Community Mental Health Discussions – Zoom Calls for June 2020

In an ongoing effort to put both James Edgar Skye into the world and the most critical part, the continued discussion on mental health and mental illness in a safe setting. I have set the schedule for Zoom calls for the group called Community Mental Health Discussions (also the name of the discord channel) co-hosted by fellow blogger Kim. Here is the schedule for June.Saturday June 20th @ 2 pm Pacific Time (California)

Saturday June 20th @ 2 pm Pacific Time (California)

Saturday June 27th @ 2 pm Pacific Time (California)

The topics vary from meeting to meeting, and I would love to get more voices into the discussion. A note on the June 6th meeting: this Zoom meeting will be recorded to reflect (in a future post) what these meetings are about when discussing and chipping away at the mental illness stigma. 

There are several ways to become a part of the meetings:

  1. You can contact me directly by email: jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com
  2. Use the Contact James Edgar Skye page
  3. Join our Community Mental Health Discussions discord channel by adding me: JamesEdgarSkye#4190

I post the Zoom meeting link in discord and email those who contact me to meet on the morning of the event. I hope to see you there!

Mental Health Topic Interviews

In an ongoing effort to expand The Bipolar Writer Blog, I have decided to begin one on one interviews with individuals on Zoom to discuss a mental illness topic of your choice. Please contact me here if you want to be a part of this idea

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 Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

In life, the best thing to do is?

I am a mental patient and had a tough teenage. When I was first diagnosed with a mental disorder, I was only 13 and had no clue of mental disorders. I didn’t know if the treatments were available. All I could think of was that my family would abandon me or send me to a lunatic asylum, I would never get cured and would be left to rot in the asylum for life, all my dreams would be shattered, my life would be reduced to mere ashes sooner than I ever imagined, and all other negative thoughts. I contemplated suicide several times and attempted twice or so, for I found no point leading a life like this with a mental disorder which crippled me to an extent that it pulled me back from actualizing my dreams and aspirations. Being a teenager, you dream a lot. I had a lot of dreams too and eagerly wished to fulfill them. Watching them break like glass in front of my very eyes was extremely painful and heart-breaking.

I used to be the topper of my class but soon enough, my academic performance degraded. People in my neighbourhood began to spread dirty rumours about me (don’t ask me what), enough to give me a bad name. They began supposing that I have become insane and can never recover. My life is finished — I thought so.

I felt guilty, lonely and worthless. I began blaming myself for my condition and felt much worse. Recovery was another dream that I wished to fulfill. Hope was all I could hold on to.

I sought professional help and managed to come to a better position, mentally at least. It took me years, though. At that very low phase of my life, I decided that I won’t ever let anyone suffer or feel lonely and worthless like I did. I decided to make someone smile every day, extend a helping hand to the distressed, and make them feel less lonely. I wanted to spread mental health awareness to educate people and provide them help. I thought of several ways to do so and ultimately chose to blog as the option. Thus I began my blog in January, 2019. And I aspire to join an NGO and work for the cause of mental health awareness in the near future. Fighting stigma is my goal.

Bottom line: The best thing to do with your life is to use it purposefully. Help the distressed because they need it. Make someone smile and you be the reason for it. Fight for a cause. Don’t entertain injustice, discrimination, prejudice, and stigma. Raise your voice against it. Life is just once, make the most of it.

You Are So Brave…

“You are so brave to share your story,” many people have said to me throughout the years.

“Thank you,” I would humbly reply and never felt like I was brave.

Each time I share my story of living, surviving and overcoming severe mental illness it becomes easier and the need to be brave becomes less. Additionally, the statement of “I am so brave to share my story” becomes even more inaccurate and untrue.

“I never felt brave. I was just being me–the only way I knew how to be.”

I know when people say I am brave to share my story of living with mental illness, they think it is a compliment. However, sometimes it doesn’t feel like a compliment. It reminds me I am different than them, when I don’t feel as if I am and I don’t want to be.

“I just took a different path that brought us to the same place.”

I feel like they think I am brave to share what is wrong with me and how I am different than them. It sounds like they are saying they think my story is so unbelievable and different that it must take courage to speak about it and I should be ashamed of it.

I, on the other hand, am not embarrassed or ashamed of my life or myself. I am proud of who I have become–my strength, courage, determination and resiliency to overcome my illness and many obstacles along the way.

To be brave you must be fearful of something first and it must be difficult for you to do. But, it is not difficult and I am not afraid to share the story of my life. I tell my story to increase understanding, make people happy, share love, inspire hope and encourage others that recovery is possible and that life is worth living and fighting for.

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When someone says I am brave it makes me feel like I should be embarrassed and ashamed to tell my story and share who I am, but I want to share my story and who God helped me become. I am not ashamed or embarrassed. Instead I am very proud of being a survivor and know I am beyond blessed to be alive.

Some people may think I am brave to share my mental illness journey because it is difficult for them to share their own stories. The reason people have to find courage to share their stories and even talk about mental wellness and recovery is caused from the stigma of mental illness.

Stigma puts fear in people to share their own stories. I pray one day people will feel free and uninhibited to share their stories and NEVER have to live in shame. We all need to hold our heads up high and feel free to share our stories without fear of judgement or condemnation of any kind.

People who live with mental illness need to understand and truly BELIEVE that mental illness is NOTHING to be ashamed of. It is an illness that you acquired and is never your fault. Instead of being ashamed of having a mental illness you must be proud because you are truly a survivor and an inspiring hero every minute of every day to keep fighting through the pain and stigma of mental illness.

The fact that I am alive to share my story is a miracle in and of itself. First and foremost, all the praise and glory must be given to God. I must share God’s goodness and grace to all I meet. That is the main message that needs to be shared and heard. I strive to always let God’s love shine through me and touch everyone I meet.

Additionally, the praises and compliments need to go to the listeners and readers of my story. I am thankful and beyond words grateful that I have an audience to listen and read my story.

Thank you for reading and listening. I hope I helped and inspired you in many ways. I share my gift of life with you so that you can live and thrive in your own life and enjoy the pure beauty of living and the precious miracle in each breath of life.


© 2019 Susan Walz | myloudwhispersofhope.com | All Rights Reserved

My First Time Dining Out in a Year

So, I don’t dine out. The last time was a year ago when I moved to my new place (which by the way, I have been here for exactly a year.) We celebrated the move, but I felt anxious and on the edge of a panic attack. It sucked.

I decided no more dinner out, and I eat in when I am hungry or eat food here. I still go to coffee shops and breakfast at the place that I have been to forever, and the crowds are less when I decide to go.

Today I took a leap and considering that I have a ton of summer plans it is better to get it out of the way now before things are busy again in my life. So I went to dinner to celebrate some family leaving town that was here for a couple of weeks. I was okay at first, and it is always important that I get my water so it is there and its the first mental hurdle when I am out dining. It took longer than I would have liked but, it is not like I can control the waiting staff.

I took my Clonazepam at my regular time at 1pm, but I knew there was a chance I would need it sooner and halfway through dinner I needed it because I could feel the panic rising. I was able to calmly go to my car and take my dosage at 7:45pm which was sooner than the 9pm that I need, but it should last me until early morning which fine.

One issue that I have is a deep seeded fear that I will have a panic attack in the middle of a crowded place, and this was a very crowded restaurant. Crowds are just another issue to go along with my panic disorder issues. I usually eat in, or order take-out preferring the comforts of home. For the last year I have turned down dozens of dinner invites, and most of my limited amount of friends do not ask me to go places anymore.

I have created this world of fear of going out, but I have been feeling left out, and it is easy to blame my mental illness, but there come a time and place where you have to find the courage and figure out what the causes.

For so long now I have hidden in my safe places like coffee shops or the place where I always eat breakfast every three to four months with my best friend. Crowds scare me, and they used to not be that way. I used to go to concerts and hang out with friends. But that was 20 years old me and before I knew about depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. The knowing, and actually experiencing having a panic attack in the middle of a crowd I have some basis for that fear.

Tonight I just got by, and I was lucky everyone was a quick eater. I want to live again. I have plans after graduate school, and that means this summer I have to take the help that I was given and get my recovery moving forward with my panic disorder, because like is passing me by. I am going to be a published author this summer. Things are good, but I need to take this next step in the process. More to come as always.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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The Stigma Bubble – a poem

I once lived in a bubble

the mental illness kind of bubble.

I didn’t know the truth, only what I saw on TV.

Pretending it wasn’t real. Refusing to see

the truth of mental illness and the reality

of its huge prevalence from sea to shining sea.

One day I became the statistic, the one in five.

Forced to learn. Jumped in head first. Took a dive.

I became what and who they stigmatize.

A shameful deplorable vision, right before their eyes.

Surrounded myself with rubble,

a mental illness kind of  muzzle.

Soon became tired of the negative, hurtful stuff.

Learned to survive and thrive. Enough was enough.

I was no longer ashamed.

My new life reclaimed.

There was beauty in knowing the magnitude and scope

of the endless possibilities of a future full of hope.

We must all realize, sometimes it’s okay not to be okay.

It happens to many and you will make it through one day.

~written by Susan Walz

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” ~Anais Nin


Copyright © 2018 Susan Walz | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights Reserved