Contributor Writers for The Bipolar Writer Blog

Since day one of the inception of The Bipolar Writer blog I had a plan of how things were going to go on my blog. When I hit 2,000 followers the plan was to start a series of interviews of other members of the mental illness community. It was amazing to finally start my interview series where I feature the stories of others. It’s been successful so far.

I am close to another milestone for my blog and I am looking towards the future of my blog as I near 15,000 followers, I am looking to add more contributors to blog because the stories of others is important to me. These contributors roles are as follows according to WordPress:

Contributor – has no publishing or uploading capability, but can write and edit their own posts until they are published.

I am only looking for contributor writers at this moment. What I do is add you to my blog as a contributor. All I need is to add your email. You can write about any subject about mental illness. You pick the categories and the post must have a featured picture. I will have the final say on if it gets published. If you become a regular contributor, I will change your status to the rank of author:

Author – can write, upload photos to, edit, and publish their own posts.

If you are interested please email me at JamesEdgarSkye22@gmail.com

I am really excited to expand to allow more contributor writers on my blog. I think it will help to get different stories and blog posts on different topics within the mental health community. It’s an opportunity to continue the growth of The Bipolar Writer brand, and really talk about the issues as we fight to end the stigma surrounding mental illness.

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!

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

My Journey to Stability, Pt. 2

“…you’re the spawn of the Devil!” 

After watching the pictures fly across the room, my husband turned back to his screen, acting unfazed by my actions or words.  His response, or lack thereof, only confirmed my decision; I had to reveal him to the world as the true demon he was to me. Red flags waved the last four years, but I brushed them away, creating excuses for his behavior and words. He was a narcissistic bastard taking advantage of my ignorance. For all those years, I blamed myself for everything he did said, convincing myself it was my fault for the way he treated me. I needed to learn my place in his sick world. Being young and naive, I did not realize how I was being manipulated by someone who was supposed to love me.  

I wanted to scream, but the sound never left my throat. Instead, I staggered over to my chair, sitting down with an obscene lack of grace and nearly toppling over. My desk was a mess, but what I was looking for was within easy reach. The Jameson thudded against the wood as I snatched up a white bottle. Effexor was the anti-depressant I was prescribed after a questionnaire was given to me for the Bipolar diagnostic process in 2007, of which it was determined I had Major Depression, not Bipolar Disorder. Several attempts to find a medication were made to help me feel somewhat normal. None of them worked, but I stuck with Effexor despite the roller coaster. 

By Shara Adams

I did not feel suicidal, but the world needed to open its eyes and see him for who he was. The world needed to see me, to save me from the hell I was living. Rising to my feet, I opened the white bottle and poured out a handful pills. I reached for the Jameson without counting the capsules and set my reserve; I knew what I had to do to save myself and destroy him. My shoulders rolled back with determination, but my thoughts remained a jumbled mess from the alcohol and my inundated emotions. The world was spinning, and I did not know what to think or feel. All I knew was I had to escape the pathetic excuse of a man. 

“Is this what you wanted?” 

Turning to face me, I smirked with satisfaction. I had his full undivided attention, for once. The impact I planned on having with my actions, played over and over in my head. I did not know what was going to happen, and my mind did not consider the consequences which were possible. Blinded by the potential freedom, I could not back away from my decision. As I held the pills in my hand with a drink in the other, I threw them all to the back of my throat and followed them with the last of the Jameson.

Relief washed over me as I sat back down, ignoring him. I felt I had done the right thing, but after several minutes, the world started to disappear and I began to question myself – like always. I tried to blame it on the entire bottle of liquor, which I had consumed in a matter of a few hours. About ten minutes later, a knock on our apartment door brought the light back, but I could not move. Before I reached the count of three, five to six people swarmed into our small space and surrounded me both physically and verbally. I was confused as to who they were, why they were here, and what they were asking, but I responded to their probing questions as best I could. The realization hit me like a brick after several questions: they were paramedics.

My husband had called 911. For once in his life, he may have done the right thing.

By Shara Adams

More stories can be found at pennedinwhite.com

Discord – Community Mental Health Dicsussions

James Edgar Skye (The Bipolar Writer) is collaborating with Grounds for Clarity on a new Discord Channel called Community Mental Health Discussions. It will be a place where you can come anonymously if needed discuss the many topics that come with mental illness and mental health. Our goal is to have open-ended discussions that are open 24/7. Myself and Grounds for Clarity will be moderators.

Want to join? Go to www.discord.com

  • Sign up for a discord account.
  • Then add me as a friend – JamesEdgarSkye#4190
  • Send me a message that you are from WordPress, introduce yourself if I don’t know you, and I will add you 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:

James Edgar Skye
Grounds For Clarity 

If you have any questions please contact me or leave comments below. This separate from our weekly Saturday discussions that we will be hosting on Zoom. (See tomorrows blog post.)

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!

Photo by israel palacio on Unsplash

Appetite for Destruction

Bipolar is a debilitating brain-illness.  Rapid Cycling is even worse.  After my traumatic experience, I was determined to be in control of myself and my body from there on out.  Unfortunately, that took a destructive path.  I was very promiscuous and did everything I could to get the attention of older teenage boys to seduce and have sex with.   A twisted way to be in control, but I was calling the shots and it felt good.  I was out partying all the time, drinking, smoking pot, and taking pills (no idea what they were).  I was living a reckless lifestyle to say the least.

This is me being hypomanic and trying to be seductive during a hypomanic state
 Me at 15 years old during a hypomanic state

I was depressed, but I think I was also hypomanic, which is called a mixed state.  My depressed state materialized as anger and terrible judgement.  My hypomania resulted in little need for sleep and feeling indestructible.  I felt like I could do anything and had no regard for what anyone thought.  Being in a mixed state is not a great combination, especially with alcohol and drugs in the mix.  I struggled in school exponentially and skipped a lot of school by signing my dad’s signature to the excuses (I had perfected his signature).  I worshiped metal hair bands (Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Guns n Roses, Metallica, and Poison, just to name a few) and my goal was to get the attention of any & every guy I could.  I didn’t seem to have a problem in that area considering I had built up quite a reputation.  I suddenly had an appetite for sex.  I don’t know how many people I slept with in that 6 month period, if I had to guess I would say 10?  Not something I’m proud of now, but I wore it like a badge at the time.  I was in control and that’s all that mattered.

Me at 15 years old with Motley Crue banner
 Me at 15 years old in my room

I didn’t have many close friendships with girls at this time, except for one friend that I happen to still be friends with today (love you MW).  My relationships during this time were more superficial and built on partying.  I obviously was not in a good state and it was catching up to me.  I was severely depressed at the end of this period in mid spring.  No longer was I angry, I was sad and wanting companionship.  I was suicidal and had thought of many ways to end my life.  I felt like nothing, didn’t like myself, had a great void in my soul and didn’t understand why I was even on this Earth 😦

Thankfully, I met someone, who for whatever reason understood me in a way no one else had even tried to.  My first boyfriend who I will refer to as X.  (Remember X for later on in this blog).  I was elated to be with one person.  I was still depressed, but it felt different with someone to actually talk to.  I would bounce back and forth between being hypomanic and depressed, but he seemed to be able to ride the roller-coaster.  Our relationship was fast & furious…

Some people might ask, “Where was your God while all of this was happening?” and to that end I would simply say, I didn’t know him yet.  Despite me not knowing Him, He knew me and was with me!  He carried me every step of the way through my brokenness, even if I didn’t know it at the time!!  He knew I was a survivor and a fighter and that I would eventually surrender to Him!

1 Corinthians 10:13

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Until next time, be blessed and be divine!

Now I See

Yesterday, I received my very first pair of glasses. I didn’t realize how blind I was. I now see everything so differently. So crisp. So clear. It’s insane. I had no idea that I wasn’t seeing things clearly. And it reminded me of myself when I realized something was wrong with my brain.

I have struggled with crippling depressions ever since I can remember. And these depressions are a lot longer than a week or a day. They last from 6 months to 3 years. My most recent depression lasted 3 years and included 6 months of not eating, which resulted in my body nearly shutting down. It included many, many nights of self-harm. And when I finally came out of it, I dove straight into my very first manic episode.

My manic episode lasted for a little over a year. And it took 9 months to figure out that something was wrong with me. During the first 9 months, I was extremely reckless, hyper-sexual, and felt indestructible, all-knowing, and ecstatic. I didn’t need sleep because I was fueled up on manic energy. I was creating art, music, books, and I wasn’t going to stop just to sleep. In order to stay awake when I did get tired, I turned to drugs, which is COMPLETELY out of character for me. The mania caused me to lose my appetite, so I lost a lot of weight again, and the drug use just made it worse. I overdosed 6 months into my mania (didn’t tell anybody, though). During the next 3 months, I was desperate for money and I was still hyper-sexual, so I began taking money for sex. This is also COMPLETELY out of character for me. It was after I got roofied that I realized something had to be terribly wrong with me.

I went to my PCP, who said it sounded like I had bipolar disorder. However, they weren’t equipped to handle mental illnesses, and asked me repeatedly to go to a psychiatrist. I put it off because I was feeling great (still manic). I also didn’t want to admit I had a mental illness. It didn’t take long before I tripped and fell face-first into another depression. This one was intense, and lasted 3 months. By the end of the 3 months, I was experiencing depression and mania at the same time.

I became extremely reckless with men again, and I was hallucinating a terrifying black demon. I couldn’t sleep anymore. I couldn’t even go into my bedroom; I was so afraid. The only way to get the demon to go away was to cut myself. So I started etching little red ditches in my thighs every time it happened. I begged for help. I went to the hospital and begged to be admitted to the psych ward. They even saw my thighs. They wouldn’t take me because they said I wasn’t a danger to myself or others. I never felt more invisible and helpless in my life.

A week later, I called my boss and told them what was happening to me. She has bipolar disorder, too, so she immediately called 911 and asked them to do a wellness check on me. Instead of coming to my house, they called me and asked if I was okay. I wasn’t ready to go to the hospital yet. I wanted to say good-bye to my daughter (who I sent to my mom’s because I knew I wasn’t safe). So I told them I was fine. Thankfully, my cousin decided to call them again, so then they actually came to my door. It was just in time, because I was just trying to cut a path in my arm that was deep enough to bleed out. They saw my arm and said if I didn’t come with them, they would 302 me (give me no choice). I said PLEASE take me, I’ve only been trying to go for a month. So, I finally got the help I needed, and it was 2.5 years ago. I’ll write about my stay in the psych ward another time.

My whole point is that sometimes you don’t realize how blind you are to your situation, actions, behaviors, etc until something is put in front of your eyes to make you see it. For me, being raped opened my eyes. And then my brand new glasses made my vision clear, for real. 😉 The important thing is to make sure that once you see your issues, you get the right help for them. And then do the research so that you can be self-aware and catch episodes before they have a chance to spin out of control, which we all know happens very quickly.

A Special Thank You to my Friends & Family

Right now I’m at a period of my life where I’ve been focusing more and more on my own inner work & personal development. It’s something I neglected and put off for far too long. I held the belief that if I pushed away the painful memories & experiences I could forget about them forever. I’ve learned though, that’s not the truth. At some point they will resurface and force you to deal with them.

For being 23 years old I feel I have experienced so much already in my lifetime. I grew up in an abusive household for almost 18 years being abused by my mother on a daily basis. I was sexually assaulted at the age of 19. I struggled with an alcohol addiction during that period as well. I hit rock bottom and almost killed myself. I was hospitalized for my mental illness. I was in & out of depressive episodes along with manic episodes. It was only two years ago when I got the help I needed & became stable again.

During the years when I was away at college and struggled with my alcohol addiction I stopped caring about the others around me. I stopped caring when my friends voiced their concerns about me and wanted to help me. My actions became careless and reckless that cost me friendships at that time.

I think back and wonder that if I did listen to them or if I showed more compassion maybe some of those people would still be in my life. I wonder that if I didn’t struggle with alcohol and mental illness that some of those people would still be in my life. It also showed me, who my true friends were, the ones who stuck by me through it all and are still in my life today.

It’s why I want to say thank you. I want to say thank you to my family and closest friends who stuck by me through my darkest moments. I thank you for not giving up on me when I was at my lowest points. I thank you for not getting mad or leaving when I wouldn’t listen to your advice. I thank you for always being there to support and show me love even when I didn’t want to receive it.

I believe it’s always through our darkest struggles and moments that shows us the people in our lives who truly care. It strengthens us to rise up even higher than before. So again, thank you to all those who showed me support and love through my darkest moments.

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Mental Illness, Escapism, and Addiction

I have been on medication for my bipolar disorder – and depression before it – for a great number of years. The most recent cocktail of drugs has been the same since late 2015, when I nearly ended my own life, and it’s been keeping me pretty steady, as these things go. I’m not perfect, but the extremes of mood, the violent anger, and the crushing depressions are lessened, if not gone entirely.

I also drink. Not a lot – not every day – but when I drink, I usually drink too much. It’s contraindicated with my medications, but that doesn’t really mean much to me. I drink anyway. I drink, very specifically, to get drunk. I drink beer, I drink wine, I drink rum and scotch, and I drink quite deliberately, pacing myself over minutes and hours until I fall into a stupor in bed and sleep it off through the night.

I think, deep down, I’m somewhat of a hedonist. I don’t know if this comes from the depression or some other innate personality trait, but I am, for lack of a better phrase, a pleasure-seeker. I very much enjoy physical pleasure, and the sensation of drunkenness falls into this category for me. It’s a form of escapism that requires very little concentration or effort, and when it hits, I can just lie back and let it wash over me.

With medications keeping me level, why do I need escapism, you might ask. Why do I need a vehicle for altering my state of mind, when the whole point of the ‘official’ drugs is to keep my mind from entering that altered state in the first place?

I think a part of it is that I have conditioned myself over decades to avoid misery. I have been so miserable for so long that I instinctively gravitate to anything that feels good, happy or pleasurable. I have very little self-control in this regard; I don’t set rules for myself, like ‘you can have a drink after you do the dishes’; I just drink, and fuck the dishes.

Another part is, almost certainly, a dangerous level of chemical dependency. As I mentioned above, I don’t drink every day – but I do go through phases where I might drink daily for several weeks straight. I usually drink until I’m out of alcohol. It rapidly becomes habit. The same is true of other vices; I recently acquired a small amount of pot from a friend, and against my original intention of maybe once a weekend, I’ve been smoking three or four times a week.

This all leads me to question my behaviors, and the more fundamental motivations behind them. Do I smoke and drink because I’m miserable, because I’m addicted, or because I really kind of just … like it? Like all behavior affected by mental illness, it’s a difficult question to answer, because the very nature of mental illness is changed behaviors … but there comes a point where illness ends and addiction takes over.

I’m not an alcoholic; I know people who are, and I don’t ‘need’ booze to function. I’m not a drug addict; I don’t blow hundreds on weed, and I don’t smoke before, during and after work (for example). But I am dangerously close to this level of functional need, and I recognize it when the thing I look forward to at the end of the day is getting high and watching Family Guy reruns.

That’s usually when I stop – when I see the signs of tipping into the abyss, and take steps to right myself. So far I’ve always been able to come back from the brink, but I worry about one day …

Yet I continue anyway. I refuse to stop permanently. I refuse to relinquish the physical pleasures of drink and drugs. I don’t ‘need’ them, but I want them. Like, a lot.

And sometimes, I wonder if it’s really so bad. I’m aware of the long-term physical and mental changes and harm caused by alcohol and drug use, but I still can’t help believing that the immediate reward is worth it. Intellectually I know that liver damage, lung cancer and mental deterioration are some of the absolute worst ways to die, but emotionally … I kind of just don’t care. I’ve had people tell me that my health is all I have; I’ve heard the arguments before. But when your mental health fails you, you couldn’t care less about your physical health. And whilst the two are most definitely related, it’s difficult to have the second without the first.

That’s when I wonder if the escapism of physical pleasure isn’t worth it after all. The mental toll each day takes, whilst variable, is still a harsh one, and the ability to use a substance – of one kind or another – to forget it is dreadfully tempting. And I recognize this as a controversial perspective – why, you ask, don’t I deal with my problems instead of avoiding them – but I truly believe life is for living, and should be enjoyed daily, if at all possible.

What do you do, when your brain refuses to let you do just that? What do you do, when your own mind is a battleground of misery and despair? What happens when you wake up and simply can’t get out of bed? What is there to look forward to?

And in those trying times, is self-medication justifiable? Is it even self-medication at all – or just an excuse to escape from reality?

And is such escapism really so wrong?

A Repost – Upgrading The Bipolar Writer Blog – I Need Your Help

Upgrading, and Why it is Important

There was some confusion about how to donate money to the cause, and I wanted to take this opportunity to redo my previous post. I will explain what upgrading means for this blog. These are the ways to donate.

My GoFundMe Page

https://www.gofundme.com/rasing-to-upgrade-the-bipolar-writer-blog&rcid=r01-154734596066-ffeec50b38af4a27&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w

Now, I had to use my real name for this (I write under my pseudonym James Edgar Skye) so don’t be surprised by the name–David TC. Also, this allows me to show how much has been donated (I will give the running total at the end of the post.

Donate Through PayPal

This is another excellent way to donate, and to do so just press Pay with PayPal and you can choose to give a minimum of $3.00 (you can decide how much based on the number so 3 times would be 3 x 3 and you would donate nine dollars.)

Venmo – 831-287-4369

I don’t mind sharing my number (I have before several times in the past.

Right now we are at $110 total donations which is pretty amazing. Every penny will be going to the upgrade. I thank everyone who has already been a part of this goal. The goal is $325, what it would cost to upgrade for two years. When I reach this goal, I will be taking this page down.

What I am planning on doing is upgrading this blog to the business class. I can do a lot more with sharing the stories of others through this platform. What I want to do is take this blog to the next level. I want to be able to allow others to sell their work on my blog. (It will also help me sell my own work so there is that part of why I would like to upgrade.)

When this blog hit 10,000 (now plus) followers, I was thinking of ways to make it better. My goal is to spread the word about mental illness. Upgrading to a business blog would allow better SEO tools among the many positives of this upgrade. I would love to do it myself, it is my blog after all, but most of my money is going to my memoir. This would benefit any mental health blogger that wants to be a part of this fantastic community my collaborators, and I have created. I want this blog to be so much more and reach so many more amazing people.

Let’s do this together! If you can’t donate please share this blog post on social media. It could make a major difference!

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

James

unsplash-logoIan Schneider

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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Sharing My Vision for The Bipolar Writer Blog

I hope that each and every one of my fellow bloggers take a much-needed time off this Labor Day weekend. I recently wrote a couple of posts that talked about in small detail my plans for the future of The Bipolar Writer as we enter the one year anniversary of starting this blog. I think I went about it in the wrong way. Yes, I am struggling to upgrade to a business WordPress account, but I didn’t explain why.

 

Please use this link to donate

My Vision of the Future – The Bipolar Writer Blog

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I started this blog with a premium service here on WordPress. It gave me a domain name, access to the best themes on WordPress, and other important things that seemed important this past September. I never understood that this blog would become so amazing that I would consider upgrading my blog further than the premium service.

Please use this link to donate

It makes sense that the business plan would be the next logical step for my blog. It has better tools to help me grow my blog, and at the same time– it would help me increase the followers beyond just WordPress. It will give me SEO tools, plug-ins, and integrating Google analytics.

Then There is Why I Want to Grow

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If my plan is successful and I am able to raise enough funds to cover the cost of the WordPress Business plan I plan on expanding my list of contributor bloggers here on The Bipolar Writer. I currently have a family of twenty-two fantastic contributor bloggers that have made this blog into the amazing thing it is today.

I plan to expand to fifty (50) writers by the end of the year, and each will be able to share their experiences with their own mental illness. That is how we end the stigma that surrounds mental illness with shared experiences, I write more about it here: Why do We Fight to End the Mental Illness Stigma?

I plan to make this blog self sufficient in the coming months by adding an Editor position because the high volume of contributors will need another set of eyes. I will upgrade my best contributor blogger to authors so they can add their posts without needing me to edit. It will be the most trustworthy of my group.

Why I Need Donations

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I have been saving every penny for one goal. Publishing my memoir. I have had donations in the past, and those are going towards paying an artist who can create a fantastic cover for me. (I am still having issues with finding an artist who shares my vision.) I just don’t have the funds for the business plan. I have ten days to either get enough donations or stick with my plan in hopes that eventually I will have enough.

Please use this link to donate

So I ask if you can just give $2 that would help so much. If you can provide more, it would be amazing. Regardless, every person that donates will get a special mention in my memoir, and if we reach our goal, each will get a special thank you card from me via email and a mention in a blog post. This will be the last post about this, I do hope we reach the goal. I have never been disappointed by my fellow mental illness bloggers.

James

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

Please use this link to donate

 


Photo Credit:

Simon Migaj

Octavian Rosca

Kaleidico