In 2007, one year after I founded Living Room, the B.C. Christian News published this testimony I will share with you here and over the next while. During those days I did a lot of speaking and writing to build awareness in the Church. I still think it’s important for our fellow Christians to hear what it’s like to live with mental health issues. It’s especially important for them to hear how God has worked in our life. How else will church friends understand our needs?

THE FIRST TIME I knew I was sick I was 19. Psychosis had taken over my life before anyone, including me, knew what was happening.

It was 1965 and I was a second year student at the brand new Simon Fraser University. During the opening ceremonies my senses were overwhelmed by the dazzling silver of the fresh concrete slabs that made-up the modern architecture.


I felt dizzy everything seemed unreal. I struggled to stay connected with what was happening around me but it was as if I were in a dream world—disconnected. When I was with friends I expounded on deep philosophical ideas, speaking ever faster until they could no longer make sense of what I was saying. My words could not keep up with my fast moving mind. The endless overflow of thoughts would not stop. As well, I was convinced that articles I read in the newspapers and programs I heard on the radio contained messages specifically meant for me, even when they were in a foreign language.

I lived through a terrifying sequence of psychotic thoughts and imagined experiences. That November I was admitted to Crease clinic,  part of Riverview hospital, a large institution for the mentally ill. Over the next year and a half I spent a total of nine months there, thought to be, and treated as, a patient with schizophrenia.

It was not until 25 years later that I received the diagnosis of bipolar 1 disorder.

To be continued. . .