By Charlotte Donlon
September 26, 2016

During one of my manic episodes, I was convinced there was a conspiracy against me. Everyone was manipulating my surroundings to create a narrative I couldn't figure out. I wanted to know who was in charge. I also wanted to know who was safe.

I texted my pastor at the time to see if he could meet with me. I drove to the bar next to our church on a hot June afternoon and met him at one of the tables outside. I tried to tell him my concerns, but he dismissed me and said, "Let's just pray."