I am severely afflicted;

give me life, O Lord, according to your word. (Psalm 119:107, NRSV)

Having bipolar disorder may not seem like a severe affliction to some. In fact, some people make light of the illness – believing it is “all in our heads,” something we could overcome with more will power or greater faith.

But those of us with the illness do experience it as an affliction. Someone once said bipolar is a most severe form of affliction because with it we often lose the very will to live.

In depressive lows, when the darkness overcomes us, it seems no light of life can shine through.

In manic highs, when we become so enamored by the blinding lights of sensory stimulation, those things which maintain true, balanced life have little room to reach us.

Our hope in the midst of our affliction is found in God’s Word, both in the promises contained in the Scriptures and the Word-made-flesh in Jesus Christ. Though we are afflicted, the Word contains life for us – now and always.

While I have found some helpful words written by others, nothing has shined a light in my darkness quite like the Word of Christ revealed in the Bible. God’s Word not only shares truths about life, it gives us life to face the truth – about ourselves, about the world, and about God.


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