The Bipolar Writer Blog is Moving Platforms – Buy Me A Coffee

What a run. Over 1600 posts, 304,000 views, almost 15,000 followers, countless authors who became a part of the blog, and the plethora of comments made The Bipolar Writer Blog a success over the years. All good things come to an end.

Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

It has been a fantastic run for me here on WordPress. I have been able to add authors, share others’ stories, and above all, share my journey with mental illness on this platform Since 2017! What a run. Over 1600 posts, 304,000 views, almost 15,000 followers, countless authors who became a part of the blog, and the plethora of comments made The Bipolar Writer Blog a success over the years. All good things come to an end.

The Bipolar Writer is my brand and moniker. I will be moving to two platforms. The first being Buy Me a Coffee, where my blogging will continue as The Bipolar Writer blog. The second will be The Bipolar Writer Podcast, where I will continue to share the community’s stories by giving a place to share your voice. The end of this blog is set for March 12, 2021, and you will see some of the last blog posts in the coming days. 

As much as I have enjoyed WordPress and sharing my experiences for free, I learned a valuable lesson in 2020, that monetizing is the way to go, and Buy Me a Coffee is a better version of Patreon, and it allows you, the follower of this blog, to become a part of my blogging, podcasting, and writing. I hope many of you will come over to the new platform. The great thing is that you can do one-time support or become a member and reap the benefits like signed copies of my books, t-shirts, and many more to come in 2021. 

I am not ruling out a return to The Bipolar Writer Blog this summer, but I have a significant project, The Many Faces and Voices of Mental Illness, my advocacy work with the podcast, and plenty of work within the advocacy realm in the future. I am running a special, purchase 5 coffees in the next 24 hours and get a free lifetime membership. This platform will allow me to do so much advocacy work.

Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

The emails over the years, the connections that I had, the people that reached out will continue on the new platform. You can use the button above or below to join. I encourage you that if you have liked the blog’s content to consider coming over and being a part of something unique, new, and memorable. This blog brought me so much joy over the years, and I hope to continue that on a new platform. It is indeed time for me to move on from WordPress.

The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Alaina The Bipolar Writer Podcast

Episode Description Alaina became an advocate for mental health in 2017 following a psychotic episode. During this episode, she experienced delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations. Initially, she was diagnosed with brief psychotic disorder, which mental health professionals believed was stress-induced, as Alaina was a full-time Ph.D. student. Later in the same year, Alaina's diagnosis changed to bipolar I disorder. While she did not complete her Ph.D. program, she is currently in school for ultrasound, and she will begin a master's program in health administration in the fall of 2021. If you would like to know more about Alaina, you can follow her blog at http://www.thebipolarbuzz.com and subscribe to her YouTube channel, Alaina Raquel. -Alaina If you are looking for all things James Edgar Skye, you can find his social media visiting https://linqapp.com/james_skye 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 Alaina
  2. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Colleen
  3. Bullying and Mental Health
  4. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Krystal
  5. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Gavin

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

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

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

10 Things That Help My Mental Health

More often than not, I struggle most days. I’m sure I pass for a normal adult. But sometimes I’m having a panic attack. Or every little noise makes me irritable. Every day has some amount of stress. The days I struggle with the normal stress are extra difficult. There are a few things I use as coping mechanisms to get me through most days. Sometimes I never leave my apartment and focus on a few of these things. I don’t think I could get by without this list. These are the things I need the most and sometimes don’t get enough.

1. Caffeine (Coffee/Tea)

It’s not uncommon for me to have several cups of coffee throughout the day. I’m trying to cut back by drinking tea in the evenings. As long as I get caffeine, I’m satisfied. Caffeine is a pain reliever. This is why I drink so much. If I’m not drinking coffee, I’m pills for pain relief. The pain is muscle aches. Hypertension. Even when I’m relaxed, I don’t feel relaxed. Caffeine doesn’t make the pain go away, but I don’t notice it as much. I also use the cup or mug as a barrier. I feel safer with that barrier between me and the world.

2. Quiet/Silence

Finding a quiet place is difficult sometimes. Noises don’t always bother me. On bad days, nowhere is quiet enough. Not even my home. Libraries are great if seats are open. Sometimes I must have my back to a wall to feel safe. Sometimes the ambience of a coffee shop is soothing. On the worst days, listening to other people talk is so irritating I can’t be in public. I struggle with friends who feel if I’m not talking that means I’m angry. Usually I need to warm myself up to interact with others. That usually takes a couple hours and a couple coffees.

3. Writing

Writing is one of my passions. I couldn’t survive without the written word. I can convey my thoughts and emotions in written form better than verbally. It’s my way to vent. I get all my emotions out. It prevents me from bottling up everything. It has also helped me work through many of my mental health issues. Sometimes comments from others going through similar situations is enough to help me stay positive. Sometimes writing fiction is a great way to escape. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I couldn’t write down my thoughts and feelings.

4. Human Interaction

When I say human interaction, I mean spending time with loved ones. My support system. I haven’t always had a support system. I never knew how much being close to others could affect my life. I get upset if I don’t talk to this small group of people every day. Their interaction, or lack of interaction, with me can determine if I have a good or bad day. Sometimes we may not speak or text. But we share pictures or memes and it reminds me they’re thinking of me. That thought alone is enough to pull me away from the darkness of depression.

5. Reading

Many people read to escape. They want to imagine a life different from their own. This is part of why I enjoy reading. It’s helps my mental health because it clears my head. If I’m reading, I’m not overthinking something or stewing in negativity. I can focus my mind on the story, and this alleviates my anxiety. This is especially useful if I read before going to work. It’s relaxing and helps prepare me for any potential stress. I’ve gotten into the habit of carrying a book with me everywhere. I could go several days without reading but I always have a book with me in case I need it.

6. Walking

Any kind of exercising can help one’s mental health but not everyone is built to spend hours at the gym. I lose interest in anything over a half hour. When I was in better shape, I could do 45 minutes. Walking, however, is something I can do all day every day. I stopped using my car so I could walk more, and I enjoy every minute of it. Recreationally, I can walk for an hour listening to music from my smartphone. I walk to work or to coffee shops or wherever. It’s exercise and I enjoy it.

7. Staying Busy

When I start running out of things to do, I feel depression spinning its ugly head in my direction. Keeping myself busy with work or projects, even games, helps me focus. When I’m focused on a task or project, I’m not having negative thoughts. I’m less concerned about what may or may not happen. Just like prioritizing tasks, I prioritize my thoughts. Worrying won’t get the job done. I stay busy so I don’t have time to worry. But I don’t get so busy that I feel overwhelmed. I keep a balance between projects and fun. Sometimes my projects are fun.

8. Hugs

This is a difficult thing for me. Hugs are important for everyone. It helps one’s mental health overall. My problem? I don’t like other people touching me. I’ve worked on this over several years. Strangers should definitely never touch me. Acquaintances I’ll give a pass now and then, but I don’t go out of my way for hugs. The handful of people closest to me are the ones I accept hugs from without question. It’s taken me a long time to develop this. Even to allow myself to accept it from close friends. Overall, I don’t get many hugs. But when I do, it changes my world.

9. Photography

I’ve always had an interest in taking pictures. I recently acquired a new camera and I love it. I want to take pictures every day. I don’t know if it’s the task itself, or the act of creating something that makes my soul happy. I’m a creative person. I enjoy creating things. That may be all it is. Or maybe there’s something about photography that brings me more joy than other things. Regardless, it will always be a fun hobby and I recommend it to anyone looking for a creative outlet.

10. Sustainable Income

This is something no one thinks about until they don’t have it. I was unemployed for half of 2018. My mental health hit an all-time low during this time. Most people don’t think about how much financial stability affects their outlook on life. It was eye opening for me. It’s easier to find the good in the world when I happy to have food on the table and a roof over my head. No one can appreciate the small things in life until they no longer have the small things. Having enough money to survive with a little extra is enough. I don’t need all the money in the world. I only need enough.

All these things work for me and I recommend them to anyone looking for something that will help. I will caution that what works for me will not always work for someone else. Still, none of these things will hurt anyone if they try them. It costs nothing to try something you might enjoy.

A Mental Health Update for the Bipolar Writer

Where Has The Bipolar Been?

neonbrand-618322-unsplashSince starting this blog over a year ago, this is perhaps the longest it has been between writing posts for my blog. I have been lucky that my fellow contributors on The Bipolar Writer blog have picked up the slack in writing some fantastic and vital articles since the last time we talked. I thank each and every contributor and follower of this blog for continuing to come to this blog as a safe place.

I have been busy. I am working on adjusting my daily routine to help curb my social anxiety with some success. I have been growing my freelance work also with some success. When you add that I am a full-time student, it means there is little time for me to write my thoughts here on the blog. I miss writing, but there are only so many days in a week. I won’t lie, I am considering taking a break until next year from my blog, I have loved what we have done here, but at the same time, the need to focus on finally getting over the hump and publishing my memoir is growing each day.

helena-lopes-592971-unsplash.jpg

There is an upside of working on my social anxiety (and my overall mental health) as of late. I have broken through some of the isolation that was going on over the last month or two, it helps that I am meeting more clients in the field (which means coffee shops for someone like me) and I am hopeful that I can continue to work on my social anxiety and isolation.

I have to admit, the first time in months going to my local coffee shop to work with a client was a scary thought. The last time I had spent more than ten minutes in a crowded place that I have always felt comfortable was in July of this year. After a while, I found my comfort zone, and it felt so good. True, I need to open up more, but this is a significant step in the right direction. That is everything in this mental illness life.

I can tell over the last week or so that my social anxiety is trending in the right direciton. I still have days where it is a struggle, but given that we are in November, it is to be expected.

That takes me to this week, my anniversary week. I will be writing a big post on Thursday, the actual anniversary of my diagnosis. I have written something about the years that have passed by every year in the past six years. I have come so far, further than I ever thought was possible. This week will be about hope in the face of living with mental illness. I feel good going into this week.

That is it for now. I will try and write more this week. Stay strong in the fight.

James

Always Keep Fighting

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoCamille Orgel

NeONBRAND

Helena Lopes

Sleep Hygiene – Top Ten Sleep Tips

My therapist gave me this great sheet of sleeping tips that will help with my sleep hygiene. Insomnia is always an issue in my life, so I thought today I’d share each one of these tips and if any have helped me. Enjoy.

#10 – Keep your bedroom dark.

#9 – Get lots of natural light in the morning

This one is a good one. I went out and bought myself a lightbox to help in the cloudy coastal weather we often get where I am from, but going for a walk helps as well. I use my light box even in good weather for 30-45 minutes a day. It varies for each doctor recommendation. I never realized how important natural light is to mental health and sleep.

#8 – Don’t work on your computer late at night, or if you do get an application like “flux” to minimize the amount of bright light you’re exposed to.

This is a tough one for me. I always work the best writing late at night on my laptop, tablet, and even my phone (especially in bed). Often a great idea will come to me while I am laying down and I naturally grab my phone and making notes on my thoughts. I thought a great alternative could be making my journal more accessible or maybe a small pad of paper and a pen.

#7 – Don’t nap during the day.

This is an easy one for me to do. I barely can get to sleep at night, so it’s impossible during the day.

#6 – No Caffeine 3 hours or more after wake-up time.

This is the most unfair one in my opinion and the one that I regularly break. To compromise I made a promise to my therapist for no coffee after 12pm. For the most part, I stick to this plan and it has worked well.

#5 – Only use your bed for sleeping or romantic activities

More times than not at night I find myself in bed writing, and out these tips, this has been the hardest to give up in my life. I write so much better at night. I always have my phone at arms reach writing notes for chapters I will be writing the next day or ideas for my next blog post. I once started writing a chapter in a piece I was writing in at the start of my “sleep schedule,” only to find out it was 4am when I stopped.

#4 – Figure out if you’re a night person or a day person.

For this one, they recommend figuring it out and making a sleep schedule. I have learned that I am a night person who can’t sleep during the day. I must do my best at night to get as much sleep as possible.

#3 – Get a relaxation routine before bed.

The list says that this varies from person to person. Meditation? Taking a bath? Listen to easy listening music or a podcast? This is really what works for you, which I still struggle because writing relaxes me and they recommend not to have a bright screen in bed.

#2 – If you can’t sleep after 15 to 30 minutes get out of bed and do something relaxing.

#1 – Don’t drink alcohol in the evening.

            The last one is easy for me. I have been working on these tips to better my sleep hygiene but it’s a work in progress. Let me know if any of these tips help, or if you have others to add!

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: Jay Wennington

I was Gone This Week… And I’m Sorry

I started this week on overload. I knew I had a lot to finish and I thought my week started out the right way. I just failed to realize the hours it would take me to complete my school assignments for the week. I made a tough decision to forgo writing. With every second of being awake this week, I knew I had to let a few things slide.

I just didn’t have time to write blog posts, and I had to forgo any proofreading on my memoir this week.

The decision was a tough one. It would have been nice to write blog posts this week because I worked on my social anxiety this week. I was outside my “safe place” of my house for almost five to six hours each day. I have not left my home very much in the last two weeks due to my social anxiety. It was kismet in a way. I am more productive sitting at a coffee shop than in my space at home. Don’t get me wrong, I am productive at my house but when I am out, I feel the anxiety every hour rising. It pushes me to be more productive.

327E4FB5-9F0E-4872-B1CA-986B21301312.jpeg

The upside was good this week. I worked on some of my avoidance behaviors. I started a conversation with someone for about five minutes, and I talked more in-depth with the baristas who know me by name, and I can’t remember most of their names. I never do that! I met with some clients, and I have at least one big freelance job coming up. Instead of spending every second at my favorite coffee shop with my headphones on, I limited it to one hour.

I still dealt with avoidance. I kept waters with me, and I always made sure I had enough Ativan. I am a work in progress.

I was annoyed with my depression this week. My old companion always seems to come an see me when I need him to be far away. It was a struggle to maintain my new sleep/wake schedule. I was waking up at five am, but a few days this week it took me up to an hour or more to get out of bed. What I like about waking up so early is that productivity is higher in the morning. There were times this week where I just wanted to quit this semester and let all my hard work go by the wayside.

59248FD6-92D3-4221-B8DD-AD263DE5C33C

It was my depression talking, but I really feared the reality that a part of me was really willing let everything I have worked so hard for in the last four years disappear. I know how I am when big things are changing in my life. My natural default is to give up. I have given up more times in my life than actually complete a real primary goal.

I found a way to fight. It is now Saturday, and I am finally almost caught up for the week. I have a real shot at taking a much needed day off tomorrow. I had a few moments to share week which I wanted to do the entire time. Life is funny. Last year when things got tough I took a semester off. This year I am fighting for what I want. I guess I am in a better place. Anxiety and depression will always be apart of me. But even with the challenges, I keep fighting.

Always Keep Fighting.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoNick Moore

unsplash-logoDominik Kiss

Thank You for 4,000 Followers

It is amazing feeling to reach another milestone on The Bipolar Writer blog. I never thought I’d get this far and have so many bloggers a part of my journey.

So I wanted to say Thank you!

Giving up Coffee

Early Merry Christmas my fellow blogger followers. This might be my last post this week as I am closing out my finals, and taking a much needed time off from life.

I talked to my stomach doctor today. I don’t often write about my physical issues here on my blog because I chose to focus on my mental health issues and my writing.

fireskystudios-com-46284.jpg

At the beginning of the year, I was hospitalized with extremely bad bleeding ulcers. I lost pints of blood before they finally fixed me. I had to give up coffee while my ulcers healed. I went on the proper medicine and for some reason, I had to give up meat afterward. (I haven’t eaten meat since February.) For a while, during the summer my stomach felt better and for the most part, everything seemed better. But I am having issues once again with my stomach, the positive no bleeding in my stomach.

I think part of the reason my ulcers come up is that my stress is always worse during this time of year. I had, for a time, gave up coffee which helped my stomach heal. When I got the okay to drink coffee again it was amazing. Three months without coffee was hell.

It sounds like I will have to give up coffee again. With my stress and anxiety levels so high, the panic attacks, and of course the pressure I put on myself, my stomach over the last few weeks have felt like at it did in February. It is never good to have other health problems but that is life. Eventually I will get my health back under control, here is hoping to a great 2018.

oliver-thomas-klein-161835.jpg

Once I get my stress and anxiety back under control (with a much-needed vacation) hopefully in a few months I can drink coffee again. It’s going to be a long process before my stomach feels better.

Always Keep Fighting.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoThought Catalog

unsplash-logofireskystudios.com

unsplash-logofireskystudios.com

For the Love of Coffee – Part Two

It is safe to say that I am a coffee addict, and I wanted to write my 50th blog post on a subject I love. I have written about my love for coffee before here on my blog.

I wanted this to be a lighter post since I have had some serious blog posts lately and the ones that I currently writing are the most serious ones so far on my journey in writing this blog. In this blog, I want to share my love for coffee, and how the holiday season is where my favorite limited edition coffee is released every year at Starbucks.

ed Okay, I admit it out loud that I am Starbucks addict, not just a coffee addict. I consider those things separate but fun addictions. I don’t drink Starbucks every day (just almost every day) and yes I know it’s the most overpriced coffee out there, but I can resist a good gingerbread latte while I am writing during the winter months. I can trace some of my best work to sitting at my favorite Starbucks sipping coffee and writing. 

When a gingerbread latte is too strong with cinnamon, I can easily change it up and drink my second favorite choice chestnut praline latte.

In the past, November’s have always been tough on me. There hasn’t always been a place for me in society during the winter months. But a coffee shop, even a high priced place like Starbucks I can blend into the scenery. I can sit around real people talking about how excited they are for the holiday season. This time of year can be hard for anyone, but the energy from the people in a coffee shop is so helpful to someone who is like me. I can feel for a time that I am a part of the outside world during a time where I feel most alone. Coffee for so long was, and is, how I made it through the world.

I am willing to pay a little bit extra for a good cup of coffee because at this time of year I spend more time in bed lost in depression, and it’s better to get out in the world when you feel down.

I find myself here right now at Starbucks surrounded by people who have no idea what I am dealing with, but that is okay. I have my headphones on listening to music and my hands are busy writing. But, for this moment I am a part of something, even if it’s just for a fleeting moment. I am at peace in this moment and I can’t help but smile. I never smile much anymore. It is the little things.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: Takahiro Sakamoto

My Weekly Wrapup – 11/6 – 11/12

Nothing beats an early morning writing session, an extra hot/extra shot chestnut praline latte, and good music.

It has been a great week for me writing here on my blog and my memoir, but as I have learned this week sometimes you have to struggle with the bad things (depression) while achieving your goals. I did finish the final edits on my screenplay as well, so I really have no complaints.

I reached a major milestone with The Bipolar Writer blog reaching 1,000 followers, and it makes the journey a worthy road to go down. I couldn’t imagine my blog getting to this point with so many followers, and every one of my followers has my thanks and gratitude.

Let’s look at the past week before looking ahead.

In part five “My Social Anxiety Life,” I explored another part of my social anxiety, the thoughts that go through my mind late at night when I know there is something important happening the next day. These catastrophic thoughts can be crippling at times because it keeps me from sleeping, In this blog post, I explored the “what ifs” and the fear before anything has happened scenarios that haunt me at night.

In my blog post “My Manic Life – The Other Side of my Diagnosis” I explored the mania side of my diagnosis of Bipolar One for the first time on my blog. This blog post was one that I put off for as long as I could because, on so many levels, I don’t have the understanding of my mania. I explored my destructive behavior during manic episodes to include outrageous spending sprees. This is a great read as I shared another piece of the puzzle.

My mid-week blog post was one that I had been wanting to write for a while, “Journaling and Tracking Your Mood.” The aim of this post was to share how journaling my thoughts in a written journal and tracking my moods daily, weekly, and even monthly has been an effective way to see where I am at in a given day.

“How Therapy Changed my Life” was chosen this topic of discussion this week because I had been reflecting all week how far I have come since starting therapy. This piece is mostly about how therapy was effective in my own life and I emplored my reader to find a form of therapy that works for you, like group therapy.

I wanted to focus some of my energy exploring the topic of medicine, and more specifically my own struggles with Ativan. In “The Realities of Ativan” post explored my research for the first time on a medicine that has been a part of my diagnosis over the last ten years. This blog post was tough to write because at the end I still couldn’t answer if my need to increase my dosage back to a comfortable level is due to addiction or need. I will most likely expand this topic in the coming weeks.

I hardly get to explore a part of my writing on my blog and I think that has to change. In “Excerpt From Act Three – Memory of Shane” I shared a single scene from the third act of my feature screenplay. I like the feedback since I am moving this project to two different screenwriting competitions in the next month.

One of the goals of my blog is feedback. I wrote, “When My Creativity and Depression Collide” to see what kind of feedback I could get from my followers. It worked. This is a subject that plays out a lot with the seasonal element of my diagnosis takes over and my depression increases. My followers gave me encouragement and ideas to keep my creativity flowing regardless of my depression. It always feels great to make real connections.

That is the coming and goings with my blog over the last week. I will tackle some interesting topics again this week like giving up vices in my life that were hurting my recovery, more about my social anxiety, and a few other topics. This is the final week before my ten-year diagnosis/suicide anniversary, and in the week that follows I will be writing a three-piece blog post as I explore my thoughts on what ten years of being Bipolar has meant to me.

Always Keep Fighting.

J.E. Skye

The Bipolar Writer

Photo Credit: Alejandro Escamilla

Its the Little Things in Life

I have to learn to love the little things in life, like going for a walk on the beach. I never do that anymore.

This will be my last blog post this week as I am spending the rest of my weekend editing my screenplay again before I submit it for a few competitions. I am also going to find some time to watch football and read a good book. With that said here are just a few of the little things in life that I love in this crazy life I live.

My blog posts have been overly serious this week as I dive deeper into working on my memoir, The Bipolar Writer. I really love what I have shared so far here in my blog because it is a passion of mind to explore the many parts of the last ten years since my diagnosis. But sometimes my writing takes a lot out of me and I just want to write about things that make every day worth living.

One of the things I love in life, especially during the winter months when seasonal affective disorder (SAD) starts to take hold, is zip-up hoodies. I can remember wearing them as a teenager, with a beanie and the hood up before it became a “thing.”

As an adult, I still love to wear my hoodies this way because it became a part of me. If you ever see a guy with a hoodie and beard wearing a beanie in a corner table of a coffee shop with his headphones lost in his writing, it will probably me. Just so you know.

Music has helped me get through tough times in my life. Like today, I spent the day writing and listening to a wide range of music like the Hamilton soundtrack and one of my favorite artists Paramore. My playlists on iTunes music are endless, and it really depends on my mood or what I am writing. I don’t discriminate. I listen to almost every genre of music at some point in my life. I’ve listened to everything from hardcore rock to indie to classical. I even love Korean pop music (which has been an ongoing obsession for the last six years) or any pop music for that matter. I can’t classify myself as liking one type of music genre because if the lyrics get me in my feels, I am hooked.

It’s funny that one thing that has always been a constant in my life is my love for books. I only own about a million of them (okay nowhere near that but my collection is formidable.) One of the best things about being an English major is that I have taken about every literature class available and it has expanded what I read over the last few years.

I have my favorites of course like Rowling, Hemingway, and my all time favorite Edgar Allan Poe (the “E” J.E. Skye is in honor of one of the greatest writers I have ever read.) I have been reading since I was about three or four. My obsession with reading books came from easy access to books my whole life. I grew up (well middle school and high school) on The Harry Potter series, but I read so many amazing different authors in my life.

Within my book collection (which lately has included audiobooks) you will find every genre imaginable. My latest books that I am conquering are re-reading the Game of Thrones series and catching up on reading Stephen King. I am fan murder mysteries and I used to be able to say that I was a huge fan of James Patterson’s Alex Cross novels (though lately I have been turned off by his style, I am not sure it is even him writing anymore.) One of my favorite memories in life was going to the library and picking out books and just getting lost in the worlds that authors created. I could be anyone when reading a book. I could be the hero. Some of my deepest and darkest depressions that I got lost in the ugliness might have been worse without books.

I think my love for books is why I love to write. I am better when I am writing and it is my favorite way to communicate with people. This is why it is easier for me to discuss and explore my diagnosis on my blog rather than talking to my therapist.

One of my greatest loves, of course, is coffee. I am an addict and a better writer when I have coffee in my system. I am one of those people who you probably won’t want to talk to before having my coffee. When I had to give it up for a time this year I was insufferable to be around. I complained openly about having to give up coffee (because of my ulcers.) One of the happiest days this year was when my stomach doctor told me that I could drink coffee again.

The reason I wrote this particular blog post is that as I continue to share my life with the blog world, and I don’t want people to think that all I do all day is get lost in my writing and talk about what is wrong with me. I kinda lost sight recently on the good things in life. Like when I smile after listening to lyrics to a song that spoke to my heart. Or that moment when my favorite holiday drink comes out and that first taste of my gingerbread latte hit my system. I forgot how great it feels to have a hardcover book in my hands and getting lost in the pages. I forgot the feeling of going for a walk. I got caught up in the last few weeks trying to meet a deadline that I lost perspective on why I am writing.

I am a passionate person and sometimes I forget that the little things in life make life worth living. So tonight, after a long editing session, I will open one of my favorite books in the middle of the story and get lost again.

What are some of the things you love? It doesn’t have to do anything with your mental illness or diagnosis.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: Senor Sosa