At times the voices of bipolar (or even the world for that matter) can be overwhelming. I’m not talking “hearing voices” such as brought on by psychosis, I’m referring to the lies we often hear when in the throes of darkness or when there seems to be no hope. Your head spins and you can’t think clearly. Anything remotely positive seems painfully absurd. The only thing that is appealing or feasible is laying in bed with a pillow over your head, squeezing your ears as would a vice, just in an attempt to stifle the self defeating thoughts. Watching tv will either depress you or piss you off, mostly because you can’t actually sit still and concentrate. It’s worse at night when it’s time to sleep since there is nothing around to distract you. The only thing that has ever worked to shut my head off (besides over medicating and drinking, which are obviously not solutions) is by asking – no, begging – God to help me.
Over the years people have provided encouragement by referring me to scripture and to be quite honest usually the last thing I wanted to hear about or read was scripture because I rarely got it and never believed it. But I always ended up filing a few away somewhere and have found myself searching for them as a last resort for comfort — almost as if God prompted me at exactly the right moment when it would “stick”. All of the debilitating thoughts we have, God has an answer for. He destroys the lies by reminding us He’s got our backs. I admit it, I don’t always feel like reading or looking for anything God has to say and sometimes I think it’s meant for everyone else in the world except me. But I’ve come to realize that’s the voice of bipolar talking when either depression shows up and everything feels hopeless and dark, or during hypomania when it seems crazy to stop and really think about anything. However, here are some scriptures I have found helpful. Imagine the voice of illness shouting in your head, but then envision God whispering one of these promises to you that everything will be alright. It’s amazing but His whisper overpowers the shouting every time. And if the word “bipolar” doesn’t apply to you, exchange it for “world”, “life”, “addiction”, whatever it may be that weighs you down.
Bipolar: “It’s all in your head! You’re crazy! No one believes you!”
God: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Bipolar: “It’s hopeless. Things will never get better!”
God: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4
Bipolar: “ No one cares!”
God: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Bipolar: “No one understands.”
God: “He said: ‘In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry.” Jonah 2:2
Bipolar: “It would be better for everyone if you were gone. You’d be better off dead.”
God: “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8
Bipolar: “You’re a burden.”
God: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Bipolar: “You’re weak! Try harder!”
God: “But he said to me, ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Bipolar: “What’s the point? Why bother?”
God: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.
Bipolar: “I’m losing my mind!”
God: “Be still and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10.
Bipolar: “It will never get any better! How will I survive this?”
God: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.
Bipolar: “God hates you!”
God: “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
I admit I don’t have these memorized but not for lack of trying. I find it very difficult to keep them straight in my head. I used to feel guilty about that because I figured if I was a “good Christian” I would certainly be able to remember God’s words. But for me memorization isn’t the key and I’ve let myself off the hook for feeling guilty about it — I mean, afterall, how many of us can recite the Lord’s Prayer but really have no idea what it means even though we’ve been saying it for decades. So I decided to take the verses that struck me — even just a tiny bit — and write them out on index cards which I now carry around in my purse. It’s comforting to know they are within reach. We can’t forget there is also power from simply crying out to God straight from the depths of our souls and understand there is a whole arsenal of weaponry just waiting for us to use to fight the battles in our minds. Remember — God’s got this. We just have to be willing to call on Him and listen to His promises and use what He lovingly provides — TRUTH!