The Bipolar Writer Podcast Episode Four

The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Kathleen The Bipolar Writer Podcast

About the Episode Take a journey as I interview Katheleen and her journey with her mental illness.  About James If you are looking for all things James Edgar Skye, you can find his social media visiting https://linqapp.com/james_skye Also support a life coach that has influenced me along my journey of self-reflection: https://www.groundsforclarity.com The Bipolar Writer Podcast is listener-supported, and for as little as $5 a month, you can help support the mental health advocacy that I do by visiting http://www.buymeacoffee.com/jamesedgarskye. Please help this podcast grow by sharing with friends or anyone that you think will benefit from the experiences of others and myself. You can also find me on the following websites. You can also find me on the following websites to book your interview, ask questions, and reach out to me. http://www.jamesedgarskye.me Purchase my books at: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/jamesedgarskye22/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/jamesedgarskye22/support
  1. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Kathleen
  2. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Caroline
  3. Interview with Kathleen (Living Works)
  4. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Crystal
  5. Interview with Kasey Claborn, Ph.D.
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The Bipolar Writer Podcast

Always Keep Fighting.

What is the worst that can happen?

James Edgar Skye

Visit my author website at http://www.jamesedgarskye.me

Purchase my Memoir and Novella here: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks

The Bipolar Writer Podcast

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

Changes to The Bipolar Writer Blog & Adding Contributors

2020 is quickly coming to an end!

When things get busy in my life, one thing that does not work is that the blog takes a hit. The need to write in when my days are full is something that I miss most. I think we can all agree that 2020 was not the best year, and we all have gone without making the best efforts in our own individual blogs. I have seen people leave blogging for different platforms, and I am working on transitioning to my Podcast platform more, but one thing that stays true for me, The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog.

I plan in the next few weeks to make some changes. Those writers who have not written in a while will be let go, making room for new writers to continue the traditions that have always been about sharing others’ stories on this blog. That is the core that I would like to get back to in the coming weeks before we launch into 2021. I may make some cosmetic changes, but the issue with the contact page has been fixed! 

I am once again opening up some spots to grow The Bipolar Writer Collaborative Blog family. I know many people over the summer reached out, and the issue with the contact page left many people thinking I was not checking, but it is one of those things. I have reached out to some that have expressed over the last few months all the way back to July that there is always room for more writer contributors for the blog.

Photo by Andraz Lazic on Unsplash

I am planning so much to take my mental health advocacy to the next level in 2021. The Podcast and interviews list are always open, and if you would like to be featured on the Podcast through an interview on Zoom, please reach out to the email I will post below or use the new and improved contact page. I am still trying to improve through repetition as I am not the best speaker, but the blog’s spirit is in everything I do with advocacy.

Other things coming are the beginnings of some major writing projects, and today, though I have not really talked about it much, will be the launch of a new book! It is a fictional novella about the psychiatric ward where a young James experiences some of his journey’s beginnings, but the story is 100% fiction. As a writer, things in my life will leak into the story, but it’s my first official launch of a fictional story. You should see a blog post about it yesterday. I wanted to publish it today because it marks the first anniversary of my mom’s passing. It means a lot to publish two books in one year, and you can find my books on my author’s website here. 

I am also going to start a new novel that I am working on with a kindred spirit. Then there are two major two-year project, The Many Faces and Stories of Mental Illness, where all the book proceeds will go to a nonprofit in my future. There will also be a documentary about the project. If you want to be a part of it, I would recommend that you reach out below or on the contact page. Interviews will most likely be 2-3 times to really share your mental illness and story. Reach out for more information! I can be a workaholic at times, and so go to my website for the full list of projects and find information on The Bipolar Writer Ghostwriting Services

Life is always moving, but remember to stay in the now. You can email me directly @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com

Always Keep Fighting.

What is the worse that can happen?

James Edgar Skye

Visit my author website at http://www.jamesedgarskye.me

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

Chapter Seventy-Five: Is Recovery in This Mental Illness Life Possible?

In my continued efforts to be transparent in what you will find in The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir, I will be posting specific chapters in the coming weeks that I find helpful and will inspire you to purchase my book. If you would like to read my entire book, it is free on Amazon Kindle Unlimited and available on Amazon. You can find it on my author site for James Edgar Skye by clicking this link.  You can also become a Patreon of my writing, future podcasts, and help with my business by clicking Become a Patron! You can get cool swag like books at certain tiers that include my upcoming novella Angel on the Ward, a mug with my logo, a sticker with my logo, and soon I will be adding things like shirts and other amazing things. So, please join me on Patreon and become a part of my writing!

Chapter Seventy-Five: Is Recovery in This Mental Illness Life Possible?

Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

ONE OF THE CRITICAL COMPONENTS of mental health recovery, in my mind is finding the things that work to make you happy. Over the years I have used different things to get me through the worst months of the year (my SAD months.) Depression during the winter months differs from person to person, because one person’s mental illness is not exactly alike to another person’s struggle.

What I have found useful in my life, is role-playing video games as they get me through some of the worst depression in my life. It is a way to escape reality for a few hours and focus on something different. It gives me an opportunity to reach goals, and feel good about myself when depression is taking over. It always makes me smile when I tell people that role-playing video games is one of the reasons I am here today, it is because some people find that idea ludicrous. I would not be here today for many reasons, and video games just happen to be one reason that I am here writing this memoir.

Writing is my greatest weapon, to deal with the ups and downs of my mental illness. The writing projects that I am currently working on, (which includes writing this memoir) and writing my blog are so helpful. At the same time, they are extremely therapeutic, and when my mind goes to the darkest of places, writing is my way to deal.

I had many lofty goals at the start of every year, and I get through them as much as possible, but there are still things that I would like to try out in this life—like photography. I have talked to other artists and photographers about how therapeutic taking pictures is for their mental health. When I use video games or reading books to escape my mental illness for a few hours, it is the same type of therapy for those using photography as an outlet. It’s something that is both active and positive, which is something we all need when in recovery from the many issues that come along with having a mental illness.

People ask me all the time on my blog, how best to deal with mental illness using different forms of media like books, video games, watching a film, photography, and even writing. Other bloggers have shared what helps them get through their worst symptoms and that includes things like meditation or yoga. 

What it comes down to, is tasks that can help a sufferer cope with trauma—and what they use as a coping mechanism, like get into horror movies and books, because they connect with that genre. I can relate to this in so many ways. I got into reading Edgar Allan Poe, because of the connection to the “dark romanticism” feel of his work, and his influence is in every aspect of my writing. I can pick up my collection of Poe’s work, open to a story or poem and completely immerse myself into that world. 

What I want people to get out of this chapter is this, there are so many ways out there to cope with mental illness, and it is essential for you to find what will help with your mental health. Before starting The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog, I was lost. I had my writing, but it was not enough. When I was writing just for me, there was no real human connection in my life. Writing a blog helped me to be more open, not only in my writing, but socially. I will probably never be the type that goes out into major social situations and make a bunch of friends that way, but it doesn’t mean that I have to go about it alone. 

Then I started a blog, and everything changed. I have used the blog to improve my mental health through shared experiences in mental illness, and now I am more open to sharing my experiences. I wrote this memoir because of the fantastic mental illness blogging community. Connecting with other writers and bloggers with mental illnesses has helped my mental health recovery. Find what helps you get through the tough times, and it will make these times less harsh. Never dwell on the negative and always move forward.

I believe that mental illness will be in my life until my last day. That means that there will be a level of suffering in my life. I can let this consume me and control me, which has been the case for a significant part of my life. But I also believe that there is a chance that we can recover enough to manage the symptoms related to our mental illness, to a point where we can be functioning members of society. I have come a long way with my depression and anxiety, to the point where I can still operate on days when either decides to takes over my day. 

I consider this my recovery stage in my life, because the old me used to collapse at the first signs of depression. I have lost years of my life at a time because depression dictated my life. It is the worst feeling in the world to realize that for years I barely left my house. I let depression take over. Now I have a Bachelor of Art degree and I am working on a graduate degree in English and Creative Writing. I graduated top of my class. I started a fantastic blog. I write every day, even when it is just for myself. My life has changed so much in a positive way. That is what recovery is for someone dealing with a mental illness. It is not perfect, but it is always moving forward.

Over the years, I developed ways of finding happiness, even when the worst parts of my mental illness feel as if it will consume me. When I struggle, I can look towards the good in my life. Mental illness, for the most part, is something that is manageable, and I believe this is true for all sufferers. Find what makes your recovery possible in your own life. You might surprise yourself.

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 Dimitri Houtteman on Unsplash

Join James Edgar Skye on Patreon

I launched my Patreon account back in April of 2019, but I was not ready to start a site that allows people into my writing, I am now prepared to put myself out there again. It was a great idea, but not many people can or have the money to be a part of my writing process. A few people have joined me, and I am looking for more patrons of my writing, Today is officially a “re-launch” in hopes that I can begin to take mental health advocacy and to take my writing to the next level.

Become a Patron!

I hope that people will understand what it takes to be a struggling writer and graduate student. Perhaps you will want to become a part of my writing process. I will be more open to sharing my experiences with writing, looking for an agent, and publisher for my major work, The Rise of the Nephilim. I will also be sharing on certain tiers a copy of my book The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir. Other porjects will also be included in certain tiers. Below will be the breakdown of each tier level and what they bring. I hope you will join me on my writing journey no matter the tier that you choose. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

James

Support The Bipolar Writer (Tier One)

In this $2 tier, you help the continued success of The Bipolar Writer blog and the brand. You’re also supporting a struggling Graduate student and writer living with mental illness every day. This tier costs less than a cup of coffee. I have been struggling with mental illness since 2007, and it has affected my ability to hold down a job. Writing is an escaping feeling while also being therapeutic, and now you can be a part of the process of a published author!

  • You get a “First Look” at weekly blog posts for the Bipolar Writer Blog before it goes live! 
  • This tier will help keep my blog writing and help me end the stigma surrounding mental illness.
  • If I get enough at this tier, it will allow me to hire an “editor and manager of my blog.”

The Bipolar Writer Basic Tier

In this $5 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with Bipolar One. I have been struggling with mental illness since 2007.

  • You get everything in the “Support for The Bipolar Writer” tier.
  • Plus, a special mention in my monthly newsletter when you sign up and access the newsletter to start every new month!
  • A special “Thank you” message when you sign up for this tier.

The Bipolar Writer Mid Tier

In this $10 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with Bipolar One since 2007.

  • In this mid-level tier, you get everything from the first two tiers. 
  • An exclusive look at a chapter from “The Bipolar Writer: A  Memoir. 
  • Access to a chapter or any short story that is published!
  • The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir published in March 2020. I will, for this $10 tier and above, I will send you two exclusive chapters!
  • As part of this tier, you can also have a one-hour Zoom session with me asking me questions about writing or mental illness/mental health. 

Become a Patron!

Bipolar Writer 2nd Mid Tier

In this $15 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! This tier comes with everything in the above tiers. You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student, and writer, who is living with Bipolar One since 2007.

  • The $15 tier, is a special tier that also comes with a personal invitation to my exclusive Patreon community on Discord (which is coming soon!)
  • Also, it will come with other great benefits coming soon that will include a sticker with my logo and other great things coming soon!

The Bipolar Writer Top Tier

In this $25 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with Bipolar One since 2007.

  •  In this top tier, you get everything from the previous tiers.
  • An exclusive look at my upcoming fantasy fiction novel to include character sketches or a look at the first chapter of the novel “The Rise of the Nephilim” or a peek at “Angel on the Ward.”
  • A Signed Copy of The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir (Note: In this tier, you have to be a Patron for three months before I send out the copy. This is to help offset the costs of printing and shipping.)
  • After being in this tier for three month you get an exclusive The Bipolar Writer mug with my logo. (Be sure to have your address on file so that these items get shipped to you.)

The Bipolar Writer Exclusive

  • This is a limited Edition Tier for my Bipolar Writer Maniacs! In this elite $40 tier, you get all the benefits of the previous tiers plus
  • A signed copy of my memoir The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir, and all future publications.
  • Including the publications of any of my short stories.
  • A signed copy of my novella Angel on the Ward. (Coming soon)
  • My Novel Rise of the Nephilim.
  • After being in this tier for three month you get an exclusive The Bipolar Writer mug with my logo and sticker (be sure to have your address on file so that these items get shipped to you.)

Become a Patron!

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 Hannah Busing on Unsplashy

James Edgar Skye’s Patreon Account

I launched my Patreon account back in April of 2019, but I was not ready to start a site that allows people into my writing, I am now prepared to put myself out there again. It was a great idea, but not many people can or have the money to be a part of my writing process. A few people have joined me, and I am looking for more patrons of my writing, Today is officially a “re-launch” in hopes that I can begin to take mental health advocacy and to take my writing to the next level.

I hope that people will understand what it takes to be a struggling writer and graduate student. Perhaps you will want to become a part of my writing process. I will be more open to sharing my experiences with writing, looking for an agent, and publisher for my major work, The Rise of the Nephilim. I will also be sharing on certain tiers a copy of my book The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir. Other porjects will also be included in certain tiers. Below will be the breakdown of each tier level and what they bring. I hope you will join me on my writing journey no matter the tier that you choose. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

James

Support The Bipolar Writer (Tier One)

In this $2 tier, you help the continued success of The Bipolar Writer blog and the brand. You’re also supporting a struggling Graduate student and writer living with mental illness every day. This tier costs less than a cup of coffee. I have been struggling with mental illness since 2007, and it has affected my ability to hold down a job. Writing is an escaping feeling while also being therapeutic, and now you can be a part of the process of a published author!

  • You get a “First Look” at weekly blog posts for the Bipolar Writer Blog before it goes live! 
  • This tier will help keep my blog writing and help me end the stigma surrounding mental illness.
  • If I get enough at this tier, it will allow me to hire an “editor and manager of my blog.”

The Bipolar Writer Basic Tier

In this $5 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with Bipolar One. I have been struggling with mental illness since 2007.

  • You get everything in the “Support for The Bipolar Writer” tier.
  • Plus, a special mention in my monthly newsletter when you sign up and access the newsletter to start every new month!
  • A special “Thank you” message when you sign up for this tier.

The Bipolar Writer Mid Tier

In this $10 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with Bipolar One since 2007.

  • In this mid-level tier, you get everything from the first two tiers. 
  • An exclusive look at a chapter from “The Bipolar Writer: A  Memoir. 
  • Access to a chapter or any short story that is published!
  • The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir published in March 2020. I will, for this $10 tier and above, I will send you two exclusive chapters!
  • As part of this tier, you can also have a one-hour Zoom session with me asking me questions about writing or mental illness/mental health. 

Bipolar Writer 2nd Mid Tier

In this $15 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! This tier comes with everything in the above tiers. You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student, and writer, who is living with Bipolar One since 2007.

  • The $15 tier, is a special tier that also comes with a personal invitation to my exclusive Patreon community on Discord (which is coming soon!)
  • Also, it will come with other great benefits coming soon that will include a sticker with my logo and other great things coming soon!

The Bipolar Writer Top Tier

In this $25 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with Bipolar One since 2007.

  •  In this top tier, you get everything from the previous tiers.
  • An exclusive look at my upcoming fantasy fiction novel to include character sketches or a look at the first chapter of the novel “The Rise of the Nephilim” or a peek at “Angel on the Ward.”
  • A Signed Copy of The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir (Note: In this tier, you have to be a Patron for three months before I send out the copy. This is to help offset the costs of printing and shipping.)
  • After being in this tier for three month you get an exclusive The Bipolar Writer mug with my logo. (Be sure to have your address on file so that these items get shipped to you.)

The Bipolar Writer Exclusive

  • This is a limited Edition Tier for my Bipolar Writer Maniacs! In this elite $40 tier, you get all the benefits of the previous tiers plus
  • A signed copy of my memoir The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir, and all future publications.
  • Including the publications of any of my short stories.
  • A signed copy of my novella Angel on the Ward. (Coming soon)
  • My Novel Rise of the Nephilim.
  • After being in this tier for three month you get an exclusive The Bipolar Writer mug with my logo and sticker (be sure to have your address on file so that these items get shipped to you.)

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!

Sometimes, You Have to Follow Your Heart

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

There has been a tug of war in the heart and mind of The Bipolar Writer and James Edgar Skye. What is the best way to launch my Patreon account, and how do I get followers there and interested in my work? How to go about launching my ghostwriting business on my author page? How do I find life balance? When do I make time for my own projects? How best to market my memoir so it reaches more people?

These thoughts have been on my mind as summer ticks into mid-July. All my amazing ideas and thoughts have the best chances of moving forward during these months. I am struggling with time distribution and making time for the most important thing–self-care. As a seasoned vet in the field of mental illness experience, I know once I hit around October, things will slow a bit in my life. I want established practices in place so that I can settle in and focus.

One of the things moving forward, I am committing to my life coach for an intense four-month-long trek into improving energy level and learning more about how I can improve me overall. I am excited to begin this process because, as far as I have come in this mental illness life, there is so much more left to work on for James. I am working with Thought Founder of Grounds for Clarity Kim Johnson, whom I collaborated with in the past with my interview about my suicide attempts and how I moved on. 

Many things happened to me this week that made me realize I need to continue to focus on the beginning of my business. I plan to research all weekend to come up with the right pricing for my services on my website, http://www.jamesedgarslye.me, so that I can begin building my LLC. That means coming up with legitimate ghostwriting packages in the creative nonfiction memoir niche, which will be my business moving forward. If you have a memoir idea that you need help writing, I have five years of experience taking a book from concept to publication both in self-publishing and traditional publishing.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Somewhere within the stresses of my day, I lost pieces of me. The peace that comes when my life goals and mental health goals aligning began to get out of whack, and I let the pressures of obligation take over instead of focusing on what is present in the moment. It happens because we are all human at the end of the day.

As for WordPress, you will see some new things here. I have finally put together my little mini-studio, and so look forward to more video blogging alongside my regular written blogs. I am excited about adding this element to my blog. I am working on other improvements in the coming weeks. I am also going to be setting up interviews for my major two-year-long project, “The Many Human Faces and Voices of Mental Illness” (a working title).

I am always hopeful for the future because I can always make adjustments. Commit to working on me and moving forward with my writing. I am at my happiest when I am doing what I love. Creating through writing. If your life me follow your heart. You will question yourself and even have doubts, but your resolve is something that people can’t take away. Stay strong in the fight for better mental health.

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!

Featured Photo by Nicola Fioravanti on Unsplash

The Re-release of “The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir”

I have been working on getting back to this point. I am announcing that once again, The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir is finally available to buy once again on Amazon!

Working on getting my memoir republished all has been a humbling experience. So many hurdles came with republishing my memoir, but I learned a lot throughout the tribulations of these experiences. It is the same with being Bipolar–it is a learning experience. That is the essence of my book!

I will link to my author page below. If you purchased the first version of this book, you would notice that there is a different cover now. I wanted a fresh start with the cover design. I have put my book on Amazon in print and digital, if you want to purchase my book, please do from my author website page because there is a digital version of the old book still on Amazon. There are some old copies in print too, but those will not be under my name. I hope that the end of the week, the other digital copy from my publisher, finally takes off their edition. It takes time. Please purchase my with the cover above with the raven. I will be setting up some special offers for the re-release on Amazon!

Please purchase my memoir from my author website here!

Always Keep Fighting

James

Chapter Sixteen – The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir

To allow people into my book. I am releasing a few chapters here on my blog, as well as my author website, where you can also find blog posts here. This chapter chronicles the “lost years” just after my diagnosis of Bipolar One. You can purchase my book on Amazon here.

Chapter Sixteen: The Lost Year of The Bipolar Writer

THE FIRST THREE YEARS of my diagnosis are what I consider the lost years of my life. There were so many things that went wrong in these years. If I am honest, these years set me back in my mental health recovery. I sometimes hate that my mind wonders to how different I could have been without these lost years. If I had accepted that I was Bipolar and believed that things could change. I don’t know where I would be, but that is a false equivalency, because these years made me better.

I realize what I went through during those lost years, is why things are better now. It took me years to realize this truth. I struggled, went through hell, but somehow, I made it through. It was about a week after my last suicide attempt, when I had just gone through several seizures that I realized my life had to change. When I was laying in that hospital bed, I realized I wasted three years of life. I didn’t really exist in the real world, only the world that I created.

My lost years. I will never get them back. No matter how much I look at the past. I am in a better place in the last three years then the first three in my diagnosis.

In these “lost years,” as I am fond of referencing them as, I was so lost. I couldn’t tell you what day of the week or month it was most days. It was even worse when trying to figure out the year. Time just passed me by, and so did everyone in my life. Isolation became my best friend and at times, I talked very little.

It was endless depression with very little peace. It was the darkest time in my life. My thoughts were often on the fringes of suicidal idealizations. I thought about all the ways I could die through suicide. I was a man without a purpose, or a will to live.

I remember less about the individual days during this time in my life. I spent most of it lying in bed, or on the couch watching movies. It was where I spent almost every second of my time. There were times where, I would play my video games, but the common thing was I was usually in bed.

At one point, I set up a makeshift desk that sat on my bed where I could place a television. I connected my Xbox 360, which always seemed to be on. I could play video games, and then switch to watching an endless supply of movies. I had a ginormous collection of movies on my external hard drive. I surrounded my bed with blankets, to give my living area an aura of complete darkness when I needed it. I rarely slept at night, preferring to rest after an extended 45-50 hour gaming and movie sessions. They always ended in the day for some reason.

I would take my Seroquel then, and sleep for 14 hours. The days meshed into a constant haze of sleep and endless depression. My thoughts were always dark. I didn’t care about life. I had a single light in my bed space. It was my own little self-made prison, but I reveled in the isolation. I would go days and weeks without leaving my dark space and days without showering. I loved my dark place, because it was mine and isolation along, with depression were my friends. What I failed to understand was that it was only making life worse.

I remember I had these goals. It seems stupid now, but back then, these goals were my everything. Any game that I would play, I had to get at least 75% of the Xbox achievements or more of game. For a long time, my score on Xbox live was at 89%. These things mattered in my life when nothing else did. I always remember this, because it was essential to be a real gamer to people. I remember how for a moment, when I could complete every achievement on a game, I felt a glimmer of feeling good about myself. These moments were fleeting.

I was a role-playing gamer. Being a gamer was all that mattered in my world in those first three years. I didn’t care if I ate that day. Or if I drank enough water. When I did eat, it was all the wrong things. I didn’t take care of myself those early years. If I am honest, I never thought I would make it to my twenty-fifth birthday. In some ways, I almost didn’t.

I only left my house when it was trips to the hospital or to see my psychiatrist every month. I remember going to the hospital one time for a severe panic attack. The nurses pumped me full of Ativan because my heart rate (which is always high I found out) wouldn’t go down. I remember this memory because of the nurses. They thought it was remarkable I was still awake given that they had given me so much Ativan. My life was a mess.

I lost so much in those early years. Life passed me by. I didn’t care about anything or anyone outside myself. It showed in the times that my parents had to drag me to the hospital at 2 am, and I didn’t care one bit about how this effected their days. I never once dawned on me that my parents were living in hell too. When these events happened, they still had to go out and work the next day. My family was always waiting for the next drama I would bring.

Most of the people in my life gave up on me. In those early years, I was on my own. Living but not living. No one came to visit with me or to hang out. I was in complete isolation from the world. I wasn’t interested in politics or what was the ‘in fad’ or who was famous. I lived as if there was no tomorrow. It was the only way I could keep my thoughts from spiraling out of control.

It didn’t always work. When I couldn’t distract myself enough, it would mean that it was going to be a bad night. My thoughts consumed me, and the only way to ease the emotional pain was to self-harm. Cutting on my arms became of a way for me to release all the emotional turmoil that tormented me daily.

The blood running down my arms was my release for the few hours that the physical pain would be the only thing on my mind. As time went on, I cut deeper. I stole razor blades and used them until they became dull against my skin. I could live with the physical pain any day. The emotional distress was hell every second of my existence so why not find a release?

Nights were always the hardest. I would cry silent tears, because I couldn’t figure out which way was up in my life. I felt lost and alone. I was alone. Those three years between my first suicide attempt in 2007, and my last were the worst ever. I didn’t live, not like I should have been living.

It became too much as the years pass me by. I never got better, only worse. Cutting became useless. The emotional pain that I put myself through was killing me. I wanted out of this life. What was the point of existing when you don’t live?

It came down to one day in June 2010, where I thought my life would end. But my story, it was just beginning. I didn’t know it at the time. That is how I lived my first three years of my diagnosis.

Always Keep Fighting

James Edgar Skye

How My Experiences Changed the Life of Someone Else and Me in the Process

I have wanted to share this experience since November of 2019, but the timing has never been right. Things happen in this life, and the truly amazing things tend to go by the wayside.

This is a story about how my book actually helped someone. I will reference this person as them or they to preserve their identity. This human saw one of my posts about how excited I was about the release with the original publisher of my book, The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir. They had been a follower but at a distance for about a year. They never commented on my blog post, but they liked the blog posts not only from myself but also from my many contributors. 

From what they told me, for years, they were struggling in silence with their illness. They had decided long ago that they would not share their stories with anyone that were in their lives. Even writing anonymously on a blog like I do here as James Edgar Skye. They wanted to share, but they were scared to do so because of one thing, the stigma. What would other people think?

Now I corresponded with this person through email. Even then, they decided to email me through an anonymous email with a fictitious name, which is not uncommon in the mental illness community. They decided to share their story with me. The first time in years, they reached out to some, me, and it was an enormous responsibility. Still, being someone that a person can reach out to is something I now live for because I love being a mental health advocate.

Photo by Adrià Tormo on Unsplash

I could not believe their story, and what truly got to me was that they read my book, and it was life-changing. Here I was, James Edgar Skye, so open about my mental illness, my suicide attempts, and even my experiences with self-harm.

I wrote my memoir to show people that they can share their stories, and it helped someone. They decided afterward to seek help, something that I was ecstatic about because they were so afraid before. It was a trying experience for them, but in the end, it has been a fantastic experience. They reached out yesterday and gave me an update. After some therapy they reached out to their parents and told them about their mental illness diagnosis. They were understanding, and though they did not fully understand, she gave them my book. It helped them.

The best thing in my life is this blog and what it has done for people.

If I never sell another one of my books, it would suck there is so much that I want my writing to be, and helping people come to grips with their mental illness is the greatest gift I can give. But, if I never sold another book, well, then I helped one person. That is something I will always cherish. With that said, I would love to help more people. I will continue to work towards that goal by getting my book out there into the world. Now that I have self-published my book, I have more control.

I wanted to share this story because it really made my day. There is more to this story, but I am sure you get the idea. Anyway, as always, stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James

You can always purchase my book here, on my author page.

Or visit me on my author website: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me

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My Demon Said To Me

Broken and alone
Chilled to the bone
Confused, spinning
From the chorus in my home
‘You’re not enough
You’re not enough
You can’t do it on your own’

I concede
I give in
Okay, I’ll listen
I must admit
I’ve come to love
The way the cold blade glistens

But when I close my eyes to go
Among those who
Took fate by the throat
Something whispers
Soft and slow

I tilt my head
To lean in to the muse
And my demon says
No one can hurt you

As long as I’m here…no one can hurt you.