If You Ever Need The Bipolar Writer

I am doing something unorthodox today here on The Bipolar Writer. I hope that I have created a place where my fellow mental health sufferers can have a “safe place” to discuss their own issues. I often get emails from many who are seeking help or guidance or just want to talk about things. I want everyone who comes to this blog to know that if you are suicidal there is always someone here, I am always here to talk.

The unorthodox part is that today I am going to give my number to my followers if you are suicidal and you don’t want to reach out to help-lines (I have learned recently that they are not always great.) So, if you need to chat you can text me anytime. I will get back to you as soon as humanly possible. As a mental health advocate and someone who has been through the worst parts of mental illness alone, I want you to know I am a lifeline.

831-287-4369

You are not alone. Suicide is not the answer. Again, I am always here to talk anytime.

Always Keep Fighting.

What is the worse that can happen?

James Edgar Skye 

For everything James Edgar Skye use the QR code below Or use this link.

No Conflicts and Aspirations

Genuine curiosity could beat my depression.
It could beat my procrastination and depression.
How do i tap into it?
The elements of freedom below help.
Paying attention whilst not criticizing falling into the lava stream.. acknowledging it and letting go; allowing myself to let go.
This is how I will study, this is how i will become somebody.
Every moment is an opportunity to train.

‘No conflict’ is a feeling. It is supported by calm bandwidth.
Calm bandwidth includes nonjudgemental awareness of thoughts and feelings.
This is done by understanding my mind and being non-reactive.

No conflict is a feeling.
The feeling of urgency is a conflict with the present moment.
Depression is a hinderance;
recognise the hinderances.
In life, much more is part of my meditation.
Every moment is an opportunity to sculpt the mind.

Since returning to this, I feel I can use this writing as the key to a happier, more content mind.  I’ve been on the verge of it for some time.  Going the extra mile has not been so easily seen.  Breaking through the fog is happening. Going the extra mile.

Here’s another excerpt from my imaginary book entitled No Conflict, this chapter is called ‘Jobs and Career Kerfuffle’:

Jobs and career kerfuffle

Just like I held on to education hanging off a cliff, I also have attempted many jobs. I think I counted fourteen. But after Uni, the first job I had was that of a ‘customer service engineer’, which could have been great fun as you get to plan your jobs to a certain extent. However, as you can imagine, even at this later time, it was too difficult and opened my eyes to something that was a delusion but I am going to treat it as an obsession because there was some debate, and it does not really matter now what it was. Fresh perspectives here. It was something prominent at that time which was in no way new but predominantly surfaced. It deescalated after I left the job, and then I had another well paid job, as a ‘technical author’ for a building firm, which could’ve been amazing too, I could’ve saved, but my condition and paranoia were on an intrusive level for that one too. Right now, I have chosen to study for a masters in neuroscience, so there’s some justice as the rewards are going to be fruitful. Rewind a minute.

I first recall being overly distressed by a particular idea around age thirteen. It was different from derealisation from my OCD and opposite to the organic spontaneity any philosophers or scientists would feel. What on earth am I on about? I already mentioned it but because it is interesting, without further ado, here is what initially I thought it was;

As a question:

‘How is there something but not nothing at all?’

Outside of the feeling (of mental illness), it is an interesting question. I have looked into the science, religion and philosophy, but still, it remained. What do I mean by this? Surely it’s just an interesting question, right? No, what it always felt like was a disturbing conflict. No amount of anything helped it. If I think about it now away from the feeling, the science takes you into quantum physics and the philosophy is existential cognitive reasoning like Descartes ‘I think therefore I am’ which I have his book of meditations about. However, none of this searching helped my ‘problem’. What it was, is the delusional assumption that 

‘Everything should be nothing’. 

Due to the disturbing feelings it caused, my torment was eventually recognized, and I was prescribed antipsychotics. Even though that word sounds all scary, it was accurate. Words can’t describe how it would make me feel, and that is what mental illness is. However, right now and toward the future, I am going to treat it as an obsession, because that’s all it is now. Like I say no amount of philosophy, science or religion helps solve my disturbing conflict. No amount of my ERP made it lessen but you know what, it does now, I have called it an ‘existential phenomenon’ before, I frequently call it a disturbing conflict which is accurate. I deal with it now by delegitimising it like any other obsession. So as I have been building neuronal connections it is not so overpowering, but the feeling does still arise from time to time. I used to avoid certain situations, people, and ‘sit on the fence’ because of it, yes compadres, this is why, and I notably remember it stopping me in those jobs like that I speak of once I finished University six years ago. I remember as the field engineer, I was attempting to learn on the job, which should’ve been fun, but I was so preoccupied in a somewhat disturbing way, by this, (not so much the other obsessions anymore as I learnt to manage them), and I simply could not retain information or pay attention in a way that would have seen me succeed. Kudos for the positivity, Walks still. So, may we continue to delegitamize this existential phenomenon.

Many jobs I have had, one after the other. Many times I have quit not for want or lack of confidence more so debilitation and confusion. Kudos for the dedication. So you see, the disturbing conflict, as well as my OCD, is my illness. I’ve never fished for a diagnosis even though I welcomed one. I only welcomed one because it was a huge relief to find out there may be a way out. What now? Like I say I can immerse myself into neuroscience. I do have work to do of a mental health kind, though. This is part of it. Rewind.

I figured, relatively recently, there must be reasons why I still cannot pay attention as anyone does to not just studies and work, but past times too. Therefore, I acknowledge that ‘mental review’ as a compulsion is still prevalent; I overlooked this in a sense, that ‘little’ compulsions can still be as problematic as ‘big’ themes and such. I appear to have done enough work now with the disturbing conflict, that I can sink into focus and feel a lot more immersion. I have the opportunity to study now, so things are going to work out, alongside sharing this journey. But let me explain something; OCD cannot turn into psychosis, so to let you know, please don’t panic about that. I am aware that schizophrenia OCD is a common obsession so please do not think in any way that it is possible to ‘go mad’ from your condition. It doesn’t happen. Can I now treat it as an obsession? Was there some debate as to whether it could have been still? Absolutely, and I am looking at my condition in its entirety from a fresh perspective here. ‘Everything should be nothing’. Boy oh boy, I am somewhat free of it now, but I remember how isolating and disturbing it was, it seriously disrupted my life.  

As I already touched upon I must delegitimize it, notably realise that reality can be the axiom. An axiom is an innate fact in mathematics I believe, I won’t bother looking that up (but it’s a cool bit of vocab). I remember when I first started telling the nurses about it, most said ‘don’t think like that’ but I couldn’t express enough how I had no choice. However, a good psychiatrist and my most recent therapist totally understood how it was for me. I must realise now how good freedom from it is, keep writing and meditating, and remember. It is bliss compared to what it was. Free of the conflict means that I can focus all my ERP efforts on my condition and continue to do what I want to do.  

When the first psychiatrist that listened to me properly understood it, she said ‘how can I deny that I am something.’ That is what it does. It is disturbing. It was a relief when someone finally understood how it was for me. Anyway, back to the present. It is gone now mostly. Although, what I want to do now is I want to feel it, I want to keep healing, as soon as I start to fight the feeling, start to argue with it in any way, the disturbing feeling comes back. Feeling it like this again makes me wonder how I managed so much. I want to feel it though, bring it on. I no longer fight by way of argument causing torment, more so I fight by way of allowing and not responding, but seeking it out and applying calm bandwidth to do this.

As I hit the gym today, obsessions popped up and made me want to retreat, it’s not to do with lack of concentration, it’s a genuine feeling of compulsion. The feelings involved at the moment are guilt, doubt and depression. They always were. These types of feelings are so overwhelming but I managed to separate myself from them (there’s a word for this, which I won’t bother looking up I forget. (There’s a lack of vocab for ya), and choose not to respond to them essentially choosing not to ruminate. Realising their illegitimacy, took some work but I got there. I love working out. You see I have to create head space for the doubt stream, but delegitamize it also. Now that I have done a lot of meditation I will speak of later, I am ready to proceed with the athleticism, which is something I want, alongside study. I held onto education from the edge of my cliff, and attempted over fourteen jobs. Walks, man, have compassion for this, for yourself. I am unique, but special. The mental health work I mentioned I need to do now, is in part visiting art galleries and being a hermit in a tree. More on this later.

 ”All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost. The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadow shall spring. Renewed shall the blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be King.” – J.R.R. Tolkein

Even if the rumination is ‘real’ in theme, self-sabotage is not acceptable.

Relation-blips and Self Medication (..A blast from the Past)

I’m going to share some of my imaginary book. This chapter is in the journal section and is entitled ‘Relationblips’

I used to sweat like crazy, partly meds, partly anxiety. Rivers. So, relationships? At all possible? No because my relationship OCD would be so overpowering even before I got there. Therefore, obsessing was ripe and my ‘affair’ would be rumination (part of the same compulsion of mental argument) about the person’s loyalty and my own loyalty, finding ‘answers’ to this, and I would also be arguing with myself as to whether I carried myself and appeared okay, the latter being a compulsion until recent times. Everyone does I know, but let me explain, I’d be obsessed with my partners’ safety – over-protective to a compulsive degree. Sometimes it was clear that I was ‘obsessing’, other times it would be a very private affair. I had it more severe in more recent years, though, with a potential mate. The story was that I was not interested… the truth was that I was genuine but distracted by my condition therefore, too preoccupied.

There have been a few times throughout my life when people have presumed I am high on drugs like cocaine (as I appeared charged up due to anxiety) as well as weed (as I appeared dopey due to fatigue and a delusional feeling). It is a real shame that I was not (for the most part). The internal conflict and anxiety years ago was just chronic. Say if I had an obsession to ‘answer’, the conflict would cause sweat and confusion, and that is the least worse symptoms. Imagine being in a night club, which is stressful already, and then having an obsession feeling like a conflict, becoming totally preoccupied, the only relief getting as wasted as possible. For the most part I started smoking as a stress reliever as soon as I could (not to be cool like my peers). This is accurate because I remember thinking my auntie smoked ‘cos of her problems so perhaps it’ll work for me. I was right, it did help the anxiety. Any immediate relief was welcomed. I’m not saying others don’t use these things as stress relievers too, but I am accurate, for me it was purely that in those moments, I remember thinking these things and nothing else, many a time. 

I used to drink a lot. Drinking gave me some relief, some fun times, but not all the time like others. My relationship with alcohol has been varied I have had the pleasure, but short-lived and bizarre. I, however, feel that upon my initial diagnosis of OCD at twenty-two, I should’ve embraced sobriety and become a hermit in a tree, but let’s not have regrets as this future to come is the only future I am destined to have. Spiritual again… perhaps I should travel to Holy Isle.

This section is about relationships, so let me explain, by the time I sought out a girlfriend, I was rather ill, I wasn’t fully aware of it, but selective mutism was the least of it. I could not pay attention. I simply could not. I didn’t know it was mental illness, but deep down I knew something was up. Because of the diversion of the obsessions I was very much ‘compulsively happy’ instead of being calm, happy and trusting like I am a lot more so now. I applaud my efforts but upon reflection, understandably did not succeed at living a functional life. I did not want to lose my virginity, any more than I neededto find an answer to an obsession, or attempt using alcoholism as a relief from my condition. Not many knew of my struggle, as I was a nice person who was a bit weird sometimes, and of course ‘happily compulsive’, nevertheless amusing when intoxicated. We are talking about young adulthood here. When I’m calm confident assertive and caring, like I am a lot more nowadays, I’m a really great guy. I just couldn’t tap into that sh*t. I just couldn’t there was no way the doubt stream was giving me a break. I did split up ‘because of me’, it was no excuse, and I did not understand what was going on in my grey nut, keeping mental illness ablaze, therefore, could not explain that I did. Of course I ended things with old girlfriends, with subconscious intentions to fight my illness.

Often short-lived through alcoholism and bizarre at times. Nevertheless, I tried what I thought we deserved with someone I found attractive. I was wrong, it wasn’t what we deserved, what I deserved was treatment. What I am getting at is that despite honourable attempts, nothing resembling a relationship or a fling was possible and I wish I had realised what mental health was about and trusted my instincts that something was seriously wrong with me. There is no point in having a partner if I am anxious about the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘should haves’ all the time. There’s no point if mental health is just going to decline and ignoring it does not work. Perhaps I was still on the same desperate belief I had way back in the beginning, perhaps I was hoping I’d ‘snap out of it one day.’

Of course, we never know what may be around the corner and one can fall in love instantly when we least expect it and in another dimension, my experiences would have been fruitful. I regret I wasn’t there, in the moment, doing all the things I could do right now free of my condition. Many opportunities for happiness fell from my grasp. But, right now I’m happy with the way things are going to play out.

My parents were very good-natured and supportive. There is autism and mental illness running through my family, this isn’t a problem as if I wasn’t so ill I could have communicated more effectively with them. Alcoholism and emotional problems were present in some respects but I do not feel they were a cause of my problems any more than cancer may be caused by various combined factors. Causes of a lot of mental illness are inconclusive; huge chemical imbalances, I’m undecided whether they are a cause or result probably a result more so than not in my opinion, therefore, environment and genes are causes as is the fact that everyone interprets experiences differently. I definitely have chemical imbalances such as when I would go selectively mute: the feeling, no one gets that anxious to have to do that.

Many people are emotionally unstable and if I were not so far gone, I would have rectified my relationship with my parents during my teens and had a much less miserable time as a result. I do remember OCD in particular suddenly appearing in the final year of primary school, man I was so clever to hide it. But even then I knew it was irrational but knew nothing of mental illness to be able to explain it. It was brewing, but I’d never had obsessions like that before – I was quick to hide it. Yea I know a mountain to climb for a kid. As OCDers, we often know how irrational our obsessions are which is cursed. Therefore, the only benefit of a more emotionally aware family was the fact that we may have realised I was hiding it and we would have got a diagnosis before I went off to live on my own, only because I would have really liked my mother to experience my good mental health before she passed away. This is no one’s fault. I’m a master of disguise.  

The main problem observable by my family during my adult life is that which is elusive, mischievous, deviant and tedious: the gambling addiction. I admit that it has gone on until the release of ‘mental blocks’ in recent times. It switched and mischievously hid, restricting my ability to actually work on my mental health. As I review this, I am ready to write the final section of my book, which is best to be written after addiction has completely gone and mental health is the only priority. It is, like I imagined, far easier to sit with the core feelings, and appreciate freedom, now I am not ensnared by the addictive urges and storylines which dictated my life to some extent. A year on now since I started writing, the addiction has only just completely gone. I’m not seeking reassurance or exaggerating, it truly has gone now. Therefore I am able to write and meditate with purely pure intentions. I may have been a master of disguise growing up, but now I can be a master full stop.

New joys are sobriety and mental health. All views are subjective, what someone thinks of you is part of their thinking, therefore it doesn’t define you.

The art gallery – how interesting.  The doubt stream tried to take up full bandwidth. I persevered and read about a few things. But I needed to create head space for the doubt stream, I couldn’t turn it off. Blown up ‘guilt’ was there…

Post War

Realising what causes my mental blocks, which are, upon summary, conflict without a comprehensible source.

I am so used to the compulsion of mental review, that I can’t always catch myself doing it.

Its harder and darker than the rumination of the non-sufferer.

There’s a lot of conflict involved and a lot of self analysis.

This post will be brief but concise.

I’ve begun my course of study now, I’ll let you know what it is once I graduate.

Perfect timing.

I find it as hard to pay attention to peppa pig, as I do quantum physics, when the mental blocks are heavier than the Earth.

I do not have obsessions anymore like they were years and years ago, that is, total preoccupation with chronic anxiety + depression alongside..

However, the blocks are a motherfucking beast of an enemy.

Could they be autism? It’s possible cos eye contact and social interation is exceedingly awkward when im not feeling right.

I am very happy with my first few posts, I hope they entertain and help.

Helping others very much so helps ourselves. I am working things out on the outskirts, in the suburbs of my condition.

Wisdom has been stumbled upon, like acceptance I mentioned.

Zen Buddhism is a philosophy.

I am not too interested in religion, apart from this zen philosophy.

So.. a few notes from my imaginary book today:

No ego, no urgency, no conflict.

Doubt and delusion. I experienced the psychotic episode, refer to this when I do.

Five hinderances. (a video I watched about a shaolin monk and some very wise teachings)

Understanding the mind and being non-reactive is for healing.

Enjoying the quality of things. No conflict in any form, including doubt, insecurity and ego.

If I do not enjoy the current thing, the current task, then it is likely the same will always occur in future tasks.

All the clouds and the lava stream are not real, they are a part of me but are brain-random stuff. They only hold meaning I give to them.

Feelings are subjective, but gotta’ feel fully.

As soon as I examine, I need to let it be, not ‘answer’ or fight.

Make room for the mental illness, but I can speed up when I do not engage them, the volcano or lava stream, by way of calm bandwidth.

Mindfulness means opening up, but not engagining especially obsessing.

No forcing.

No conflict by being nonjudgemental, fully, with the object of meditation. Even smaller doubts… everything.

And finally…

Never any urgency.

Too Many Excuses.

I love writing. I write lists as a comfort, and my thoughts as an outlet. Sometimes, I get hung up on others opinions of my writing. Opinions I shouldn’t worry about. I write for me. Most of it doesn’t make sense but it feels right.When I freeze while trying to consider opinions I haven’t heard yet, I am hurting myself more than anyone. With no paper to spill my feelings into, I find myself fixating on them more than ever.

So I am just gonna go for it. I am sorry if this is a little scattered.

Remember the first time you watched a movie from your childhood, but as an adult? Maybe there was a joke that went over your prepubescent head, or maybe it confirmed a theory you had. Either way, I find myself doing this often. I used to really push away from religion and even claimed to be atheist (ZERO opinion if you are or aren’t religious). I talked about things I didn’t have any knowledge on and put down anything that sounded like a religious comment. Now I turn to the Bible as a comfort. The words in that book mean more now.

The word mindfulness means more now. I understand how I can be mindful, and how that benefits my growth as a person. My BP diagnosis was my first step towards mindfulness. I finally recognized something wasn’t right and sought help for my mood and subsequent actions. With that came the realization that I had formed these habits that were hurting those around me. I didn’t want to just mask symptoms, I wanted to find the cause.

I have had a lot of great things happen lately, and I had a lot of shitty things happen too. As I revealed recently, I was hospitalized for thoughts of self harm. All is better now, I just had to get some meds tweaked and take some time to process my feelings in a safe place. I get back to work and disclose to a close coworker what my hospitalization was for. My boss comes back from vacation and suddenly, after almost a year, fires me for “low productivity”. I had just signed a lease on a two bedroom apartment for my self and my mom who I care for. I just bought a new car earlier this year. A lot of people close to me pointed out the timing of being let go, right after I was hospitalized. I just don’t want to be one of those people who blame others. I honestly was shocked when they let me go. I had never received any indication that my work was not meeting expectations. I have filed for unemployment, but I haven’t received anything as of yet. It has only been a week.

Isn’t it weird the things that can trigger depression. My job loss didn’t. I was upset and down as to be expected but it wasn’t depression. Having to ask and receive help from my sister who is so judgmental of any actions that aren’t 100% responsible, and my grandmother who I have been trying to set boundaries with, especially financially.

I got a verbal offer for a job today. Since completing my degree, I haven’t been job searching. Let me tell you, I am being offered hire positions then I have ever held. Positions that I most certainly feel I am unqualified for. I accepted but am waiting for the official offer letter.

I feel like things are looking up and all in all, this year wasn’t bad. It might be one of my best yet.

Detachment from Scenarios

Photo by Ryan Stone on Unsplash

I wanted to open this blog post with a disclaimer, I am not an expert in life coaching or any realm of psychology and therapy. I will always come from someone who shares his experience with mental illness and what comes along with what I am learning through life coaching and reading. So, what is detachment? Well, let us turn to Eckhart Tolle for a great quote.

When you are detached, you gain a higher vantage point from which to view the events in your life instead of being trapped inside them. – Eckhart Tolle

Over the past almost two weeks now, I have experienced complete attachment from events causing massive negative and depressive issues in my life. When I decided to detach from the event, seeing my life as Eckhart said, my life was surreal from a different vantage point. I was trapped inside these events so bad that self-doubts, self-loathing, negative thoughts, and dare I say some thoughts of giving up on life.

I will be vague about the event in the sense that I will share an event that was troubling me a lot because of the negative feelings I was associating with this person. It was my feelings that were driving a wedge between myself and this person. What did detaching myself from the situation do for me? It gave me a chance to shift my perspective. See the event from a different vantage point. I went into the event with an open mind. I noticed what was triggering me and bothering me was my ego trying to take hold of the situation. I chose positive intentions over negative ones. I detached entirely from the event and went in with just the facts. I came out with a better understanding that there is a different way of approaching an event with negative connotations or anytime that I feel the ego awakening (again, please read Eckhart Tolle to fully understand.)

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

Something my life coach told me–take consistent action. It makes so much sense now when I apply it to my life. Since my mom’s loss in December, I have felt like the punching bag of everyone that comes into my life, but in truth, I was playing the victim identity card. I allowed depression to be an excuse for my lack of energy or feeling like general crap. Depression is an emotion, but it can be a part of what is going on without controlling you. For the first time in forever, it seems my depression hit a ONE. I am not sure of the time or if this ever actually happened before.

What shifted? Everything. My approach. My attitude. Checking my ego at the door. Allowing detachment to give me a higher vantage point that I needed to look at the event. It is something that can and will be replicated in my life. I am tired of being the person that hides from the problems and events because I am here to tell you, they will continue to keep coming up in this life. So I leave you with hope. Change the narrative. Detach from the event. You will feel better for it. As always, stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

My Memoir

Become a Patron of James Edgar Skye and be a part of his writing here: Become a Patron! You can get this amazing cup!

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Time for The Bipolar Writer to be Vulnerable

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Vulnerability. When we think about being vulnerable in the now, at this moment, it can be a scary thing. When you open up about what is going on in your life, you want nothing but the good vibes to be shared while you are hiding the pain. In this mental illness life, or just in life, we can’t afford to hide, and I have been doing that a lot lately from this blog. So I am going to be vulnerable to you, my readers. I have been in pain, mentally, and emotionally. That’s okay. Depression. Yes, it has been my friend and confidant lately. That is okay.

I have wanted to reach out to you, but I worried about what people will think. I’ve come so far. Things are good in my life. How can I be struggling? It is the fear of having something to lose that stopped me. When you have nothing to lose by sharing your life in a place such as this blog, then you gain so much. Writing is my center. It is what makes me who I am today and will be in the future. I am allowed, you are allowed, and we are allowed to feel the pain that comes with emotions. That means you are doing something about your feelings when you feel the feels. There is nothing wrong with opening up in a blog post, to a friend, or even as my life coach would say to a stranger that something is wrong. I was so afraid of the stigma that I again became a part of the problem in my fight against the mental illness stigma.

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I felt so lost. That is okay because I can find my way out. If you feel the same way I did about being vulnerable, know that holding that pain in, it just festers to a point where you can feel stressed, depressed, and for me, there was a moment where I thought of suicide. My thoughts became, “but The Bipolar Writer, who advocates against suicide, had a suicidal thought.” That is okay because I am only human, so are you. I was able to take those emotions and flip them deciding to allow them space. I detached (more about detachment in a later post). These feelings and emotions might be a part of me, but I can say with honesty that allowing them to be can be freeing. Feel the feels, because we are allowed to feel this way. I lost that at some point, and now I am saying no more. 

By allowing vulnerability in our lives, we shed the masks and the identities that come with this idea in society that we should always be happy about life. There is always someone else that has it worse, right? While that may be true, it does not make my pain or yours any less important. Being vulnerable, how I was when I first began this blog, was how I could use writing as my tool to fight. This past week I have doubted myself, felt sorry for myself, felt a level of self-loathing that was amazing, felt like giving up my dreams, and so much anger at what life was throwing at me. As if the universe owed me something for my past pain. I caught myself saying, why me? I felt a selfish twinge at every little slight. Do you know where that got me? Caught in a web of more pain that only made me more depressed at the end of each day.

Something my life coach told me makes sense, and I want to impart it to you. If you are feeling these feelings towards someone, it means that you are feeling the same thing. There comes the point in anger, resentment, and even fear when you have to point the finger at someone else because its easier to blame everyone else for what is going wrong in your life. I have done that a lot recently. You can also point it back at yourself and see your reflection. You are feeling the anger, frustration, and triggers you are putting on someone else. No one deserves that to happen to them.

I got caught up in the idea that someone in my position can’t be vulnerable. That is crap because vulnerability can mean real change can happen. I am always growing, and it has been through life coach that this has been possible to be vulnerable again. If you are looking to invest in yourself, please reach out to groundsforclarity@gmail.com and ask for Kim. Tell her I sent you or not. It matters not because if your feeling like its time for a change, she is the life coach for you.

I will be more open and writing here daily again like it once was for this blog. Lead by example, but also, it is healing to be vulnerable. I will share what is going on in my life. Even when things are going good or bad, it is also going on in other peoples lives. I share because I would rather feel the vulnerability than to feel like giving up. That was the old James. I have said goodbye to many identities (read Eckhart Tolle to better understand this), and I still have a few more. Stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

My Memoir

Become a Patron of James Edgar Skye and be a part of his writing here: Become a Patron! You can get this amazing cup!

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Time management

I decided to do this topic since I am facing a new severe health issue aside from bipolar, something that also starts as an invisible disability. Still, I am so active these days, although not manic.

I remember when I finally gained control over my bipolar years ago. One of the first things I did is- read books on time management. I had so much to do, and so much that I wanted to do so, I was guessing my best odds were at organising better.

I went through some of the books, and all the basic principles did not apply to me at all! That was the time I decided to write about it the first time I get the chance. I am going to stick, for the time being, with the primary obstacle.

First of my problems was, how on earth can I plan every hour of the day when I can’t predict how am I going to feel at all! What if my energy levels are too low to be active at that point. More or less I know I am doing lousy in the mornings, by now I know how I can manage through the day, but if I had a strict schedule, I would end up with the feeling of guilt and lack of accomplishment.

Still, there was one advice I could follow: get the planner! I did get the planner, and I would write down tasks for the day, ones that are a must and ones that are optional, no specific timing other than meetings and similar. It is working well for me. When I have energy, I do what it takes and sometimes even more than that, I pick up tasks from the day that follows.

One thing I have learned from one book was “the vacation principle”. It means giving ourselves more time than we need for the task or starting it as early as possible so we can make it before the official deadline. It provides a feeling of accomplishment. Also, don’t plan too ambitious. That would be my experience. It feels fantastic when we plan a decent workload but not too much, and then we get to do even more than expected!

It is always better to put things into some order, but we need to honour our needs and add self-care on the list as well. Maybe even use the planner to monitor mood swings or whatever we need to watch. Now that my skin is so oily due to meds, I am even planning my weekly Rhassoul clay facial mask, sometimes even longer walks.

I know the times when getting out of bed might become a significant task could be around the corner, but I will quote my doctor: “Do whatever your mind and body permit you to do and don’t even think you won’t be able to do things!”

How did you approach planning time and living with bipolar, I would love to hear your comments!

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

My First Time.

I have never been hospitalized before. I think that I am pretty good at hiding things, but I couldn’t hide this from myself. I knew there was something wrong. I wasn’t sleeping more than a couple hours, I was becoming emotionally abusive, and I was falling back into overspending. Mania. This isn’t the first time I have been manic this year, but I hope it is the last. I moved into a new apartment earlier this week and I already can’t make rent. I am exhausting. I am tired from being me.

I took myself down to the hospital which I think we can agree is a feat on its own. Not having insurance was both a blessing a curse. The plus side is that I could choose whatever hospital I wanted and the downside is that I am uninsured. I can’t help but laugh that this insanely expensive vacation I just took and I didn’t even get to go to the pool. I am constantly, actively working to better myself. I take my medication, go to all my doctors appointments, religiously see my therapist, use the breathing exercises. I am not immune to it. It wasn’t at all what I had expected. Clean, hospital like in some ways, slightly degrading, and cold. BUT I am blessed to have gone to a place that provided me a private room and bathroom. Granted, everything was bolted to the floor and the bathroom had no door. Overall it was a really nice place filled with people actively trying to get better.

I was sad and anxious that I was taking all these days unpaid, but I had to. I had to go and get help. It was an out of body experience watching me set fire to all the relationships that took years to rebuild. One conversation has sent it all tumbling down. Here I am, trying to intervene and slow the damage. I was discharged yesterday afternoon and it seems that my grandparents are going to be the hardest to recover. I suppose it is divine timing because we just moved away after living next door to them. I am fortunate to still have my mom in my corner because it would be hell living together for the next year if I am going to be the source of her pain and anger.

I am doing better today. Better than yesterday, better than a week ago. I just have to keep pushing forward. My anxiety is manageable right now and I hope that it stays that way. I hope that this made inpatient stays a little less scary for those who haven’t experienced it.

Keep fighting the good fight!

National Suicide Awareness Month

September is National Suicide Awareness Month and September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. You never know what other people are going through. Be kind whenever possible; it’s always possible. Maybe this is something you don’t show much concern with because it had never affected you directly. You never know who in your life may decide to take their life. Even if you think someone is self-harming because they want attention, that doesn’t make their pain less valid. Existence is pain. Sometimes that pain is overwhelming. We can overcome that pain if we seek help from both professionals and from people in our lives.

If you’re hurting, or think your life is meaningless, there are plenty of places to seek help. If this post speaks to you, I want you to leave a comment. I may not respond, but if you feel alone, look at some of the other comments. Many people, hundreds of thousands, feel the same about their lives. You’re not alone because so many people have the same feelings. Reading articles from TheMighty.com helped me when I was looking for some comfort. I felt people there were in the same boat and I felt less alone. I’m sharing the resources listed on The Mighty website below.

Suicide Prevention Resources

If you are feeling suicidal, there is hope. 

You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255

You can reach the Crisis Text Line 24/7 by texting “START” to 741-741

You can call The Trevor Project, an LGBT crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline, 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386.

You can call Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 if you live in the U.S. Call 877-330-6366 if you live in Canada.

To find local resources in your area, visit To Write Love On Her Arms.

If you are hard of hearing, you can chat with a Lifeline counselor 24/7 by clicking the Chat button on this page, or you can contact the Lifeline via TTY by dialing 800-799-4889.

To speak to a crisis counselor in Spanish, call 1-888-628-9454.

If you are a veteran (or your loved one is a veteran), you can reach the Veterans Crisis Line by calling  1-800-273-8255 and Pressing 1. You can also send a text to 838255.

Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

For additional resources, see the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education).

You can read the following stories from people who’ve been there (from The Mighty):

And for additional messages of hope, click here

You are not alone.