I have a question related to confession.
First, some background. I was recently diagnosed as Bipolar which means I alternate between mania and depression. The swings in mood for me happens fast (rapid cycling) and changes occur in very short periods of time. I am getting help now and taking medications regularly, therapy and the like and for the first time, life resembles normal (or what people tell me is normal). Good news!
Since being diagnosed, I have become more active in the church and grown deeper in my love and commitment to Christ, even attending a recent Cursillo (awesome by the way). More good news!
As I develop further my relationship with Christ I have started going to confession more regularly. So here is my issue - While I am better mentally, I have been reminded repeatedly that the medicine is not a cure and I may exhibit signs of Bipolar again.
When I am manic, the Ten Commandments are to me more like a check list than a commandment from God and sadly, I fall into sin a LOT. It is easier for me to go to confession now but there are times when I would have to virtually live in the confessional if and when the mania returns.
I know ALL sin must be confessed but how does the church reconcile mental illness with the need for confession? How do I handle those times when regrettably life gets terribly askew? During those times confession is the absolute furthest thing from my mind. (I am at least able to see events for what they are a little better now)
When I swing back around, I feel so rotten, they might as well put a bed for me in the confessional booth.
I know those times exist for everyone but most people have a greater control over their life and mental state than I do.
So bottom line, how do I live up to the church’s expectation of me as it relates to confession without having a terrible case of the scruples?
May God bless you!