Victoria’s Interview Feature

At times our journey to discover what is wrong with us can be a hard one, and it can go unnoticed for a time. Then we experience something that changes everything in our lives. That’s what it is was like for Victoria, a young woman from the Midwest— Indiana. Victoria’s journey begins with her official diagnosis— Vaginismus.

You can find more about the signs and symptoms of vaginismus in Victoria’s blog Girl With the Paw Print Tattoo.

A Struggle With Vaginismus, Anxiety, & Depression

The ride to discovery can me be a hard one, and it is never easy. It usually is a difficult one— and it was no different for Victoria’s journey. Victoria‘s official diagnosis is vaginismus. It occurred the first time her freshman year of College.

“After having sex for the first time. I discovered excruciating pain that went along with it,” she explains. “I did a Google search, and “vaginismus” came up.”

It was difficult for Victoria to understand, and for the months that followed, she hid it from the world. It wasn’t until a session with her therapist that she brought up the pain. It was Victoria‘s therapist that convinced her to seek real medical help.

”My first gynecologist knew I struggled with pain during examinations. Yet, they never addressed it. Now, when I say ‘struggled’ I mean I was held down on the table by two nurses as I cried. I shook uncontrollably whenever she examined me.”

It was a horrible experience for Victoria. At times her gynecologist couldn’t examine her because her PC muscles blocked her. It was still never addressed, and it continued to be a problem in her life. It finally took Victoria approaching her doctor and telling her that she had the condition.

Her response was, “Oh that makes sense! I always thought you never liked exams.”

When you receive a diagnosis such as vaginismus, it can be a daunting and an exhausting process. Over the years, Victoria has gone through so many doctors, gynecologists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and physical therapists.

“I was given a set of dilators and told yo use them daily. I was never given instructions on how to use them. This is typical.”

As with any diagnosis, it usually morphs into other issues in your life. Factors like problems in Victoria’s personal life helped fuel a new struggle with depression. In her freshman year in college, depression became a part of her diagnosis. Victoria was randomly selected to take a test in the Psychology Department in her college. It was the results of this test that the Professor, a therapist and the Head of Psychology Department, called Victoria into his office.

“It was the most nerve-wracking experience of my life,“ she explains. “I knew I was a mess, but I had to pretend I was fine. I walked into the room full of sunshine, and played it cool.”

It worked as Victoria confused the room. The results of her test made it seem that it would be impossible to get out of bed most days. They were shocked that the individual that took that test was before them. Victoria, like so many of us who first experience depression, laughed her depression off.

alec-douglas-261933.jpg

It was a futile thing to do, and on a break from school when Victoria went home, she went to a family doctor. Victoria got her official diagnosis of Depression. Victoria resisted her doctor’s recommendation to take medication and chose a route without anti-depressants.

“It wasn’t until recently that I began to see a psychiatrist. I now have been prescribed a variety of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. It’s crazy to think that it’s officially been one full year on meds.”

Anxiety is another side effect of her diagnosis. Victoria contends that she has always lived with generalized anxiety disorder. She learned to adapt throughout her life. It was her therapist in her freshman that gave her the official diagnosis of anxiety.

“To be honest, I don‘t remember what it was like before these diagnoses,” Victoria recalls. “I remember one memory of being completely blissful, and that when I was very young. I was outside in the backyard; the grass was extremely green, and the sun was shining brighter than it ever had. I would twirl around, and swing on the swing set smiling as I breathed in the crisp air. If I close my eyes, I can still smell the grass and the air and the sunshine on my face. I was fearless. I was free. I was innocent. I was happy.”

What is the Hardest Part for Victoria?

In Victoria’s life living with vaginismus is the hardest thing she has to deal with each day. The depression is a side effect of vaginismus, and she has found ways to make the anxiety not a big part of her life.

“With vaginismus, and therefore depression, It is feeling worthless and abnormal,” she explains. I feel like everything is my fault, and I’m a huge failure when it comes to relationships.”

Victoria worries that she has set her fiancé back when it comes to relationships. It is often the feeling for Victoria that vaginismus holds her back from enjoying her life. For Victoria, it feels as if life is passing her by.

“It’s not living. This, of course, is my biggest fear.”

Triggers are what Victoria struggles the most each day. One of the hardest triggers for her is to be alone in her apartment. Trying to relax alone can be a hard thing for Victoria. The negative thoughts and emotional turmoil can be consuming. Victoria at times has good days, and she is able to move on with her day. It’s the nights that can be the most difficult.

“Every night is difficult for me because I so desperately want to be intimate with my fiancé but can’t,” she explains. “This only intensifies my depression.”

6EFE1EFC-515B-400F-9359-4143652C1355

It doesn’t help Victoria’s cause that depression and anxiety often set her back. She can remember a time before her anxiety medication where she was afraid to hang out with people. The fear of driving and being in large crowds frightened Victoria. It was fearful to even drive for her.

Luckily for Victoria, those days of fearing her anxiety have passed. Depression still haunts her every day. Those days where she wanted to stay in bed all day, she gets up and tries to go about her day.

”I find that tears sometimes swell in my eyes for no reason. I must wipe them away. I realize that I suck at communication with others because I’m not even thinking about anything other than my own thoughts. It makes me feel terrible and guilty. I worry that I am a terrible friend and partner.”

Victoria Wants to Share This With the Mental Illness Community

The one thing Victoria wants to share with the readers of this article is this. Not to judge individuals so quickly.

“You have no idea what they are going through in their life,” Victoria explains. “You have no idea what their daily struggles might be. Also, for those of you dealing with the same struggles, just know that you are never alone. Some days are harder than others, but you will get through this.”

Learning From the Blogging Experience

Within the confines of her blog, it has helped Victoria sort through her emotions. In a very constructive way. What helps is being able to sit down and talk about her mental illness and conditions. He blog is like writing a journal that you share with others. The people that follow her blog can empathize and relate to what Victoria is going through.

“I also love how blogging shares awareness. It makes me feel good inside to talk about vaginismus and shed light on this condition to the community. Hopefully, it will one day go further than just blogging about it.”

Ending on a Positive Note

There are things in our lives that make life worth living. For Victoria, it is her fiancé and the possibilities of beautiful adventures. Like traveling the world.

It has been a unique experience to share Victoria’s continuing journey with vaginismus, depression, and anxiety. I came across Victoria’s blog, and it was amazing to see how someone who has been through so much can be so open. She can still shed light on her illness and help others with her blog. It was my pleasure to write this feature article about Victoria.

I hope every person reading this article knows that each of us struggles in our own way. Victoria and The Bipolar Writer are of one mind when she says not to judge people for their struggles. When this happens, some battles stay hidden, and that is all bad. I wish nothing but positivity as Victoria continues her journey.

You can find Victoria’s blog Here.

Interviewee: Victoria

Author James Edgar Skye

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

Photo Credit: Featured Image and other images of her are from Victoria’s collection.

Other Photos:unsplash-logoAlec Douglas

Patreon & Changes

The best thing in this mental health life is that you can always turn the page on your mental illness.

I recently dealt with an impressive mixed episode throughout two very rough days, but the sun always comes up, and I take comfort in that reality.

Something New… Patreon

That brings me to something I have been working on all week and I want to officially launch it on The Bipolar Writer blog–my official Patreon account.

http://www.patreon.com/jamesedgarskye

Here is what Patreon is according to their Website:


For creators
, Patreon is a way to get paid for creating the things you’re already creating (webcomics, videos, songs, whatevs). Fans pay a few bucks per month OR per post you release, and then you get paid every month, or every time you release something new. Learn more about becoming a creator on Patreon.

For patrons, Patreon is a way to join your favorite creator’s community and pay them for making the stuff you love. Instead of literally throwing money at your screen (trust us, that doesn’t work), you can now pay a few bucks per month or per post that a creator makes.  For example, if you pay $2 per video, and the creator releases 3 videos in February, then your card gets charged a total of $6 that month.  This means the creator gets paid regularly (every time she releases something new), and you become a bonafide, real-life patron of the arts.  That’s right–Imagine you, in a long frilly white wig, painted on a 10-foot canvas on the wall of a Victorian mansion.  And imagine your favorite creators making a living doing what they do best… because of you.

http://www.patreon.com/jamesedgarskye

What Patreon Means to The Bipolar Writer?

My goal in my Patreon account is for me to connect with my followers to a point where they become a part of the experience. I have created tiers on my Patreon account that give a patron a level of access to my writing that has never before been seen.

I want to be able to write full-time, and this idea, using patrons that have access to my work monthly work through a subscription service can help me achieve some significant goals. The first goal is to pay for a legit editor for The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir. I am going to self-publish, but I want this book to reach every person possible. That means releasing the best work possible.

A second goal for creating a Patreon account is to start new projects. I am planning on starting a mental health podcast with fellow advocate because she has very unique perspectives on her mental health. I want to be able to share the stories of others much like my interview series.

That leads me to the next goal, writing a book on different members of the community much like Humans of New York with a focus on the many faces of mental illness. There are so many more things I want to do to spread the word and end the stigma, and I think Patreon will allow me to reach these goals.

The most basic tier is $2. If half of the fantastic people here on The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog sign up, I can begin to reach new levels in my writing.

http://www.patreon.com/jamesedgarskye

Changes to The Bipolar Writer Blog

There have been some changes to the blog already in place. The business level allows me to add new tools to get our message out to a better audience.

I will admit, I am not the best at making everything work, so I am looking for someone with experience that can take the plug-ins that come with the business level and make everything better. There will be an upcoming store soon which the goal here is to help others sell their work through this blog (I am still working on this.) There will be changes in the coming weeks and I will keep you updated. Stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James

A Final Push – My GoFundme Campaign

I wanted to say first, thank you all to those who have already donated towards upgrading The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog to the business level. There have been some fantastic large donations and also amaing small donations that have brought us closer, but we are still not quite there–as of today we have made over 300 dollars, which is really amazing! I think this final push will help us finally achieve our goal.

Always Keep Fighting!

What is the Goal?

The next level. Upgrading The Bipolar Writer blog to the business level for the next year and a half. This will give the blog more options on getting the collaborative work out there into the world. I also want a place where authors can showcase and sell their work on here (I am working on how this will be possible.) At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is to spread the stories and experiences of those in the mental illness blogging community with the world and end the stigma.

https://www.gofundme.com/rasing-to-upgrade-the-bipolar-writer-blog

This blog has always been self-funded by my own money, but the community has also helped me with funding from time to time. Every penny that I raise is going towards this blog and spreading the many stories that feature on this blog. It takes just small donations (significant donations are also welcome) and with the 11,100 plus followers of this blog donating 2-3 dollars we can finally reach the goal! The final goal will be $425. 

You can also help my spreading the word by clicking the reblog button or sharing this blog post on twitter or facebook.

My GoFundme

https://www.gofundme.com/rasing-to-upgrade-the-bipolar-writer-blog

There are other ways to donate

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 $2.00 (you can decide how much based on the number of donations, so 3 times would be 2 x 3 and you would donate six dollars.) 

Venmo – 831-287-4369

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

That is it. I am hoping to raise enough money by this weekend. 

James Edgar Skye

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

unsplash-logorawpixel

Thank you! 7,000 Followers!

It is a great feeling to reach another milestone for The Bipolar Writer blog– 7,000 Followers. When I started this blog about eleven months ago, I had no idea where it could go. There were ideas in my head of where this mental health blog could go, but it turned out to be the most fantastic experience. From this blog, I was able to write my memoir and create a collaborative blog that others struggling with mental illness could find a place of solace writing for this blog.

F81B65CC-B430-47E7-AED6-9AE057ADB40C

In honor of this fantastic occasion, I will be opening up more spots on my collaborative writer positions, and giving more access to those current writers already on the roster. If you are interested in becoming a mental health/mental illness collaborator on this blog, please email me @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com.

Again thank you!

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit: Aaron Burden

Victoria’s Interview Feature

At times our journey to discover what is wrong with us can be a hard one, and it can go unnoticed for a time. Then we experience something that changes everything in our lives. That’s what it is was like for Victoria, a young woman from the Midwest— Indiana. Victoria’s journey begins with her official diagnosis— Vaginismus.

You can find more about the signs and symptoms of vaginismus in Victoria’s blog Girl With the Paw Print Tattoo.

A Struggle With Vaginismus, Anxiety, & Depression

The ride to discovery can me be a hard one, and it is never easy. It usually is a difficult one— and it was no different for Victoria’s journey. Victoria‘s official diagnosis is vaginismus. It occurred the first time her freshman year of College.

“After having sex for the first time. I discovered excruciating pain that went along with it,” she explains. “I did a Google search, and “vaginismus” came up.”

It was difficult for Victoria to understand, and for the months that followed, she hid it from the world. It wasn’t until a session with her therapist that she brought up the pain. It was Victoria‘s therapist that convinced her to seek real medical help.

”My first gynecologist knew I struggled with pain during examinations. Yet, they never addressed it. Now, when I say ‘struggled’ I mean I was held down on the table by two nurses as I cried. I shook uncontrollably whenever she examined me.”

It was a horrible experience for Victoria. At times her gynecologist couldn’t examine her because her PC muscles blocked her. It was still never addressed, and it continued to be a problem in her life. It finally took Victoria approaching her doctor and telling her that she had the condition.

Her response was, “Oh that makes sense! I always thought you never liked exams.”

When you receive a diagnosis such as vaginismus, it can be a daunting and an exhausting process. Over the years, Victoria has gone through so many doctors, gynecologists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and physical therapists.

“I was given a set of dilators and told yo use them daily. I was never given instructions on how to use them. This is typical.”

As with any diagnosis, it usually morphs into other issues in your life. Factors like problems in Victoria’s personal life helped fuel a new struggle with depression. In her freshman year in college, depression became a part of her diagnosis. Victoria was randomly selected to take a test in the Psychology Department in her college. It was the results of this test that the Professor, a therapist and the Head of Psychology Department, called Victoria into his office.

“It was the most nerve-wracking experience of my life,“ she explains. “I knew I was a mess, but I had to pretend I was fine. I walked into the room full of sunshine, and played it cool.”

It worked as Victoria confused the room. The results of her test made it seem that it would be impossible to get out of bed most days. They were shocked that the individual that took that test was before them. Victoria, like so many of us who first experience depression, laughed her depression off.

alec-douglas-261933.jpg

It was a futile thing to do, and on a break from school when Victoria went home, she went to a family doctor. Victoria got her official diagnosis of Depression. Victoria resisted her doctor’s recommendation to take medication and chose a route without anti-depressants.

“It wasn’t until recently that I began to see a psychiatrist. I now have been prescribed a variety of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. It’s crazy to think that it’s officially been one full year on meds.”

Anxiety is another side effect of her diagnosis. Victoria contends that she has always lived with generalized anxiety disorder. She learned to adapt throughout her life. It was her therapist in her freshman that gave her the official diagnosis of anxiety.

“To be honest, I don‘t remember what it was like before these diagnoses,” Victoria recalls. “I remember one memory of being completely blissful, and that when I was very young. I was outside in the backyard; the grass was extremely green, and the sun was shining brighter than it ever had. I would twirl around, and swing on the swing set smiling as I breathed in the crisp air. If I close my eyes, I can still smell the grass and the air and the sunshine on my face. I was fearless. I was free. I was innocent. I was happy.”

What is the Hardest Part for Victoria?

In Victoria’s life living with vaginismus is the hardest thing she has to deal with each day. The depression is a side effect of vaginismus, and she has found ways to make the anxiety not a big part of her life.

“With vaginismus, and therefore depression, It is feeling worthless and abnormal,” she explains. I feel like everything is my fault, and I’m a huge failure when it comes to relationships.”

Victoria worries that she has set her fiancé back when it comes to relationships. It is often the feeling for Victoria that vaginismus holds her back from enjoying her life. For Victoria, it feels as if life is passing her by.

“It’s not living. This, of course, is my biggest fear.”

Triggers are what Victoria struggles the most each day. One of the hardest triggers for her is to be alone in her apartment. Trying to relax alone can be a hard thing for Victoria. The negative thoughts and emotional turmoil can be consuming. Victoria at times has good days, and she is able to move on with her day. It’s the nights that can be the most difficult.

“Every night is difficult for me because I so desperately want to be intimate with my fiancé but can’t,” she explains. “This only intensifies my depression.”

6EFE1EFC-515B-400F-9359-4143652C1355

It doesn’t help Victoria’s cause that depression and anxiety often set her back. She can remember a time before her anxiety medication where she was afraid to hang out with people. The fear of driving and being in large crowds frightened Victoria. It was fearful to even drive for her.

Luckily for Victoria, those days of fearing her anxiety have passed. Depression still haunts her every day. Those days where she wanted to stay in bed all day, she gets up and tries to go about her day.

”I find that tears sometimes swell in my eyes for no reason. I must wipe them away. I realize that I suck at communication with others because I’m not even thinking about anything other than my own thoughts. It makes me feel terrible and guilty. I worry that I am a terrible friend and partner.”

Victoria Wants to Share This With the Mental Illness Community

The one thing Victoria wants to share with the readers of this article is this. Not to judge individuals so quickly.

“You have no idea what they are going through in their life,” Victoria explains. “You have no idea what their daily struggles might be. Also, for those of you dealing with the same struggles, just know that you are never alone. Some days are harder than others, but you will get through this.”

Learning From the Blogging Experience

Within the confines of her blog, it has helped Victoria sort through her emotions. In a very constructive way. What helps is being able to sit down and talk about her mental illness and conditions. He blog is like writing a journal that you share with others. The people that follow her blog can empathize and relate to what Victoria is going through.

“I also love how blogging shares awareness. It makes me feel good inside to talk about vaginismus and shed light on this condition to the community. Hopefully, it will one day go further than just blogging about it.”

Ending on a Positive Note

There are things in our lives that make life worth living. For Victoria, it is her fiancé and the possibilities of beautiful adventures. Like traveling the world.

It has been a unique experience to share Victoria’s continuing journey with vaginismus, depression, and anxiety. I came across Victoria’s blog, and it was amazing to see how someone who has been through so much can be so open. She can still shed light on her illness and help others with her blog. It was my pleasure to write this feature article about Victoria.

I hope every person reading this article knows that each of us struggles in our own way. Victoria and The Bipolar Writer are of one mind when she says not to judge people for their struggles. When this happens, some battles stay hidden, and that is all bad. I wish nothing but positivity as Victoria continues her journey.

You can find Victoria’s blog Here.

Interviewee: Victoria

Author James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit: Featured Image and other images of her are from Victoria’s collection.

Other Photos:unsplash-logoAlec Douglas

Guest Posts on The Bipolar Writer Blog

Guest Blog Posts for Mental Health Awareness Month

2E69648B-8E2E-4095-A2B4-982A0C7731C6.jpeg

I know its the 11th of March and I should have done this sooner, but I wanted to open up some guest spots on my blog for the rest of the month. What does it mean to guest blog on The Bipolar Writer blog? Well, it’s simple, and here are the required things that I want from my guest bloggers.

  • Original content on any topic of mental health, mental illness, or mental health awareness.
    • You can talk about the stigma of mental illness.
    • Anything related to mental illness will be accepted. It can be a poem, a short story, or simply an article about an mental health topic.
  • Edited and proofread content
  • A link to your blog
  • At least a featured image for the post (but the more pictures you chose makes for a more exciting blog post.
  • (Optional) Name connected to post

It is that simple. I want to stress the importance of proofreading the piece that you submit. I will at times proofread an article given to me as a guest blog, but I am often busy.

If you would like to guest blog merely send all the required information above to my email address @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com

I look forward to seeing what my fellow bloggers offer regarding exciting pieces for mental health awareness month.

Let’s fight the stigma surrounding mental illness together!

James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit: https://www.pituitaryworldnews.org/may-is-mental-health-awareness-month/