What is Success?

Worrying has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve worried about everything under the sun at one time or another.

My current worry is, am I/will I ever be successful?

I reflect on my career and finances primarily and debate with myself whether they’re successful enough.

I’ve always said that if I write for a living and am making a difference with my writing, I will be happy. For 2 years I have done that for a non-profit organization telling stories and encouraging others to donate. But I don’t make as much money as I would like. Does that make my job unsuccessful?

Because I don’t make a lot of money, it holds me back financially. I live at home with my mom because I spend almost half of my bi-weekly paychecks on student loans. I look at my bank account and shake my head because I always wish I had a few more dollars in there. Does that make me a failure?

I feel like I’m nowhere near being a success person because of my financial situation. I feel like I have failed at life.

My depression loves to play these thoughts on repeat. My mind tells me I will never amount to anything, that any dream I have will never become a reality because I am destined to fail.

I dream of writing a non-fiction book, of having a story published in a popular publication, of getting married, traveling the world and somehow paying off my student loans.

Those goals seem so unattainable that it discourages me from trying.

Next month I find out if I am getting a raise which I really, really want. If I my pay remains stagnant, I will find a new job. If I get the raise, I’ll stay on for longer. So we shall see what happens on the career front this summer!

How do you define success? Do you feel successful in your life?

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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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I Jump to Conclusions like an Olympian

If jumping to conclusions was a sport, I would be competing in the Olympics. See you all next year in Tokyo 😉 !

When something bad happens like I make a mistake or I’m having an argument with somebody, my anxiety launches me to the worst possible conclusion. I get hurt, put on my jet pack and zoom off far away from reality!

My anxiety has always influenced my reactions to something that has either hurt or scared me. It takes me from the actual situation and sucks me into my mind where it tells me that something horrible is about to happen.

“Megan, you’re so stupid, why would you even say that? Everyone now knows how dumb you are.”

“Megan, why would you do that? Now they hate you! They never want to speak to you or see you again.”

When I get like this I hide. I hide away in my room if I’m at home, I hide in my office at work or hiding can be me not speaking to anybody for a while. I do this out of guilt and fear that everybody hates me.

I also jump to the worst possible possibility when I’m reading too deeply into something. My mind tells me that “they’re doing that because nobody wants to be near you” or “this is happening because you’re a terrible person that nobody likes.”

I know it’s all rooted in anxiety which intensifying the fears I’ve held on to all my life. But when you but an ant under a magnifying glass, it can look pretty damn big.

In therapy I’m working on not jumping to conclusion so fast. I’m trying to take time in my thought process and attempt to assess reality (which can be really difficult).

If you struggle with jumping to conclusions, is there any tips that you have on how to work through them and return to reality?

You are all such strong individuals, I love reading the posts on this blog. It absolutely makes me feel less alone in my mental illness.

The Bipolar Writer Needs Help… Again

https://www.gofundme.com/rasing-to-upgrade-the-bipolar-writer-blog

This is my GoFundMe under my real name David TC (I wasn’t sure if I could get the funds if I used my Pen Name James Edgar Skye.) Thank you in advance for donating!


So, my goal is $300. The cost to upgrade. If 100 people donate 3 dollars, I can reach my goal quickly (the donation button is below through PayPal.) I am going to try and keep this post going all weekend in hopes that I reach my goal. Please, if you can help it would be amazing, and if you can’t, I understand. I haven’t done one of these in a while, so here it goes!

If you can’t donate please reblog this post or share my GoFundMe link above, it would mean the world to me!

You Can Also Donate Below!

Just Click the Pay with PayPal button!

Always Keep Fighting & Thank You

James

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The Pressure to Succeed

As the first day of the year comes to a close, I image myself on the edge of a cliff that is up high in the sky. I am able to look out at the setting sun, see birds soar through the air and clouds billow alongside them.

Beyond that, it is all uncertainty.

All of my usual worries are spinning around in my mind. The main one is a question I’ve asked myself forever: am I enough?

I’m 25 so I’m classified as a member of the motley group of millennial assholes.

For a while I’ve been feeling this millennial pressure to always be working. Maybe it’s the Instagram accounts I follow or what I see from my Facebook friends, but I feel like there is this idea that we have to always be working in order to succeed.

That if you are not making a stride towards making money or achieving your goals, you’re wasting your time. That you are lazy, unmotivated and worthless.

I worry that I am falling behind because I am “not enough.” That I would be some sort of success if I stopped letting myself rest.

For a long time I did not take enough time to rest. It really weighed on my mental health which is why I have started to relax after work and make time for fun on weekends.

But then my anxiety makes me feel guilty about it.

It says, “Megan, you would be so much more successful if you were working harder. You would be making more money if you got another writing gig. Instead you go home to watch anime and YouTube. What a waste of time!”

Something a former friend of mine said to me rings in my mind. She rattled off all of these other mutual friends who she found to be successful. I was not on her exclusive list which still makes me feel like a failure after many months.

I wonder again and again, is she right? Am I a failure because of the choices I have made? Have I already sealed my fate as someone who will never accomplish anything?

I plan to discuss this all with my therapist on Friday. We have had this conversation many times but I think it’s time to have it again.

I’m not sure if it’s the “new year, new me” mentality but it’s got me quite anxious.

Wishing all of you a wonderful 2019! May we all continue to surmount our problems and make peace within our minds.

Expanding The Bipolar Writer Family

Becoming a Contributor Writer

The Bipolar Writer blog has become a safe place where writers, artists, and fellow mental illness suffers can come and share their ideas alongside my own stories and experiences. As we draw near to 2019, I thought it would be a perfect time to expand the collaborative family here on The Bipolar Writer blog.

Here is what is expected in a collaborator writer:

Just FYI the content you write on The Bipolar Writer is all your own. You will get the notifications for likes and comments. I reserve the right to publish and proofread if necessary. I would like the content to be mental health, any subject, and at least one post every two weeks. You can write as much as you like, I always post the blog posts of contributor writers. I have blogging schedule (usually 2-3 slots a day) and I have almost 30 contributors that will include you.

The writing is first to come first on the blog, so it could take a day for your content to go live. I do post as well so I often will take one slot. The times are all Pacific Time and around the following times. (9:00am, 2pm). Also, I require that you pick your tags and categories and provide at least one picture in the featured image section of the options. Just letting you know that the picture selection is limited to what I have on my blog. If you want specific pictures, you must email them to me. If this works for you I will add you, all I need is the email connected to your blog so that I can add you. You will receive another email welcoming you to the team.”

After you get used to writing blog posts on my blog (after 1-3 good blog posts) I will upgrade your status to an author. I hope this all works, and I look forward to working with you.

That’s it. If you are interested please email me @ jamesedgarske22@gmail.com

Photo Credit: Kevin Delvecchio

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.

Eunoia.

Eunoia. It was my blogs original name. It is what I called it and it was perfect.

I feel that I have to emphasize my reason for writing. It started as therapeutic and then whenI found myself trying to explain my mental illness to loved ones, it was a conversation filled with questions.I thought, “How many others are struggling to answer these hard questions?”. Surely I wasn’t alone. So why not try to make it easier for those looking for answers? I changed the name of my blog to I’m Not Listening. I allowed it to speak for itself.

I would like to say that I wish I hadn’t. I wish that I had left it as is. My mental illness isn’t always a curse. Sometimes it is a blessing. I hate to say it, but it has taught me some hard lessons.

Self-awareness

Honesty

Open conversation

Eunoia(noun) A state of normal adult mental health.

That isn’t why I chose it. I chose it because of its literal meaning. In Greek in translates to beautiful mind.

I hate my mental illness. I hate that it has consumed my life in so many ways. I hate that I feel like I am stumbling around in the dark feeling desperately for a light switch and everyone else can walk right over and flip it. I hate that my symptoms line up with the cliché. I hear things, I see things, I stay up for hours (and hours and hours and hours) without sleep, sometimes I sleep for days, I am a pathological liar at times, and sometimes I even do irreversible damage to relationships in my life.

Eunoia. I am searching for that constantly. I also have to remind myself that I kind of have that. Mine just looks a little different. I hate that I have to try to be ten steps ahead, but how lucky am I to have such a trait? How lucky am I to (mostly) know my triggers? How fortunate that I have become so in tune with myself? I am compassionate and sympathetic. I am acutely aware of those around me and detail oriented. I know how to spot depression because I live in it for weeks at a time.

Hard conversations? Please. My life is one big hard conversation.

I’m sorry I lost my shit for no reason. Why? Take a seat.

I don’t sleep a lot. Or at all sometimes. Why? Take a seat.

I can’t get out of bed today. Why? You’ll have to come back when I snap out of it and if you choose to come back…take a seat.

Our minds are beautiful. Hell, our minds are gorgeous! We are forced into some of the most awkward situations daily. We have to explain the unexplainable to people constantly. Some understand, and some don’t, but we still do it and we move on. There is a twisted strength and beauty in that. Eunoia.

 

Love your beautiful mind.

 

 

Share Your Story – A Mental Health Safe Place Pt. 2

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The Bipolar Writer Collaborative Mental Health Blog is what I consider a safe place for those who are suffering from mental illness. A place where each of us can tell their stories. It could be as a collaborator, a guest blogger under your name, or an anonymous guest post.

I want The Bipolar Writer Blog to be a mental health place where people can feel free to share their stories. So here is what I will be offering.

  • Anonymous Guest Blog spots
  • Guest blog spots for regular bloggers
  • Interview Features that I write
  • Becoming a collaborative blogger on The Bipolar Writer blog.

This will be a safe place for all those that have mental illness.

All inquiries email me @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

James

Photo Credit:

Brittani Burns

Micah Williams