The enemy pursues me,
he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness
like those long dead.
So my spirit grows faint within me;
my heart within me is dismayed. (Psalm 143:3-4)
Nothing crushes the spirit like a prolonged depression. I’ve experienced several bouts of deep despair in my journey with bipolar. One occurred shortly after our move to Upstate New York in 2009. I had left my job, going on disability. In many respects, work had been my life, so I was left feeling I had little reason to get up in the morning. Often, I didn’t get up. And when I did, I would only make it as far as the couch where I would collapse again and remain for much of the day.
I found this condition appalling. Yet my personal disgust would not awaken my spirit so I could rise from the dead and get back to life. Like the Psalmist, my heart within me was dismayed and nothing seemed to help.
Fortunately, some things fell into place, such as the conception of this book. I got out of bed, off the couch, and rejoined the land of the living. Writing has been and continues to be therapeutic for my mind and spirit. Healing words flow as I look for ways to describe what God is doing in my life in spite of, and even as a result of, the appalling conditions of my life. Dismay that could lead to despair instead turns to hope.