Partial Hospitalization Program and IOP

I wrote a blog post a few months ago detailing my experience with modern day mental health hospitalization. You can read it here. It was a nightmare experience that exposed the glaring holes in America’s mental health care.

Since then, I’ve enrolled in an intensive therapy program. They call it a Partial Hospitalization Program, but that’s just the insurance code used. It’s not as scary as it sounds. I’m not hospitalized, I’m not locked in a facility. Basically, I go to intensive group therapy everyday of the week from 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM.

Then there is a step down program called Intensive Outpatient Program. Which is, essentially, going to therapy 3-4 days a week from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM. The difference between PHP and IOP is that PHP is to figure out the causes of thought distortions and to integrate with the the skills taught in the program. It can last from 2 weeks to 4 weeks.

IOP is practicing the skills learned and getting stable on medications. IOP is still intensive, but is a step down from PHP. Usually IOP lasts for a month or two. But it can end sooner.

At the facility where I’m at, I’m free to leave if I want, but I’ve found I don’t want to. Normally I shy away from group therapy. I don’t like interacting with others and never feel a connection with the other patients. But this time, it’s different.

I’ve fully committed to my treatment plan. I’ve fully committed to getting better. And that means going to group therapy and interacting with others facing the same issues I am.

I have to admit, my first week, I wanted to just go home. I was withdrawing, existing in my head through most group therapies. I retreated into my intellect. Each day we check in with a mood rating, the emotions we’re feeling, struggles we’re having, and topics we’d like to discuss. Then we move into mindfulness exercises. And this is where my intellect collided with the therapy.

I always found mindfulness new age hokum. It’s taking Eastern meditation and reinterpreting it as some psychological self-help crap. I always resisted it.

Until now.

After two months of intense therapy, sometimes not wanting to go in at all, wanting to isolate, but making myself to go in to therapy I can say this program saved my life.

I was at the bottom of a deep, dark depression. I was isolating and abusing substances. Thanks to Compass, I learned the skills I needed to work my way into a functional life. They didn’t fix me, but they gave me the skills and methods to start making things better.

They helped me find a great outside therapist (my current one being useless), worked with my psychiatrist on getting on the right medications and regime, and things actually look hopeful for once.

I have to say, if you are struggling, if you are hopeless, and you are scared of inpatient hospitals, please, please, please look into a Partial Hospitalization Program and Intensive Outpatient Program. Don’t let the names scare you. There is no hospital, you are free to come and go as you please.

But these people are professionals and truly care on you getting better. They know how to get things started and get you help. They will not treat you like scum or something unworthy of help. They truly care.

They saved my life. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or fears. I’ve been through it all. And I’m now better for it.

photo Credit: unsplash-logoMartha Dominguez de Gouveia

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

Looking for a Book Cover Artist

A blog post such a this is not my usual thing here on The Bipolar Writer blog, but I am at a crossroads of sorts. I have struck out locally to find an artist willing to create a cover for my memoir The Bipolar Writer, so I thought, why not ask my fellow bloggers.

I need your help! I really want to publish my book sooner rather than later.

I can’t pay a whole lot up front and to be honest when it comes to what I want I have no idea. What I offer is some compensation up front and compensation when I publish my memoir. If you are interested or know an artist willing to help please email me @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com.

Also, I am still learning about publishing so any pointers from my fellow bloggers would be helpful as well.

Thank you so much!

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit: Joseph Morris

My Rededication to The Bipolar Writer Blog

There is a time in every blogger’s life where you hit a crossroads in blogging, you either give up or go through a renaissance.

A Renaissance for The Bipolar Writer

I have been going through my own personal renaissance since July here on The Bipolar Writer blog. For a while, I lost my feel for writing new original content. I felt “as if I had said all I had to say.” To be fair, I was busy finishing my bachelor’s degree and editing/proofreading my memoir. My life was working through a lot all at once, and I was coming out of a tough one-month depression cycle. There was time not too long ago I thought I might let this blog go by the wayside. I have done so much here most of it good, but I decided that it would have been a waste.

For a while, I was caught up in the numbers game that often plagues the most seasoned bloggers (or so I have read and been told lately.) The less I put into my blog with my own original content, it seemed the people were less interested in when I did “find the time to write.” I could see the numberjohn-moeses-bauan-690280-unsplash.jpgs dwindling down less and less after the peak that my blog had in March/April. I stopped writing to help people and started only caring about what writing what could get me the most likes. It got to a point where I was obsessive about every detail, and I wasn’t writing new content nearly enough. I lost touch in what was a great thing.

I was fortunate, however, to have some fantastic contributor bloggers connected to The Bipolar Writer blog that has helped bring us back to prominence. What started to drive me again was the content that others were writing. It was terrific to see the many guest bloggers putting themselves out there on my blog trusting that things would work out in the end.

The people that write for my blog made me a believer, and the people started to come back to my blog. I stopped caring about likes and focused on content that would help people. I found myself once again a part of this great thing called The Bipolar Writer blog. I am amazed each day by the level of comments from people just like me, trying to find their place in this mental illness life.

It’s okay to want to connect with people. These last few weeks have even better for me because I am sharing more of my creative side while still finding time to discuss crucial mental health topics. I was lost for a long time, but I happy to say this thing will continue to grow and if we can help people feel a bit less lonely– well then this thing is worth pursuing.rawpixel-675364-unsplash.jpg

There is going to be a lot of new content over the next month and a half. I will be starting a new adventure in October as I continue to build my education by entering my Master’s program. Life can be crazy at times, but I can’t imagine not writing on this blog. This has been my home for almost a year, and I am genuinely honored by every person that has made this blog possible. You give me hope on the days where I feel helpless.

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

James

Photo Credit:

Annie Spratt

John Moeses Bauan

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Why do We Fight to End the Mental Illness Stigma?

Have you ever told someone that the mental illness you are going through is just a “phase?”

Action Speak Louder Than Words

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Words hurt more than anything. It pains me when someone says to me “you should just get over it, everyone else has to.” That is probably true at some level, but the truth is so much more profound– if I could go a day without mental illness, it would be a blessing. It would be so much easier to wake up one morning and not fear the day. Not worry that my anxiety may spiral at any moment. That this morning could be the morning that I want to end it all for no other reason than the wiring is all wrong in my head.

Today I read a sad story about a young boy just nine-years-old that was bullied to the point that he took his own life. How can we live in a world where words from bullying are so bad that someone so young could take his life? We should live in a world where everyone is welcome, and not judged by things like who we chose to be or love. Sadly, we do not live in such a world, but we can continue to fight to end this way of thinking.

It may just seem like words, but words can cut deep, and can have a lasting effect. Words can make mental illness seem impossible to live within this world.

So what can we do? We continue to give the voice to the people of the mental illness community. The shared experience that we that have lived in this world is what can make a significant difference. Maybe together we can end the stigma and let people know that suicide is not the answer. We can not continue as a society if we treat those of us with mental illnesses as second-class citizens and resort to bullying because we fail to fit what society believes we should act or feel. Mental illness is not a choice.

What Can We Do?

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I have found sharing through experience, the entire experience– the good, the bad, and the ugly is the best way to combat the stigma. When we talk about our experiences, it helps those who will never know what it is like to live a day with a mental illness. We must educate those people with our amazing mental illness journey. No journey is simple and straightforward. Living each day with a mental illness and just surviving is a strength. Let us share that strength to teach.

At the same time, we must continue to educate ourselves by reading the stories of others in the mental illness community. When we are divided by our own differences, it makes it easier for people to say “just get over it.” The mental illness community is stronger as a whole.

Words matter. We can show how words can hurt us and make us want to disappear. We can also use words to our advantage when we share a common cause with those in this world that suffer from physical conditions. That can only strengthen our position because they know as well as anyone what suffering brings. Suffering is suffering, no matter physical or mental.

Let us Encourage Seeking Help!

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Above all, we must encourage those that are suffering alone without help to seek help. There is nothing more important than seeking help, and it is the most stigmatized part of mental illness.

I can recount many times that people have frowned upon the thought of me seeing a therapist. They ask how someone could be open to telling a perfect stranger your most profound darkest thoughts? It helps to have someone to talk to that is trained to understand. It was not always so, but I am proud that I am willing to seek help from a therapist and a psychiatrist. There are those that find solace in group therapy. I have found some peace with my social anxiety with cognitive behavioral therapy. Productive things like meditation, drinking tea, and working out the body and mind were all things learned through seeking help.

Writing is a great way to share your experience. I never thought I would get to a point where I would be writing about my experiences here on my blog for the world to see. I have found strength as a mental health advocate, and I don’t see myself doing anything else. Seeking help is a sign that you are coming to terms that something is wrong in your life. There is nothing wrong with seeking help, and we must tell those that are resistant the truth– it could mean the difference between life and death.

Together we can end the stigma, end suicide, and educate the world. No longer do we have to hide our illness because we are scared of the stigma. Let us fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit:

Isaiah Rustad

Mikael Cho

Ana Tavares

Mikael Cho

Guest Posts on The Bipolar Writer Blog

Guest Blog Posts for Mental Health Awareness Month

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I know its the 11th of March and I should have done this sooner, but I wanted to open up some guest spots on my blog for the rest of the month. What does it mean to guest blog on The Bipolar Writer blog? Well, it’s simple, and here are the required things that I want from my guest bloggers.

  • Original content on any topic of mental health, mental illness, or mental health awareness.
    • You can talk about the stigma of mental illness.
    • Anything related to mental illness will be accepted. It can be a poem, a short story, or simply an article about an mental health topic.
  • Edited and proofread content
  • A link to your blog
  • At least a featured image for the post (but the more pictures you chose makes for a more exciting blog post.
  • (Optional) Name connected to post

It is that simple. I want to stress the importance of proofreading the piece that you submit. I will at times proofread an article given to me as a guest blog, but I am often busy.

If you would like to guest blog merely send all the required information above to my email address @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com

I look forward to seeing what my fellow bloggers offer regarding exciting pieces for mental health awareness month.

Let’s fight the stigma surrounding mental illness together!

James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit: https://www.pituitaryworldnews.org/may-is-mental-health-awareness-month/

Morgan’s Interview Feature

Since the inception of my blog The Bipolar Writer it has been my goal to write the stories of others like myself. I have written my own story in my memoir (also entitled The Bipolar Writer) and sharing my experiences on my blog. Every human experience in having to live with a mental illness is unique to that human being and the suffering from it is also unique. It is why I believe it is imperative that I share other’s stories, so here is the story of one brave mental illness sufferer—Morgan who lives in Australia.

The daily struggle of waking up every day to a mental illness can be a struggle and for Morgan, it is no different. Morgan has always felt that her daily mental illness struggle is a hard one, and had this to say, “My mental illness has always been very affected by what’s going on around me, some days it much worse than others.”

We all have that story of when we went from the unknown to the known with our diagnosis. Surrounded by the people Morgan loved on her twenty-first birthday, it became clear to her that in that moment she could barely acknowledge the event and a feeling of numbness. Only broken by the speech of her godparents and seeing the face of a filmmaking mentor, seemed to register to Morgan that day. “I was very lucky that afterward a very close friend, who suffered from anxiety herself, stayed behind and I decided to tell her how I felt,” she recalls.

Sometimes it takes just one person to listen before you realize you need help.

It was here that Morgan, after talking with her friend who recommended that she seek help, that she made the decision we all face. Two weeks later she was diagnosed with severe generalized anxiety and moderate to severe depression.

We all have a history, a time before our diagnosis where we had little to no understanding of what was going on in our lives, and Morgan remembers many times since she was a child that anxiety was a constant and silent companion. Morgan describes her early experiences as just a part of her personality growing up, a common thought during the early stages of anxiety. Like most things with a mental illness, her anxiety grew over time.

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Morgan remembers that her anxiety was always there with her since she was a child, and at times she felt more anxious than other times, but the feeling never left her. Morgan recalls her memories with anxiety in an interesting way, but not uncommon, “I have no memory of not having anxiety, which is not surprising seeing as many people on my mother’s side of the family suffer from it.”

Anxiety is often the silent partner for the sufferer, and you hardly know it’s there until it makes it presence known. Identifying other family members when looking back your history of the causes of anxiety in their own life is common, and it no surprise that Morgan can link anxiety through her experiences with her family.

Death is an important part of our lives, and the inevitable part of life is that you will lose someone close to you, for someone with a mental illness this can be devastating. It was this way in Morgan’s life, and it was important enough that she brought it up in her interview with me, “My anxiety definitely became much worse after the death of my father and the suicide of someone I had grown up with within two months of each other when I was nineteen.”

The feelings associated with death in the mind of someone who is devastated with anxiety, depression, and grief can make a person with mental illness turn to the only thing they truly know when it comes to emotions—deeper feelings into the depths of depression—of feeling lost and alone.

“I experienced my first panic attack after their deaths, and I would go on to experience both moderate and severe ones in the years that followed,” Morgan explains.

For Morgan, depression was a much different beast, but still important. Looking back, Morgan can trace her first feelings of prolonged depressive moods to age ten or eleven, when her family issues started to affect her life. Her father was in early stages of vascular dementia which caused Morgan’s father to get easily frustrated with his family. At the age Morgan was at, having to go through puberty while dealing with depression, made it hard for Morgan’s childhood to be a normal one.

Depression would become a factor along with physical pain that affected her in school work over the course of her young and teenage life.

There are so many triggers in one’s life that can start a depressive episode, and Morgan recalls several in her life. One constant problem in Morgan’s life is that her physical problems have always triggered depression episodes. “During puberty, I began to experience severe stomach pain and nausea on and off, within a year lightheadedness and fatigue became frequent symptoms,” Morgan remembers growing up.

It was the beginning of what would become a trend in Morgan’s life with her physical problems causing depression that, in turn, affected her schooling. With her depression came plummeting school work and effectiveness in school over the years as a teen. It culminated for Morgan in her final year where once again her unknown mental illness issues made things impossible, “Even though I had amazing teachers, my prestigious school could only compromise so much, and halfway through my final year, I was told I wasn’t able to graduate.”

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How can anyone, let alone someone who is dealing with the dark places depression can take you to, deal with this kind of heartbreak? Morgan remembers what it felt like, “I can remember thinking about ways to die most days.”

This feeling of wanting to die when faced with such emotional pain is common among those within the mental health community. It is easy to empathize with Morgan because at one point many of us have had to deal with this feeling. Some, like myself, have given into suicidal idealizations. For Morgan, even with her growing mental illness problems, she had to choose and she chose to work on her physical health.

People can also be major triggers of depression in the life of someone with a mental illness, and often they leave the deepest of emotional scars on our lives. When Morgan’s parents first sent her to group therapy as a young impressionable teen, it was far from the normal. Morgan describes the group therapy that parents put her into as an alternative and “hippy” where other kids that had been through the program would come back to help. The problem? Most of the kids were still dealing with their own problems and still in need of help. It is here that Morgan first met an older boy who changed her—and not for the better.

Morgan recalls this relationship as unstable and one she couldn’t live without at the time.

“I developed a very strong crush on one of the older boys who were there to help, and he quickly realized how he could use my emotional feelings to manipulate me.”

Over the next four years of her teenage life, she stayed in touch with this boy, and she recalls that during this period of her life, her depression mood swings went from occasional to a constant menace. Morgan remembers the negative thoughts that this boy brought to her life, “One of my strongest memories of him now is the text messages telling me how much pain I was causing others by being in their lives, and how I was worthless.” For Morgan, this was a daily occurrence and a recognizable one for many dealing with a mental illness.

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This boy confirmed every fear and anxious thought that Morgan ever had about herself, but the connection had always been there for Morgan, and cutting off this person from her life was filled with difficulties. As humans with a mental illness, we often attach ourselves to situations where it only serves to further our negative thoughts. We feel as if we are not good enough for the world, so these relationships, no matter how destructive, can lead to deeper attachments.

Eventually, on her sixteenth birthday, Morgan finally cut off all contact and ended a relationship filled with emotional cuts that stayed with her for many years.

Not all people that come into the lives of someone with a mental illness are negative influences. In her journey, Morgan has found two people at school that became saviors in her life and they are still a positive influence. In her late teen years, Morgan found the strength to fight her ups and downs with depression with filmmaking and found solace in her friend Alice who became her rock after her father’s death. When Morgan finally sought help it became clear that her past was affecting her future, and since has grown with her experiences.

“I’d known since I was twelve that I had some form of depression, after all, most of my symptoms matched the ones I’d heard of in group therapy, but getting my official diagnosis of anxiety was life-changing.”

These days Morgan gets through her daily struggles with the help of important medications like anti-depressants and breathing exercises that she learned in cognitive behavioral therapy to help cope with anxiety. Morgan also credits a strong support system of family and quality friends who not only know what is wrong with her but offer help in her those times of great need, supporting her along her journey.

When Morgan has a panic attack, she has learned to tell herself, “Everything will be okay in the end, if it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.”

In Morgan’s life, she has found solace in the things that make her life worth living. Close personal friends that are always there for her. Morgan’s boyfriend of eighteen months has seen the worst of her diagnosis and is still is a constant patient and supportive influence every day. Throughout her life, she has been lucky to have her parents that always encouraged her creativity and dreams. It was Morgan’s mother who fostered her creativity, “My mother passed on her love of art and cafes, and we still share wonderful deep emotional conversations together, which are the main ways I process life.”

Of course, Morgan has her cat, Alistair (a Dragon Age reference perhaps) who is always a wonderful distraction from the rest of the world.

In every journey of a human being going through a mental illness you can find real wisdom in the struggle, and Morgan wants her story to be one of many that will help with the goals she sets out to tell her story here on The Bipolar Writer blog, “One of my biggest goals is to reduce the stigma around taking medication. I chose not to take medication for a long time, and it’s one of my biggest regrets I have in life.”

Morgan also believes that the stigma that comes with having a mental illness keeps teens and young adults from seeking help. Morgan recalls when she first started to realize that she was dealing with depression, she saw daily shirts that said, “Cheer Up Emo Kid” which were quite popular in Australia. These types of stereotypes in Morgan’s mind further the stigma that just smiling should be enough to cure you. No one human being chooses to have a mental illness and it can be scary to even think about getting help, but Morgan believes she can change this by telling her story.

“If I could choose this life, I thought, why the hell would you think I would choose this? It is very important to realize your mental illness is not your fault, but you can do something about it.”

In this mental illness life, there is always someone to talk to, a professional or a friend that you can trust. If Morgan could change one other thing about the stigma that comes with a mental illness it would be this, “It’s important to know that there is help out there, even if you aren’t well enough to seek it out in this moment.”

Many of human beings that will be featured on The Bipolar Writer blog cite their creating content on their blogs as one of the biggest thing that makes life worth living. Morgan calls her blog a place of solace that helps keep her steady,

“My blog keeps me from going insane by giving me a little goal to achieve every day, whether it’s replying to comments, writing a new blog post, or promoting on social media.”

Creativity

Morgan is a filmmaker and writer who was diagnosed with endometriosis at seventeen and depression and generalized anxiety at twenty-one. She uses her creativity as an essential part of her healing process.

You can find Morgan’s blog at:

www.fistfulofglittersite.wordpress.com

Written by J.E. Skye

Interviewee: Morgan

My Weekly Wrap-up 11/27 – 12/3

It’s been an interesting week for me. I went through a panic attack almost every night this week, My anxiety is at high levels, I saw my psychiatrist with a positive outcome, I continue to have issues with my computer, I found a faculty member at my school to sponsor my screenplay for a student screenwriting competition, and I am looking at alternatives to combat my anxiety with a service dog.

All in all its been a week to remember, and I’d rather forget some of the moments. So let’s look back at the week and what this blog had to offer.

My Third Honest Post

At the start of this week I wrote a new journal piece that is a part of a series entitled My Third Honest Post. In this piece, I explored what I have learned since starting my blog over three months ago, and I thanked all the people that have made The Bipolar Writer possible.

Overload

In this blog piece, I analyzed some great information about the causes of my social anxiety tied to overloading myself with school and my writing. In this piece I compare last year at this time and how similar my issues now parallel the present. I really focused on the “why” in this piece.

An American’s Obsession with Korean Pop

Okay, technically this piece wasn’t written this week but it was a fun one to write so I wanted to share it. I am a huge fan of Korean Pop and I am learning Korean as my New Years resolution.

How I Write When Things get Muddled

It’s interesting that I was able to write so much considering my anxiety levels this week, but this was piece was special to write about because I talk about how, when I am deep into the darkness of my depression, it is imperative for me to keep writing. Even when things are muddled in my mind.

How Social Anxiety is Changing my Life

Social anxiety is a major issue in my life and one that, over the last two years, has really kept me from doing the things I love like going to a movie or just being in the general public. Not leaving my house in the winter time has been a common theme, one that I need to work on in the coming year.

Light in all the Darkness

This post was after my appointment with my psychiatrist in which I had little faith in the time leading up to the appointment. But I put my faith in a higher power and everything turned out okay. Sometimes light gets through the darkness.

My Love for the Game of Baseball

This was just a fun blog post about my love for baseball. I am not all about doom and gloom with my anxiety and depression. There are other sides of who James is as a person.

My Last Suicide

This blog piece opens up about my last suicide attempt in 2010. I talk about different aspect of this last suicide attempt including my “for the last time” moments. Suicide is always a hard subject to write about but I do feel better afterward. I did mention in this post that I thought suicide was a selfish choice, but to clarify I mostly mean in my own life. I still stand by that statement, it is selfish to leave behind people that love you, only my opinion.

My Thoughts on Group Therapy

I wrote this as an opinion blog piece and I was surprised at the number of people that agreed with me about how group therapy just isn’t for them. I also had a few people praise group. I think its a decision we all have to make in the end.

So that is my week in review. A lot of great information was shared this week even with all my struggles.

I wanted to end with a note for all of my followers who have donated towards my new computer. Thank you so much! It means the world to me. I am still short of my goal but I am working hard to reach that goal. If you can help me, you are amazing. The link is below. If you can’t, I hope you can still enjoy what I have to offer on my blog.

Here’s to a great week for my fellow bloggers!

Always Keep Fighting.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: Green Chameleon

My Thoughts on Group Therapy

A few of my fellow bloggers have asked me over the course of my blog why I don’t do group therapy. I thought it best to write about it a blog post.

Group therapy is just not something I am comfortable with in my life, it is effective for most people, but for me, ​it gives me a ton of anxiety because it is a place that you share with others.

That statement might sound weird considering every day I share another piece of my life here on my blog. But it feels safe to talk about my diagnosis and everything that comes along with it because I am behind a screen. I can write what I want to talk about in my own set time, and I can focus on the topic without the anxiety that comes from social situations and my social anxiety.

It has everything to so my social anxiety that I deal with on a daily basis. Being around people that I have never met and sharing my story is something at this moment I am comfortable with. My past experiences in group therapy. have all been really bad to the point where I gave up on the concept. Let me explain.

I was twenty-two when I first tried to take my life, and that landed me in the psych ward for a week on a 51/50. Everything was new and I was very vulnerable because I had just attempted to end my life and I really still wanted to at the time. How could I share that with the people, who at the time I didn’t I identified with, and tell them how I really feel? There was just no way.

Still, I was forced into group therapy. It was the scariest thing in the world to have people share their experiences with me. I didn’t want to be a part of the whole thing and as soon as it started, I wanted it to end. I chose not to share my story each time they forced me into the group therapy sessions, and my anxiety hit a high peak (high for that time.) I decided right then and there that these types of social situations were to be avoided at all costs.

Since that time, I have turned down every offer from my psychiatrists and therapists to try group therapy, for the last ten years.

I realize now how that is probably working against me, but I am just not comfortable with sharing my life face to face with people. At least not yet. I know now that my diagnosis was right, but that took me three years to figure out and seven more before I could share my life through my writing. I know that for some people group therapy works, and it means the world when my fellow bloggers recommend that I try it.

My biggest fear comes from the place where all my bad thoughts about social anxiety come from, people not accepting me for who I am. When I am out in the world I think that people will know that I am Bipolar (It doesn’t bother me as much anymore because I am sharing my story with the world right now) but there is a big difference between writing about my issues and talking about them with complete strangers.

I am comfortable here writing my story and within the confines of my memoir.

Its logical for me.

Still, as I work towards getting my life back on track especially with my anxiety, it might be time to open up to the idea of group therapy. It has been ten years, and as much as I have resisted I may need to think about more effective ways to combat my war with anxiety.

People can change. Maybe its time for me to change too.

Always Keep Fighting.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: Tegan Mierle