In my eyes, meditation is just a time to clear the mind, reflect, and manifest positive things. I do not feel comfortable in summoning spirits. I simply want another way to grow as a person while still maintaining my Christian faith. I have some form of stemming where I consistently rub my hands. It is starting to wear on my skin and it was suggested I look into a worry stone. During that time, I saw and read about healing Crystals. They say that you program them with affirmations to hold during meditation, or to place your intentions into. Again, I feel strongly about my religious beliefs at this time, but what can some positive thinking or speaking do? I have just been struggling with this. I really am interested in trying something holistic. I was inspired when my psych doc suggested lavender capsules to help ease my anxiety. It is like day and night. Amazing. I have never been into vitamins and what not. WOW. I guess I am hoping to find more ways to cope with my anxieties. I am doing therapy, taking medications, and writing. I am worried that it goes against the Bible.
This has always been a determent of mine from the Bible. I felt as though I was going to have to alter my whole life to conform. It hasn’t been like that at all. I honestly haven’t changed anything much physically. Emotionally on the other hand…I just don’t want to sacrifice an opportunity to learn about an alternative belief system. That is how I came to the Bible….I had to open my mind to learning.
I would love thoughts on this. Can both “spiritual beliefs” co-exist?
I am an open book. I don’t feel as though we can’t debate the existence of high powers. In my eyes, in a discussion and debate, I am able to provide education on my beliefs. It is a time to discuss, learn, and grow. If you do not feel as though you can do this, kindly bow out of the discussion, as will I. So much love and positive thoughts and intentions to every single one of you.
This is a two part post: The next part is scheduled to be posted tomorrow.
I want to start off by saying that I voluntarily see my psych doc weekly because I need a lot of accountability regarding my medication. It is a personal choice and in no way does it reflect my dedication to my mental health. I also have a therapist that I see biweekly. I am in no way manic and this is not a manic episode and it is not religious mania. I have been on a spiritual exploration for a few years now.
I always said that I was an atheist, and then I realized what an atheist is and I am not that. Then I said I was agnostic. I told people that I am too selfish to sit and learn about a particular faith to claim one. People really respected that and I meant it, but I wasn’t agnostic. I believed in a God, I just didn’t know which one. I prayed to a God. My God. It didn’t matter. I knew that I had no true control in my life. I wasn’t an accident. The world is bigger than me.
Then I started finding myself longing to be like a lot of people who emulate Jesus. I wanted something to be passionate about and to continue learning about. I wanted a higher power that I could name and a way to get to know Him. I turned to the Bible. Turns out it is literally thousands of pages. Where would I start? Would I understand it? Will it capture my attention or overwhelm me and I quit?
I tried a few bible studies and I completed maybe 3 of them. I tried and quit several. I really wanted a starting point, a place to get a foundation for the rest of my learning. I joined a small group so I could dive into the Bible and its meaning with an intimate group. It was amazing, and then I felt called out about being the only single person in the room. I didn’t go back. Then I started googling “what the Bible had to say about….” and reading from there.
I was having a really tough time with my sister. We were going back and forth about everything it seemed. Who is cleaning more, who is chipping in more, you name it. It was causing a huge rift. we smoothed it over but I still feel this tension in the air. Like she is waiting for the shoe to drop. It is familiar because that is how I felt when I had to move back in with them. It is strange to be on the other side and needing to forgive. This is the first time it occurred to me to turn to the Bible first. So I googled, “the Bible and forgiveness” and “biblical stories about forgiveness”. It returned wonderful scripture. I then wrote some of it down. Once I reviewed what I had found, I picked out some of my favorites. I noticed a lot of them were from the book of Matthew. I found myself emerged in this story that finally told me the ins and outs of how Jesus came to be. It has all kinda tumbled from there. I think I pick up my bible at least every other day now. I still am not completely independent. I still reach for the internet for a starting point, but I still read from there. I just feel better. I feel like I am in love with learning and also seeking comfort and guidance. It really calms me. I started to wonder if maybe that calm can be obtained through meditation and manifestation. I believe in manifestation. Maybe it is the positivity that it exudes or the feeling of influence it provides. Either way it feels like I accomplished something.
So I started looking into meditation and homeopathic ways of treatments or guidance.
I am not an outwardly emotional person. Behind closed doors, I spill it all. If you asked my mom or friends, they would never describe me as boy crazy. I had plenty of crushes but I just am very mindful of how I present myself. I think this is why, when I get into the room with my mental health provider, I am a puddle. I explode with what I can only describe as relief. I feel like I spend my days trying to control my feelings for fear that I am going to push someone too far. When I finally let the emotions flow, so do the tears. I am passionate, hopeful, empathetic. I am all of these things to the extreme. I try to help people who didn’t ask for my help. I cling to people who just want to walk away. I bet everything on a maybe.
That burst of tears that I feel when I go to my appointments, the one where I just feel relieved and heard? I feel that here. I feel that with every post that is written and I can relate to. I feel that with every comment shared on my own writing. I feel heard, I feel understood. I imagine this is how people who run feel (ugh running amirite?). I have heard people describe it as cathartic and how they love leaving everything and just being in the quiet with themselves.
I leave it all on the page. I am sure that I can’t be the only one who “journals”. My journals are just lists, scribbles that don’t mean much, a to do list, a grocery list, a goal, a dream I had last night. I don’t intentionally journal. I don’t even write full sentences or dates. I just release my thoughts onto a page in whatever format or stage they might be in. Sometimes, all I have done is budget. It feels good to see it on paper. One day, when I am gone and my kids clean out my things, they will realize how insane I really am. I have stacks of notebooks with scribbles in them. The same way a child might color random pages in a coloring book with half of them never completed.
Thank you for being the only real “Journal” I have ever had. Thank you for consistently making me feel understood and sane, even when I know that I am not at times. Thank you for encouraging me to come back and carry on.
Has anyone ever seen the film I Robot starring Will Smith? It’s based on a story by Isaac Asimov. Smith plays his typical action man role with misbehaving robots added. The ultimate premise of the tale is how does one keep humanity safe – not from sci-fi’s ubiquitous invading aliens, no not even killer robots which someone has to program – but from itself? There is a line in the film where a scientist says to Will Smith’s character, Do you ever have a normal day? He replies: I did once.
That is how it feels to be a mental health sufferer. If you have a normal day you remember it. I shall remember November 18th for that reason because I got three quarters of the way through it before thinking. Why don’t I feel ill, exhausted, depressed, agitated, fed up, sick? Perm any one from five thousand, you know how it is.
I’m hoping I can keep this up, this whatever passes for the new normality. Not because I have to save humanity from awry robots, but just so as I can be and do the things I normally want to be and do without it being quite so much effort.
I am writing again which is good news, going out more, protesting about iniquitous politicians and am generally much busier than I was, in a good way of course. Still it’s necessary to watch the business thing (or ‘busy-ness’ thing) because that can lead back down to the vortex. But so can sitting about doing nothing I guess. The trick is as always to find a balance. Sometimes I work 24/7 to save myself from staring down the black hole.
When I get very busy I can feel my brain speeding up telling me now this needs doing, now this, now this, now this!! I start to panic at the overwhelming amount of stuff that I need to get done – and without Will Smith or robotic assistance, there is sadly only me to do it. This is not helped by the internet and constant online-ness of everything but I do not think that has been the cause. I have always tried to outrun father time, but he just shakes his head sadly behind my shoulder.
The fragility of being a mere human being. I’ve been told that this kind of thinking is a result of lack of confidence – that people who lack confidence in themselves feel that nothing they achieve could ever be enough so they drive on and on and wear themselves to a raveling. Well I’m no psych person but it sounds logical to me and certainly reflects my life tendencies. The fear inside, the need for an unattainable perfection. Setting small daily goals helps because it’s valuable to concentrate on what has been achieved rather that thinking of the distance still to run.
But this is how I see it. I’ve been given my brain and if it works or if it doesn’t work it’s mine to cope with. But also it’s mine to use to the best of my ability. I read somewhere that the average human being (that’s pretty much most of us except for Stephen Hawking RIP and a few others) uses only around 30% of his/her potential brain power. Imagine that! Only one-third. We’ve still got two-thirds to go guys – and there’s a planet to save.
For those that have been following my journey to publish my memoir, you will be pleased to know that I am in the final stages, and I will be getting my publishing date within the next week or two. The editing, formatting, and the cover are all finished. I have to say the cover looks fantastic!
I will be releasing the official cover on my Patreon account for the $5 tier and up as a special offer on that platform. I will update with the release date. You can subscribe and become a Patron below, just pick a tier and sign up. the lowest tier is just $2.
I got the final concept of the cover of The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir, and it looks fantastic.
For those that don’t know, I have been working over the last two years to become a published author. I am about to achieve my dream! Which feels amazing!
I have always wanted to do more outside of my writing. This year I have written a 210K fantasy fiction novel that is in the second round of editing. I also wrote a 35K novella that I am self-publishing to give as a tier on my Patreon. My dream would be to write full-time and maybe teach once I finish my master’s program if I decide not to go for my Ph.D., which is a possibility.
I don’t want my time as a mental health advocate to stop at just my memoir or even this blog. I have been looking at expanding my advocacy with a podcast. I still have to deal with my issues with my panic disorder and social anxiety, but it is possible.
The other idea that I have comes from this blog. I, for a while, was writing the stories of others and sharing them on this blog. I was thinking of a new book idea and sharing the stories of those who can’t write their thoughts and experiences. I have experience writing my memoir, and I loved sharing the stories of others. I have inquired with a few of my past interviewees, and they think the idea is a good idea.
I wanted to know your thoughts on this idea? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Patreon is crowdfunding like GoFundme but much different. You become a Patron on me–James Edgar Skye, the writer. It is a monthly subscription based crowdfunding, and it allows you, the Patron, to be a part of my writing process. Depending on your tier you will get a sneak peek at a chapter in my memoir (which is in the editing phase of publishing) or a sneak peek at a chapter in my upcoming fictional novel The Rise of the Nephilim which I am working on, and I am nine chapters into the project. Other things that I offer are special shout-outs and first looks on upcoming blog posts before they hit The Bipolar Writer blog.
Becoming a Patron will allow me to do some great things like self-publish my novella Angel on the Ward and so that I can offer it on specific tiers. It will let me start to create merchandise for my brand The Bipolar Writer, which would be things like t-shirts and coffee cups. Here is my logo if you have not seen it yet.
In this $2 tier, you help the continued success of The Bipolar Writer blog and the brand. You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with a mental illness on a daily basis and still finds a way to live. I have been struggling with mental illness since 2007.
You get a personalized letter or email welcoming you as a Patreon, and a “First Look” at weekly blog posts for the Bipolar Writer blog before it goes live! This tier will help keep my blog writing and help me end the stigma surrounding mental illness. This will also be a great tier to allow me to hire an “editor and manager of my blog.”
“The Bipolar Writer Maniacs” Basic Tier – $5
In this $5 tier you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with a mental illness on a daily basis and still finds a way to live. I have been struggling with a mental illness since 2007.
You get everything in the “Support for The Bipolar Writer” tier plus a personalized blog post on any “mental health” subject that you want for your blog, and my monthly newsletter to start every new month!
“Bipolar Writer-Maniacs” Mid Tier – $10
In this $10 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with Bipolar One daily and still finds a way to live. I have been struggling with mental illness since 2007.
In this mid-level tier, you get everything from the first two tiers plus an exclusive look at a chapter from “The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir before publication.
“Bipolar Writer-Maniacs” 2nd Mid Tier – $15
In this $15 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with Bipolar One daily and still finds a way to live. I have been struggling with mental illness since 2007.
It also comes with a personal invitation to my exclusive Patreon community.
“The Bipolar Writer-Maniacs” Top Tier $20
In this $20 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with Bipolar One daily and still finds a way to live. I have been struggling with mental illness since 2007.
In this top tier, you get everything from the previous three tiers plus an exclusive look at my upcoming fantasy fiction novel to include character sketches or a look at the first chapter of the novel “The Rise of the Nephilim” or a peek at “Angel on the Ward.”
“Bipolar Writer-Maniacs” Exclusive Tier – $40
In the limited Edition Tier, it is the ultimate experience for any Bipolar Writer Maniacs! In this elite tier, you get all the benefits of the previous tiers plus a signed copy of my memoir The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir. (With a release date in Early Summer 2019).
That is it. I really hope you will join me, James on my writing journey. I will be evolving these tiers over time, and even if you just join the $2 tier, it will be a significant help. I am going to be doing a lot of mental health advocacy work through my Patreon account. Click on one of the Patron buttons on this post and join me!