15 August 2006

Crazy Zeke's Book of X-treme Prophecy

My daily Bible study guide is taking me through the Book of Ezekiel. I've read it before, but never both a) straight through and b) somewhat carefully. Man, that dude was hard core. And, in all likelihood, mentally ill. It gives a certified crazy like me (bipolar disorder, treated by daily Lithium pills) hope that God can use us not just in spite of our weakness, but through it.


Sonja Andrews said...

I have often wondered what our modern day mental health profession might make of the prophets of old. I wonder what would happen if you took their "symptoms" and described them to a professional what kind of diagnosis you might get? It's an interesting thought anyway ... And I'm glad that God is able to work in and through such things and even through the meds too!!

Or ... here's another thought. Do we just marginalize such folks in homeless shelters and mental health institutions when they won't take their medication? That seems harsh ... but just how do we treat those who are different mentally than what is considered normal? How many standard deviations away from center are we willing to tolerate?

Did you read Christy's (Dry Bones Dance) recent post on a similar topic?

Mike Croghan said...

I just read Christy's post. It's not an easy decision to rely on any kind of "medication" - or it shouldn't be. But sometimes, it's the difference between being able to function and - not. I only pray that more of us who struggle with these issues will have the support of those who will love and trust us, and hold us and our doctors/counselors accountable. I think we do, as a society, reach for medication too often. We need to see it as a powerful tool, but just because a work of art is roughly carved doesn't mean it's always appropriate to grab a chain saw and cut off the knobbly bits. Or something. I'm not sure I know what I'm talking about. :-)

Sonja Andrews said...

We need to see it as a powerful tool, but just because a work of art is roughly carved doesn't mean it's always appropriate to grab a chain saw and cut off the knobbly bits.

I love that imagery!! Beautiful.

I'm going to try to say something ... but I'm not sure I'll do it justice. So please bear with me. I worry that we're too anxious to make sure that everyone "behaves" or is "happy." I wonder sometimes at what we consider able to function. I think that what you struggle with is an extreme example. But then I consider this ... I remember when I was in youth ministry we had this kid who was definitely ADHD and had Ridalin (or something) prescribed. He HATED taking his meds. He felt caught in this vice because when he took them he could concentrate enough to do things like play his guitar and draw, BUT he wasn't inspired he just felt blank. We had a long talk about it one day. I have some of the same problems with my anti-seizure drugs I take. They put me in a fog, but they protect the kids and I from possible accidents when driving. So ... which evil do I choose?

Anyway ... I hope you understand that I'm just wrestling with all of this and have done so since 1989 when I had my seizure. I'm not making any pronouncements or anything. I appreciate your willingness to engage on the issue. And, um, you may have a diagnosis, but you're not a certified crazy!!

MargretH said...

From the intro to Ezekiel - "As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them. As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl; and the four had the same form, their construction being something like a wheel within a wheel. When they moved, they moved in any of the four directions without veering as they moved. Their rims were tall and awesome, for the rims of all four were full of eyes all round. When the living creatures moved, the wheels moved beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose."

I just want to know if Spielberg or Lucas could make one if their next Sci-fi flick. That's just trippy.

John Nash (of a Beautiful Mind - great movie, even better book about mental illness) talks about how the same "voices" that were instilling the paranoia were the ones that helped him with his math. He won a Nobel prize.

Mike Croghan said...

I do understand - we're all wrestling with this stuff. And I will freely admit that the prospect of another months-long bout of clinical depression terrifies me like few things do. (And while another extended hypomanic episode actually has a lot of appeal - God help me - it would not be good for my physical, spiritual, financial, or marital heath.)

However, when I came out of my last major depression in the spring of 2000, I was on three daily meds. Over time, and not without lots of fear and hesitation, I've gotten down to one. Will I get to zero some day? With God's help, I hope so.