The absolute second that I feel out of sorts in a swirling and crashing way in my mind and body, I run to a phone and call a friend.  If I felt suicidal, then I would call 911 or rush to the hospital (please see next article).  I am richly blessed to have a huge circle of church friends spanning many states that I consider safe individuals who hold what I share with them carefully and close to their hearts.  They want good treasures for me and they love me broken as much as they love me whole. When I get scared and need the storms of bipolar to pass over me, I know I can count on them to be there  for a little while.  It took a town to carry me through the first few years of my diagnosis years back.  I yearned and cried out to God for friends of this caliber to enter my emaciated life.  I was in a pit and they were on the bridge above me.  They held out their loving hands and I grabbed on for dear life.  They pulled me up so that I too might live and breathe in newness of heart and mind. I had to remember one very important thing however...they are not my source.  They were never intended to be my source.  Jesus is my source, my song, and my strength.  God through them loved me back from the black days to sunbeams and river streams.  If I had isolated I would have died.  The devil tried to isolate me from my loved ones and friends but I screamed all the much louder and so I broke free from those death-binding chains.  I had to let others know how deep the pain was in my shredded mind.  I was torched by the illness but now I am in merriment and I sing with rapture.  My heart is ravished by life and to think I would not have made it through the hail and sleet storms of yesterday if I did not reach out to others.  One thing I was always surprised about whenever I would share my struggle...there were always others who would then share what was on their heavy hearts but did not have the courage to speak up until one broke the ice and became transparent.  I also learned the difference the hard way in terms of who was a safe person and who was unsafe.  I asked God specifically for safe, godly friends that I could trust with my life in a healthy and most edifying manner. I also asked God to make me a safe friend too...

"A friend loves at all times." (Proverbs 17:17)

***Remember, Jesus adores you and always take your meds!

C.C. Brighton