Mindful.

I have been trying to find the words about how I feel about my mania. All I can think is that I am grateful. There are a lot of ways that mania manifests. Every single person experiences something different, hence the adventure in finding your perfect medication cocktail. So I put myself in debt that puts me back a few hundred here and there. It is a blow to my finances but I can recover. There are people who don’t recover as a result of their mania. Or they do unforgivable damage. I have to remind myself of this. I have been at that point as well. I started adding a bit of hostility to the manic spending. That is when I got treatment.

I do remind myself. It isn’t hard to remember. My mania is frustrating at most. My depression, that is the real issue for me.

My mania reveals that I am impulsive. This is true in my day to day as well. I just don’t seem to give a fuck when manic. That is the best way to put it. I am not remorseful. Not yet. I am having a grand old time, buying this and that. Then it all starts to come in the mail, The sheer amount of packages will send me back to balance the books. POP. My euphoria filled bubble has been shattered. Now it is mindfulness checkins, doctor appointments, medication changes (and side effects 🎊 ), and an honest conversation with my support system.

When I read the things I have written when manic, or the things that I have done while manic, I am mostly okay with it.

I am okay with the gibberish writings. I used to try to make sense of it but then you find yourself questioning your sanity. Chill, we would be doing the same thing if we found our old diaries.

I am holding myself accountable and have someone helping me by checking in. I am easily guilted so just the simple, “are you overspending?” is enough to guilt me into not spending.

So what do I think about my mania?

It is euphoric sometimes, but mostly manifests in manic depressive episodes. If you are picturing someone who stays in bed, doesn’t shower for a considerable amount of time, and has lack of motivation for anything…..that’s me.

I don’t look forward to it, but here it is. With every symptom of bipolar, I have been trying to find skills to individually cope with each part. overspending-keep a checks and balances of EVERY purchase. Anger-positivity, attitude exercises. Mood changes-therapy.

It is both a blessing and a curse.

 

James Edgar Skye’s Patreon Account

I launched my Patreon account back in April of 2019, but I was not ready to start a site that allows people into my writing, I am now prepared to put myself out there again. It was a great idea, but not many people can or have the money to be a part of my writing process. A few people have joined me, and I am looking for more patrons of my writing, Today is officially a “re-launch” in hopes that I can begin to take mental health advocacy and to take my writing to the next level.

I hope that people will understand what it takes to be a struggling writer and graduate student. Perhaps you will want to become a part of my writing process. I will be more open to sharing my experiences with writing, looking for an agent, and publisher for my major work, The Rise of the Nephilim. I will also be sharing on certain tiers a copy of my book The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir. Other porjects will also be included in certain tiers. Below will be the breakdown of each tier level and what they bring. I hope you will join me on my writing journey no matter the tier that you choose. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

James

Support The Bipolar Writer (Tier One)

In this $2 tier, you help the continued success of The Bipolar Writer blog and the brand. You’re also supporting a struggling Graduate student and writer living with mental illness every day. This tier costs less than a cup of coffee. I have been struggling with mental illness since 2007, and it has affected my ability to hold down a job. Writing is an escaping feeling while also being therapeutic, and now you can be a part of the process of a published author!

  • You get a “First Look” at weekly blog posts for the Bipolar Writer Blog before it goes live! 
  • This tier will help keep my blog writing and help me end the stigma surrounding mental illness.
  • If I get enough at this tier, it will allow me to hire an “editor and manager of my blog.”

The Bipolar Writer Basic Tier

In this $5 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with Bipolar One. I have been struggling with mental illness since 2007.

  • You get everything in the “Support for The Bipolar Writer” tier.
  • Plus, a special mention in my monthly newsletter when you sign up and access the newsletter to start every new month!
  • A special “Thank you” message when you sign up for this tier.

The Bipolar Writer Mid Tier

In this $10 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with Bipolar One since 2007.

  • In this mid-level tier, you get everything from the first two tiers. 
  • An exclusive look at a chapter from “The Bipolar Writer: A  Memoir. 
  • Access to a chapter or any short story that is published!
  • The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir published in March 2020. I will, for this $10 tier and above, I will send you two exclusive chapters!
  • As part of this tier, you can also have a one-hour Zoom session with me asking me questions about writing or mental illness/mental health. 

Bipolar Writer 2nd Mid Tier

In this $15 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! This tier comes with everything in the above tiers. You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student, and writer, who is living with Bipolar One since 2007.

  • The $15 tier, is a special tier that also comes with a personal invitation to my exclusive Patreon community on Discord (which is coming soon!)
  • Also, it will come with other great benefits coming soon that will include a sticker with my logo and other great things coming soon!

The Bipolar Writer Top Tier

In this $25 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with Bipolar One since 2007.

  •  In this top tier, you get everything from the previous tiers.
  • An exclusive look at my upcoming fantasy fiction novel to include character sketches or a look at the first chapter of the novel “The Rise of the Nephilim” or a peek at “Angel on the Ward.”
  • A Signed Copy of The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir (Note: In this tier, you have to be a Patron for three months before I send out the copy. This is to help offset the costs of printing and shipping.)
  • After being in this tier for three month you get an exclusive The Bipolar Writer mug with my logo. (Be sure to have your address on file so that these items get shipped to you.)

The Bipolar Writer Exclusive

  • This is a limited Edition Tier for my Bipolar Writer Maniacs! In this elite $40 tier, you get all the benefits of the previous tiers plus
  • A signed copy of my memoir The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir, and all future publications.
  • Including the publications of any of my short stories.
  • A signed copy of my novella Angel on the Ward. (Coming soon)
  • My Novel Rise of the Nephilim.
  • After being in this tier for three month you get an exclusive The Bipolar Writer mug with my logo and sticker (be sure to have your address on file so that these items get shipped to you.)

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!

Community Mental Health Discussion Discord Channel

Come Join an Amazing Group of Mental Health Warriors

James Edgar Skye (The Bipolar Writer) is collaborating with Grounds for Clarity on a 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. Beyond that it is a place where you can share your thoughts in a controlled atmopshere.  

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 to me in a direct message 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.

Always Keep Fighting

Photo by Rad Pozniakov on Unsplash

Crazy Cab

I remember vividly that summer I’ve spent in the hospital. That was the first time I was treated with a proper medication that brought me recovery in the end. It was the largest hospital in the country, and it had pavilions. Everyone called my pavillion “The Sheraton” because it was for “elite mad people”. It wasn’t really, but it was for those who had the best odds but also for some filthy rich despite our health care being public. Sad. Behind The Sheraton, there was a reminder of the history of mad people’s asylums, a place for the homeless. This was the first asylum in the country, namely.

Anyway, every day, from five to six, we had mandatory socialising in the living room. On Fridays it was Bingo. I hated it, to be honest, and a few other younger people were cracking jokes about it.  We would collect the money from everyone to buy prizes in the convenience store nearby. However, people got bored with food. So, at some point, my few years older acquaintance made a suggestion to buy some items in a store with all sorts of shiny, cheap garbage, for laughs. It was two bus stops away, so we needed exit permission for an hour, and we got those papers.

When I say we, I mean the lady I mentioned, married with two kids, one already in uni, the ex-nurse I’ll call Rose as that is the translation of her name from Croatian, one guy that was neglected as a child and seemed as if his intelligence was below average, but that was hardly the case, he had wit, he could draw, but he lived in extreme poverty making some cash by drawing tattoos. And there was I.

We spent too much time shopping, and at some point, we realised we won’t get back on time by bus—no way with all that stuff. Back then taxi was cheap in Zagreb, so I suggested getting a ride. The neglected guy was excited about it as he has never been in a cab. So we made a call and got our ride in five minutes.

I sat in the front. “Where to?” the driver asked. I told the name of the hospital and also asked to take us straight to the pavilion as we were in a hurry. I felt he was uncomfortable. Still, with all these stuff at our hands, we seemed more as if we were visiting someone in the madhouse. I believe that thought made him relax for a second. But then our first time in the taxi guy kicked in. He told him we bought gifts for the Bingo in the madhouse and that only our pavillion has such activities. He also told him not to worry because we have exit permissions from the ward, and we can show it to him. Yup. The lady, roughly my age with two kids, saw his expression in the mirror and said Rose is a nurse. Rose was almost sixty, but she enjoyed the confusion. The driver asked: “So you are accompanying them?” Rose said: “I am a nurse but I am also mad.”

From that moment on he just shut up. Complete silence. When we got to the door of the pavillion he couldn’t wait till we exit the car. He wanted to drive away without money. I barely made him take my cash.

So there you go, stigma in a nutshell. Don’t crack jokes about being mad, it scares people.

Thirty.

30. Thirty. The big 3-0. I want to mark this time. (peep that pic of me celebrating graduation in late May)

If you would have asked 20 year old me what the next 10 years held…she would have thought that it sounded scary and wonderful, but it could never be her. She blamed everyone for her problems. She was endlessly in love with Joseph Anthony but She was months away from the hardest break up she had faced. She was wonderfully oblivious that her life was about to change courses in a big way. She didn’t really have a lot of close friends outside of Joe. Hannah was dating David and you all didn’t really get along with David. She had a less than ideal relationship with her family and believed that it was beyond repair. There were a lot of questions about where my life would lead me. She was also very secure with herself. She of course thought she could improve in her exercise and diet, but she had confidence and it was obvious. She had no idea that these fleeting, endorphin filled time was mostly a product of her bipolar.

 

This didn’t seem like a big deal until I thought of how fast it went by. How quickly 30 years of my life happened. What have I accomplished?

 

I am well established in my career. I have been in the health care field for 10 years.

I got my master’s degree.

I moved to Texas and back.

I have a pet kitty that makes my days better (You count your kids right?)

I received my diagnosis of Bipolar disorder and started treating it.

I repaired many relationships that I had broken.

I have moved countless times, and it has allowed me experience more than one small bubble in Arizona.

I bought the newest car I have ever owned this year.

I made the big decision to start fertility treatments and become a single mother by choice.

I have realized that it isn’t a relationship I fear, it is that I wouldn’t be accepted or understood. I am asexual.

I have made peace with the fact that I will most likely have my mom living with me for the rest of her life. I am truly okay with it.

 

30-year-old me is on a camping trip in the future. This is 29 years and 359 day old me. Present me is sitting in my room. She is in Mesa and live in a crappy one-bedroom mobile home with mom. That is right, you now care for your mom. Mostly financially because she can’t work but is still independent.  She sleeps in a recliner because you haven’t been able to afford the lift bed she needs. We just got approved for the apartment we are moving to. You prefer to rent an apartment over owning a home and having all the responsibilities or renting a home and having to landscape. This apartment is a dream. You have always looked at the high-end apartments as something you dream of living in. You dreamt of living in a beautiful apartment that looks like a model home. You love the idea of living in a really nice place and decorating it so that you are proud of it.

You love living with your mom. You rarely argue, and she holds you accountable on your self -improvement.

You packed up your shit, quit your job, and drove to Texas where you lived with your dad and Nicole for a year. Much needed. Super impulsive.

Things are rocky with your sister right now. She is following your footsteps and headed down an emotionally destructive path. That is a scary thought seeing as how you went without a diagnosis for your bipolar until you were 25. You have had a couple of relationships that fizzled out. It has been 7 years since your last one. It only feels like an embarrassment to say that when you imagine other people’s reactions. You are oddly okay with this. You have spent the last 7 years working on yourself, nurturing your mental health and mending relationships. You reconnected with Joseph. He turned into a real bar fly when you two hung out together. I do mean hook up if you are wondering. Turns out he had an ex-girlfriend living in the same house. You still love him, and you still think he is selfish and inconsiderate. He has gotten weirder and less mature if that is possible. He loves to wear leggings and outlandish attention drawing outfits and attend raves. He did meet a girl last year. They are expecting a boy next month. You don’t know that Joe has grown up, you think he just found someone to act like a kid with. She has a son in high school….don’t know if that was a teen pregnancy or she is that much older than us.

Hannah is still your true friend. She has changed A TON. She stands up for herself, has really matured career wise and is making more than you! She still feels like she doesn’t know what she is doing with her life. She is living it. She needs to look around. She is still letting pretty boys walk all over her. You constantly build her up and she is so critical of herself and her appearance. She got a boob job that she hates…and botox! As long as it is safe and makes her happy, I will never judge her.

You made the decision that you would start fertility treatments and become a single mother by choice. It is a long and expensive process, but you want it badly. Your mom and grandmother both had issues and could not have any kids after 30. Your aunt Cherril has cervical cancer. She isn’t doing well either. She has decided to not have any kind of treatments and doesn’t even want to take pain medication.

You write. You write in notebooks, on the back of paper plates, you have a blog, you bounce around on your ideas and just end up writing them all in a jumbled mess.

You lost your confidence and have gained at least 100 lbs. But your confidence was gone long before the weight came. After Sean, you were down. You were approaching the BPD diagnosis, but this sent you on a journey that you can credit your life to.

You started gaining weight and staying home. You went to the doctor for weight loss and then disclosed how you were really feeling, and she referred you to a specialist. Between the sadness and the weight gain, you felt ashamed. You stopped going out and packed on more weight. You are hyper aware of those around you. Careful never to agitate or inconvenience anyone. You have actually become pretty boring. You rarely show emotion and are too concerned about other’s opinions to be the silly person you were.

 

You hope that your next 10 years bring more joy, revelations about yourself, dreams come to fruition. You hope to overcome your biggest obstacle. Yourself.

In the next 10 years, you will have a baby. You will do two rounds of IUI before you get pregnant. You will become more confident in your work. You will increase dramatically in your salary as you are beginning to really establish yourself. You will become more involved in politics and religion…after all the wise Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “Women belong in all the places where decisions are being made.”. You will continue learning and educating yourself through reading and may even entertain the idea of a doctorate. You will most likely lose your grandparents. That is going to be the kick in the stomach of the decade. I hope you are somewhat graceful in your grief. I doubt this though. You will most likely have some issues in managing medications and potentially start being reckless at this time. I hope you come back here and remind yourself of how far you have come and how many people go through this.

My first 30 years have been challenging to say the least. I was dealt a tough hand and it didn’t help that I was manic for most of it. I have made strides in my mental health that have definitely rippled into the rest of my life. I am happy. Genuinely happy. I have you fine people to thank for some of that.

 

Don’t Forget MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS

I have been encouraged by the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement and pray it will make a positive change in America and around the world. It is time and it is necessary. Please keep in mind as you read the following words I do NOT want to EVER take anything away from the Black Lives Matter movement. I am listening and I am learning and my heart is bleeding with everyone else during these difficult times all over the world.

Seeing so many people protesting is encouraging to me because after far too many years of oppression for people of color, people of all races are finally listening to the fact that racism exists and must stop now. I see the images of protesting on the news and see them as a symbol of unity and love. The rainbow of races in the crowds is beautiful to me and is how the world should look.

Hearing the many struggles black people face daily from being discriminated against due to the color of their skin makes me angry and at the same time reminds me of each time I was treated poorly because of the labels of mental illness I was branded with. Again, please know I am not comparing the two because I know they are different but at the same time have many similarities.

The stigma of mental illness exists and is the biggest interference in the recovery of mental illness. The stigma of mental illness is when someone views you in a negative way because you have a mental health condition, illness, disorder or any other word you want to add to mental health. The words are all the same and by no means ever take away from the negativity and bias mental illness carries with its name.

The stigma of mental illness exists and is the biggest interference in the recovery of mental illness.

In my new memoir, SHAME ATE MY SOUL, I share examples throughout my book of the many times I was discriminated against and treated unfairly due to the stigma of mental illness. So, even though I am not black I can relate to the pain and shame people of color experience. I have been discriminated against not because of the color of my skin but because I was diagnosed with mental illness. I know it is different but in many ways the pain and shame it causes are one and the same.

I can also say I was treated unfairly by the police because of mental illness stigma. I share some examples in my book but the one I am going to share with you today is not in my book.

A few years after my diagnosis I got divorced and had joint custody of my two children with my ex-husband. My son was about five years old at the time and was a mama’s boy (and still is). When he was at his Dad’s house, he would call me on the phone repeatedly crying hysterically. It broke my heart every time. One day I felt so sad for my baby boy and was worried about him that I drove over to my ex-husband’s house just to check on him and give him some love.

I was sitting in my car holding my Keagan on my lap when my ex-husband came out to the car and pulled him from me causing him to hit his head on the car as he pulled him out. I was so heartbroken and worried seeing my Keagan so sad, I called the police to check on him to make sure he was okay.

The police officer was very cordial when he spoke to me outside. Then he went inside my ex-husband’s house to speak to him. When the police officer came back outside it was a different story. His demeanor with me had changed and he handcuffed me, arrested me and put me in the back of the police car.

He told me I was arrested because I should not have come over to to the house when it was not my night and charged me with a disorderly conduct. I called the police on myself. What? I was not disturbing anyone or loud or anything.

I was pregnant with my third baby at the time and cried the entire way to the police station. I told the police officer I had never been arrested before.

“What?” Really?” the police officer was shocked.

“Well, no. Never.” I said through my tears.

“Oh. I thought you had.”

“Why?”

I could tell he genuinely felt bad now like he wished he hadn’t arrested me. I wondered why he thought I had been arrested before, like I was a regular. I don’t look like your stereotypical criminal (not really sure what that is, but I don’t think I look that.)

I got bailed out and did not have to stay in jail overnight or anything. My charge was written down from disorderly conduct to a fine/forfeiture but still cost me $90.00. The worst part is that disorderly conduct was on my permanent record even though it was written down to a fine/forfeiture. I could not afford an attorney to get rid of it. It was and always has been humiliating to have to explain this charge and relive the experience every time I interviewed for a job.

Today, I realize I was arrested from the conversation the police officer had with my ex-husband who told the police officer I had bipolar disorder along with many more stigmatizing comments related to mental illness.

So, the sad truth is I was arrested because I had a mental illness. The police officer from my angry (at the time) ex-husband’s comments gained a new and different perspective of who he thought I was from his initial meeting of me, because of the stigma of mental illness and my diagnosis of bipolar disorder. His demeanor changed after he spoke to my ex-husband. Nothing I said mattered anymore and who I was didn’t matter. I became a mental illness — the stigmatized version of who he thought people who live with mental illness are.

On a side note — I have a heavy foot and tend to drive fast. Later, I was pulled over by this same police officer two other times for speeding and he NEVER gave me a ticket. My thought was because he knew he wrongly arrested me for NOTHING before. He felt bad and never gave me a ticket.

It’s a blessing to educate yourself about mental health versus experiencing it.

There is stigma and mistreatment that exists with people who have mental illness and police officers, just like there is for people who are black or brown. I know it is not the same or as bad.

I imagine how awful I would have been treated if I had a mental illness and I was black. Actually I can’t imagine.

I also self- stigmatized a lot and sometimes still do. Since I have been feeling well, am psychotropic medication free and one psychiatrist even told me I was misdiagnosed and never had bipolar disorder but had PTSD and was addicted to the Benzodiazepine Klonopin mostly instead, I do not self stigmatize as much and the burden of shame has been lifted. It is a great and freeing feeling.

We can never forget that MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS hugely

and we MUST END THE STIGMA OF MENTAL ILLNESS today.

We all must continue to share our stories and continue to educate and fight kindly and bravely to end the stigma of mental illness.

Even though there are troubled times for everyone around the world,

WE MUST NEVER LET PEOPLE FORGET ABOUT US: THOSE WHO LIVE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS.

Please check out my new memoir SHAME ATE MY SOUL. I realized how shame was instilled in me at a young age and increased after I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Shame was one of my biggest problems. I needed to give it back… and get rid of it. So, I did. That was a huge part of my recovery and healing.
My book is available on Amazon
and Barnes and Noble
as an Ebook and paperback.
Book Cover final flower
Photo Credit: Photo of top featured image by Brandi Ibrao on Unsplash
Copyright © 2020 by Susan Walz of My Loud Whispers of Hope

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 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

Let’s Have A Zoom Party/Mental Health Discussion Today!

Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash

Last Saturday, I held a Zoom party for a mental health discussion that was a fantastic melting of the minds. It was a lively discussion, and it went on for three hours. I was so amazed at the dialogue that we were able to have together. It was inspirational and lively. The questions were perfect for these types of discussion and thought it was limited in participants; it went flawlessly.

It inspired me to expand these types of ‘meetings” to every Saturday for the foreseeable future and also perhaps one or two smaller get-togethers during the week. In this pandemic world, it is important to have an open dialogue about mental illness and mental health. So following schedule will be put in place for May for Zoom Meetings that I will be hosting:

  • May 23, 2020 – 2 pm Pacific time
  • May 30, 2020 – 3pm Pacific tine

If you are interested you can always email me through my contact page and I will add you to the list. Also email me here:

jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com.

You can also text me here if you want to join me on Zoom on your mobile.

I would love to get as many voices talking about mental health. It also allows people to put a face to James Edgar Skye and The Bipolar Writer. Please join me if you can!

One on One Zoom Sessions

If you would like a time to meet me one on one to discuss mental illness and mental health topics, I always work people into my weekly schedule. I want to be more open to people getting to know me beyond the words of this blog. So feel free to reach out in my contacts or the email above. Let’s have a conversation!

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 Allie on Unsplash

It’s Time The Bipolar Writer Talks to Men About Men’s Mental Health

Photo by Daniel Brubaker on Unsplash

I have something that has been on my mind for a while. I have hosted two “Community Mental health Discussions” on Zoom, alongside a fellow blogger. I am a moderator for a discord chat with the same name. One glaring thing has become clear during these chats. None of the bloggers or mental illness sufferers that are men have expressed interest in becoming a part of the conversation. I ask myself, why is this? Guys we have to have a talk.

“Men’s mental health and mental illness” discussions should not be a separate thing. Still, it’s becoming clear that either I am doing something wrong and not being inclusive to all members of the mental illness community . Or that guys in the mental illness community would rather sit behind the scenes. For me, I think it’s the latter, but that defeats the purpose of why the community together can end the stigma surrounding mental illness.

I get it to some degree. “We’re guys we are supposed to be tough.” Hell, I have been the type of guy that said that guys just don’t do mental health. A common sentiment, but I decided the folly of that way of thinking. I now come from the school of thought of being authentic in what I write. I want to implore guys to become a part of the conversation.

Photo by Nathan McDine on Unsplash

I love the idea of this picture because it often said that “boys don’t get sad.” That is where things tend to go. There is this macho attitude that guys don’t cry, and I am here to say that is not true.

Mental illness is this thing that can control you. As someone who deals with Bipolar disorder, I deal with the extreme levels of depression and mania. I cried the night that of my first suicide. I cried when I lost my mom. I have been in such a bad state of depression that I cried about the mess that was my life. It was liberating. It comes to the eventual next step, and we need to talk about why this idea has become the norm of guys don’t cry.

What I seek is to start a dialogue here within the confines of this blog post. I have and always be authentic when it comes to this blog. I want to bring light to men’s mental health because it’s important to me as an advocate. What I am seeing is that men are not willing to be a part of the conversation.

I am hoping that this blog post will ruffle some feathers and that men will call me out and say I am wrong. Challenge me on what I am seeing! That will be the perfect thing. I want to see what men think about what I have said because we have to end the stereotypes that come with men’s mental health. Let us have a real conversation!

If you would like to join my “Community Mental health Discussions” Zoom meeting then please reach out guys to let your voice be heard. I also open it to all members of the mental illness community. The Zoom meeting is this Saturday at 2pm.

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 Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

Signs of Hope

Signs of hope are everywhere. Hope is always present. Sometimes we have to search for it but it is always there.

It has been about two and a half months since the last time I wrote.

Since the last time I wrote, the world changed…

and asked me to stay home.

I isolated for years before it was cool. I practiced the “safer at home” way of life before it was a thing, before it was the respectful thing to do, before we were told to do it to protect ourselves from the Corona virus.  I was a pro.

I have been staying home for over two months now and am ready (most of the time) to be with people (most people). I need (most) people but at the same time I am also nervous to go out into the world. I fear meeting, to me ignorant and selfish people, who refuse to wear a facemask. I think wearing a face mask adds a layer of protection for all of us and I believe face masks represent a symbol of love, care and respect for other people in the world. I worked very hard to be alive and staying healthy. It is my time to shine and live a good life. I am ready for it and will do anything and everything to make that happen. I do not want to get sick with the Corona virus.

Last week I was finally allowed to see my beautiful nine month old granddaughter Leora again.  She is my greatest joy and love and has my heart.

Before the Corona virus happened I began doing my art again and preparing handmade items to sell at a local craft show, for the first time in my life. I was busy creating art and was enjoying it tremendously. Of course because of Covid 19, my craft show got cancelled, so I opened up an Etsy shop and began the long process of putting my art on Etsy.

One day, I got an email from Etsy asking people to make masks.  Well, I can sew so this was a no brainer. I began googling tutorials on how to best make masks and as they say, the rest is history.

I’ve been sewing masks for people in my family, for local people and for people on Etsy now since the end of March. I have sold 134 masks on Etsy and made approximately $2000. I have also sold over 70 masks for family, friends and other people locally. Some of those were sold for a lower fee than my Etsy orders and many I make for free.

This has been my part-time job since the end of March and I have been making the limit that SSDI allows. I can only keep my Etsy store open for a few days before I have to remove my mask listings because I get too many orders for the month. It has been a blessing for me financially that is for sure. It has also been a fantastic distraction as I stay inside following the safer at home guidelines.

My mental health has been okay. It has been fantastic many days, but other days I must work hard to stay mentally and physically healthy. It is difficult for me to know what is normal. Maybe this is how it is for most people during this difficult time. Overall, I am doing well.

I am always so very thankful that God has given me another chance at life–to live my life to the fullest. He has given me the opportunity to make my children proud of me which is my greatest goal.

After people do not need my masks anymore, I pray I can sell other items on Etsy. So, when my mask making slows down I plan to make and list many more items.

One of my goals is to have a large listing of items for mental health recovery with inspirational cards, magnets and buttons and much more. I have a few items like that and have more to add when I get time. Currently, I have most listings as downloadable prints and cards for $2.00 or $3.00 each. Please check it out if you would like.

The name of my Etsy shop is… Signs of Hope and More. If you are on the Etsy page (Etsy.com) just type SignsofHopeandMore with no spaces and it will bring you to my store or here is the direct link…

http://www.etsy.com/shop/SignsofHopeandMore

I used Adobe Illustrator to make my logo and banner. I took a class over ten years ago and taught myself how to do it again and am still learning–trying to get better.

If you visit my shop you will notice the masks are not currently there as I had to remove them temporarily until I catch up. I have bout 20 masks to make locally and then I will finally be caught up again and will list my masks again.

You can find a few mental health recovery downloadable prints. As I mentioned I will try to add more very soon and will let you know when I do. Here are a couple samples.

recovery pink cardrecovery circle purple

00000IMG_00000_BURST20200327125545608_COVER~2

Here are samples of some of my masks. If you need a mask let me know and I will try to work something out for you.

 

I am also finally ready to self publish my completed memoir. For those of you that have been following me, you might know that I attempted to publish my memoir the old fashioned way. After one traditional publishing company was interested in my manuscript and asked me to send my entire manuscript to them I was over the moon excited about it. They declined publishing my memoir but gave me ideas of how to improve it, so I diligently rewrote my memoir and resubmitted my memoir back to them and also to a few other publishers. I decided I would give it one more try the traditional route.

They declined my memoir but am happy I gave it very best shot. I worked hard on it and now I am totally ready to self publish.

If anyone can help me self publish my book and has advice for the best route to take I would be very appreciative. I can’t spend a fortune as I do not have one. lol.

In your opinions, who is the best self publisher out there? I am open to any help I can get.

The title of my book is: SHAME ATE MY SOUL. It is titled that because you know what? Shame did eat my soul but I got it back and I am still fighting to live a happy, productive and love-filled life and stay mentally and physically healthy.

Recovery is possible. I am living proof. You too can be the living proof. Let’s all keep fighting and be THE LIVING PROOF.

Today I have my first appointment with my psychiatrist over the phone. I am a little nervous for it for some reason. It is in about an hour.

If you have read my many words, you are amazing and I thank you from the very bottom of my heart. Stay safe, be well and be kind.

By the way I hope you visit my Etsy shop and like it and…

if you need some hope…

you will find it at…

Signs of Hope and More.

Seriously though I always hope your days are filled with hope, love and peace.

Much love always,

Sue

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