My Love for Korean Pop – APink!

Music That Changes my Mood

I love these types of posts because I get to share my love for Korean Pop. For as long as I can remember, when Girls Generation came of the scene, I have loved the Korean language expressed through music. I love ballads, and you can get plenty in the genre. This week I would like to share one of my favorite groups–APink! So here are some of my favorites!

[MV] Apink(에이핑크) _ NoNoNo
[MV] Apink(에이핑크) _ LUV
[MV] Apink(에이핑크) _ Remember(리멤버)
Apink ‘Good Morning Baby’ M/V
[MV] Apink(에이핑크) _ The Wave(네가 손짓해주면)

I have many other songs but this is a great sample size. I hope you enjoy!

Always Keep Fighting


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

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

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The Best of Me

“You gave me the best of me, so you’ll give you the best of you,” are the lyrics to “Magic Shop” by Korean pop group BTS. I have been listening to this song over and over because I keep thinking about these words.

Sure, it’s not the most eloquent phrasing but I think that they are on to something here.

For ages we have all been told to give everything our best whether it’s academics, athletics, music, art, relationships, etc. That if we give anything our best effort we have a higher likelihood of succeeding.

During the many times I have sat and contemplated these lyrics, I understand it as we so often give the best of ourselves to others but have a harder time giving the best for ourselves.

I try to give my best to my family, boyfriend, pets and friends but when it comes to giving my best for me, that’s a different story. I know that eating well, exercising and having human interaction is good for me but I don’t always put in the effort. If I had a paradigm shift, I would try harder to do the things that are good for me so I could be at my very best.

If I gave my best for myself, what would my life look like? This is a question I have been focusing on, digging deep into it to find a possible answer.

I still don’t have an answer but during these weird times of social distancing and staying home basically all the damn time, I have time to really think about it. I also have the time to focus on giving myself the very best of me.

What do you think of these lyrics? Do you have a similar interpretation or not? Do you think you give yourself the best of you?

Please everyone be smart and safe!

“You Can Talk to Us”: Social Anxiety at Work

Social anxiety presents itself in a variety of forms for different people and can be perceived by others in a lot of negative ways. Last week I got called out by a coworker for rarely speaking to the employees on the first floor.

My desk is in the basement along with 3 other workspaces that occupy two part-time employees and one is there twice a week. Most days I am downstairs by myself.

The fridge and microwave are on the first floor so when I arrive in the morning I put my lunch away and come back up a few hours later to get it. In those few moments I am upstairs I try not to make eye contact or speak with anyone else.


What I look like walking down the hallway at work.

Last week I was walking back to the basement after heating up my lunch when my coworker said, “you know you can talk to us.”

I was dumbfounded. I felt exposed as if she pulled back the curtain to see socially anxious little me hugging my favorite teddy bear.

My anxiety has always told me that nobody wants to talk to me or cares what I have to say. It has made me believe that it is best for me to keep to myself so I don’t bother others.

My response was, “Oh, I can? I thought you were all really busy most of the time.”

She said they aren’t then we proceeded to casually chat for a few minutes.

Over the years, I have shut myself off socially at work.

At my last job I kept to myself except for talking to my supervisor. Most of my other coworkers weren’t friendly so I didn’t speak to them unless necessary.

Nobody has called me out on my social anxiety (except my therapist) so it has become a normal way of living for me. It has definitely given me some perspective on how others view me at work. Something to certainly think about.

Do you have social anxiety? If so, how do you cope with it at work/school?

Also what is your current coping method when you’re struggling with your mental illness?

As you can see from the featured image, my current coping mechanism is BTS. Whether it’s watching their incredible dancing in their music videos or reading along with the translated lyrics, BTS makes me happy in all ways. It also helps that they are all super cute. (If you’re a fellow Army, I love Jin, V and RM most.)

What warms my heart is their lyrics in “Love Yourself” that say, “even the scars that were formed from my mistakes are my very own constellations.” These words are powerful for me because of my history with self-harm.

Something Fun – My Love for K-Pop

I have written about this and posted music on this blog. I have also shared my love for Korean pop music, something of a guilty pleasure. I listen to K-pop more during the day than any other music. Today I wanted to dedicate this post of my favorite Korean singer, Taeyeon. Music is the great equalizer and in this mental. illness life, music gets me through the day.

TAEYEON 태연 ‘I (feat. Verbal Jint)’ MV
TAEYEON テヨン ‘Stay’ MV
TAEYEON 태연 ’11:11′ MV
TAEYEON 태연 ‘불티 (Spark)’ MV
TAEYEON 태연 ‘내게 들려주고 싶은 말 (Dear Me)’ MV
TAEYEON 태연 ‘사계 (Four Seasons)’ MV
TAEYEON 태연 ‘Fine’ MV

Taeyeon considered one of the greatest Korean singers, and her voice has always been angelic. Perhaps that is why I love her music so much! I will be posting these again in the future!

Always Keep Fighting


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!

Broken wiring

Mmm. Interesting. What are my worst symptoms? That’s a tough question to answer.   Feeling like death every day, lack of ability to concentrate, restlessness, depersonalisation, bouts of anger which I turn in against myself; either caring far too much about things or not caring at all.   Feeling like I am composed of a series of broken switches, none of which is sparking properly.  Not being (or rather not feeling)  a valid human being whatever one of those is.  No sleep.  Exhaustion.   Life looks like one big pointless empty space.

A friend  who was diagnosed with a physical disease said however horrendous the disease was and the treatments,  it was easier to deal with than depression.  People who suffer with mental health issues –  who then also get physcial ailments –  are dealing with both things together.


Anger is a tricky one.   Some aspects of anger are positive.  There wouldn’t be any charitable causes if people didn’t get angry about poverty.  Without anger, women would  never have got the vote; without anger no-one would ever have taken a stand against racial inequality.   But it has negative destructive sides as well. Keeping that under control is important.

What do I do when I feel this way?  I don’t drink alcohol nor do I take any medication.  That’s my choice and my decision for my own life.    But there are things I can do for myself – exercise is a big one.  I belong to a local gym and go at least three times a week.   I try and avoid too much screen time when I feel this way which is hard as we are all wired these days and writers spend half their lives on the internet.  I have my books, my writing. I used to buy books every time I got depressed but then found I was struggling to afford it.  Safe to say I have a lot of books!   And music too of course.  I listen to loads of classical music.   I often listen to my favourite band the Manic Street Preachers.  Although their lyrics are so full of existential angst I’m not sure why it’s therapeutic listening to them I just know that for me, it is.

Family is important. Sometimes I call my wonderful children who give meaning to my life.  I chant too.  But one of the best ways of making myself feel better is to stop thinking about my own stuff and do something to help someone else.   Not always easy but it works everytime.  I think one of the problems with depressive illness  is its tendency to isolate the sufferer.   This is a trap which is to be avoided at all costs,  because talking and being with other people is always constructive if you allow it to be.

How My Loud Bipolar Whispers (with a music video)

“My loud b;polar

roars fear, anger and sorrow

and whispers hope, inspiration and love

at the same time.”

~written by Susan Walz

If you ever wondered about the meaning behind the title of my blog, My Loud Bipolar Whispers, and how it came to fruition, I will explain it the best I can…

The definition of loud is producing or capable of producing much noise and is easily audible; with a great deal of volume. Synonyms for loud are noisy, deafening, roaring, thunderous and powerful.

The definition of whisper is speak very softly using one’s breath without one’s vocal cords, especially for the sake of privacy. The synonyms for whisper are murmur, mumble and hiss.

Image result for loud whispers

In simplest terms bipolar disorder is a mental disorder (or as I like to refer to it as a brain disease) marked by alternating periods of elation and depression. Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs of mania or hypomania and lows of depression.

Bipolar disorder was formerly called manic depression. Manic depression and loud whispers are both oxymorons. An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction, like, for example, falsely true and a loud whisper. 

Bipolar disorder was always so difficult for me because of the two extremes of moods I experienced nearly every day for over twenty years, as I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder with rapid cycling and mixed episodes. I was either hypomanic or manic, or depressed. I missed the important, good, peaceful and content middle ground. I seemed to not have a middle mood (until today.) The extremes were so difficult to comprehend and live with, but I managed to survive and reached recovery and so can you. I promise you will get there. Please keep keeping on and keep fighting.

When I thought of bipolar disorder, extreme opposite moods, behaviors, emotions and feelings came to mind. Also, there is something beautiful and peaceful to me in the sound of the spoken word whisper. If you say the word whisper repeatedly in your mind or out loud it can calm and soothe your spirit. The rest is history. My Loud Bipolar Whispers became the title of my blog nearly two years ago.

These are the loud parts of bipolar:

  1. Bipolar disorder is a very painful mental illness that can become very debilitating, overwhelming and lethal.
  2. It can damage and destroy lives and can cause much destruction, pain and loss in the lives of those living with it and in the lives of those who love them, as well.
  3. Bipolar disorder is an illness that takes a lot of strength and courage to learn how to cope and overcome its severe symptoms, the stigma of mental illness and the painful and dangerous side effects caused from psychotropic medications used to treat it.

The beauty and joy lie in the fact that there is hope. Recovery is possible, achievable and worth every fight, battle and step of your journey. I am living proof of that.

Related image

Bipolar can be loud, but listen for the…

whispers of bipolar: 

  1. Bipolar disorder helps you find the courage and strength you never knew you had.
  2. It prepares you to overcome other life obstacles and struggles.
  3. Bipolar teaches you how to live, survive and thrive and achieve goals you never knew were possible.
  4. Bipolar teaches you important lessons in life that everyone should learn and know, but could only be learned by going through this mental illness journey.
  5. Bipolar increases your compassion and gives you empathy for other people.
  6. Bipolar teaches you to be kind.
  7. Having bipolar enables you to help others in many different capacities.
  8. Bipolar increases your insight about people and life.
  9. Bipolar helps show you who your true friends are and how to be a true friend to others.
  10. Bipolar teaches you how to find the good in people and life.
  11. Bipolar teaches you to appreciate the goodness in life, no matter how small and few.
  12. Bipolar makes you a survivor.
  13. Bipolar teaches you to live, to truly live. I don’t think I knew how to live before I reached recovery.
  14. The best part of having bipolar for me was that I found God. God saved my life many times. I believe He healed me to the point I am healed today. I found the joy and love that can only come from my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and for that I am eternally grateful.
  15. Bipolar gave me a huge desire and will to love and live as Jesus would.

Please remember…

“When you help others essentially you are helping yourself.” ~Susan Walz

I love this song and I love this version of the song.

It is powerful and emotes so much emotion.

Feel the surge of emotion hit you hard and soothe you at the same time.

Listen to the loud whispers

and to the sounds of silence.

“The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence

The Sound of Silence – Disturbed

“The Sound Of Silence” Lyrics

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dare
Disturb the sound of silence

“Fools” said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said “The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence”

Copyright © 2000-2018

Copyright © 2018 Susan Walz | | All Rights Reserved

A Letter to Myself on my Birthday

Note: I have wanted write this blog post since day one of starting The Bipolar Writer blog. It seemed to fit that on a day like today— my birthday— that I would share this letter. It means the world to me to be in a place where this is possible, to talk about where I have been. This letter is written to James Edgar Skye, my pen name.


A Letter to The Bipolar Writer

What a journey it has been to get here, James.

I can remember a time where you honestly believed that you would never make it. You always thought that the darkness that still sometimes engulfs your life would eventually take you— and there were a few close calls along the way. Somehow you find the will to fight, even on those days where you thought it would be your last.

Look at you now. Just a few months away from getting your Bachelor’s Degree in creative writing with a specialization in fiction. You found your writing side in the past few years in minoring in screenwriting, political science, and journalism. It has been a journey of peaks and valleys, the good and bad parts of being Bipolar seemed always find its way in your studies— and yet you are going to graduate summa cum laude. I remember the doubts you had over the last four years, and each time you proved yourself wrong by always excelling at everything school threw at you.

Even though you never got your Hogwarts letter, you still maintained your love for reading. Now you have turned that love into a writing career.


I can barely remember your first birthday after your diagnosis became Bipolar One. You were a different person then, and you have come so far from the days where you barely noticed time passing you by in this life. The first three years of your diagnosis was filled with so much negative. Depression became your most familiar companion. Anxiety seemed to fill your days, and so you hid from the world— and you barely left your house those three years.

I always wondered why you gave into the darkness three different times in your life and turned to suicide as a way to escape. It was the worst parts of your life, and luckily you survived. Now, look at you, sharing your experiences with suicide and self-harm to advocate that there is a better way. Suicide is never the answer— that is what you tell people now. You had to live through a lot, but it was all worth it to help others. I believe that you are helping people.

Who knew you could find the strength to tell your story. You really have come a long way, and now you have a real chance at helping others. Writing and creating The Bipolar Writer blog was the best decision that you made outside of going back to school. Now you have finished the first draft of your memoir, and now you are looking toward the future instead of the past.

On this journey, you have found ways to cope. Listening to music and your favorite K-pop group have gotten you through so much. Writing finally became your way of life, and you have indeed found your place in this world. It has helped you grow as a better person in life. It defines the best qualities of who you are— never let that go. You found watching baseball— the Los Angeles Dodgers— as your way to cope during the summer months. You get through the worst parts of your depression and anxiety, and you are always open to finding new ways of dealing.


Sure, you are still a work in progress. At times social anxiety gets the best of you. At times you lose yourself in panic attacks. Depression likes to sneak up and take over for a time. It’s not a forever thing. But this Bipolar life is always evolving, and you still find a way of adapting.

There is so much to look forward to James. Selling your screenplay. Publishing your memoir. Working on your Masters later this year. For the first time in this life, you are making plans for the future, and the goals that you have worked so hard on are within your grasp. There has been so much pain over the last ten years, but there was so much good. You found a way to live with being Bipolar— without it defining who you are inside and out. You just have to give yourself a break and work on not being your harshest critic.

There will be days where being Bipolar is all you can deal with, but you go to sleep each night knowing tomorrow is another day. Anxiety and depression are a part of who you are— but they don’t define you. The most significant thing I want to tell you is that you are a fighter. It was always there a part of you. It took you so long to get here, but the journey was worth it.

There was a time when you didn’t want to live. That time has passed. You know it is God’s plan that you are alive.

You used to wake up and hate that you were still alive. Now you wake up with the knowledge that the day before was a fight— and you fought well. Always keep fighting, it is the best part of you, James.

Here is to many more birthdays to come and finding happiness in this Bipolar and social anxiety life. I’m on a rollercoaster that only goes up.


J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoAustin Mabe

unsplash-logoSteve Halama

unsplash-logoRae Tian

unsplash-logoCampbell Boulanger

unsplash-logoWang Xi

CBT – Mood Induction with Music

I am getting back on track with my cognitive behavior therapy and I wanted to share a post from my past. For those that don’t know, music is a major part of how I get through my day. You can find it the series of my favorite music here. Favorite Music 

I honestly can’t live without music. When I found out that within CBT there is a process in which you can use music, life got a little bit better. So I wanted to share this piece again. I hope you enjoy it. Also, check out my post about suicide, it is relatable to this post. My Thoughts on Suicide

Music Mood Induction

This is part one of what will be an ongoing series on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I have been working with my therapist over the last year on the goal of getting my social anxiety back under control without relying on my Ativan as a crutch. These posts will be out of order in the sense I am not writing about it as I am learning the technique.

One of the goals that I set out to achieve within the confines of my blog The Bipolar Writer is to give advice about things that have helped me along my journey. Today’s blog is about what has helped me deal with my anxiety—cognitive behavioral therapy. More specifically, I will discuss how I have used mood induction with music to better understand the thoughts that go through my head.

Cognitive behavior therapy is the practice of developing personal managing strategies that ultimately solve problems in a person’s life. The point is helping change negative thought patterns in positive ways so that the outcome is working on what is wrong. I have used CBT for anxiety, but I have known people who have used it for other mental illness issues like depression.

Mood induction has been extremely helpful for me as I work toward my goal of conquering my ongoing battle with social anxiety. Different experts go about using mood induction techniques with music in different ways (I am by no means an expert, but rather I will share what my own therapist gave me in steps.) Music has always been a great coping tool that I have used over the years so I was excited to work on this.

The first step is simple, the initial response step. First, find some music to listen to that will evoke emotion while you listen. It might be helpful to rate your mood before you listen to the song and then listen to the song. Focus on the song and what it brings out in your thoughts and emotions. Then write down the emotional responses that you first felt (like happy, sad, or frustrated.)

The second step in the mood induction process is the intensity of emotional response. This step is your determination of how strongly you felt the emotions in the first step. Using a scale of 1-10, you rate how much emotion came when listening to the chosen song.

The third step, reaction to emotional response, is perhaps the most important. This step breaks down into important steps:

  1. Describe your thoughts: This simple. What thoughts came through your mind while listening to the song.
  2. Describe sensations or feelings: Did your heart rate increase while listening to the song? Here you talk feelings and sensations.
  3. Describe behaviors: Did you fidget, pace, or sigh?

This step is important to process because it is here that you analyze your thoughts and behaviors which is helpful in real life. You take a moment in time, listening to a song, and you range your emotional response. From there you can focus on what these thoughts mean and the meaning behind such emotional response. In my experience, it helps to choose a song that brings out strong emotional response.

Here is what a breakdown will look like:

Song Choice: Nineteen Stars, Meg and Dia

Emotional Response: Relieved, happy, good.

Rate Response: 8

Thoughts: Meaningful reminds me of the journey that I have been on. Where I was ten years ago to now. I want to be a part of this world now. What this song meant to me in 2007.

Sensations/Feelings: Heart rate increased.

Behaviors: Fidgeting and moving my legs up and down while sitting at my computer.

The responses and emotions are different for each person and the results will of course vary. I have used this on close to fifty songs over the last couple months. I used an excel worksheet to break down each section.

One last thing on mood induction that I wanted to discuss is going back to the songs that you have already broken down. This is very interesting because it helps to see if your thoughts and emotions change when listened to the second time.

Well, that it is part one of my journey CBT and working on my social anxiety. I would like to know if this helped anyone. Give it a try, you might be surprised.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoSpencer Imbrock

Music That Changes my Mood Part Seven

Its been a long last two days working on my statistics class and I need a good music session to get the rest of my night. I thought why now share it with you? I really hate the first week of the semester because there is just way too much overload that first week. I always think I have to be perfect.

Anyway, let’s get started with part seven. I am watching Alabama football but my music is on blast right now. No words just music videos. It’s a Korean Pop night.

Taeyeon – Fine

JESSICA (제시카) – Wonderland

Girls Generation – All My Love is for You

Girls Generation – Gee

Jessica – Fly

TAEYEON 태연 ‘I (feat. Verbal Jint)’

Girls’ Generation 소녀시대  – ‘I GOT A BOY’

TAEYEON 태연 – ‘Rain

Girls’ Generation 소녀시대 – ‘Dancing Queen’

I think that’s pretty good. I hope you enjoy the Korean version of music that changes my mood.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoAnthony DELANOIX

Music that Changes my Mood Part Five

Welcome to part five of “Music that Changes my Mood.”

This is the first edition of the New Year, and I am really looking forward to sharing more music that changes my mood when depression is taking me over. It has been amazing to share my favorites on my music playlist. Music is always a part of my life because lyrics mean everything to me.

Crystalyne – Secret

You can’t find a bad Crystalyne song and Secret has been an obsession of mine over the last couple of days. This song’s lyrics are so powerful. I think we all are looking for someone that you are willing to keep their secrets. This is a great song to just rock out to.

Altered Skye – Where I Belong

Aren’t we trying to find where we belong when lost in the endless depression. Another good song with amazing lyrics.

Courage My Love – Cold Blooded

We Are the In Crowd – Both Sides of the Story

Paramore – Fake Happy

This song is the most relatable of how I feel sometimes when I am out in the real world. Sometimes you just have to be fake happy to survive.

We Are the In Crowd – Kiss Me Again

Crystalyne – Let’s Do Something Crazy

Meg and Dia – Roses

Well, that is another edition of “Music That Changes my Mood.” Check out the other parts here:

An American’s Obsession with Korean Pop

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoSteven Wang