The Infinity Warriors of Mental Health Website

For those in the mental illness community that wants to have a safe place to share your daily struggles, you can join anonymously and use it as a resource as the members of the group are just like you. Our members are living and working through their issues with mental illness. We foster a place or serenity and peace and a place to belong. It is just a basic WordPress blog right now, but as we go on and the group grows, we will become a force in the world with a valid domain name.

The discord channel, The Infinity Warriors of Mental Health, now has its own website! I want a special thanks to Aby and Em to taking the step for the discord website to become a reality. Those who don’t know I am the owner of The Infinity Warriors of Mental Health Discord channel, and it grows every day. Please consider joining us and frienfing the blog so we can share our journey together.

For those in the mental illness community that wants to have a safe place to share your daily struggles, you can join anonymously and use it as a resource as the members of the group are just like you. Our members are living and working through their issues with mental illness. We foster a place or serenity and peace and a place to belong. It is just a basic WordPress blog right now, but as we go on and the group grows, we will become a force in the world with a valid domain name. 

Want to join? Go to www.discord.com

  • Sign up for a discord account.
  • Then add one of the Discord Moderators – JamesEdgarSkye#4190 or SilverLinings#0367 or Aby#9662
  • Send a message that you are from WordPress, introduce yourself we don’t know you, and you will be added 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: JamesEdgarSkye#4190 or SilverLinings#0367 or Aby#9662

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!

SNAKE ( part 1 )

The evening starts with the best of intentions. I have bought snacks and the wine is cooling in the fridge. Candle light flickers across the dining room ceiling. I pray that my restless 18 month old son will go to sleep soon. This evening is important. I need to make it work.

Conversation between me and my husband starts to flow instead of falter. The wine is relaxing my nervous brain. It literally feels like a flipped switch. Icy cold insides, followed by warmth and comfort. Thank you to the god of alcohol.

And then suddenly he says something. Something about how I’m handling our hyperactive son. I take it the wrong way. He says.

He says he didn’t mean it to sound quite as harsh. He says it’s the alcohol clouding my judgement.

…and ….we’re off!

Accusations flying. Bitter words. Angry, resentful words. Blame, disappointment, disillusionment with how ours lives have turned out.

His hands are in the air and he says he’s going to bed. Because this argument is pointless. We are going around and around in circles.

He turns his back on me.

The snake is there. Just like that. Inside my mind.  I’m not thinking anymore. I grab the pills from the cupboard where I’ve stored them. Grab two bottles of wine from the fridge. I’m in the car. I know I’m driving too fast. I don’t care. I can’t anymore. There is no way out. I can’t be a mother. I don’t want to be a wife. My son deserves so much more. I need to leave so he can get to that good place where someone capable will take care of him.

I’m on the dirt road. There’s a shed in the distance. I turn the steering wheel sharply towards it, landing in the veld. I flatten the accelerator , my only aim to reach the small building.

When the car stops, I open the first bottle of wine. Drink from the bottle. Open the pills and start swallowing them in handfuls. They stick to the corners of my mouth. Swallow, swallow. More wine, more pills. Until there’s nothing left.

I’m on the floor in the shed.

God. I can’t. Forgive me.

I say these words as I fall asleep.

Baby, You Scare Me

I left my baby somewhere in a parking lot. Left him still strapped into his car seat on the cold tarmac.  I walked away.

Now it is dark outside. I need to find my son. I can hear him crying but I can’t find him. There is no one but me in this huge, grey building with it’s many levels circling up, up, up into the night sky. He’s not crying anymore. He is screaming. I try to place the screams but I can’t. I’m running through the emptiness. Where is he? WHERE IS MY BABY???

And then I wake up. My heart is pounding, I am drenched in sweat. I check on my son sleeping in his cot. Focus on his chest to check if he is still breathing.

This is the recurring nightmare I had when my son was born. Also, I dreamt of him falling from a balcony. I run to catch him, but can’t reach him in time. It all happens in slow motion. In eerie silence. My arms are stretched out to catch him. It’s too late. He has gone over the edge.

The worst thing was that the panic didn’t leave me when I was awake. I lived with heavy dread in my chest and anxiety like red ants crawling in my stomach. I could’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I was out of control with worry over this tiny being I was suddenly so very responsible for. How could they leave me to take care of this little life? What if I dropped him? What if his soapy body slipped out of my hands in the bath? What if he had too many blankets at night? What if he was too cold? What if I didn’t sterilise his things properly? What if some germ entered his body and it was my fault?

The craziness just kept on coming until one morning I couldn’t move. I sat crying on my bed, frozen in fear. I told my husband that I could’t do it. I couldn’t be a mother to this child. It was all a big mistake. I literally felt like his real mother was about to walk in the door and all would be well again. She would take her child and she would know how to keep him safe.

What the hell was wrong with me?

I had read every single pregnancy book and magazine while I was pregnant. I was prepared for a c section due to high blood pressure, I pre-washed all the tiny baby outfits in special detergent, folded them neatly and stroked over the soft fabric, dreaming of holding my baby close for the first time. I had wanted this baby for such a long time!

But things just seemed to go wrong from the start.

My due date was February the 2nd, a Friday.

On Wednesday the 30th of January my blood pressure kept on climbing. We live on a farm, 125km from the nearest hospital, so my husband was in charge of taking my BP twice a day. At 21hoo that night my BP was 180/120. We checked in with my gynae and he told us to get in the car and get to the hospital immediately. It is a 90 minute drive. By the time we reached the hospital my BP was 200/120. I was taken straight to theatre, had an emergency c section and my son was born at 00h45 on the morning of the 31st of January.

I felt nothing like I thought I would. His tiny features didn’t look familiar to me at all! I felt no connection, no instant love, nothing. I tried to breastfeed but he wouldn’t latch.

The breastfeeding just didn’t work. Redfaced from crying, my son was hungry. The first feelings of doubt settled in my head. Why wasn’t this working?

But I had read all the info on “Breast Is Best!”, and I was determined to do it.

We were discharged after three frustrating days.

My Mother In Law came to help out during this time because my own mom had passed away during my pregnancy. I was 16 weeks along when she had a heart attack. My mother and I were really close. But her death left me numb. My body protecting the growing life inside me. Big red flag. Someone should have noticed. No one did.

Once home, we continued with the struggle to breastfeed. My son was crying permanently. Waking up every 1/2 hour to feed. I sat in the same chair night after night, trying to settle him.

Nothing helped.

I woke up somewhere in week 2 and was told that MIL had given my baby a bottle. He drank and drank, finally getting the food he needed. I should have been grateful. Instead, I was furious. She had made an important decision about my child without asking me.

And then came the little voice again : “Maybe she just was a better mother than I could ever be?”

At the three month mark I fell apart completely. I went to a local GP, told him how I felt and was promptly told to pull myself together because my son didn’t ask to be born and he didn’t deserve this. One of the many idiots I came across during my two year journey with Post Natal Depression.

Because that is what it was. The irrational fears, the heaviness, the doubts about my abilities as a mother. The mission it was to get dressed, brush my teeth and face each day.

Post Natal Depression. What I was going through finally had a name.

My recovery was a long process of trial and error. It included 2 suicide attempts, 3 admissions to psychiatric treatment facilities, going from one psychologist to the next to find the help I needed.

I spend my life shouting from the rooftops: PND is real! It is treatable! Please be aware of the triggers and the risks!

I come across many, many misconceptions about the condition.

“Pray, and it will all get better.”

“Just keep going, it will get better.”

“Suck it up. You wanted this baby, remember?”

Yes, I did.

Today he is 12 years old. A beautiful soul with a heart of gold. He does well in school, he is popular with many friends,  he has a fantastic sense of humor.

I look at him and think : “We made it , boy. Yes, we did!”

Mother Son Silhouette Mom Mommy Mother's Day Embroidery Machine ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Unwelcome Itch – a poem

Mental illness is a bitch

that leaves an unwelcome itch

I cant scratch away.

Believe me. I’ve tried all day.

Can’t remove this crud

that entered like mud

after Hurricane Fred

entered inside my head

and very soon spread,

multiplied and bled

throughout my insides.

Been swept away by the tides

of depression and anxiety,

maybe triggered by PTSD.

Who knows. Doesn’t matter

as long as I don’t splatter

and get any fatter

by eating from the platter

of anger and disgust.

Piss me off in the dust.

Come back coping strategies.

Do your healing thing, please,

before it’s too late

and love becomes hate

and I deteriorate

inside my crate of fate

which lingers and looms

above the darkest of glooms

and deciduous tombs.

Help me. I cry.

Like a sty in my eye,

you are unwelcome here.

Your presence I fear,

quick departure I cheer.

Oh, I pray it’s near.

Ready to be free of this mental illness bug

Such a cruel, heartless, destructive thug.

Why me?

Why not me?

Just flee out of me.

Mental illness let me be.

I’ve had more than enough

of your disgusting stuff.

I’m tired

and wired

like a barbed wire fence

poking me and hence

the discomfort and pain.

No wonder I’m stained.

~written by Susan Walz

© 2020 Susan Walz | myloudwhispersofhope.com | All Rights Reserved

Photo Credit: Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

The Bipolar Writers Next Big Idea!

It is a significant idea, and I am working on the logistics of such a project. For now, I am reaching out to the community to see if anyone would be interested. I will compile a list of interested people and see where that takes me. If you’re interested, please email me from my contact page with your email and first/ last name or a pseudonym you would like to use.

I have been thinking a lot since finishing my memoir. Telling my story has changed everything for me. When I found our my memoir was officially published, it was as if a weight lifted from my mind and shoulders. My story is out there, and even it only helps one person, it will be worth it in the end.

I had this idea when I started this blog of sharing the stories of others, and I did that to an extent here. I want to do so much more than what I did in these interviews. I want to write a book where I interview members of the mental illness community and then write their stories into one book. I don’t plan on making money on this project. Instead, I want to use the money that would be made to continue to share the experiences of others beyond this blog.

It is a significant idea, and I am working on the logistics of such a project. For now, I am reaching out to the community to see if anyone would be interested. I will compile a list of interested people and see where that takes me. If you’re interested, please email me from my contact page with your email and first/ last name or a pseudonym you would like to use.

I look forward to hearing from the mental illness community on this idea.

Always Keep Fighting

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

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

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

A Guest Blog Post – NooseGirl

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

A Week in the Mental Health Ward

By my third year of living alongside acute, pervasive psychosis, I had sufficiently conditioned myself enough to mask my internal worries. Able to convincingly conceal my constant fear of government abduction, I searched for and successfully secured a new job. I accepted the Director of Sales & Marketing position for a new hotel opening up in downtown Baltimore. 

Daily, I plastered insincere charm and confidence over my dread and discomfort and performed as expected. It was a typical corporate office environment and I was able to numbly execute the duties of staff meetings, sales lunches, and budget reviews. Unbeknownst to my employer and coworkers, I was also enduring some of the most intense and distressing episodes of inescapable, intense psychosis.

While I believed my delusions were 100% real, I never revealed them to casual friends, coworkers, or acquaintances. I limited my frank and honest concerns about secret agents and sex cults to my boyfriend, a select few family members, and some of the doctors I encountered during hospitalizations. Unless you were included in that limited group of people, you would never know I was suffering through immense emotional angst.

Believing that my boyfriend was a secret agent and assigned as my guardian, partner, and influencer created a very stressful environment. I equated the arrangement to the act of sleeping with my enemy. I believed he had the influence and power to reveal the truth, stop the constant surveillance, and curtail the coded messaging. 

I would often lash out, demanding that he redirect “the assignment,” and order “his people” back off. Invariably, he would deny all accusations of association with a secret society, shadow government, or covert mission. His insistence of innocence only served to infuriate me.

Unable to secure an admission of his involvement would often escalate the intensity of my anger. Often, I would unleash my frustrations, confusion, and animosity at him. I would rail at him for the inhumane government plot to breed and brainwash children like myself. I would throw and break things. I would rail at the indignity of perpetual manipulation even after I had clearly uncovered the truth. I raged that everyone involved in “my case” held tight to their secret identities. I erupted with resentment that “Weirdness” would not directly communicate with me, instead electing the obscure and cryptic method of secret messaging.  My ranting was vicious, unrelenting, and could border on violent.

Sometimes, in my fury, I would try to run away. My boyfriend would have to block and restrain me, determined to protect me from roaming downtown Baltimore in a reckless, unstable rage. The fiery battle for truth could extend into hours. This memory is from one of these explosive and erratic days.

I can not remember why or how we came to find ourselves in this particular heated and emotional argument. But, after a couple of hours of intense screaming, scratching, and attempts to flee the apartment, somehow, my boyfriend had located a psychiatrist in the neighborhood that was immediately available to meet with us.

Exhausted from the vicious arguing, I agreed that it might be a good idea to halt the fighting and pursue a calmer state. I was hopeful that the doctor could provide some type of mood-stabilizing or anti-anxiety medicine. So I calmed down and agreed to go. But although I seemingly transformed my demeanor, inside I was still seething with resentment and enmity.

In the doctor’s office, my anger resurfaced upon detecting coded messages throughout the doctor’s interaction with me. I promptly flew into a frenzy. I did not hold back my unshakable conviction that the doctor was also “part of it.” 

I began to berate her. I began to scream. I perched on the edge of her desk, slamming my hand down and inching closer and closer to her. I tried to shame her, screaming at the top of my lungs . . .”How do you people live with yourself?!?!? . .. . how do you expect me to save the world when you are making it impossible for me to work and concentrate!?!?! . . . do you people just sit in a room and think of ways you can further fuck up my life and mind!?!?! . . .you are an evil fucking bitch . . you and all of your people!!!”

The doctor maintained a steady gaze and was very calm and stoic throughout my tirade. She only reached her hand towards her phone, never breaking eye contact, and slowly picked up the receiver. “NooseGirl, I am calling in some other people to help us. You are making me very uncomfortable right now. Try to calm down.”

Within minutes, 3 very large uniformed armed guards walked into the room. They stood by the door as she explained to me and my boyfriend that she thought admittance into the hospital would be a good idea. She explained that the calm, controlled environment of the “behavioral health unit” along with a carefully prescribed treatment of medications could offer supportive surroundings designed to improve emotional stability and a return to comfortable normalcy. I continued to protest, but ultimately, between she, my boyfriend and the calm, friendly disposition of the guards, my tirade ceased. As I agreed to hospitalization and signed the papers to self admit, everyone, relaxed and exhaled a collective sigh of relief.

This drama rolled out on a Thursday or Friday, During the hospitalization, if I took any time off at all, it would have only been one sick day. My weekend in the behavioral health unit was spent watching tv, making crafts, reading books, attending group therapy and taking closely monitored medication. While the experience did not cure my psychosis, it did allow me to de-stress and calm down. The therapeutic visit provided an unplanned “staycation.”

I was released on Sunday night and back to work on Monday morning. I was all smiles, professionalism, (and as the sales & marketing leader) unrelenting team cheerleader. My job included internal PR so I was constantly engaging with and offering inspiration to employees with the intent of raising their self-confidence, their sense of ownership, and empowering them to perform with pride for our new business. I was Miss GoTeam all the way.

And just like the prior 3 years of living and working in psychosis, no one knew the hidden truth. No one suspected the depth and pain of my internal struggles. No one had an inkling that I passed the weekend away in a hospital mental ward. And no one would have ever fathomed that I believed the entire business was a government front and that most of the employees were secret agents. 

No one knew anything . . .  they just knew I was smart, funny, inspiring NooseGirl.

Celebrating Another Milestone on The Bipolar Writer Collaborative Blog

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Even with the slowdown in blog posts on The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog, we have reached another fantastic milestone, and it is all because of the amazing followers on this blog!

13,000 total followers!

I am amazed at the things this blog has done over the years. I think 2020 will be the best ever!

Always Keep Fighting

James

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

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

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

Reclaiming My Love For Literature

I am guessing that most of you might have realized that I have been absent for quite some time. Despite me being an advocate for mental health, I too suffer from mental health issues and the health issues hinder my day-to-day experiences. Though I understand that I was diagnosed with Bipolar Mood Disorder, it doesn’t define who I am and who I aspire to be.

It takes a lot more effort though to manage and deal with what is expected of us, from our jobs, schools, work and family life. It can be quite taxing especially when one is currently having an episode. When I had my fourth episode this year, I was hospitalized for quite a while, longer than I have ever been before. I had suicidal ideation and had no recollection of anything that I was doing.

I lost a sense of who I was because, at the time, I had not found the right cocktail of medications that worked for me. It was all trial and error and I was frustrated since nothing was working and that I took longer to recover from episodes.

I lost so much interest in things that I used to love doing. I stopped journaling, writing code, blogging and of course, began despising literature. Mind you, I’m not a literature student, I am a computer science and engineering student. This may sound extremely weird for most people because most people in Stem fields have little or no interest in literature. Believe me you, there are so many of us, in stem that appreciate language beyond research purposes but for the beauty that the art of language portrays.

Before and during my hospitalization I lost my ability to read and retain what I read. I was infuriated by this because literature was my canvas, my form of expression besides science. I was lost and felt hopeless. While I was in hospital my boyfriend brought me novels and non-fiction books. I struggled to read more than 10 pages a day, but as time went by I picked up speed and began reading and writing. Before I knew it, I finished a 150-page novel in two days within the second week of my hospital stay. I progressed and read more books which were a bit longer than the first. My love for literature and reading was reignited.

I found me again. It’s through the little things in life that we know our life purpose. It’s not about the money or the physical things that fulfill us but rather the tiny little basic needs that we require to live our lives. The ability to have the freedom to express what we want and the freedom to be authentically ourselves. As I mentioned, I found me again and I couldn’t be happier!

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

Angel love and rainbows.

Love, Francesca.

A New Bipolar Writer Blog Milestone

I wanted to say thank you to everyone following this blog and keeping it going. To my contributors, thank you for being there even when I can not by creating valuable mental health content. Let us celebrate our mental health advocacy, mental illness, and mental health recovery wellness.

12,000 Followers on The Bipolar Writer Blog

I always celebrate the significant milestones of the Bipolar Writer blog. I know I am not around as much, but I wanted to say The Bipolar Writer blog has reached the 12,000 followers milestone!

I wanted to say thank you to everyone following this blog and keeping it going. To my contributors, thank you for being there even when I can not by creating valuable mental health content. Let us celebrate our mental health advocacy, mental illness, and mental health recovery wellness.

Always Keep Fighting

James, and the Contributors of The Bipolar Writer blog

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

Writing Topics for June

It has been a struggle to keep up writing new content for The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog. With my hectic schedule with my graduate courses, my freelance work, and my writing projects there is just not enough time to do everything that I want to get done. I want to change this narrative.

So, this blog post is asking what type of new content would you like to see on this blog. It can me anything mental related and I will make sure that I write good post. So leave your ideas in the comments.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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