Hello - 29y/o Male Christian Seeks Support And Guidance

I'm a 29 year old believer with mental illness. I grew up in a non-theist household, a child of divorce. My dad left, my mom had custody of me and my sister. I was not parented, just left to do what I felt liked, and mostly what I did was act up on the internet. I started smoking cigarettes at 13 and by age 15 my mom was buying them. Then I started smoking marijuana occasionally. I drank some, too. I gained a lot of weight from the meds for my illness and ended up losing it a couple years later when I switched meds. Now I have extra skin from that, even though I am very fit and muscular.

I started believing at age 25. Really, it was my disease that did it. I started hearing voices telling me weird things about the 'apocalypse' and how it was all my fault, so I got studying in the Bible trying to run for cover. Since then I have tried to do what Jesus would want - walk in His commands and grow, but it is not easy for me. I have had to deal with doubts and trials and all of that, but mostly I try to stay real close to Jesus.

The hardest part these days is a two fold problem. One, I have to take meds for my mental illness, and they take away my physical and mental energy and depress me. I have tried many anti-depressants over the years and none have worked. Although I am excited to try one that my sister just started taking that works for her, when I can get in to see my doctor myself. Also, I have tattoos prominently displayed on my face and hands, which I am removing, but I do not think it is a good idea to go out into public with them, as I may affect someone negatively just by my appearance. So, I almost never go out, except to get my meds, and if I let myself run out of those I'd have to go to the psych ward (or worse), anyway, so it wouldn't do any good to hide myself and let that happen.

I would like to find some level-headed believers here that I could maybe chat with or something. I do have some family support, so that is a real blessing. However, I do not have any real friends to speak of. One thing I didn't mention was that the voices started before a 2 year trip to prison (and then 1 yr on parole). I evaded arrest in a motor vehicle for the second time. There was no "reason" to do it. I didn't have any drugs on me. I wasn't high or drunk. I just thought it would be "fun". It was the second time. The first time I had attempted suicide by overdose about 4 years earlier, blacked out, and ran from the police during that. Anyway, my point was that I don't hang out with the old friends. I have gotten back in touch with most of them, but we just don't seem to get along. I was so selfish back then, and I guess they still are. It's really a shame to be able to speak generally that way, but hopefully Jesus will change them before too long. God knows.

Jesus has really blessed me. It is really nice to know the truth about things. However, I am in need of more support. I would like people to discuss Christian theology with, preferably people that have been believing for a good while. Sometimes I can be moody so please be able to be patient with me. I _try_ to never be rude, but I can be crass when I get real low, so I suppose that's a kind of rudeness.

Anyone out there?
Also I just want to state that here in America there's never a good reason to run from the police. I definitely do not advocate that. And you're not going to do yourself any favors if you choose to. So please don't.
Hi Richard I too have suffered from mental illness and I currently take medicine for it. I just want you to know that you are not alone in this. I too smoked and drank my sorrows away till I became convicted on it (in more than one way if you get my meaning). Christ loves us, even if we can't love ourselves. I know this in my own life. Half my life I hated to be alive. To be free from depression is a gift. My parents also divorced and it effects everyone differently. For me it was a shock. At that age it was like everything I understood about the world crumbled into dust. For other people it didn't affect them the same way.

Yours in Christ,