Back To School

A couple months before summer hit I made the decision to go back to college. At 32yrs old I decided I wanted more than what I am doing now. Currently I am a pediatric home health aide, taking care of special needs children one on one. Ultimately I would like to do home health care company restricting. I would like to go into companies and restructure their low performing field offices. Making improvements so that not only does the company function better, but so clients get the care they need. There are so many clients who don’t get care or what they get is subpar. I want to change that.

So I started classes this past summer. I went to college in 2007-2008 but I was unable to keep going. My mental health hindered me and I had no help at the time. Now I am at a better place and feel that I can do this. It is not easy but I will keep going. Some days are harder. Yesterday I was in such a funk that I did nothing. I just laid there, knowing I should work, but not wanting to.

 

One of my classes requires I create a Queer Archive as a final project. For my project I am creating an Archive about individuals who have come out at a later age, late 20’s and up. It is a project that I hold close to my heart because of my late coming out. While I came out as bisexual in high school it took me till a little over 2yrs ago to come to terms with actually being a lesbian.

Now I’m here. I would like to ask a favor of the readers here and on my own blog. I am looking for personal testimonials of individuals. If you are interested you can comment here, on my personal page, or visit the page directly https://sites.psu.edu/outlate/

The Silent Sands of Illness



This is a new rendition of a poem I wrote on my blog.

The Silent Sands of Illness

Spheres be fed the blackened beast,

For long to fill his gluttonous feast.

Not life itself could escape it’s grasp.

For death to all the plague they clasp.

Yet random the beast, it toyed it’s prey,

Amused with the game of chance to play.

Ally of time, it’s patient was astound.

Stomach growls the best around.

But who would have thought that the beast – himself,

Could make it’s prey place their hopes and aspirations into a shelf?

What will the prey be bound to do, to make it through?

The beast as it preys, acting as a bough,

A bough of illness.

Amused again by the game and a chance to play,

It’s patients were astound — astound,

by the growls of the beast’s stomach – the growls of the best around.

Thank you for being with me. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Love, Francesca.

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Burnout And Complex PTSD

Photo by Ivan Obolensky on Pexels.com

Burnout and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C/PTSD) are rarely talked about. I think, for the most part, burnout and fatigue are the most debilitating symptoms that I have to deal with on a daily basis. Fatigue that is caused by my medication and from being extremely anxious and hypervigilant on a daily basis.

Drowning In Work

I find myself trying to drown myself into work, as a coping mechanism, whenever I get overwhelmed by my emotions (or lack of sometimes – due to my numbness) and my inability to articulate what causes me to feel anxious or depressed. It becomes an exhausting cycle, from time to time, and sometimes I seem unable to break out of it.

Life Is A Grind

I honestly believe that living with PTSD or CPTSD feels like I have been grinding for so long that my life has become a grid. I see myself eating at my desk more often than I should. Drinking more caffeine just so my body can cope with my grind or my need to keep grinding. Adding into the mix, my anxiety, depression and my lack of self-esteem coupled with my self-doubt that was instilled into my body by the trauma I have survived.

This seems to continue and gets to the point where I start eating less healthy and exercise less often. My mood than gets affected and everyone around me – well becomes frustrated with having to deal with my dark side. I honestly do get tired of feeling hopeless. This whole cycle then leads me into thinking that I have become inferior – by comparison – to who I was before my trauma.

This vicious cycle is unhealthy, I must admit. My body then gets to a point where it can’t take anymore stressors or continue to work. I think that this habit of constantly over-working myself can’t be stopped by self care mechanisms. although, they can help tame and slow down the process of burnout.

Get Help

If you are feeling this way at the moment, I hope you stop – pause – and listen to your mind, body, and soul. Because they are you and that is your power. Please try to seek professional help as well.

Burnout is the moment when everything gives, and it’s more common than you might think.

Matt D’avella

Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Love,

Francesca

When I Was Not Enough: Death of A Friendship

Seeing a friendship that was once vibrant with life and laughter die in front of your eyes can be a sad sight. As it takes its final breath, I have to remind myself that it could not be saved.

This friend tried to control me and when I did not do as she demanded, she would get angry with me. Looking back, I now see that I was not enough in her eyes and I’m alright with that.

My former friend and I were best friends since 2013 when we were roommates in university. I felt like I could tell her anything, that she would always be my right-hand woman on Team Megan.

Until 2016.

From then on our friendship began to die.

She did not approve of the man I started dating that year which brought distance between us. After my now ex-boyfriend left for Army basic training, she said that I had to either dump him or marry him immediately.

Those words furiously buzzed in my brain, I was so upset by them that they induced my first panic attack.

After that she and I didn’t spend time together for months until the guy dumped me.

She was present until I began my downward spiral of suicidal thoughts, severe depression, almost daily self-harming and intense anxiety. She refused to listen to my struggles, she couldn’t understand so she closed her ears.

From there I began to distance myself even more from her.

In June 2017 she asked if I would move in with her. I told her no because I just started a new job in April and did not want to leave my boyfriend that I started dating in January. Neither of these things she approved of in the first place.

She was angry with me. She was irritated that I did not drop everything for her. She wanted me to follow the path she was trying to establish for me.

The final straw for me was when she came up to visit me this May. She bought me coffee at my favorite local coffeeshop, sat me down and came for my throat. Figuratively.

She told me how she missed “college Megan” and that she could help me get “back on track” with my career. She began listing off mutual friends saying, “They are doing so well for themselves.”

I understood that as, they are doing great while I’m a loser.

I on the verge of bursting into tears. I couldn’t believe the person who was supposed to be my best friend was saying such hurtful words.

Once she finally left later that afternoon, I laid in my bed and cried.

The next day I texted her, I knew if I called I would cry. I told her she upset me with everything she said and that she made me feel like a failure.

She pulled a Kanye West! She said, “I’m sorry but…” My jaw dropped as she began to justify why she said those hurtful things. She was not sorry at all.

I was not enough for her.

My anxiety tells me that I’ve made a horrible mistake in losing her as a friend. That “if I only listened to her” I would somehow be better off.

My rational self says that I am doing fine without her.

Thank u, next.

My Past Depression and Anxiety Journals

This is going to be a very busy week for The Bipolar Writer. I am the middle of my my second to last semester and the work is piling up. Both my classes are 300 and up (a 309 Political Science class on State and local government also a 400 Diversity class). I am working on two short papers, a significantly important powerpoint project, two different discussion boards, and of course a ton of reading. There is even a quiz somewhere in there for me to do.

So my week will be very limited. For the first time since the start of 2018, you might only see one or two blogs from me this week. With that said, I want to share more of my old journal from 2015. I have chosen a single exciting entry this time because it’s longer than most of the ones I have shared. As you might know, 2015 was not a great year, but it was the beginning of changes that I started to make.

You can find my other journal entries here: My Depression & Bipolar Journals I will republish this page later today. I am hoping to put together a music blog post this week, it has been a while since I have done one of those. You can find those pieces here: Favorite Music. With that said here is one of my journal entries from September 2015. In this entry, you will see me struggle with giving up coffee, something I always think is possible in my life.

* Note: I write these journals precisely as they were written, errors and all. These are pure thoughts, and I tend to write really fast when I journal.

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September 11, 2015

1:40 pm

I am still having some issues with my anxiety, but I am taking what I hope are positive steps in the right direction. So far today I woke up not exactly where I wanted to but at least I got out of bed. I added something new that I am not sure will be effective. I added an herbal tea to my morning routine in hopes it will be a better alternative to coffee. We shall see in the coming weeks if I have to give up caffeine completely.

A positive step I made today was that I was able to write a bit today and I did thirty minutes of exercise. I really want to start meditating in the morning time, but I will have to work on that when I start waking earlier in the morning. I think over the next few weeks my focus has to be on my overall mental health. I am at a place where everyday is a contestant battle with my depression, anxiety, and my thoughts.

I must fins a way to balance my life again to a point where my thoughts don’t rule my life. I must learn to live in the moment, the now must become paramount to who I must become if I have any chance of getting back to normal. This cycle that I have put myself into must have some kind of end. There was a time when I was better and happy. Although those time seem to be gone I can’t dwell on it, because it is in the past. Why do I let it control me?

So in many ways I have no choice but to keep moving forward with my life. Looking back  I got worse after deciding to take a semester of school off. I became lost in the idea that taking the the time off would somehow help me. In reality it just pushed me from my overall good of getting back to reality and a better life.

I just have about a week and half before school starts back up and while that adds pressure to my life. I am ready for the challenge that it will bring, and who knows in doing so I actually find a new part of me I didn’t even know existed. So here is to a new outlook, you have to start somewhere.

James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoSarah Brink

unsplash-logoAaron Burden

My Week in my Social Anxiety Life

It’s been another week working towards my goal of figuring out this social anxiety life that I live. I moved forward in some ways and I still have a long way to go before things get better.

I know that I am just beginning of working on my social anxiety, but I take notice of the wins and losses when it comes to my social anxiety. I started my week off with a lot of work. I had finals this week and I have a short turnaround for my next semester. So I made the decision last week to front-load my week so that I can take some much needed time off for the remainder of my week.

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Part One – A Meeting and my Social Anxiety Life

I had a meeting this week with a client that went quite well. It was tough. I took a single dosage of 1mg of Ativan to start my meeting. I am not going to lie. My anxiety was at a high level before I even got there. I knew this meeting would be a long but important one that I had to power through.

I ended having to take a second 1mg dosage of Ativan due to the meeting being long. It was tough. My impulse was to run. I had not spent more than two or three hours outside of my house over the past few weeks. My thoughts consumed me, it was as if I could feel the tension. Old thoughts of my past came up and though I was focused on the task at hand, I could feel my thoughts shifting to thoughts of panic attacks.

My thoughts became lost. I could feel the panic rising and I had to more than once get up before it consumed me. I made reasons to go to the bathroom so that I could rinse my face and refocus. I could feel a tingle at the tips of my hands but it never consumed my hands.

Eventually, I calmed down enough so that I could get through my meeting. I remember when I got home I felt so tired. Exhaustion usually comes along with my social anxiety. After a long day, I just needed to lay down and exhale. I truly felt like moving forward I could get through anything.

Part Two – A Saturday With Anxiety

I had an interesting Saturday that I wanted to share because it relates to my social anxiety. I think I figured a trigger in my life. I am very attached to my Ativan, I never do very well when my “supply” is running low. I worry about it and I stress way too much about.

I get medication delivered. Earlier in the week, I made sure that my pharmacist knew I would run out of Ativan at the end of the week. I thought everything was fine, so when the package came I didn’t open it right away. I figured all my medication would be there.

When I opened it Saturday I began to panic when my Ativan was missing. I called my pharmacy and made sure that they would have it available to pick up that day but my anxiety was already high. I wasn’t sure I could even drive. I took my main dosage of 2mg of Ativan. I knew I had an hour to get myself mentally prepared, but to be honest it didn’t really help.

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But I had to keep moving. I got into my car. I could feel myself on the edge of a panic attack. I took second Ativan pill because to help because I could feel myself on edge. I did what I could, it sounds silly but chewing gum helps. I could feel every minute passing me by slowly. I thought at three different times that I would have to pull over and let my passenger drive.

I made it to the pharmacy. I got my new prescription. A strange serenity came over me the moment I had my medication in hand. I knew for the next month I would have my Ativan always within reach. I could feel the panic attack lifting and I could refocus my energy. I was able to go to the store.

It’s a strange thing. So much of my social anxiety life revolves around IF I will have enough Ativan to get through my day. I get so lost in what works and what doesn’t work for me. There has to be something in that, the control that Ativan seems to have over my life. I have an upcoming appointment with my therapist that I would like to discuss this subject with her. I can’t be defined by medication.

My social anxiety life is always complicated but I am going to keep fighting. Always.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoJosé Martín Ramírez C

unsplash-logoLuca Bravo

unsplash-logoClem Onojeghuo

My Quotes Notebook

I was starting my Spring cleaning today because I noticed that things were getting messy in my workspace and where I sleep. The books were piling up and so where the notebooks. I wrote about in A sign of Depression – A Messy Room. I came across something I hadn’t seen a long while, my notebook with my favorite quotes handwritten.

A few of them were of my own design. I had forgot that I once thought that one day someone would use a quote I wrote in their novel. It was a grandiose thought, but I have had many over the years. When reading through them I had a thought, “Why not share some of them?”

They come from my favorite video games, movies, books, my favorite people, and things I have read at some point in my life. Quotes for me often have to resonate with me for them to have some importance.

Some of my Favorite Quotes

Kairi to Sora from Kingdom Hearts 2

“Thinking of you, where you are. We pray for our sorrows to end, and hope that our hearts will blend. Now I will step forward to realize this wish. And who knows: starting a journey might not be so hard, or maybe it has already begun. There are many worlds, and they share the same sky— one sky, one destiny.”

Unknown

“Never tell her goodbye, instead tell her “till I see you again, my love.” Goodbye means you might not see her again.”

Sammy Farha – Poker Player

“You have to gamble to win.”

Lady Jocelyn – A Knights Tale

“Your name makes no matter to me, so long as I can call you my own.”

Chaucer – A Knights Tale

“I will evicerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for day. You will be naked for eternity.”

”I’m a writer, I give truth scope.”

Holly Golightly/ Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (My favorite movie)

“You know those days where you get the mean reds.”

“No. The blues are because your getting fat and maybe it’s raining too long, your sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what your afraid of.”

Huck Cheever/ Eric Bana in Lucky You

“The money’s just a way of keeping score. Poker is competition in the purest sense. Doesn’t matter who you are or what you are; everybody’s equal at the table.”

Mike McDermott/ Matt Damon in Rounders

“Listen, here’s the thing. If you can’t spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker.”

“I want him to think I’m pondering a call, but all I’m thinking about is Vegas and the fuckin’ Mirage.”

Unknown

“To say I can live without you, would be the biggest mistake I will. ever make.”

”Letting you go is all I have left. I can’t as you to stay, even though my heart wants you to.”

Bella Swan – Twilight (Book: Stephanie Meyer)

“Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of someone else, someone I loved. Nobel even. That ought to count for something.”

Mark Twain

“There are few things in life that are so unpardonably neglected in our country as poker. The upper class knows little about it. Now and then you find ambassadors who have some general knowledge of the game, but the ignorance of the people is fearful. Why, I have known clergymen, good men, kindhearted, liberal, sincere and all that, who don’t know the meaning of a flush. It’s enough to make one ashamed of the species.”

I realize there a lot of poker quotes. I love the game of poker. It really is pure. I was once very good a poker but at the best of times you can lose. I often write about poker, and I have a short story that I am considering turning into a screenplay.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed these. I may do one or two of these. I do love a good series.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoThomas Welch

Day 16: My Motivation of 2018 – So Far

My Motivation of 2018

It’s been a great start to my year. I am working towards small and big goals. Each day I get a chance to check off things on my list when things get done. It makes me feel good. It’s the little things in life.

My first week of school was good. It got through some early worries and though statistics can be overwhelming at times, it’s a learning process. But its something I can continue to work on. t’s only one math class I have to take for my degree, might as well soak up as much as I can. My literature class is great. I get to read short stories of amazing authors and write about it? That is the best thing a writer can do.

Last year was a tough time for me, my anxiety was out of control and I would end up in the hospital by early February. I thought for while last month that I was heading down that path again, but I have gotten back on track.

It’s the right combination of staying busy and the right dosage of Ativan each day.

I am looking toward the future, even as I continue to write my memoir. Every day is another opportunity for me to continue to work on my social anxiety and my mental health. My blog posts help me keep busy. It’s a place where I can write my thoughts. Each day I get a better understand the intricate nature of my social anxiety.

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My motivations are my big goals. Finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in a few months, and starting my Masters are the biggest goals. My school work takes up a good part of my day, but scheduling my work has made me efficient. Finishing my memoir and selling my screenplay are other top goals at this moment.

 I am learning patience in all things out of my control. I am waiting for the results of the screenplay competition I entered in December. (I get the results next month.) I am waiting for an agency to pick me up, and I make sure to send out query letters each day. It’s a daily grind but considering that I am writing more each day, my struggles of 2017 seem worth it. I found myself at the end of last year, and never looked back.

My smaller goals are making my blog reach one person a day. That’s it. Share my experiences with Bipolar and help fellow bloggers grow in their own writing. I am always moving forward every day. Trying to stay afloat in this world. It’s pure focus and keeping my state of mind in the right place that keeps me motivated. I am smiling more because I am happy.

I have projects on the horizon. Freelance work. It’s going to be an expensive year, I can tell already. So I fill my day. I write new chapters in my memoir each day. I edit and proofread during the week. I make everyday count and give my self a break when things are overwhelming.

The greatest motivation is staying the course and keeping my faith. Everything I have learned in the past year has made me a stronger person. I am in such a good place. I feel good. I know I will have days where things might seem out of control. Anxiety can be hard and anything in my life can trigger a depression cycle.

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When that happens I can write about it and move on. Its great to be on track every day. To have the motivation to leave the comfort of my bed and start a small journey every day. It serves the larger journey well.

What are some of your own motivations this year?

Always Keep Fighting.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logorawpixel.com

unsplash-logoJordan Whitfield

unsplash-logoIan Schneider

Freelance Work

I don’t often talk about the writing side but when I do it’s a big thing.

Going to school is not cheap. Neither is everything else that comes with the writing life. As I move closer to completing the first draft of The Bipolar Writer Memoir, I am thinking about the possibility of self-publishing. I have done my research and I know the costs of such a venture.

That leads me to look for freelancing work wherever I can in this world. I have already started to pick up local work. I am on Upwork. I put ad‘s on craigslist with some good and bad experiences. I thought something today. I have a blog. Why not reach out to those that need help here on my blog—for a price. That is what freelance work is, moving from project to project.

So what am I offering?

I can help with creating a blog from the start. My blog is my own it took me while to make everything right the way I like it. The content is all mine. I have experience in growing my brand without much help. It’s been a learning procsss for me, but hey I have skills. If you want to pay me to help you create a new blog site, I am here.

I can help write original content for you blog under any peramiters. I have already done a couple of these types of jobs and I create my own content on blog daily. I can research like there is no tomorrow for those of you that need that for your content I’m your guy. If you need someone to edit and proofread your blog posts before you go live, I can help.

Then there is the proofreading editing part of my freelance skills. I am an English major nearing the end of my Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. I minored in journalism, screenwriting, and political science. I have experience in proofreading and editing. The classes I have left are math classes and science classes. I have finished every writing class under my degree. I can help with ghostwriting or copy editing.

I do offer tutoring, but that is probably best for local work. One of my skills is researching. I am damn good at it. So if you need that, I can help.

I am not the kind of guy who charges is a lot. I am competitive with each project. I am online with PayPal so that is always a good thing.

I have a lot of things coming up this summer that I am going to need money for mosty trips. My graduation. My brothers wedding in Oregon. My annual pilgramage to Las Vegas. I would love to finally see Italy and South Korea. I have a good friend of mine in Germany. There is of course the whole student loans thing. It would be nice to pay off my interest before I start my Master’s program at the end of this summer.

I have things in play. My screenplay for one. But I need to be able to save every penny. If that means helping out people then I will do what ever it takes. I am not sure if this is even the right place to put a post such as this, but hey its my blog.

The costs of self-publishing my memoir will be high no matter how I look at it. I don’t need extra work in my life but I have to be open to all opporinites that come my way.

So if you need any type of freelance writing work, I am your blogger— or writer —James Edgar Skye.

So if your interested in any of my freelance skills email me. Let’s talk.

Contact me @ jamesedgarskye24@gmail.com

James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoStanley Dai

Music That Changes my Mood – Part Eight

Music really helped me get through a tough week. Here is another version of “Music That Changes My Mood.” Here is the full series.

Crystalyne – “Wolves”

Courage My Love – You Don’t Know How

Paramore – Misery Business

Panic! At The Disco – Build God, Then We’ll Talk

Fall Out Boy – Sugar, We’re Goin Down

Panic! At The Disco – Lying Is The Most Fun…

Simple Plan – Perfect

Avril Lavigne – Keep Holding On

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoLeio McLaren