Sorry Not Sorry.

 

I’m sorry. It is something I have found myself repeating often. I am sorry when someone has a bad day, when I mess up, when someone else messes up, when the weather isn’t what someone wants, when a television show is upsetting. I am sorry for things completely out of my control. What is so awful is that I mean it every time. I feel sorry from the depth of my soul. I realize that this stems from growing up in a house where guilt was the motivator for everything. I had a mother who could and does hold grudges that will most likely last until long after the world has imploded.

Someone recently said they were sorry that they don’t post as often as they should. I felt that. I feel badly when I let commitments fall to the side while I am picking up the pieces of my life. I feel worse when I am busy just being happy. I want to say something that has been on my mind the past few days.

I am not going to be sorry anymore. Would you get mad at me if I told you that I am making positive life changes that kept me from following through on my posts? Probably not because you are all beautiful people who cheer me on regardless of my manic rollercoaster tendencies. So you shouldn’t be sorry either. Honestly, I worry when people stop posting, but then I think that maybe they are on a long awaited vacation recovering from a spell and I feel better.

I hope that you aren’t sorry too. I hope that you are living your life guilt free and knowing that you have a cheerleader here. I hope you use all your best days to do what makes you happy. I personally really find writing cathartic and find myself wanting to do so on my best days. I want to share my best days with those that comforted me on my worst.

Anyone who knows me in real life will tell you that I am a professional student. I love school. I have been going to school since I was 5 and I really haven’t stopped aside from a few years of breaks here and there to utilize the skills I acquired. People seem to think that I am really smart, but the truth is education is something nobody can take from me. Nobody can claim it as their own and nobody can say that I didn’t work for it. The proof is in the paper my friends! Writing is that for me.

So don’t apologize for your happiness, don’t let anyone take away that victory lap, and don’t feel bad for just doing what you want. If mental illness has taught me anything, it is that I must savor these good days. I have to use them for the things that make me happy, that push me towards more good days.

It is a good thing that we have built a little community here. If you need to take some time to live outside of it, we will be here to fill in.

Reasons To Live

It is completely acceptable to stay alive for tiny reasons. Because you want to hear your favorite song one more time. Because your pet will miss you if you leave. The moon is just too pretty to never see. The beautiful sunsets are just too precious to never see again. Because you haven’t seen the next season of a really good TV show. Because you want to see the Christmas lights this year. If you are alive, you are doing enough.

So we push, to tear down the walls. Of the box that life has left us in to keep us away. And now we push to stay together. Know that nobody is going to save us from ourselves. The bad memories will knock us down. The good memories will lift us up. If you are surviving, just know that I am proud of you.

Thank you for being with me. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Love, Francesca.

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The Silent Sands of Illness



This is a new rendition of a poem I wrote on my blog.

The Silent Sands of Illness

Spheres be fed the blackened beast,

For long to fill his gluttonous feast.

Not life itself could escape it’s grasp.

For death to all the plague they clasp.

Yet random the beast, it toyed it’s prey,

Amused with the game of chance to play.

Ally of time, it’s patient was astound.

Stomach growls the best around.

But who would have thought that the beast – himself,

Could make it’s prey place their hopes and aspirations into a shelf?

What will the prey be bound to do, to make it through?

The beast as it preys, acting as a bough,

A bough of illness.

Amused again by the game and a chance to play,

It’s patients were astound — astound,

by the growls of the beast’s stomach – the growls of the best around.

Thank you for being with me. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Love, Francesca.

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Spring, Mental Health style

brian-garcia-196959-unsplashThis is not a gardening blog. Just as well because I am not a gardener.   But which of us is not encouraged by Spring?   It’s a cold one here in the UK.  The January gloom that descends every year,  swiftly followed by feverish February, has finally departed.    Snowdrops and winter aconite have made their appearance and those that know about gardens are starting to head out there and mull over the tasks to be done.   Soon bluebells will be covering the woods and it is time to feel hopeful again.

Nurturing life is a creative activity.   The trouble with mental illness – and there are many troubles with mental illness – is that when things go well I’m like the town mouse who forgets to store up seed for the winter because, hey its always going to be summer and let’s party!  By the time I remember that it isn’t always going to be summer, I can’t concentrate on storing up seed, and things start falling to bits. When winter hits, and there’s no seed in the cupboards because I was too busy partying and celebrating summer, then I start beating myself up for being disorganized and blaming myself for being useless, then I feel bad and can’t bring myself to go to the Doctor because he’s useless too and so on.    In between metaphorically partying and mentally beating myself up, I am not nurturing but engaging in extremes. So I have developed some rules for my mental health gardening.

  • Protect emotions from snow as snow puts pressure on branches and bends them. Stay warm. Be kind.
  • Check all stakes and supports – accept encouragement where its offered rather than thinking ‘you have no idea what my life is like,’ even if the person doesn’t have any idea what my life is like I can give them credit for trying.
  • Plan ahead – make the best of the good days when it feels like anything can be achieved
  • Prune tendencies to lock myself away – accept help.  Everyone needs a bit sometimes.
  • Feed seedlings something sensible.  They don’t like sugar!

 

About ​The Bipolar Writer – Part Three

I wanted to share the first chapter of my Memoir. I have decided that I am going to try and go down the traditional route from now until my birthday. If by then I have not found an agent I will self-publish (my birthday is in April.) This a long chapter, so I will be dividing it up into a three-part series. This is part three.

Here is part one.

Here is part two.

Part Three – An Origins Story

 That feeling of darkness would become a familiar part of my life in the coming years. I had taken an introductory psychology class in my junior year of high school. I knew at some level what depression does to a person, and what it can do. My knowledge was only at the textbook level, and truthfully I was in denial that something was wrong. I even thought that it was possible that I was Bipolar at one point as a teen, but I laughed it off as something that people do after taking a class in psychology. Self-diagnosing is never a good thing I shook it off as a ludicrous idea. I continued to struggle. 

It was almost a year after graduating from high school that I was able to break out of my first depression cycle. I started working for my dad part time, and later I found my first job. Things got better after securing my first job. I was an adult finally, and there was so much to look forward to in my life. But my journey and its beginning is not a happy one as I would learn. 

Between my first job and my first suicide attempt was the first time that my manic side was at its most evident. In the past, my mania was mostly being overly productive and spending days at a time without sleep. My thoughts would race but I would find comfort in staying busy. The manic episodes of my life are still hard to write about because I have never fully understood my mania. I could always deal better when I am manic. The signs were there that I was Bipolar and it is no wonder my diagnosis became Bipolar One.

My manic episodes are exciting to look back on because I had no idea they were symptoms. My mania would last for days. I would go four or five days with no sleep. My energy levels would go through the roof to a point where I would go for walks or drive for hours. I had too much energy to sit still. I would feel restless the less sleep I would get, but it didn’t bother me. I could drive four hours in any direction and then go right back without pause.

I would take unwarranted risks like driving down the highway at 2 am at 100 miles an hour in my car. It gave me more energy the more reckless my behavior became, and it was a great feeling to “feel real” for the first time in my life. It was a lie because it was just the mania taking me over. I didn’t have to hide who I was in a manic episode so it never really registered as an issue like depression has over my life.

One of the worst parts of my manic episodes during the early years was the excessive spending sprees. Some of my worst events featured me spending hundreds of dollars in one store on electronics and DVD’s only to pay as much in a different store on the same day. I would spend every dollar I had and then ask others like my family for money. I had no regard for money and savings. I ran up every single one of my credit cards when I was manic because it helped me “get through” not sleeping. I had no idea that these behaviors were terrible for me, looking back at the moment can you blame me?

I can see the mixed episodes before my diagnosis as some of the worst parts of myself. There were still days where I did nothing but lay in bed, and then go on a reckless spending spree the next day. It became so bad at one point that I had to take time off from work for six months just to keep myself from going so far into debt. I didn’t know which way was up. I talked fast all the time. When I was in a manic episode, my thoughts were often jumbled and incoherent. My mind would be racing at a million miles a minute. I was quick to anger and reckless behavior.

It came to a point in my adult life where in May of 2006 I walked into my boss’ office one morning and quit my job. It was sudden. My family had their reservations about my someone leaving their job in that manner.

It had a deeper meaning that no one saw at the time. They had no idea the dark thoughts that were going through my mind. It was the start of what would become my long journey but I was not quite there yet. It was over a year and half of not working and pretending that I was looking for a job. The reality was that most days I could not find the strength to leave my bed. The darkness of depression was looming over my life and I was on a collision course with reality. 

I know looking back that there were many signs that I should have gotten help, but life is never so black and white. Thinking about that time in my life I was young, and there was a real stigma about mental illness that it was “bad” or “outside of the social norm” to have a mental illness.  It played a part in why I never sought help until it was too late, but in truth that is an excuse. There was enough information out there for teenagers dealing my depression, but I being in denial that there was something wrong was just easier to deal with in my head.

On a cold night in November 2007, my life changed forever.

Always Keep Fighting

Here is part one.

Here is part two.

James

GoFundMe Campaign

https://www.gofundme.com/rasing-to-upgrade-the-bipolar-writer-blog

Now, I had to use my real name for this (I write under my pseudonym James Edgar Skye) so don’t be surprised by the name–David TC. Also, this allows me to show how much has been donated (I will give the running total at the end of the post.

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Carolina Pimenta

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Maxwell Ridgeway

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Raj Eiamworakul

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Tom Pumford

What are Your Worst Mental Illness Symptoms

I feel better. My depression lessened over the weekend, and I have a good feeling about where the rest of February will go when it comes to the depressive episode being entirely over.

I have not felt this good since the first week of January. While thinking about what to write this week on my blog I came up with a question that I want to pose to the followers and contributors of The Bipolar Writer blog. Just a couple of questions.

Identify what you struggle with…

What are your worst symptoms?

How do you dea?

Feel free to leave your comments down below! Let us use this as a stepping stone to something great. Maybe it will inspire you to write a blog post!

Always Keep Fighting

James

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An Update on my GoFundMe and Raising Money

I wanted to give an update of the campaign going on for The Bipolar Writer blog and raising the money to upgrade to the business blog. This will take this blog to the next level and I will be able to allow people to sell their written work here on my blog. There are also so many big things that come along with the business plan so that we can continue to share mental illness stories.

I know it is a lot to ask. So many of us in the mental illness community struggle to meet their basic needs. Here is James asking for money. I know the struggle (it is why I can’t spend the $300 plus of my own money to take the blog to the next level.

We have raised $135! That is amazing.

We are still short of our goal of $325, the cost of the upgrade for a year. If we raise enough, I’d like to upgrade for the next two years (which totals $435.) If you can donate it would mean the world to me, if not I understand. 100% of what is raised will stay with the blog and only used to upgrade.

There are three ways to donate!

GoFundMe Campaign

https://www.gofundme.com/rasing-to-upgrade-the-bipolar-writer-blog

Now, I had to use my real name for this (I write under my pseudonym James Edgar Skye) so don’t be surprised by the name–David TC. Also, this allows me to show how much has been donated (I will give the running total at the end of the post.

Donate Through PayPal

This is another excellent way to donate, and to do so just press Pay with PayPal and you can choose to give a minimum of $3.00 (you can decide how much based on the number so 3 times would be 3 x 3 and you would donate nine dollars.) 

Venmo – 831-287-4369

I don’t mind sharing my number (I have before several times in the past.)

That is it. I am hoping to raise enough money by this weekend.


If you can’t donate please reblog this post or share my GoFundMe link above, it would mean the world to me!

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A Repost – Upgrading The Bipolar Writer Blog – I Need Your Help

Upgrading, and Why it is Important

There was some confusion about how to donate money to the cause, and I wanted to take this opportunity to redo my previous post. I will explain what upgrading means for this blog. These are the ways to donate.

My GoFundMe Page

https://www.gofundme.com/rasing-to-upgrade-the-bipolar-writer-blog&rcid=r01-154734596066-ffeec50b38af4a27&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w

Now, I had to use my real name for this (I write under my pseudonym James Edgar Skye) so don’t be surprised by the name–David TC. Also, this allows me to show how much has been donated (I will give the running total at the end of the post.

Donate Through PayPal

This is another excellent way to donate, and to do so just press Pay with PayPal and you can choose to give a minimum of $3.00 (you can decide how much based on the number so 3 times would be 3 x 3 and you would donate nine dollars.)

Venmo – 831-287-4369

I don’t mind sharing my number (I have before several times in the past.

Right now we are at $110 total donations which is pretty amazing. Every penny will be going to the upgrade. I thank everyone who has already been a part of this goal. The goal is $325, what it would cost to upgrade for two years. When I reach this goal, I will be taking this page down.

What I am planning on doing is upgrading this blog to the business class. I can do a lot more with sharing the stories of others through this platform. What I want to do is take this blog to the next level. I want to be able to allow others to sell their work on my blog. (It will also help me sell my own work so there is that part of why I would like to upgrade.)

When this blog hit 10,000 (now plus) followers, I was thinking of ways to make it better. My goal is to spread the word about mental illness. Upgrading to a business blog would allow better SEO tools among the many positives of this upgrade. I would love to do it myself, it is my blog after all, but most of my money is going to my memoir. This would benefit any mental health blogger that wants to be a part of this fantastic community my collaborators, and I have created. I want this blog to be so much more and reach so many more amazing people.

Let’s do this together! If you can’t donate please share this blog post on social media. It could make a major difference!

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

James

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The Bipolar Writer Needs Help… Again

https://www.gofundme.com/rasing-to-upgrade-the-bipolar-writer-blog

This is my GoFundMe under my real name David TC (I wasn’t sure if I could get the funds if I used my Pen Name James Edgar Skye.) Thank you in advance for donating!


So, my goal is $300. The cost to upgrade. If 100 people donate 3 dollars, I can reach my goal quickly (the donation button is below through PayPal.) I am going to try and keep this post going all weekend in hopes that I reach my goal. Please, if you can help it would be amazing, and if you can’t, I understand. I haven’t done one of these in a while, so here it goes!

If you can’t donate please reblog this post or share my GoFundMe link above, it would mean the world to me!

You Can Also Donate Below!

Just Click the Pay with PayPal button!

Always Keep Fighting & Thank You

James

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Share Your Story – A Mental Health Safe Place Pt. 2

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The Bipolar Writer Collaborative Mental Health Blog is what I consider a safe place for those who are suffering from mental illness. A place where each of us can tell their stories. It could be as a collaborator, a guest blogger under your name, or an anonymous guest post.

I want The Bipolar Writer Blog to be a mental health place where people can feel free to share their stories. So here is what I will be offering.

  • Anonymous Guest Blog spots
  • Guest blog spots for regular bloggers
  • Interview Features that I write
  • Becoming a collaborative blogger on The Bipolar Writer blog.

This will be a safe place for all those that have mental illness.

All inquiries email me @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

James

Photo Credit:

Brittani Burns

Micah Williams