As I live with bipolar, it is difficult to find a balance. I am sensitive to small changes in routine and fluctuations in my body’s rhythms, such as sleep, eating, exercise and external stimulation like noise or human interaction. I love to be with people and I know that I need my community. Sometimes, however, I feel isolated because I can’t handle much before I crash.
Today was no exception. Due to depressive symptoms, I have been on sick leave from work for a few weeks. I’ve spent the majority of my time at home with my husband and myself, and have been feeling lonely. Today, I tried to give myself a constructive outlet into the community by volunteering to read one-on-one for an hour and a half at the local elementary school. I walked the 10 minutes to the school and back, giving myself a little burst of exercise. The kids worked hard to read in English and I encouraged the ESOL learners with a little Spanish. I felt happy and energetic.
When I got home, I crashed. I felt sad, tired, and nauseous. It got worse as the lunch hour approached. David came home and ate with me, and we talked about my morning. He reminded me that I had been anxious about starting tutoring today and had not slept well last night. That’s an additional stressor on what was already shaping up to be a big day for me, as I added exercise and interpersonal interaction to my quiet, still days.
I was discouraged. This is a good venture and it uses my gifts. God, why is this so hard?
David’s advice: take it easy and have some “Thor” time. So I am. I brought the puppy in and can glance at him even now, curled up in sleeping bliss on the loveseat in the sunroom, our favorite room in the house. As for tomorrow, I loved my time with the kids today, but I don’t have to stick with it if it proves too stressful for me. We’ll see.
A song materializes in my mind: “They that wait on the Lord/Shall renew their strength/They shall run and not be weary/They shall walk and not faint…”
Can you make that so God? Literally true? Please.
Thank you for putting me in a community where I can invest myself. It is a gift to live in East Lake. And during this season, so many people are praying for us and have blessed us with their love.
I feel lonely, but I am never alone, for You are with me. You are glorious and true. Forgive me for losing sight of you in this valley.
Strengthen my feeble arms and weak knees.
Maybe today, the answer to loneliness was not reaching into my community. It’s a good thing, but it doesn’t satisfy my deepest heart. Maybe today, the presence of my Jesus in the sunroom is what He was after all along.