A Professional and Faith Based Approach to Heal Bipolar and Move an 11-Year Paralyzed Body

From the picture alone you can see where I’ve been and where I never want to go again. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of work on myself in the prevention of going into a hypomanic or manic episode to make sure nothing like that happens again. I’ve suffered almost a loss of identity and I went through a process to find myself again. With stress, depression, and anxiety it heightens the state of the amount of triggers you can have that can lead to be hypomanic or full-blown manic episode when you are bipolar. So you constantly have to put in the work. It might get mentally exhausting but with practice and preparation it becomes easier to handle every day. Thankfully I’ve had a great support system and some that have crossed my path that have saved my life.

I’ve been in counseling for years now and I have learned how to fight off triggers and with bipolar it is a constant struggle. With stress sometimes it causes you to question reality and go up into that hypomanic state. I’ve learned through counseling how to fight through a trigger and ground myself quickly. 

My main triggers come from music. Music is written to be relatable and when I listen to music I closely pay attention to the lyrics. My bipolar and OCD kicks in and I start linking things to my life. I start connecting the dots but from counseling I’ve learned that quickly I have to shift that thinking. I have to remind myself that this song was just written and popular because we all can relate to things in one way or another. Usually the more popular the song, the more relatable it is to the masses. 

An example is love songs and breakup songs could be relatable to anybody in love or going through a tough break up. The song will remind them of the love they have. Or if the break up happened it will make them relive those events and make you reflect back on the relationship you once had. My biggest advice to stay grounded is to just focus on what is right in front of you and what you can do at the present moment. Don’t look back in the past and don’t look into the future. If you’re looking to music for answers about the future because the future is uncertain remind yourself that you’re not gonna find the answers in the song no matter how relatable it is to the outcome you desire or dread.

With all of these obstacles in my way a couple months ago I became proactive to avoid mania and signed myself up for an intensive outpatient program through Summa. This was to find out how to further manage these triggers along with anxiety and depression. I wanted to stay firmly grounded in reality and live for the present moment. The program that I did was three days a week for three hours at a time and I did 12 sessions. In between I met with a counselor weekly for an hour and with my psychiatrist biweekly. 

The tools I learned to cope with the stressors of life were invaluable. Along the way I gained a greater sense of identity and felt that I could believe in myself more. Having a group to open up to really gave me a great outlet of unbiased people to share things with. I found myself handling difficult situations much better than before and doing much better detaching myself from getting emotional in fighting through every stressful situation.

With all that said there still are many moments that I struggle but those moments are far less than what they were in the beginning before I started the program. I’m just lucky that I have a large support system and I have some key people that keep me grounded in reality. I won’t name those people but thank you to those who know you keep my brain here on earth.

I may lose some of you here but I hope not because faith in God has also been a key component in my recovery and staying grounded. At the same time it comes with it’s struggles. Because let’s face it… you all know I believed I was Jesus three times. My psychiatrist said those triggers are always going to be there but it’s just how well I manage them. I need to be able to decipher reality and stay there. 

Maybe people see me coming to God and get a little bit worried but for good reason. They may think it’s triggering but God above all things has grounded me. Because let’s face it, how not a better way to stay grounded when you can believe to just live in the present moment because a lot of life is in God’s hands. 

I’ve been going to Holy Family Catholic Church and I’ve been having a great experience. I believe prayer is powerful and,   just like writing gets me out of my head ,so does prayer. I know you can pray anywhere but I’ve been going down to Holy Family where you can go to the church at any time. 

It’s a beautiful church and during the day a lot of people go into the attached chapel to pray. I take a different approach and ride my wheelchair right up to the center of the church and look up at Jesus on the cross. The church is always empty during the day so it’s a private vast safe place.

I pray for healing of my mind body, spirit, and soul. I’ve asked for forgiveness and confessed all of my sins. I’ve asked for forgiveness for believing that I was him in the past and for healing of my mental illness. For him to help me stay grounded in the present moment, and to live firmly in reality. I pray for people that I love like family, for those that keep me grounded, for all my friends and for peace in this world. I’ve said prayers for physical healing and with that I have promised him that I would give him all the glory if he healed me.

I have attended two intensive healing prayer groups and confessed all of my sins and traded lies that I might believe about myself from these sins for affirmations of truth. I’ve been repeating these affirmations to myself for months. This past Friday I went to the healing prayer Service and mass. It was absolutely beautiful and Father Bob (ironic I know😂) came for it who was actually there for my baptism as well when he served at Holy Family in the 80s and 90s. 

I came into the healing mass believing in the power of prayer. I can’t tell you how badly I wanted healed from bipolar but at the same time I prayed for physical healing while staying in reality. When it came time for people to pray over my body my legs started to feel very warm and when they were done I had movement. Nothing substantial but anything after 11 years is nothing short of a miracle. I stared at Jesus on the cross and gave him all the glory. 

They said you may not get everything back and it may be what’s called progressive healing. I can move my right foot, lift it up, my left foot is hit and miss and I have a lot of control of my hips. The prayer over my mental illness gave me a sense of peace like never before knowing God is in control. Of course that is progressive too, but since Friday, triggers have been rare. I’m more thankful for the peace of mind it gave me.

I’ve also been putting hard work in the pool swimming once a week for an hour as hard as I can. The strange thing is my legs will burn after I’m done swimming for the day. I feel like swimming along with prayer is slowly waking things up but at the same time I’m content with everything I have now. I believe Jesus is capable of miracles but at the same time I want to stay grounded in reality and remind myself that it’s been 11 years and I’m far from firmly planting my feet on the ground. 

I believe in miracles but I’m not going to obsess over it because I don’t want to disappointment of setting my expectations too high. But if a miracle does occur all of the glory goes to Jesus because I am just a man and my name is Adam Helbling. Because when I look to the cross I see Jesus and when I get that image up there it separates myself and grounds me to believe that he is the king of kings and the one that deserves all the glory. I’m just thankful for the people he’s put in my path to heal my mind along the way and for the peace of mind his presence and love gives me. For those that keep me grounded, you know who you are. Thank you everyone for believing in me!


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