The Bipolar Writer is Going Through a Tough Time

I wanted to share this post and my latest episode of The Bipolar Writer Podcast. I will let the episode speak for itself, but I am dealing with a dark part of my life. I hope you listen to the words I have said today and know I am in a safe place.

Please listen to the episode here or where you listen to podcasts. Look up The Bipolar Writer Podcast.

Buy Me A Coffee

The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with A.K. Wilson The Bipolar Writer Podcast

About A.K. My name is A.K. Wilson, or otherwise known as Angel. I am a mother, blogger, mental health, and domestic violence survivor advocate. I am a multi-genre author and writer.  I was born in New York, Raised in NJ, made a home in Kentucky. I live life to the fullest and cherish every moment. My links 🙂 http://www.twistedenchantedworld.com Contact James If you are looking for all things James Edgar Skye, you can find his social media visiting https://linqapp.com/james_skye Also support a life coach that has influenced me along my journey of self-reflection: https://www.groundsforclarity.com The Bipolar Writer Podcast is listener-supported, and for as little as $5 a month, you can help support the mental health advocacy that I do by visiting http://www.buymeacoffee.com/jamesedgarskye. Please help this podcast grow by sharing with friends or anyone that you think will benefit from the experiences of others and myself. You can also find me on the following websites. You can also find me on the following websites to book your interview, ask questions, and reach out to me. http://www.jamesedgarskye.me Purchase my books at: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/jamesedgarskye22/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/jamesedgarskye22/support
  1. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with A.K. Wilson
  2. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Hunter
  3. Interview with Amy The Bipolar Writer Podcast
  4. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Norm
  5. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Kathleen

Always Keep Fighting.

What is the worst that can happen?

James Edgar Skye

Visit my author website at http://www.jamesedgarskye.me

Purchase my Memoir and Novella here: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks

For everything James Edgar Skye use the QR code below Or use this link.

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Being Gentle with Myself

In this post I’m not going to get into any depth of what’s going on in America. This is how the events of this past week have effected my mental health. Please don’t leave any hateful comments. Keep this space safe and beautiful!

These past few days have been weighing very heavy on my heart. I was already feeling depressed but now it’s been a lot more difficult to handle.

I normally cook almost every day of the week even if it’s something frozen. I eat take out probably once a week; this past week I’ve eaten out 4 times. The energy it takes to make even the simplest of meals feels too daunting. My dishes are piled high, my dryer is full of clean towels and my dishwasher is full of clean dishes I haven’t put away in days.

And let me tell you, my wallet is hurting from all that take out!

I sometimes let messiness take over but usually I am able to sort it out rather quickly. This time not so much. Depression has taken ahold of me and plopped me down on my couch. There’s little I want to do besides lay around.

During work on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I got very little done. I considered calling off but there were things I needed to get done. It took me all day to do them because I had no inspiration. The wheels of my mind were occupied by things greater than my work.

On weekends I like to split my time between rest and chores. I want to clean my house, I truly do, but I can’t find the energy.

I’m trying to be gentle with myself. I’m trying to take one hour at a time and not yell at myself for being lazy. That during these difficult days, it’s ok to not be productive. I’m trying to tell myself that and actually believe it.

What have I been doing to cope? Ordering take out, listening to Tomorrow x Together and playing Animal Crossing. I’m considering cracking open my Harry Potter books too. They’ve always been a comforting place for me.

How are you coping? Are you struggling more with your mental health than before? If so, what positive coping mechanisms are you using?

Please everybody be safe out there.

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Detachment from Scenarios

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I wanted to open this blog post with a disclaimer, I am not an expert in life coaching or any realm of psychology and therapy. I will always come from someone who shares his experience with mental illness and what comes along with what I am learning through life coaching and reading. So, what is detachment? Well, let us turn to Eckhart Tolle for a great quote.

When you are detached, you gain a higher vantage point from which to view the events in your life instead of being trapped inside them. – Eckhart Tolle

Over the past almost two weeks now, I have experienced complete attachment from events causing massive negative and depressive issues in my life. When I decided to detach from the event, seeing my life as Eckhart said, my life was surreal from a different vantage point. I was trapped inside these events so bad that self-doubts, self-loathing, negative thoughts, and dare I say some thoughts of giving up on life.

I will be vague about the event in the sense that I will share an event that was troubling me a lot because of the negative feelings I was associating with this person. It was my feelings that were driving a wedge between myself and this person. What did detaching myself from the situation do for me? It gave me a chance to shift my perspective. See the event from a different vantage point. I went into the event with an open mind. I noticed what was triggering me and bothering me was my ego trying to take hold of the situation. I chose positive intentions over negative ones. I detached entirely from the event and went in with just the facts. I came out with a better understanding that there is a different way of approaching an event with negative connotations or anytime that I feel the ego awakening (again, please read Eckhart Tolle to fully understand.)

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Something my life coach told me–take consistent action. It makes so much sense now when I apply it to my life. Since my mom’s loss in December, I have felt like the punching bag of everyone that comes into my life, but in truth, I was playing the victim identity card. I allowed depression to be an excuse for my lack of energy or feeling like general crap. Depression is an emotion, but it can be a part of what is going on without controlling you. For the first time in forever, it seems my depression hit a ONE. I am not sure of the time or if this ever actually happened before.

What shifted? Everything. My approach. My attitude. Checking my ego at the door. Allowing detachment to give me a higher vantage point that I needed to look at the event. It is something that can and will be replicated in my life. I am tired of being the person that hides from the problems and events because I am here to tell you, they will continue to keep coming up in this life. So I leave you with hope. Change the narrative. Detach from the event. You will feel better for it. As always, stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

My Memoir

Become a Patron of James Edgar Skye and be a part of his writing here: Become a Patron! You can get this amazing cup!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Let us Connect on Zoom

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Something came to mind as I began to write this blog post. Practice makes perfect. That for those who don’t know is a song from Cute is What We Aim For, a blast to my more emo days. It came up as I began making video content, something I am not totally comfortable with yet, but I am working on the goal!

I have realized that I have really gone inside myself to hide since my loss—the loss of my mother. I was always antisocial and an introvert, but I was still going out and doing things. With my loss and COVID-19, I have disconnected from most of the world. I don’t even write here as often as I want because there has been a real feeling of disconnect. As I am learning by giving myself permission to grieve (Shelby Forsythia), this has been one of my new identities that were once something I clung to–not connecting to the world. Even if it is just with writing.

I am relearning everything. How to live with loss and not hide from it as I have been for close to eight months. In fact, this post happens to land on what would have been my mom’s birthday. I realize that my life has been all about planning, but the actual doing is not something that I am fully committed to, especially when it comes to staying in the present. I recently got fantastic equipment to do video blogs and connect with clients, but it is still a struggle.

So, I thought why not take a chance? I want to meet the amazing people that follow my blog! I know not everyone is ready. I get it, but one or two people that want to connect I am always open. If you want to meet a fellow mental illness traveler, let us connect over Zoom, which is the great equalizer in these different times. I want to meet people so lets connect!

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!

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Are we Too Connected to COVID-19? Is it Causing Anxiety?

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There is so much information out there about COVID-19, and there is essentially national and local information that we need in this ever-changing world we are now living in. Is it possible, though, that we can be too caught up in the death tolls here in the United States and around the world that it is causing a global issue of anxiety? I have to say the answer is a resounding yes, and here is why.

I always come from a position of experience. I found myself lost yesterday on my iPad, looking up statistics, information, symptoms, and personal stories of the “novel” coronavirus. Yes, for some reason, all the articles seem to call it a novel virus. I will admit that it is probably to get me to read the article. Good Job there if I am honest. Or instead, for more honesty, I logged onto Facebook after promising myself that I wouldn’t and saw story after story about COVID-19.

I was inundated. I found with each article, whether accurate information or not, that my anxiety was growing with every second. I know better than to allow these stories to take over my life, and there are plenty of other things that I could spend my time on. I am editing my novella today to attempt to get it ready to publish. With my recent stomach issues, interestingly directly enough connected to the increase in stress in my life, I was in bed and could not help myself.

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My point is this, we are masters of our own world. I made the decision to keep reading. If you have to do what I did and absorb all the information that you can, perhaps do not do it on social media. Look for the positives as well. There are plenty of people that have recovered, bout that is less sexy than the worldwide growing death toll.

I know that with every new day, we learn new things about the coronavirus. I understand that the people in charge have not been doing all that they can to combat the virus. There is uncertainty in the world. I also know that pushing yourself too much into anxiety can be very hard on your body. In 2017, I ended up with bleeding ulcers directly connected to the mounting stress in my life. I had several panic attacks a day, and it took its toll quickly on my body, hospitalizing me for a week.

Stressing yourself out will only end badly. There was some positive to yesterday’s excursion into the social media world. I saw some fantastic food that people are cooking. For me, I will be focused on school and writing for the rest of the week, staying away from the temptation to continue to stress myself out. Stay safe out there in this crazy world of isolation.

If you need something to read, my memoir, The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir, is now available for purchase, or it is free if you have Amazon Kindle Unlimited; it is free. If you can, please purchase my book to learn about my experiences since my diagnosis. You can find the link below on my author’s page.

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!

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Exploding With Emotion.

I am not an outwardly emotional person. Behind closed doors, I spill it all. If you asked my mom or friends, they would never describe me as boy crazy. I had plenty of crushes but I just am very mindful of how I present myself. I think this is why, when I get into the room with my mental health provider, I am a puddle. I explode with what I can only describe as relief. I feel like I spend my days trying to control my feelings for fear that I am going to push someone too far. When I finally let the emotions flow, so do the tears. I am passionate, hopeful, empathetic. I am all of these things to the extreme. I try to help people who didn’t ask for my help. I cling to people who just want to walk away. I bet everything on a maybe.

That burst of tears that I feel when I go to my appointments, the one where I just feel relieved and heard? I feel that here. I feel that with every post that is written and I can relate to. I feel that with every comment shared on my own writing. I feel heard, I feel understood. I imagine this is how people who run feel (ugh running amirite?). I have heard people describe it as cathartic and how they love leaving everything and just being in the quiet with themselves.

I leave it all on the page. I am sure that I can’t be the only one who “journals”. My journals are just lists, scribbles that don’t mean much, a to do list, a grocery list, a goal, a dream I had last night. I don’t intentionally journal. I don’t even write full sentences or dates. I just release my thoughts onto a page in whatever format or stage they might be in. Sometimes, all I have done is budget. It feels good to see it on paper. One day, when I am gone and my kids clean out my things, they will realize how insane I really am. I have stacks of notebooks with scribbles in them. The same way a child might color random pages in a coloring book with half of them never completed.

Thank you for being the only real “Journal” I have ever had. Thank you for consistently making me feel understood and sane, even when I know that I am not at times. Thank you for encouraging me to come back and carry on.

My First Bad Day Since My Mother’s Death

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Every day has been hard since I lost my mother to a stroke in December. I have found ways to stay busy with school, my work as a freelancer, and of course, my writing projects.

I knew on the horizon, there would be a truly horrible day. That happened yesterday. The origins of this lousy day started the day before. I was asked about an upcoming event that was a favorite of my mother, and if I was going. An aunt always has a hula dancing demonstration and crab feast to help the school she runs. It is a fantastic event, and one I never would have gone to had my mom convinced me last year to go (my family had been going for the previous few years.)

I knew at some point there would be a trigger that would lead to a bad day.

I was asked if I would be attending this event, one that my mother purchased the tickets weeks before her death. It became a trigger for me. More than any of the things that have happened over the last month and a half. I have been dealing by staying busy with graduate school, ghostwriting a novel for a local writer, and above else my writing. This was how I have been able to deal. I still think of my mom the moment I wake and the loss it has been not having someone who is there for me no matter where I am at in my life.

I had one of the worst panic attacks of the year that night. I felt lost. Alone. Afraid of the future. Not being able to move on. Realizing that at some point, I have to figure out what my life looks like without my mom. I always thought my mom had more time. That she would be able to see me publish more than one book. I am grateful she got to see my memoir published. The trigger was there just waiting for me to have a bad day.

The next day was horrible. The depression set in, and it was rough. I wanted to stay in bed all day. For a while, that was all that consisted of my day. I let the depression control me. It consumed every thought and every limb of my body. I felt as if my pain could not reach this level. I had a bad day. It was inevitable.

Eventually, I got out of bed and was somewhat productive. I got up. I took a shower and tried to eat. I will admit it was all junk food, but it helped get me moving. I met with my client, did my three hours of interview time, and it helped me to at least find a silver lining when depression was all I had going that day.

I went to bed that night, hopeful that things would get back to normal. The sunset was beautiful, and then the sun rose, albeit on a cold California day, but I woke. I got up and took a shower. I made my bed. Made plans for the day and executed them. I got back to my routine and also found some time to get back to writing here on my blog.

I am ready to keep moving forward, and maybe yesterday was just one of the steps of the long grieving process that I will endure in 2020. Looking back, perhaps I needed a day like this because I have been trying my best to be strong, mostly for my dad. He lost the love of his life, and I lost my mother. I thought I had to hold it in, and it got the better of me. I have to realize that crying is a part of the process. That this life is fleeting. Things will not always stay the same, and that is life.

I am glad I could share this experience, and I do plan on writing more here when things begin to calm down in my life. For now, I wanted to end this post with this, I am renewing The Bipolar Writer blog for another year. When I have some time, I will be going through my contributor list and working on getting new writers in and moving this blog into a better position. I have been neglecting this for a while due to time, but that is just an excuse. I look forward to seeing what we do in 2020!

Always Keep Fighting

James