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!

Discord – Community Mental Health Dicsussions

James Edgar Skye (The Bipolar Writer) is collaborating with Grounds for Clarity on a new Discord Channel called Community Mental Health Discussions. It will be a place where you can come anonymously if needed to discuss the many topics that come with mental illness and mental health. Our goal is to have open-ended discussions that are open 24/7. Myself and Grounds for Clarity will be moderators.

James Edgar Skye (The Bipolar Writer) is collaborating with Grounds for Clarity on a new Discord Channel called Community Mental Health Discussions. It will be a place where you can come anonymously if needed discuss the many topics that come with mental illness and mental health. Our goal is to have open-ended discussions that are open 24/7. Myself and Grounds for Clarity will be moderators.

Want to join? Go to www.discord.com

  • Sign up for a discord account.
  • Then add me as a friend – JamesEdgarSkye#4190
  • Send me a message that you are from WordPress, introduce yourself if I don’t know you, and I will add you to the group!
  • If you have any questions or need help simply reach out.
  • Or email me @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com

Here is the introduction to our discord:

Welcome to the first of its kind Discord community in which our goal is to provide a safe, anonymous, immersive, and experiential learning experience into mental health discussion. 

We will provide a safe, anonymous, immersive and experiential learning experience into mental health discussion by sharing our personal stories. Here, we value transparency, your story, your authenticity…. in a place where we accept everyone’s point of view.

And what that means is, we may not always agree with one another and we believe within our community safely challenging one another’s perspectives is the key to collaborative discussion. 

We strongly desire for everyone to speak from the lens with which they view life including but not limited to: 

  • Politics
  • Religion/ Deity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Ethnicity
  • Racial make-up
  • Education
  • Culture
  • Physical/ Mental/ Social/ Emotional/ Environmental/ Spiritual factors
  • Lifestyle
  • Age (Group is reserved for 18 years and up)
  • Mother tongue
  • Professional/ Role in society
  • Taste of music
  • Sense of humour
  • Criminal record
  • Sports affiliation
  • Military background

All inclusive in a respectful way is what we strive to achieve at this Discord channel.

Discord Moderators can be personally messaged if you wish to voice a concern. However, we strongly encourage open discussion during “stuck” times in conversation in order to foster mutual respect. 
The right to delete comments, ban individuals and block chat members is reserved to Discord Moderators as follows:

James Edgar Skye
Grounds For Clarity 

If you have any questions please contact me or leave comments below. This separate from our weekly Saturday discussions that we will be hosting on Zoom. (See tomorrows blog post.)

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!

Photo by israel palacio on Unsplash

Asian Culture and The Stigma of Mental Illness

Many Asian cultures are highly religious, and they tend to believe that things like mental illness can be taken away by a simple prayer. Please do not take my words as a slight. I believe in God, but in my experience, prayers are good, but they do not help with the actual issues that come with dealing daily with a mental illness. There is a more deep-seated stigma of shame associated with Asian culture.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

I am a Hapa–I am Asian mixed with something else.

I am a mixed breed if you will. I am Filipino, Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, German, and Irish (as far as I know, according to my mom.) One thing I learned before my diagnosis and after is that there was a significant stigma within Asian culture when it comes to mental illness.

My parents were shocked, having never faced something like a mental illness head-on like when my diagnosis became first schizoaffective disorder and then Bipolar One at twenty-two. Even my grandfather, who is full Filipino, never really understood what was going on with me. He tried to understand, but the truth is that in his culture, mental illness is not something you discuss. Even more so, my grandfather, on the other side, I will not say which, never got diagnosed, but given my history and how he was, mental illness was something you deal with in any way. I firmly believe that he might have been Bipolar. Same with others in my family. You pick yourself up and keep going–mental illness be damned.

The unfortunate side effect of what I like to call cultural differences is that it feeds the stigma. I have met so many people from all walks of life, and the stigma is real everywhere. However, in Asian culture, it is generally not talked about because mental illness is not something that is openly talked about in the culture. Many of my fellow followers from Asian countries have reached out asking about how I deal with this, and it was recently it came up again.

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

What is comes down to, in my opinion, is that Asian cultures value the family very heavily as a unit. Asian culture emphasizes where each member belongs in the family. It can be a shame to put your family through something like having to deal with a mental illness. Instead, mental illness is swept under the rug by never talking about it, especually in our older generations.

Many Asian cultures are highly religious, and they tend to believe that things like mental illness can be taken away by a simple prayer. Please do not take my words as a slight. I believe in God, but in my experience, prayers are good, but they do not help with the actual issues that come with dealing daily with a mental illness. There is a more deep-seated stigma of shame associated with Asian culture. With that said, I think there is a real change happening in the younger generations, and with anything, it takes time. Above all, we, as individuals within our Asian culture, need to be proactive and educate ourselves.

I had personally dealt with this growing up when my mental illness came up during my teenage years. There was a level of shame, and I knew that even talking about the idea of mental illness was not something that happened. So I never talked about my issues. Ever. Not to my mom, dad, or grandparents. I let it feed into my life. I never sought help until I was downright suicidal and tried to take my life. Even then, it was three years and two more suicides before I was able to admit I had a mental illness. When it stared me in the face, I denied that something was wrong. I don’t want that to happen. Mental health advocates talk about the stigma for a reason because it is real. If you think there is something wrong, never feel like you can’t seek help.

Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash

I want to end this with hope because I am here with a plethora of experience in dealing with this area. It is okay if your parents do not understand that your anxiety and depression are real. Talk to them. My parents eventually understood my illness by educating themselves, and it came with me living this life every day. The ups and downs are a part of the package, and maybe they will understand someday. But you have to work on you.

That is so important in this mental illness life. Self-love first is so important. Never feel alone because I will always be here. Email from the website or go to my home page, where you will find my number and text me. I will even figure out other methods for people to contact me and discuss this topic or any that you want to talk about because I am always here.

With that said, stay strong in these strange times of social isolation and always know there are so many others like yourself.

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!

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Children’s book for mental illness

To turn my back around from COVID – 19driving me up the wall, I decided to pour my time and energy into a project that I have been wanting to start for a long time. Which is to write a children’s book on introducing mental illness with a gentle approach and write a book to parents – from a perspective of a child who struggles with a mental illness.

As a child, I struggled with OCD. I had intrusive sensations of having aluminum foil in my mouth for the longest time, where my parents thought I was making excuses from not wanting to study. I had a hard time focusing as different obsessions would come to my head over the years.

It was masked as my lack of discipline, lack of motivation or at times even attention deficit.

As an adult getting appropriate treatment, studying these disorders in-depth and working alongside young children, I started to feel the sincere need to advocate for the younger ones that can’t eloquently describe what they are feeling, or going through.

If there is a “no child left behind” for school, I want to make sure no child is left behind to get adequate mental (and physical) health care.

When I first got into the field, I never thought of working with young children.

While I always loved working with children in an informal setting, I just couldn’t see myself working with the little ones, as I would get impatient and frustrated. But in the past year – the more I engage in working with the little ones, I feel more drawn to advocate on behalf of their needs if they need the support.

I don’t want to rule out any population/setting out of my career, but the general flow seems to be going in a direction that I never expected before.

While I have some ideas on how to approach this, I am looking for ideas and suggestions from my audience.

Any suggestions? Ideas?

We Mental Health Sufferers are a Resource Free Zone

I managed to get ill recently – this dreaded virus going around or something else who knows.

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In the UK it was impossible to get tested for Corvid 19 unless you’d just arrived from somewhere that had the virus or been in direct contact with someone else who had, but the fact that other people had just arrived from somewhere with the virus and you might have sat next to them on a train without anyone knowing doesn’t yet seem to have occurred to the powers that be.  So when they say there is only such and such a number of cases in the UK, actually what they mean is they haven’t got a clue.

I got better so does it matter?

Well, yes. To me it so does. It’s my body so I like to know what’s happening to it.  Self diagnosis is not something the medical profession encourages and certainly not self treatment for obvious reasons – but once there is a crisis then it seems our governments encourage self everything because there are no resources.   Suddenly it’s all DIY.

Or if there are resources decades of neoliberalism have decided who and where the resources shall be spent. And you can bet your bottom dollar or whichever currency you use that spending is not on public health. Or public anything.

This policy of telling everyone to go home and deal with it be may have come as a surprise to some, but not to us mental health sufferers because we recognize the scenario.

Corvid is an emergency and is being rightly treated as such. But there are other more slow burn emergencies being ignored. I believe mental health is one of them.

Anxiety and depression is its own virus. It’s not seen as contagious or a physical illness so it is not seen as a public health problem but a matter for the individual.   The WHO Action Plan on Mental Health terms mental health as non-communicable diseases and compared with Corvid I9 I suppose it is – but I don’t believe that because mental health is not a virus that means it is non communicable. If anxiety did not communicate itself there would be no such thing as panic buying. The stock market would not have crashed.

The unconscious registers things that the rest of our bodies are not aware of, and goes into fight or flight mode.  We get jammed into a hyperactive state frantically trying to pedal our bikes away from the worrying back wheel, to arrive nearer the more reassuring front wheel. Yet 5000 miles later we are unsurprisingly exhausted and nothing has changed.  This is the way millions of people live.

Its only when the power structures that hold up our economies are themselves threatened does something get termed an emergency and so resources are allocated.

We mental health sufferers are a resource free zone.

All over the world millions of people are not getting the attention they need,  not getting the diagnoses they need, or the medicines. That affects global work output and costs a global fortune. And there are many costs attached to poor health that are unrelated solely to finance. It’s a crisis waiting to happen.

How to Have Kids When You’re Crazy

Awhile back, I advocated in favor of having children when you have a mental illness. Even at the time, I felt wishy-washy in doing so. I may talk the talk and chase after the children I’ve birthed, but I don’t exactly walk the walk.

Birthing children and raising them is HARD. Doing so whilst battling Depression or Anxiety or Bipolar is HARDER.

However, unless you’ve got a serious condition, producing a mini-you or two is possible. It’s worth it. It’s fun.

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To anyone sitting on the fence of indecision, having a child is the best thing I ever did. To those reading this at 2 a.m. and feeling ready to return their child to the hospital, I’ll add that I’ve been there, too.

Mental illness or not, you need some helps in place when a kid comes around. Even those who don’t regularly admit to mental issues need helps. Babies don’t sleep. Babies require clean clothes, blankets, burp cloths, diapers, and bedding several times a day. Babies only come with a ‘Check Engine’ light, in the form of incessant crying.

Babies are helpless. They NEED you. And someone who needs you cannot have you checking out, flipping out, or acting out.

Instead, how about you check out a babysitter or friend so you can take a short nap?

How about you flip out a freezer meal or pizza when it’s dinnertime?

How about you act out your 2 a.m. dreams of taking an hour-long bubble bath -after guilting your partner into hour-long tending?

See how it works?

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I knew a woman who was expecting triplets. After she birthed them, her family had a brilliant idea: when a friend or relative offered to help, they whipped out a calendar and asked, “Which day and time can you come?” They wrote in who would help, when, and what they would be doing. In a world of round-the-clock feeding, changing, and tending, one woman did not have enough hands to do it alone.

I’ve only produced one child at a time, and one’s enough to ask help for. A neighbor vacuumed my floors for me. Another folded my laundry. A third came and picked up all the crap my kids left on the floor. Heck -I once had a friend come over and hold my son for half an hour, just so I could sleep.

So, consider having a child, but not alone.

In fact, also consider helps specifically for your mental health. I speak of medication and counseling. There are quite a few medications that are safe to take while pregnant or nursing. Ask your doctor.

Now that my children are older, I enjoy the benefits of their company. We play computer and board games together. We plan family campouts. We cook, clean, cry, and live. It’s hard, but not HARD. I’m so glad I had them, and more glad for the helps I’ve had for them throughout the years.

Some days, I even reconsider wanting to return them to the hospital.

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—–
©2020 Chelsea Owens

Photo Credit:
Jordan Whitt
Thiago Cerqueira
@rw.studios
Edward Cisneros

My mother.

With the news of James’ mom’s recent passing, I find myself reflecting on my own parent/child relationship. How lucky am I to have her, and how much I feel for James. Please consider donating here to his family’s gofundme to help with expenses. I know that this place that he has created has helped me immensely. It has done more for me than I can put into words and I hope that we can open our arms to be a comfort in return.

______________________

I have always had an incredibly tumultuous relationship with my mother growing up. I know now that I was a bit unpredictable to say the least and with reason. What I didn’t know is how much of a comfort she would be to me now.

My mom is disabled and she lives with me. I am just on the cusp of 30 (HELP!) and many people who hear this picture an elderly woman who can’t feed or bathe herself. They look at me with sad eyes and apologize. They provide niceties about how “you shouldn’t have to take that on!”. The truth is she takes care of me. Yes, I end up grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and the occasional bathing when she is really hurting. But she does a lot for me too. We can start with the obvious: She hasn’t killed me.

I was, in all honesty, a mean little bitch. I told her I hated her, stole from her, lied, and had even hit her once growing up. I wasn’t some pot smoking, partying, rebellious teenager. I was just, bipolar. It is kinda funny now, but it really isn’t at all. I was so “moody” as we had thought that my mom wanted to send me away to a camp in an attempt to reform me. I was even more manipulative. She took me to a specialist on numerous occasions to be evaluated. The mental illness is heavy in this family. My devious ass saw right through their questions and lied my way home. Things only got better when I acknowledged I had a problem and sought out help. I only got better then.

That woman is a saint. In a few short weeks she will be 50. She had me young and endured more than she should have. She put up with me and sometimes had to keep me at a distance. So yes, I take care of her. I pay the bills, do the grocery shopping, fetch her medications, and at times I bathe her.

But she is still doing more for me. She still puts up with my sudden mood changes. The volatile sport that is Bailey. She bites her tongue when I tell her I am having an “off day” as I have grown to call manic episodes. She helps me monitor my spending during this time so I can stay on the right track. My mom stays up with me when insomnia strikes and we binge watch Netflix and crack jokes. She sets her alarm, but has no reason to get up early. It is for me. One time they raised the dose of my Seroquel and slept through three alarms and multiple calls from my boss. She keeps me accountable.

She stays on the phone with me when I choose to move 1000 miles away on a whim. When I left her with my grandmother to care for her. When I am sobbing because I am off my medication and afraid of myself. She doesn’t push me to get back into life when I move back home. She doesn’t comment on the amount of time that I have gone without combing my hair or showering. Instead, she waits for me to be ready and offers to help me sort it out.

I am so grateful for my mother. I am grateful that I have her. I am grateful for the things she does for me. I am grateful for the way she has loved me in spite of the way I have behaved.

I have no idea how it feels to lose a mom. The closest I have come is to emotionally feel like I have lost her as a teenager when she had to love me from a distance. I know now that when we speak about that period of time, we both weep. I especially am brought to tears when she tells me how hard it was to not be there, to not communicate. I know that when she is gone from this Earth, it will hurt like hell. Life will never be the same. I will have to remind myself of her words and how her heart aches when she is away from me as well, that she did not abandon me.

All of this to say that we are so lucky to have people in our lives that support us through….well, us being us. It isn’t easy to see past the terrible parts of mental illness. It is all risk and no reward. My heart absolutely goes out to James and the others that find themselves one less ally, friend, parent, sibling, or other relative to walk through life with. I hope that you know that you meant the world to them. I can say that with full confidence. You have to love someone more than a lot to stick through it.

 

 

 

 

How Publishing my Memoir Changed Everything

Now I feel like the other projects I am working on can finally move forward. The most pressing being my fantasy fiction novel and my novella, which will be the next two projects that I will be working on as both are in the stage of editing. I have so many ideas to take into 2020. I owe a lot of it to the people on this blog, both as contributors and followers.

For those that don’t know, in November, my non-fiction book The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir was officially published and is now on Amazon (I will link at the end of the post.) To finally call myself a published author, was the most fantastic thing that I have achieved on this mental illness journey.

I have been lucky since my last suicide attempt. I got my bachelor’s degree, and I am working on my master’s. I started this fantastic blog. The biggest goal of my life was becoming an author. Now that I am published, I feel like things are truly falling into place in my life, and it feels incredible.

Now I feel like the other projects I am working on can finally move forward. The most pressing being my fantasy fiction novel and my novella, which will be the next two projects that I will be working on as both are in the stage of editing. I have so many ideas to take into 2020. I owe a lot of it to the people on this blog, both as contributors and followers.

Things are good for The Bipolar Writer, and we can only go up from here. I am a published author!!

Always Keep Fighting

James

P.S. If you have time, please purchase my book. You can find it on Amazon by looking up my pen name James Edgar Skye. The name of the book is The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir. It is available in print and Kindle edition. Thank you for your support. I will also link my Amazon page below.

https://www.amazon.com/author/jamesedgarskye

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

A Guest Blog Post – NooseGirl

By the time the date rolled around for the concert, my life had dramatically changed. Tragically, my sanity had once again become impaired, and all of the old delusions were back. This time, because it wasn’t a new experience, what I once considered as suspicion was now firmly replaced with neurotic conviction.

This is a guest blog from a writer that calls herself NooseGirl. She asked me to share this blog post with my fellow bloggers. What is said in these guests posts are the position of the author and not James Edgar Skye or this blog. I allow each author to write in the way they feel comfortable when sharing as guests or contributors. You can find Noosegirl @ http://breathingwithanoose.com

A “Tool” of Fear

In 2014, my psychosis graciously went into remission and granted a brief 6 month period of sanity. During that time, I was able to return to my former approach to living life and enjoy all my old interests and activities. It was during this period of stabilized sanity that my favorite band announced a pop-up tour. 

I am a devoted, typical Tool fan. Tool is an “art rock” group that realized most of their success in the late ’90s to mid-2000s. Ideal Tool fans tend to be extremely passionate, almost to the point of obsession over the band’s members, music, and lyrics. Collectively, Tool fans can exhibit such enthusiasm and fierce devotion that is reminiscent of a cult-like following.

Somewhat obscure, Tool doesn’t interview, release new music, or go out on tour frequently. Many speculate that aging has weakened the once powerful lead singer’s voice, and health-related issues are also suspected to decrease their visibility. 

When Tool announces that they are going on tour, it’s a big deal! Tickets sell out instantly, leaving scalpers as the only option from which to purchase a ticket. Fans are left to pay a steep price that reflects the rarity and coveted nature of the event. 

So when I learned Tool would be performing an hour and a half away from me in Hershey, PA, I jumped at the opportunity to treat myself and splurged $400 on a ticket. I was ecstatic and excitedly began counting down the days to the concert. It was about one month away.

By the time the date rolled around for the concert, my life had dramatically changed. Tragically, my sanity had once again become impaired, and all of the old delusions were back. This time, because it wasn’t a new experience, what I once considered as suspicion was now firmly replaced with neurotic conviction.

I assumed my brief respite from government interference was because I secret assignment had been aborted or redirected. But clearly, I was wrong because “Weirdness” (my pet name for all of the undercover agents that followed me) was back. Now I realize that the period of their absence was simply a restorative break. My case had now been returned back to active status. 

Weirdness’s return bolstered my confidence and understanding of how controlling and manipulating the government was in my life. I was surer than ever that Weirdness permeated every aspect and detail of my life. I no longer held faith that anyone or anything that I randomly encountered was real. 

Everything was masterminded. All had been engineered. I now viewed my life as a giant movie set filled with people that were actually actors. Each actor chose to play carefully designed roles refined and sharpened to manipulate and influence me.

Arriving at the Tool concert, I was full-blown psychotic. The environment delivered an overwhelming assemblage of “weird people” or actors and secret agents. They assembled and circulated all around me, each one purposefully placed to manage and deliver coded instructions.

The profusion of secret messages in the crowd was staggering. There were messages on their t-shirts, in their hairstyles, and incorporated into their jewelry. I even managed to detect the delivery of information in food toted around by the crowd. The continuous stream of data, directives, and commentary, was an absolute and endless assault on my overloaded and exhausted mind.

By the time the concert started, I was a complete mess replete with confusion, exasperation, and resent. Here I was at a long-awaited show of my favorite band, and I was miserable. It was impossible to enjoy the experience. There were just too many messages, too many secret agents. I was powerless to stop any of it. Reluctantly, I entered the arena and took my seat.

As the concert began, I tried to join in and get into the music. I attempted to stand and sing along, but my mind teamed with racing thoughts of government control and interference. I began over-analyzing the music deciding that there was something “off” about it. Ultimately, I convinced myself that it really wasn’t Tool that was performing. . . just imposters.

To confirm my suspicions, I decided to rush the stage and get a better glimpse of the band. I made it almost 6 rows away from the scene, but the security guards stopped me and sent me back to my seat. Their denial of access confirmed my suspicions. And, more shockingly, I had figured out an elaborate sham. That wasn’t Tool on stage. It was a group of government agents performing their music. They had used a fake Tool band as a lure to confine me in a crowded arena environment. It was a trap. And I knew I needed to get out before they captured me.

So in an unnerved and exasperated dash to the door . . I LEFT  . . . 

  • I left my favorite band and a rare performance
  • I left after only 3 songs
  • I left my $400 seat.
  • I left feeling defeated by frustration, confusion, and fear
  • I left overflowing with all-encompassing anger
  • But most importantly, I went with the satisfaction of knowing that this secret-society-government-sex cult had planned to abduct me and I had outsmarted them . . . this time anyway

10 Things The Bipolar Learned This Decade PT. 1

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

This will be a series that will run during the month of December 2019 as we head into the New Year. This is part one.

What a decade it has been for me. At the beginning of the decade I was severely depressed and suicidal. 2010 was the year of my last suicide and the year I decided that my life was going to change. Here are somethings that I learned about myself and the wisdom that came from my experiences.

  1. I am a stronger person than I ever gave myself credit. At the beginning of this decade, I almost died in my last suicide attempt, My doctors basically said it was a coin flip that I would live. Yet, here I am alive, active, and always working on my mental health.
  2. This mental illness life is messy, and that is okay. I have been through many depression cycles over the last ten years. Some have lasted for months and some for days or weeks. It can be messy, but I always come out stronger in the end.
  3. It’s okay to not be okay. This was a lesson I had to learn the hard way, but the truth is everyone learns it in this mental illness life.
  4. Antidepressants are not for me. In 2018 I got off antidepressants after changing them at least twice a year since 2007. I really believe that I am better off without them as my depression cycles are slowly becoming less controlling as I fight it on my own.
  5. Take a mental health day at least once a week. I learned this lesson also the hard way. It is possible to overwhelm yourself in this life, that is the truth of it. I am famous for overworking myself because I feel the years I lost, I have to make up for by working too much. Life is too short. Enjoy it. Travel. Plan things. Do things. It is easy to get into the habit of isolating yourself from society. I know I have done it and still do when my anxiety is high.
  6. Life is too short! Don’t get bogged down in the ways your mental illness is keeping you from living. You will drive yourself crazy with anxiety with this line of thinking.
  7. Change does not happen overnight. It took me years to get to a point where I could go back to school. I had to relearn to be human again with a mental illness. I wanted things to change so bad fast that I set myself back a few times before I got myself together. Take the good with the bad with your mental illness.
  8. There is always hope on the other side. It sounds cliche, I know, but there is so much wisdom in the idea that there is hope on the other side. I am living proof. I wanted to die, and now I am a published author, and I am a graduate student. Life will come back to you even when it feels hopeless.
  9. Anxiety can take over your life. If you let it, anxiety can take you to as dark of places as depression. You make the choices in life.
  10. Never be afraid to tell your story…even if it is eventually down the road. It took me years to be ready to write my experiences on this blog and in my memoir. If you can, share your experience. You might save a life.

I hope this helps shed some light over my last decade. Besides these lists I will be writing daily about things that I have learned and maybe expand on the ideas in this list. As always, stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James

P.S. If you have time, please purchase my book. You can find it on Amazon by looking up my pen name James Edgar Skye. The name of the book is The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir. It is available in print and Kindle edition. Thank you for your support. I will also link my Amazon page below.

https://www.amazon.com/author/jamesedgarskye

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