Birthing My Book: Bringing Delight in Disorder to Life

Having conceived and nurtured a memoir for almost a year, only to have it soundly rejected, it felt much like a miscarriage. I went a year without writing a word. It was only when I enrolled in an intensive discipleship training program that I again started to bring words to life, or, more accurately, let the Word come to life by cultivating the soil of stories.

Still, I wasn’t ready to come back to my memoir. It was too personal, too painful, too raw. Instead, I moved onto fiction – drafting a trilogy of short stories – “Life,” “Liberty,” and “The Pursuit of Happiness.”  More than the quality of the narrative (which is still quite unfinished), the discipline of daily writing as I created characters, developed dialogue, and polished plot, gave me increasing confidence that I had a “way with words.”

Then a very tragic thing happened. A young man I had never met committed suicide. He was playing family board games one minute and the next he was in his room shooting himself. The young man’s name was Matthew, son of Rick Warren renowned pastor of Saddleback Church and author of the best-selling Purpose-Driven Life.

My initial reaction was to take to my bed. I didn’t get up for three days. I read what people within the church and outside of it were saying. Some of it trying to be nice and compassion. Some of it downright ugly and mean. Nearly all of it lacking a clear Biblical understanding of mental illness that would drive a person to suicide.

I decided I needed to re-write my memoir. I also knew I couldn’t do it alone. I shared the idea with Leanne Sype, a blogging friend and editor, to whom I had pitched my trilogy. Very soon, she became as passionate about the project as I did. With Leanne’s help, I worked through a second draft, and a third (and in some cases fourth and fifth). With Leanne’s guidance, I pitched it to an agent and went to a writer’s conference to see about pursuing conventional publishing.

We prayed for a clear sign and got it almost immediately. A resounding no. Undeterred, Leanne encouraged me to pursue self-publishing, helped me navigate around some shark-invested waters of vanity publishers. She introduced me to graphic artist Nicole Miller who also has a heart for the Lord and a distinct eye for graphic design. Soon, we had a book cover. Nicole then moved on to a video for our indiegogo campaign where we exceeded our goal.

Along came another young faithful servant, Christina Tarabochia, who took the text and shaped it into various formats uploaded at Smashwords (and soon, for Amazon and Barnes & Noble). Christina helped explain some of the technical aspects of getting our book in the hands of the readers and has been an invaluable resource.

Now that we have a downloadable e-book (soon to be in print), we are only entering another season of the larger “Delight in Disorder” mission. Over the past few days I have been contacted mental health and church leaders from across the country to help us spread the word — to bridge the distance between faith and mental illness. I’ve already received two speaking invitations and am building some very fruitful relationships.

Much has been done — Facebook author page, Twitter account (indy_tony), media kit, business card design, e-mail and phone contact) and much remains to be done (website upgrade, speaking engagements, reviews). I have no idea where God will lead now that the book has been birthed. I only pray I’ll do my part to be a faithful stewardship of the Word calling me to share divine delight in the disorder of the world.

Write your favorite scripture on a canvas for your dorm room. It fills up wall space and it will be a good encouragement.

Birthing My Book: Cultivating the Soil

The years 2009-2011 are pretty much a blur for me. I was on a high dose of psychotropics. I was still recuperating from the effects of E.C.T.. I was dealing with deep depression due in large part to a lack of purpose since going on disability.

After my first attempt to write a spiritual memoir was rejected by publishers, I stuffed it in a dresser drawer and quit writing altogether. I tried some gardening, wheeling aging veterans to worship, painting dairy barns, cleaning furnaces — anything to be somewhat productive and stay out of the pit.

Nothing helped. At least not much. In December of 2010 I enrolled in a partial hospitalization treatment program and was introduced to a relatively new therapeutic approach that was proving successful among bipolar patients. It was called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).

I was less than impressed.  I found DBT to be a rather basic blend of pop psychology and generic eastern philosophy.  While I benefited from the support of group therapy and met many compassionate caregivers, I left the program feeling it had fallen short, eager for something more in-depth and, if possible, rooted in my own Christian tradition.

Thanks to the advocacy of a family minister, we discovered a program called Shepherd’s Fold. Originally designed as a re-integration program for prisoners adjusting back to family life, it had become more a discipleship center where men could study deeply the Scriptures, receive Christian counsel, and develop work and personal habits that might carry over for them to become better husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers in Christ.

I enrolled at Shepherd’s Fold in September of 2011 and immediately began to adopt the schedule, the tasks, and habits they had carefully designed to promote spiritual well-being. While I struggled with the structure, and my pace at work and in chores was particularly slow, I found my overall mental health improved. Most importantly, I was able to read and reflect on God’s Word for hours each day.

I began to write again.  My letters home to my wife were often 30 pages and up (and sometimes I wrote 2 or 3 a week). I began a correspondence with a former colleague in ministry who sent me his sermons and I would respond with lengthy replies. In addition to daily journal entries from Scripture readings, I did a number of research papers on issues with which I had been dealing. After eight months in treatment, I was asked to write a “spiritual autobiography” and I filled over 125 hand-written pages. My writer’s voice was returning.

Sadly, my time at Shepherd’s Fold came to an end in August, 2012 as I left the program early.  God only knows the complete story of why it didn’t work out as we had hoped — to promote family reconciliation.  But it is clear that though the soil seemed barren, there was much cultivation.

Cultivating

Birthing My Book: From Conception to Miscarriage

Finger  Lakes Country. An hour or two from Rochester.

On June 13, 2009, I was driving along the scenic shores of the Finger Lakes region of New York wondering what I was going to do with my life.  I was 45.  I had spent most of the last two decades serving as a pastor while battling bipolar disorder. At my best, I had time and energy left to enjoy family life with my wonderful wife and four beautiful children.  At my worst, I either laid under the covers in a dark bedroom or frantically pursued plans ill-conceived and left undone.  I looked out the window and prayed for vision.

Suddenly, it came to me. I would write a book about bipolar and the faith that either fuels us to distraction or saves us from self-destruction.  In less than 20 miles, I conceived of a collection of devotions, inspired by the Psalms and a title — from Sheol to the Highest Heavens: 101 Devotions for Persons with Bipolar (and those who love them).  By the time I pulled into the driveway, I had most of the introduction in mind (which has remained largely the same), and some thoughts on one devotion (which is now the “Epilogue”).

Over the course of the next six months, I poured through the Psalms and wrote 1-3 devotions a day.  Some days as I felt like working more, I would re-write earlier devotions.  By early 2010, I had a manuscript I just knew would be embraced by countless publishers.  I bought a copy of the Christian Writer’s Market Guide, found 15 publishers I felt were appropriate and sent out quickly composed queries.

I waited.  And waited.  And waited.

Out of the 15 queries I sent out, I received a total of one response – a two sentence form e-mail.

It was as if I had a miscarriage.

I stuffed the manuscript in my chest-of-drawers under a pile of junk mail, unfolded underwear and mis-matched socks.

I didn’t write another word for over a year.

The Bible says, “Without vision, people perish.”  I was dying on the vine.  My mind was consumed with grief which actually felt a lot like nothingness.  Each day, I sat in my recliner and stared at the ceiling.  At night, I slept fitfully, listening to BBC radio through my pillow speaker — a reminder at least that life went on — somewhere.

Meanwhile, my wife was fed up.  Understandably.  Here we were, living on a fruitful homestead, financially secure, with four adorable children and nothing to do but delight in the Lord and love one another.  What was wrong with me?

I tried many things – counseling, gardening, volunteering, working with men from the church.  Something was still not right.  We searched our minds for an answer. Was I over-medicated? Did my overdose damage my brain? Or the E.C.T.? Was it my illness? Or just me?

Only God knew.  And for some reason, God was not giving us the answer.

(image above from Jenny Russo)

“It’s the End of the World As We Know It (and I feel fine)” by R.E.M. in Delight in Disorder (the soundtrack)

We married and moved to a three-room row house in South St. Louis.  Steam rising from asphalt. We passionately loved and more passionately fought. Out of our conjugal clash a child was conceived.

Seeking safety, we moved to the countryside and I became shepherd of a frozen flock. We welcomed our baby home to a Noah’s Ark nursery. I turned her first week into a music video – “God’s Masterpiece.” After a week, I was spent (or thought I was) and retreated to ancient texts and tired truths.

In the disorder, there were moments of delight and we conceived again.  Our graceful pilgrim. We followed a call to a church looking for an infusion of youth.

The delight became dangerously disordered.  It was the end of the world and I was bouncing off the walls. A light fixture fell and I was convinced it was a sign from God.

The next day, I found myself in the seclusion room of a psychiatric hospital.

That’s great, it starts with an earthquake
Birds and snakes, an aeroplane, and Lenny Bruce is not afraid

Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn
World serves its own needs, don’t misserve your own needs
Feed it up a knock, speed, grunt, no, strength
The ladder starts to clatter with a fear of height, down, height
Wire in a fire, represent the seven games
And a government for hire and a combat site
Left her, wasn’t coming in a hurry with the Furies breathing down your neck

Team by team, reporters baffled, trumped, tethered, cropped
Look at that low plane, fine, then
Uh-oh, overflow, population, common group
But it’ll do, save yourself, serve yourself
World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed
Tell me with the Rapture and the reverent in the right, right
You vitriolic, patriotic, slam fight, bright light
Feeling pretty psyched

It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine

Six o’clock, TV hour, don’t get caught in foreign tower
Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn
Lock him in uniform, book burning, bloodletting
Every motive escalate, automotive incinerate
Light a candle, light a motive, step down, step down
Watch your heel crush, crush, uh-oh
This means no fear, cavalier, renegade and steering clear
A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives, and I decline

It’s the end of the world as we know it (I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine (It’s time I had some time alone)
I feel fine (I feel fine)

It’s the end of the world as we know it (It’s time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (It’s time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine (It’s time I had some time alone)

The other night I dreamt a nice continental drift divide
Mountains sit in a line, Leonard Bernstein
Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce, and Lester Bangs
Birthday party, cheesecake, jellybean, boom
You symbiotic, patriotic, slam but neck, right? Right

It’s the end of the world as we know it (It’s time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (It’s time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine (It’s time I had some time alone)

It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine (It’s time I had some time alone)

It’s the end of the world as we know it (It’s time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (It’s time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine (It’s time I had some time alone)

It’s the end of the world as we know it (It’s time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (It’s time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine (It’s time I had some time alone)

(It’s time I had some time alone)

(“It’s the End of the World As We Know It (and I feel fine)” is the ninth song on my autobiographical Spotify playlist Delight in Disorder)

Our Delightful Indiegogo Campaign

The indiegogo campaign for our mission Delight in Disorder is now officially over and it has been a great blessing, in many ways.

First, the numbers …

Our indiegogo site has had 615 views, so word about the mission has spread and will continue to spread.

29 contributions (ranging from $25-330) were invested in the project.

We exceeded our mission goal of $2000, with a total of $2,190.

Next, the testimonies

I contributed to Delight in Disorder because a) I want to support Tony, and b) I am working to make mental illness less of a stigma.  Having worked in the mental health field, I realize that, like cancer, mental illness hits people from all walks of life, all ages and backgrounds.  Knowledge, awareness, and compassion are really called for here.  I hope you will contribute to Tony’s worthwhile cause –Debb Stanton, http://thesunshinefactor.net/

I’ve really been moved by Tony’s writing on his blog as he shares so honestly, humbly, and often humorously his experience with his mental illness and his faith.  I believe Tony has an important contribution to make to the church in teaching us about life with bipolar, from the inside, with a faith perspective. — Joy F.

After reading a draft copy of “Delight in Disorder,” it was my privilege to be able contribute both financially and prayerfully to the publishing of Tony’s book. Having suffered from depression in the past myself, and been treated less than sympathetically by those within the church, I knew there was a great need to bridge the gap between sufferers of a mental illness and the ones who should be showing the greatest compassion and understanding. Tony’s book does this. It is an honest, warts-and-all story of his ongoing struggle with Bipolar disorder. It is my ongoing prayer that God will use this book to encourage those suffering from Bipolar or any form of mental illness, promote compassion and understanding within the faith community and bring glory to His name.  – Lyn C – Sydney, Australia

Tony’s testimony of God’s faithfulness and love to him in the midst of his disorder will  greatly encourage those who read it.  This is not a “here’s how you do it” book, but a “here’s how God really did it” book. I hope it opens the eyes and hearts of God’s people to follow God’s lead in ministering to hurting people.   – Gary M.

Finally, the lives touched

 I just spent the morning getting to know a gal who is in the trenches of a heavy spiritual battle at this very moment. She’s fresh out of drug rehabilitation, looking at incarceration from past choices that she’s trying to clear up, and going to counseling with her non-medicated bipolar husband, all while FULLY knowing the Lord and clinging desperately to his promises and his will for her life… I was actually able to mention Delight in Disorder to her and share a little bit about the book and the mission. I showed her just the video on the campaign page and she started to cry. It’s already touching lives, my dear.  (message sent to my editor)

I appreciate what you’re doing with this ministry you’ve started. We have a son who has battled depression on and off since late elementary and sadly the church has sometimes been the last place we wanted to talk about it!  Keep up the good work—the church needs your message as much as the “disordered”! – Pam L.

The message from Tony’s story has moved me to reflect on my journey with my eating disorder, to remember how God saved me from death and to see how God continually pulls me back from the ledge. I had never thought about why God keeps doing that. Because He delights in me. Even in my disorder. Leanne Sype

So what happens now?

As grateful as we are for the blessing of the indiegogo campaign, we know that God has blessed us to be a blessing to others. We have much to do. In the coming weeks, we will be finalizing the text to submit for publication.  As advance copies become available, we will first honor our commitment to our contributors and then recruit key book reviewers to whom we can send copies to help spread the word.  We will seek out marketing consultation to determine how best to release the book so it gets in the hands of as many as God intends. Before long, we will be making arrangements for a book tour beginning in March, 2014.

What can you do to help?

1) Pray for the Delight in Disorder mission.  The indiegogo campaign was just the first step in what we pray will be a long and fruitful journey.

2) Follow our progress.  The best way to do this would be to “like” my Facebook author page – https://www.facebook.com/awaywithwordsforyou .

3) Stay in touch.  Share your stories and perspectives of faith and mental illness.   (My e-mail is tony@awaywithwordsforyou.com.)

We’re off to a great start in our journey.  May God bless us all along the way.

book cover 1thumbnail image

The Buzz (prompted flash fiction)

om: Do you want to lift weights?

David: “Are you sure you want to do that before the game?”

Tom: “Yeah.  I’ve got energy to burn.”

Tom placed three circular 10-lb weights on either side of a barbell and began to curl.

Tom: Did you hear what Pam said to Jennifer in Algebra today?

David: What’s that?

Tom: She said she was going to break up with Tad.

David: Seriously?

Tom: Absolutely.  Now’s your big chance.

David: I don’t know.

Tom: What’s not to know? Strike while the iron is hot.

David: What does that even mean?

Tom sits down the barbell.

Tom: You got any french fries?

David: You’re not going to eat before the game, are you?

Tom: Just a snack. I’m hungry.

David:  You can check the freezer.

Tom grabs a bag of frozen fries out of the freezer, and sets the fryer knob to “high.”  He then starts galloping around the room.

David: What are you doing?

Tom:  I told you.  I have energy to burn.

David: You’re going to burn yourself out.

Tom: I can’t help it. I can’t sit still. Hey what was he lecturing on in biology today? I was busy writing a story.

David: The decomposition of the human body. What’s your story about?

Tom: Oh, I’m writing a parody of our class. It’s called, “No Biggy.”

Tom stops running.  The oil is bubbling.  He places a handful of fries in the burner. Stepping back, he tilts his head to the left.

Tom: Hey, what’s that sound?

David: What sound?

Tom:  That buzz.  Is there a bee in here?

David: I don’t hear anything.  Hey, Tom, why don’t you sit down?

Tom: I will. But where’s that damn bee?

David:  Tom!

Tom: What?

David: Sit down.

Tom: Okay.  First, where’s your salt?

David: You can check the cabinet above the stove.

Tom opens the cabinet drawer.  Spices come falling out. Tom jumps back.

Tom: What the hell?

David: Tom, let me get it.  You sit down.

Tom: You guys needs some organization.  Just give me just a second.

Tom starts to pull out the spices out of the cabinet.

David: What are you doing?

Tom: Just give me a minute. You’ll thank me later.

David:  Stop it, Tom. Sit down. Now.

Tom: Where is that damn bee!

Tom walks over near the fryer and leans over. There is a loud splash. Tom jerks his head back.

Tom: Son of a bitch!

David moves over and unplugs the fryer.  He grabs Tom by the shoulders. 

David: We’re going to the hospital.

Tom: No. It hurts. But it’s not that bad.

David: Something’s not right, Tom. You’ve got to see somebody.

Tom: I’ll be okay.  Just guide me to the sofa.

David: I don’t know.

Tom: Come on.  I’ll be fine.

David takes Tom by the arm and leads him to the sofa.  Tom takes a deep breath.

David: How you doing?

Tom: Perfect.  Couldn’t be better. Just. Could you do me one thing?

David: What’s that?

Tom: Would you kill that damn bee?

 

Honey Bee

from JLD Webfocus 

This story was sparked by a writing prompt from the IU-South Bend Creative Writing Club, with help from a random word generator from Text Fixer (serving over 37 1/2 people).

Reaching Out with “Delight in Disorder”

When I first conceived writing a spiritual memoir about my faith journey battling bipolar disorder, I had no idea where it would lead.  It took almost four years for the seed to really germinate.  In March of this year, after the suicide of Matthew Warren, I sensed a greater urgency that God was calling me to share the hope of Christ with my brothers and sisters who wrestle with mental illness and foster greater compassion among my brothers and sisters in the faith community towards those of us with “disordered minds.”

When God gives direction, He also paves the way for us to follow.  God guided me to Leanne Sype who first helped shape my disordered devotions into a marvelous house of meditations.  From March – July, Leanne helped me craft a second and third draft.  Once we felt we had a good working draft, Leanne helped me write a query and synopsis to see if a conventional publisher might pick us up. August and September was a “pruning season,” as God snipped away at branches that would not bear fruit.

In late September, after much thought and prayer, we came to the conviction that God was leading us toward self-publication and that the best path would be to recruit a team of gifted specialists to see that the final product was more “delightful” than “disordered.”  Lyn came on as a prayer captain. Nicole was brought in to design the cover and produce the video. Kevin has served as music consultant.

Friday night, I unleashed my Facebook Author Page, which already has 104 “likes.”

Sunday night, we unveiled our mission campaign on indiegogo – Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission which, as of this writing, has attracted 149 views, has 10 followers, and 5 funders for a total of $300 (towards a goal the $2,000 goal).

More than the numbers, however, God is reaching out through the mission campaign to share hope with those battling mental illness and promote compassion within the faith community.  Here are two testimonies that have already been shared –

 I just spent the morning getting to know a gal who is in the trenches of a heavy spiritual battle at this very moment. She’s fresh out of drug rehabilitation, looking at incarceration from past choices that she’s trying to clear up, and going to counseling with her non-medicated bipolar husband, all while FULLY knowing the Lord and clinging desperately to his promises and his will for her life… I was actually able to mention Delight in Disorder to her and share a little bit about the book and the mission. I showed her just the video on the campaign page and she started to cry. It’s already touching lives, my dear.

I appreciate what you’re doing with this ministry you’ve started. We have a son who has battled depression on and off since late elementary and sadly the church has sometimes been the last place we wanted to talk about it!  Keep up the good work—the church needs your message as much as the “disordered”!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

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For more information on our mission campaign, click on –

Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission

Stereotypes Suck

Reblogged from Writings and Ruminations:

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Bear with me while I have a moment…

I had an interesting conversation with someone very close to me who said, “The thing about stereotypes is they exist because more often than not, they’re true.”

It’s hard to argue with that.

The problem is, where does that leave the people who don’t fit the stereotypes? The people in the minority. Or even those in the minority of the majority?

Read more… 830 more words

Leanne marvelously battles the stigma of mental illness not with the sharp spears of political debate, but with the smooth stone of story. Thanks, Leanne!

Motherhood, Music, Memories, and Other Musings: Mental Health Monday

For our round-up of readings about mental illness this week, I’ve decided to adhere to the time-honored principle for writers – “Show, don’t tell.”  Below are some of the best mental health postings around the blogosphere this week, with excerpts and links to read more.

Confusing Motherhood” (psychosisrus)

I can’t help but sit here in immense pain, wondering how the hell it got to this? I am stuck! I never really had the motherhood 101 course. No real mentors in this area. All fly by the seat of my pants – make it up as I go, bullshit. I guess I have been doing okay, I just want to be better. More effective. Will you say “That is just PROOF that you are a good mom. You always want to give more – be more for them.” Okay, I get this, to a degree. But here I am, stacking all my insufficiencies one on top of the other. I’m stacking my deck. No one else is! Why do I keep going back here? Why? Because I am so worn out, in pain, tired, frustrated, and COMPLETELY overwhelmed.

Daile’s Mix Tape – Waltz #2 (XO)” (kissmeoutofdesire)

 It is a simple song in terms of composition, not needing an orchestra of instruments and relying on a guitar and Smith’s husky voice. My heart breaks to listen to this song knowing that the musical genius who produced it, suffered from mental health and addiction issues and ended his life through self inflicted stab wounds – if that doesn’t tell you he was a tortured soul, I don’t know what would.

Faith and Sight” (The Consolations of Writing)

I.
“Am I okay?” the question asks itself.
The mind retreats within to make reply
And eyes forever dart towards the shelf
(The cupboard open, fruit left out to dry).
Unsettled souls put back the oil of joy
And rifle through supplies to find the seed.
The memory bank’s a plastic, moulding joy,
Responsive to the anxious way we knead,
New lies put in for truth, new fears for peace.
For we transform the past each time we check,
And, moulding former years, these years can’t cease.
There’ll always be new jokers in the deck,
New ways to stop ourselves from singing praise
And counting blessings in these blessed days.

Depression” (Le Chatelier’s Principle)

Because my grades were dropping, my parents started to put more pressure on me to pull myself together, and my friends started to wonder why I was pulling away from everyone, and finally, finally they got me to realise that something was wrong.  I went to see the school counsellor and she said she thought I might have depression.  I suppose I should have realised sooner, especially since my father had been going through pretty much the same thing, but it was still hard to accept this.  To realise that there was really something wrong.  That was kind of scary.  But it was also a relief to realise that I was not alone, that what I faced had a name.  And to realise that there was hope.

Triggers, Triggers, Everywhere” (Nodus Tollens)

I recently had to attend a family gathering, which thankfully was at my own house so I actually had a bit of a chance of getting away to my own space. As we all know, family gatherings are just full of questions such as:

“Are you losing weight?”

“Did you gain weight?”

“Why aren’t you eating?”

“Are you on a diet?”

“Why aren’t you in school?”

“What are you doing now?”

“Do you have a job?”

And etc etc etc.

Chaos Storm Thoughts” (Documenting Descent)

I feel like there are people keeping me in the unknown. There is a storm brewing in my minds full of egotistical delusional thought. Do I really think that I am important enough for people to conspire against?  People come and go, people hide, and when they are hidden, I can not help but think it is so they can strike against me. People disappear from the online world, people that once liked me in real life, but due to the tides of fate, may not hate me, but want nothing to do with me, even though I care enough to check up on them occasionally and smile with their happiness and jokes.  But one day they are just gone? without mention, rhyme or reason, they just… :poof: and it bothers me, I do not know why it strikes me so to my core. Perhaps it is due to my time in foster care, where people would come out of nowhere and side strike you, or perhaps I really do, in someway believe myself to be important enough to conspire against, I don’t know, all I know, is last year I didn’t feel like this, or well maybe it is better to say I didn’t feel this strongly. But it least I can count the number of people who really dislike me on my hands, so it is not over ten yet?

On Mental Issues and Joking About Them” (kojitmal)

It`s hard, when everything`s in your own head. It`s not like a broken arm where you have the cast. It`s not like crutches, or  a band aid, or even like the telltale signs of chemotherapy in case of cancer. These are at least somewhat more socially accepted. It`s okay to call in sick to work when you can`t get out of bed thanks to a flu. It`s not socially accepted to call in sick to work when you can`t get out of bed thanks to depression.

 

Support Mental Health Awareness

image from Angelica Cambridge

Share “Delight in Disorder” with the World

Having served in ministry with madness, I now have a mission.  And I can use your help.

Help me share Delight in Disorder with the world.

Delight in Disorder is a resource we have long needed. We all need to hear from people who have struggled with mental illness and have found, indeed, that nothing can separate us from God’s great and redeeming love. This book is honest about the experience of living with bipolar disorder, and it’s full of compassion toward the many people whose own moods betray them so treacherously. It’s also full of hope—not the cheap kind we use to varnish over the truth about ourselves and about this life we live. But the only kind of hope that can stand when everything else falls: hope in Christ and his grace.  Amy Simpson — Author, Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission

We are on a mission to share the hope of Christ with people who, like me, wrestle with mental illness.  Our mission is also to foster the compassion of Christ within the faith community towards those that have often been  like bruised reeds broken by false accusations and wrongful judgments.

To find out more about our mission and, as the Spirit leads, offer your support, go to our indiegogo site by clicking on the following link –

May you be blessed as you are a blessing,
book cover 1