Where is my Christmas Spirit?

Christmas is my favorite holiday, it always has been. I look forward to the holiday season all year long. It’s always the highlight of my year. But now, I can’t seem to get into the Christmas mood. I’m doing all of the things I normally do to enjoy the holiday season except they aren’t making me as happy as they used to.

I don’t know if it’s age, where I’m at in my life or because it’s 2020 but I have been trying hard to get into the Christmas mood but can’t. I thought maybe snow would help. It snowed 2 feet (which isn’t common where I live) and it didn’t make me feel much better. I thought maybe giving gifts and baking cookies would help. It only made a little bit of a difference.

It makes me depressed that my favorite time of the year is so lack luster. I want this time of the year to be the best part of the entire thing! I am longing to feel the happiness that Christmas has brought me in the past.

Sadly this year I will be spending most of Christmas alone. My boyfriend is working and my brother is quarantining after a business trip so we have to hold off on our family get togethers. I will be spending a few hours with my mom so I guess I won’t totally be alone but it won’t be like past Christmases. I will wake up alone, eat alone and give my pets their presents alone.

This potentially shit Christmas is effecting my mood. I’ve been extra tired and cranky as well as binge eating like nobody’s business. I want to be happy during my favorite time of the year. Why can’t I be? My God I sound like Charlie Brown.

I guess there is no guaranteed happiness at any point in time even during Christmas. You can’t just turn depression on and off even though I’m sure so many of us would love to.

I want to be happy, cheery and all of the great emotions that come with Christmas. I’m just not there this year. Sure, it’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with feeling this way, it’s just that I don’t want to. I can’t force happiness upon myself but I can try to do things that make me not feel like shit. So somewhere in the middle. Maybe?

I don’t know, I just want to be happy. You know?

How are you feeling about this time of year? Is it normally a sad time or a happy time for you? Leave a comment and tell me!

A Depression Poem – By J.E. Skye

I wanted to preface this poem with a “trigger warning,” this is a poem I wrote about suicide and depression recently, at this time I am NOT depressed or suicidal. But, this poem could trigger those feelings, so please read only if you are in a safe place. This free-verse poem was written during a poetry class in my last semester of my bachelor’s degree. It was my raw feelings when I was suicidal turned into a poem, please enjoy. I will link the other poem I posted recently.

Updated Version of my Poem: 12:15 am

My Darkest Depression

It has been a long while. I am lost in my darkest contemplations. Sinking, unable to breathe. “I’m Depressed,” there I admit it. Teetering, on the edges of the blackest of thoughts— suicide. The darkness serves as my safe and unsafe place. “I am always here for you,” says the darkness— it is far away in the distance, but I hear its cry. Fearful of this darkness I let the thoughts of the end consume, afraid of what could happen. What might happen? What will happen? This winding road is leading me to the point of no return. The darkness laughs, and it moves closer in the distance.

My thoughts seek the out the painful memories, and the thoughts missile into my consciousness. Afraid. So Afraid of losing myself. My life is a mess, a black hole of endless despair. At night I lay my head down— wanting to cry, and so I cry myself to sleep. “Yes, my friend, give in. You belong here with those who lose themselves.
Wishing. Waiting. Wanting. This will be my last day, nevermore. Awake. Alone. Again. Another day lost in the darkness, it consumes my inner soul.

God hates me for what I have become, I hate myself so much that God— he has given up on me. Let’s face it, my hope evaporated long ago, it is a wonder that no one in my life wants anything to do with this lost soul. “I am here for you—always,” the darkness tells me. Can I fight this— is there something I can do? Probably not. My life is this mess. The Chaos. I created a monster inside me.

The darkness begins to consume, first my mind— and then my body. The darkness is just outside my door, it tells me this is the right thing. “Death is just mean to an end— the end of the infinite agony,” he tells me. “Give in, your life is not worth living. Give in, it will be painless.” Thoughts devour any shred of hope. The darkness wants to win. It just might.

I find myself on edge again— a familiar place, but this time it is different. I lay out the pills tidily in front of me. Counting. Thinking. “Yes,” exclaims the darkness, “this is who you are now.” How many sleeping pills does it take to sleep forever? This becomes routine— a nightly ritual that never changes. I tell myself every night, this is the night. “You must do this now,” the darkness hovers just beside me, “this is your destiny.” A flood of my past consumes my present. There is no future.

What does life mean anymore? I continue to perish in sinking into darkness. Forever. Darkness, my best friend— and worst enemy. Depression my frequent companion, never leaving me. My darkest depression. Will I give in?

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.

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.

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

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

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.  

National Cheer Up the Lonely Day

Tomorrow (July 11) is National Cheer Up the Lonely Day. With social distancing, isolation, and quarantine, this holiday is important now more than ever. I’m certain many people have never heard of this day. The holiday was founded by Francis Pesek. His daughter, L.J. Pesek said he “was a quiet, kind, wonderful man who had a heart of gold. The idea came to him as a way of promoting kindness toward others who were lonely or forgotten as shut-ins or in nursing homes.” July 11 is also Francis Pesek’s birthday. I have yet to find any other information such as when Francis was born or what year the holiday was founded.

Autophobia is the fear of being alone. While many may not have the full-blown phobia, everyone at one time or another is afraid of being alone. For me, I’ve feared people would leave me which added to my insecurities and caused me to drive them away. I created my worst fear. When one feels this way, the smallest gesture can have the biggest impact. Sending a short message, an email, or letter can brighten their day. On social media, tagging a friend or sharing a link or post in a direct message (DM) can bring a smile to their face.

Remember, if you spend most days having conversations with several people, that doesn’t mean everyone else does. You may be the only person one of those people talks to for the entire day. There was one time a couple years ago when I went an entire week with no contact or conversations with anyone outside of work. I felt ignored and unwanted. I know others have felt this way. It takes little effort to remind people that you care about them. It’s also important to not assume someone is lonely because they spend a lot of time alone. Don’t jump to conclusions. Just tell them you care about them.

James Pack is a self-published author of poetry and fiction.  Information about his publishing credits can be found on his personal blog TheJamesPack.com.  He resides in Tucson, AZ.

Why do I Feel Okay Being Alone?

Photo by Paul Garaizar on Unsplash

I have been ruminating on this subject for a time, and I am not sure I have a clear answer. I have never been into letting people into my life since my diagnosis. At first, it had a lot to do with the mental illness stigma, but even that is just an excuse. It is becoming one that hiding behind has never really gotten me anywhere.

Truthfully, there is a real fear in my life of letting people into my orbit for fear of making connections, and then people leaving. My life is far from where it was in 2007, but I still have ongoing issues that seem to show up too often in the daily grind that is my own life. There is a part of me that wants to be more open to letting people into my life as James the writer, which is easier to hide behind a persona, but into the life of David, who is always there because he is me.

In my retreat with Grounds for Clarity Thought Founder Kim Johnson, this came up, and it has been haunting me for weeks. I wrote about the retreat experience in the blog post “A Weekend That Changed My Life,” and it has helped me come to terms with the reality, but the practice has been harder to put into place. I avoid people with the best of them, and it is like self-sabotage because I fear that people getting too close means that I am open to people, if that makes sense. I tend to avoid confrontations and also intimacy just with friends because its easier. I struggle to be around people.

The most emotional core feeling was that I was not enough. Not enough to be happy. I was not enough to be with someone that loved me. That we only get one chance at true love and that I had been there, and did that once. It was holding me back. Every relationship since my life I compare to this unicorn idea. I felt that I was not worth anyone’s time at a level that allows people into my life. I needed to be alone.

From: A Weekend That Changed My Life
Photo by Ryan Holloway on Unsplash

If I could figure out precisely the core of my feelings, it would make life easier. I was sitting outside of my house at about midnight, looking up at the stars. A lot happened over the weekend that really got me off-kilter. I was worried about my dad and even had a thought that I might lose him. I could not deal with that, my dad is fine, but it got me thinking. Who do I have to turn to outside of this blog, and the people I have met on the discord channel I am a part of called Community Mental Health Discussions.I started off last week immensely depressed about the six month anniversary of my mom’s death, and I fell off the wagon.

I felt so alone in the world that I honestly thought that I was a burden looking up at those stars. It is not a great way of thinking, and it was not a permanent feeling, but if I am honest, the people in my life have their own lives. Perhaps it is time for me to step outside even more of my comfort zone. Meet people head-on. Connect with the people I am lucky enough that want to be in my life. As impossible as it may seem, I am capable of being a different person than I am now.

My soul is in pain, but as with everything in life, I feel that writing my thoughts is an important step, but things should change. If I am willing to take that step. I will be writing about this a few more times this week as I work through some of my personal hang-ups.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

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Featured Picture: Photo by Stefan Spassov on Unsplash

Left on Read

As an adult I’ve found it difficult to make friends and keep friendships afloat. I try my best but it doesn’t seem to be enough sometimes.

During this quarantine period I’ve made two online friends through anime Facebook groups. Both of them have been great to talk to, I’ve really appreciated having them to talk to.

The one person, her and I spoke today so we are fine, but the other I’m not sure what happened.

Her and I would chat multiple times a week about anime and read each other’s fan fiction. (Please don’t judge me for writing fan fiction, I’ve already judged myself enough for it. It’s a new hobby.) We got along really well! I enjoyed hearing from her and the conversations we had. I felt like we were actual friends.

Late last week I wrote to her asking if she had any time to proofread my story. I didn’t hear a reply that whole day so I looked back to the message to find out if she saw it.

Read

Being left on read I thought maybe she is busy, she will reply later.

She didn’t.

A couple days later I sent her my story because she had previously said she was ok with reading my work. I saw her post something to our group but I heard nothing from her so I checked the chat.

Read

She has continued to post on her Facebook and the group we are a part of so it makes me wonder what the hell I did. Our conversations had been normal, we didn’t have any drama between each other.

I feel stupid for a plethora of reasons, from letting somebody who I don’t really know get to me and asking myself why anybody would want to be my friend in the first place.

This isn’t the first time this has happened in my life.

In high school, a good friend of mine who went to a different school did the same thing to me. I would call her, text her and even wrote her a letter with no response. I still don’t know why she distanced herself from me, I probably will never know.

Why is this a pattern in my life?
Is it me?
Is it them?

During all of this I was happily reminded of the longterm friends I’ve had since university. I went to a Zoom birthday party for my friend and got to see a few other friends which was so nice! It made me feel really good to be remembered and invited.

I’ve found a lot of value in the friends I’ve had for years. Even though we live in different places and haven’t seen each other in years, I know that they are still there for me.

Have you been left on read? Have you had friendships dropped for reasons you don’t understand?