2019

2019 has been a year of growth and challenges.

But I can never blame myself for wanting to live.

Everything is teaching me something.
As long as I’m open and willing to learn.

Everyone comes into this world being enough. I am enough. đź’«

Here is to 2020.

Thank you for being with me.
Angel Love and Blessings.

Love, Francesca.

My New Self-Care Plan

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Recently, I have had time to soul search and think of ways to better myself in as I work towards getting out of 2018 without going too far backward in my mental health. Self-care is so important and in my opinion, it is the one area I struggle in this mental illness life.

All things considered, I am in good spirits today. Things have been bad at times, but there have been real positives. I have found some solace in reducing my dependence on Ativan (I am working on only taking 3mg per day versus 4 mg.) It has been tough some days because at times I feel like the Ativan is the only thing keeping my social anxiety at bay. That is not right in my mind, my dependency has increased too much. I have been making some effort to go outside my comfort zone and leave my house.

I am learning to use my mindfulness breathing before my anxiety hits a high level, which has been a fascinating experiment. I do about fifteen minutes in the morning and spurts of three-five minutes throughout my day as a part of my routine. That is the other thing that I am getting back–a routine.

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Last weekend I noticed that my daily routine was a bit skewed and I was doing things out of order. I am the type that is “all about his routine”–waking up, taking a shower, fixing my bed, eating breakfast and drinking my morning coffee or tea.

I was skipping around my daily routine and leaving things out like not eating breakfast. That is a major faux pas in my life because I am at my best when I eat three meals a day. My routine is everything, and it is essential to stay on track because it is a part of my self-care plan. I noticed that during the summer these tasks are easier to deal with as there is more daylight during the day. With the change in time, I felt as my life was accelerating. As if there was no time for anything (kinda weird being only a few days into the time change.)

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In this mental illness life, there will always be ups and downs, good and bad days. Life is funny that way. I was sitting outside on my patio breathing in the morning and letting the sunlight wash over me when I realized that this experience is not that bad.

We are human, and worse those of us struggling with mental illness will most likely feel this way. That does not mean it has to control us. I am taking positive steps in my self-care, and it is up to each one of us to find your center.

What are your self-care ideas for this time of year?

As always stay strong in the fight…

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit:

Jared Rice

Jess Watters

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Joshua Earle

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

Who Am I?

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Have you ever wondered who you are?  Or been asked, who are you?  Much like the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland asks Alice while blowing smoke rings.  I am in a place where I am wondering who I am, where do I fit, where do I want to go, who do I want to be?

I have had some down time and with that time, well that’s when I think my big thoughts, the heavy ones, the ones that are complex and deep.  This is what I have come up with.

Who Am I?

I am a powerhouse, a person of great energy, strength, or power.  A strong, persistent warrior.  A woman who has been through hell, bearing the scars that show the struggles that have nearly taken me down with them.  However, I have fought the good fight and come out the other side stronger and more confident.

Where Do I Fit?

I am a multifaceted person.  I have much depth and width.  I have spent years trying to identify where I fit.  And now in my life where I operate in numerous varying capacities, I still struggle to figure out where I fit.  I am a mom and a spouse.  A student and an assistant.  I am in my mid-30s and a female.  So many various categories, but all wrapped up in one person.

Where Do I Want to Go?

For as long as I can recall, I have been motivated to always aspire to make things just a little bit better.  I am all for making slight improvements that will better my life and overall well-being.  Where I want to go is forward.  I don’t need to take leaps and bounds.  Just moving in an advancing motion is what I want.  I have no clue where I will end up, but I know that by continuing the motion, I will land exactly where I need to be when I need to be there.

Who Do I Want to Be?

How many times have you been asked what you want to be when you were in your youth.  As a child, normally the answer to this question would be a profession.  I want to be a teacher, or an executive.  Often answers I gave included being a mom, but also wanting to be an executive with a corner office with a view.  But today, I want to be stable.  Stable mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I want to be balanced and happy.

I am in a place where I am learning to be content with me.  To be accepting and loving to the person I am today, precluding judgement and straying away from ridicule.  I am not in a place where I thought I would be, but that does not mean that where I am currently is not a better place than where I thought I would end up.  Often, I have found in my life, that when I affix a hard expectation to something, I get disappointed if the results are not perfect.  I get so focused on what isn’t that I overlook what is.  I am learning to be thankful for all things and to look for the good in each and every element of my life and meditate on those things.  When I spend time focusing on the positives and the good, my whole life and world seems to be more peaceful and filled with grace.  What about you?

Sprinkled Cupcakes and Fairy Dust,

~Michelle

http://www.bellasbabbles.com

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoEmily Morter

Thank you! 7,000 Followers!

It is a great feeling to reach another milestone for The Bipolar Writer blog– 7,000 Followers. When I started this blog about eleven months ago, I had no idea where it could go. There were ideas in my head of where this mental health blog could go, but it turned out to be the most fantastic experience. From this blog, I was able to write my memoir and create a collaborative blog that others struggling with mental illness could find a place of solace writing for this blog.

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In honor of this fantastic occasion, I will be opening up more spots on my collaborative writer positions, and giving more access to those current writers already on the roster. If you are interested in becoming a mental health/mental illness collaborator on this blog, please email me @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com.

Again thank you!

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit: Aaron Burden

Finally an Update I Will Love- My Memoir

It has been a long process. Seriously. There were so many days where I wanted to quit it all and give up my dreams of sharing my experiences with mental illness through a memoir.

My memoir— The Bipolar Writer, a dream that will become a reality in the coming weeks!

An Update on my Memoir – The Bipolar Writer

I had this goal at the start of writing my memoir. To show the many sides of my various diagnosis’ over the years— Bipolar One, Social Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety & Insomnia. Just to name the various issues that I cover in my book. It’s finally almost done!

It has been a long, arduous process to edit/proofread my memoir. So many chapters and I wanted to keep them all. I struggled internally with how to structure the memoir. To I tell a chronological story? Well, that would make sense except my story covers the first ten years of my diagnosis. There are points where I remember things, but it is never in order in the way that my story unfolded. So I chose to do something different— at least in my mind. Just tell parts of my story— no particular order.

I am so close to the final draft which has hit many speed bumps along the way. I still need a cover artist (if anyone is interested, please email me @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com with some samples and a price.)

Which leads me to self-publishing. I have been reading about different ways to publish my memoir. I can go the digital book route at first and see where that takes me. I can self-publish with a company and sell physical copies of my book, but I am not sure that I have enough money for that quite yet. I have raised a lot from this blog— but not enough. The digital route seems my best chance at getting my first non-fiction work to the general public.

It will be one year in September since starting my memoir. It’s been an amazing journey, but one I am ready to finish.

With that said, I am opening up to all of my followers for the best publishing advice that you have, it would mean the world to me to finally publish The Bipolar Writer.

As always— Always keep fighting (AFK).

James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit: Thought Catalog

If it Feels Right, Keep Running

I have an exam for my psych class I need to be doing but I felt this to be just as important. It’s crazy when inspiration hits you blindly. You’re just going along in life and BAM, you feel this compelling need to do something, whether it be something as simple as clean out the closet, organize those pictures that have been sitting for years, read a good book, write a good book, start a business or go for a run.

As many of you know I am a “runner”, a lot of my friends are runners, I run trails, I run at the beach, most pictures of me online are sweaty versions of myself after a run. What you may not know is that I hate running. I would rather go to the gym for a class or sit on a spin bike for 45 minutes than run 2 miles down my street, but I am in love with the company it keeps, the outside air, and the feeling when you are done, so I continue to tie my shoes and hit the pavement, but not without some serious convincing.

Today, however, as I was brainstorming about my newest project, and feeling a little overwhelmed by what I got myself into, I felt this insanely compelling urge to go for run. This is a rare occasion, but it was such a strong feeling that as soon as I had it I grabbed my things so quickly I forgot a water. As I took my first stride, I put on my music, I picked up my head, took a deep breath and soon the chaotic thoughts began to quiet. It was freeing, it was calming, and it was just me, then BAM, the moment I allowed myself to settle into a pace, inspiration shot through me. The ideas and the reasons for everything I am doing flooded my head, in a good way. I remembered why I started this journey and I remembered why I want to share it with you. These thoughts, this inspiration, makes me want to keep reaching, keep writing and keep running.

I had a goal in mind for this run, but when I reached the turn around point, I allowed myself a breath and just kept going. Looking ahead, and listening to my body, taking a breath when I needed it, or running faster when I felt strong, I accomplished that extra mile and much quicker than I have in a very long time.  The urge to run today felt right, I was compelled to tie my shoes, and because I didn’t stop to think about what all I had to do, or convince myself I was too tired, I ran, and people, it was amazing.

Life is screaming at you to live it, so when you are compelled to step out into it, don’t look down, listen to your voice, gauge your pace, take a breath when necessary, and sprint when your strong. When it feels right, keep running.

Much Love,

Lisa

keep running

Bruno Nascimento

Retrospective

There are times I find that it’s hard for me to accept how things have turned out in life, being 27 and unable to work due to chronic illnesses such as scoliosis and rheumatoid arthritis, to keep it short, has had a huge impact on who I am as a person. This definitely isn’t the life I envisioned for myself, and sometimes, like most, I feel a little sorry for myself. Before my disabilities took hold, before my daughter, my husband and I were in a relatively successful local band, and before becoming a mother, music was the only thing in life that I always knew was meant to be.

Once you’ve been within reach of your dreams and gotten a taste of what that feels like, it’s incredibly difficult when lost. At one point, I actually allowed myself to believe that all my wildest dreams could come true, that I would get every little thing I deserved for putting everything I have into being the best person that I can be. Once those thoughts take hold, everything else goes unnoticed, including the first signs that what you thought was wild success, may in fact turn into a complete and utter failure of a situation.

It took years for me to get the courage to perform on stage as a lead singer, I mean after all, my only experience had been singing in choir, and singing in the car and shower. But once I let myself show the world my talent, I never wanted it to stop – I wanted to show everyone, not just those who doubted me or worked against me, but to show people who struggle to find the self-esteem and strength to follow their dreams that it could be done, by a nobody nonetheless.

While the band has been dead for a few years now, I still haven’t finished grieving, and while I haven’t completely given up on the dream, the more time passes, it becomes increasingly difficult to manifest any sort of true motivation to pursue it anymore. As sad as that is, it’s a product of my ever persistent lack of confidence, despite the fact that I proved to myself that I’m definitely not lacking the talent to make it happen. Instead, I hate my body and pity myself and find it hard to open up about it, but it’s not something that anyone I know can truly understand.

I never knew until recently just how detrimental a role physical pain can play on your mental state, but it has eaten away so much from who I am, who I know I’m meant to be, and everything I wanted to accomplish in my life, that I completely resent myself and feel weakened not only physically, but spiritually as well. To some people, hobbies are silly and insignificant, and while music has always been so much more than that, I’ve got to allow this transition to take place and find some way to feed my creativity without relishing in the fact that I’ll may not ever be able to share it with the world in the way I always dreamed.

I’m not giving up, but it’s time to switch gears.

An Update on my Goals

The end of another month. I can’t believe tomorrow we are starting March of 2018. I am officially six months into this adventure in writing my blog. It has been another good month to be sure, and I am excited as always for the next best thing on The Bipolar Writer blog.

I never do things in the right way. What I mean by that is sometimes I don’t take things slow. An example of this is The Bipolar Writer blog. I thought when the year turned into 2018 that I had to write every blog post every day. I have done that, but it has been at the expense of my mental health. I am getting better at not being such a perfectionist, but my life has always been all or nothing. I mention this because I am learning.

One of my small goals, although it is far from small, is to learn the beautiful Korean language. It’s been a struggle because I want to learn everything there is to the language in a single day. So far I have learned some things but with my busy schedule I haven’t dedicated the time that I want. I have lacked real balance in my life in February between what I need to do and working on my mental health. I know moving forward I need to find time for the little things. The things that make life worth living, like hobbies that could mean happiness in my life.

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So my goal of March 2018 is to start living. I want to get into photography. Not to make living, I want to do it just for me. I still need a camera but thats just the details. I want a good camera and I think I am leaning towards a really good one. I never do anything that makes me happy. I know learning Korean and taking up photography is something that will make me happy. I can leave my house for time and go out in nature. Somthing I never get to do.

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I have been so focused on my blog, my memoir, my many projects, and my goals that it seems again that life is passing me by. I can’t let that happen. I have gone too far in this journey to let life pass me by. I am nearing the end of one journey which means the world to me. I have my last two semesters of my bachelor’s degree left and it feels so good to be moving forward.

With that said, I am going to take a few days off from blogging. Today I worked on my freelance project and I my social anxiety was high. I got through the anxiety, and I am taking some time off. I will get on as a reader only over the next few days as I look to better my mental health. That is so important in this life.

So here is to the next best thing.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoBrady Bellini

unsplash-logoSeung-Hyeon Kim

unsplash-logoJean-Pierre Brungs