This is one of those episodes that makes me happy as it is just me, the mic, the ideas in my head, and you, the audience. On January 1st, 2021, I recommitted to my sobriety after losing five years after my mother’s death. Alcoholism has a history in my life, and I discuss how it came into my life, how it is not great to mix alcoholism with mental illness, how I used alcohol as a coping mechanism, and so much more. What I want from these episodes is to learn through my own experiences, and if it reaches one person, then that is okay. I have done what I set out to do.
It is my hope for The Bipolar Writer Podcast to become fully listener-supported. You can becomea supporter of the podcast here. You can also support the podcast by clicking the button below, where you can buy me a coffee. This also goes towards future writing projects. I also have a Patreon that you can find below, and some of the tiers come with some fantastic things like a mug once you’re a supporter for three months. This also goes towards writing projects, so please, if you can, become a supporter of James Edgar Skye and The Bipolar Writer brand. As Patron and Buy me Coffee grows, I will be adding amazing things like free books for the two that I have written, one is my memoir and my novella, both in the mental illness realm.
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.
It has been a while since I did some marketing forThe Bipolar Writer: A Memoir. This is mymemoir about my experiences over the first ten years of my diagnosis of Bipolar One in 2007. Now almost a year since my mom’s death, there has been a lot going on in my life. Marketing has not been on my mind. I desperately needed to make changes in my life, and if not for life coaching, a recent event could have taken me from my work. (I will explain in more detail in a blog post later this week. You can also watch the video below.)
If you are looking for a good book for those colder nights getting darker earlier and earlier, my memoir is for you. It really explains a significant part of my life. I will write another memoir within the next year or two with a very different tone. There will also be a blog post about my current works-in-progress, my company’s plans–The Bipolar Writer Ghostwriting Services, the release date for Angel on the Ward, and other essential things. I will be writing more blogs to end 2020.
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.
I’ve been depressing for awhile now -as in, dealing with Depression. I’ve also entertained its close friend, Anxiety; plus a few hangers-on like Disassociation, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Social Phobias. I didn’t even know those existed till they walked off with some of my mental furniture.
Once I’m back to staring at the cracked ceiling of an empty apartment, I wonder why mental illness is such a BIG DEAL. Why does it always have the ability to kick my butt this badly every time?
Because, Mental Illness is a BIG deal.
Yesterday, I witnessed a boy who collapsed into a hysterical fit when his mother said they had to ride in the elevator. A perfectly healthy friend had to reschedule her doctor’s appointment for “a better day.” Another friend told how she could not sleep in the same room as her baby, since the baby’s normal breathing patterns kept her up all night.
Minor issues become major. Small things are big. Mole hills are mountains!
So, now what? Treats? Bed? Movie marathon? I wish. Those things cost money! We need practicality before the rest of our sanity escapes out the window, and takes the rest of the chocolate with it.
Knowing that a mental illness blows things out of proportion is empowering. How? When one of my kids starts melting down, I KNOW to back off and get him a snack. When fear and anxiety cloud my horizon, I KNOW to get outside for a walk. When my friend says she needs to talk, I KNOW to drop everything and listen.
Am I freaking out? Don’t have a mental couch to collapse on? I take a break. I breathe. I run a meditative exercise. Try it; re-focus with what works for you. Then, try the basics: sleep, food, love, happiness.
On the flip side, stop doing the little things that make it worse: staying up, eating crap, avoiding affection, and wallowing in sadness.
Sounds easy, right? It really is. The trick is to not make it difficult. “Just go get in the shower,” I tell myself. “Just get in there and sit -you don’t even have to wash yet.” Or, “Wrap up in a blanket and hang out on the porch. You don’t have to get dressed.”
See? Believe me, I’m in the camp of making a simple thing much more complicated. I also know how BIG I feel once I get past the little, white lies of my mental illness.
Become a Patron of James Edgar Skye and be a part of his writing here: Become a Patron!
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
You are here, and I would argue that you are here in the present. That’s one of the greatest things that I have learned from my Life Coach, Kim Johnson.
My Life Coaching Session
I have been three weeks in, and I know making the decision to go down this road was the right choice. I always say I believe in the process, and it has not diminished, and I began my session with a moral quandary. I was in the right place with my business. I picked up one project that I am committed to, and it will go great because I know the client well. I am a sucker for a good story, and I tend to not be objective when a story idea speaks to me. That happened with the second project that I had picked up during the week.
I tend to allow my past experiences to become a part of my present moments. I have been burned in the past. What happened was a client wanted to write a book with a 50/50 split in the end. One of the things in the contract was worrying me, and it was hard for me to commit to the project. I needed help from Kim because I was in a lot of ways making assumptions, generalizations, and interpretations in what was going on. I don’t know this person well enough to do a project on spec. As a general rule, I don’t work on spec, and it wasn’t about the money.
I have trust issues stemming from my past and what does that stem from–fear. I was coming from a place of fear about the situation. I was worried about letting go of a project that gave me grief, and if it was all worth it. Letting go makes sense. Then I said, “I honestly don’t know.” Wow, that was freeing. It is a great place to be. I don’t have to know the answer. I like to control as a human being. Let go of the thoughts that ego is allowing to control me is so different from what I have been most of my life.
What separates Kim from other life coaches, in my personal opinion, is that she gives it to me straight, no bull, and she told me the truth that I needed to hear, I didn’t have to keep digging down to roots for weeks. It was up to me, I have the choice, and I make the decisions (really we don’t truly make the decision.) My ego was not allowing me charity, but Kim came up with something else. If I didn’t deal with it, the situation would keep coming up if I can’t commit. If it was no, then accept and move on.
When you change the perception of the situation, fear is not an issue. No more hard and fast rules with my life, and my past coming up is something that I can work through the situation’s triggers. I have to lean into the moment because it will always come up.
The situation that I faced happened to me before, but I didn’t deal with it at all. That level of awareness and clarity was helpful. I had to learn that not talking about my issues and not dealing was not making me happy. I am great at not dealing with my problems. I was not grieving for my mom’s loss for close to eight months before reading Shelby Forsythia. I was judging myself for judging myself. Yes, that was who I was for so long
One of my session’s best parts is when Kim posed this question after telling me to stop and pause for a moment. What would a creature, water, or an inanimate object do if some force of nature destroyed it? Does it feel like crap forever? These things are not about their self-centered feelings like us humans. I can find a way to pull myself back into the present and not engage the thoughts. Just be, and slow down. Find a way to laugh at myself has been the hardest thing.
My life is going in the right direction. School is just two more semesters, my business is starting to gain momentum, and my writing is excellent. My ego might get in the way, but I am in a better place. That is great! Life coaching is life-changing, and I know there is room to grow.
I decided that I am going to do more and plan less. I want a tattoo, so I am getting one (it will be a Harley Quinn one). I wanted to visit a friend, and so I dedicated a week to take a train and spend a week in Sacramento. Prices were cheap, and I just did it. I reached out to the woman that worked on formatting my memoir, and she gave me a price to format my novella. I am finally moving forward to get it published. I am moving forward in my life and doing more thinking and planning less. There is no more overthinking every second. I just do. It’s not perfect but subtle changes. I am also going to stop tripping about life.
The discord channel, The Infinity Warriors of Mental Health, now has its own website! I want a special thanks to Aby and Em to taking the step for the discord website to become a reality. Those who don’t know I am the owner of The Infinity Warriors of Mental Health Discord channel, and it grows every day. Please consider joining us and frienfing the blog so we can share our journey together.
For those in the mental illness community that wants to have a safe place to share your daily struggles, you can join anonymously and use it as a resource as the members of the group are just like you. Our members are living and working through their issues with mental illness. We foster a place or serenity and peace and a place to belong. It is just a basic WordPress blog right now, but as we go on and the group grows, we will become a force in the world with a valid domain name.
Welcome to the first of its kind Discord community in which our goal is to provide a safe, anonymous, immersive, and experiential learning experience into mental health discussion.
We will provide a safe, anonymous, immersive and experiential learning experience into mental health discussion by sharing our personal stories. Here, we value transparency, your story, your authenticity…. in a place where we accept everyone’s point of view.
And what that means is, we may not always agree with one another and we believe within our community safely challenging one another’s perspectives is the key to collaborative discussion.
We strongly desire for everyone to speak from the lens with which they view life including but not limited to:
All inclusive in a respectful way is what we strive to achieve at this Discord channel.
Discord Moderators can be personally messaged if you wish to voice a concern. However, we strongly encourage open discussion during “stuck” times in conversation in order to foster mutual respect. The right to delete comments, ban individuals and block chat members is reserved to Discord Moderators as follows: JamesEdgarSkye#4190 or SilverLinings#0367 or Aby#9662
The Bipolar Writer is going legit, at least that is the plan for the future. I am looking for those who are ready to write their story but have no idea where to start. The Bipolar Writer Ghostwriting Services is the place for you, and my focus is on writing your memoir. I do offer other writing services.
I offer a comprehensive memoir ghostwriting package, but I will work with you. I have been writing the memoirs of others for five years and wrote my own, and now I know the next step is starting my business. I have been through it all, and I have the knowhow to take you from concept to completion. If you are interested, please reach out through my business email @ firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s talk about the future of your memoir.