Hi there, my name is Eric G. Hoff. I am a Christian and I suffer with Bipolar Disorder.
I was saved in 1983 and enjoyed a beautiful honeymoon period with God. Everything was perfect: the weather was always beautiful no matter if it was rainy or sunny; people were perfect whether they were grumpy or funny; and God was perfect whether He was reprimanding me or rewarding me. Then, I went to a party and got drunk and the honeymoon was over. Reality stared me in the face and I realized I had to commit for the long haul.
It hasn’t been easy, but I am blessed to know that God loves us more than we could ever imagine.
I was born in El Centro, California (about eight miles from the Mexican border) and raised in Tampa, Florida. I’ve always moved around, whether I was traveling to Germany to visit family or traipsing around that United States looking for adventure. For the last twenty years I’be been settled through marriage, but still traveled for a bit moving from Bremerton, Washington to Vancouver, Washington then on back to Tampa and finally for the last sixteen years, living in Redding, California. —– We are planning our next move but can’t decide if we want to be on the West Coast or if we want to check out the Eastern seaboard.
I have been in a committed relationship (first we were married and then we divorced but stayed together) for twenty years and couldn’t feel more privileged. I have one son and he is one of the most gentle souls I’ve ever known. He makes me proud. My wife (ex) is the most loving person I’ve had the privilege to know. She loves me even with my mental disorder causing us hardship at times.
God is faithful. He has been patient with me, allowing me to stumble here and there, but always having my back.
I am blessed.
I was diagnosed Bipolar in 2008 and have been on the rollercoaster ever since. I take lithium, geodon, and warfarin every night. And the side effects are insane. I’ve gained 30 pounds, lost muscle strength (cannot even do two pushups), have extreme thirst (drink 3 gallons of fluids a day), have memory loss (what did I just say?), and cognitive challenges (I can’t make sentences like I used to and my vocabulary is limited. This, from a guy who used to write short stories and poetry all the time). These are just some of the side effects from the medications. I can’t remember the rest, OH! and I have the shakes (quite violently at times).
So what do I think about all of this bipolar crap? I don’t know. It’s tough, it’s a pain. But God feels my pain too. He understands, my wife understands, and my son understands. And that is enough for me.