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

Grounds for Clarity: A Kim Johnson Interview

I am proud to share my interview with Kim Johnson creator and life coach of Grounds for Clarity. In the interview, Kim discusses with me, The Bipolar Writer, about her upcoming retreat Master Your Mind: Immersive, Anonymous Digital Retreat.

I am proud to share my interview with Kim Johnson creator and Mental Health Skills Lifestyle Coach of Grounds for Clarity. In the interview, Kim discusses with me, The Bipolar Writer, about her upcoming retreat Master Your Mind: Immersive, Anonymous Digital Retreat.

An Interview With Kim Johnson Thought Founder of Grounds for Clarity

I am honored to not only be a part of the seminar next weekend but also to cosign on how effective Kim has been on my journey. We have only known one another for a few weeks, but we have always had synergy, and I am always looking for ways to help her company. So please reach out to Kim on her website. I know she is waiting for people to invest in their future happiness.

Here is Where you can find Kim Johnson

Kim Johnson Founder of Grounds for Clarity

Reach out to Kim:groundsforclarity@gmail.com

Call to action. You don’t have to feel ready to be ready:
https://groundsforclarity.com/shop/

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!

What Anger Is To Me

Please don’t tell me that a smile and your sorrow just don’t go together.

I would not look upon my anger as something foreign to me that I have to fight. I have to deal with my anger with care, with love, with tenderness, and with non-violence.

When I get angry, I have to produce awareness: “I am angry. Anger is in me. I am anger”. That is the first thing to do.

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

Angel love and rainbows.

Love, Francesca.

Nightmares While I’m Awake

I lay in bed, my brain twisting with horrible thoughts. This weekend my husband takes two of our small children to a baseball game without me because I’ll stay home with the baby. A thousand scenarios race through my mind days before they leave. I can’t sleep and know I won’t be able to until they are home.

Someone could try to kidnap one of my children. There could be a bomb. My husband could be robbed at gunpoint in front of them. He could be hurt or killed.

My legs twitch and the pit in my stomach grows. Why do I do this? Worst case stories pile up. Which one is the worst? Because that’s the one I’ll play from start to finish multiple times. I hate myself for allowing these images to take over.

They could get in a car accident, killing everyone, leaving me with no family. There could be a random shooter.  

At therapy, this is explained to me as irrational thinking. My anxiety revs up when things are out of my control and I allow the news to intertwine with life. Does it help that my mother in law used to send me articles about children being snatched from grocery stories when their mothers turned their back for just a minute? No. And I’ve asked her to stop sending those. She just sent me an article about bacteria in the ocean killing people, though. I’m not sure we’ve made progress.

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They could be crossing the street and someone could run a red light. One of my kids could wander away and my husband wouldn’t notice because he’s preoccupied.

How do I turn this off? I don’t know if I can. I tell myself it’s irrational, but then a voice in my head tells me, “But these things really happen to people!” An attempt is made to silence the voice from continuing hounding me with horrible ideas.

Sunburn! Sure, it’s not as bad, but what if my husband forgets the sunscreen. Worse, they could accidentally fall off the top balcony.

Let the thoughts come in because trying to stop them causes me more anxiety. Recognize them, then figure out where they are coming from. In this case, it’s a lack of control. I won’t be there to watch after my babies (ages four and seven). My very capable husband will be companied by his father and another friend (albeit the friend has a 4-year-old also). The adults equal the number the children, which eases my worry, slightly. The scenarios anxiety comes up with play through like a train going over a crossing.

They could eat too much junk food and throw up in the car, coming homesick. Someone could flash them. I’ve been flashed in the city multiple times, the first time when I was their age. It’s not something you forget.  

I tell myself to see my thoughts. Let them pass, wave them goodbye, have hope, know the likelihood is everything will be fine. My children drive me crazy, but they are my life. I’m not always the best mom, but I’m pretty sure that definition is unattainable. Especially for an overactive thinker and anxious driven woman such as myself.

They will have a great time. They will be part of a parade of little leaguers and get to walk the bases. They will love this special time with their dad. He will feed them cotton candy and they will come home wired, maybe a little sunburn, and probably asking me about panhandlers.

Deep breath. I can’t control everything. Life would be boring and too predictable if I could, but truth be told. If I could put a magic protective bubble around my family, I would do anything to do so. Anxiety runs deep, affecting me in so many ways. Out of sight out of mind? Not when your anxiety fills in all the blanks for you.

Melisa Peterson Lewis is a blogger at Fingers To Sky with over two-hundred personal essays on book reviews, insights on aspiring to complete her first novel, and some good ol’ fashion soul searching. Follow her on Facebook or Instagram, she’ll follow you back and not delete you.

Featured Photo by Eduardo Balderas on Unsplash

Other Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash

Become a Patron!https://c6.patreon.com/becomePatronButton.bundle.js

I’m Okay. Why Do I Still Seek Therapy?

I can go into public places without fearing something will happen to my children or me. This is tremendous progress. Yesterday I went into a clothing store alone.

I thought about leaving when the checkout line was long, but I was determined to stay and see the process through. Lines make me feel trapped, though it’s gotten better, the feeling is still there. Instead of leaving, I circled the store and waited for the line to go down. I had a goal and goddammit I was going to stick with it. I didn’t turn away from the end result, which was to buy what I had in my hand: four shirts and one pair of shorts.

My head didn’t rush, my heart didn’t beat out of my chest, my vision stayed normal, the panic stayed away. A year ago, I never would have been able to do this. And there were times I didn’t think I would ever be able to. Strings attached to me everywhere, by personal choice. This day, however, I was fine.

In fact, I’d had a lot of fine days. It had been going so well that I considered stopping my therapy sessions altogether. Isn’t that what we do though? Once we feel good, we back off of what’s been supporting us. I think it’s human nature to do so, sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t.

When I left my therapist and told I’d let her know in a month if I needed to come back, I thought I’d walk away for good. Then thirty days slid by painfully slow. I missed my chance to vent and let my words fly without shame.

Sometimes big news came from small conversations. A day I had nothing to discuss would lead to a significant discovery. The chance for this would be gone if I didn’t continue.

I went back after thirty days, and I told her I missed coming here, so we agreed to every 3-4 weeks depending on my schedule. I’ve held this now for a few months and here’s what I’ve learned.

  • I have new goals to push toward.
  • I can truly recognize how far I’ve come and the life I’ve taken back.
  • There’s a comfort to having a familiar, someone I know will listen.
  • It has given me a chance to explore areas I didn’t realize needed attention.

street-art-2044085_640.jpgTherapy is one of the things that I have done to regain my life. I am stronger now, I’m not sure I’ll ever be “healed,” but I can do almost everything I used to before anxiety crippled my life.

Sometimes I hear people smugly suggest that therapy isn’t working if you have to keep going. Well, who are they to tout about something they don’t understand. I’m not doing myself any harm by continuing, in fact, it pushes me to take control and prepare myself for harder days that are unquestionably in my future. Life can’t be full of rainbows and sunshine all the time.

Therapy has been one of the many factors I use to battle/overcome/work with anxiety. It took several tries to find a therapist I trust, so if you find one that’s not fitting you, don’t be scared to try again. For me, it has worked to have continual checkups. I have no plan on stopping, even if I decide to decrease to once every other month, a therapist on hand provides me with the outlet I need.

 

Melisa Peterson Lewis is a lifestyle blogger at Fingers to Sky where she writes about her personal wellbeing, gardening, and her writing process as she tackles her first sci-fi novel. Check her out on Instagram or Facebook.

Images from Pixabay.

Always keep fighting!

Official Launch of the James Edgar Skye Patreon Account

It was always the goal for me to write full-time. It has always been a dream of mine to be financially stable enough to write full-time. I have been a struggling writer for a long time, and my experiences with my mental illness have been shared here so many times here on my blog. I do struggle holding down a full-time job and my work with freelance has been up and down. With the change of medication, and the fact that I am feeling much better it is time to officially launch my Patreon account.

Become a Patron!

What is Patreon?

Patreon is a way for artists like me to connect to my readers in a real way, and at the same time, it offers tiers for special offers that keep you in the loop of what I am working on a the moment.

This is the official look at what a Patreon account looks like: Patreon is a crowdfunding membership platform that provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service, with ways for artists to build relationships and provide exclusive experiences to their subscribers, or “patrons”.

Become a Patron!

What does it Mean for J.E.?

If I can get my Patreon account going, it means a lot of things. The first is working on my current writing projects full-time and have enough money to hire a top-tier copy editor, so that when I self-publish The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir it is the best possible product. It will give me the time to create a book about the members of the mental illness community beyond just my memoir. I want to start a podcast that will show the many phases of mental ilness and people’s experience.

Once I meet my goals, I will be able to offer merchandise and, of course, copies of my books. I can do so many great things for the mental illness community. There are so many great things I can accomplish. The lowest tier is $2 and $5. I know I have asked a lot of the mental illness community of late and this is just something I have good feeling inside my heart

If you can help that would be amazing. I am genuinely in awe of people in the mental illness community. If you have questions about how to sign up and join a tier please reach out. It can be a confusing process.

Update: I got my first three patrons. I am really excited.

Always Keep Fighting

James

Become a Patron!

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

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.)

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

unsplash-logoIan Schneider

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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What came first?

It’s been almost my life long dream to become a mental health clinician. I dreamt of being a psychotherapist for a long time and it was quite a journey to be where I am right now.

Little did I know I myself would be seeking treatment for mental health matters as I was preparing to enter graduate school to become a clinician myself.

What came first?

My depressive episode was triggered past summer while I was doing a research fellowship. I was working on a research project that I always dreamt of and it was exactly what I wanted.

However, the stress and expectation I put on myself was strong enough to trigger an entire episode.

How ironic is it that what I was doing to become a therapist myself brought this upon me?

I’ve come a long way to come to terms with myself to slow down. I am learning to take a deep breath before I make any decisions regarding my future and take more time before making  decisions.

But, I still can’t get the thought of incompetency out of my head.

I know I can be and will be one day – a competent clinician. But also as a HUMAN BEING that suffers from mental health matters, I am scared that I may not be able to.

I wonder days after days WHAT CAME FIRST?

Is it my mental health issues or my dream to be a therapist?

What do you guys think about a therapist treating others as themselves receiving treatment for mental health?

I’d love to hear.