The Bad Side of The Moon: The Darkness and the Hurt of the Bipolar Illness

Posted on March 27, 2011. Filed under: Commentary, Redemption | Tags: , |

There ain’t no need for watchdogs here, to justify our ways

We lived our lives in manacles, the main cause of our stay

And exiled here from other worlds, my sentence comes too soon

Why should I be made to pay on the bad side of the moon.

Lyrics from the April Wine song Bad Side of The Moon

An acute and searing white pain reverberated throughout my being as I contemplated what had been only a few minutes earlier that which I never thought I would ever have to consider. Right off the bat, and because there are so many convergent points of consideration, I will not go into the specifics of the source of this gut wrenching revelation. Besides, anyone who has lived and loved someone who suffers from Bipolar likely understands all too well, the crystallizing realities that shake the very foundations of what you thought you knew, and the fact that everything you thought you knew about the other person no longer applies. In other words all bets are off and, as any expert will tell you, let nothing from this point on surprise you. Anything and everything is now a possibility.

The primary purpose of this post is to share the experiences and feelings that can cascade either sequentially or in a simultaneous roar of thundering progression when the unthinkable happens, and what you need to do in terms of taking a eternal versus an acute view of the events that are rapidly unfolding so as to avoid making the situation worse. Or as another expert so wisely put it . . . you are now the only adult in the family capable of sound decision-making. Take this responsibility seriously and be prudent in all that you do.

Make no mistake there is a bad side of the Bipolar Moon, where the illness takes a myopically and irresistibly compelling control of the sufferer that drives their actions into the realms of shocking and destructive behavior. This of course provides an influencing explanation for said behavior but, it does not limit or excuse them from it. Unfortunately, and as you will discover in even greater depth, the manipulative characteristics of the illness will go into high gear as the Bipolar sufferer will do and say almost anything to avoid facing up to the consequences of their actions. After all, for them the battle has raged inside the limiting confines of their heads for such a long period of time that few have ever ventured out to gauge their behavior in the context of the every day world. This in and of itself can be aggravating, in that they will try and create an illusion of normalcy or conversely pursue a ego satiating high road facade in which outsiders who are unaware of the true gravity of the situation will rush to support their courageousness in admitting there is a problem without actually disclosing the extent to which said problem has impacted those around them.

Besides pausing to accept and then properly deal with the initial rush of cacophonous emotions upon the initial discovery of what has been going on behind one’s back and out of the range of one’s contemplation, this is perhaps the most critical juncture in an evolving and fluid situation.

To start, be prepared to experience the Bipolar sufferer’s wrath when you do make responsible decisions and inform your support network of what has happened. To the sufferer of this illness anything that cracks the illusion of their deception is perceived as a threat, and there is no greater threat than facing reality beyond their own distorted sensibilities and the feeling that they have been found out. This is why it is imperative that you recognize that you will have feelings of anger and resentment (along with shock and hurt) and that in your sharing with others, you make certain that you are dealing from a position of practical necessity with a longer-term view versus simply reacting to an albeit understandable upset. In short, it is still important to remember that the illness does play a role in what has happened and that when the wall between the Bipolar sufferer’s perception and reality comes down there is significant exposure and a corresponding risk associated with the self-condemnation they will inevitably feel.

For me, I have no illusions that I will for the next few days and perhaps even weeks, experience the emotional aftershocks of a devastating situation in which I find myself an unexpected but necessary participant charged with navigating the challenging waters of a life and family turned upside down as a result of mental illness. This being said I do truly believe that through prayer, patience and constructive reflection, as well as the recognition that there will be periods of anger and dismay, there is another side to this dark tunnel. In fact I think I can see the first rays of hope shining through.

It is for this reason it is important to understand that the acknowledgement, understanding and proper venting of one’s emotions – and yes you will need to vent, is essential to maintaining an important foundation of equilibrium that will provide the initial building blocks of recovery and ultimately victory.


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Sometimes an interview takes you to unexpected places . . .

Posted on March 4, 2011. Filed under: Personal Growth and Freedom, Personal Spirituality, Redemption | Tags: , , , |

Sometimes an interview takes you to unexpected places . . . this has to be one of the most powerful segments that I have ever done, which is something given the people I have had the privilege of interviewing over the past 2 years.

Joining me last evening to continue the discussion that was started on our February 17th broadcast with RAW: Revelations of Authentic Women creator and visionary Janee Harrell, is one of the amazing five women who are featured on the program, Denai Vaughn.

Denai, who’s frankness regarding the physical abuse she endured during her childhood, including the fact that even when she had the courage to speak up none of the adults in her life believed her, delivers an inspirational perspective including how she has an adult has gained a new perspective on intimacy and her walk with God.

Remember to use the following link to access the on demand broadcast “RAW WomenTV: Revelations of Authentic Women (Meet Denai Vaughn),” as well as check out the RAW WomentTV Show website, which airs on networks across the US on Tuesdays and Sundays.

Meet Denai Vaughn:

Denai & Family

Denai Vaughn is a self-proclaimed perfectionist – the best of the best. If she is all she claims to be, then why does she struggle with low self-esteem and rejection? Will Denai conquer her battle to not be the best, but to be HER best?

RAW WomenTV Media Bite:

Be sure to check out the dedicate RAW WomenTV Section in both the PI Window on Business and Light of Love Blogs.


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If She Knew What She Wants . . .

Posted on January 31, 2011. Filed under: Personal Growth and Freedom, Redemption | Tags: , , |

Note: This is a post from my blog Bipolar His (A Personal Diary of a Non-Bipolar Spouse)* in which I discuss the gift we have through freedom of choice, supernatural love and of course recognition of and belief in the eternal value of another human being.

On my own I do not have this capacity to love unconditionally, but through God and the grace born by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross I am empowered through the guidance of the Holy Spirit to be more than a conqueror . . . and in the process of this renewal as I reach out to another I myself am ultimately saved.

* also be sure to check out the corresponding Bipolar Hers blog, written with honesty and courage by my wife Jennifer who has just recently been diagnosed as being Bipolar.

No sense thinking I could rehabilitate her
When she’s fine, fine, fine
She’s got so many ideas traveling around in her head
She doesn’t need nothing from mine

lyrics from the song If She Knew What She Wants by Jules Shear

The lyrics from the song cascade in an whirlwind of simultaneous recognition at both the challenges and melancholic ache one feels when you love someone who suffers from Bipolar disorder. This is especially true if you have always lived your life on the deepening principles of self-reliance and a belief in the freedom we have as human beings to exercise our own wills and chart the course of our lives.

I used to think, and within this context, how could anyone be conflicted to the point of not knowing what they want? Note the reference to the words used to.

Do not get me wrong, I still firmly believe that we are all given the great gift of free choice however, not all have the faculty or ability to use this freedom in the manner it was intended. Perhaps this is the lesson that I have had to learn being a partner in what is called the couples illness.

It’s funny but before Jennifer charted a new course which started with recognizing and then confronting the illness that for most of her life has colored the lens through which she viewed the world, she would often times in a fit of rage accuse me of controlling her. The basis for these arguments centered most around the frustration I would feel (and express) when yet another financial time bomb would go off leaving me scrambling to level the family ship on an even keel and make up for lost ground.

Some have a style
That they work hard to refine
So they walk a crooked line
But she won’t understand
Why anyone would have to try
To walk a line when they could fly

Nothing of course could have been further from the truth as you begin to realize the futility of trying to contain or minimize the damage that results from a rapid cycling of highs and lows. In fact there are times that you feel completely powerless because of the undeniable force that encompasses the one you love.

I’d say her values are corrupted
But she’s open to change
Then one day she’s satisfied and
The next I’ll find her crying
And it’s nothing she can explain

I am not talking about a deliberate cessation of decency or an outright abandonment of values, nor am I looking to provide anyone with an excuse for explaining away intentionally contrived bad behavior. Although it is the lack of clarity between this shifting moral line that separates the two, that obfuscates a true understanding of the irrationality with which you are dealing. It is as if you are flying in weather where the line of horizon that divides the earth from the heavens has vanished into an indiscernible haze of at times paralyzing uncertainty. You just do not know what to do anymore, and you certainly do not feel any sense of control or power.

Now some would suggest that you just leave, which given the fact that 90% of all marriages in which one or both partners is Bipolar ends is divorce, seems to be the ultimate choice or perhaps act of power one can exercise. But here’s the thing, when you love someone, and it is not a selfish love where the focus is on how that person makes you feel, there is a genuine caring that transcends simple emotion.

The undeniable pull of commitment that is based on something more than romantic love that reaches within a soul of a man that is neither the product of need nor the acquiescence of personal values in favor of martyrdom, but is instead rooted in the recognition of and belief in the eternal value of another human being. It is a supernatural love, where seeking a fleeting feeling of self gratification takes a back seat to the promises of a shared tomorrow.

It is in the promises of her sparkling smile and the crinkling of her furrowed brow when the sweetness of her vulnerability surfaces past the the muted undertones of extreme behavior that provides the evidence that this tomorrow is more than a hoping against hope mirage. It is elusive at times and for the time being to be certain, but it is real and it is with this power of free choice that I run the race . . . but not alone, for she is there with me. As long as we take this journey together, while there will be setbacks I am sure, together we will cross that line of realizing our potential both as individuals and as a couple.

The fact that Jennifer is beside me perhaps shows that she does after all knows what she wants!


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A Reflection of Forgiveness and Understanding: A Lesson Learned from the Pat Robertson Remarks

Posted on January 30, 2010. Filed under: Bible Study, Commentary, Redemption | Tags: , , , , , |

Given the recent court decision regarding the Westboro Church’s right to disrupt funerals for soldiers, I am reminded of the following article I wrote about Pat Robertson’s comments pertaining to Haiti, and how the tiny Caribbean nation was deserving of the catastrophes that befell it in 2010.

Are remarks such as the one by Robertson and, the Westboro Group’s actions hurting the Christian Faith in the same manner that Islamic extremism is hurting the Muslim religion?

“For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”

Isaiah 64:6

It is both wonderful and amazing how God speaks to each and every one of us through the circumstances of our lives to teach us and deliver us to a new understanding of His word.

Just this past week, shortly after giving an on-air interview where I discussed my journey from humble means to earthly riches to being virtually penniless and then coming back – I need a rest from just writing about the experience, never mind living it – and the amazing grace and guidance of God in my ever maturing Christian walk, my words were “tested.”

Specifically, a number of promises that were made to me were not followed through on by the individuals who made them.  The old me of course would have looked at this failure to deliver as being the epitome of irresponsibility in which the “say what you mean, and mean what you say” edict would have governed my response.  Not a lot of forgiveness in that attitude, and even less understanding.

Of course after years of operating within the realms of the corporate world, old feelings like a bad habit can resurface in the form of reactive judgment.

Fortunately and of course thankfully, God in His own immutable way opened my eyes, as the next day the Isaiah 64:6 verse literally jumped of the screen hitting me square between the eyes.  I now think that I know what it must feel like to be on the receiving end of a Max Baer punch (see Cinderella Man).

The most significant, and unavoidable truth is that no matter how far we have come in our Christian walk, or how many deeds of service we have performed in the Lord’s name, when we choose to step outside of His grace we are all the same.  Specifically, our works and opinions, our accomplishments and view of the world is distorted by our sinful nature.

Now do not get me wrong, the broken promises to which I had referred earlier do not suddenly become acceptable actions. What changes however, is the manner in which we both view and respond to these everyday occurrences of human fallibility.  A view which takes into account our own failings and shortcomings that continue to exist no matter how far along we are in our Christian journey.  In short, 2 Corinthians 12:9 (My grace is sufficient for thee) swings both ways in terms of the offender and the offended.

Besides providing me with a much needed perspective, this also gave me the insight I needed to respond to the remarks by Pat Robertson regarding the Haitian crisis.

Yes, I must admit that my initial reaction to the Robertson comment in which he had suggested that the disaster in Haiti was self-inflicted justice, was one of moderate disgust.

Known for his “holier than thou” admonishments to those in misery and crisis that they are getting their “just desserts,” the evangelical leader of The 700 Club has not always endeared himself to many.

Tantamount to kicking someone when he or she down, what is most troubling about Robertson’s proclamations (re judgments) is that they seem to indicate that he somehow knows the mind of God.  That unlike everyone else, he can find reason for certain tragedy through a spiritual connection that extends far beyond the rest of humanity.

I am not suggesting that there isn’t consequences for our actions, nor am I saying that perhaps from a factual perspective there are not issues of sin.  What I am saying is that sin in any form is not distinguishable in terms of degrees or reach.   Pat Robertson is as much a sinner as I am, and I am as much a sinner as anyone else in the world, including those that live in Haiti.

It is only through God’s grace that I am redeemed.  Therefore, and in the spirit of Matthew 7:1 which clearly states “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged,” perhaps Minister Robertson would be well advised to revisit his remarks.

In the meantime we, being held to the same standard of Christian values and edict, should offer Pat Robertson the very compassion and understanding that has been absent from his own words.

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Innocent Blood by the waiting kind. – posted by The Waiting Kind (thewaitingkind) –

Posted on October 20, 2009. Filed under: Personal Spirituality, Redemption |

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A Powerful Video With An Even More Powerful Message . . .

Posted on August 4, 2009. Filed under: Personal Growth and Freedom, Redemption |

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What I Believe . . .

Posted on June 14, 2009. Filed under: Redemption | Tags: , , , |

I Believe . . .

“That religion is not a buffet of varietal beliefs that one can pick and choose from based on situational convenience or personal proclivities.”

I Believe . . .

“God did not create us to die, but to live in relationship with Him for all eternity.  Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross re-connected a fallen world with our eternal destiny to be in fellowship with God.”

I Believe . . .

“God has provided through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary and the Holy Spirit’s indwelling within us the Strength to Overcome, and the Peace to Persevere.”

I Believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and I accept Him as my Lord and Savior!

Jon W. Hansen

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16 (King James Version)

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. . . Whose Love Transcends Our Iniquities

Posted on April 22, 2009. Filed under: Personal Growth and Freedom, Redemption | Tags: , , |

“He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise”. So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.”

Luke 7:13-15 (Nelson’s NKJV Study Bible).

The above scripture is found in Luke, and it tells the story of how Jesus raises the son of the widow of Nain from death. While the events in and of themselves are telling, I was moved by its meaning in terms of our salvation. And in particular, the reference to Jesus touching the coffin.

The corresponding commentary for verse 12 tells us that “Funerals were normally held the day of death because keeping a body overnight rendered a house unclean.” We are then told that when Jesus touched the coffin in verse 14, it indicated that “He preferred helping the dead man to remaining ceremonially clean.”

This is a powerful statement, one that despite countless readings eluded me until this morning. Jesus did not consider being ceremonially clean more important than reaching through death and restoring the young man to life.

Praise God, this is also a message of the Cross, where Jesus defeated death and through His victory on Calvary reached out, and continues to reach out to us through our iniquities.

Though your sins are like scarlet . . .

In Isaiah 1:18 God said, “Come now, and let us reason together, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

Jesus’ raising of the dead son tells us that no matter where we are in life at this very moment, no matter what transgressions we have committed, He will reach out to us through the defilement of our sinful condition and deliver us to a new life . . . an eternal life!

There is no longer any need to hide in shame, nor is there any reason to continue carrying the heavy yoke of transgression. This is the true message of victory and of a Love, God’s Love, that transcends our iniquities and places us upon the firm foundation of His salvation.

And like the son of the widow of Nain, He has raised us up from death to glorious life. Spread the Word . . . we have been redeemed! We have been saved!

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