A short introduction to the wonderful Charlotte Wessels

Hello!

First of all, I want to say thank you for the opportunity to add to the great work that this website is doing. Okay now for an overview of me, Charlotte Elize Wessels (my second name should have been Elizabeth, but I’ve made peace with Elize)

In one sentence:

I’m a chemical engineer (used to work for Sasol, now completing my master’s degree) who loves Jesus and suffers from bipolar type II

A bit more info:

I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, the Holy Son of God. I live for knowledge, insight and wisdom. I aspire to grasp what God thinks about stuff (including everything from mental illness right through to apologetics. I do this by relying on Scripture, books, real life experiences and the Holy Spirit.

I suffer from bipolar depression type II, I get mixed episodes and also suffer from rapid cycling (more than 4 epis mostly odes a year). Everyday I journey towards knowing and understanding my illness better and then sharing my insights with whoever will lend me their ears.

My passions in life are the colour green, my husband (married him in 2010), bunnies (have about 30 ornaments and paintings of bunnies in my flat), books (non fiction mostly, except for Sherlock Holmes) and shoes. I like reading journal articles about bipolar and then philosophy as well. CS Lewis is one of my all time heroes and one day I plan to take over the world (bwahahahaha)

I need to tell you that I have the most amazing husband and parents including in-laws) They support my dream and carry me through the tough times with their prayers, their shoulders for me to cry on and their encouraging words. They help me keep my eyes on the goal and reminds me of what I know to be the truth when I’m unable to believe it. I don’t have kids, but I do have cats (Issabella and Seattle) and they also contribute by keeping me company and giving their opinion on my essays, blogs and podcasts before I publish them.

Life story (short version, see my blog for the extended version)

Born in 1986 in Kroonstad, I was, apparently, a very cute baby who became a very witty little girl. At around the age of four, I remember looking around the playground and realizing I’m not like everyone else. I started getting depressive spells in primary school and in high school I started cutting as well. I soon rejected God but returned to Him in my 16th year on a hot Saturday night at a youth camp. After school I got my degree in chemical engineering and worked for four and a half years as a plant engineer for Sasol. After that I returned to university where I am currently completing my master’s degree in water utilization (I am looking at how bacteria can be used to clean water). I had a few episodes, both hypomanic, depressive and mixed before I was diagnosed with Bipolar II, the penny dropped after the big crash of 2010, it started the minute after the wedding ceremony. The episode landed me in the hospital for the first time where I was treated for severe insomnia and depression. One morning, after deciding I should paint my face like a cat, my psychiatrist decided he should label me Bipolar II (apparently my prank made the diagnosis easy). Since then I’ve been hospitalized at least once a year due to my rapid cycling. I Also suffer from ADHD and OCD. When something is on my mind I won’t stop thinking about it till I’ve figured it out completely and it consumes me to the point of paralysis. The only thing that can keep my attention is writing, Grey’s anatomy and physical lab work (yes, I wear a white coat and do experiments like a real scientist).

Looking forward

Where do I see myself at the age of 80? On the beach working on my next book while reminiscing over the full life I’ve had so far. Seeing how I glorified God as I followed His lead every step of the way. Oh and of course two great danes lying next to me.

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