This Might be the End of The Bipolar Writer Blog

Photo by Alex on Unsplash

I am at a real crossroads with The Bipolar Writer Collaborative Blog. First, I want to say that it has been my honor to share my experiences with Bipolar One and give a place for the mental illness community’s voices to come together in one place since 2017. Many notable mental health bloggers have used this as a platform to launch their own work, and I am honored to be that place. 

I have loved this blog and the outreach that has been amazing since day one. I never imagined that the blog would grow so much, but with all the projects that I have going on, most of my money is tied up, and I can’t pay for the next year to keep the blog alive, at least not at this juncture. My hope was to use my Buy me a Coffee site to raise the money, but I understand that many within the community struggle financially. I usually am okay with purchasing the yearly pro level, but in 2020 I saw my business take a significant dip, and I am stretched so thin in 2021. It is only $96 to renew, and if I get enough, I will, of course, renew and keep adding new writers, but the decline is February 1st. I should have been more vigilant in reaching out.

I am close to reaching the goal of a few more people reach out we can hit the goal.

Buy Me A Coffee

With that said, there is The Bipolar Writer Podcast is starting to take off, a lot like The Bipolar Writer blog did in 2017, and I now can share the stories of those in the community alongside my own journey as I continue to grow on my own journey. I look forward to my major two-year book project and documentary, The Many Faces and Voices of Mental Illness. There is so much to do in 2021, and I am planting as many seeds as I can to do more mental health advocacy work. Perhaps we can raise the money in time, or I will find a way. There is a possibility that I will be unable to, but it might spell the end for the blog. Who knows what will happen!

I have always relied on the community, and they have relied on me. The button above takes me to my buy me a coffee page. It doesn’t take a lot to hit our goal, and becoming a one time supporter or a member would mean the world to me.

If this is my last goodbye, then thank you my followers for everything and the joy that you have brought to me over the years. 2017-2021 was great for The Bipolar Writer blog and for James Edgar Skye.

The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Norm The Bipolar Writer Podcast

About The Episode Listen to my interview with Norm, his mental illness story, and learn about the differences in Canadian Mental Health system differences and similarities to the American one. Another great interview for The Bipolar Writer Podcast. About James Edgar Skye If you are looking for all things James Edgar Skye, you can find his social media visiting https://linqapp.com/james_skye Also support a life coach that has influenced me along my journey of self-reflection: https://www.groundsforclarity.com 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 Norm
  2. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Kathleen
  3. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Caroline
  4. Interview with Kathleen (Living Works)
  5. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Crystal

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 Justin Luebke on Unsplash

Community Mental Health Discussions on Discord

James Edgar Skye (The Bipolar Writer) is collaborating with Grounds for Clarity on a new Discord Channel called Community Mental Health Discussions. It will be a place where you can come anonymously if needed discuss the many topics that come with mental illness and mental health. Our goal is to have open-ended discussions that are open 24/7. Myself and Grounds for Clarity will be moderators.

Want to join? Go to www.discord.com

  • Sign up for a discord account.
  • Then add me as a friend – JamesEdgarSkye#4190
  • Send me a message that you are from WordPress, introduce yourself if I don’t know you, and I will add you to the group!
  • If you have any questions or need help simply reach out.
  • Or email me @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com

Here is the introduction to our discord:

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: 

  • Politics
  • Religion/ Deity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Ethnicity
  • Racial make-up
  • Education
  • Culture
  • Physical/ Mental/ Social/ Emotional/ Environmental/ Spiritual factors
  • Lifestyle
  • Age (Group is reserved for 18 years and up)
  • Mother tongue
  • Professional/ Role in society
  • Taste of music
  • Sense of humour
  • Criminal record
  • Sports affiliation
  • Military background

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:

James Edgar Skye
Grounds For Clarity 

If you have any questions please contact me or leave comments below. This separate from our weekly Saturday discussions that we will be hosting on Zoom. (See tomorrows blog post.)

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 israel palacio on Unsplash

A Guest Blog Post – NooseGirl

This is a guest blog from a writer that calls herself NooseGirl. She asked me to share this blog post with my fellow bloggers. What is said in these guests posts are the position of the author and not James Edgar Skye or this blog. I allow each author to write in the way they feel comfortable when sharing as guests or contributors. You can find Noosegirl @ http://breathingwithanoose.com

A “Tool” of Fear

In 2014, my psychosis graciously went into remission and granted a brief 6 month period of sanity. During that time, I was able to return to my former approach to living life and enjoy all my old interests and activities. It was during this period of stabilized sanity that my favorite band announced a pop-up tour. 

I am a devoted, typical Tool fan. Tool is an “art rock” group that realized most of their success in the late ’90s to mid-2000s. Ideal Tool fans tend to be extremely passionate, almost to the point of obsession over the band’s members, music, and lyrics. Collectively, Tool fans can exhibit such enthusiasm and fierce devotion that is reminiscent of a cult-like following.

Somewhat obscure, Tool doesn’t interview, release new music, or go out on tour frequently. Many speculate that aging has weakened the once powerful lead singer’s voice, and health-related issues are also suspected to decrease their visibility. 

When Tool announces that they are going on tour, it’s a big deal! Tickets sell out instantly, leaving scalpers as the only option from which to purchase a ticket. Fans are left to pay a steep price that reflects the rarity and coveted nature of the event. 

So when I learned Tool would be performing an hour and a half away from me in Hershey, PA, I jumped at the opportunity to treat myself and splurged $400 on a ticket. I was ecstatic and excitedly began counting down the days to the concert. It was about one month away.

By the time the date rolled around for the concert, my life had dramatically changed. Tragically, my sanity had once again become impaired, and all of the old delusions were back. This time, because it wasn’t a new experience, what I once considered as suspicion was now firmly replaced with neurotic conviction.

I assumed my brief respite from government interference was because I secret assignment had been aborted or redirected. But clearly, I was wrong because “Weirdness” (my pet name for all of the undercover agents that followed me) was back. Now I realize that the period of their absence was simply a restorative break. My case had now been returned back to active status. 

Weirdness’s return bolstered my confidence and understanding of how controlling and manipulating the government was in my life. I was surer than ever that Weirdness permeated every aspect and detail of my life. I no longer held faith that anyone or anything that I randomly encountered was real. 

Everything was masterminded. All had been engineered. I now viewed my life as a giant movie set filled with people that were actually actors. Each actor chose to play carefully designed roles refined and sharpened to manipulate and influence me.

Arriving at the Tool concert, I was full-blown psychotic. The environment delivered an overwhelming assemblage of “weird people” or actors and secret agents. They assembled and circulated all around me, each one purposefully placed to manage and deliver coded instructions.

The profusion of secret messages in the crowd was staggering. There were messages on their t-shirts, in their hairstyles, and incorporated into their jewelry. I even managed to detect the delivery of information in food toted around by the crowd. The continuous stream of data, directives, and commentary, was an absolute and endless assault on my overloaded and exhausted mind.

By the time the concert started, I was a complete mess replete with confusion, exasperation, and resent. Here I was at a long-awaited show of my favorite band, and I was miserable. It was impossible to enjoy the experience. There were just too many messages, too many secret agents. I was powerless to stop any of it. Reluctantly, I entered the arena and took my seat.

As the concert began, I tried to join in and get into the music. I attempted to stand and sing along, but my mind teamed with racing thoughts of government control and interference. I began over-analyzing the music deciding that there was something “off” about it. Ultimately, I convinced myself that it really wasn’t Tool that was performing. . . just imposters.

To confirm my suspicions, I decided to rush the stage and get a better glimpse of the band. I made it almost 6 rows away from the scene, but the security guards stopped me and sent me back to my seat. Their denial of access confirmed my suspicions. And, more shockingly, I had figured out an elaborate sham. That wasn’t Tool on stage. It was a group of government agents performing their music. They had used a fake Tool band as a lure to confine me in a crowded arena environment. It was a trap. And I knew I needed to get out before they captured me.

So in an unnerved and exasperated dash to the door . . I LEFT  . . . 

  • I left my favorite band and a rare performance
  • I left after only 3 songs
  • I left my $400 seat.
  • I left feeling defeated by frustration, confusion, and fear
  • I left overflowing with all-encompassing anger
  • But most importantly, I went with the satisfaction of knowing that this secret-society-government-sex cult had planned to abduct me and I had outsmarted them . . . this time anyway

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month. While it’s great there’s a month dedicated to this, it should be 365-day year awareness.

I understand suicide can be a touchy subject especially for those who have struggled with it themselves or have lost a loved one to it.

I wanted to share my personal story with suicide because that was something I struggled with for a long time.

I was 14 years old when I started getting suicidal thoughts. I was in high school and was completely miserable. I was living in an abusive household suffering abuse from my mom on a daily basis. It was physical, verbal, & psychological abuse. Living in such a toxic environment and experiencing that abuse on a regular basis caused me to go into a severe depression.

I would spend hours locked in my room crying myself to sleep. I would always question God asking him “why me?”

“Why was this happening to me?”

“Why did I have to get a mom who treated me so terribly?”

It wasn’t much longer when I started to get suicidal thoughts on a regular basis.

My mom told me so many lies on a regular basis that it was hard for me to not believe them. She convinced me I was a burden to others & that I shouldn’t be on this earth. She told me things that no child or person should ever here. She told me she wished I were never born and that she wished she had me aborted when she had the chance. These are things I wish I could say never happened, but those were all lies she told me.

My thoughts started to become more negative and darker as the days went on. I started to lose feelings of happiness and forgot what happiness felt like. I started to feel numb & empty on the inside not feeling any emotions but sadness. I started to cope with self-harm when I was 14 years old. I believed it was the only way for me to feel something besides emptiness & sadness so I turned to self-harm.

That’s when the suicidal thoughts started to creep in and became more frequent. I started to believe the lies my mom and my depression told me. I believed I was a burden to others and that the world would be a better place without me in it. I wanted out of the world so bad that I came up with a plan when I was 15 years old to end my life. I had been prescribed pain medication from a dentist visit when I had to get a root canal and researched that medication and found that if I took all of the pills in the bottle I could never wake up again. That was my plan.

It was like playing tug o war in my mind though, there was that part of me that believed I was a burden and that I should just leave the world now, but there was another part of me that wanted to keep fighting. It told me to keep pushing through that those negative thoughts were lies and I could beat them.

I confided in my high school’s guidance counselor and he helped me push through the suicidal thoughts. I didn’t seek out treatment for my depression at the time even though I should have. Throughout high school I still struggled with depression and being active in sports helped me manage it.

After high school and when I went away to University the suicidal thoughts started to creep in again. I thought it was just homesickness since I was going to school on the other side of the country, but it was much deeper than that for me.

It was the summer of 2014 when I was home from University that I sought out treatment for my depression. I struggled with an alcohol addiction and one day when I had way too much to drink I couldn’t control the suicidal thoughts. I knew that if I didn’t seek out help that night, I would have harmed myself and may not be alive today. I had my best friend’s boyfriend drive me to the mental hospital and drop me off. He asked me if I was sure I wanted to do this and I told him yes I knew if I didn’t get help I was only going to get worse.

I spent three days in the crisis unit of the mental hospital. I was put on Zoloft and anxiety medication that helped ease my anxiety while I was there. I wish I could say going on Zoloft helped with my depression, but it actually made things worse for me. At the time I was diagnosed with depression and didn’t know I had bipolar disorder. When I was on Zoloft I felt like a zombie I was so out of it and numb, I hated it. I didn’t realize that for those who have bipolar disorder, anti-depressants could cause you to go into mania, which it did for me.

When I was back at University that semester I was a wreck. I was in and out of depressive episodes along with being in manic episodes. My alcohol problem was out of control and my behavior was reckless. I was failing all of my classes and was drinking on a daily basis. I started to struggle with self-harm again and the suicidal thoughts again. I knew that if I didn’t leave University and get myself out of that environment things were only going to get worse for me. That’s when I withdrew from University and moved back home to Florida.

I wish I could say everything got better for me when I got back home to Florida, but my depression grew worse. The psychiatrist I was seeing was no help at all to me and didn’t listen to my problems. He didn’t care to give me a proper psych evaluation and just wrote me a script for the next anti-depressant out there. I continued to struggle with self-harm and battled the suicidal thoughts daily.

I was empty & numb living in an endless cycle of my depression.

It wasn’t until the end of 2016 when I finally found a psychiatrist who gave me a proper psych evaluation and diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. Getting on the proper medication and changing my lifestyle to healthier habits, put an end to the suicidal thoughts. It was like the fog had finally been lifted and I could see clearly again. I started to see a therapist for a few months as well that helped me work through some of the issues from my past.

I’m happy to say that I am stable now and have not harmed myself in over three years now. I still find myself going into depressive episodes every now and then and will catch the suicidal thoughts creeping into my mind. I’ve become a lot stronger than I was three years ago and can fight off the thoughts much better than before.

I know living with a mental illness will be a life long battle for me. I’ve spent over ten years now fighting the demons and while it can be exhausting, I know I will survive the fight.

For those of you that have experienced something similar or going through a tough time please never hesitate to seek out help. There are so many resources available out there today and remember you are not a burden to others. Your life matters and you are never alone in this fight.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

Reclaiming My Love For Literature

I am guessing that most of you might have realized that I have been absent for quite some time. Despite me being an advocate for mental health, I too suffer from mental health issues and the health issues hinder my day-to-day experiences. Though I understand that I was diagnosed with Bipolar Mood Disorder, it doesn’t define who I am and who I aspire to be.

It takes a lot more effort though to manage and deal with what is expected of us, from our jobs, schools, work and family life. It can be quite taxing especially when one is currently having an episode. When I had my fourth episode this year, I was hospitalized for quite a while, longer than I have ever been before. I had suicidal ideation and had no recollection of anything that I was doing.

I lost a sense of who I was because, at the time, I had not found the right cocktail of medications that worked for me. It was all trial and error and I was frustrated since nothing was working and that I took longer to recover from episodes.

I lost so much interest in things that I used to love doing. I stopped journaling, writing code, blogging and of course, began despising literature. Mind you, I’m not a literature student, I am a computer science and engineering student. This may sound extremely weird for most people because most people in Stem fields have little or no interest in literature. Believe me you, there are so many of us, in stem that appreciate language beyond research purposes but for the beauty that the art of language portrays.

Before and during my hospitalization I lost my ability to read and retain what I read. I was infuriated by this because literature was my canvas, my form of expression besides science. I was lost and felt hopeless. While I was in hospital my boyfriend brought me novels and non-fiction books. I struggled to read more than 10 pages a day, but as time went by I picked up speed and began reading and writing. Before I knew it, I finished a 150-page novel in two days within the second week of my hospital stay. I progressed and read more books which were a bit longer than the first. My love for literature and reading was reignited.

I found me again. It’s through the little things in life that we know our life purpose. It’s not about the money or the physical things that fulfill us but rather the tiny little basic needs that we require to live our lives. The ability to have the freedom to express what we want and the freedom to be authentically ourselves. As I mentioned, I found me again and I couldn’t be happier!

Thank you for being with me. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Angel love and rainbows.

Love, Francesca.

Using Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs as Coping Mechanism

I was asked to write about the use of alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs– concerning addiction and experiences in my own life.

I can say I have had issues with alcoholism when it comes to using it as a coping mechanism for my depression, and so I will start here for this blog post. I have not touched a drink for close to four years, but before that, I was an alcoholic. The bad part about my drinking was it had nothing to with social drinking, I preferred to drink alone in my writing area. I used the excuse of a good writing day as an excuse to drink to get blackout drunk, but it was just something to get past the depression, and it never worked.

The problem was that I was using alcohol as a crutch and it was hurting my recovery. I went to Vegas in 2014 and went on a real bender while on vacation. I was drinking from the moment I woke to the moment blacked out two or three the next morning. It only got worse. It got so bad that my best stories during this time in my life were so drunk that I don’t remember one of the Vegas nights at all, and yet I was doing a lot while drinking. Eventually, I quit drinking, got help, and I have been sober ever since.

There is some that claim that they do nothing to help with anxiety, and they’re probably right, but at the moment it helped a lot to have a cigarette when my anxiety was spiraling. I quit in 2014 for health reasons, but I did have a recent have a small relapse with have a single cigarette during a recent depression (with the new California Tobacco tax it is just too much to smoke.) But as with alcoholism, it was just a crutch.

When it comes to drugs I don’t have a whole lot experience but that many of our people in the mental illness community have turned to drugs as a way to cope. I high school, I used marijuana as a way to deal with depression and anxiety, and I was lucky enough not to have gotten into hard drugs.

Addiction and Mental Health

Mental health and addiction indeed come with the territory, and if you are struggling as I do with subjects like suicide is to find a way to quit and seek help. It is bad enough dealing with mental illness without addiction, but it won’t be easy. To quit alcohol and tobacco is was tough, and it was a struggle for years to get off these things.

We continue to fight because that is what we do. No matter what mental health recovery is the most important thing in this life. So find a way to wake each day and fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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

How Do I Become a Better Mental Health Advocate?


I am in a strange place in my life at the moment. My advocacy for the longest time has been to share my story. I am currently in the editing part of the publishing process with my new publisher. My goal for so long when it came to advocating for mental health was to get to this point.

And now? I am not sure where to go from here. I had this grand idea that I could launch my Patron with quick success, start working towards starting creating a brand–The Bipolar Writer. I finally found a logo that I love and it could mean merchandise in the future. There is my idea of creating The Bipolar Writer podcast, and I even had a fellow mental health advocate willing to work with me.

Then I got busy. Advocacy took a backseat to finals for my graduate classes. I began to write less here, and many of my posts lately have been partly desperation pleas to help me get my Patreon numbers up. I feel the pressure of having to continue to take things to the next level and indeed keep my mental health advocacy at the highest level.

I know I should be elated that my book is getting published and I am excited at the prospect.

But, I started this blog to start something more significant and while my contributors have taken this blog to new heights, I feel as I have personally failed my fellow mental health suffers because I am not continuing to help end the stigma. I feel as if I need to always be changing the game because I took on that responsibility when I made my story open to the world.

I don’t know where I go from here or even if this blog will survive much longer. Lately, no matter what I do out numbers are lower than they were the year before, and we set some fantastic records last year at this time. I just feel that nothing is going right and it is because I am not here every day trying to save the world. It sounds silly, but I always thought all of this was leading to bigger things. Now I am not sure I really am an advocate.

How do I become a better mental health advocate?

I just don’t know anymore. Anyway, thank you for allowing me to rant. I will try to write more informative mental health posts in the coming weeks. I would love to hear from you, my fellow mental health sufferers, what you think I can do to be a better mental health advocate.

Always Keep Fighting my Friends

James

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

My First Clonazepam Update

Become a Patron!

I wanted to talk more about my recent anxiety medication change. I am no longer on Ativan (which in itself a major positive thing.)

I started Clonazepam on Tuesday the 26th of March and that first day was very different. I took the early morning dosage and while I had some morning anxiety once the medication hit my system I could tell things were much different.

Here is a typical day on Ativan. I take 1mg in the morning. By noon-1pm I am already having major anxiety. I have to wait until about 5pm to take another 1m or 2mg based on the anxiety level. That will last me until about 9pm where I would have to take 1-2mg in hopes my anxiety still doesn’t spiral. In a typical week, I would have 3-4 panic attacks (as of recently) and i was a struggle every moment.

Taking clonazepam three times a day (it lasts about 6-8 each 1mg pill) has made my anxiety very manageable. I had one small panic attack when I forgot to take my evening dose. Other than that my social has been manageable. I feel better and more confident. It is a small sample size and I have a few weeks to go to see major differences, but this could be what I needed to finally be in a place to work out the triggers of my social anxiety.

I am going to stay positive.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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Collaborator Changes & New Contributors

A Note of Changes for Collaborators

I wanted to preface this blog post with this, I know the collaborators are busy people with many things that are commanding their time.

However, I have been relaxed and allowing some contributors to go months without a post. The original agreement was at least one required post every two weeks (two post a month) so that the content of this blog will stay fresh.

Starting April 5th, 2019, if you have not posted at least one blog post this year, I will be taking you off the roster.

In May, I will be implementing the two a month policy of posts and will be making changes by end of the month if you have not posted at least one blog post that month. There will be exceptions and if you contact me and explain you situation I will you to write at least one every three weeks. The reason is because there are others looking to join the ranks.

Other Changes of Contributors

The other change effective April 1st, 2019 is that I will be asking all contributors to schedule your posts at least 24 hours from when they are willing to publish. What has been happening is that people will post all on a Monday and then nothing all week.

If you post automatically (like all on the author level) I ask you to please schedule, if you don’t I might make the change and repost another for another time. Lastly, please edit and proofread your work the best you can, I just don’t have the time to do so because of my busy schedule.

New Contributors

I am looking for fresh eyes on new mental health topics for The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog. Please inquire @jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com

Always Keep Fighting

James

Become a Patron!

Encouraging Myself Before I Snap

I’m having a very difficult day today.

My anxiety levels are high while my depression is begging for me to crawl into bed where I can fall apart.

Since my iPhone woke me up this morning I have wanted to go back to sleep. I considered not getting up, to call in sick so that I could lay in bed all day. But then I remembered…

I had a beautiful quiche I bought at a local coffee shop in the mini fridge at work.

I said to myself, “I can’t let that quiche go to waste. I paid good money for that!”

So I told myself that if I go to work I can try to stay until 12:30 (basically half of my day) and eat my quiche.

This actually worked! I got ready as usual and continued to encourage myself throughout the day. I have been saying, “Ok, can I make it for another 5 minutes? How about another hour?”

It’s past 2 p.m. here on the East Coast of America so I’ve stayed well beyond my original goal. My goal right now is to make it until 2:30. From there I’ll evaluate if I can finish my work day.

Damn my therapist is going to be proud of me!

For when I go home I have no idea what is going to happen. I have been in control all day but I don’t know if I can prevent myself from having a meltdown.

I hope that this post helps somebody out there! Please leave me a comment of what you do to overcome the desires of your mental illness!

Mental illnesses can be so loud and have such a tight grip on us. It takes a shit load of strength to surmount the difficulties a mental illness brings.