The Bipolar Writer Doubts

They say the monsters and demons tend to come out at night the most. That is true also with doubts. There is something about sitting in the dark on the doorstep of sleep that wakes up my brain, and so the last thoughts are of my doubts that I faced that day.

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I journal off and on over the last ten years. At times it is to clear my mind after a long depression cycle and to get my thoughts down during those times. At times I use journaling to come up with ideas for fiction and creative nonfiction work.

It is the area where my doubts to bleed on the page of my journal is when it comes to my writing. I am a published author with a memoir that is selling okay. There are other projects that I am working on to be published in 2020. There is a real fear that my writing will never go anywhere.

I know these doubts are just lingering because I have so much going when it comes to writing. I have the ghostwriting business that I am taking to the next level, and I am starting an LLC. I am launching my brand, The Bipolar Writer. Ive created new things for my tiers on my Patreon account, including merchandise with my logo. I have projects galore, and I am nearing the end of my master’s. I consider myself a seasoned professional writer with fiction and creative nonfiction that will take me to the next level of writing. Everything is either about to be published, in editing, or a work in progress.

You would think I would not have time for doubt, but it is always late that they come when I am alone.

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They say the monsters and demons tend to come out at night the most. That is true also with doubts. There is something about sitting in the dark on the doorstep of sleep that wakes up my brain, and so the last thoughts are of my doubts that I faced that day. There are times I have mini panic attacks.

I am a work in progress. I will always be adjusting as new things with being Bipolar, having social anxiety, and panic disorder change and the world changes. I have written about being alone recently and why I feel okay with that feeling. The doubts they tend to go to other places. Will I be alone forever? It is one that has haunted me.

It is not all bad. I am better equipped to handle these thoughts of doubts. I look at where I was when I began this journey. I was this 20 something who could not live, and wanted to die. Then I came back. Got one degree with another on the way. Graduated with honors as an undergraduate and heading that way as a graduate student. My life as a writer has improved. I am better at helping others and sharing my story. I have a future in my hand. You see, the doubts are just feelings of insecurity. Look at what you have accomplished and what you have in the future. No matter how small. To quote a friend, open doors and go through doors that are opened for you. This life is too short. Stay strong as always.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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

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What is Success?

Worrying has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve worried about everything under the sun at one time or another.

My current worry is, am I/will I ever be successful?

I reflect on my career and finances primarily and debate with myself whether they’re successful enough.

I’ve always said that if I write for a living and am making a difference with my writing, I will be happy. For 2 years I have done that for a non-profit organization telling stories and encouraging others to donate. But I don’t make as much money as I would like. Does that make my job unsuccessful?

Because I don’t make a lot of money, it holds me back financially. I live at home with my mom because I spend almost half of my bi-weekly paychecks on student loans. I look at my bank account and shake my head because I always wish I had a few more dollars in there. Does that make me a failure?

I feel like I’m nowhere near being a success person because of my financial situation. I feel like I have failed at life.

My depression loves to play these thoughts on repeat. My mind tells me I will never amount to anything, that any dream I have will never become a reality because I am destined to fail.

I dream of writing a non-fiction book, of having a story published in a popular publication, of getting married, traveling the world and somehow paying off my student loans.

Those goals seem so unattainable that it discourages me from trying.

Next month I find out if I am getting a raise which I really, really want. If I my pay remains stagnant, I will find a new job. If I get the raise, I’ll stay on for longer. So we shall see what happens on the career front this summer!

How do you define success? Do you feel successful in your life?

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The Long Road to Betterment

As human beings, regardless of our backgrounds, we’ve become conditioned to evaluate our success in life based on the monetary value of our material possessions. The impact of this trending train of thought has become detrimental to our society, and is especially toxic for those of us who already struggle to find our sense of selves, our true value.

This shift in humanity, in my opinion, grew exponentially with the rise of the technological era. While it’s existed within us for several generations, it’s much more prominent in the last few. And while recently there has been a small faction bringing minimalist living to light, currently more than ever we have become obsessed with the idea of owning the best and newest things.

This has been a difficult post to write because of my own current struggles on the topic. Where is the line between valuing possessions over what really matters, and yearning for a sense of security you’ve never known? There’s obviously financial security in the way of assets, and then there’s having a stable life. Who’s to say when we’ve taken it too far, and how do we separate the wants from the true needs?

I was raised as a welfare baby, my mom on social security, section 8, food stamps, and I’ve had government provided health insurance for my entire life. My mom still survives on the programs, and now I’m raising my daughter on food stamps and free health care as well. It’s not a choice, because while my husband works, it’s not enough, and I can’t bring in enough money with my disabilities to make the pain they’d cause worth the while.

I’m sure my mother wasn’t proud to need all that assistance to raise me, and I’m certainly not proud either. We recently began trying to apply for home loans, as we’ve both lived under mostly slum lords for our entire lives and we want better for our daughter. Long and painfully disappointing story short, we got denied this week and it broke me.

This switch has gone off inside of me, making me feel guilt, inferiority, and judgment towards myself. I swore I’d never raise my child on welfare, but this was before I knew of my physical restraints. Despite my lack on control in the matter, there’s a certain self resentment that comes with that, a sense of worthlessness. I thought I’d found the perfect home for us, actually allowed myself to get excited for once, and now someone else’s family will fill the home.

It’s been an incredibly trying week, with tensions always escalating and tensions always rising due to our current crappy living situation, and I haven’t felt this defeated in a really long time. Especially for those of us with mental illness, stability is incredibly imperative to our success, and it’s my firm belief that if I can finally achieve stability, maybe I can finally begin my journey to betterment.

What I thought was one step closer turned out to be two steps back, but I must still press on. I have to believe that there’s more left in life for me than just the current chapter, that the book will have at least a relatively halpy ending. Here’s to everyone else who’s had a disappointing week or felt broken by something outside of your control. Life gave us lemons, so I guess we’re making lemonade, no matter how sweet or sour it tastes.

Yesterday, I Wasn’t my Best

I Was More Like the Worst Parts of me

I have had terrible days in 2018, it comes with this mental illness life. Yesterday was a day that I always fear. A day where I really wanted to give up. It’s been a long time since I have felt like giving up in a very destructive way. It was a temporary feeling that only lasted for a few hours due to my increase in depression.

It’s hard to admit that because I was doing so well.

I gave into depression yesterday. It happens. I had a feeling as if things were headed that way since last week. There has been so much on my mind, and I let things get to me— that is always bad for someone in this life. I know it happens and I will most likely be hard on myself because I let myself down a bit.

Yesterday was my least productive day of 2018. I was thinking that while writing this piece. It is not the end of the world. Even at my bad days I still found ways to be somewhat productive. But, yesterday I spent the day in bed. We are allowed days that we just survive, I wrote about that last week. It’s true I was just surviving that day, but yesterday I survived by just being alive.

I was consumed by every doubt of my life moving forward from this point. I was overwhelmed by school. I couldn’t see an end date on my memoir. I felt terrible because I haven’t dedicated enough time that I wanted to proofread and it’s getting to me. My side projects for my blog, like writing interview features, has taken a backseat. I am having issues with my email, so I am not sure if I can get any of my important emails.

I think the biggest thing I fear is that what if things go wrong this year. I wanted 2018 to be better. It really has been an excellent year for me if I am honest. I have been so productive, but in the back of my mind my doubts creep in as the darkness of my depression starts to take over. That is my biggest fear— that things will spiral. I am always afraid of that happening.

I know it’s just a part of my mental illness and this Bipolar Life. When depression takes me over it brings out the worst parts of me. I think the worst possible thoughts and outcomes. I have been through this before, it is nothing new. I have this great outlet right now on this blog. I know I can get through it.

It just sucks to be in that moment. To be depressed about the unknown is something that is a part of me. I can fight this, but the truth is I am not in a great place. At least not right now. I need a few days. I need to get back on track. So that is what I am doing this morning. I am spending my morning writing two short papers. Then I will start my big powerpoint project for next week.

I need to get through the three months as finish my bachelor’s degree. I have so many positives for my upcoming summer. I have my annual pilgrimage to Vegas. I can walk with my graduating class in June summa cum laude. I have my brothers wedding. I know I will complete my memoir. It is not in me to not complete a project. I have this overwhelming need always to finish what I have started when it comes to a writing project.

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The upside is the Los Angeles Dodgers start their 2018 campaign today. Baseball makes me happy.  I am in a much better mood than yesterday. I got up out of bed and got going early enough. I am at my favorite coffee shop. I have plans for the next few hours to just plow through some of my school work and edit my memoir until I have to plan my opening day party. Life is good. Depression doesn’t last forever.

I have to keep fighting this lifelong fight. It’s the only choice. Things will get better. It always does get better. I have proven that in my life.

So here I am. Fighting. I do that best through my writing.

Always keep fighting.

James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoVolkan Olmez

unsplash-logoPaola Chaaya