“I help people, God has given me a gift with Tarot cards,” he said. “God taught you how to read Tarot cards,” I asked with much confusion? “Yes, I help people,” he said.
As we talked he said something about there being multiple Gods and how he has a gift for knowing about the past of others. While I did not further question him on "Gods," a friend of mine did and told him there was only one God above. The man looked confused, but the talk continued.
The man then told me that life has been hard for him on the street because he is a convicted felon and has not been able to get into an apartment or find continuous work. “I even applied for government housing and filled out paperwork for a housing voucher [pause] three years ago,” he said with a smile.
Everything on the outside is not the same on the inside. He battles extreme bi-polar disorder and takes an antidepressant along with Lithium to help cope with the issues he struggles with daily. Despite the medication, he still has manic episodes and said that sometimes he feels as if he were on top of the world, the next day in the bottom of a ravine that he can’t climb out of.
“Whatever you do, don’t stop taking the medication, life will get better,” I told him. He told me that he will continue the prescriptions because he knows what it is like to be without it. He said, “I know those who stop after it starts working think they are better, but they are not.” He also told me about the dangers of drinking while on the medication. I don’t know who his doctor is, but they educated him well. I was pleased to hear about his knowledge about the medications he takes.
Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Kay Redfield Jamison wrote, “I have had manic-depressive illness, also known as bipolar disorder, since I was 18 years old. It is an illness that ensures that those who have it will experience a frightening, chaotic and emotional ride. It is not a gentle or easy disease."