Contributor Writers for The Bipolar Writer Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always Keep Fighting

James

You can visit the author site of James Edgar Skye here.

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

My Memoir

Become a Patron of James Edgar Skye and be a part of his writing here: Become a Patron! You can get this amazing cup!

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

Could I Move on from Blogging?

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

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.

Always Keep Fighting

James

You can visit the author site of James Edgar Skye here.

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

My Memoir

Become a Patron of James Edgar Skye and be a part of his writing here: Become a Patron! You can get this amazing cup!

Seasonal Affective Disorder in COVID-19 World

Photo by Ian Keefe on Unsplash

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.

Always Keep Fighting

James

You can visit the author site of James Edgar Skye here.

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

My Memoir

Become a Patron of James Edgar Skye and be a part of his writing here: Become a Patron! You can get this amazing cup!

My Journey to Stability, Pt. 3

by Shara Adams

A circle of blurred faces surrounded me, all talking at once. The level of chaos outpaced my own mind and I struggled to keep track of what was going on. Drugged and intoxicated beyond capable cognition, the world began to slip away once again. In the mess of voices, the realization of my fragile state caught the action of the paramedics and I was whisked down the stairs from the apartment to the ambulance. Because of the design of our place, a stretcher was worthless. They half carried, and half walked me down the precarious stairway. Once I was inside the bus, one of the paramedics joined me and began a pleasant conversation with me.

Blonde hair and blue eyes watched me intently. It may have been my lost mind, but at that moment, he had the most beautiful eyes that I had ever seen. Smiling, I was lost in his hypnotizing gaze. His voice was soft and inviting. I felt like I could listen to it forever, and I did listen to it the whole way to the emergency room. He conversed with me to keep me awake and cognitive of what was around me, and it worked perfectly. It also kept my mind off the fact my husband had not come with me. I did not notice this fact in the middle of everything going on; he was completely absent from my side.

Once inside the ER, I was forced to drink charcoal from a small cup, and it did not take long for it to make a reappearance. It was absolutely disgusting, and my toxic stomach contents were having none of it. Frustrated nurses yelled at me for throwing it up and then gave me another cup – but I never touched it to my lips. Without something to focus on, I was slipping away from the bright lights of the room. Metal walls of the elevator were my final memory before losing consciousness. I have no recollection of being in the ICU or being ‘asleep’. No dreams or thoughts; it was as if I went to bed and woke up the next morning but waking up this time was a much different experience.

Stirring in the hospital bed, my eyes opened several days after my arrival. I felt lost and confused at my surroundings, but my eyes fell on a familiar face and relief washed over me. I am sure she felt the swell of relief as well. My mom had driven about 740 miles in eight hours to be by my side. We later calculated that she had averaged about 95 mph the entirety of the drive, never being pulled over. There was always a driver going faster than she was, and they were the ones to get caught. Her foot never left the gas pedal, and I will never make fun of her panic.

Once awake and somewhat aware of where I was, I noticed the lack of a certain person from the room: my husband. This was something my mom attempted to fix, but it was only mildly successful. He came to visit me once during my entire stay, but never said a word and refused to look at me. He sat on my bed and I rubbed his back, but nothing I did to interact with the stone-faced body made any difference. His blatant resentment was more than I could overcome. I began to wonder if I went too far to prove my point, but it also seemed to be working.

The chaos from the apartment had compartmentalized in my mind, blurry and distant memories, just like that night.

by Shara Adams

For more stories by Shara Adams, visit http://pennedinwhite.com.

My First Time.

I have never been hospitalized before. I think that I am pretty good at hiding things, but I couldn’t hide this from myself. I knew there was something wrong. I wasn’t sleeping more than a couple hours, I was becoming emotionally abusive, and I was falling back into overspending. Mania. This isn’t the first time I have been manic this year, but I hope it is the last. I moved into a new apartment earlier this week and I already can’t make rent. I am exhausting. I am tired from being me.

I took myself down to the hospital which I think we can agree is a feat on its own. Not having insurance was both a blessing a curse. The plus side is that I could choose whatever hospital I wanted and the downside is that I am uninsured. I can’t help but laugh that this insanely expensive vacation I just took and I didn’t even get to go to the pool. I am constantly, actively working to better myself. I take my medication, go to all my doctors appointments, religiously see my therapist, use the breathing exercises. I am not immune to it. It wasn’t at all what I had expected. Clean, hospital like in some ways, slightly degrading, and cold. BUT I am blessed to have gone to a place that provided me a private room and bathroom. Granted, everything was bolted to the floor and the bathroom had no door. Overall it was a really nice place filled with people actively trying to get better.

I was sad and anxious that I was taking all these days unpaid, but I had to. I had to go and get help. It was an out of body experience watching me set fire to all the relationships that took years to rebuild. One conversation has sent it all tumbling down. Here I am, trying to intervene and slow the damage. I was discharged yesterday afternoon and it seems that my grandparents are going to be the hardest to recover. I suppose it is divine timing because we just moved away after living next door to them. I am fortunate to still have my mom in my corner because it would be hell living together for the next year if I am going to be the source of her pain and anger.

I am doing better today. Better than yesterday, better than a week ago. I just have to keep pushing forward. My anxiety is manageable right now and I hope that it stays that way. I hope that this made inpatient stays a little less scary for those who haven’t experienced it.

Keep fighting the good fight!

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 Next Project for my Ghostwriting Business

Salinas Not sure the Date

Writing is my life, and I am always looking for the next project no matter what other projects are on my current plate, but I think that as a writer, we get one chance to write about an influential book about your hometown’s history. That is what my next ghostwriting project will be, writing about my hometown and a family restaurant that goes back to the ’40s. If you lived in Salinas, Ca, you knew The Rodeo Cafe and Sang’s Cafe. I am looking for anyone willing to donate through GoFundMe to help with the book’s costs. There will be hours of research and, of course, the writing. If you can, please donate, but of not share on social media.

https://www.gofundme.com/static/js/embed.js

You can use the following link, and those who donate over $20 amount will get a free copy of the book. I usually don’t go the route of GoFundMe, but this is an essential milestone in my ghostwriting career. I will be co-writing the book with the owner’s daughter/granddaughter. The book chronicles the unique history, including the original place, The Rodeo Cafe, where John Steinbeck ate and wrote. The place has an impressive history, including the sons taking it over after the Loma Prieta Earthquake. The second part of the book will be the interviews of those patrons of the establishments over the years and what it meant to Salinas’ citizens.

You can donate here: GoFundMe for The Legacy of Sang’s Cafe

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 Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Why I Think Life Coaching is for Everyone

If you are looking for your own journey into life coaching that invokes change in your life, if you are stuck under a mental illness diagnosis and want relief from someone who has experience in the core of what causes suicide, please reach out to Kim Johnson, @ Groundsforclarity@protonmail.com. Her company Grounds for Clarity LLC is all you need, and she asks for you to have one conversation.

A Game Changer

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

My four months of life coaching have been very personal, and I am still working through things that will help me continue the growth I had over my time. I don’t want to share the details just yet, as it is still a fresh one for me, and I have things that need to be talked with people before moving forward with my life. With that said, I thought I would use my time this week to explain why Life Coaching is what you need right now if you are struggling with your mental illness. If you have no outlet. If you need someone who will be a game-changer by allowing you to work on yourself the right way.

I have learned so much in the short time that Kim Johnson has been my life coach, just six weeks, but here is something that I never expected. When I decided to invest in myself, allow life coaching into my life, it became the reason that I am now living a different lifestyle. I won’t lie. It is not perfection that I am shooting for; it is awareness and living in the now. What Kim does is allow me, the client, to work through what needs to be done, not by giving me the answers, but rather the tools needed to succeed. She has been amazing every week that we meet to create modules that will help focus on what is bothering me. She uses the teachings of different spiritual teachers Eckhart Tolle and others, to guide you to what is already inside you. I have leaned into the feelings, and I have trusted the process from day one, and it is a game-changer.

Photo by Johnson Wang on Unsplash

Believe me when I say I could (and actually might) write a novel about my journey. In the four months life coaching has been a game-changer more than therapy, and I was in that for five years. With that said, I am not saying that therapy can’t be right because it helped me; instead, this is another deeper source of getting to the core of your mental illness issues and making real changes. Letting go of the negativity and allowing yourself some peace and happiness. I don’t have to tell you how mental Illness can leave you with such a painful existence. Hell, I have lived it for years. You can change your life if you are willing!

I have never endorsed anything on my blog I have not directly been a part of or have some experience with what I am endorsing. When I say that if your suicidal or going through tough times in this mental illness life, then reach out to Kim Johnson; she will change your life. If you need to contact her, here are some ways.

Website:  www.groundsforclarity.com

Email: groundsforclarity@gmail.com

Please know that help is okay, and it will be a game-changer working with Kim. I know it has been that way for me. Thank you as always for taking time out of your day to read this post. If you have any comments, leave them below.

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 Emma Matthews Digital Content Production on Unsplash

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.

My Fourth Week of my Life Coaching Journey

Identities are egoic and they are a major part of living in the past and future – Eckhart Tolle

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

Become a Patron of James Edgar Skye’s work and be a part of his writing here: Become a Patron!

Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash

If you are looking for your own journey into lifestyle coaching that envokes change in your life, if you are stuck under a mental illness diagnosis and want relief from someone who has experience in the core of what causes suicide, please reach out to Kim Johnson, @ Groundsforclarity@gmail.com. You can find her at www.groundsforclarity.com

Week Four, How Letting go of Identities is Golden

I have been working hard at letting go of identities, or at least that is the plan. Identities throughout my life have been controlled by individual identities, especially those that have to do with my mental illness. The Bipolar Writer came from an identity as a writer who happens to be Bipolar, but that does not define who this person is writing this blog post. It is just me writing. Stringing together words, so they work, and so you can read them. My brand is still The Bipolar Writer, but letting go of that as an identity was tough, but it was just the beginning. When I began to let go of the identities, the metaphorical pencil was not easy.

Photo by Miles Burke on Unsplash

 I was struggling with the identifiable labels in my life. The ego wants us, me, and you to not let go of the identities that define us (letting go of the pencil may seem easy, but the ego wants you to think of a million ways to let go.) Seeking problems when there is no problem is what the ego seeks out, and we feed it. I am learning to let these things go. It feels useful to predict that you are going to feel bad, right? You want to feel bad because at least you know what your feeling. Its a sense of control that not having an identity means you are starving the ego, and it does not like it at all. Let all those identities define you, and I can tell you from experience the freeing of dropping those identities are amazing. Living in The Now, that is the goal because you are already there.

Intellectualize. What an unusual and useless word. I do that so much in this life, intellectualize. I am learning to make adjustments to stay away from the past and future and stay in the now. It is a fantastic place to be. Something my life coach said to me stuck with my week: Appreciating that what us going on in my life for me, but it doesn’t matter because there is an equal opposite reaction. You can’t have the good without the bad. We were talking about the grieving process that I have been going through really only since July. The feelings will be up and down. It comes with the territory. Being in the now allows for a more steady baseline. 

It feels right to write. Projects for my business will come. When I let go of trying to grow my business, I am learning it just continues to grow–naturally now. When I overthink my business, when I lose a client, the default is to doubt things. I have to label it good or bad, and I can tell you its exhausting. The clients that want to work with me will be there. They are already coming into my life without the hard sell. Sure I will grow my client list but organically. People reach out to me daily from this blog. Who knows. Someone may see that I am a ghostwriting memoirist with a focus on creative nonfiction and reach out. I have already gotten clients since I stopped putting a label of good or bad on future clients’ potential. 

It may sound cliche, but it is excellent to put positive vibes out in the world. When I send out positive vibes, things really come to you. I know I have experienced it so much lately. When you pursue the “wants” in life, you will always “need” more, and your cup will never be filled. It is not worth it, I am telling you, my friends.

One of the most significant doubts in my life is me. I always feel great when I am working on my craft. The “me” is me being my biggest doubter and critic. Every project, I doubt about my writing, and it is silly because it is wrong. The identity “The Bipolar Writer” is the one that is doubting. At some point in my life, I became The Bipolar Writer. It became something I identified that made me think I was special. I’m not extraordinary at writing; it is just what I do, feeding the ego. I let The Bipolar Writer identity go along with some I never expected. Why do we hold on to labels and identities? Why does it have to be “I am a writer” instead of writing how I write and say screw the label. The true presence is creativity. I let go of the identity of the writer. I just write.

These are some of the other “identities” that I have let go of is Mental health advocate. Again that is not saying that blogging and my book will not help people. I got into this to share my experiences with the world. Again, why does a label have to attach to what I am doing for the community? It is excellent to say “let it go,” but you have to be the present now and put action behind letting go. If I am writing about my experiences as someone dealing with Bipolar living, then that is what I am in the now. I can move from moment to moment. Pivoting to what will make me happy now. So much expectation comes from being Bipolar, but why does it have to be so? They are an unnecessary part of my life. There is no conflict, and there is no problem. 

My Week Leading to Week Five of Life Coaching

I went into the week, shedding some of the identities that needed to be gone, but I had work to do. One of the amazing ones that I let go of is gamer. It has been a significant identity that I had to be because it “helped me with my anxiety and depression.” I let go, and at the same time, sold my last remaining gaming system. Yes, it was for personal gain, but at the same time, it was letting go. Things happen. I had a TV in my room that I never use, and my cable company charges me for a cable box I never use. So I gave away my TV and returned to the box. It matters how you do things in my life. I took into my week from Kim that we are all the same, and nothing should be taken too seriously. Peace is what I wanted this week, and perhaps I got that, but more I stayed in the now. Anything can happen.

The last thing Kim asked me to do something that atypical. I did that, I said hello to random people while I was out, social distancing, and wearing a mask.

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 Christopher Sardegna on Unsplash