out to dinner, which helped when I didn’t want to go.

I attended Catholic school for the first few years of elementary school. I didn’t have the fire and brimstone experience that many other people had. I learned the Church’s teachings began to understand what being a Catholic meant. The Golden Rule says it all.

In high school I was actively involved in our church’s youth group. It was a strong, safe place to embrace my faith. My wonderful group of friends had the same morals I had. I have fun memories those years including pillow fights with our retreat priest.

It was my junior year things began to get rocky. One summer I experienced my first case of the blues. I felt like I was alone on a forgotten island. I could not snap out of it. My parents quickly identified that I was depressed. I was unhappy and sleeping excessively. Both bipolar and depression run in our family. My parents took me to my first psychologist, and I was able to beat the depression. Having faith helped me during this time.

My first manic high was on a cruise ship at age nineteen. I swear God was sitting in the same room. “This is incredible,” I thought. I didn’t want that experience to end.

Read more at Catholic Exchange 

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