This week, Carrie Fisher, along with her mother, Debbie Reynolds, told her story on Oprah. Most famous for the role of Princess Leia of the Star Wars movies, Carrie suffers from serious mental illness that requires regular electroshock therapy as well as daily psychiatric medication.
She described how the shock therapy “blows apart the cement” in her mind, allowing her to function. She talked of thoughts out of control, embarrassing behavior, and, despite a productive professional life, decades of coping with manic-depression, now called bipolar.
Watching, I remembered.
I recalled my own behavior with friends in Kansas City, attending the 1977 National Conference on Charismatic Renewal. Thoughts out of control. Embarrassing behavior. Jerry flying out to drive back with us.
Several days, then, in a locked psych ward. An electroshock treatment. Heavy-duty drugs. Diagnosis: Manic-depression, a life-defining disorder.
But the memories are long ago and far away. As if they happened to someone else. And I remembered again the miracle.
God has touched my biochemistry. It’s been more than thirty years since I took medication. My life has been defined not by mental illness, but by increasing emotional health. After recovery from that psychotic episode, I got a Masters in Social Work and saw clients for twenty years. Now I write and speak on emotional health.
God has raised my head and filled my days with light.
What miracle has he done for you that you’ve forgotten? Has he given you a spouse who has spoken life to you? Has he healed your cancer? Perhaps, like King David celebrates in Psalm 40 and me, he’s pulled you out of the miry clay, putting your feet on solid ground.
Let’s not forget.
Dear Papa-God. You are the God who saves, the God who brings us into wholeness. May we remember your work today.