Reflections on Childhood Memories

It’s time.  For me.  To speak.  Sometimes I feel very much like I’ve been eaten by a whale for not following God’s path in my life every time that I feel the gentle urge that I should.    Ponderings have led me to question everything I thought to be true (or at least always tried to).  Mostly I am writing in that point of crisis, where you question everything that anyone has ever taught or said to you to be true.  All of my past keeps coming back to me in my dreams or while I am trying to focus on the hear and now and … boop…past BAD memory. Its not the good ones coming back… its the bad … the ones I don’t like to think about. I am on this journey, a journey that I always believed was straight and narrow.  My heart desires perfection, peace, justice.  Those are my deepest desires.  However I want joy, happiness, contentment.  Yes, I am the girl that dreams big and her little dear head really, really tries to see how she could make our world like this.  The world from my perspective…my life’s journey has taught me of a world that is scary, dangerous, and full of people with selfish intentions that will sacrifice your happiness for their desires.  You see, these people have hurt me.  These are the people that are still in my head to this day. 

So join me today…into my head we go… one of my memories …one of my flashbacks…and in the end my mind will force me to make some new moral perspective…some reason, some purpose as to why so many years later I am still thinking about this memory (cause its not pleasant…yet one very harmless one in perspective of my life….I think that may be why my mind chose this memory).

I see this little girl, roughly eleven years old.  Catholic School girl in her full uniform.  Pleated, plaid skirt…mostly green and navy blue with hints of yellow and red lines as well.  This girl didn’t fit in; she didn’t like the ridiculous gossip and truth or dare and constant bullying of the girl not around at the moment.  Every day at recess she walked up to the front of the school where no one else played and jumped rope.  Sometimes she had company and others would jump.  But mostly she just jumped and practiced all kinds of fun solo moves.  There was a brilliant day, a new girl came and she started hanging out with me.  It was nice having a friend, she seemed a little more carefree and not so into all the other girl queen bee and followers behavior.  Soon she was my best friend, and the only one I had at school (other than the neighborhood boys and girls).  However, this friendship morphed into her plucking my eyebrows and saying that they are too wide and my face is ugly and I should wear my hair like this.  She thought she had this life all figured out and if I did it just her way I would be all right.  I didn’t like that, and I kept her in my life anyways.  One day she tormented me by telling me that she was only my friend because our teacher, Mrs. Churgo, had told her to start hanging out with me since I didn’t have any friends.  Often she would remind  and shame me of this being the beginning of our friendship and that she was indeed much better than I.  I, naively, thought that a friend was better than none. However, this meant that I’d have to sit there and endure hearing how I had thin hair, ugly hair, it doesn’t look good with my face. Ughh…she had to work so hard to make me look good until she found this one way to put my hair and she told me it was the only way that I could wear my hair that looks somewhat good. She told me my eyebrows were just ugly and I needed to pluck them. Okay I thought and I tried so hard to take care of them. Insecurity was built by that friendship. Insecurity that today I am still trying to get rid of or at least make peace with.

Thanks for joining me on the journey into my mind. I had to spend time there anyways, and its nice not feel so alone when I do it.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Time management

I decided to do this topic since I am facing a new severe health issue aside from bipolar, something that also starts as an invisible disability. Still, I am so active these days, although not manic.

I remember when I finally gained control over my bipolar years ago. One of the first things I did is- read books on time management. I had so much to do, and so much that I wanted to do so, I was guessing my best odds were at organising better.

I went through some of the books, and all the basic principles did not apply to me at all! That was the time I decided to write about it the first time I get the chance. I am going to stick, for the time being, with the primary obstacle.

First of my problems was, how on earth can I plan every hour of the day when I can’t predict how am I going to feel at all! What if my energy levels are too low to be active at that point. More or less I know I am doing lousy in the mornings, by now I know how I can manage through the day, but if I had a strict schedule, I would end up with the feeling of guilt and lack of accomplishment.

Still, there was one advice I could follow: get the planner! I did get the planner, and I would write down tasks for the day, ones that are a must and ones that are optional, no specific timing other than meetings and similar. It is working well for me. When I have energy, I do what it takes and sometimes even more than that, I pick up tasks from the day that follows.

One thing I have learned from one book was “the vacation principle”. It means giving ourselves more time than we need for the task or starting it as early as possible so we can make it before the official deadline. It provides a feeling of accomplishment. Also, don’t plan too ambitious. That would be my experience. It feels fantastic when we plan a decent workload but not too much, and then we get to do even more than expected!

It is always better to put things into some order, but we need to honour our needs and add self-care on the list as well. Maybe even use the planner to monitor mood swings or whatever we need to watch. Now that my skin is so oily due to meds, I am even planning my weekly Rhassoul clay facial mask, sometimes even longer walks.

I know the times when getting out of bed might become a significant task could be around the corner, but I will quote my doctor: “Do whatever your mind and body permit you to do and don’t even think you won’t be able to do things!”

How did you approach planning time and living with bipolar, I would love to hear your comments!

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

My Journey to Stability, Pt. 3

by Shara Adams

A circle of blurred faces surrounded me, all talking at once. The level of chaos outpaced my own mind and I struggled to keep track of what was going on. Drugged and intoxicated beyond capable cognition, the world began to slip away once again. In the mess of voices, the realization of my fragile state caught the action of the paramedics and I was whisked down the stairs from the apartment to the ambulance. Because of the design of our place, a stretcher was worthless. They half carried, and half walked me down the precarious stairway. Once I was inside the bus, one of the paramedics joined me and began a pleasant conversation with me.

Blonde hair and blue eyes watched me intently. It may have been my lost mind, but at that moment, he had the most beautiful eyes that I had ever seen. Smiling, I was lost in his hypnotizing gaze. His voice was soft and inviting. I felt like I could listen to it forever, and I did listen to it the whole way to the emergency room. He conversed with me to keep me awake and cognitive of what was around me, and it worked perfectly. It also kept my mind off the fact my husband had not come with me. I did not notice this fact in the middle of everything going on; he was completely absent from my side.

Once inside the ER, I was forced to drink charcoal from a small cup, and it did not take long for it to make a reappearance. It was absolutely disgusting, and my toxic stomach contents were having none of it. Frustrated nurses yelled at me for throwing it up and then gave me another cup – but I never touched it to my lips. Without something to focus on, I was slipping away from the bright lights of the room. Metal walls of the elevator were my final memory before losing consciousness. I have no recollection of being in the ICU or being ‘asleep’. No dreams or thoughts; it was as if I went to bed and woke up the next morning but waking up this time was a much different experience.

Stirring in the hospital bed, my eyes opened several days after my arrival. I felt lost and confused at my surroundings, but my eyes fell on a familiar face and relief washed over me. I am sure she felt the swell of relief as well. My mom had driven about 740 miles in eight hours to be by my side. We later calculated that she had averaged about 95 mph the entirety of the drive, never being pulled over. There was always a driver going faster than she was, and they were the ones to get caught. Her foot never left the gas pedal, and I will never make fun of her panic.

Once awake and somewhat aware of where I was, I noticed the lack of a certain person from the room: my husband. This was something my mom attempted to fix, but it was only mildly successful. He came to visit me once during my entire stay, but never said a word and refused to look at me. He sat on my bed and I rubbed his back, but nothing I did to interact with the stone-faced body made any difference. His blatant resentment was more than I could overcome. I began to wonder if I went too far to prove my point, but it also seemed to be working.

The chaos from the apartment had compartmentalized in my mind, blurry and distant memories, just like that night.

by Shara Adams

For more stories by Shara Adams, visit http://pennedinwhite.com.

LEAVE ME ALONE

Stop saying”Turn your face towards the sun and let the shadows fall behind”

It doesn’t work that way

Stop saying”Everything happens for a reason”

It doesn’t

Stop saying”Time heals all wounds”

Time does no such thing

Stop telling me that life is not fair

I’ve known this since birth

Stop telling me to “let it go”

I dont WANT to let it go because then a part of me will be gone forever

I WILL NOT let it go

Even though

It hurts the hell out of me

Every single day

Stay away from me with your platitudes and pretty words
You’ve never been where I am


You’re not there
When I lie sleepless
Staring into the dark


Stop telling me
It’s time to move on
I will not live
At a pace YOU deem acceptable


A part of me will remain sore and heavy
For the rest of my life


Stop telling me
“This too shall pass”


Through grace
I wake up, dress up and show up

I’ve been doing so for years


Just because I carry my scars well

Doesn’t mean they aren’t heavy

My First Time.

I have never been hospitalized before. I think that I am pretty good at hiding things, but I couldn’t hide this from myself. I knew there was something wrong. I wasn’t sleeping more than a couple hours, I was becoming emotionally abusive, and I was falling back into overspending. Mania. This isn’t the first time I have been manic this year, but I hope it is the last. I moved into a new apartment earlier this week and I already can’t make rent. I am exhausting. I am tired from being me.

I took myself down to the hospital which I think we can agree is a feat on its own. Not having insurance was both a blessing a curse. The plus side is that I could choose whatever hospital I wanted and the downside is that I am uninsured. I can’t help but laugh that this insanely expensive vacation I just took and I didn’t even get to go to the pool. I am constantly, actively working to better myself. I take my medication, go to all my doctors appointments, religiously see my therapist, use the breathing exercises. I am not immune to it. It wasn’t at all what I had expected. Clean, hospital like in some ways, slightly degrading, and cold. BUT I am blessed to have gone to a place that provided me a private room and bathroom. Granted, everything was bolted to the floor and the bathroom had no door. Overall it was a really nice place filled with people actively trying to get better.

I was sad and anxious that I was taking all these days unpaid, but I had to. I had to go and get help. It was an out of body experience watching me set fire to all the relationships that took years to rebuild. One conversation has sent it all tumbling down. Here I am, trying to intervene and slow the damage. I was discharged yesterday afternoon and it seems that my grandparents are going to be the hardest to recover. I suppose it is divine timing because we just moved away after living next door to them. I am fortunate to still have my mom in my corner because it would be hell living together for the next year if I am going to be the source of her pain and anger.

I am doing better today. Better than yesterday, better than a week ago. I just have to keep pushing forward. My anxiety is manageable right now and I hope that it stays that way. I hope that this made inpatient stays a little less scary for those who haven’t experienced it.

Keep fighting the good fight!

My Next Project for my Ghostwriting Business

Salinas Not sure the Date

Writing is my life, and I am always looking for the next project no matter what other projects are on my current plate, but I think that as a writer, we get one chance to write about an influential book about your hometown’s history. That is what my next ghostwriting project will be, writing about my hometown and a family restaurant that goes back to the ’40s. If you lived in Salinas, Ca, you knew The Rodeo Cafe and Sang’s Cafe. I am looking for anyone willing to donate through GoFundMe to help with the book’s costs. There will be hours of research and, of course, the writing. If you can, please donate, but of not share on social media.

https://www.gofundme.com/static/js/embed.js

You can use the following link, and those who donate over $20 amount will get a free copy of the book. I usually don’t go the route of GoFundMe, but this is an essential milestone in my ghostwriting career. I will be co-writing the book with the owner’s daughter/granddaughter. The book chronicles the unique history, including the original place, The Rodeo Cafe, where John Steinbeck ate and wrote. The place has an impressive history, including the sons taking it over after the Loma Prieta Earthquake. The second part of the book will be the interviews of those patrons of the establishments over the years and what it meant to Salinas’ citizens.

You can donate here: GoFundMe for The Legacy of Sang’s Cafe

Always Keep Fighting

James

You can visit the author site of James Edgar Skye here.

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

Become a Patron of James Edgar Skye and be a part of his writing here: Become a Patron!

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Why I Think Life Coaching is for Everyone

If you are looking for your own journey into life coaching that invokes change in your life, if you are stuck under a mental illness diagnosis and want relief from someone who has experience in the core of what causes suicide, please reach out to Kim Johnson, @ Groundsforclarity@protonmail.com. Her company Grounds for Clarity LLC is all you need, and she asks for you to have one conversation.

A Game Changer

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

My four months of life coaching have been very personal, and I am still working through things that will help me continue the growth I had over my time. I don’t want to share the details just yet, as it is still a fresh one for me, and I have things that need to be talked with people before moving forward with my life. With that said, I thought I would use my time this week to explain why Life Coaching is what you need right now if you are struggling with your mental illness. If you have no outlet. If you need someone who will be a game-changer by allowing you to work on yourself the right way.

I have learned so much in the short time that Kim Johnson has been my life coach, just six weeks, but here is something that I never expected. When I decided to invest in myself, allow life coaching into my life, it became the reason that I am now living a different lifestyle. I won’t lie. It is not perfection that I am shooting for; it is awareness and living in the now. What Kim does is allow me, the client, to work through what needs to be done, not by giving me the answers, but rather the tools needed to succeed. She has been amazing every week that we meet to create modules that will help focus on what is bothering me. She uses the teachings of different spiritual teachers Eckhart Tolle and others, to guide you to what is already inside you. I have leaned into the feelings, and I have trusted the process from day one, and it is a game-changer.

Photo by Johnson Wang on Unsplash

Believe me when I say I could (and actually might) write a novel about my journey. In the four months life coaching has been a game-changer more than therapy, and I was in that for five years. With that said, I am not saying that therapy can’t be right because it helped me; instead, this is another deeper source of getting to the core of your mental illness issues and making real changes. Letting go of the negativity and allowing yourself some peace and happiness. I don’t have to tell you how mental Illness can leave you with such a painful existence. Hell, I have lived it for years. You can change your life if you are willing!

I have never endorsed anything on my blog I have not directly been a part of or have some experience with what I am endorsing. When I say that if your suicidal or going through tough times in this mental illness life, then reach out to Kim Johnson; she will change your life. If you need to contact her, here are some ways.

Website:  www.groundsforclarity.com

Email: groundsforclarity@gmail.com

Please know that help is okay, and it will be a game-changer working with Kim. I know it has been that way for me. Thank you as always for taking time out of your day to read this post. If you have any comments, leave them below.

Always Keep Fighting

James

You can visit the author site of James Edgar Skye here.

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

Become a Patron of James Edgar Skye and be a part of his writing here: Become a Patron!

Photo by Emma Matthews Digital Content Production on Unsplash

Why a Mental Illness is a Big Deal

I’ve been depressing for awhile now -as in, dealing with Depression. I’ve also entertained its close friend, Anxiety; plus a few hangers-on like Disassociation, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Social Phobias. I didn’t even know those existed till they walked off with some of my mental furniture.

Once I’m back to staring at the cracked ceiling of an empty apartment, I wonder why mental illness is such a BIG DEAL. Why does it always have the ability to kick my butt this badly every time?

Photo by Inzmam Khan on Pexels.com

Because, Mental Illness is a BIG deal.

Yesterday, I witnessed a boy who collapsed into a hysterical fit when his mother said they had to ride in the elevator. A perfectly healthy friend had to reschedule her doctor’s appointment for “a better day.” Another friend told how she could not sleep in the same room as her baby, since the baby’s normal breathing patterns kept her up all night.

Minor issues become major. Small things are big. Mole hills are mountains!

So, now what? Treats? Bed? Movie marathon? I wish. Those things cost money! We need practicality before the rest of our sanity escapes out the window, and takes the rest of the chocolate with it.

Knowing that a mental illness blows things out of proportion is empowering. How? When one of my kids starts melting down, I KNOW to back off and get him a snack. When fear and anxiety cloud my horizon, I KNOW to get outside for a walk. When my friend says she needs to talk, I KNOW to drop everything and listen.

Am I freaking out? Don’t have a mental couch to collapse on? I take a break. I breathe. I run a meditative exercise. Try it; re-focus with what works for you. Then, try the basics: sleep, food, love, happiness.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

On the flip side, stop doing the little things that make it worse: staying up, eating crap, avoiding affection, and wallowing in sadness.

Sounds easy, right? It really is. The trick is to not make it difficult. “Just go get in the shower,” I tell myself. “Just get in there and sit -you don’t even have to wash yet.” Or, “Wrap up in a blanket and hang out on the porch. You don’t have to get dressed.”

See? Believe me, I’m in the camp of making a simple thing much more complicated. I also know how BIG I feel once I get past the little, white lies of my mental illness.

 

©2020 Chel Owens

National Suicide Awareness Month

September is National Suicide Awareness Month and September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. You never know what other people are going through. Be kind whenever possible; it’s always possible. Maybe this is something you don’t show much concern with because it had never affected you directly. You never know who in your life may decide to take their life. Even if you think someone is self-harming because they want attention, that doesn’t make their pain less valid. Existence is pain. Sometimes that pain is overwhelming. We can overcome that pain if we seek help from both professionals and from people in our lives.

If you’re hurting, or think your life is meaningless, there are plenty of places to seek help. If this post speaks to you, I want you to leave a comment. I may not respond, but if you feel alone, look at some of the other comments. Many people, hundreds of thousands, feel the same about their lives. You’re not alone because so many people have the same feelings. Reading articles from TheMighty.com helped me when I was looking for some comfort. I felt people there were in the same boat and I felt less alone. I’m sharing the resources listed on The Mighty website below.

Suicide Prevention Resources

If you are feeling suicidal, there is hope. 

You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255

You can reach the Crisis Text Line 24/7 by texting “START” to 741-741

You can call The Trevor Project, an LGBT crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline, 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386.

You can call Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 if you live in the U.S. Call 877-330-6366 if you live in Canada.

To find local resources in your area, visit To Write Love On Her Arms.

If you are hard of hearing, you can chat with a Lifeline counselor 24/7 by clicking the Chat button on this page, or you can contact the Lifeline via TTY by dialing 800-799-4889.

To speak to a crisis counselor in Spanish, call 1-888-628-9454.

If you are a veteran (or your loved one is a veteran), you can reach the Veterans Crisis Line by calling  1-800-273-8255 and Pressing 1. You can also send a text to 838255.

Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

For additional resources, see the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education).

You can read the following stories from people who’ve been there (from The Mighty):

And for additional messages of hope, click here

You are not alone.  

Week Three of Life Coaching

“I don’t know.” Perhaps one of the most underused answer that has so much meaning.

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

Become a Patron of James Edgar Skye and be a part of his writing here: Become a Patron!

Photo by John Baker on Unsplash

If you are looking for your own journey into lifestyle coaching that envokes change in your life, if you are stuck under a mental illness diagnosis and want relief from someone who has experience in the core of what causes suicide, please reach out to Kim Johnson, @ Groundsforclarity@gmail.com. You can find her at www.groundsforclarity.com

You are here, and I would argue that you are here in the present. That’s one of the greatest things that I have learned from my Life Coach, Kim Johnson.

My Life Coaching Session

I have been three weeks in, and I know making the decision to go down this road was the right choice. I always say I believe in the process, and it has not diminished, and I began my session with a moral quandary. I was in the right place with my business. I picked up one project that I am committed to, and it will go great because I know the client well. I am a sucker for a good story, and I tend to not be objective when a story idea speaks to me. That happened with the second project that I had picked up during the week.

I tend to allow my past experiences to become a part of my present moments. I have been burned in the past. What happened was a client wanted to write a book with a 50/50 split in the end. One of the things in the contract was worrying me, and it was hard for me to commit to the project. I needed help from Kim because I was in a lot of ways making assumptions, generalizations, and interpretations in what was going on. I don’t know this person well enough to do a project on spec. As a general rule, I don’t work on spec, and it wasn’t about the money.

Photo by BENCE BOROS on Unsplash

I have trust issues stemming from my past and what does that stem from–fear. I was coming from a place of fear about the situation. I was worried about letting go of a project that gave me grief, and if it was all worth it. Letting go makes sense. Then I said, “I honestly don’t know.” Wow, that was freeing. It is a great place to be. I don’t have to know the answer. I like to control as a human being. Let go of the thoughts that ego is allowing to control me is so different from what I have been most of my life. 

What separates Kim from other life coaches, in my personal opinion, is that she gives it to me straight, no bull, and she told me the truth that I needed to hear, I didn’t have to keep digging down to roots for weeks. It was up to me, I have the choice, and I make the decisions (really we don’t truly make the decision.) My ego was not allowing me charity, but Kim came up with something else. If I didn’t deal with it, the situation would keep coming up if I can’t commit. If it was no, then accept and move on.

When you change the perception of the situation, fear is not an issue. No more hard and fast rules with my life, and my past coming up is something that I can work through the situation’s triggers. I have to lean into the moment because it will always come up.

The situation that I faced happened to me before, but I didn’t deal with it at all. That level of awareness and clarity was helpful. I had to learn that not talking about my issues and not dealing was not making me happy. I am great at not dealing with my problems. I was not grieving for my mom’s loss for close to eight months before reading Shelby Forsythia. I was judging myself for judging myself. Yes, that was who I was for so long

One of my session’s best parts is when Kim posed this question after telling me to stop and pause for a moment. What would a creature, water, or an inanimate object do if some force of nature destroyed it? Does it feel like crap forever? These things are not about their self-centered feelings like us humans. I can find a way to pull myself back into the present and not engage the thoughts. Just be, and slow down. Find a way to laugh at myself has been the hardest thing. 

My life is going in the right direction. School is just two more semesters, my business is starting to gain momentum, and my writing is excellent. My ego might get in the way, but I am in a better place. That is great! Life coaching is life-changing, and I know there is room to grow.

My Week

I decided that I am going to do more and plan less. I want a tattoo, so I am getting one (it will be a Harley Quinn one). I wanted to visit a friend, and so I dedicated a week to take a train and spend a week in Sacramento. Prices were cheap, and I just did it. I reached out to the woman that worked on formatting my memoir, and she gave me a price to format my novella. I am finally moving forward to get it published. I am moving forward in my life and doing more thinking and planning less. There is no more overthinking every second. I just do. It’s not perfect but subtle changes. I am also going to stop tripping about life.

Always Keep Fighting

James

You can visit the author site of James Edgar Skye here.

Photo by Johnson Wang on Unsplash