I wrote this poem on April 3, 2015. I was in a dark place. I was close to suicide for the first time since 2010. I had been mourning my grandfather and my life was in a bad place. I was in the depression cycle that started in the summer of 2014 and didn’t end until the summer of 2015. I haven’t had a depression cycle quite as long as this cycle.
This poem is one of my more darker free thought poems. I just wrote what I was feeling.
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My Darkest Depression
I know it has been a long while… I have been lost. Depressed. And even tittering on the edges of suicidal thoughts.
It has really just been that way. I am so afraid. So afraid of what could happen. What might happen? The truth? I am going down a road that I may never come back from again. It scares me to death. I know the signs and yet here I am. Afraid. I am really just a mess so much lately. Most nights I really want to cry.
So I cry myself to sleep. Wishing. Wishing that I don’t wake the next day. Yet, here I am. Awake again. Another day. More struggles. I often think that God hates me. That I hate myself so much that God has given up on me. Let’s face it, I would give up on me. It is a wonder that no one wants anything to do with me.
Is there something I can do, probably not. My life is this mess, the mess I created. The Chaos.
It’s not gonna change—I tell myself that every night. It has become me, my past is present. It might be my future. What does all this mean anymore? I continue to perish in the darkness. Forever. Darkness, my best friend, and worst enemy. Depression my familiar companion, you never leave me.
This will be coming out of the left field. I know I should have been marketing this book more here and in other places. Tomorrow should be, barring any more setbacks, the release of Angel on the Ward, a novella by James Edgar Skye!
Here is a sneak peak!
Life. Death. We have the power in us to take our life away, and James tried that with his own. Here is the thing. When you survive suicide, the aftermath devastates the survivor psychologically. For James, it landed him in a psychiatric ward with a fresh new diagnosis. The mysterious Angel appears on the ward with all the answers. James struggles with his dark passenger taking the wheel with Angel as his guide to the darkness. His world will be forever changed by a dream, but what does that mean? James will find out. So will you in Angel on the Ward.
The book deals with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, diagnosis, life on the ward, suicide, self-harm, and other important topics that I thought could fit in about 130 plus pages and 35K words. It is action-packed, and I consider it a psychological thriller within the mental illness realm. It is written in my normal third-person omniscient from the main character. It was initially a short story I wrote when I began my bachelor’s degree.
You can find all my books on my author’s website, including the new novella. I hope to get everything cleared by tonight, including adding the novella and where but it to James’ book corner. If everything works out accordingly, I will be releasing the novella on the first anniversary of my mom’s passing, December 15th, tomorrow! Tomorrow will be a filled day as I plan on releasing my next Podcast episode as well, where I discuss how the last year has been, the things that I have done, and how I am dealing with the grief. It will be about tomorrow and my experience on the 6th, which marked the first anniversary of my mother’s stroke and the last time that I got to talk to her in person.
With that said, I hope that if you are a fan of my work, you are willing to purchase the book either on kindle unlimited or paperback (which I would love the most!) There will be more to come after the release about possibly selling the book on my website alongside my memoir, and looking out for a future post about getting a copy of the book in exchange for good or bad reviews does not matter to me. My writing so far is about word of mouth, so please share this post if you can on social media and WordPress. Help a struggling writer continue to do what he loves!
In the episode, I got the honor of interviewing Bri, a mental health advocate and a blogger. In the interview, she tells us about her mental illness and shares her journey from its origins to today, where she deals with a plethora of diagnoses daily. We discuss how the pandemic has changed mental illness, how she deals with medications, the different diagnoses, the people in her life that make her happy, and what she thinks about the stigma surrounding mental illness, including borderline personality disorder. You can find Bri on her blog The babbles of an Unquiet Mind. The address for the blog is here.
I wanted to preface this poem with a “trigger warning,” this is a poem I wrote about suicide and depression recently, at this time I am NOT depressed or suicidal. But, this poem could trigger those feelings, so please read only if you are in a safe place. This free-verse poem was written during a poetry class in my last semester of my bachelor’s degree. It was my raw feelings when I was suicidal turned into a poem, please enjoy. I will link the other poem I posted recently.
It has been a long while. I am lost in my darkest contemplations. Sinking, unable to breathe. “I’m Depressed,” there I admit it. Teetering, on the edges of the blackest of thoughts— suicide. The darkness serves as my safe and unsafe place. “I am always here for you,” says the darkness— it is far away in the distance, but I hear its cry. Fearful of this darkness I let the thoughts of the end consume, afraid of what could happen. What might happen? What will happen? This winding road is leading me to the point of no return. The darkness laughs, and it moves closer in the distance.
My thoughts seek the out the painful memories, and the thoughts missile into my consciousness. Afraid. So Afraid of losing myself. My life is a mess, a black hole of endless despair. At night I lay my head down— wanting to cry, and so I cry myself to sleep. “Yes, my friend, give in. You belong here with those who lose themselves.
Wishing. Waiting. Wanting. This will be my last day, nevermore. Awake. Alone. Again. Another day lost in the darkness, it consumes my inner soul.
God hates me for what I have become, I hate myself so much that God— he has given up on me. Let’s face it, my hope evaporated long ago, it is a wonder that no one in my life wants anything to do with this lost soul. “I am here for you—always,” the darkness tells me. Can I fight this— is there something I can do? Probably not. My life is this mess. The Chaos. I created a monster inside me.
The darkness begins to consume, first my mind— and then my body. The darkness is just outside my door, it tells me this is the right thing. “Death is just mean to an end— the end of the infinite agony,” he tells me. “Give in, your life is not worth living. Give in, it will be painless.” Thoughts devour any shred of hope. The darkness wants to win. It just might.
I find myself on edge again— a familiar place, but this time it is different. I lay out the pills tidily in front of me. Counting. Thinking. “Yes,” exclaims the darkness, “this is who you are now.” How many sleeping pills does it take to sleep forever? This becomes routine— a nightly ritual that never changes. I tell myself every night, this is the night. “You must do this now,” the darkness hovers just beside me, “this is your destiny.” A flood of my past consumes my present. There is no future.
What does life mean anymore? I continue to perish in sinking into darkness. Forever. Darkness, my best friend— and worst enemy. Depression my frequent companion, never leaving me. My darkest depression. Will I give in?
I am doing something unorthodox today here on The Bipolar Writer. I hope that I have created a place where my fellow mental health sufferers can have a “safe place” to discuss their own issues. I often get emails from many who are seeking help or guidance or just want to talk about things. I want everyone who comes to this blog to know that if you are suicidal there is always someone here, I am always here to talk.
The unorthodox part is that today I am going to give my number to my followers if you are suicidal and you don’t want to reach out to help-lines (I have learned recently that they are not always great.) So, if you need to chat you can text me anytime. I will get back to you as soon as humanly possible. As a mental health advocate and someone who has been through the worst parts of mental illness alone, I want you to know I am a lifeline.
You are not alone. Suicide is not the answer. Again, I am always here to talk anytime.
I wanted to open this blog post with a disclaimer, I am not an expert in life coaching or any realm of psychology and therapy. I will always come from someone who shares his experience with mental illness and what comes along with what I am learning through life coaching and reading. So, what is detachment? Well, let us turn to Eckhart Tolle for a great quote.
When you are detached, you gain a higher vantage point from which to view the events in your life instead of being trapped inside them. – Eckhart Tolle
Over the past almost two weeks now, I have experienced complete attachment from events causing massive negative and depressive issues in my life. When I decided to detach from the event, seeing my life as Eckhart said, my life was surreal from a different vantage point. I was trapped inside these events so bad that self-doubts, self-loathing, negative thoughts, and dare I say some thoughts of giving up on life.
I will be vague about the event in the sense that I will share an event that was troubling me a lot because of the negative feelings I was associating with this person. It was my feelings that were driving a wedge between myself and this person. What did detaching myself from the situation do for me? It gave me a chance to shift my perspective. See the event from a different vantage point. I went into the event with an open mind. I noticed what was triggering me and bothering me was my ego trying to take hold of the situation. I chose positive intentions over negative ones. I detached entirely from the event and went in with just the facts. I came out with a better understanding that there is a different way of approaching an event with negative connotations or anytime that I feel the ego awakening (again, please read Eckhart Tolle to fully understand.)
Something my life coach told me–take consistent action. It makes so much sense now when I apply it to my life. Since my mom’s loss in December, I have felt like the punching bag of everyone that comes into my life, but in truth, I was playing the victim identity card. I allowed depression to be an excuse for my lack of energy or feeling like general crap. Depression is an emotion, but it can be a part of what is going on without controlling you. For the first time in forever, it seems my depression hit a ONE. I am not sure of the time or if this ever actually happened before.
What shifted? Everything. My approach. My attitude. Checking my ego at the door. Allowing detachment to give me a higher vantage point that I needed to look at the event. It is something that can and will be replicated in my life. I am tired of being the person that hides from the problems and events because I am here to tell you, they will continue to keep coming up in this life. So I leave you with hope. Change the narrative. Detach from the event. You will feel better for it. As always, stay strong in the fight.
Vulnerability. When we think about being vulnerable in the now, at this moment, it can be a scary thing. When you open up about what is going on in your life, you want nothing but the good vibes to be shared while you are hiding the pain. In this mental illness life, or just in life, we can’t afford to hide, and I have been doing that a lot lately from this blog. So I am going to be vulnerable to you, my readers. I have been in pain, mentally, and emotionally. That’s okay. Depression. Yes, it has been my friend and confidant lately. That is okay.
I have wanted to reach out to you, but I worried about what people will think. I’ve come so far. Things are good in my life. How can I be struggling? It is the fear of having something to lose that stopped me. When you have nothing to lose by sharing your life in a place such as this blog, then you gain so much. Writing is my center. It is what makes me who I am today and will be in the future. I am allowed, you are allowed, and we are allowed to feel the pain that comes with emotions. That means you are doing something about your feelings when you feel the feels. There is nothing wrong with opening up in a blog post, to a friend, or even as my life coach would say to a stranger that something is wrong. I was so afraid of the stigma that I again became a part of the problem in my fight against the mental illness stigma.
I felt so lost. That is okay because I can find my way out. If you feel the same way I did about being vulnerable, know that holding that pain in, it just festers to a point where you can feel stressed, depressed, and for me, there was a moment where I thought of suicide. My thoughts became, “but The Bipolar Writer, who advocates against suicide, had a suicidal thought.” That is okay because I am only human, so are you. I was able to take those emotions and flip them deciding to allow them space. I detached (more about detachment in a later post). These feelings and emotions might be a part of me, but I can say with honesty that allowing them to be can be freeing. Feel the feels, because we are allowed to feel this way. I lost that at some point, and now I am saying no more.
By allowing vulnerability in our lives, we shed the masks and the identities that come with this idea in society that we should always be happy about life. There is always someone else that has it worse, right? While that may be true, it does not make my pain or yours any less important. Being vulnerable, how I was when I first began this blog, was how I could use writing as my tool to fight. This past week I have doubted myself, felt sorry for myself, felt a level of self-loathing that was amazing, felt like giving up my dreams, and so much anger at what life was throwing at me. As if the universe owed me something for my past pain. I caught myself saying, why me? I felt a selfish twinge at every little slight. Do you know where that got me? Caught in a web of more pain that only made me more depressed at the end of each day.
Something my life coach told me makes sense, and I want to impart it to you. If you are feeling these feelings towards someone, it means that you are feeling the same thing. There comes the point in anger, resentment, and even fear when you have to point the finger at someone else because its easier to blame everyone else for what is going wrong in your life. I have done that a lot recently. You can also point it back at yourself and see your reflection. You are feeling the anger, frustration, and triggers you are putting on someone else. No one deserves that to happen to them.
I got caught up in the idea that someone in my position can’t be vulnerable. That is crap because vulnerability can mean real change can happen. I am always growing, and it has been through life coach that this has been possible to be vulnerable again. If you are looking to invest in yourself, please reach out to email@example.com and ask for Kim. Tell her I sent you or not. It matters not because if your feeling like its time for a change, she is the life coach for you.
I will be more open and writing here daily again like it once was for this blog. Lead by example, but also, it is healing to be vulnerable. I will share what is going on in my life. Even when things are going good or bad, it is also going on in other peoples lives. I share because I would rather feel the vulnerability than to feel like giving up. That was the old James. I have said goodbye to many identities (read Eckhart Tolle to better understand this), and I still have a few more. Stay strong in the fight.
Since day one of the inception of The Bipolar Writer blog I had a plan of how things were going to go on my blog. When I hit 2,000 followers the plan was to start a series of interviews of other members of the mental illness community. It was amazing to finally start my interview series where I feature the stories of others. It’s been successful so far.
I am close to another milestone for my blog and I am looking towards the future of my blog as I near 15,000 followers, I am looking to add more contributors to blog because the stories of others is important to me. These contributors roles are as follows according to WordPress:
Contributor – has no publishing or uploading capability, but can write and edit their own posts until they are published.
I am only looking for contributor writers at this moment. What I do is add you to my blog as a contributor. All I need is to add your email. You can write about any subject about mental illness. You pick the categories and the post must have a featured picture. I will have the final say on if it gets published. If you become a regular contributor, I will change your status to the rank of author:
Author – can write, upload photos to, edit, and publish their own posts.
If you are interested please email me at JamesEdgarSkye22@gmail.com
I am really excited to expand to allow more contributor writers on my blog. I think it will help to get different stories and blog posts on different topics within the mental health community. It’s an opportunity to continue the growth of The Bipolar Writer brand, and really talk about the issues as we fight to end the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Blogging will always have a special place in my heart, as it was here, within the confines of this blog, that I found my place with my writing. I found a group of people with like-minded ideas about sharing the stories of mental illness. The encouragement I got allowed me to write my memoir. I wonder, though, will I always be able to write here or will a time come that I will move on.
I think that is why I am pushing so hard lately to get a great list of authors on the website to always have words written here. I don’t mind paying the yearly fee to keep this blog going if it is still a safe place for mental illness/mental health advocacy writers to call it home. If I can swell the number to fifty members to end 2020, it might be the perfect storm where this blog goes on without me.
Where is this coming from? I have been dealing with stress more in 2020 than at any other time in my life. I know everyone is dealing with anxiety, depression, and stress. The list is probably longer than that if I am honest. For me, it is many things at once. Starting my business. Finishing my Master’s degree. Publishing my novella. Writing projects and writing this blog. Going through Life Coaching while still trying to find the confidence in my writing. Then, of course, losing my mom. Almost a year has gone by. How do I deal with that in December? My hope is to not be a mess.
I love what I have created here, and for the foreseeable, I will continue to write as much as humanly possible so that things will be in the right place in my life. The need to share my story continues here, and the magnetic pull is still here. Writing blog posts is my center, and it helps me continue throughout my day, so a baseline would be an accurate account of why I still write here. When that day comes when I am ready to move on, then I will. There is too much as stake to give up this space for good because the mental illness stories we share help fight mental health stigma. Perhaps someone reading this post will find their place among the writers here. Stay strong in the fight.
I know we are just rounding into Fall from the summer, and winter is still on the horizon. Whenever I talk about SAD for some reason, I always think like a geek that “Winter is coming.” Watching Game of Thornes always reminded me that the seasonal affective disorder part of my diagnosis is real in the winter months. These are the months that I struggle most, and in an ordinary world, I could handle it. We live in a COVID-19 “new normal,” and I worry about those who will be struggling more than usual.
For myself, it will be some rough months. I have my mom’s one-year griefversary of her passing. I will use what I learned, including detached emotions, to deal with, but I will have days. This time around, I have a plan. People who care and I can reach out to when things become muddled. I am going to allow the depression that comes to have its space in my life. Why let it control me? I have for many years, and that has gotten me nowhere good. The seasonal affective disorder is real, and I usually suffer from October to about May. It has been better the last, and I have better tools to deal with it this year.
So much is happening in our world. We have to remember that our mental health is more important than what is going on in the news or social media. One of the things I am considering is a total social media shut down until the end of the year for me, that means outside of this blog, I will delete my social media accounts from my phone, the only way that I access social media. I have a friend that is considering giving up her phone by 2021, and that even sounds like a good idea if I wasn’t launching my business.
I have so much to do, including putting the finishing touches on my book and publishing it in October. All I am waiting for is my graphic artist to come through. I am nearing the end of a two-year trek to finish my Master’s in February, and I am considering Literature Ph.D. programs as the next logical step in my profession as a writer. My business and grieving my mom means the next three months will be exciting, engaging, and heartbreaking. SAD will not get me down.
I have not done this in a while, so I pose the question to those reading this post right now. In this new normal world we live in, are you taking precautions like me to ensure your seasonal affective disorder is not worse this fall and winter months because of COVID-19 or any other factors?
Please leave you responses below, I would love to hear your take on COVID-19 and seasonal affective disorder.