Left on Read

As an adult I’ve found it difficult to make friends and keep friendships afloat. I try my best but it doesn’t seem to be enough sometimes.

During this quarantine period I’ve made two online friends through anime Facebook groups. Both of them have been great to talk to, I’ve really appreciated having them to talk to.

The one person, her and I spoke today so we are fine, but the other I’m not sure what happened.

Her and I would chat multiple times a week about anime and read each other’s fan fiction. (Please don’t judge me for writing fan fiction, I’ve already judged myself enough for it. It’s a new hobby.) We got along really well! I enjoyed hearing from her and the conversations we had. I felt like we were actual friends.

Late last week I wrote to her asking if she had any time to proofread my story. I didn’t hear a reply that whole day so I looked back to the message to find out if she saw it.

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Being left on read I thought maybe she is busy, she will reply later.

She didn’t.

A couple days later I sent her my story because she had previously said she was ok with reading my work. I saw her post something to our group but I heard nothing from her so I checked the chat.

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She has continued to post on her Facebook and the group we are a part of so it makes me wonder what the hell I did. Our conversations had been normal, we didn’t have any drama between each other.

I feel stupid for a plethora of reasons, from letting somebody who I don’t really know get to me and asking myself why anybody would want to be my friend in the first place.

This isn’t the first time this has happened in my life.

In high school, a good friend of mine who went to a different school did the same thing to me. I would call her, text her and even wrote her a letter with no response. I still don’t know why she distanced herself from me, I probably will never know.

Why is this a pattern in my life?
Is it me?
Is it them?

During all of this I was happily reminded of the longterm friends I’ve had since university. I went to a Zoom birthday party for my friend and got to see a few other friends which was so nice! It made me feel really good to be remembered and invited.

I’ve found a lot of value in the friends I’ve had for years. Even though we live in different places and haven’t seen each other in years, I know that they are still there for me.

Have you been left on read? Have you had friendships dropped for reasons you don’t understand?

Bullying and Mental Health

This is perhaps the most important topic I have covered on The Bipolar Writer blog. It is also the most talked about, and today as I write some new posts for the remainder of the week, I wanted to repost thing blog post, because there has been so much feedback posted on this post. I think other than my posts on suicide, bullying and mental health is an important to ending the stigma surrounding mental illness.

My Take on Bullying and Mental Illness

It is always the goal of this blog to be informative. At the same time, I want to share my experiences on the topic in question. I wanted to write today about the realities of bullying and effects it can have on mental health when we are younger.

It was different when I was a kid. The technology that our kids (whether they be your child, a niece, or a nephew) have at their disposal changed the game when it came to bullying

Any expert will tell you that bullying at a young age can cause serious emotional distress. and even develop into mental disabilities.

I can remember some level of bullying when I was a child. In my own experiences, I am not sure if it affected my mental illness as much. In middle school, the bullying I received could have been one reason for later issues. It could be why in high school I became a loner introvert. When depression became a constant companion in my teenage year’s bullying didn’t help.

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In my own experiences. Other things in my childhood have more bearing in what were causes in my mental illness, but I won’t discuss that here.

In my middle school years my bullying was for being geeky (I played video games and D & D) had some bearing.

It’s different in today’s world. I can remember in my early twenties with MySpace and Facebook online bullying was taking shape. I am going to age myself a bit. I can also remember when chat rooms were big when I was a teenager. It often was a place for online bullying for those that were different.

Bullying can cause so much damage at a young age. It could interfere with social development. I became more myself when I was alone. I reveled in it. But it made it harder for me to be social in high school. It’s one of the causes of my social anxiety now.

It can hurt your self-esteem the more bullying takes place in your life. I know the bullying I received in middle school for being a teacher’s pet or a geek it often made me depressed. I can even remember times when I was anxious to go school during my high school years.

I remember once talking on MySpace about my cutting and self-harm. I got such negative remarks from people because it’s such a taboo subject. The ridicule I received was that of an outsider in the normal world. When I took such lengths at such a young age (my teenage and first years of adulthood) it people used it against me. So I became more secretive and hid in shame.

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In the last ten years, I have seen bullying turn to mental health issues for others on a global scale. I have seen people bullied online for going through depression or self-harm. People tend to not realize that those of us who talk about these issues might be reaching out. Talking about self-harm or suicide might be the last ditch hope to have someone listen.

The biggest thing I want to talk about here is for parents. It’s important to talk about bullying with your kids. It is paramount if your kids are starting to show signs of mental illness. If you are looking for things like prolonged depression or constant anxiety it will show up. You can watch. Ask questions.

Don’t be afraid to check your teen’s social media. It is the biggest place that I have seen the most bullying in today’s world. I can’t imagine going through bullying during the day at school. Then you go online and you subjected to bullying there too. So many teens spend so much time in the digital world it’s become the breeding ground of online bullying.

We see the stories all the time, and I mean those of us in the mental health community. Kids so young taking their lives because bullying is such a major part of their daily routine. It becomes too much and we lose human beings who only want to be kids.

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This saddens me that so many young kids and teens are losing hope and turning to suicide. Bullying is a big part of this problem. I am not a parent but I have nieces at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Sometimes the most silent of us is being hurt the most. Words can cut deep. It’s important for parents to be active in their child’s life. Down the road, it could lead to an undiagnosed mental illness.

I was twenty-two when I was first diagnosed and no one realized I was in a bad place for so many years.

This part of the post is for those that are suffering from bullying and see no way out.

Get help. It’s important.

Writing my memoir has made me realize a lot of things. If I would have talked to my parents about how deep my depression was at fourteen I might have gotten the help I needed. I struggled so much because I left things unsaid. It was until I was in my early twenties before it got so out of control that I chose to commit suicide.

With technology overwhelming us with so much negative every day and with so much bullying online, its become a major issue. The human beings that we are losing are getting younger and younger.

On both sides, parents, and kids, the most important thing is to communicate with one another. It was a different world I grew up in. The stigma was tougher for those of suffering and it was easier to not talk about a mental illness. But this thinking in my mind now is wrong. You must talk about bullying and how it can lead to a mental illness down the road in your own life.

That’s the biggest mistake you can make in this life.

I am speaking to parents, children, teens, young adults, and even adults. We say such hurtful thing to one another on social media as adults. What are we teaching our children?

Learn from the mistakes I made.

I write these blog posts because the topics mean a lot to me. I want to be a voice. But those of us in mental illness community that have experience, have to be a more active voice for the younger generation.

I am adding a new thing to my blog. I will ask my fellow bloggers to share their own experiences with bullying and mental illness. Not just in my comments on this blog. In your own blog space.

I challenge you to, if you can, share your own experiences and add to what kids, teens, and young adults can do to combat bullying in a technological world.

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Always keep fighting.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoOliver Cole

unsplash-logoHailey Kean

unsplash-logoWilliam Iven

unsplash-logoAndy Grizzell

unsplash-logoRachael Crowe