No Conflicts and Aspirations

I reflect and examine that which is important to let go of.
What kind of future awaits?

Genuine curiosity could beat my depression.
It could beat my procrastination and depression.
How do i tap into it?
The elements of freedom below help.
Paying attention whilst not criticizing falling into the lava stream.. acknowledging it and letting go; allowing myself to let go.
This is how I will study, this is how i will become somebody.
Every moment is an opportunity to train.

‘No conflict’ is a feeling. It is supported by calm bandwidth.
Calm bandwidth includes nonjudgemental awareness of thoughts and feelings.
This is done by understanding my mind and being non-reactive.

No conflict is a feeling.
The feeling of urgency is a conflict with the present moment.
Depression is a hinderance;
recognise the hinderances.
In life, much more is part of my meditation.
Every moment is an opportunity to sculpt the mind.

Since returning to this, I feel I can use this writing as the key to a happier, more content mind.  I’ve been on the verge of it for some time.  Going the extra mile has not been so easily seen.  Breaking through the fog is happening. Going the extra mile.

Here’s another excerpt from my imaginary book entitled No Conflict, this chapter is called ‘Jobs and Career Kerfuffle’:

Jobs and career kerfuffle

Just like I held on to education hanging off a cliff, I also have attempted many jobs. I think I counted fourteen. But after Uni, the first job I had was that of a ‘customer service engineer’, which could have been great fun as you get to plan your jobs to a certain extent. However, as you can imagine, even at this later time, it was too difficult and opened my eyes to something that was a delusion but I am going to treat it as an obsession because there was some debate, and it does not really matter now what it was. Fresh perspectives here. It was something prominent at that time which was in no way new but predominantly surfaced. It deescalated after I left the job, and then I had another well paid job, as a ‘technical author’ for a building firm, which could’ve been amazing too, I could’ve saved, but my condition and paranoia were on an intrusive level for that one too. Right now, I have chosen to study for a masters in neuroscience, so there’s some justice as the rewards are going to be fruitful. Rewind a minute.

I first recall being overly distressed by a particular idea around age thirteen. It was different from derealisation from my OCD and opposite to the organic spontaneity any philosophers or scientists would feel. What on earth am I on about? I already mentioned it but because it is interesting, without further ado, here is what initially I thought it was;

As a question:

‘How is there something but not nothing at all?’

Outside of the feeling (of mental illness), it is an interesting question. I have looked into the science, religion and philosophy, but still, it remained. What do I mean by this? Surely it’s just an interesting question, right? No, what it always felt like was a disturbing conflict. No amount of anything helped it. If I think about it now away from the feeling, the science takes you into quantum physics and the philosophy is existential cognitive reasoning like Descartes ‘I think therefore I am’ which I have his book of meditations about. However, none of this searching helped my ‘problem’. What it was, is the delusional assumption that 

‘Everything should be nothing’. 

Due to the disturbing feelings it caused, my torment was eventually recognized, and I was prescribed antipsychotics. Even though that word sounds all scary, it was accurate. Words can’t describe how it would make me feel, and that is what mental illness is. However, right now and toward the future, I am going to treat it as an obsession, because that’s all it is now. Like I say no amount of philosophy, science or religion helps solve my disturbing conflict. No amount of my ERP made it lessen but you know what, it does now, I have called it an ‘existential phenomenon’ before, I frequently call it a disturbing conflict which is accurate. I deal with it now by delegitimising it like any other obsession. So as I have been building neuronal connections it is not so overpowering, but the feeling does still arise from time to time. I used to avoid certain situations, people, and ‘sit on the fence’ because of it, yes compadres, this is why, and I notably remember it stopping me in those jobs like that I speak of once I finished University six years ago. I remember as the field engineer, I was attempting to learn on the job, which should’ve been fun, but I was so preoccupied in a somewhat disturbing way, by this, (not so much the other obsessions anymore as I learnt to manage them), and I simply could not retain information or pay attention in a way that would have seen me succeed. Kudos for the positivity, Walks still. So, may we continue to delegitamize this existential phenomenon.

Many jobs I have had, one after the other. Many times I have quit not for want or lack of confidence more so debilitation and confusion. Kudos for the dedication. So you see, the disturbing conflict, as well as my OCD, is my illness. I’ve never fished for a diagnosis even though I welcomed one. I only welcomed one because it was a huge relief to find out there may be a way out. What now? Like I say I can immerse myself into neuroscience. I do have work to do of a mental health kind, though. This is part of it. Rewind.

I figured, relatively recently, there must be reasons why I still cannot pay attention as anyone does to not just studies and work, but past times too. Therefore, I acknowledge that ‘mental review’ as a compulsion is still prevalent; I overlooked this in a sense, that ‘little’ compulsions can still be as problematic as ‘big’ themes and such. I appear to have done enough work now with the disturbing conflict, that I can sink into focus and feel a lot more immersion. I have the opportunity to study now, so things are going to work out, alongside sharing this journey. But let me explain something; OCD cannot turn into psychosis, so to let you know, please don’t panic about that. I am aware that schizophrenia OCD is a common obsession so please do not think in any way that it is possible to ‘go mad’ from your condition. It doesn’t happen. Can I now treat it as an obsession? Was there some debate as to whether it could have been still? Absolutely, and I am looking at my condition in its entirety from a fresh perspective here. ‘Everything should be nothing’. Boy oh boy, I am somewhat free of it now, but I remember how isolating and disturbing it was, it seriously disrupted my life.  

As I already touched upon I must delegitimize it, notably realise that reality can be the axiom. An axiom is an innate fact in mathematics I believe, I won’t bother looking that up (but it’s a cool bit of vocab). I remember when I first started telling the nurses about it, most said ‘don’t think like that’ but I couldn’t express enough how I had no choice. However, a good psychiatrist and my most recent therapist totally understood how it was for me. I must realise now how good freedom from it is, keep writing and meditating, and remember. It is bliss compared to what it was. Free of the conflict means that I can focus all my ERP efforts on my condition and continue to do what I want to do.  

When the first psychiatrist that listened to me properly understood it, she said ‘how can I deny that I am something.’ That is what it does. It is disturbing. It was a relief when someone finally understood how it was for me. Anyway, back to the present. It is gone now mostly. Although, what I want to do now is I want to feel it, I want to keep healing, as soon as I start to fight the feeling, start to argue with it in any way, the disturbing feeling comes back. Feeling it like this again makes me wonder how I managed so much. I want to feel it though, bring it on. I no longer fight by way of argument causing torment, more so I fight by way of allowing and not responding, but seeking it out and applying calm bandwidth to do this.

As I hit the gym today, obsessions popped up and made me want to retreat, it’s not to do with lack of concentration, it’s a genuine feeling of compulsion. The feelings involved at the moment are guilt, doubt and depression. They always were. These types of feelings are so overwhelming but I managed to separate myself from them (there’s a word for this, which I won’t bother looking up I forget. (There’s a lack of vocab for ya), and choose not to respond to them essentially choosing not to ruminate. Realising their illegitimacy, took some work but I got there. I love working out. You see I have to create head space for the doubt stream, but delegitamize it also. Now that I have done a lot of meditation I will speak of later, I am ready to proceed with the athleticism, which is something I want, alongside study. I held onto education from the edge of my cliff, and attempted over fourteen jobs. Walks, man, have compassion for this, for yourself. I am unique, but special. The mental health work I mentioned I need to do now, is in part visiting art galleries and being a hermit in a tree. More on this later.

 ”All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost. The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadow shall spring. Renewed shall the blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be King.” – J.R.R. Tolkein

Even if the rumination is ‘real’ in theme, self-sabotage is not acceptable.

Truly Calm

Somewhere, within, is inner peace and calm.

…its not all nonsense, the clouds and the lava stream, although, it is best to observe without judgement, rather than ruminate.

Changing my brain has taken a good couple years of regular therapy and subsequently meditation practice. Last time I was going in rather deep with regard the compulsive part of my grey nut, so I’d like now to post something lighter and uplifting. Here’s some notes i wrote for an imaginary book of mine, regarding mindfulness and acceptance;

Non-judgemental and radical acceptance

Whilst noting during meditation (when i label whatever is going on as a ‘thought’ or ‘feeling’), one of my steps is examining judgements around the subject, once this is in play I can see if there are any judgements I want to change.

So, does this even happen? I have found that it does with acceptance. Its radical acceptance. Recognising the judgemental feelings, which are somewhat involuntary at first, it then helps to let go of judgemental feelings towards ourselves, if we first accept others. I can’t remember where I
read this, but it’s a good shout. So, as I recognise whatever is popping up or taking me away – be it a
thought, emotion or sensation, I can then examine, which is becoming much more fluid, and
then allow it to be there or go if it wants to. Breathe…

Accepting oneself unconditionally is liberating, likewise comparing with or judging others
only creates difficult feelings such as resentment or envy. Sometimes I notice the judgemental feelings in others and sometimes I am correct, but still, what I am doing is the equivalent of feeding obsessions. Or in most people: resisting difficult emotions. Seeking these things out is my own exposure, it helps me feed difficult feelings less, and sit with my feelings. Right now, I can write in my journal, all the thoughts that are popping up, including intense ones from the tsunami, but I don’t need to chase a response. I want to sit with difficult feelings, i want to feel them fully, for as long as it takes to reach acceptance and calm.

Feelings are subjective no matter how real they feel. Am I right? It is likely. For life in general, I do now strive to have a clear sight of my values, and organically create goals that support those values. As recent as this may be, this is something that is consistent with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT);
“..Even the most privileged of human life inevitably involves significant pain” -Russ Harris


Depending on the situation, ‘positive thinking’ can be somewhat tedious in my opinion, because
it may involve living in denial of your real experiences, coming from my own experiences
with this. Thoughts and feelings are things that happen to you, but they are not you. (I wonder
what Thich Nhat Hanh’s take is on this). Nevertheless, we have to feel them fully because we
cannot control what pops up in our heads: good, bad, unpleasant, judgemental, violent,
pleasurable, insane. What do I mean exactly, what I am touching upon, i believe is unconditional self-
acceptance. 
 ‘’To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to
accept yourself.’’ 
– Thich Nhat Hanh


How do we ‘accept’ then? Well, we ‘recognise resistance’; This is recommended by things such as the Headspace meditation platform by Puddicombe. It is difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first. Therefore, what I am talking about is we have to acknowledge the core feelings. In episodes of severe doubt, you may find yourself wanting to perform compulsions for temporary relief. Sorry, I’m mentioning OCD here which I wasn’t going to in this one, but hey its OK I just wish to explain how difficult feelings make us feel. So for everyone else, this is similar to the feeling of needing a cigarette notably because something is making you feel depressed or anxious.

Once unconditional self acceptance is going on, then, everything can fall to a riverbed, we can reflect clearly, and understanding can prevail.

Sometimes I am conflicted and trying to figure out how to get past my mental blocks. There are quotes I write out too. I recite 10 mindfulness teachings I found useful. It’s easier to understand them if I first do a some meditation, as the mind naturally calms and quietens creating more space for understanding. I take my alone time seriously now, besides, my new meditation chair is neat.

My mental blocks, they seem to be caused by conflict. Perhaps it is where my illness was. Whatever the blocks were, I seem to be falling into reality a bit more, a bit more with it and a bit more
affected by things, in a wholesome way as opposed to a panicky or at times disturbing way.
Welcome, this will make more sense as we go. Light me up a victory dance.

So this acceptance i speak of, it seems to take time to realise and feel, as does relief from anxiety. The brain won’t change overnight. But what i want is to realise i can be totally at peace, at times, on my own, whatever i am doing. Acceptance must play a big role in this. Never feel conflicted again, which is one way of viewing everything. I hope i can continue to cultivate this kind of mind, changing my mind, and go about my day. No conflicts. This is the perfect time for me to write this, as i am on the outskirts of recovery (I have been for some time, with the odd relapse).

If we think about it, what I call ‘no conflict(s)’ is part of what’s involved in cultivating a non-judgemental mind, which, is what mindfulness is all about. So let’s pretend I am ruminating on the most disastrous disaster ever and beating myself up for it. I chose to say ‘OK, maybe its true, maybe I’m a terrible person and all of these bad things have happened’, but you know what, I’m not going to live my life in constant conflict, I’m going to be at peace with myself unconditionally. This is the only way i can branch out and be calm. It’s a limitless journey but one that will be fulfilling.



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!

Week Two of Life Coaching

Something I learned this week was a great metaphor. It involved rocks, and it was an idea that Kim came up with, and it was my action for my week ahead. The basis is the idea that rock represents all the doubts and the past lying on the ground. The point for me to address the rocks in the backpack. I can go two ways. I can pick up the rock and look at it and move on. Or I can continue to add the weight until it overwhelms me as it did just a month ago.

Photo by lucas Favre on Unsplash

Life happens in the moment.

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

I am now two weeks and about to start the third week of my life coaching journey, and I am growing. I started as a seed that wanted to grow by trusting the process, and now I am beginning to understand the growth. Kim has been a great resource to allow me to grow and be the one that is taking the tools she gives me to be in the now. For one hour a day, I connect with my life coach, and then I apply that into my week until the following Tuesday. It feels amazing.

The One Hour Session

If you think you can’t grow in an hour, you should spend some time with my life coach. We began focusing on the feelings that were on the external. Using my eyes as an observation tool to find what was on my mind. The projects that needed to be done, school, money, and situations and bring it back to find me in the present. The peace that you find is incredible when you work on mindfulness. 

We talked about the thing that was on my mind a lot of late. When I spend time living in my past to catch up with the lost years, and how I live in the future. Neither is helpful to me staying present in what I am doing now. I am a work in progress, but I can catch myself in moments when my focus should be on something like working out, and my mind wanders. It is a great feeling to begin to find a level of awareness. Living in those two places made me feel horrible, and it was commonplace since I lost my mom in December. I was not living in the present because my mom is there in my past and here. Yet, as I continue to learn from Shelby Forsythia when I give myself room to grieve, I give myself moments like I had this past Monday.

Photo by Natasha Connell on Unsplash

Letting go made me feel so good! I tend to live in my head and Kim and I have noticed and it is the place where things go wrong in my life. My brain is where I carry most of my weight, and that is the best and worst of me when I overthink every situation.

I gave myself a permission slip to just be in the here and now. It makes for a better James. I stopped with the excuses of my mom’s death or even with my mental illness. Any excuse that I was given to live in the past and future. For me, there always had to be a problem to be fixed or something to fill in the time that I was not grieving, because I needed to grieve, but I was not allowing the space.

I was living in a box that was my desktop screen. I was sitting in front of it from the moment I woke to the moment I slept, working on what I believed was a million things, and letting the ego control me. I was letting The Bipolar Writer and James Edgar Skye become defining identities that were feeding the ego, these are a part of me, but when I allow it to control what I do, it never works out, thank you, Eckhart Tolle and Kim. The thought is a tool, not a prison cell. I have this box that full of all the anxieties, the trails, identities, personal issues, mental illness, and all the negative thoughts. I can allow myself to build the door out of the box.

Photo by Bekir Dönmez on Unsplas

Something I learned this week was a great metaphor. It involved rocks, and it was an idea that Kim came up with, and it was my action for my week ahead. The basis is the idea that rock represents all the doubts and the past lying on the ground. The point for me to address the rocks in the backpack. I can go two ways. I can pick up the rock and look at it and move on. Or I can continue to add the weight until it overwhelms me as it did just a month ago. I choose to get go of those rocks by taking them out. I actually did this in real life with a backpack full of rocks, and it was a great way to begin my week to see how much of a burden overthinking, doubts, and the past can be.

My week in Retrospect

This last week, I had this moment that was indicative of what I learned about staying in the present. After my work out and shower, I was making tea. While the water heated on the stove, I decided to empty my dishwashing machine. As I was near the end, I found that the biggest pan I own was stuck in a rack. It was the handle. I was so preoccupied with the tea kettle that I struggled with the pan, and I was getting frustrated. I was not in the moment. I brought myself to the present, something I learned to do this week. When that happened, I realized the pan only goes in one way, and so to get the pan out, which had shifted, and put it back in the right position. It came out, and it was all about awareness around me. My mind was somewhere else and not in the present. It was a fantastic moment.

I am working on allowing my business to grow without overthinking every detail. When I stopped overthinking seeking clients, I got a job as a consultant in mental health. I got a friend who is turning into a client for a tremendous ghostwriting book and a potential opportunity to make something unusual as a co-author of a book. I stopped worrying, being anxious, and trying to will life to happen, and it just happened to me. I stopped making workout goals and just ran for as long as I felt good. I ran three miles every day this week. The idea that I have to lose “this many pounds before the end of 2020” is gone. In its place is working out and eating better for my health.

I am feeling more open and in the present than at any time in 2020. My happiness level is skyrocketing, and I can find myself being more aware. I am reading more than ever and spending less time in my downtime binge-watching shows and movies. My life is happening now. I am excited about the future, but I no longer live there or in the past. There is so much to learn, and I trust the process without the ego behind it.

I want to leave you with this:

Clock time: lessons learned from the past are applied now and planning and working toward a goal is done now.

Psychological time: dwelling on the past or becoming obsessively focused on a goal to feel something, to be more complete, now the present is just a means to an end.

If you want to know more about these two important concepts reach out to Kim Johnson @ www.groundforclarity.com

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!

Featured Photo by SOULSANA on Unsplash

My First Week of Life Coaching

I went into my first week with an open mind and heart. I knew I wanted real change, and to really get the most out of the four-month-long journey that I was about to embark on, I had to be willing to change. Kim does not promise results because change is ultimately up to you. What she does offer is her presence in your journey. That is very empowering.

Take a good look, this is James Edgar Skye before he decided to make a life changing investment into his future and took on a life coach. I wanted to post this picture here because it is important to who I was when starting this journey. We all have to begin somewhere, and this is where I will be a different person by the end of my four month eighteen week long journey.

Last month, I took a chance and decided to seek life coaching with Kim Johnson, founder of Grounds for Clarity. I began last week with my first session. The decision was the right one at the right time in my life. I have been down a spiraling path that was not who I was in 2019, and to be honest, most people are not on the same path in 2020. I have been struggling to find myself within the confines of identities and projects that have made it easier to not deal with the glaring issues in my life. Starting a business from the ground up, even with my experiences, has been tough on me. I have not given myself time to grieve my mom’s loss, and I am dealing with a lot of self-doubts in my professional writing life.

I went into my first week with an open mind and heart. I knew I wanted real change, and to really get the most out of the four-month-long journey that I was about to embark on, I had to be willing to change. Kim does not promise results because change is ultimately up to me. What she does offer is her presence in your journey. That is very empowering.

Photo by Allie on Unsplash

We live in a world where we want instant results, and I am not different in wanting things to happen fast or to look into the future to see if things will get better. I sometimes live in the past because it is secure there, but does it really get you or me anywhere? The answer is no. It was important this first week to understand that trusting the process, that I can’t figure out all my problems in one week, was vital for me to understand myself. At the best of times, I can be impatient with my life. I wanted above all else this first week to trust the life coaching process because four months can be life-changing.

I knew that my biggest obstacles were that my motivations were intrinsically based, that I struggled with the weight of self-doubt about my professional writing future and that I was not grieving. I was living in two places, almost exclusively in the past and the future. It was becoming my narrative, and I didn’t even know that it was happening. I had to learn that living in the present and letting go of things I can’t control would be challenging. I was ready for the challenge. 

My first week was encouraging. I had so many questions, and my life does not happen in a vacuum. The module homework Kim gave me helped me shape my first week. I realized my engagement styles and how I kept staying in my current engagement style, which would look like me continuing to go down a very negative path, which allowed my doubts to control me. My path will be letting fo of the money side of my writing control me. When things are not going my way, my default is to overthink and overanalyze the event in real-time. It is counterproductive in living in the moment, that change is inventible, and letting go is so much easier. I hold on to things because I have this need for control, especially with my past.

I want to end this post with something that stuck with me throughout the last week since beginning this journey. Something that Kim challenged me on. Being mindful throughout my day and being present, allowing me to catch my thoughts. I am not obligated to engage in all the things around me. I learned that I had to understand that if I wanted to be always looking for the next big thing or project that would get me to the next goal, it would continue to affect me negatively. I have become so goal-oriented to the extreme. I know that I need goals in my life, but I can’t always live looking at the future but forget the present me. That is not always easy to do. I need to let go of the past. Conscious awareness is so important. I am my own person inside and out.

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

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 Austin Chan on Unsplash

Clarity.

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.

(continued in next post)

Thirty.

30. Thirty. The big 3-0. I want to mark this time. (peep that pic of me celebrating graduation in late May)

If you would have asked 20 year old me what the next 10 years held…she would have thought that it sounded scary and wonderful, but it could never be her. She blamed everyone for her problems. She was endlessly in love with Joseph Anthony but She was months away from the hardest break up she had faced. She was wonderfully oblivious that her life was about to change courses in a big way. She didn’t really have a lot of close friends outside of Joe. Hannah was dating David and you all didn’t really get along with David. She had a less than ideal relationship with her family and believed that it was beyond repair. There were a lot of questions about where my life would lead me. She was also very secure with herself. She of course thought she could improve in her exercise and diet, but she had confidence and it was obvious. She had no idea that these fleeting, endorphin filled time was mostly a product of her bipolar.

 

This didn’t seem like a big deal until I thought of how fast it went by. How quickly 30 years of my life happened. What have I accomplished?

 

I am well established in my career. I have been in the health care field for 10 years.

I got my master’s degree.

I moved to Texas and back.

I have a pet kitty that makes my days better (You count your kids right?)

I received my diagnosis of Bipolar disorder and started treating it.

I repaired many relationships that I had broken.

I have moved countless times, and it has allowed me experience more than one small bubble in Arizona.

I bought the newest car I have ever owned this year.

I made the big decision to start fertility treatments and become a single mother by choice.

I have realized that it isn’t a relationship I fear, it is that I wouldn’t be accepted or understood. I am asexual.

I have made peace with the fact that I will most likely have my mom living with me for the rest of her life. I am truly okay with it.

 

30-year-old me is on a camping trip in the future. This is 29 years and 359 day old me. Present me is sitting in my room. She is in Mesa and live in a crappy one-bedroom mobile home with mom. That is right, you now care for your mom. Mostly financially because she can’t work but is still independent.  She sleeps in a recliner because you haven’t been able to afford the lift bed she needs. We just got approved for the apartment we are moving to. You prefer to rent an apartment over owning a home and having all the responsibilities or renting a home and having to landscape. This apartment is a dream. You have always looked at the high-end apartments as something you dream of living in. You dreamt of living in a beautiful apartment that looks like a model home. You love the idea of living in a really nice place and decorating it so that you are proud of it.

You love living with your mom. You rarely argue, and she holds you accountable on your self -improvement.

You packed up your shit, quit your job, and drove to Texas where you lived with your dad and Nicole for a year. Much needed. Super impulsive.

Things are rocky with your sister right now. She is following your footsteps and headed down an emotionally destructive path. That is a scary thought seeing as how you went without a diagnosis for your bipolar until you were 25. You have had a couple of relationships that fizzled out. It has been 7 years since your last one. It only feels like an embarrassment to say that when you imagine other people’s reactions. You are oddly okay with this. You have spent the last 7 years working on yourself, nurturing your mental health and mending relationships. You reconnected with Joseph. He turned into a real bar fly when you two hung out together. I do mean hook up if you are wondering. Turns out he had an ex-girlfriend living in the same house. You still love him, and you still think he is selfish and inconsiderate. He has gotten weirder and less mature if that is possible. He loves to wear leggings and outlandish attention drawing outfits and attend raves. He did meet a girl last year. They are expecting a boy next month. You don’t know that Joe has grown up, you think he just found someone to act like a kid with. She has a son in high school….don’t know if that was a teen pregnancy or she is that much older than us.

Hannah is still your true friend. She has changed A TON. She stands up for herself, has really matured career wise and is making more than you! She still feels like she doesn’t know what she is doing with her life. She is living it. She needs to look around. She is still letting pretty boys walk all over her. You constantly build her up and she is so critical of herself and her appearance. She got a boob job that she hates…and botox! As long as it is safe and makes her happy, I will never judge her.

You made the decision that you would start fertility treatments and become a single mother by choice. It is a long and expensive process, but you want it badly. Your mom and grandmother both had issues and could not have any kids after 30. Your aunt Cherril has cervical cancer. She isn’t doing well either. She has decided to not have any kind of treatments and doesn’t even want to take pain medication.

You write. You write in notebooks, on the back of paper plates, you have a blog, you bounce around on your ideas and just end up writing them all in a jumbled mess.

You lost your confidence and have gained at least 100 lbs. But your confidence was gone long before the weight came. After Sean, you were down. You were approaching the BPD diagnosis, but this sent you on a journey that you can credit your life to.

You started gaining weight and staying home. You went to the doctor for weight loss and then disclosed how you were really feeling, and she referred you to a specialist. Between the sadness and the weight gain, you felt ashamed. You stopped going out and packed on more weight. You are hyper aware of those around you. Careful never to agitate or inconvenience anyone. You have actually become pretty boring. You rarely show emotion and are too concerned about other’s opinions to be the silly person you were.

 

You hope that your next 10 years bring more joy, revelations about yourself, dreams come to fruition. You hope to overcome your biggest obstacle. Yourself.

In the next 10 years, you will have a baby. You will do two rounds of IUI before you get pregnant. You will become more confident in your work. You will increase dramatically in your salary as you are beginning to really establish yourself. You will become more involved in politics and religion…after all the wise Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “Women belong in all the places where decisions are being made.”. You will continue learning and educating yourself through reading and may even entertain the idea of a doctorate. You will most likely lose your grandparents. That is going to be the kick in the stomach of the decade. I hope you are somewhat graceful in your grief. I doubt this though. You will most likely have some issues in managing medications and potentially start being reckless at this time. I hope you come back here and remind yourself of how far you have come and how many people go through this.

My first 30 years have been challenging to say the least. I was dealt a tough hand and it didn’t help that I was manic for most of it. I have made strides in my mental health that have definitely rippled into the rest of my life. I am happy. Genuinely happy. I have you fine people to thank for some of that.

 

The Bipolar Writer Doubts

They say the monsters and demons tend to come out at night the most. That is true also with doubts. There is something about sitting in the dark on the doorstep of sleep that wakes up my brain, and so the last thoughts are of my doubts that I faced that day.

Photo by Julia Joppien on Unsplash

I journal off and on over the last ten years. At times it is to clear my mind after a long depression cycle and to get my thoughts down during those times. At times I use journaling to come up with ideas for fiction and creative nonfiction work.

It is the area where my doubts to bleed on the page of my journal is when it comes to my writing. I am a published author with a memoir that is selling okay. There are other projects that I am working on to be published in 2020. There is a real fear that my writing will never go anywhere.

I know these doubts are just lingering because I have so much going when it comes to writing. I have the ghostwriting business that I am taking to the next level, and I am starting an LLC. I am launching my brand, The Bipolar Writer. Ive created new things for my tiers on my Patreon account, including merchandise with my logo. I have projects galore, and I am nearing the end of my master’s. I consider myself a seasoned professional writer with fiction and creative nonfiction that will take me to the next level of writing. Everything is either about to be published, in editing, or a work in progress.

You would think I would not have time for doubt, but it is always late that they come when I am alone.

Photo by Fawazlul Rizqi on Unsplash

They say the monsters and demons tend to come out at night the most. That is true also with doubts. There is something about sitting in the dark on the doorstep of sleep that wakes up my brain, and so the last thoughts are of my doubts that I faced that day. There are times I have mini panic attacks.

I am a work in progress. I will always be adjusting as new things with being Bipolar, having social anxiety, and panic disorder change and the world changes. I have written about being alone recently and why I feel okay with that feeling. The doubts they tend to go to other places. Will I be alone forever? It is one that has haunted me.

It is not all bad. I am better equipped to handle these thoughts of doubts. I look at where I was when I began this journey. I was this 20 something who could not live, and wanted to die. Then I came back. Got one degree with another on the way. Graduated with honors as an undergraduate and heading that way as a graduate student. My life as a writer has improved. I am better at helping others and sharing my story. I have a future in my hand. You see, the doubts are just feelings of insecurity. Look at what you have accomplished and what you have in the future. No matter how small. To quote a friend, open doors and go through doors that are opened for you. This life is too short. Stay strong as always.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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

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Photo Credit: Photo by Julius Drost on Unsplash