This blog is a life story from a married woman who has enough courage to share how God helped her cope with her mental illness. She attends a Healthy Minds, Cami (Christians Afflicted with Mental Illness), Support group.The group is at Rush Creek Bible Church in Byron Center, Michigan. We have written the material for this group. Please call us at 616.427-0775 or visit us at www.heartfeltmin.org We can help you start one of these needed groups. Go to: If you would like to visit Rush Creek's web site go to http://rushcreekbiblechurch.org/content.cfm?id=338
The Early Years
When thinking about writing about my life for Reflections, I had a hard time deciding where to begin. Do I begin in my childhood that I keep hidden from everyone, or do I start from when I was first treated for my mental illnesses? I decided I should give testimony on how God was with me in my early years to turn me into the person I am today. My elementary years were filled with abuse from non family members and heartache from peers. I was often ignored and told that no one wanted to play with me. It was the beginning of my spiral into deep despair and total dependence on my only true friend- Jesus Christ my LORD and Savior.
I started pulling out my eyebrows and eyelashes and biting my finger nails to ignore the pain I felt inside. I would swing on the swings and talk to God begging for someone to play with. Later in junior high and high school, I was often bullied and bounced around from one relationship to another. I had friends but not really good ones. The same girls that I went to school with growing up also went to my church. My first thoughts of suicide began in junior high. They escalated in high school. I was so stressed out that I would make myself sick. It later started to affect my circulatory system. I had chest pains and was sent to doctors to figure out what was wrong. I realized that it was from stress.
In my senior year of high school I was in an abusive relationship with a very ungodly man. That is when I started cutting myself to relieve the pain from being bullied and from being abused from a boyfriend. That same month I celebrated graduation and went to Fort Leonardwood, Missouri for basic training in the Army. Because I had not dealt with the pain in my life, basic training was that much more difficult. I couldn’t handle the stress well but well enough to graduate from basic training. Because I was in the National Guard Army Band, I did not need to go to advanced training. That August I went back to my abusive boyfriend and started college.
Hitting Rock Bottom & Finding God
In November of that year I broke up with him and started dating my soon to be husband. The following January I hit rock bottom for the first time. I was an inexperienced driver and new little about the roads away from the Jenison/Hudsonville/Grandville/Wyoming area. I had no idea where Pine Rest Christian Hospital was. I told God if He would get me there, I would not commit suicide. By His great grace and a miracle, I landed on their doorstep. I called my frantic family who had no idea where I was but knew I was upset and told them where I was. I was diagnosed with Disassociative Identity Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was put on anti anxiety medication. After several hospitalizations, psychiatrists, and therapists spanning over a 20 year period, I have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder.
What I have Learned
Today I am working full time while on several different medications and receive regular therapy and psychiatric care. God has placed many people in my life that suffer from mental illnesses or who have family members that do. I spent 18 years occasionally overdosing on medications and occasionally cutting myself. I am currently in recovery and have not overdosed or cut myself intentionally for almost two years now. The Lord has taught me to rely on Him and has brought people into my life that minister to me and that I can minister to. I have an open door policy now that when someone has a crisis in their life and they don’t know who else to talk about it with, they can call me during the night or during the day. Healthy Minds was His idea. I am just along for the ride. And what a ride it has been.
The EndRobyn and I have also written a book called Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It is widely read and can be ordered from us. If would like a copy,the suggested donation is $20.00 You can go to our web site www.heartfeltmin.org . Go to donations and click on $20.00 tab. Your donation includes shipping if you are inside the United States. Please also go to the contact us , form and give your name, email etc.
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Thanks so much,
Steve and Robyn Bloem