After my break, I was sent back to Texas to recover. I spent about 5 months recuperating in the comfort of my parents home. During that time, I read tons of books and visited with one of my favorite people in the world, J. J accepted what had happened and really took the time to talk to me and treat me like a normal person – I will forever be in his debt.
Recovery was proving a slow process…I was seeing a psychiatrist, in therapy, and was making major strides to regain my sanity. Hard work, but I was conquering all the paranoia that had encompassed my mind in the months after the big B.
During my stay, I needed a haircut. As I had lived in my hometown during my graduate studies, I already had a hairstylist who I trusted with my locks and I was excited to see her again. In all the time I had known her, she had transformed from a rebel into a hardcore, born-again Catholic. In her eyes, Jesus Christ was the only way to live and His Word was golden. She loved to quote scripture and attempt to convert people to her church. As I am not religious, I tolerated these invitations because she is very talented with a pair of scissors and I liked her as a person.
I was very selective about telling people of my break and why I had moved back to the area, but I trusted her and as gals do during “hairapy” sessions, I felt that I could trust her with my big secret. I spilled the beans about my diagnosis, but held back little tidbits of the facts to protect myself. She immediately decided to pray over me–in Spanish. I had no idea what she was actually saying, but appreciated the sentiment.
Then, she informed me that I should move back to Texas and give up my evil ways in New Orleans. She had the nerve to say that I wasn’t actually sick, I was “possessed by the devil” and needed Jesus in my life to rid myself of the demons in my mind.
Needless to say, I was taken aback and a little hurt by her words. At that point, I had three doctors whom had confirmed my diagnosis. I was in treatment, I was taking medication and fighting quite hard to be as close to my normal self as possible. Her statement made me question a lot, as I was still paranoid about many things.
I told a few of my most precious supporters about what she said and they told me she was full of shit. Granted, I had dabbled in Tarot leading up to my break, but, I still don’t think it is anything more than a fun card game. However, her statement made me question things. At that point in time, I questioned the possibility that me dabbling in Tarot had brought about bad luck and accelerated my break, but I didn’t believe I was possessed by the devil.
New Orleans is a very spiritually dynamic city. It is old. When you come into the city from away, the energy in the air is palpable. I believe the devil exists and is alive and well in New Orleans, however, there is also a lot of “white light” positivity to be had as well.
Bottom line, people who are diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder are not possessed by the devil. It is a scientifically proven chemical imbalance in your brain and 9 times out of 10, the only way to manage it is through medication, good doctors, and therapy. In my opinion, to imply that someone else needs to find God is rude and unwarranted. You don’t know their life. I believe everyone is entitled to his or her own faith, however, involving the devil into your personal, ignorant diagnosis of another person is dismissive and makes you guilty of a “holier than thou” attitude.
Don’t impose your personal faith on someone who confides in you about his or her mental illness. Prayers and support are nice, but mental conditions are not something you can simply “pray away”. Needless to say, I haven’t seen her since that devil of a day.