Alcoholism and Mental Health – Episode Eleven The Bipolar Writer Podcast

This is one of those episodes that makes me happy as it is just me, the mic, the ideas in my head, and you, the audience. On January 1st, 2021, I recommitted to my sobriety after losing five years after my mother’s death. Alcoholism has a history in my life, and I discuss how it came into my life, how it is not great to mix alcoholism with mental illness, how I used alcohol as a coping mechanism, and so much more. What I want from these episodes is to learn through my own experiences, and if it reaches one person, then that is okay. I have done what I set out to do. 

Buy Me A Coffee

It is my hope for The Bipolar Writer Podcast to become fully listener-supported. You can become supporter of the podcast here You can also support the podcast by clicking the button below, where you can buy me a coffee. This also goes towards future writing projects. I also have a Patreon that you can find below, and some of the tiers come with some fantastic things like a mug once you’re a supporter for three months. This also goes towards writing projects, so please, if you can, become a supporter of James Edgar Skye and The Bipolar Writer brand. As Patron and Buy me Coffee grows, I will be adding amazing things like free books for the two that I have written, one is my memoir and my novella, both in the mental illness realm.

Interview with Kasey Claborn, Ph.D. The Bipolar Writer Podcast

Episode Details I always want the community with mental health/mental illness community and those on the front lines trying to change the way mental health and mental illness are treated here in America. Today, I am honored to introduce you to The Bipolar Writer Podcast Kasey Clabron Ph.D., a research scientist and clinical psychologist. This is her episode. About Casey Claborn Kasey Claborn, Ph.D., is a research scientist and licensed clinical psychologist. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Dell Medical School. Dr. Claborn received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Oklahoma State University and completed her internship at the University of Florida Health Sciences Center. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, where she crossed-trained in HIV and addictive behaviors at the Alcohol Research Center on HIV. Prior to joining Dell Medical School, Claborn served as an assistant professor in psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University. Dr. Claborn conducts research in the field of addictions and develops programs designed to improve access and delivery of substance use treatments. Dr. Claborn is licensed to practice psychology in Texas and Rhode Island. She is a member of PsyPact, which allows her to practice telehealth across state lines.  Where to Find James If you are looking for all things James Edgar Skye, you can find his social media visiting https://linqapp.com/james_skye The Bipolar Writer Podcast is listener-supported, and for as little as $5 a month, you can help support the mental health advocacy that I do by visiting http://www.buymeacoffee.com/jamesedgarskye. Please help this podcast grow by sharing with friends or anyone that you think will benefit from the experiences of others and myself. You can also find me on the following websites. You can also find me on the following websites to book your interview, ask questions, and reach out to me. http://www.jamesedgarskye.me Purchase my books at: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/jamesedgarskye22/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/jamesedgarskye22/support
  1. Interview with Kasey Claborn, Ph.D.
  2. The Bipolar Writer Podcast: What's Going On? Why I've Been Missing
  3. The Energy Leadership Index (ELI) Assessment
  4. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Alaina
  5. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Colleen

Always Keep Fighting.

What is the worst that can happen?

James Edgar Skye

Visit my author website at http://www.jamesedgarskye.me

Purchase my Memoir and Novella here: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks

The Bipolar Writer Podcast

For everything James Edgar Skye use the QR code below Or use this link.

If You Ever Need The Bipolar Writer

I am doing something unorthodox today here on The Bipolar Writer. I hope that I have created a place where my fellow mental health sufferers can have a “safe place” to discuss their own issues. I often get emails from many who are seeking help or guidance or just want to talk about things. I want everyone who comes to this blog to know that if you are suicidal there is always someone here, I am always here to talk.

The unorthodox part is that today I am going to give my number to my followers if you are suicidal and you don’t want to reach out to help-lines (I have learned recently that they are not always great.) So, if you need to chat you can text me anytime. I will get back to you as soon as humanly possible. As a mental health advocate and someone who has been through the worst parts of mental illness alone, I want you to know I am a lifeline.

831-287-4369

You are not alone. Suicide is not the answer. Again, I am always here to talk anytime.

Always Keep Fighting.

What is the worse that can happen?

James Edgar Skye 

For everything James Edgar Skye use the QR code below Or use this link.

I Want to Connect with You

Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash

I will admit that 2020 for The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog has been nothing short of impressive. Writers, of the blog you were used to seeing from month to month, have either stopped writing here or in general. There have also been some new amazing writers, and I also want to point out those who stayed the course that I want to commend. You, my fellow writers, have made this blog go from an idea to a global viewing audience.

I miss and long for the days where writing on here daily was a reality for me, and I am making an effort to, when it feels right in the now, to share my experiences. An event or situation came up recently that has shed some light on how isolated I have been since March. It was my mother’s death that was the catalyst, but COVID-19 gave me a reason not to be a part of life. I was not living, and there was so much pain in my life. The worst part was that I was up to my old way of doing things, not feeling the feels. In short, I was suppressing all feeling and numbing the pain.

Back to the situation, I had a suicide plan in place, and I will not make excuses for the why, but say I was in unbearable pain, and my natural default was to turn to the one place I never thought I would go, again–suicide. Life is the way it is, and I talked myself out of the plan and reached out to someone that put me on a safety plan after a day. This was just last month, and so it is still raw, and the safety plan is still in place. I want to be more vulnerable here on my blog. Talking about suicide is something that I do but always about the past, but I have a new appreciation for how people like me can go that low. There is nothing wrong with suicide. 

Photo by Carolina Pimenta on Unsplash

I know that will anger some people and especially those who have lost someone to suicide. I am not saying that suicide is right or wrong. That is the point. There is no wrong or right only suicide. Those who have never been there are the worst feeling in the world, but there is a moment of total spiritual awakening that nothing on this planet matters or is holding you here. It is something that I am not romanticizing, but it is a feeling of peace. When you are at your lowest, you need that, and I hope if you are feeling suicidal right now, you reach out to someone, do not do what I have always done, and hide the feelings. 

For those on the other end of a suicidal person reaching out, we do not want people to fix us in my experience, for most listening and finding out if they are in a safe place more important. At the end of this post, I will again link Livingworks ASIST, go to the website and see what you can do for those who are suicidal if you are not. 

Where did we go from reaching out to suicide? It is simple. I was not reaching out, and in this world, we need that human connection, especially the mental illness and mental health community. So, to my point, I want to once again meet the readers of this blog. Shoot an email, and that is great, but as I have learned with my business, no matter where you are in the world, this fantastic thing called Zoom connects people all over the world! 

Seriously, let us connect in new ways. If you want to Zoom, please reach out. Create a group of people and invite me. Human connection in a COVID-19 mental illness world, especially in the winter, is paramount to us, making it through the tough times. Or as my life coach would say, there are no problems, just situations.

I want to end on a positive. Things are good. While the event is in the rearview, it is not over, but I am in a place where I can take on the pain, and my safety plan is what has been the reason to take responsibility. Ultimately, we have to do when we are suicidal, it is taking responsibility for our choices, not an easy task. I know. Stay safe out there in the world.

For everything social media for James Edgar Skye visit my Linq Site here. 

For ASIST Suicide Prevention Training Program | LivingWorks please visit here: https://www.livingworks.net/asist

Buy my book on Amazon through my website.

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

The First Medication Change of 2020

Photo by Olga DeLawrence on Unsplash

I had plans for 2020. I am sure there is not one person that was not affected in the mental illness community that was not affected by COVID-19. One of my major plans was to lower Seroquel to a more manageable level that I feel less like a zombie in the morning, then the novel coronavirus hit, and I was using Zoom to meet my psychiatrist.

One of the fears is that not seeing me in person means that the trust that I spent over a year building that was crushed by the coronavirus. It is not that the trust was not there, but instead, you never know as a medical professional how isolating like I was advised to do would affect me in different ways. I understood this, but I was also frustrated. There is no doubt I had to learn patience (this came in life coaching.)

The idea of waiting is new to me, but not all is bad. After months of back and forth and resisting the urge to make changes on my own, I decided to broach the subject again, and the result was more to my liking. It was an incremental change from 400mg to 300mg, but it has made a difference. I still sleep, but I am waking up at a better time while still being rested. It is important to note that having my CPAP machine helps me get to sleep quicker, and that is important to note as to why the case I made was valid over time.

There is always this point that I need to make: medication changes should always go through your psychiatrist or medical professional. They are the ones that got you on these medications, and they are the professionals. I can’t stress that enough. Change is good but in the right way. The next step is the continual work on my social anxiety and panic attacks, which have been better if I am honest. That has been in the changes that have happened to my approach to stay in the moments of now. The tools I learned in life coaching have helped me create space with my own physics. Thank you as always for reading.

Thank you always for reading.

For everything social media for James Edgar Skye visit my Linq site here. 

My Life Coach can be reached at groundsforclarity@gmail.com. If you feel suicidal, Kim specializes in helping those who are like me; I recently had my own brush with suicide again in October, and Kim was a pivotal part of why I am still here with her life coaching alongside her ASIST training.

For ASIST Suicide Prevention Training Program | LivingWorks please visit here: https://www.livingworks.net/asist

Buy my book on Amazon through my website.

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo by Christina Victoria Craft on Unsplash

The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir

The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir

It has been a while since I did some marketing for The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir. This is my memoir about my experiences over the first ten years of my diagnosis of Bipolar One in 2007. Now almost a year since my mom’s death, there has been a lot going on in my life. Marketing has not been on my mind. I desperately needed to make changes in my life, and if not for life coaching, a recent event could have taken me from my work. (I will explain in more detail in a blog post later this week. You can also watch the video below.)

Interview with Ground for Clarity LLC Founder Kim Johnson

If you are looking for a good book for those colder nights getting darker earlier and earlier, my memoir is for you. It really explains a significant part of my life. I will write another memoir within the next year or two with a very different tone. There will also be a blog post about my current works-in-progress, my company’s plans–The Bipolar Writer Ghostwriting Services, the release date for Angel on the Ward, and other essential things. I will be writing more blogs to end 2020.

For everything social media for James Edgar Skye visit my Linq Site here.

For ASIST Suicide Prevention Training Program | LivingWorks please visit here: https://www.livingworks.net/asist

Buy my book on Amazon through my website.

Always Keep Fighting

James

A Delay of “The Voices of Mental Illness Project” to 2021

I am sad to say that I had to move the start of “The Many Voices and Faces of Mental Illness,” my two-year project, to 2021 for several excellent reasons. I am working on getting my LLC, The Bipolar Writer Ghostwriting Services, off the ground. I want this project to be one of the main ones that launch the business. The second is that all the proceeds are going to a mental health/mental illness foundation that I am currently working on starting. I am beginning to figure out what that entails (if anyone has the help they could offer about starting a foundation, I would gladly accept.) The last being that I have two significant book projects to finish and a novella to self publish by the year’s end. I plan on resetting 2021.

If you have reached out (and I hope you’re reading this those who have) I have not forgotten and we will begin in the new year with interview for the book. I do want to put faces to the illness, so pictures at lease one will accompany each story. The last story will be my own with some pictures that I have taken alongside the journey of writing this book. With that said, if you want to be on the list to be interviewed, please email me @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com.

Always Keep Fighting

James

You can find all my social media here:


https://linqapp.com/james_skye

Being Invalidated by a Bad Apple

Abuse is present in all kinds of relationships: from personal to professional, from sexual to medical, where ever there are humans, abuse exists. Unfortunately, no one is safe from experiencing it in any of its forms, especially in regards to mental health. In my own mental health journey, I have been fortunate with my connections, but I know so many out there have not. I know no two instances are alike, and abuse can take many forms in this world. My most recent experience with it has prompted me to bring this story to light. It is raw, and possibly chaotic in nature, but it is where I am at right now.

I am a young woman, a wife, and a mother, who just so happens to be diagnosed with Bipolar II. This diagnosis has been following me around for over eleven years, and it is not something I take lightly. I want to feel okay and happy. I want to feel normal, and if medication and therapy are required for this to happen, then so be it. I am worth the extra effort. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but I have never felt as if my team against me…until a few weeks ago. 

Back in August, my husband and I agreed we would start trying for baby #2, but I knew this meant I needed to get things prepped for my mental health ahead of time. When I was pregnant with my son, I struggled – because there was no safe medication for me to take at the time. Last year, my then psychiatrist told me if I was going to get pregnant again, there were options this time around. He knew me and knew intimately about what happened to me when I was pregnant. No one wanted to go through that again. 

Unfortunately, due to family circumstances on his end, he left, and I was given to someone new. He seemed nice and agreed to go off my previous doctor’s notes on my condition for starters and adding his own as we got to know each other. I saw no problem with this sentiment and was willing to give him the chance despite my hesitation because I was thrown to someone new so suddenly.  

As time progressed, I tried to trust him, but something always felt off and awkward with him. Sometimes a comment he made drew question marks in my head, but I brushed it off because we weren’t sitting face to face because of COVID. We only talked on the phone. Sometimes it was a ten-minute call, sometimes it was three minutes, but I felt we were on the same page.  

Before my husband and I talked about getting pregnant, I knew I wanted a game plan in place. I wanted time to get used to new meds and adjust as needed. My psychiatrist was an instrumental part in this plan, so setting up an appointment to discuss my options non-negotiable. Per instructions by my previous doctor and my own research, I already had an idea of what I needed, but I had to bring it up with my prescriber to get it. Simple and straightforward, right? WRONG! 

When the words of “trying to get pregnant” and “what are your suggestions” left my lips, the atmosphere of the conversation changed. Keep in mind, I have been diagnosed by four different psychiatrists, over the course of about sixteen years, that I have Bipolar II. I have been on the appropriate medication for that diagnosis for eleven years, and when I am consistent with taking the medication, I am stable.  

This man had the gall to let “Bipolar II is just a theory” and “many women find the symptoms go away during and after pregnancy” leave his pathetic lips. Despite me bringing up the recommended medication and explaining what happened the last time I was pregnant, he ignored me. Now, I refused to leave this session empty-handed, so he gave me two medications for “as needed” irritability and depression, low dosages with the possibility of increases. I am Bipolar, not irritable. 

I assumed this was better than nothing and began tapering my medication as designed and filled the prescriptions. After several days, I found I had to start taking more than the ‘low dosages’ to have any sort of effect, and I hit a major side-effect wall. I could either feel like I was drunk all day or be depressed. Since I work full-time and must be mentally sharp, I stopped taking the meds. I gave them less than 2 weeks, but they were not working in any capacity as he said they would.  

My therapist was appalled at his words but brushed them off when I spoke to her about it. She looked up my file and found he had not written anything he said to me, in my file (why would he?). Though she did not convince me directly, I put in a request to transfer psychiatrists the next day. Never have I ever been invalidated by a medical professional to my face like that, and even though I am struggling now because of him, I won’t let him win. 

Spend a WHOLE day on the Couch with ME

What happens when you beat to the tune of a different drum?

What happens when all that you think and all that you do was changed in one moment in time?

What happens when its not just that moment, but all the moments that led up to this moment that you only just now put together?

What happens when all you want is sense of normalcy?

What happens when all you want is a sense of belonging?

What happens when your head spits out info faster than you can ever put into words?

What happens when today is the day that someone is listening to you?

What happens when today is the day that is the start of something new?

What happens when today is not just a moment, but a moment that defines all the rest?

What if today is the day you decide you are normally you?

What if today you get just piece of that into words?

I’ll tell you, but you have to first spend the day spending time with me…….

NEED

Need

The universe playes a trick on us
It makes us love
And love makes us needy

So we bend and fold and adapt and change
Oh, to satisfy our need
To be loved
To be seen
Beyond the skin

Beyond the acceptable ways to be
To be seen
And heard
And understood for once
Treated softly
Taken care of
Like we are worthy
Like we are gold
And precious to another
Living thing

In this need
We are weak
In this need
We hurt
Oh how we hurt

In the hands of another
In the hands of our love
We become helpless, soft, a snail
Without it’s shell

I
And me
And all that I am
Will not
Refuse to
Ever again
Put my need
In the hand of another

I am enough
I will be free
Of the opinions
The weakness
Of your approval
Of what you think you know
Because, really, you don’t

Take me as I am
Or let me be

I will never
Let your choices
Make me
Less than I am

Make me doubt
Make me ashamed
Make me doubt

You
Will never again
Replace ME

YOU
will never again
Make me
Less than

FREE

Too Many Excuses.

I love writing. I write lists as a comfort, and my thoughts as an outlet. Sometimes, I get hung up on others opinions of my writing. Opinions I shouldn’t worry about. I write for me. Most of it doesn’t make sense but it feels right.When I freeze while trying to consider opinions I haven’t heard yet, I am hurting myself more than anyone. With no paper to spill my feelings into, I find myself fixating on them more than ever.

So I am just gonna go for it. I am sorry if this is a little scattered.

Remember the first time you watched a movie from your childhood, but as an adult? Maybe there was a joke that went over your prepubescent head, or maybe it confirmed a theory you had. Either way, I find myself doing this often. I used to really push away from religion and even claimed to be atheist (ZERO opinion if you are or aren’t religious). I talked about things I didn’t have any knowledge on and put down anything that sounded like a religious comment. Now I turn to the Bible as a comfort. The words in that book mean more now.

The word mindfulness means more now. I understand how I can be mindful, and how that benefits my growth as a person. My BP diagnosis was my first step towards mindfulness. I finally recognized something wasn’t right and sought help for my mood and subsequent actions. With that came the realization that I had formed these habits that were hurting those around me. I didn’t want to just mask symptoms, I wanted to find the cause.

I have had a lot of great things happen lately, and I had a lot of shitty things happen too. As I revealed recently, I was hospitalized for thoughts of self harm. All is better now, I just had to get some meds tweaked and take some time to process my feelings in a safe place. I get back to work and disclose to a close coworker what my hospitalization was for. My boss comes back from vacation and suddenly, after almost a year, fires me for “low productivity”. I had just signed a lease on a two bedroom apartment for my self and my mom who I care for. I just bought a new car earlier this year. A lot of people close to me pointed out the timing of being let go, right after I was hospitalized. I just don’t want to be one of those people who blame others. I honestly was shocked when they let me go. I had never received any indication that my work was not meeting expectations. I have filed for unemployment, but I haven’t received anything as of yet. It has only been a week.

Isn’t it weird the things that can trigger depression. My job loss didn’t. I was upset and down as to be expected but it wasn’t depression. Having to ask and receive help from my sister who is so judgmental of any actions that aren’t 100% responsible, and my grandmother who I have been trying to set boundaries with, especially financially.

I got a verbal offer for a job today. Since completing my degree, I haven’t been job searching. Let me tell you, I am being offered hire positions then I have ever held. Positions that I most certainly feel I am unqualified for. I accepted but am waiting for the official offer letter.

I feel like things are looking up and all in all, this year wasn’t bad. It might be one of my best yet.