Mental Illness and Faith: Bridging the Gaps

Mental Illness and Faith: Bridging the Gaps

I have a thing in my head. I think of her as being like Iliza Schlesinger’s “party goblin” from her comedy specials. “Your party goblin sleeps in the back of your brain,” she explains. “And she will awaken when you say, ‘I’ll just come out for one drink.’” The party goblin controls your actions and yells things when you’re drunk, to the point that when you wake up the next morning, you’ve got no idea what happened the night before.

The Haven: Beginnings

The Haven: Beginnings

I was 30 years old and had just gotten married when I last tried to kill myself. I was actually in a psych ward on the upper west side of Manhattan and went into a bipolar mixed state due to natural chemicals, rapid cycling, and new medications. It made me suicidal. In a few minutes of fixated psychosis, I climbed up on to the top of a wardrobe in my bedroom, kneeled on the top, and dove off on to the top of my head. I had hoped that it would break my neck and kill me. My luck, it only did one of the two. I shattered my C5 vertebra in my neck and fractured my T6 in my back into three pieces. I needed surgery to repair my neck and they needed to use a mesh wiring to keep everything together. It was a long, gruesome recovery. But I lived and that’s what brings me here today.

Diagnosed at 40 with ADHD

Diagnosed at 40 with ADHD

I’ve been going on a three month journey to confirm my Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis. I’ve been actively trying to figure out why my mind is so chaotic, beyond some of the BPD behaviors. After months of scheduling a series of sessions to determine diagnostically that in addition to the big bad Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), I also had ADHD. I finally was diagnosed. I was validated. My brain was different. I had ADHD. That’s is the reason that for the past 20 years, I’ve failed to get a degree, throwing myself at college math, art, theatre, film, graphic design, art history, literature and writing courses. I’m often unable to even start work and often I drop the class after realizing I can’t perform up to my own exacting standards. This week my DBT team has prescribed me Adderall for the first time. I was born in 1977, and this is the first time I’ve ever been medicated for ADHD and thought some observations could be valuable.

Suicide Prevention: Not just an event

Suicide Prevention: Not just an event

Trigger Warning – Suicidality, discussion of suicideIf you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, my heart is with you. I pray for you, I long that you see your importance, and the necessity of your existence. You are a beautiful and wonderful person, and you belong here. But this blog post may not be for you. With what I’ll say later in this blog, I feel hypocritical saying this, but you absolutely may reach out to me. God Bless you, friend.

Another sleepless night

In The Haven someone is always awake and active. We have people in practically every time zone, so I often hear, "Oh look, the Americans are waking up" from the Europeans and Asians and people from Oceania. 

This is good news for us in some ways. I feel like the majority of people I talk to have massive trouble maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, myself included. This means we have people active all hours of the day! 

I am thankful for this because when my sleep gets screwed up, my mental health declines. I think I'm slight manic right now, which would account for a lot of symptoms I have. 

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