Morgan’s Interview Feature

Starting this month I will be reposting each of my interviews of the “Interview Feature” series. This was something I started in 2017, and while I have not the time at the moment to write new ones, I am planning on writing a book with many interviews in the future if I can get my Patreon account. With that said, here is the first one I ever wrote.

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Morgan’s Interview Feature

Since the inception of my blog The Bipolar Writer it has been my goal to write the stories of others like myself. I have written my own story in my memoir (also entitled The Bipolar Writer) and sharing my experiences on my blog. Every human experience in having to live with a mental illness is unique to that human being and the suffering from it is also unique. It is why I believe it is imperative that I share other’s stories, so here is the story of one brave mental illness sufferer—Morgan who lives in Australia.

The daily struggle of waking up every day to a mental illness can be a struggle and for Morgan, it is no different. Morgan has always felt that her daily mental illness struggle is a hard one, and had this to say, “My mental illness has always been very affected by what’s going on around me, some days it much worse than others.”

We all have that story of when we went from the unknown to the known with our diagnosis. Surrounded by the people Morgan loved on her twenty-first birthday, it became clear to her that in that moment she could barely acknowledge the event and a feeling of numbness. Only broken by the speech of her godparents and seeing the face of a filmmaking mentor, seemed to register to Morgan that day. “I was very lucky that afterward a very close friend, who suffered from anxiety herself, stayed behind and I decided to tell her how I felt,” she recalls.

Sometimes it takes just one person to listen before you realize you need help.

It was here that Morgan, after talking with her friend who recommended that she seek help, that she made the decision we all face. Two weeks later she was diagnosed with severe generalized anxiety and moderate to severe depression.

We all have a history, a time before our diagnosis where we had little to no understanding of what was going on in our lives, and Morgan remembers many times since she was a child that anxiety was a constant and silent companion. Morgan describes her early experiences as just a part of her personality growing up, a common thought during the early stages of anxiety. Like most things with a mental illness, her anxiety grew over time.

AnxietyasPartofPersonality

Morgan remembers that her anxiety was always there with her since she was a child, and at times she felt more anxious than other times, but the feeling never left her. Morgan recalls her memories with anxiety in an interesting way, but not uncommon, “I have no memory of not having anxiety, which is not surprising seeing as many people on my mother’s side of the family suffer from it.”

Anxiety is often the silent partner for the sufferer, and you hardly know it’s there until it makes it presence known. Identifying other family members when looking back your history of the causes of anxiety in their own life is common, and it no surprise that Morgan can link anxiety through her experiences with her family.

Death is an important part of our lives, and the inevitable part of life is that you will lose someone close to you, for someone with a mental illness this can be devastating. It was this way in Morgan’s life, and it was important enough that she brought it up in her interview with me, “My anxiety definitely became much worse after the death of my father and the suicide of someone I had grown up with within two months of each other when I was nineteen.”

The feelings associated with death in the mind of someone who is devastated with anxiety, depression, and grief can make a person with mental illness turn to the only thing they truly know when it comes to emotions—deeper feelings into the depths of depression—of feeling lost and alone.

“I experienced my first panic attack after their deaths, and I would go on to experience both moderate and severe ones in the years that followed,” Morgan explains.

For Morgan, depression was a much different beast, but still important. Looking back, Morgan can trace her first feelings of prolonged depressive moods to age ten or eleven, when her family issues started to affect her life. Her father was in early stages of vascular dementia which caused Morgan’s father to get easily frustrated with his family. At the age Morgan was at, having to go through puberty while dealing with depression, made it hard for Morgan’s childhood to be a normal one.

Depression would become a factor along with physical pain that affected her in school work over the course of her young and teenage life.

There are so many triggers in one’s life that can start a depressive episode, and Morgan recalls several in her life. One constant problem in Morgan’s life is that her physical problems have always triggered depression episodes. “During puberty, I began to experience severe stomach pain and nausea on and off, within a year lightheadedness and fatigue became frequent symptoms,” Morgan remembers growing up.

It was the beginning of what would become a trend in Morgan’s life with her physical problems causing depression that, in turn, affected her schooling. With her depression came plummeting school work and effectiveness in school over the years as a teen. It culminated for Morgan in her final year where once again her unknown mental illness issues made things impossible, “Even though I had amazing teachers, my prestigious school could only compromise so much, and halfway through my final year, I was told I wasn’t able to graduate.”

DepressionandPain

How can anyone, let alone someone who is dealing with the dark places depression can take you to, deal with this kind of heartbreak? Morgan remembers what it felt like, “I can remember thinking about ways to die most days.”

This feeling of wanting to die when faced with such emotional pain is common among those within the mental health community. It is easy to empathize with Morgan because at one point many of us have had to deal with this feeling. Some, like myself, have given into suicidal idealizations. For Morgan, even with her growing mental illness problems, she had to choose and she chose to work on her physical health.

People can also be major triggers of depression in the life of someone with a mental illness, and often they leave the deepest of emotional scars on our lives. When Morgan’s parents first sent her to group therapy as a young impressionable teen, it was far from the normal. Morgan describes the group therapy that parents put her into as an alternative and “hippy” where other kids that had been through the program would come back to help. The problem? Most of the kids were still dealing with their own problems and still in need of help. It is here that Morgan first met an older boy who changed her—and not for the better.

Morgan recalls this relationship as unstable and one she couldn’t live without at the time.

“I developed a very strong crush on one of the older boys who were there to help, and he quickly realized how he could use my emotional feelings to manipulate me.”

Over the next four years of her teenage life, she stayed in touch with this boy, and she recalls that during this period of her life, her depression mood swings went from occasional to a constant menace. Morgan remembers the negative thoughts that this boy brought to her life, “One of my strongest memories of him now is the text messages telling me how much pain I was causing others by being in their lives, and how I was worthless.” For Morgan, this was a daily occurrence and a recognizable one for many dealing with a mental illness.

Dark Shadows Sweater Evening Hoodie People Night

This boy confirmed every fear and anxious thought that Morgan ever had about herself, but the connection had always been there for Morgan, and cutting off this person from her life was filled with difficulties. As humans with a mental illness, we often attach ourselves to situations where it only serves to further our negative thoughts. We feel as if we are not good enough for the world, so these relationships, no matter how destructive, can lead to deeper attachments.

Eventually, on her sixteenth birthday, Morgan finally cut off all contact and ended a relationship filled with emotional cuts that stayed with her for many years.

Not all people that come into the lives of someone with a mental illness are negative influences. In her journey, Morgan has found two people at school that became saviors in her life and they are still a positive influence. In her late teen years, Morgan found the strength to fight her ups and downs with depression with filmmaking and found solace in her friend Alice who became her rock after her father’s death. When Morgan finally sought help it became clear that her past was affecting her future, and since has grown with her experiences.

“I’d known since I was twelve that I had some form of depression, after all, most of my symptoms matched the ones I’d heard of in group therapy, but getting my official diagnosis of anxiety was life-changing.”

These days Morgan gets through her daily struggles with the help of important medications like anti-depressants and breathing exercises that she learned in cognitive behavioral therapy to help cope with anxiety. Morgan also credits a strong support system of family and quality friends who not only know what is wrong with her but offer help in her those times of great need, supporting her along her journey.

When Morgan has a panic attack, she has learned to tell herself, “Everything will be okay in the end, if it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.”

In Morgan’s life, she has found solace in the things that make her life worth living. Close personal friends that are always there for her. Morgan’s boyfriend of eighteen months has seen the worst of her diagnosis and is still is a constant patient and supportive influence every day. Throughout her life, she has been lucky to have her parents that always encouraged her creativity and dreams. It was Morgan’s mother who fostered her creativity, “My mother passed on her love of art and cafes, and we still share wonderful deep emotional conversations together, which are the main ways I process life.”

Of course, Morgan has her cat, Alistair (a Dragon Age reference perhaps) who is always a wonderful distraction from the rest of the world.

In every journey of a human being going through a mental illness you can find real wisdom in the struggle, and Morgan wants her story to be one of many that will help with the goals she sets out to tell her story here on The Bipolar Writer blog, “One of my biggest goals is to reduce the stigma around taking medication. I chose not to take medication for a long time, and it’s one of my biggest regrets I have in life.”

Morgan also believes that the stigma that comes with having a mental illness keeps teens and young adults from seeking help. Morgan recalls when she first started to realize that she was dealing with depression, she saw daily shirts that said, “Cheer Up Emo Kid” which were quite popular in Australia. These types of stereotypes in Morgan’s mind further the stigma that just smiling should be enough to cure you. No one human being chooses to have a mental illness and it can be scary to even think about getting help, but Morgan believes she can change this by telling her story.

“If I could choose this life, I thought, why the hell would you think I would choose this? It is very important to realize your mental illness is not your fault, but you can do something about it.”

In this mental illness life, there is always someone to talk to, a professional or a friend that you can trust. If Morgan could change one other thing about the stigma that comes with a mental illness it would be this, “It’s important to know that there is help out there, even if you aren’t well enough to seek it out in this moment.”

Many of human beings that will be featured on The Bipolar Writer blog cite their creating content on their blogs as one of the biggest thing that makes life worth living. Morgan calls her blog a place of solace that helps keep her steady,

“My blog keeps me from going insane by giving me a little goal to achieve every day, whether it’s replying to comments, writing a new blog post, or promoting on social media.”

Creativity

Morgan is a filmmaker and writer who was diagnosed with endometriosis at seventeen and depression and generalized anxiety at twenty-one. She uses her creativity as an essential part of her healing process.

You can find Morgan’s blog at:

www.fistfulofglittersite.wordpress.com

Written by J.E. Skye

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Interviewee: Morgan

How Depression Ruined My Child’s Birthday

It was my son’s 15th birthday on Saturday. He originally had plans to go to the arcades with his brand new (first) girlfriend, but her parents forbade her going at the last moment, so he was understandably salty about the whole thing. He hadn’t planned on a party or event with any other friends, so it was pretty much him and us. And my depression.

Before we even get started on what happened on Saturday specifically, I should point out that I hadn’t exactly set myself up for success in the first place. Due to an unplanned bout of being unmedicated (I just … didn’t take them, I guess), I was still recovering from a deep and strange depression in the weeks leading up to his birthday, and had more or less neglected to even consider getting him any gifts.

Thankfully my wife made up for this by getting him a few t-shirts and knick-knacks, but I told him I would take him to the movies and a comic book store instead, to try and take his mind off things.

Saturday morning actually went smoothly. My wife and I went shopping before our son got up, picked up some nice breakfast things, and woke him up around 11:00 AM with presents. Then, while he was watching Game of Thrones, my wife and I worked together in the kitchen to make meatballs – the first part of a planned lasagna dinner to celebrate.

So far, so good.

In the afternoon I took him to see Captain Marvel, which was (in my opinion) really quite good. I enjoyed the movie and the time spent with him, and we talked about Marvel and comics and movies endlessly on the way home.

Once home, I was getting ready to finish off prep for the lasagna when our cat jumped up on my wife’s chair while she was sitting in it. In itself no big deal, but my wife is allergic to the cat and asked for a paper towel wet with soap just to wipe her hands afterwards.

Somewhere along the line, I failed to hear her say that she already had a paper towel, and just needed it wet. When she asked why I got her a new one, she called me on not listening.

I said she didn’t say it. (I mean, I genuinely had no recollection of her saying anything about it.)

I guess this must have triggered her, because she said, “Fuck you.”

I don’t know how genuinely angry she was, but something in it flashed a cloud over my mind, and I retorted with the same and stormed upstairs to the bed in the loft.

I figured I would settle down, cool off, and come down a few minutes later to apologize and finish dinner. Instead, something took over and, once in that bed, I found I simply could not get out of it. First I made excuses – I’m still angry, I need to calm down. Then I gave myself deadlines – I’ll get up by 5:30 PM … I’ll get up by 6:00 PM. And then … I just gave up.

Instead of helping my son celebrate a birthday that already hadn’t gone well, I spent the remainder of the night comatose in bed, drifting in and out of sleep and wondering what my son did to deserve such a pathetic wreck of a father. I vaguely heard the noises, caught the drifting smells, as my son and wife cooked, ate, and cleaned up after a very lonely and miserable dinner.

They didn’t even have the cake.

Depression is a strange beast. It can strike when you least expect it, and its power over you is somehow stronger than you ever anticipate, even when you know its bite intimately. Once I was in that bed, I wasn’t getting back out of it. It was as simple as that. No amount of guilt, persuasion or logic was going to make a difference.

I don’t even really know why it happened. I’ve been medicated for almost a month now, and the depression and mood swings should have been stabilized. It was unexpected, and unreasonable; totally out of the blue.

I tried to make it up to him on Sunday – took him out, made breakfast, etc. – but it didn’t change the acrid taste in my mouth. I let him down, on the one day he needed support the most. Nothing else matters.

There are times when I feel like a true failure as a person. Once upon a time, in another life, someone once referred to me as their ‘rock’. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am inherently unreliable. Unpredictable. Unintentional, and emotionally unfaithful. I am no one’s rock. I am a passing fancy on the wind, here today and gone tomorrow. I am as ephemeral as a wave, crashing against a rock at sea.

And as a passing breeze, I’ll always be around; what is absent one day will return eventually. But how, and when … that’s anyone’s guess.

I may not be a good person, but I’m all I’ve got – depression and all.

You’re Not the Only One (And That’s a Good Thing)

Don’t you think that you need somebody?
Don’t you think that you need someone?
Everybody needs somebody
You’re not the only one

Guns N’ Roses – November Rain

Loneliness – the dreadful, gnawing sense of abandonment and despair that comes from knowing that no one in the world suffers as you do – can be devastating. Worse still, you often feel as though you deserve it, because you’re somehow less than other people – less capable, less valid, less … human.

I used to feel this way a lot. I still do, sometimes, although as I’ve gotten older and weathered the storms of depression I’ve learned that even despair passes with time, and that even the loneliest among us aren’t really alone. It doesn’t change the feeling itself – in the moment, when the black closes in around you, you know beyond any doubt that you are utterly, completely alone.

It isn’t true, though. Not really.

Humans, by nature, need companionship. We crave it. We want it with every fiber of our being, and yet … sometimes we reject it. Sometimes, even when a friend comes knocking, we fail to answer the door. When a hand reaches out in the dark, we see it – and turn the other way.

Many of us … struggle with feeling valid. [But] it’s possible to be wrong.

I used to wonder about this. I used to think that loneliness could be a kind of strength, a measure of how deep my depression ran. That, somehow, being alone meant I was validated in my despair, that it was … okay, I guess, to feel so miserable. And I would see overtures from friends and family, and I would actively push them away, driving them off like rats with a stick.

I used to wonder why I was like this. Why on earth did I reject others’ attempts to help me? Why did I want to be alone?

The answer, I believe, lies in the belief of self-worth. Many of us, especially here on this blog, struggle with feeling valid, with believing that we’re worth something. Something deep inside triggers us into feeling that, no matter what, we don’t deserve the love of friends, family, colleagues … that, simply put, we aren’t worth the effort.

I know this feeling all too well. It once was bad enough that I remember thinking that I was punishing the world simply by being alive – that the air I was breathing would be better suited to someone else. I wanted to die, not only because of the depth of my misery, but because it somehow felt that it would be fairer to those around me to just not have to worry about me anymore.

But here’s what I’ve learned over the years. What you feel doesn’t change how others feel. Your beliefs don’t affect those of the people around you. And it’s possible to be wrong.

You see, from the moment you’re born to the moment you die, there are people who care about you. And the don’t care because they must – they care because they want to. There are, of course, varying levels of care, based on the feelings of sadness and hurt when you suffer, but there are so many, many more people in the world that care about you than you know.

Because every single word you utter, every sentence you type, every glance you give, affects the people you know – and sometimes the people you don’t. I don’t know you – we’ve never met – but I care. James here at The Bipolar Writer cares – for crying out loud, he’s even offered his phone number publicly! And believe me that the people who do know you care even more.

I attended a funeral last year for a friend of mine. If I’m honest (I hope he forgives me), he was no one special. He didn’t write books; he didn’t make movies. He wasn’t famous. Sometimes he was depressed; sometimes he didn’t want to carry on, especially towards the end. But he did; he powered through his cancer until the bitter end, because he wasn’t alone. And nowhere was this more evident than at the outpouring of love at his funeral. Yes, there were tears – but more than that, there were laughs, and good memories, and a sense of companionship between the rest of us who live: brought together by one person.

So what I’m trying to say here is simple: you’re not the only one to suffer. And you aren’t alone in your suffering. Every one of us here at The Bipolar Writer has, in one fashion or another, been in your shoes; we know what it’s like. We care. So do many. And the community James has built here should help you understand this simple idea:

You aren’t alone.

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

When Family Makes You Feel Alone During the Holidays

I know I’m not alone when I say I don’t like the holidays. Everyone has their reasons. Family gatherings always reminded me of or created more bad memories. I moved away from home to get away from family. It never felt like family. Living on my own, and no family, watching everyone else enjoying the holidays with their loved ones; this only reminded me of what I didn’t have. For a few years, I didn’t have friends around the holidays. If I could, I worked on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Working was better than feeling lonely at home.

As I got older, I developed a kind of family with some friends and coworkers, but this took a long time to build. I had a place to eat on Thanksgiving. I had someone to exchange gifts with on Christmas. After a while, I realized this new family was only a step up from my biological family. It’s difficult feeling alone when you’re surrounded by people; people who are supposed to be there for you but never notice you because they’re trapped within their own mind and problems. Sometimes you can’t find people you click with. People vibrate at different frequencies.

Moving on, getting older, once again I thought I had found a family. The harsh reality that I’ll never be a part of the family as I would like to be is just as painful as feeling like nothing around my other family. I know I have people who care for me. I know they would be there if everything was falling apart. But people who care for you can still make you feel alone or not important without meaning to. There’s no malicious intent. They’re going through problems too. Other’s feelings are forgotten when you’re caught up in your own.

If I can, I still work on Christmas. There are too many unhappy memories around that holiday. At the moment, I’m trying to decipher how much fault is mine in dealing with anyone else. Do they inadvertently make me feel unimportant because I make them feel that way? I’ve started looking back at myself every time I feel wronged. I have to be careful otherwise I’ll fall into the habit of assuming I deserve poor treatment. When do I start assuming I deserve happy memories during the holidays? When do I feel like people want me around for the holidays? This year wasn’t bad. Each year gets a little better. 

Surviving the Holiday Season

As I am back in my hometown to be with my family during this holiday season, there is so much laughter, joy but also unwanted questions coming towards my way.

The number one question I was asked

“You are taking the LOWEST possible dosage of your SSRI right?”

The answer is, no.

My psychiatrist suggested going up a notch to tackle my OCD symptoms a bit better.

When I share this news, everyone immediately look sad and even worse – disappointed.

It was hard to answer the same question as I continuously met with familiar faces back in my hometown. This led me to doubting the progress I’ve made since my diagnosis.

But I wasn’t going to let my mental illness take me down like that again.

I wanted to share few things I learned lately to make this Holliday season a bit more… “Bearable” (in terms of our mental health)

I learned the hard way that I don’t have to be completely honest with everyone. From my distant relatives to acquaintances that came across my social media, they are familiar with my blogging journey with my mental health this past year. However, that doesn’t mean they get the right to know every bit of my life.

I was so guilty at first not being transparent with everyone – but now I know. Sometimes, you need to put yourself before others to protect yourself.

I’ve been also keeping in touch with relationships I formed from my support group, which has been immensely helpful. Even as we are spread throughout the globe for this season, knowing a group of people who knows and care about my mental health is just a text message away gives me so much peace. Finding my niche and support was honestly one of the best things that happened to me this year.

I would love to hear what are your tips on not only getting through this hectic time of the year, but to also enjoy the holiday season.

Stay warm,

Haelim

 

 

A Mental Health Guest Blog Spot

Today I am sharing a story of a fellow blogger Jemma who asked to share her story on The Bipolar Writer blog.

I hate talking about my own experiences, as I’m always scared of getting judged. I think though, if people read my story, maybe they could relate, and it could somewhat help them.

It’s about that time when I almost took my own life.

I grew up with my grandparents, they were my real family. My gran was my mum, as far as I was concerned. I got bullied a lot through school and didn’t have many friends. My gran was my best friend, she was there for me no matter what and helped me through everything. She was my absolute diamond. I did everything with my gran, I was always by her side.

Until she got diagnosed with cancer, she had a very tough fight with cancer. She got the usual Chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment. In fact, she was reacting great to the last steps of the process.

Then one day, the first day back at school. I was on the bus home from school, and my friend (My next door neighbor) got a phone call from her mum and started crying, she just wouldn’t tell me what was up. Deep down I had a feeling.

So my friend and I got off the school bus and walked up to outside of our houses. Where we shared a cuddle and told each other, we’d catch up later.

Then I continued on into my house. (My grandparents’ house) where I was greeted by my two uncles. I knew something was up straight away. All I could hear was the voices of everyone in the living room chatting and crying. My uncle Robert was about to tell me, and he didn’t get a word out whereas I just interrupted and just managed to slip out the words. “I know.” And he just nodded and hugged me. I felt like my heart was going to explode. It was beating so fast, the feeling was so overwhelming. I just ran up the stairs to my bedroom and literally fell to the floor and cried my eyes out for hours.

People kept coming up to my bedroom, asking if I was okay, I just kept pushing everyone away. I just wanted to be alone.

Everywhere I looked it reminded me of my Gran. All I kept thinking was ‘Why?’ So many questions jumping about inside my head, with no possible answer.

After about 2 hours straight of crying. I finally picked myself up off the floor and picked up a photo of my gran and I and headed over to my bed.

Where I sat for about 20mins thinking ‘it should have been me, she didn’t deserve this.’ And every other thought that ran through my head at the time. Bringing me down to the lowest.

And at the darkest and hardest time of my life. Where I just felt very alone. My bestest friend ever was never going to be with me again. I felt like I had no one. Everything was taken away from me. All the negative thoughts going through my head, I felt like I was going to explode. I didn’t want to be here. I felt like I had no options left anymore.

So, I reached over to my make up bag and started to take the blade out of an eye pencil sharpener. When I finally got it out, I played with it in my hands for about 5mins, maybe contemplating what I was actually doing? No, actually figuring out how deep I was going to do it. Fucked up right? Well, that’s not at all.. I was 100% sure I wasn’t going to wake up from this. So, I got the blade and put it straight down my arm, the first cut was actually the sharpest pain I’ve ever felt in my life. But it was I was so relieved for that split second of pain. So, I continued to cut my arms and wrists until I was totally numb and couldn’t feel anything at all.

Next thing I knew, there was blood everywhere.. all over my bed and me, I was feeling dizzy, everything was blurry, and I felt sick. I was freaking out inside, but I never shouted for help. ‘This is it’ I thought to myself. Everything actually flashed before my eyes, I saw myself winning that goldfish at the funfair, I saw my gran and me at the beach when I was little. Everything. Then nothing.

Next thing I heard was ‘there’s so much blood, get her help, hurry up!’ I couldn’t recognize anyone or anything. But, I got woke up by my uncle Robert, shaking me and screaming at me. And I was on the floor. Everyone was standing all around me. I didn’t have a clue what was going on. All I could see was blood, so I panicked. I didn’t know what had just happened.

My two uncle’s carried me downstairs and brought me back around. They managed to calm me down, got me cleaned up, got me changed and sat down and explained to me that they heard a bang and came up straight away. They explained it as I hurt myself that badly, I must have passed out and fallen on to the floor. They actually thought I was dead when they found me.

The pain I felt was unbearable. I had bandages wrapped around my arms and wrists. I couldn’t believe what actually just happened. What I actually just done to myself.

And, I didn’t want to admit for months that I tried to take my own life. But that’s the reality of it, I did try to take my own life. Simply because I was at a very hard time of my life and didn’t speak to anyone about the problems I had.

Now, after years of missing my gran and dealing with the stresses of life, I will admit I did try to take my own life, and I also did continued to cut myself as a coping mechanism, for a little while, but it only helps for a short time. When, in the end, all you are left with is scars, and all of the problems are still there.

It’s such a cliché thing to say ‘talk about your problems it’ll help.’ But, talking about my problems is the best thing that I’ve ever done. And, I’ve never looked back. You just got to find that certain trust in someone and open up to them. Then you’ll realize you don’t get judged, other people are dealing with the same things as you, you are not alone. And, you are a lot stronger than you think.

I am always here for anyone who would like to talk about absolutely anything, just drop me a little e-mail @ blogwriter135@outlook.com

Take care readers,

Lots of love,

🐝xx

https://blogwriter135.wordpress.com
https://www.instagram.com/blogwriter135/

Recognizing the Signs of Suicidal Thoughts

I thought this post would be a great first for October. I will be writing a post about talking someone down who is suicidal and my thoughts on the best way to approach this later this week, but this is an excellent post as well.

My First Thoughts on Recognizing Suicidal Thoughts

I have been through some of the worst suicidal thoughts over the past ten years. I have never been great at recognizing how bad my suicidal thoughts have gotten until its too late. It usually takes a massive spiral, a suicide attempt, and me laying in a hospital bed wondering where how I got there.

It was that way for the first five years since my diagnosis. I got better over time with taking suicidal thought and changing them. I haven’t attempted suicide since 2010, but there have been times in the last seven years that I got close. (More the first four years than the last three.)

The most dramatic choice that a mentally ill individual can make in their life is suicide. I have to agree because it has been that way in my experience since my diagnosis of the Bipolar disorder in 2007. When I have written on the topic of suicide, it comes from my experience, and I am happy to be alive.

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People failed to recognize the signs in my own life that might have changed things. With that said my family new less about suicide than I did. That’s why educate from experience. It‘s true I knew what would happen when my suicidal thoughts and where it would lead. And I can’t blame others for letting me go down the path of suicide. My post is more about recognizing the signs in others so that you can help them. That includes me, as a writer talking about the issues of suicide. I need to be more aware when people leave me comments on my blog, or when they contact me.

Recognizing the Signs

It is critical to know how to understand and identify the signs that a person is considering suicide. What to look for are signs that there is trouble in their life, and one sign is what they are saying. It means when they are talking to you in person, or on social media. Social media is a place that many that are alone and in the throes of suicidal thoughts go to. It could come in the form of direct or indirect speech.

“I‘m finished.”

”It’s all over.”

”My family would be better off without me.”

”I don’t want to live anymore.”

There is nothing to live for.”

You have to look at these types of declarations as severe signs that the person is at risk for suicide. Never brush these types of declarations aside. The person that is making these declarations are not in their right mind. It’s imperative to recognize this words and make the appropriate decision to have your loved one seek help. It doesn’t matter if they hate you. I would rather someone hate me, but still be alive.

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On the website Your Life Counts. They offer an interesting acronym for identifying suicidal thoughts. I wanted to share this before explaining some of the less subtle signs you need to be recognizing.

It’s called  IS PATH WARM

I  – Ideation (suicidal thoughts)

S – Substance Abuse

P – Purposelessness

A – Anxiety

T – Trapped

H – Hopelessness/Helplessness

W – Withdrawal

A – Anger

R – Recklessness

M – Mood changes

This to me seems very useful because many of these signs are ones that I was going through in my suicide attempts. In my experience when I was at my most suicidal I was very lethargic. I lost interest in life an the things that made me happy, which for me was always writing or listening to music. When that went away, it was a big sign that I was suicidal.

Other signs that were prevalent in my life was quick to anger and agitation with the people around me. I was quick to anger and more aggressive when I was suicidal. I withdrew from normal life for weeks, months, and in the case of my last suicide, years. There are so many signs when it comes to if someone you love is suicidal. If you recognize these signs in this blog post, it is essential to visit websites like You Life Counts. They offer so many different signs. If they add up, again, they need to help them seek help.

The next step is to have that person seek medical help right away. That could mean calling 911. It has happened several times in my life and in those cases, at least in the interim, my suicidal thoughts went away. Yes, I was mad back then, but those times my doctors or my family took me to the hospital, it saved my life.

What are the Causes of Suicidal Thoughts

This blog post would be incomplete if I didn’t talk about what are some of the causes of suicidal thoughts. It is always my purpose when writing on The Bipolar Writer blog to inform through experience. When someone contemplates suicide, it is often because, for an extended period of time, the overwhelming feelings of a life they never imagined has taken its toll. It is no surprise that depression is often the cause of suicidal thoughts and ideations. You can only be so strong for so long before depression eats away at your soul.

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In my experience, I tried so many times to fight off the suicidal thoughts and was successful at times. I could reason my thoughts into positive reinforcements. I used a journal when I was at my most suicidal to gather my thoughts and find a reason to not commit suicide. That is why many of the journals I have posted on my blog from my past always seem as if I was at my lowest.

The causes of going down the path of suicide can be anything related to life. Some of the more common are relationship breakups, divorce, loss, and financial loss. It could be the changes in your job status, and even family genetics can play a part. In my experience, it was always the trauma of my past. Other times it was when I would lose my job or relationships because of my depression.

The truth is suicide can affect anyone in any walk of life. The good thing is that there are resources out there that you can use. When I talk about suicide, I do so in the hopes that those of us in the mental illness community know that suicide is preventable. Talk to someone or seek real help.

One of the worst feelings in my life in the last ten years was when I believed once and for all that there was no hope. That this world would have been better off without me. I am realizing through my blog how silly these thoughts were in reality. The problem is that these thoughts were real in my life in those times that I was suicidal. It almost cost me my life in 2010.

I implore all mental illness bloggers to recognize the signs in our own community. Also, we need to understand the signs of those around us in our lives outside of WordPress. Never overlook the realities that life can bring and if you are going down the path of suicide. I implore you to seek help.

I hope this blog post was helpful.

James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoChristopher Campbell

unsplash-logoEdu Lauton

unsplash-logoAustin Chan

unsplash-logoElti Meshau

Depression for Dummies

Hi. I’m Chelsea, and I am married to a wonderful, talented, intelligent man who is pretty dumb when it comes to mental illness.

Perhaps you know someone like this. Your bright, helpful person may be a friend, parent, brother, sister, or boss. As well-meaning as he or she might pretend to be, this acquaintance just doesn’t get it. Worse, he or she is often so inept that whenever effort is made, you feel he or she constantly places a clumsy finger right on a fresh bruise and pushes.

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But our friends and family don’t have to be idiots. Honestly, we really need love and support for our mental health and we can be tough nuts to crack.

In light of that, I’ve developed a helpful guide. I call it The Depressive Feelings/Better Responses Guide (of Science). Just whip this puppy out whenever you want to whip them upside the head and you’ll both feel better:

  1. When someone says that he is feeling depressed, a cheery life aphorism like, “Life isn’t all bad,” “Don’t worry; be happy,” or “The sun’ll come out tomorrow” isn’t helpful. At all.
    Instead, try, “I understand that you are feeling depressed.” This may easily be followed by, “I’d like to help alleviate some of your stress. Can I clean your whole kitchen for you?,” or “…I happen to know that chocolate is half-off at the store. I’ll be right back with a pound or two.”
  2. If a depressed person says she feels hopeless; that everything in life is hard: the incorrect response is to point out how easy her life is. Please oh please do not say, “But you don’t have any serious issues like cancer or your arms falling off.”
    A better answer? “Let’s address your concerns one at a time. Maybe you could write a list, then we can come up with a solution for each one.”
    Or simply listen, without criticism. Some people just really need an ear to dump in.
  3. How about fatigue? Do you tell someone with depression that he shouldn’t be tired? That he should get to bed earlier? No, silly. He knows he should get to bed earlier; worrying about how he needs to sleep is one of the things that kept him up.
    Validate the feelings of the tired person. A passable idea might be to describe a cool idea you read recently -about writing all of one’s concerns on a paper by the side of the bed at night. Maybe you have a really boring book you could lend him.
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  4. Let’s say she is feeling poorly about herself. Her self-esteem is in the toilet of the deep, dark dungeon of the evil underworld troll king’s nephew. Do not advise a person with depressive tendencies that, “You’re a great person,” or how many talents she has and how she has the potential for so much more.
    Telling a depressed person of wasted potential will bring on a crying fit. You’re just backing up the mean little voice already in her head (herself).
    One of the best things to say is that you like her, that you like a specific thing about her (say, her ability to come up with Britney Spears song lyrics at the drop of a hat). Try to turn the focus on something else, especially if that is on a happy memory.
  5. When someone with depressive tendencies withdraws from life, reach out. You need to act if he does one of the following: not answering texts, appearing less-frequently online, and even telling people, “Goodbye.”
    If you can’t go, try to get his family or other friends to physically check in. Even a vocal phone call is better than a text. A visit is better than an e-mail. A long, in-person conversation is better than a social media message.

I have a difficult time with about everything in life due to a negative perspective and very little self-motivation. I need my husband, my few friends, and my family. Theirs are the hands that reach into the cave of my mind and pull me to safety.

With specific directions like this, we can work toward loving the hand that reaches. At the very least, we won’t feel like slapping it away.

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Picture credits:
Pixabay
Pexels
Unsplash

What Topics Should I Write in August?

I always have a good working list of topics I want to discuss on The Bipolar Writer blog. Often some of my blog posts are random thoughts that pop into my head about my journey with mental journey. I thought why not try something new in the middle of August?

Are there any topics you want to see me discuss on The Bipolar Writer?

If so let me know. I am happy to write about anything related to mental illness. I have two really good things— experience and opinions about mental health topics. Drop me comment or two about what you want to see here on The Bipolar Writer blog. It can be anything I can connect with my experiences with a mental illness or even off the wall topics you want my opinion on.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoGlenn Carstens-Peters