Don’t Be a Negative Nelly

My brain is always moving quickly–thinking, planning, reminiscing, dreaming, creating and is actively working. It doesn’t shut down much. It has always been like this and it always will. That is a part of who I am.

Sometimes my thoughts are happy and pleasant and other times they are negative, intrusive and alarming. When negative words and ideas start filling my mind, it is easy for me to become those words. I become angry, hateful and self-defeating or whatever the recording is playing inside my mind. Whatever it is I become it.

“Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.”

For example, before going into work sometimes my brain repeatedly says, “I don’t want to work today. I don’t want to work. I hate working. I hate work. I hate this job. I want to stay home. This job sucks. I hate that I have to work. Hate. Hate. Hate.” I become my words and I begin to hate. Even after reading my comments, didn’t you start to hate my job too? 🙂

The more I flood my mind with angry words the more I become angry and unhappy. This is not how I want to feel and no way to begin my long eight and half hour work day. I will become an ugly reflection of my negative thoughts and will begin to feel the meaning behind those words. It will become more work to hide the negativity inside my mind.

After the negative words seemingly flow from my subconscious and echo inside my mind for a few minutes…

I slam on my thought breaks and screech my negative hateful words to a halt.

That’s it. No more. I must stop this negative thought process. My mom used to say, “Don’t be a negative Nelly.” Go from a negative Nelly to a positive Polly.

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Even though I don’t feel happy or positive at the moment, I start repeating positive comments to myself. It can’t hurt. It is better than feeling angry and negative. Plus, it can be a distraction technique. So, I say things like, “I love my job. I am happy to be going to work. I’m a good person. I will share my love with others. I will let Jesus’ love shine through me. I am happy to be alive. I will be a blessing to others. I need to let God’s love shine me and touch others. Please God, let your love shine brightly through me.”

As I walk into the building, I think, “I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. I love my  job….” I continue to think happy thoughts until I encounter other people. Hopefully, my positiveness will stay inside me and reflect out of me and carry me strongly through my day.

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I am super sensitive to EVERYTHING–people’s verbal and non-verbal language shouts at me sometimes. I must learn to not listen to it and brush it off. I cannot let it consume me or become me.  This is difficult and is a continuous work in progress. It has helped me so much by getting rid of the negative things in my life and by that I mean people. If people brought me down and interfered with my recovery, I kept them out of my life. It was necessary and beneficial for my continued mental wellness.

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” ~Mark Twain

I realize positive thoughts do not stop depression, but I have learned after years of living a mental illness life that I must keep a positive dialogue playing inside my mind as often as possible. This is a great coping technique that has worked tremendously for me.

Please give it a try. When negative thoughts fill your mind, say something positive over and over and see what happens. It doesn’t make things end like depression and of course it isn’t a cure for what is ailing you but it sure can help improve whatever state your mind is in. Just give it a try. It helps me stay afloat and combat the demons sometimes, and by demons I mean negativity, intrusive thoughts, past abuse, belittling, shame, hurtful labels and any negativity trying to move into your beautiful mind.

Don’t let negativity overstay its welcome. Negative words don’t pay rent and I guarantee there is nothing gained from the negative words or thoughts so kick out negativity before it becomes a tenant inside your mind. Stay free and clear from any unwanted negative guests inside your own mind and also in your life.

Positivity breeds more positiveness

and the birth of peaceful harmonious joy.

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

It’s All About the Flash (a Very Free Verse Poem)

It’s all about the flash,

the flash of the past,

the flash of what was

the flash of what could have been.

The flash of dreams you want to come true,

dreams that would make your life better.

You know it.

You can feel it,

so you pray

and wait

and dream some more

for a better life.

Then you dream for better flashes,

flashes that tell you you are good.

flashes that tell you it will get better,

flashes that tell you people care about you,

flashes that tell you people love you,

flashes that tell you you will make it again

because you did it before.

Then more flashes asking why

and when will life get better,

flashes of other people’s lives

that seem so much better,

so much easier

than yours.

Then you just pray–

pray for acceptance of what is

and acceptance of what was.

Pray for peace

and patience

for your faith to become stronger.

You keep trying and fighting,

praying you will feel better soon

and then

you just pray.

Pray for happines

and peace

to come

again.

This is what recovery is

over

and

over

again.

I keep typing until I feel better.

It hasn’t worked yet

but I will keep trying,

fighting,

typing

woking through it.

Typing to feel,

to love

and live.

I will make it again.

I have made it before

and I will make it again.

Type, type, type

to feel real.

Type away my sadness.

Type, type, type.

The sadness–

it is still there,

so I type.

I type some more

and pray for happiness and love

to fill my soul,

for loneliness to leave me.

I will make it.

Recovery is possible.

Remember.

I am living proof.

I will never forget.

I am living proof.

So I keep living

and fighting

always.

I am ALIVE.

I am breathing.

I am a survivor.

I am ALIVE

to enjoy

the beauty

of living.

~Written by Susan Walz 


This is why I write and blog. Sometimes I know I need something, so I just type–to feel, to feel real. Thanks for reading. I hope you can relate to this.

Keep fighting, feeling and being.

Sometimes all we can do is “be.” Just “be.” Give yourself credit for accepting when you need to just “be.” Today is a day I just need to “be” so I am ‘being” for a little while until I can “be” more than I am now–until I  can feel more like me–the better me.

All of the “me’s” I have are okay

and all of the “you’s” you have are okay too.

Some days are like that. We need to give ourselves a day to just “be.

BE all that you can BE.

BE the best you

you can BE.

Much love and hugs, Sue


© 2019 myloudwhispersofhope.com | All Rights Reserved

Taylor’s Interview Feature

Many of us in the mental illness community can trace our “story” from the very beginnings, and many stories start when we were teenagers. In my own experience when I was a teenager, I never wanted people to know, or to tell my story. I wonder all the time what would have happened if had gotten help as a teenager? That is what makes Taylor’s story— a young woman from Knoxville, Tennessee— all the more amazing. At age nineteen Taylor has already been through so much, and yet she was willing the be featured on the Bipolar Writer blog, this is Taylor’s story. One we can all learn a few things from her journey.

(Taylor’s blog) https://taysblog2017.com/

Taylor’s Interview Feature

When a journey begins, it is usually at the point where life and mental illness starts crashing into one another. Taylor’s journey begins four years ago in 2014, with a diagnosis of depression and anxiety. In October 2014, Taylor attempted suicide for the first time by trying to overdose on 105 painkillers.

“I sent one of my best friends a suicide note, through text, expecting not to wake up the next morning,” Taylor explains. “To my disappointment, at the time, I did wake up.”

The next day Taylor’s friend, believing that her friend had committed suicide, was hysterical. Taylor’s other friends were clueless as to why her friend was crying hysterically, and it was at this moment that she told her friends what she had done.

“They ended up telling my guidance counselor because I told them I did plan on doing it again and no one was going to stop me. I was so sick mentally that I couldn’t see past the darkness.”

Taylor looks at her life before her illness with so much light. It was a time of happiness being surrounded by family and friends. Life was more natural when Taylor had the coping mechanisms to deal with life, it was a life where she found goodness in everything. Then, what seemed so sudden, life was changing. It reached a point where Taylor couldn’t take it anymore.

“By that, I mean, I couldn’t just smile every time I had a personal problem and acknowledge them,” Taylor talks about the experience. “My problems became more frequent, and I couldn’t handle all the negative changes in my life, all at once. I just had enough, and I didn’t know how to cope with it.”

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Taylor describes life before her mental illness like a sugar rush, and when it became too much, she crashed. It became a deterioration of her mental illness, and it led her to suicide.

To get through a single day, Taylor turns to her faith and talks to God. Taylor is very religious, and she grew up with her father as a preacher and now a pastor. It helps Taylor to connect with her parents daily because they serve as her closest confidants and best friends— especially her mother.

“I am so greatful for the constant pushes they give me everyday to be productive, eat, and take my medicine. The simple things.”

Every day is a constant battle for Taylor with herself. At a level, Taylor wants to get better, but the motivation to do anything on any given day can seem impossible at times. When she isn’t in class, you can often find Taylor sleeping in bed. It is physically hard most days for Taylor to put her feet on the ground. Just to get ready for school is exhausting because Taylor finds herself once again in the throes of not being mental well in the present.

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“I am nineteen-years-old and my parents still have to call me and remind me to take my medicine otherwise I won’t,” Taylor explains about taking her medication. “Not because I don’t want to get better, but because I don’t like the way it makes me physically feel when I take my medication. I feel sick and lethargic when I take my medicine, but I also feel happy and satisfied. It is a constant battle of wanting to feel good physically or mentally.”

At only nineteen, mental illness has already changed Taylor, and she has grown accustomed to being alone. It makes her less social and more of a hardcore introvert when the Taylor before was more extrovert. It is easier in her life to be extremely antisocial, and Taylor often finds herself doing things on her own.

The struggle to deal with life with a mental illness can be severe for a young woman still trying to find her place in this world. It has resulted in the loss of many of her friends because it is easier for Taylor to push people away because of the constant ups and downs of her struggles. Taylor understands that this is a part of her life now, but it is never easy.

There is one positive thing that Taylor wanted to share in this interview feature:

”I want the mental illness community to know that it is okay to not be okay. I have had to learn that myself. People with mental illnesses already see themselves as a burden, so they don’t press their issues on others causing a buildup within themselves until they just snap. We can only handle so much. I want this community to know if they or someone they know are not feeling like themselves lately please seek help and talk to someone. I am always here anyone and everyone— always,” Taylor explains.

Taylor has discovered the therapeutic feeling of writing her feelings and thoughts within the confines of her blog. It is fantastic for Taylor to share her thoughts and help others like herself being young in this mental illness life. In her own experiences, Taylor expresses the wish that she had someone in her darkest of hours.

“Whenever I am having a bad day, I focus on my blog, or ways I can advocate for mental health. I want to help someone who is possibly on the verge of ending their own life. My overall goal is to help people while also helping myself. I do that by acknowledging my own struggles, pain, and letting others know it is okay to do so.”

Taylor is thankful for the people in her life that make living worth it in the end, and her family and friends mean the world. It brings Taylor to tears thinking about the family and friends that stuck around helping her become a better version of herself. Taylor is forever thankful for those people.

“I am also a huge fan of Scandals lead actress Kerry Washington and singer Beyoncé,” Taylor explains about things that make life worth living. “I know it sounds silly, but Kerry’s advocacy and how she lights up a room every time she steps it has helped me so much in my recovery. Beyoncé’s music has soothed me and has made me feel empowered in more ways than one.”

It would not be the last time that Taylor has tried to take her life since 2014. On some occasions during the previous four years, Taylor has found herself in the hospital after a suicide attempt. On her, last suicide attempt, in particular, landed Taylor in intensive outpatient therapy which has been her start to the road to recovery. Taylor expresses that she is grateful for her last suicide attempt because she survived— its another chance at redemption and recovery.

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You can find more on Taylor on her blog:

I always take great care to share a story on one of my fellow mental illness bloggers and Taylor’s story is one that needs to be told. The fact that Taylor is so young and is finding her way in this mental illness life makes for a fantastic story. I know in my heart that we will hear great things from Taylor in the future.

Interviewee: Taylor

Interviewer: James Edgar Skye

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Photo Credit:

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unsplash-logoJordan Bauer

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Katie’s Feature Article

This is another edition of my ongoing series of feature articles of my fellow bloggers in the mental illness community. The complete series is here. This feature is Katie R. Dale.

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Living with Faith in a Bipolar Life

What hold’s the fabric of our existence when we struggle in a single day? It’s a question each of us in the mental illness community must find or are actively seeking. It can be anything that helps you get through the hardest moments in your life. People have turned inward to meditation as a way to understand the “why” in their existence. Other’s find their place in writing their story down, and finding why they struggle. Some of us turn to faith.

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Katie R. Dale, a young woman from Warrensburg, Mo, has found her place within her diagnosis of Bipolar One. The grace of God. It helps Katie to have faith when dealing with the daily struggle of her mental illness.

“He’s the one holding my life together,” Katie explains about the present and her faith in God. “That entails a relationship with Him. That means reading His word daily, praying, having family and friends support me. It also means having a purpose, a job, and the miracle of medication.”

Katie’s official diagnosis is Bipolar One disorder. The journey Katie has to take to get the right diagnosis started at the age sixteen. It was a time of major life change for Katie as she was switching from public to private school. Katie fell into a deep depression and at this age that she began her first inpatient stay. It was at the juvenile psychiatric ward, and it was where she received the diagnosis of Bipolar One.

“The doctor didn’t diagnose me at that age, but it got to a point where it stuck.”

When Katie met with her psychiatrist, the doctor prescribed an antidepressant. Katie made a request to switch her medicine to a different antidepressant. The switch was cold turkey, and in turn, it made her go further into psychosis.

Katie remembers her life before her early experiences with Bipolar disorder.

“I lived a happy, and healthy childhood. It was a relatively normal life. I was always creative. I was into writing, drawing, computer graphics, and challenging the status quo of thinking,” Katie remembers.

Once the realization came over Katie that she was mentally ill, it was too late for her. When her next hospitalization came, it was because she needed help yesterday.

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“But, the hospital admitted me, fortunately. I need to get a steady dose of medication. It was imperative to have medical professionals track my behaviors around the clock.”

Katie considers herself blessed. When dealing with the daily struggles of life. Katie doesn’t struggle with symptoms or the side effects of medication. In working through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Katie has found her way to deal. A teachable spirit and a positive attitude became how Katie hashes out her issues in life.

“Thus, I approach my daily challenges in stride.”

Even with her can-do attitude, Katie’s mental illness has affected her life in the past.

“Mental illness was once possessive and oppressive thing that kicked my butt,” Katie explains. Once I heeded the wisdom of my doctors and started a daily regiment of medication it started to change me. I now work my issues through with CBT.”

Now for Katie her mental illness doesn’t affect her daily life, “It hasn’t affected me. Except now accept it. I will gladly share my struggles and successes with others. Nothing is impossible with God. With God, impossible is nothing. Mental illness happens. Mankind is fallen and we’re not perfect. But God is faithful. And allowed this sickness to affect me insomuch as His grace has prevailed through all.”

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Katie wants to share within the confines of this feature article her wisdom of her journey. First Katie wants to express that you should let shame come from the fear of having a mental illness. To put out the fire of the stigma surrounding mental illnesses we must project courage.

“It is a blessing if we learn from it, and share that with those around us without fear or shame.”

When writing these feature articles I prefer to also get to know the blogger side of my interviewee. Not only their story. That means perusing their website. I get to see what they bring to the table as a writer for the mental illness community. That is the point of why bloggers in the community write. One of the most powerful forms of sharing experiences is through writing.

It was amazing what I found on Katie’s blog. Bipolar Brave. One of the first articles on her blog site that caught my eye was Why I Say ‘I Have Bipolar’ and ‘I Am Bipolar.’ This blog post she has this to say, and its one that we all can relate. I know it does for The Bipolar Writer.

“When I say I’m bipolar, I am addressing the illness because it lives in me! It does not own me, but it begets the symptoms and characteristics of bipolar disorder, therefore I am characteristic of that disorder. I am bipolar.” – excerpt from Bipolar Brave.

It is therapeutic to write about your experiences in a blog. It is the same for Katie. It has opened up doors for Katie. It is through her shared experiences on her blog Bipolar Brave that Katie is able to encourage others. This is a nice bonus for Katie to be able to share her story on her blog. I would recommend Katie’s blog to anyone living with Bipolar disorder.

“By his stripes, we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

The little things in life are what keeps us going when dealing with a mental illness like Bipolar. Katie turns to her faith and all things that lead her down the right path to God and her diagnosis.

“Christ’s sacrifice on the cross means many things to me,” Katie explains about her faith and mental illness. Among those things is largely the reason I can live and have a whole mind. Since claiming victory in the life I have with Christ. Believing he has given me eternal life in Him, I am more confident that He gave me my sanity back. He makes it all worth living. Even the darkest day has a glimmer of light because of Him.”

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Katie is true to her faith and believes in His love. She can’t resist Him. It is her faith that keeps her moral compass centered. In her faith, Katie believes that even if she were to take her life, she wouldn’t be going to hell.

“It’s not the unforgivable sin. He and the blessings He’s given me in the form of my family, friends, and health. Make life worth living.”

In Katie’s life writing has always been a great and important thing. Katie is currently looking for a publisher for her memoir. She plans to try the traditional way of publishing if possible. If not she looks to self-publish sometime this year. Katie plans the memoir to reflect the name of her blog, Bipolar Brave.

I write these feature articles about the different members of the mental illness community because it feels right. It is a way for me to further end the stigma surrounding mental illness. I am amazed that the human beings I write about are real people. People I can relate to every day.

Katie is an amazing human being, writer, and blogger. The way that she exudes confidence in all she does with her faith is astounding. It took me years to say “I am Bipolar, and that isn’t a bad thing.” Katie found her place and is in a place of solace with her faith. It was a pleasure to share another story here on The Bipolar Writer.

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You can find Katie @ http://www.BipolarBrave.com

Interviewee: Katie

Author: James Edgar Skye

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Photo Credit:

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unsplash-logoSamuel Zeller

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Leigh’s Interview Feature

Here is another interview feature, this time Leigh’s. Please read this one and all the others as I repost all of the interview series. I hope to write a book about the many experiences one day if I can get my Patreon account off the ground. Please enjoy!

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Leigh’s Interview Feature

Imagine.

Being entirely out of focus on the world around you. It is impossible to get out bed even for a moment. The struggle to be yourself is real, and the little things in your life seem to be unlikely to get done. What do you do? What can you do when depression gets the best part of your day?

Leigh turns to her faith, “If I take a second to breathe and focus on God, I find that I’m able to concentrate better.”

This is the story of a brave soul dealing with the unimaginable depths of her diagnosis. Each of our mental illness stories is unique to each human being in the mental health community. Here is one story—a good one of Leigh S from Norfolk, VA.

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If we could walk a day in Leigh’s shoes, we would find someone stuck between two worlds. Leigh fights with her Christian faith and being Bipolar. It can be hard to reconcile being Bipolar with what the Christian faith teaches us. The dark places that depression can take your thoughts can be hard to deal with and still keep the faith. It is never easy, but Leigh continues to walk the path that helps her with the daily struggles of being Bipolar.

Leigh explains how it is for her struggle with being a Christian and Bipolar. “Being Bipolar and a Christian can be a struggle on a lot of days. Because while I know God is with me, sometimes I struggle with actually believing it.”

When asked about how her mental illness affects her own life daily her answer was a familiar one. “I have days where I don’t know how to cope, so I retreat to my room and bury myself in a book to escape reality for a little while.”

Leigh’s story begins in the year 2000. In her senior year of high school, Leigh received a diagnosis of severe depression. Leigh started to hate life as she sunk deeper into her depression. It was tough going most days with her moods all over the map. It seemed as if the diagnosis did little to help Leigh.

“My grades suffered. The only thing I can think of that could have lead to the depression was that I had MAJOR panic attacks. It would start in the middle of the night. I was laying there when my heart started racing. My hands seized up, and my mom couldn’t pry them open.”

It only got worse over the years. When Leigh mood would swing from depression to mania, her would spiral. It wasn’t long before Leigh was charging up her credit cards racking up mountains of debt.

“I was happy, sad, frustrated, angry, excited, and depressed all rolled into one package.”

It’s interesting that a sufferer will find the first diagnosis of severe depression. It is often the wrong diagnosis. It wasn’t until eight years later that Leigh got the right diagnosis that fit her symptoms. Bipolar Two disorder. But for Leigh, she believes that her diagnosis was wrong.

“Once I learned about the Bipolar disorder, everything fell into place. All my up and down moods, rollercoaster of emotions. I had it all along.”

What causes this to happen? Leigh believes that it could be that her doctors didn’t know what they were looking for. But she believes that she has been Bipolar since her teenage years. At one point, we have all had a time where our diagnosis and the reality of what is going on in our lives doesn’t seem to match. It was the same story for Leigh.

Every single day Leigh does her best to make it to the next in the way that works best for her. She does it with a lot of prayers and daily meditation. There is, of course, the thing we all have in common, the medication that does its best to balance our lives.

Leigh believes in her faith. One thing Leigh wants people to understand from this feature is simple. That it is possible for someone to be Christian and have a mental illness.

“It is possible to experience being Christian and suffer from a mental illness. It’s a struggle, but it is possible.”

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This is a unique and vital way of looking at mental illness. It is one we haven’t explored here on “The Bipolar Writer.” Leigh says it’s a struggle, but it’s a significant struggle for her. It goes the same for the many other Christians dealing with a mental illness. It was great for Leigh to bring her trust in her faith here, where she would be vulnerable.

While perusing Leigh’s blog, I was impressed with how committed Leigh is to her faith. Leigh wants only to help those who are struggling with their mental illness and their faith in God. It is inspiring to see Leigh’s article about “Plan of Salvation.” In this blog post, she offers to help for those who want to talk about becoming a Christian. Leigh uses scripture to back up her faith throughout the blog articles that she writes.

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A close relationship with Jesus Christ is one way that in Leigh’s life makes it worth living. She believes in a healthy church family that cares and nurtures her spiritual journey. It is essential for those of us with a mental illness to find these little comforts in life.

Meeting others only reinforces Leigh’s faith in God while dealing with an illness. “I’ve been able to meet others who share my mental illness. It has helped me realize that there are others who know what I am going through.”

Many of us in the mental illness community suffer beyond our daily struggles. It is no different for Leigh. In her life, she has to deal with the struggles that are not mental. The illness is a chronic disorder. Fibromyalgia is the widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized areas. It is downright frustrating for Leigh to deal with both daily, but she always finds a way through her faith.

Leigh’s story of faith and diagnosis is not one this author has heard a lot of in his own journey. It was refreshing to see a journey like the one we see with Leigh. To have faith even in the deepest depths of depression is something worth writing about.

It takes a special person to be willing to talk about her journey with her faith and being Bipolar. When I begin to write these individual feature articles, I don’t know what I will find. But so far, I have seen amazing stories the stories of how strong the human spirit is. It’s stronger than I ever would’ve thought imaginable. It is an honor to write down Leigh’s story here on The Bipolar Writer.

If you would like to see more of Leigh you can find her on her WordPress blog:

www.byfaithnotbysight.wordpress.com
Interviewee: Leigh S.

Author: J.E. Skye

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unsplash-logoJoshua Fuller

unsplash-logoBrandon Mathis

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My Loud Whispers of Hope–My New Blog Name and a Poem

“Turn loud whispers of hope

into shouts of joy

for the triumph of life and living.”

~Susan Walz


My Loud Whispers of Hope

When I finally accepted the theory that Bipolar 1 Disorder was in fact a misdiagnosis for 26 years, a heavy ugly weight has slowly been lifted from my being and soul. It is in a small sense an emptiness–void of a label I worked long and hard to finally accept after many years of fighting it. Now there is a huge lightness and freedom from this release of a hugely stigmatized label that was branded on my forehead like a flashing neon light for the world to see.

Since I have embraced the lack of the bipolar disorder label from my list and my LIFE, I realized it was time for a new blog name. I wanted to keep the name My Loud Bipolar Whispers similar so I just removed the word bipolar and wanted to name my blog My Loud Whispers but it was already taken. Rats.

At first I thought My Loud Whispers of Hope was too long, but then I decided it was perfect. Hope was the key to my recovery and beginning of my journey of wellness.

I wrote the following poem AFTER I changed my blog name. I started writing my blog post and this poem was transpired.

I hope you like my poem and I hope you like my new blog name.

Be well my friends.

Much love and hugs, 

Sue


My Loud Whispers of Hope

The silence of shame

ate at my soul,

weakened my spirit,

and extinguished my light,

until God ignited my spark,

rekindled my flame

and unmuted my voice

with loud whispers of hope.

My loud whispers of hope

became clearer words

of strength,

recovery and healing.

My loud whispers of hope

became lyrics and melodies

of courage,

inspiration and faith.

My loud whispers of hope

became shouts of joy

for the triumph of life and living.

~written by Susan Walz

“Turn loud whispers of hope

into shouts of joy

for the triumph of life and living.”

~Susan Walz

Copyright © 2019 | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights Reserved

Interview Features – The Series

Since December of 2017, I have been conducting interviews with people of all ages and sex that deal with having a mental illness in their life. It is my way to give back and also show that mental illness has so many different unique faces that are all amazing in their own right.

I interview each person with the intent of writing a feature article about their journey. For me, it has been nothing short of one of the best ideas I have had for The Bipolar Writer blog. This page is dedicated to those interview features that have made their way to this blog.

This page will be updated as the features become live on The Bipolar Writer blog.

As of January 9th, 2019, I will be bringing interview features back to The Bipolar Writer blog. If you’re interested, please email me @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com for more information.

Always Keep Fighting

James

Morgan’s Interview Feature

Tony’s Interview Feature

Leigh’s Interview Feature

Tabbi’s Interview Feature

Crown Liberty’s Feature

White Fox’s Interview Feature

Courtney’s Interview Feature

Tony Robert’s Interview

Katie’s Feature Article

Interview Feature Story: Liz S.

Brittany Elise’s Feature Interview

Victoria’s Interview Feature

Eve’s Interview Feature

Interview Feature Story: Liz S.

Interview Feature – Julia Cirignano

Interview Feature – Laura Sanscartier

Taylor’s Interview Feature

Joy Daehn Interview Feature

Author: James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoTrent Erwin

Melancholy – A Poem

“And so being young and dipped in folly, I fell in love with melancholy.”

Edgar Allen Poe

Hello. You’re back. I remember you well. We go way back and are like old friends of sorts, or acquaintances, or frenemies rather.

I missed your familiarity. You are ugly, yet comfortable like my old favorite, ripped up, tattered and torn sweatshirt.

I feel you. I know you. I sensed you were coming back and here you are.

Now, I’m not alone in my loneliness. Not with you entering back into my life. You are here giving me a gentle hug. A squeeze to my heart. A peculiar warmth. Your essence creating a sorrowful glow that touches my heart weighing it down like an uneven brick of pressure.

You are a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause. Your name is melancholy. A painful melancholy that overwhelms and overflows my spirit.

Miss melancholy, I know you. Sometimes you bring all your friends with you. Sadness, sorrow, unhappiness, desolation, dejection, depression despondency, the blues, gloom and misery. You are basically the same and yet slightly different at the same time. You seem to work in groups. One leads to the other or leads to a group of mass destruction that can wreak havoc on the most beautiful life.

You call out my name and scream, but no one else can hear you except me. I listen to you because I know you. You have been part of my life for many years, since I was a little girl.

The depths of familiar pain I have reached with you by my side. This indescribable feeling is still a feeling. Oh, the depths of something I can’t describe.

I have been blessed and cursed in ways others can never know unless they too have been visited by your touch. I know the depths of human emotion for I have known death while living. Pre-death, the outer edges of dying, the place just tipping the end. A flirtatious taste of what it is. I know it. I have been there.

Your hug is singing inside me. You have come to visit so far a little bit at a time. However, I fear you will overstay your visit. Please do not try to get too close. I don’t want you to stay and enter back into my life fully and completely. You are destructive and can lead to depression.

You have caused tears already. Tears that have come when I did not want them to come. I think you have been here long enough. It is time for you to leave and take your tears with you. Take your sorrow. Take your grief and your shame and you hurt and your regret. Take it all. I do not want it. I need you to flee. It is time for you to run, scram and scadaddle out of here.

Get out of my heart, get out of my soul and get out of my life for good. Never return.  Goodbye.

“Melancholy is the happiness of being sad.” Victor Hugo


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

Ripple Effect of PTSD and Mental Illness

I wrote this about a week ago after a visit from my parents. My PTSD was triggered significantly after only seeing them briefly, but I made it through once again. What an indescribable joy it is to feel peace and wellness after being consumed with overwhelming anxiety, anger, sorrow, shame, regret and suicidal ideations again. Plus, what a spectacular feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment it is to overcome after becoming undone.

My childhood and life experiences may not have been a warzone, but I can experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) just the same.

The ripple effect of PTSD and mental illness is like a Tsunami. I learned I must prepare for the Hurricane’s arrival by fleeing the scene or not going anywhere near the presence of the storm to begin with. I must stay away from the destructive properties of the storm for my own safety, survival and well-being and for the lives, well-being and happiness of others.

A Tsunami is a ferocious dangerous storm that does not care who it hurts. A Tsunami is never good and there is nothing good about it. It does not discriminate and has an eye and deceptive mind of its own destroying everything in its path. I must stay away from the eye of the storm—his piercing destructive glare wounds deeply.

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I must avoid the storm from hitting again. The mere thought of it sends shivers throughout my entire body causing panic, terror, anger and sorrow from memories of past abuse, pain and destruction.  Even if I do not know the outcome of the storm, I can never take a chance. It is not worth the amount of work and energy it takes to recover. The risk is too great and the wounds and destruction are too painful and sometimes costly. I have had to struggle to survive and overcome too many past storms the Tsunamis in my life have caused throughout my lifetime and I will never do it AGAIN. I am finished with this natural disaster in my life.

One of the huge problems with this storm is the lifelong damage it has caused and maybe even greater is that this storm continues to destruct. It will not die, go away, change its path or course of destruction it chooses. It sometimes just selects different victims which actually wounds me even MORE. I could not stop this storm myself and I can’t protect the other victims as much as I should have. This saddens me as well. This storm continues to be a mean beast of a storm wounding and damaging others in its lifelong destructive path. I have not been the only victim. I must stay away from the evil eye of the storm… and warn and protect others… if only I could.

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We must stop abusers and bullies, all bullies. Sometimes the biggest and scariest bullies live in our own homes. Then there is no place to go for safety or protection The person or people who are supposed to protect you the most are the ones that hurt you the most. Who can you trust? It makes it a lonely, scary and unhappy place to live.

How can we help those we do not know need help? We need to educate. If when I was young I knew how dysfunctional my family was and I had someone to talk to, maybe I could have gotten help. I will never know that, but I pray no one will ever have to go through what I did. So, I continue to talk, to educate, to inform, to start dialogs. I am trying but I know I am not doing enough. I pray I can do more. I pray God will show me the direction I need to go so that I can best help myself and help others at the same time.

Please keep fighting and keep keeping on. Please do not let suicidal thoughts ever win.

Related imageI must confess that after the visit from my own Tsunami this past weekend, I was triggered and my brain took over. I went to my past thoughts. My hope. My way out. My only way I thought I had to end my pain. The only thing in the past that gave me comfort, peace and hope. As sad as that was for so many years of my life, suicide was my hope. I saw no other way out. Please fight those thoughts. I had to fight through them again over the last two nights.  I fought and I won again. I will never let that storm or storms win. I beat that storm before and I will beat it again and again. So can all of you.

I know from experience that it will get better and suicide is not the answer. Recovery is possible. Look out for YOU. Take care of you and know that you matter and you have a huge value and purpose in this world.

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For me, the answer is Jesus. Jesus saves. Jesus saved my life numerous times. He can and will save yours too. Let Jesus help you. Let Jesus enter your life and heart.

Open your heart to Him. Have a relationship with Jesus. I guarantee you it is the best relationship you will EVER HAVE!

Have hope and faith. It does better. Pray and pray some more. Have people pray for you. Have them lay their hands on you and pray. Get on your hands and knees and pray. It works. I am telling you it works.

God answers prayers. Recovery is possible. I am living proof of that.

To pray is to let go and let God take over. ~Philippians 4:6-7

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

The Things I would Have Missed

I am a suicide attempt survivor and because of that I will never be the same again. On February 17, 2018 I should have died. On that day I should have closed my eyes for the last time. On that day I should have taken my last breath.

February 17, 2018 should have been my last day on earth

but

it

was

NOT.

I am alive

and

I appreciate and celebrate

each day of my life

more than I can comprehend.

I am beyond blessed to be alive. I am thankful every morning. I am thankful every second of every day. I can now experience the beauty of living more deeply and beautifully than I ever have before.

To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live.

~ Garth Stein

Right now a beautiful acoustic song plays in the background as I type on my computer and sit on a soft black leather couch in a coffee shop with my oldest daughter. I am beyond full of a peaceful contentment, joy and thankfulness for this day understanding how close I was to never experiencing ANYTHING on earth again.

I was too close to becoming NOTHING on earth. I was so close that my children almost did not have their mother on earth ever again. I’m assuming my oldest daughter is enjoying this moment with me at the coffee shop, as well. She most likely is not enjoying it as much as I am, but she was the one that invited me. She almost did not have a mother to invite. How awful that would have been. That is a lot to take in. It is an indescribable feeling that there are no words to convey the true meaning to the fullest extent of my emotions.

It is bittersweet in the fact that I know I am so blessed to be alive and I appreciate that and then the thoughts of suicide flood my mind with an overwhelming heartbreak of what suicide really is and is capable of. Suicide and suicidal thoughts are like a disease in and of itself. It could and should almost become its own illness separate of anything else. It is more than a symptom. Suicide and the thoughts that endure and destroy behind the monster it is take on a life of their own. Suicidal thoughts that lead up to suicide and/or suicide attempts are an apocalypse within a mental illness life and world of its own.

Suicide is the end.

Suicide is the result of making the biggest decision of your life at your weakest, darkest and worst moment of your life. ~Susan Walz

I often think of what I would have missed. This is a timeline of sorts. If February 17 , 2018 was my last day of my life, this is what I would have missed and my children would have missed having a mother for:

  1. My daughter Alexia winning grand champions at a Show Choir competition. I missed it as I was still in the hospital at the time, but at least I was alive to share her joy with her and tell her congratulations.
  2. Seeing my daughter perform at two more Show Choir competitions.
  3. Being there to see my daughter Kylie and son in-love Dennis move into their new house on April 12, 2018.
  4. Going to my children’s dance recitals. My oldest daughter Kylie, son Keagan and son in-love Dennis are dance teachers and choreographers. I love to watch dance and especially dances they are in and/or choreograph.
  5. Going to church with my children.
  6. Going to my daughter Alexia’s last show choir performance, and choir and band concerts as a senior in High Schoool.
  7. Going to Alexia’s convocation ceremony to see her receive three scholarship awards.
  8. Attending my daughter Alexia’s High School graduation.
  9. Bringing Alexia to the University of Minnesota to attend her college orientation and participating in the parent orientation. If God didn’t save my life, my Alexia would not have had a parent to attend her orientation with her.
  10. Going to my nephew’s wedding with my five children.
  11. Moving into my oldest daughter Kylie and son-love Dennis’ house. I needed to move because I couldn’t afford the house I was living in anymore and I am now on a waiting list for a townhouse to open up.
  12. Having wonderful heart to heart talks with Alexia. We had some of our best talks.
  13. Taking my daughter Alexia to the University of Minnesota to move into the dorms as a college freshman.
  14. Being there for my daughter Alexia when she called from college. She needed me, her mom. I love that.
  15. Starting my new job at an alternative school for special needs students. I get to teach and work with special needs children and young adults again. I get paid to give love. God is soooo… goooood.
  16. Having a wonderful time living with Kylie and Dennis.
  17. Going to the coffee house with my daughter Kylie, today.

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I continue to feel better every day and I continue to appreciate the beauty of living and just being ALIVE. When life gets tough, I try to remember how I was almost not here. Nothing can be worse than that and nothing feels worse than I felt at that moment in my life. I thank God for saving my life, every day.

I am not saying I am completely symptom free and that my life is super easy because it isn’t. I still have to cope with occasional anxiety, but nothing like it was when I was still on Klonopin. I have PTSD and have been triggered by PTSD symptoms lately. I am dealing with that and will be starting therapy shortly to help tackle it. I occasionally still have some minor rapid cycling and mixed bipolar episodes. However, my symptoms are nothing compared to how severe and debilitating they were before and at the time of my suicide attempt.

I have finally learned how to cope with my symptoms better and I look for the beauty in life and find it easier to find now. I do this and can do this now because I was so close to not having a life to live due to my suicide attempt. I am beyond blessed to be alive.

Today. Right now. This is a good day and moment. I try to appreciate them and hold on to them when they happen. I live one moment at a time and enjoy it because I never know what tomorrow will bring. None of us do.

Life is a blessing and a gift. Handle it with care. Life is fragile, but don’t be afraid to live your life. Take some chances. Don’t be afraid to fall because sometimes you have to fall first before you can F.L.Y. (first love yourself), thrive and soar.

Do you know Jesus? He saved my life.

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September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

So, I will write and share a post every day during the month of September containing important facts, statistics and educational information about suicide and suicide prevention. The name of my campaign is called…

Remember in September.

Prevent suicide yesterday.

Today, may be too late.

Don’t let there be anymore “what if” or “if I only” yesterday statements.

Make your today never become a yesterday you will regret. 

Save lives. Talk about it. Don’t wait. Get help. Don’t let yesterday become too late.

If you have any stories or information about suicide prevention you would like me to share on my blog, please let me know. I would love to share any information you have. Thank you in advance for your contributions.

Together we can do this. It takes a village…

and this wonderfully beautiful blogging community…

24/7 CRISIS SUPPORT

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