Tuesday, February 12, 2008

About Me

Hello! Thank you for visiting this blog, dear Reader. Let me share with you a little about myself and God's mercies to me.

My name is Nancie. I am a Chinese Christian living in Singapore. I was led to seek and know the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour and Lord in 1990 through the instrumentality of two of my ex-colleagues. My life was wonderfully changed when I became a Christian. I went through many challenges just like everyone else, and have been wonderfully upheld by the Lord Jesus Christ through all the ups and downs.

In December 2001, I had a severe relapse of asthma and was hospitalized. In year 2002, I took 2 months leaves to recuperate at home. It was during that period of recuperation at home that the Lord used many encouraging Christian articles, sermons and books to minister to me. I was greatly uplifted by the reminders of God's love and faithfulness. The result of it was the design of a website to upload some of my favourite articles and sermons to share with others.

Thank God for the excellent medical care for my asthma by Dr Phoa Lee Lan from Tan Tock Seng Hospital since mid 2002. As I am suffering from mild-persistent asthma, I have to be on low dosage of maintenance medication life long. Now my asthma is under good control.

In Dec 2006, I had a severe relapse of clinical depression. At first I was thought to suffer from major depression. But I was diagnosed in late March 2007 to be prone to Bipolar Disorder also known as manic-depressive illness, a brain disorder that causes extreme mood swings from very happy or high moods together with lots of energy (and I am prone to over-strain myself during such times) to very low and depressed moods with low level of energy and constant tiredness (at times with severe feelings of hopeless and worthlessness to the point of having suicidal thoughts and tendency).

I think I have experienced these extreme mood swings for over 20 years or so. But I can only remember more clearly of the 10 or so relapses over the last 18 years prior to my recent diagnosis. These are relapses that occurred just before I became a Christian and then the years after. I could remember them more clearly now because my life was changed significantly after I became a Christian. I have very little memory now of my younger days without Christ.

These episodes in the last 18 years usually lasted for a few months before my moods returned to normal. Different from the normal ups and downs we all experience every now and then, Bipolar Disorder's symptoms are very severe. It is a long term medical condition just like diabetes and hypertension that needs to be carefully managed throughout a person's life.

Through this severe relapse in end 2006, I was led to seek medical and counselling help for the first time, besides praying and reading God's Words plus some other helps. I thank God that after so many years of roller coaster rides with extreme mood swings, I have finally understood the reason behind them. To know that I suffer from this medical condition, that it has a name for it, is helping me to learn to manage it better so that I can live for the glory of God and be able to serve Him more effectively.

The medication, by God's grace, is helping to stabilise my mood and enable me be more functional, so that I can continue to seek and serve God. I thank God for Dr Pauline Sim of LP Clinic and Prof Ong Thiew Chai of Tan Tock Seng Hospital for their valuable helps in treating my illness. Currently, I am being followed-up by Dr Pauline Sim and thank God that my condition has improved a lot.

In January 2007, I have received professional help from a group of counsellors who are trained to manage brain disorders such as bipolar, clinical depression, OCD, etc etc and my Pastor also counselled me on spiritual matters. The professional counsellors are trained to use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which is a form of counselling with a focus on understanding how our thoughts affect our behaviours. Bipolar alternates between 2 extreme mood swings ie. mania and depression, and our thoughts and behaviours are shaped by these mania and depression episodes which can at times be very confusing. CBT helps to make sense some of these confusions, and help to pick up skills to manage these mood swings so that one can be more functional.

I am thankful to God for providing me with a team of very compassionate, kind, understanding and encouraging Christian counsellors at Counselling and Care Centre, Singapore from Jan to Apr 2007. My sessions with my counsellor, Sarah (and her team), were most fruitful and encouraging. Through her counselling sessions, I embarked on a new journey of self-discovery, of knowing God, myself and others better. The benefits I derived from my sessions with Sarah continues to help me as I journey on. I am grateful to Ruth for her counsellings and encouragments between May to June 2007, when she took over from Sarah.

From July to August 2007, I was helped by Dr Spencer Lee and Yvonne Ying of Association of Christian Counsellors of Singapore. Now I am helped by my Pastor's prayers and counsels, and that of some of my elders and brethren in my church, besides doing my own reading and researching on the internet to understand this condition and how best to manage it. I am deeply indebted to the above persons for their valuable prayers, counsels, encouragements and kindness during my most difficult times.

I am now learning to look to God and learning to use a combinations of available means which our Lord has graciously provided to cope with this brain condition. You can read more about these coping means/strategies from the category "My Coping Strategies" on my blog.

With God's help, I am hoping to share my journey of understanding this brain condition and God's mercies to me with you, dear Reader. If you know of anyone suffering the symptoms similar to that of my condition, please do pray for him/her and let him/her know that it is a medical condition that can be treated. Do advise him/her, if possible, to seek professional and medical help, counselling help, some natural remedies and other helps. Do not hesitate to tell him/her about this blog.

Just click on the links in the "Label" box on the right to read my postings.

I am in the midst of recovering from a relapse in July 2007 which was made worst by stressful and straining situations in my life in Sept and Oct 2007. I thank God for restoring me day by day and I am a lot better now. I thank God also for my family and friends - for all their prayers, encouragements, support and kindness. In particular, I am indebted to my dear Pastor ie Pastor JJ Lim and my brethren in my church for their unconditional love, prayers, supports, concerns and kind love gifts which enable me to recuperate away from work and also to providentially work on this blog. I realized these are tokens of God's love, mercies and faithfulness to me in this difficult trial. These give me the courage to press on, to look to God daily, and to seek and serve our Lord as He enables me. I am thankful to God for His mercies and lovingkindness to me despite my many sins, failures and weaknesses.

I found it helpful and therapeutic to verbalise my thoughts and feelings and share it with others who can benefit from it. It is my prayers that, God willing, this blog with all its information will be used by our Lord to help others, particularly those who are afflicted in like manner and for their loved ones and friends, just as God has used many information available on the internet for my benefit and comfort as I seek to understand my illness and manage it so that I can live for Him and serve Him.

May the testimonies of God's love and faithfulness, through all the changing scenes of life, will continue to bring glory to Him and some comfort and encouragement to His people.

To God be the glory!

"My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever." Psalm 73:26

4 comments:

Kate said...

I really appreciated reading how God is working in your life.

Please pray for me, as I will for you!

Love,

Kate.

Nancie said...

Thanks, Kate. I am remembering you in prayers. Praise and thank God for His goodness and mercies.

Peggy said...

My dear friend Nancie, You are a testimony of God's love & faithfulness and YOU ARE MORE THAN ABLE & MORE THAN A CONQUEROR! Indeed, the strength of your heart and your portion is God even when Bpd & your heart might fail you, He will not!
You have shown us the mercies & goodness of Our Lord as you share with us your story of wellness & your struggles to maintain functioning as close to normal. You have shown us all that it entails to have a complete package of balance with a well qualified team of medical & spiritual counselors.
You demonstrate how wonderful it is to have support of many: loved loves, family, friends & church!
Again this echoes of how necessary it is to share this MISSION with others while serving you as therapy
as you express yourself, your thoughts, your feelings so it benefits others who are suffering
like manner! It benefits us all.
I pray you receive continual encouragement from others as you walk through this with God beside
you! Thank you for allowing us to
view your beginnings to the present![I think this was one of your first posts, right?]

Nancie said...

Peggy, thank you for your encouragements! Yes, this is one of my earliest post :)

All praise and glory be to God for His mercies to me and the way He is enabling me to cope and live for Him and serve Him. Take care!