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

My Journey to Stability, Pt. 1

Excitedly, I join this blog’s wonderful team. I have been passionate about mental health for many years, and I hope to be able to share my journey as I continue to navigate through life with a mental illness. I was diagnosed with Bipolar II in 2009 (also in 2004, but I was a minor) and just like many others, my road has not been easy. I am a survivor of domestic abuse, so the hurdles I have jumped remind me of what I am capable of overcoming, no matter what life can dish out. Though I plan to write a memoir of all my experiences, here I would like to simply share my road to stability and beyond. It is not a lighthearted tale at first, but it is an important one. Just as the past is important, so is the future. We are amazing and the world needs to know all our stories.

My Journey to Stability, Pt. 1

With a bottle of Jameson in one hand, wedding pictures in the other, and a kitchen knife at my side, tears ran down my cheeks and frantic thoughts pounded in my skull. I sat, knees to chest on the bed, contemplating my next move. After being together for five years, I was beginning to understand the danger of our year-old marriage. You were an evil entity in my life and even my drunk mind believed the thoughts whispered in its ear. I spent more time intoxicated than sober when I was around you or thinking about you. The things you did to me, or made me do, were not normal for a healthy relationship.

After a Colorado courthouse wedding, we decided it was time to move to the state we shared our vows. I found a job before we moved, and you were taking your remote job with you to our new home. If I drank a lot before we moved, it only increased ten-fold with our arrival in the mountains. You were either emotionally absent or degrading me enough to force me to try and forget your words. It was as if our vows, the year before, meant nothing to you. Perhaps they did not, and never had, but I was determined to keep up my end of the bargain. I loved you, but I questioned my sanity because of it.

Another swig of liquor and my eyes thrummed with intoxication. Our blurry smiles made no sense to me as my gaze passed from distorted faces to the shiny metal of the knife. No, it was not for you. It was never for you because I was always the problem…not you. You made me believe I was destroying our marriage, not your flirting, sexual escapades, or even an unhealthy relationship with bottom shelf vodka. At an impasse, I sat on the bed for close to an hour, trying to sort through shifting thoughts and emotions. In my heart, I knew what I had to do, but my courage hesitated as I left the knife on the bed and stumbled to the living room, where you sat at your computer.

My face was set with a determination and anger I had never felt before. Perhaps it was a spark of hatred, but at the time, such a notion was wishful thinking. With the bottle in one hand, and the photo album in the other, I made myself heard. The words poured from my lips with ease, as if I had been wanting to say them for years and had lacked the courage before. I felt no regret and stood tall with a newfound strength. I watched the pictures float to the floor, smiling with a grim understanding of my next move.

“…you’re the spawn of the Devil!”

Your Shadow By Shara Adams

(More stories can be found at pennedinwhite.com)

All pictures by Shara Adams.

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.  

Introducing The Bipolar Writer Blog Subscription Service

Photo by Austin Kehmeier on Unsplash

The Bipolar Writer blog is a collaborative effort to share the best parts of my story and others’ stories in the mental illness community. My authors, over time, have made this blog what it is today. I want to introduce you to The Bipolar Writer Subscriptions. 

As I build The Bipolar Writer brand with t-shirts, coffee mugs, and hopefully other fantastic merchandise with my logo, I want to share with you that it is expensive to be a struggling writer, but it goes beyond that simple fact. I am growing my brand that includes my writing and marketing all my own. I have Patreon, which is growing slowly, and I have to use everything at my disposal to build my audience. Especially beyond the blog.

I have been investing in myself lately. I got a new microphone and setup to do exclusive videos, and I am looking at ways to create merchandise that you, my reader, can take advantage of, including my memoir. (Side note, my Patreon account already has merchandise available at different tiers). What comes with the new subscriptions. Well, it will be adjusted over time, but here is what I have so far. 

  • For the higher tiers, a free copy of my Memoir The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir and a copy of my upcoming fiction book Angel on the Ward. (You must be a level $25 subscriber for three months to offset the costs.)
  • Merchandise for levels $25 and above.
  • Exxclusive video blogs for levels $10 and up.
  • Personalized letter for the basic $5 tier.
  • You can also personalize your subscription to whatever you would like to subscribe to at a certain amount unique to you. The sky is the limit! 
  • I will be adding things as this takes off.

Tiers

The tiers below are really simple, and you can adjust them up and down when you click to subscribe. It will take to a place where you can make your monthly subscription. Please let me know if you want to end the subscription at any time.

That’s it, and I have no expectations that this will work, but I would rather want to know this is out there in the world! Thank you for all that subscribe to my new subscription service.

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 Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

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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I’m not “too sensitive.” I’m mentally ill.

It hurts when people erase us – our struggles, our scars, our victories, our invisible battles, a part of our lives that shapes us and our paths in ways others will never comprehend.

It hurts when people erase our mental illnesses.

gabriel-762937-unsplashIt’s like being told that everything must be your fault, a result of your flaws and weaknesses and choices; that it’s inconceivable that there is an invisible destiny carved into our bones by genetics and external factors of trauma or tragedy, leaving us learning every day the forever-evolving face of our mental illness and how best to get through the new day.

How many of us have at some point been told that we can be a little “too sensitive,” “too emotional,” or “too involved” ? How many of us have felt that we’re being told that our pain, our exhaustion, our hopelessness, our control over our minds slipping through our finger tips, are our fault? Our choice, even?

For me, I’ve heard it countless times.

“You need to toughen up.” “You’re too soft for this world.” “You can’t be so sensitive and expect to be treated right.” “You shouldn’t let things affect you this much.”

And in my head, with internal hot tears of anger and hurt at the erasure of my pain, of the war I have battled without complaint or surrender for as long as I can remember, all I can think when I hear that is, “thank you! So! Much! I am cured, of my depression, of my anxiety, and finally, presented with the easy to make and simple choice of “tough” or “sensitive,” I can continue my life with contentment and joy, never again to be pestered by the whisperings of my own mind! Bless you, kind sir!”

miguel-bruna-503098-unsplashI’m a little angry about it, I guess. And I should be. Because, when I’m at rock bottom, at my wits end, my life falling apart, my mind urging me to figuratively hit “quit without saving” on my existence, when I’m crying in the shower and in the elevator and in the moments no one is watching, when my hands are shaking as I desperately count the pills from my doctor and the consequences of absence from work, from relationships, from the world, are knocking on my door demanding that I attend to responsibilities even though I can barely attend to myself –

You telling me I need to “toughen up” and not be “so sensitive,” is erasing my mental illness, and you’re erasing the victories I win every single day with them, and you’re erasing the fact that mental illness is ugly, real, and that I am so so much tougher than you could ever imagine, because I face their hideous faces every morning.

It’s not that we’re “too” anything. It’s called mental illness.

Mine are called Depression and Anxiety. Whatever yours are called, kudos to you for fighting quietly or loudly or neatly or messily. However you win your battles, even on the days you lose, you’re not too sensitive or emotional or self involved or at fault. None of it is your fault. Call it what it is, and don’t let people who don’t understand convince you to agree with the shady voice in your head that tries to convince you it’s all on you, because it’s not, and I hope this is your daily reminder of that.

–  Steph

I’m too comfortable talking about suicide

While there has been a big push to be more open about mental health, suicide, self-harm – so that people can actively seek help, I feel like I’ve already gone too far.

I am too comfortable talking about my suicidal experience.

A question that my psychiatrist asks every time during my visit is – “Is life worth living”?

Typically, I say, “yes” with a weak smile on my face. But this week was different.

I said, “I guess.”

He immediately looked at me and asked, “Why do you say that?”

Once again, I bluntly said, “I don’t have a choice, do I?”

Now, I honestly have no idea why I said those things.

Yes, life is worth living, and I choose to live my life because it is worth fighting for. Despite my daily battle with mental health, there are still good things in life and things to look forward to,

I notice how shocked people get when I ever so easily talk about my own suicidal thoughts, or experiences I had in the past. The typical reaction I get includes looking around side to side, making sure no one is listening or staring and giving me a look with sad eyes asking if everything is okay.

For me, talking about my suicidal thoughts in the past – is such a natural conversation. I am “too” comfortable talking about these things in the public, and I thought it was a good thing.

But now, I don’t know anymore. I don’t know if I am scaring others away because I am too comfortable using my “s” word, driving people away from me.

Is there such thing as being “too comfortable” talking about suicide? I don’t know.

Being raised in a culture where people shy away from using the “s” word, I stick out like a sore thumb.

Help. What should I do?

Recognizing the Signs of Suicidal Thoughts

I thought this post would be a great first for October. I will be writing a post about talking someone down who is suicidal and my thoughts on the best way to approach this later this week, but this is an excellent post as well.

My First Thoughts on Recognizing Suicidal Thoughts

I have been through some of the worst suicidal thoughts over the past ten years. I have never been great at recognizing how bad my suicidal thoughts have gotten until its too late. It usually takes a massive spiral, a suicide attempt, and me laying in a hospital bed wondering where how I got there.

It was that way for the first five years since my diagnosis. I got better over time with taking suicidal thought and changing them. I haven’t attempted suicide since 2010, but there have been times in the last seven years that I got close. (More the first four years than the last three.)

The most dramatic choice that a mentally ill individual can make in their life is suicide. I have to agree because it has been that way in my experience since my diagnosis of the Bipolar disorder in 2007. When I have written on the topic of suicide, it comes from my experience, and I am happy to be alive.

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People failed to recognize the signs in my own life that might have changed things. With that said my family new less about suicide than I did. That’s why educate from experience. It‘s true I knew what would happen when my suicidal thoughts and where it would lead. And I can’t blame others for letting me go down the path of suicide. My post is more about recognizing the signs in others so that you can help them. That includes me, as a writer talking about the issues of suicide. I need to be more aware when people leave me comments on my blog, or when they contact me.

Recognizing the Signs

It is critical to know how to understand and identify the signs that a person is considering suicide. What to look for are signs that there is trouble in their life, and one sign is what they are saying. It means when they are talking to you in person, or on social media. Social media is a place that many that are alone and in the throes of suicidal thoughts go to. It could come in the form of direct or indirect speech.

“I‘m finished.”

”It’s all over.”

”My family would be better off without me.”

”I don’t want to live anymore.”

There is nothing to live for.”

You have to look at these types of declarations as severe signs that the person is at risk for suicide. Never brush these types of declarations aside. The person that is making these declarations are not in their right mind. It’s imperative to recognize this words and make the appropriate decision to have your loved one seek help. It doesn’t matter if they hate you. I would rather someone hate me, but still be alive.

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On the website Your Life Counts. They offer an interesting acronym for identifying suicidal thoughts. I wanted to share this before explaining some of the less subtle signs you need to be recognizing.

It’s called  IS PATH WARM

I  – Ideation (suicidal thoughts)

S – Substance Abuse

P – Purposelessness

A – Anxiety

T – Trapped

H – Hopelessness/Helplessness

W – Withdrawal

A – Anger

R – Recklessness

M – Mood changes

This to me seems very useful because many of these signs are ones that I was going through in my suicide attempts. In my experience when I was at my most suicidal I was very lethargic. I lost interest in life an the things that made me happy, which for me was always writing or listening to music. When that went away, it was a big sign that I was suicidal.

Other signs that were prevalent in my life was quick to anger and agitation with the people around me. I was quick to anger and more aggressive when I was suicidal. I withdrew from normal life for weeks, months, and in the case of my last suicide, years. There are so many signs when it comes to if someone you love is suicidal. If you recognize these signs in this blog post, it is essential to visit websites like You Life Counts. They offer so many different signs. If they add up, again, they need to help them seek help.

The next step is to have that person seek medical help right away. That could mean calling 911. It has happened several times in my life and in those cases, at least in the interim, my suicidal thoughts went away. Yes, I was mad back then, but those times my doctors or my family took me to the hospital, it saved my life.

What are the Causes of Suicidal Thoughts

This blog post would be incomplete if I didn’t talk about what are some of the causes of suicidal thoughts. It is always my purpose when writing on The Bipolar Writer blog to inform through experience. When someone contemplates suicide, it is often because, for an extended period of time, the overwhelming feelings of a life they never imagined has taken its toll. It is no surprise that depression is often the cause of suicidal thoughts and ideations. You can only be so strong for so long before depression eats away at your soul.

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In my experience, I tried so many times to fight off the suicidal thoughts and was successful at times. I could reason my thoughts into positive reinforcements. I used a journal when I was at my most suicidal to gather my thoughts and find a reason to not commit suicide. That is why many of the journals I have posted on my blog from my past always seem as if I was at my lowest.

The causes of going down the path of suicide can be anything related to life. Some of the more common are relationship breakups, divorce, loss, and financial loss. It could be the changes in your job status, and even family genetics can play a part. In my experience, it was always the trauma of my past. Other times it was when I would lose my job or relationships because of my depression.

The truth is suicide can affect anyone in any walk of life. The good thing is that there are resources out there that you can use. When I talk about suicide, I do so in the hopes that those of us in the mental illness community know that suicide is preventable. Talk to someone or seek real help.

One of the worst feelings in my life in the last ten years was when I believed once and for all that there was no hope. That this world would have been better off without me. I am realizing through my blog how silly these thoughts were in reality. The problem is that these thoughts were real in my life in those times that I was suicidal. It almost cost me my life in 2010.

I implore all mental illness bloggers to recognize the signs in our own community. Also, we need to understand the signs of those around us in our lives outside of WordPress. Never overlook the realities that life can bring and if you are going down the path of suicide. I implore you to seek help.

I hope this blog post was helpful.

James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoChristopher Campbell

unsplash-logoEdu Lauton

unsplash-logoAustin Chan

unsplash-logoElti Meshau

Topics of Discussion – October on The Bipolar Writer Blog

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It is Fall!! I love this time of year because the coffee selection goes through the roof. Just in time too because I am getting back into the groove of school, and coffee is life.

So, what shall we talk about in October?

These posts have been helpful in the past so it is great to open the floor to my fellow followers and bloggers to what topics the Bipolar Writer should discuss here. I would love your feedback.

Interview Features – The Series

I want to also open up my series of interview features again, so if you would like to be featured on The Bipolar Writer blog, please email me @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com for more info and the list of questions. I’d love to add more interviews by the end of the year.

With that said, I look forward to hearing from you my followers and to have the most amazing October.

James

Always Keep Fighting

Photo Credit:

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Veliko Karachiviev

Looking for a Book Cover Artist

A blog post such a this is not my usual thing here on The Bipolar Writer blog, but I am at a crossroads of sorts. I have struck out locally to find an artist willing to create a cover for my memoir The Bipolar Writer, so I thought, why not ask my fellow bloggers.

I need your help! I really want to publish my book sooner rather than later.

I can’t pay a whole lot up front and to be honest when it comes to what I want I have no idea. What I offer is some compensation up front and compensation when I publish my memoir. If you are interested or know an artist willing to help please email me @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com.

Also, I am still learning about publishing so any pointers from my fellow bloggers would be helpful as well.

Thank you so much!

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit: Joseph Morris