A Depression Poem – By J.E. Skye

I wanted to preface this poem with a “trigger warning,” this is a poem I wrote about suicide and depression recently, at this time I am NOT depressed or suicidal. But, this poem could trigger those feelings, so please read only if you are in a safe place. This free-verse poem was written during a poetry class in my last semester of my bachelor’s degree. It was my raw feelings when I was suicidal turned into a poem, please enjoy. I will link the other poem I posted recently.

Updated Version of my Poem: 12:15 am

My Darkest Depression

It has been a long while. I am lost in my darkest contemplations. Sinking, unable to breathe. “I’m Depressed,” there I admit it. Teetering, on the edges of the blackest of thoughts— suicide. The darkness serves as my safe and unsafe place. “I am always here for you,” says the darkness— it is far away in the distance, but I hear its cry. Fearful of this darkness I let the thoughts of the end consume, afraid of what could happen. What might happen? What will happen? This winding road is leading me to the point of no return. The darkness laughs, and it moves closer in the distance.

My thoughts seek the out the painful memories, and the thoughts missile into my consciousness. Afraid. So Afraid of losing myself. My life is a mess, a black hole of endless despair. At night I lay my head down— wanting to cry, and so I cry myself to sleep. “Yes, my friend, give in. You belong here with those who lose themselves.
Wishing. Waiting. Wanting. This will be my last day, nevermore. Awake. Alone. Again. Another day lost in the darkness, it consumes my inner soul.

God hates me for what I have become, I hate myself so much that God— he has given up on me. Let’s face it, my hope evaporated long ago, it is a wonder that no one in my life wants anything to do with this lost soul. “I am here for you—always,” the darkness tells me. Can I fight this— is there something I can do? Probably not. My life is this mess. The Chaos. I created a monster inside me.

The darkness begins to consume, first my mind— and then my body. The darkness is just outside my door, it tells me this is the right thing. “Death is just mean to an end— the end of the infinite agony,” he tells me. “Give in, your life is not worth living. Give in, it will be painless.” Thoughts devour any shred of hope. The darkness wants to win. It just might.

I find myself on edge again— a familiar place, but this time it is different. I lay out the pills tidily in front of me. Counting. Thinking. “Yes,” exclaims the darkness, “this is who you are now.” How many sleeping pills does it take to sleep forever? This becomes routine— a nightly ritual that never changes. I tell myself every night, this is the night. “You must do this now,” the darkness hovers just beside me, “this is your destiny.” A flood of my past consumes my present. There is no future.

What does life mean anymore? I continue to perish in sinking into darkness. Forever. Darkness, my best friend— and worst enemy. Depression my frequent companion, never leaving me. My darkest depression. Will I give in?

Always Keep Fighting.

What is the worse that can happen?

James Edgar Skye

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Relation-blips and Self Medication (..A blast from the Past)

A brief introduction to the onset of mental illness and my experiences. Please, enjoy!

I’m going to share some of my imaginary book. This chapter is in the journal section and is entitled ‘Relationblips’

I used to sweat like crazy, partly meds, partly anxiety. Rivers. So, relationships? At all possible? No because my relationship OCD would be so overpowering even before I got there. Therefore, obsessing was ripe and my ‘affair’ would be rumination (part of the same compulsion of mental argument) about the person’s loyalty and my own loyalty, finding ‘answers’ to this, and I would also be arguing with myself as to whether I carried myself and appeared okay, the latter being a compulsion until recent times. Everyone does I know, but let me explain, I’d be obsessed with my partners’ safety – over-protective to a compulsive degree. Sometimes it was clear that I was ‘obsessing’, other times it would be a very private affair. I had it more severe in more recent years, though, with a potential mate. The story was that I was not interested… the truth was that I was genuine but distracted by my condition therefore, too preoccupied.

There have been a few times throughout my life when people have presumed I am high on drugs like cocaine (as I appeared charged up due to anxiety) as well as weed (as I appeared dopey due to fatigue and a delusional feeling). It is a real shame that I was not (for the most part). The internal conflict and anxiety years ago was just chronic. Say if I had an obsession to ‘answer’, the conflict would cause sweat and confusion, and that is the least worse symptoms. Imagine being in a night club, which is stressful already, and then having an obsession feeling like a conflict, becoming totally preoccupied, the only relief getting as wasted as possible. For the most part I started smoking as a stress reliever as soon as I could (not to be cool like my peers). This is accurate because I remember thinking my auntie smoked ‘cos of her problems so perhaps it’ll work for me. I was right, it did help the anxiety. Any immediate relief was welcomed. I’m not saying others don’t use these things as stress relievers too, but I am accurate, for me it was purely that in those moments, I remember thinking these things and nothing else, many a time. 

I used to drink a lot. Drinking gave me some relief, some fun times, but not all the time like others. My relationship with alcohol has been varied I have had the pleasure, but short-lived and bizarre. I, however, feel that upon my initial diagnosis of OCD at twenty-two, I should’ve embraced sobriety and become a hermit in a tree, but let’s not have regrets as this future to come is the only future I am destined to have. Spiritual again… perhaps I should travel to Holy Isle.

This section is about relationships, so let me explain, by the time I sought out a girlfriend, I was rather ill, I wasn’t fully aware of it, but selective mutism was the least of it. I could not pay attention. I simply could not. I didn’t know it was mental illness, but deep down I knew something was up. Because of the diversion of the obsessions I was very much ‘compulsively happy’ instead of being calm, happy and trusting like I am a lot more so now. I applaud my efforts but upon reflection, understandably did not succeed at living a functional life. I did not want to lose my virginity, any more than I neededto find an answer to an obsession, or attempt using alcoholism as a relief from my condition. Not many knew of my struggle, as I was a nice person who was a bit weird sometimes, and of course ‘happily compulsive’, nevertheless amusing when intoxicated. We are talking about young adulthood here. When I’m calm confident assertive and caring, like I am a lot more nowadays, I’m a really great guy. I just couldn’t tap into that sh*t. I just couldn’t there was no way the doubt stream was giving me a break. I did split up ‘because of me’, it was no excuse, and I did not understand what was going on in my grey nut, keeping mental illness ablaze, therefore, could not explain that I did. Of course I ended things with old girlfriends, with subconscious intentions to fight my illness.

Often short-lived through alcoholism and bizarre at times. Nevertheless, I tried what I thought we deserved with someone I found attractive. I was wrong, it wasn’t what we deserved, what I deserved was treatment. What I am getting at is that despite honourable attempts, nothing resembling a relationship or a fling was possible and I wish I had realised what mental health was about and trusted my instincts that something was seriously wrong with me. There is no point in having a partner if I am anxious about the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘should haves’ all the time. There’s no point if mental health is just going to decline and ignoring it does not work. Perhaps I was still on the same desperate belief I had way back in the beginning, perhaps I was hoping I’d ‘snap out of it one day.’

Of course, we never know what may be around the corner and one can fall in love instantly when we least expect it and in another dimension, my experiences would have been fruitful. I regret I wasn’t there, in the moment, doing all the things I could do right now free of my condition. Many opportunities for happiness fell from my grasp. But, right now I’m happy with the way things are going to play out.

My parents were very good-natured and supportive. There is autism and mental illness running through my family, this isn’t a problem as if I wasn’t so ill I could have communicated more effectively with them. Alcoholism and emotional problems were present in some respects but I do not feel they were a cause of my problems any more than cancer may be caused by various combined factors. Causes of a lot of mental illness are inconclusive; huge chemical imbalances, I’m undecided whether they are a cause or result probably a result more so than not in my opinion, therefore, environment and genes are causes as is the fact that everyone interprets experiences differently. I definitely have chemical imbalances such as when I would go selectively mute: the feeling, no one gets that anxious to have to do that.

Many people are emotionally unstable and if I were not so far gone, I would have rectified my relationship with my parents during my teens and had a much less miserable time as a result. I do remember OCD in particular suddenly appearing in the final year of primary school, man I was so clever to hide it. But even then I knew it was irrational but knew nothing of mental illness to be able to explain it. It was brewing, but I’d never had obsessions like that before – I was quick to hide it. Yea I know a mountain to climb for a kid. As OCDers, we often know how irrational our obsessions are which is cursed. Therefore, the only benefit of a more emotionally aware family was the fact that we may have realised I was hiding it and we would have got a diagnosis before I went off to live on my own, only because I would have really liked my mother to experience my good mental health before she passed away. This is no one’s fault. I’m a master of disguise.  

The main problem observable by my family during my adult life is that which is elusive, mischievous, deviant and tedious: the gambling addiction. I admit that it has gone on until the release of ‘mental blocks’ in recent times. It switched and mischievously hid, restricting my ability to actually work on my mental health. As I review this, I am ready to write the final section of my book, which is best to be written after addiction has completely gone and mental health is the only priority. It is, like I imagined, far easier to sit with the core feelings, and appreciate freedom, now I am not ensnared by the addictive urges and storylines which dictated my life to some extent. A year on now since I started writing, the addiction has only just completely gone. I’m not seeking reassurance or exaggerating, it truly has gone now. Therefore I am able to write and meditate with purely pure intentions. I may have been a master of disguise growing up, but now I can be a master full stop.

New joys are sobriety and mental health. All views are subjective, what someone thinks of you is part of their thinking, therefore it doesn’t define you.

The art gallery – how interesting.  The doubt stream tried to take up full bandwidth. I persevered and read about a few things. But I needed to create head space for the doubt stream, I couldn’t turn it off. Blown up ‘guilt’ was there…

Post War

Realising what causes my mental blocks, which are, upon summary, conflict without a comprehensible source.

I am so used to the compulsion of mental review, that I can’t always catch myself doing it.

Its harder and darker than the rumination of the non-sufferer.

There’s a lot of conflict involved and a lot of self analysis.

This post will be brief but concise.

I’ve begun my course of study now, I’ll let you know what it is once I graduate.

Perfect timing.

I find it as hard to pay attention to peppa pig, as I do quantum physics, when the mental blocks are heavier than the Earth.

I do not have obsessions anymore like they were years and years ago, that is, total preoccupation with chronic anxiety + depression alongside..

However, the blocks are a motherfucking beast of an enemy.

Could they be autism? It’s possible cos eye contact and social interation is exceedingly awkward when im not feeling right.

I am very happy with my first few posts, I hope they entertain and help.

Helping others very much so helps ourselves. I am working things out on the outskirts, in the suburbs of my condition.

Wisdom has been stumbled upon, like acceptance I mentioned.

Zen Buddhism is a philosophy.

I am not too interested in religion, apart from this zen philosophy.

So.. a few notes from my imaginary book today:

No ego, no urgency, no conflict.

Doubt and delusion. I experienced the psychotic episode, refer to this when I do.

Five hinderances. (a video I watched about a shaolin monk and some very wise teachings)

Understanding the mind and being non-reactive is for healing.

Enjoying the quality of things. No conflict in any form, including doubt, insecurity and ego.

If I do not enjoy the current thing, the current task, then it is likely the same will always occur in future tasks.

All the clouds and the lava stream are not real, they are a part of me but are brain-random stuff. They only hold meaning I give to them.

Feelings are subjective, but gotta’ feel fully.

As soon as I examine, I need to let it be, not ‘answer’ or fight.

Make room for the mental illness, but I can speed up when I do not engage them, the volcano or lava stream, by way of calm bandwidth.

Mindfulness means opening up, but not engagining especially obsessing.

No forcing.

No conflict by being nonjudgemental, fully, with the object of meditation. Even smaller doubts… everything.

And finally…

Never any urgency.

Handle With Love

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will NEVER forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou

I find that quote absolutely true for every good and bad situation, event and person in my life. When I think of my first good memories, I remember my Grandpa Meyers. I do not remember many of his words and even if I do, I remember how those words made me feel. I remember some of the fun, kind and caring things he did for me and my gang of friends at the time, but most importantly I remember how he made me feel. My Grandpa Meyers always made me feel like I was special and loved deeply by him.

Feeling special + Feeling loved = HAPPINESS

Of course, my children provide most of my positive memories since the second I first found out I was pregnant. It is mostly loving them unconditionally forever from the instant I conceived and being loved back by them that gives me the most joy and purpose in my life.

On the flip side, my most vivid negative memories are associated with feelings of shame, anger and sadness. For example, when I was punished for wetting the bed nearly every day until I was twelve years old, I remember the negative shameful words because of how those words made me feel. I cannot remember the physical pain caused by the spankings, but I still unfortunately feel deep rooted shame and anger towards my father for causing it to happen. I was punished and shamed for a behavior I had no control over. I continue to recover and heal from the painful emotional wounds I have now learned affected every aspect of my life.

The most traumatic memories are remembered most vividly and are impossible to forget. We cannot forget them, but we can learn to live with them in a healthy and safe manner. This of course takes time and work. Mindfulness has greatly helped me and continues to.

Other people in your life may have experienced or witnessed the same event but may not remember it the same way or at all, because it was not traumatic to them. You on the other hand remember every detail of the event.

When looking back at your life, what are the memories you remember the most and how did they make you feel?

My negative memories are filled with feelings of anger, shame, and fear.

My positive memories are filled with the emotions of joy, pride and love–loving others and/or feeling loved.

In everything we do with others, I think we should always remember the quote by Maya Angelou,

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will NEVER forget how you made them feel.”

To make a positive difference in the lives of others always listen, love deeply and make them feel like you care about them. Make them feel special. Let them know they matter and have a great purpose in this lifetime.

I think I always tried to treat people the way I wished I would have been treated. Growing up I had little to no self-esteem. Honestly, deep down I was ashamed of myself. My parents instilled that in me from a young age. I wished I felt good about myself, so I wanted to help others feel good about themselves. I guess I treated people how I wanted to be treated and feel. I never wanted others to feel the way I did.

Helping others helped me feel better about myself. It was and is a win win situation.

In the process of helping and loving others, eventually I learned to help and love myself.

Self actualization and loving myself are lifelong lessons I continue to take and experience. I am currently being home schooled every day by the faculty of myself, my family and everyone around me. I also learn from books, blogs, social media, television and movies–I learn a lot from documentaries. These all continue to be a big part of my curriculum for my lifelong lessons on love and the meaning of life.

——————————

Thank you for reading. I have been so busy, I have not had time to write for a while but I always miss it and need it. Writing has always been very therapeutic for me. Plus, I miss all the amazing people in this fabulous blogging community that actually helped save my life. I hope you are all doing well and staying safe during this difficult time of Covid-19 and the United States election. I was thinking of taking a long nap until the election was over. Just kidding, but I am looking forward to when the election is finally over. Please VOTE. I know I will.

Much love always,
Sue

© Copyright 2020 by Susan Walz of My Loud Whispers of Hope 

Photo Credit: Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash,com

Too Many Excuses.

I love writing. I write lists as a comfort, and my thoughts as an outlet. Sometimes, I get hung up on others opinions of my writing. Opinions I shouldn’t worry about. I write for me. Most of it doesn’t make sense but it feels right.When I freeze while trying to consider opinions I haven’t heard yet, I am hurting myself more than anyone. With no paper to spill my feelings into, I find myself fixating on them more than ever.

So I am just gonna go for it. I am sorry if this is a little scattered.

Remember the first time you watched a movie from your childhood, but as an adult? Maybe there was a joke that went over your prepubescent head, or maybe it confirmed a theory you had. Either way, I find myself doing this often. I used to really push away from religion and even claimed to be atheist (ZERO opinion if you are or aren’t religious). I talked about things I didn’t have any knowledge on and put down anything that sounded like a religious comment. Now I turn to the Bible as a comfort. The words in that book mean more now.

The word mindfulness means more now. I understand how I can be mindful, and how that benefits my growth as a person. My BP diagnosis was my first step towards mindfulness. I finally recognized something wasn’t right and sought help for my mood and subsequent actions. With that came the realization that I had formed these habits that were hurting those around me. I didn’t want to just mask symptoms, I wanted to find the cause.

I have had a lot of great things happen lately, and I had a lot of shitty things happen too. As I revealed recently, I was hospitalized for thoughts of self harm. All is better now, I just had to get some meds tweaked and take some time to process my feelings in a safe place. I get back to work and disclose to a close coworker what my hospitalization was for. My boss comes back from vacation and suddenly, after almost a year, fires me for “low productivity”. I had just signed a lease on a two bedroom apartment for my self and my mom who I care for. I just bought a new car earlier this year. A lot of people close to me pointed out the timing of being let go, right after I was hospitalized. I just don’t want to be one of those people who blame others. I honestly was shocked when they let me go. I had never received any indication that my work was not meeting expectations. I have filed for unemployment, but I haven’t received anything as of yet. It has only been a week.

Isn’t it weird the things that can trigger depression. My job loss didn’t. I was upset and down as to be expected but it wasn’t depression. Having to ask and receive help from my sister who is so judgmental of any actions that aren’t 100% responsible, and my grandmother who I have been trying to set boundaries with, especially financially.

I got a verbal offer for a job today. Since completing my degree, I haven’t been job searching. Let me tell you, I am being offered hire positions then I have ever held. Positions that I most certainly feel I am unqualified for. I accepted but am waiting for the official offer letter.

I feel like things are looking up and all in all, this year wasn’t bad. It might be one of my best yet.

Detachment from Scenarios

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.

Photo by Ryan Stone on Unsplash

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.)

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

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.

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My Journey to Stability, Pt. 3

by Shara Adams

A circle of blurred faces surrounded me, all talking at once. The level of chaos outpaced my own mind and I struggled to keep track of what was going on. Drugged and intoxicated beyond capable cognition, the world began to slip away once again. In the mess of voices, the realization of my fragile state caught the action of the paramedics and I was whisked down the stairs from the apartment to the ambulance. Because of the design of our place, a stretcher was worthless. They half carried, and half walked me down the precarious stairway. Once I was inside the bus, one of the paramedics joined me and began a pleasant conversation with me.

Blonde hair and blue eyes watched me intently. It may have been my lost mind, but at that moment, he had the most beautiful eyes that I had ever seen. Smiling, I was lost in his hypnotizing gaze. His voice was soft and inviting. I felt like I could listen to it forever, and I did listen to it the whole way to the emergency room. He conversed with me to keep me awake and cognitive of what was around me, and it worked perfectly. It also kept my mind off the fact my husband had not come with me. I did not notice this fact in the middle of everything going on; he was completely absent from my side.

Once inside the ER, I was forced to drink charcoal from a small cup, and it did not take long for it to make a reappearance. It was absolutely disgusting, and my toxic stomach contents were having none of it. Frustrated nurses yelled at me for throwing it up and then gave me another cup – but I never touched it to my lips. Without something to focus on, I was slipping away from the bright lights of the room. Metal walls of the elevator were my final memory before losing consciousness. I have no recollection of being in the ICU or being ‘asleep’. No dreams or thoughts; it was as if I went to bed and woke up the next morning but waking up this time was a much different experience.

Stirring in the hospital bed, my eyes opened several days after my arrival. I felt lost and confused at my surroundings, but my eyes fell on a familiar face and relief washed over me. I am sure she felt the swell of relief as well. My mom had driven about 740 miles in eight hours to be by my side. We later calculated that she had averaged about 95 mph the entirety of the drive, never being pulled over. There was always a driver going faster than she was, and they were the ones to get caught. Her foot never left the gas pedal, and I will never make fun of her panic.

Once awake and somewhat aware of where I was, I noticed the lack of a certain person from the room: my husband. This was something my mom attempted to fix, but it was only mildly successful. He came to visit me once during my entire stay, but never said a word and refused to look at me. He sat on my bed and I rubbed his back, but nothing I did to interact with the stone-faced body made any difference. His blatant resentment was more than I could overcome. I began to wonder if I went too far to prove my point, but it also seemed to be working.

The chaos from the apartment had compartmentalized in my mind, blurry and distant memories, just like that night.

by Shara Adams

For more stories by Shara Adams, visit http://pennedinwhite.com.

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!

Beyond Compulsion

Its time to talk a little about the freedom from going beyond my compulsion of finding answers to old obsessions.

I mentioned exposure response prevention therapy (ERP), which is when we dive into feelings associated with our obsessions, usually anxiety.   Well here’s one for me;

I read an article related to an obsession I had, well it was differen’t it was more of a disturbing conflict but I can treat it as an obsession now.

The article talks of the latest understanding of origins of the Universe being quantum fluctuation. My obsession was extremely disturbed by the idea of ‘something’ as opposed to ‘nothing’ being the axiom. An axiom is an innate fact, in for example mathematics, I believe, I won’t look it up but there’s some vocab for you. So, I would doubt reality itself. Not in a way that was interesting, but in a way which was disturbing.

So briefly on the article – that’s cool, but that’s still ‘something’. Why, or rather how, would the quantum fluctuation have started? Should that not be there? The idea of God didn’t help my condition as it is somewhat kicking the can down the road, impossible to grasp, and even so, that’s still ‘something’. Clearly nothing satisfied my ‘problem’.  The compulsion of mental argument did not solve any of it. What i call the ‘antidote’ does, which allows me to gracefully step out of it.

The origins of the universe is an interesting topic to physicians… what I was doing is not that, not healthy, my mind simply latched onto it since a pretty young age, and still it becomes a rush of anxiety and disturbing feeling of conflict.

The answer to my ‘problem’ now, outside of the conflict, is that it is OK that ‘something’ is the axiom. There’s nothing wrong with that. My antidote was right. (this is my antidote of recent times – ‘‘the axiom being something, not nothing’’).

How on earth is this related to an illness? Catastrophic feelings are my illness. A feeling that something is horribly wrong was there whilst reading, and a feeling of overwhelming responsibility which OCDers get came along, but I do not feel delusional anymore. This is a success and a huge step for me.

I am writing to help myself in ways which are profound and provide clarity, which is worthy of recording. Isn’t it just like a diary? Yea but I have a good structure now and putting it all together will really help me, but also potentially provide an interesting read.

Rewind. I touch reality by letting go of ‘nothing’ being the axiom. Therefore, It’s Okay to let the search go. It is useful to remember, that any thought or feeling or mental block isn’t real. Even the disturbing conflict is not real. In a sense, the present moment is the only thing happening therefore the breath is the only thing real. I often would not speak of obsessions because of how irrational they were: this is indeed common, but it was my only mistake, and one that I would indeed shout my mouth off at my teenage-self to rectify. I guess, mental blocks, addiction, and debauchery (alcohol, not the other two: sex and drugs, they wouldn’t work due to lack of pleasure for the most part) stopped me from attempting to explain things for the first time until well into adulthood.

My condition now latches onto how others feel as well as  ‘real event’ OCD.

So how on earth does one treat that, if the thing is potentially ‘real’. Or at least relates to a real event. Well may we realise it’s the same game the OCD is playing– the feelings, the mental argument (my compulsion): OCD has taken the real event and twisted it and unleashed a tsunami in the brain and subsequently the mind.

Most people do not speak of their problems, true, they choose to get smashed or ignore them, however, if genuine mental illness is present, it is probably important that problems are examined, because they stop us being able to function on a day to day basis. Throughout my life, natural enjoyment has been sucked from me by my mental illness, whilst trying to function by attempting to hold down countless jobs or relationships. Being ‘selfish’ at a young age would have been a good shout for me, like becoming a hermit in a tree.

By training to live without the addiction too, I am not responding to the compulsive urge I mentioned last time. It is correct that this is necessary, it being an overlapping symptom of core emotions.

A ‘music’ obsession over ten years ago was just as severe as relationship and harm OCD I had, and it wasn’t even violent or existential like in more recent times. See it wasn’t about the topic at all. This does show, by me as a prime example, that the theme of the obsession is never ending, it is not the problem even though it feels like it, its not to do with the theme its to do with how we respond to it, rather, the compulsion is something we need to begin to be mindful of and quit fighting, arguing, chasing or legitamizing the obsession.

Instead, let’s build innate self-worth and acceptance by beginning to, and proceeding to not perform the compulsions, whatever your compulsions may be. They are a response keeping the fire burning. It seems with me today, that unconditional acceptance trumps OCD. But getting there, now that’s going to be very different in terms of difficulty levels for everyone who suffers; A ladder of exposures may help (ERP), meditation may help (learning mindfulness), more traditional therapy (CBT) may be of assistance. A combination of these has set me on my way now. Mental health is more important than anything in life. Never again will I not unconditionally accept what is going on up in my grey nut. Never again will I not incorporate what I’ve learnt and ultimately accept myself. Never again will I feel regret, guilt, listen to the doubt stream or shame. There’s nothing wrong with reasonable regrets, nevertheless whilst exacerbated it is like I say – a red herring in this sh*t. I suffer with what they call ‘real event OCD’.  Relationship and harm OCD I now have totally managed. But real event is tricky due to playing on real events, sometimes things which others find insignificant, but sometimes with significant events too. Not to mention false or exacerbated memories.

So, mental argument as a compulsion:

There has been trauma in my recent past, but despite this, being able to reflect on the outside of my illness is a joy. As I have now presented to you, there is such thing as the compulsion of mental argument, which fuels an overwhelming feeling of responsibility and is fuelled by, especially, feelings such as doubt and guilt. I’ve had it constant throughout the day before, now with bandwidth I can delegitamize it. Upon reflection, there was not ‘thinking’ going on, like spontaneous and organic thinking. Instead, the arguments were a form of self-sabotage, a hunt for an answer to ‘resolve’ the doubt stream, which is what compulsions are.

It’s so obvious it was a compulsion when I remember what I used to do – try to find an answer all day, but even when I did it wouldn’t stick for long. Such as ten years ago when my OCD was at its worse when not violent in a topic, about my music course, but it was merciless in its severity.

This mentally manifested OCD aka ‘pure O’ is the same as someone performing physical compulsions, which are tiring and tedious, depressing and exhausting… but in the head instead: the chasing of an uncertainty, the fuelling of a doubt. An answer really does not stick and you can get pulled deeper and deeper into the lava stream, therefore, any real ‘answers’ come a million miles away from this condition.

As I mentioned, before when young and more recently, I did have more well-known themes resurface such as relationship OCD and harm OCD, both extremely debilitating. I am going to search my intellect and soul (Ok I admit a ‘spiritual’ reference here although I wasn’t into that much), for the answers and the reflection, at a time more important than any, since therapy both professional and personal. No one least my intrusive thoughts can stop me.

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


I assume that it is possible to be fixed but not cured, as I could say I was fixed for many short periods throughout my twenties, but then after a while, mental illness would come back to munch on my grey matter. Literally? I don’t know, I’m not a neuroscientist yet. It would come back because I did not have total understanding of my somewhat diverse web of symptoms and misunderstood my compulsion as legit, and not know what it would take for consistent recovery.

On my second round of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) at age twenty-three, I was shown Dr Paul Salkovskis’ diagram about OCD and its maintaining factors. A ‘mental argument’ was a factor in fuelling the intrusions, alongside anxiety and depression, alongside physical compulsions and checking, alongside reasoning bias. Reasoning bias is an interesting one because I would often see things as ‘proof’ that the obsessions were significant. The feeling it reinforced was overpowering when engaging in that sh*t.

It was a great diagram which is why I kept it and even photocopied it for my friends at Brighton Priory hospital three years ago. I realised, when I had that round of CBT, that I was doing it with a single obsession I had, (the mental argument), but I did not recognise the extent of my illness (hidden behaviours like avoidance). I did not explain my mental blocks they could have also been to blame for non-consistent recovery. Autism is a possibility here too because it’s in my family.

So we fixed me at the time by applying ERP by using a loop tape of the ‘should statements’, which was eventually a huge relief as you desensitize yourself to the obsessions. I’d listen to them in particular when my anxiety was highest throughout the day, or when I was experiencing a particularly intense flare up. A predominant ‘should’ statement; the mental conflict was a preoccupation. The feelings involved I’d say are what mental illness is. Catastrophic for me but now letting go is the game I play, or at least take the feelings with me throughout the day.

So the most common ‘should’ statements for me were: ‘‘should I be doing the music’’, since that old course that it latched onto, and similar to the first one when I was very young, which came back in recent times of: ‘‘should I stab myself in the neck’’.  The subsequent rumination was much darker somewhat than just answering it, it latched onto my self-worth as a person. It was only the ‘benign’ topic because at the time I had dropped a music course and my OCD went mental.

Way back when, loop tapes of any thoughts related to the obsessions and new understanding worked, I was fixed, but unfortunately not fixed for so long back then, because I was quick to switch obsessions, pick up addictions, as well as real event obsessions taking over. I have overlooked real event OCD until recent times. The mental review is exhausting. I have not really come across anyone with mental blocks like me, despite chatting many times up my support group. I also did not talk about the existential phenomenon (i also called it) that was present, which was always a delusion, unfortunately different to derealisation from obsessions. Derealisation from obsessions occur when we perform a compulsion so much, that we become incredibly detached and feel spaced out. But what it was is irrelivant now.

More unclear compulsive thinking like chasing uncertainties I tend to call ‘rumination’. It is part of the same compulsion, because they are all about fuelling the intrusive images, urges or feelings such as doubts and exacerbated guilt (keeping an obsession an obsession).  Doubts are endless. Takes a while to get that. Once one feels resolved, due to the condition, the brain picks up another, and another, and another, until exhaustion is the least troublesome symptom. Does rumination occur about anything positive? I have discovered it does respond to excitement, so we will see, but it isn’t helpful, not really, upon reflection it is a response to the doubt stream, just lighter and sneaky. I have been swimming deep, at times, in the lava stream under waves of doubt.

If I didn’t have my condition, I’d dismiss an intrusive thought I have right now about unjustly judgements, as I know that what most people do when they are being judgemental is reflecting what is wrong with themselves… it is about them, not you. With me though, the thoughts around the obsession fuel a hyped up feeling of resentment and it is tricky to say the least. It’s a mini obsession because there is huge amounts of self-sabotage going on. Good training though, can I truly build bandwidth and let it go? The emotions don’t go so easy. But they will if I don’t fuel them. Sit with them, give them tea. But I will not feed them breakfast fuel for the fire they so badly want to kindle.

A few years ago, I would desperately tell my friends about my OCD on social media, this was not a mental argument exactly, I wasn’t finding answers to the doubt stream, or chasing uncertainties, it was, however just not a very wise thing to do if I appeared self-centred. The potential rumination I was subconsciously was heading toward did not help unravel whatever my obsession was at the time, or help my mental health, unfortunately, because my thinking was sporadic. Memory becomes affected I’d often forget what I actually said.

‘Should I, shouldn’t I’, contradictory obsessions, confusing anxiety, depression, desolation by mental block: These are my condition. I tend to be a kind and caring person. However, OCD can latch on to everyday things, and turn the slightest judgements of myself, or others into mini obsessions. This is something that has indeed gone on until recent times, and I am unravelling right now: the rumination, I’m onto ya, it’s still there somewhat and its still unreasonable. Therefore…

Sir, it is safe to say ‘Pure O’ still affects me in the form of ‘mental review’. It is a response to exacerbated emotions, which come along predominantly with OCD. It causes depression. I will review endlessly what I said in social situations, I will review many aspects of everyday life. It sure is doubt driven and hard to really get that at first.

It is an illusion of the disorder that the compulsion is of some benefit especially with lighter rumination. It is a million miles away from problem solving even when it feels important. Everyone has doubts right, but this is different, they don’t got it as a compulsion.

What to do if you feel caught up with an obsession? Getting the obsessions down on paper does not always work if you are still trying to answer it. Ignoring the condition makes it worse. Therefore, like for me in the beginning, CBT did not go the right way initially with this. CBT with exposure response prevention (ERP), however, is a better way, there’s nothing wrong with finding core fears, I just was not introduced effectively to the process. (Try a loop tape like with me, or exposing yourself gradually to, say knives or other situations, depending on your manifestation). I’ll try to explain things clearly, with accuracy, and hopefully get to where I need to be, and create an exciting read whether or not I share this with the world.

I have come a long way, light me a victory dance, but realize I still need to recognize a mental compulsion when it arises, delegitimize it, and accept any judgements, which arise. Judgements can be sporadic and compulsive! No amount of mental review that goes on as a disorder consists of any product, it only serves to fuel the feelings for instance exacerbated guilt, and it is not about problem-solving. I have heard sufferers talk about real event OCD and it is indeed hard when it linked to a real, legitimate scenario… however, the feelings that we are fuelling: they are the illness. It does not matter if it is on a real event, it is quite simply wrong to be hostile towards ourselves. Paying attention and examining without ‘answering’ is paramount and allowing with calm bandwidth, instead of the doubtful streams taking up bandwidth, is key.

I suppose that, the core feelings simply are not present in the non-sufferer therefore none of this is even an issue in the slightest… therefore, I was cursed, but now blessed due to having the compassion that I may not have had in a parallel dimension.

In my self-help corner of the room, alongside my fantastic musical taste, I read the ‘Mindfulness OCD Workbook’ by Jon Hershfield and Tom Corboy (which helped me realise that mental review was still my condition). It is easy to follow and a compassionate read. Another new weapon in my arsenal is the ‘Mind Workout’ by Mark Freeman. A true master full of innovation. These have been an adjunct to my therapy, and I could get used to my newfound focus. We are changing all the time, mentally and physically, but usually, people are themselves, i.e. have innate mental health. I suppose what I am doing right now, is I am noticing compulsiveness in the mind, not responding, letting it go, building stronger neuronal connections, and enjoying it.

Even less intense rumination can become tedious. And another intrusive doubt will always take its place once one is ‘resolved’. Realise this, fully. Take as looong as I need not to fuel my condition.

I must realise now how good freedom from the compulsion is, keep writing and meditating, and remember what it did consume. It is bliss compared to what it was.

Free of conflict means that I can focus all my ERP efforts on my condition and continue to do what I want to do. 







My Next Project for my Ghostwriting Business

Writing is my life, and I am always looking for the next project no matter what other projects get to, but I think that a writer, we get one chance to write about an influential book about your hometown’s history.

Salinas Not sure the Date

Writing is my life, and I am always looking for the next project no matter what other projects are on my current plate, but I think that as a writer, we get one chance to write about an influential book about your hometown’s history. That is what my next ghostwriting project will be, writing about my hometown and a family restaurant that goes back to the ’40s. If you lived in Salinas, Ca, you knew The Rodeo Cafe and Sang’s Cafe. I am looking for anyone willing to donate through GoFundMe to help with the book’s costs. There will be hours of research and, of course, the writing. If you can, please donate, but of not share on social media.

https://www.gofundme.com/static/js/embed.js

You can use the following link, and those who donate over $20 amount will get a free copy of the book. I usually don’t go the route of GoFundMe, but this is an essential milestone in my ghostwriting career. I will be co-writing the book with the owner’s daughter/granddaughter. The book chronicles the unique history, including the original place, The Rodeo Cafe, where John Steinbeck ate and wrote. The place has an impressive history, including the sons taking it over after the Loma Prieta Earthquake. The second part of the book will be the interviews of those patrons of the establishments over the years and what it meant to Salinas’ citizens.

You can donate here: GoFundMe for The Legacy of Sang’s Cafe

Always Keep Fighting

James

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

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

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