While lying on the bed, I’m feeling a deeper sense of my appreciation for God as I ponder thoughts of His love for me. God has helped me so many times. Before this particular hospitalization, I’d stayed out of the hospital for quite some time. I have schizophrenia, a brain disease with several disorders falling under this name.
My illness is a real medical concern! It is not just my imagination, or something I’ve found prayer or medicine alone can overcome. During the last hospitalization, I stayed for over three months. I didn’t have many spells. A spell is when I hear voices, have anxiety attacks, delusions, and a feeling of overwhelming hopelessness all at the same time. When I’m having these symptoms, I cannot see reality. All I know is I am feeling very afraid and distressed.
There were also times when I’d have seizures or convulsions; the cause has not been found yet, the doctors agree. It may well be side effects of the medication. The seizures are not the main problem; they came later, along with convulsions, but they do affect how I think afterwards. After being on the floor, bruising my head or arm, I wonder if my brain is not wild, or empty. Then I snap back to what is.
During my stay at the hospital, I participated in many activities other than regular doctor sessions. I also worked in the wood clinic, entered an arts and crafts contest, went bowling, played bingo, winning the jackpot twice. And I went to the ballet for the first time to see “The Nutcracker.” During these activities, I kept my mind mainly on God. I’d have hard days and easy days, heavy days and light days. But I experienced few spells and learned to generate positive energy, which brought some good to me.
For I remember those wild times when I was strapped to the bed all night. Also, I think about the times I was on the back wards of the hospitals, barely functioning. That was then, but I’m much better now, thanks to God and divine medicine.
My faith in God is a positive help! I have gained more peace and self-control There have been those who helped encourage me in clinics and hospitals as well. I give God the overall credit, for at one point I never thought I would be normal. But I’m becoming more stable. The disease is still in me, but it sleeps at times. And when it’s quiet, I am able to have special times with writing poems, prayers, songs, going bowling with Beth, and out to dinner. Beth is a very supportive friend. I also talk to Lisa on the phone. She lives far away; I don’t see her much. Then I go worship God in a place that gives me peace!
The healing is not quite done, in spite of my times of peace. Everybody wants to hear the miracle story, but the miracle is Christ in me. I don’t call myself helpless or insane. I have an illness that causes me to experience anxiety, mood swings, confusion, depression and hallucinations; sometimes I hear voices.
I have lived with these symptoms for over 12 years and along the way, I hitched a ride with God. He’s still carrying me through life’s highways and byways. God has taught me to be more loving compassionate, honest, competent, courageous and empathetic. I am working on becoming more assertive. I am letting go of my role as a victim. I have a steady prayer life, and I see God in this world. Now He is wherever I am.
As I originally wrote this, I had come back to the hospital. Last night I had to stay awake because I had a test done Saturday at Charter Northside Hospital, and I was hoping they’d find the reason for the seizures. It was very trying to stay awake all night until 12:30 p.m. the next day. I came to the hospital this time due to stressful living arrangements and medication problems. I was hearing other voices, and I was preoccupied with personal and family problems.
On the morning of the test, a beautiful and kind woman took me to another hospital She was very easy to talk to. She was insightful, gentle, and very empathetic: God works through people. With the Spirit’s help, I was able to be cured of my fears. Vivian, the nice woman, helped. I took the last EEG; it lasted about 45 minutes to an hour. I slept through tons of it. I was made to breathe fast, to hyperventilate. It made me dizzy, and I was exhausted.
Even though I took those tests without any real sleep, I was at peace. When we walked outside, it was the last of spring. The ground’s grass praised God, the birds were dancing, and I had peace, no matter the weather. I feel good about myself this moment, for I know truth will win. As I am learning to accept my limitations and build a life on my strengths, I can succeed in the ways of wisdom.
I have no undue anxiety about those tests. I wait hoping for the best. I trust that whatever the outcome, treatment will be effective. God is a helper to us but not a “sugar daddy.” My faith is as good as anyone’s. God doesn’t always give us the miracles we seek, but God is faithful and will forever be in the heart of His children.
I feel I’ve experienced a miracle to be able to recall, to recite, to record what goes on and still love God without blaming Him. I’m just thankful to God for being there for me and for helping me to get to the hospital.
God’s Love for me helps me to feel childlike, secure, brave and relaxed. Yet it can be a seesaw ride.
My illness brings negative thoughts and fear. I can’t lay down my weapons of Spirit and say I’m cured. It’s a continuous process of healing, leaving, and letting go of what doesn’t work. I could never have survived the toils and snares without God. I am glad I can walk this journey called life ‘hand-in-hand’’ with God.