A Guest Blog Post – NooseGirl

This is a guest blog from a writer that calls herself NooseGirl. She asked me to share this blog post with my fellow bloggers. This is a guest blog from a writer that calls herself NooseGirl. She asked me to share this blog post with my fellow bloggers. What is said in these guests posts are the position of the author and not James Edgar Skye or this blog. I allow each guest author to write in the way they feel comfortable when sharing as guests or contributors. You can find NooseGirl here: http://breathingwithanoose.com

A Week in the Mental Health Ward

By my third year of living alongside acute, pervasive psychosis, I had sufficiently conditioned myself enough to mask my internal worries. Able to convincingly conceal my constant fear of government abduction, I searched for and successfully secured a new job. I accepted the Director of Sales & Marketing position for a new hotel opening up in downtown Baltimore. 

Daily, I plastered insincere charm and confidence over my dread and discomfort and performed as expected. It was a typical corporate office environment and I was able to numbly execute the duties of staff meetings, sales lunches, and budget reviews. Unbeknownst to my employer and coworkers, I was also enduring some of the most intense and distressing episodes of inescapable, intense psychosis.

While I believed my delusions were 100% real, I never revealed them to casual friends, coworkers, or acquaintances. I limited my frank and honest concerns about secret agents and sex cults to my boyfriend, a select few family members, and some of the doctors I encountered during hospitalizations. Unless you were included in that limited group of people, you would never know I was suffering through immense emotional angst.

Believing that my boyfriend was a secret agent and assigned as my guardian, partner, and influencer created a very stressful environment. I equated the arrangement to the act of sleeping with my enemy. I believed he had the influence and power to reveal the truth, stop the constant surveillance, and curtail the coded messaging. 

I would often lash out, demanding that he redirect “the assignment,” and order “his people” back off. Invariably, he would deny all accusations of association with a secret society, shadow government, or covert mission. His insistence of innocence only served to infuriate me.

Unable to secure an admission of his involvement would often escalate the intensity of my anger. Often, I would unleash my frustrations, confusion, and animosity at him. I would rail at him for the inhumane government plot to breed and brainwash children like myself. I would throw and break things. I would rail at the indignity of perpetual manipulation even after I had clearly uncovered the truth. I raged that everyone involved in “my case” held tight to their secret identities. I erupted with resentment that “Weirdness” would not directly communicate with me, instead electing the obscure and cryptic method of secret messaging.  My ranting was vicious, unrelenting, and could border on violent.

Sometimes, in my fury, I would try to run away. My boyfriend would have to block and restrain me, determined to protect me from roaming downtown Baltimore in a reckless, unstable rage. The fiery battle for truth could extend into hours. This memory is from one of these explosive and erratic days.

I can not remember why or how we came to find ourselves in this particular heated and emotional argument. But, after a couple of hours of intense screaming, scratching, and attempts to flee the apartment, somehow, my boyfriend had located a psychiatrist in the neighborhood that was immediately available to meet with us.

Exhausted from the vicious arguing, I agreed that it might be a good idea to halt the fighting and pursue a calmer state. I was hopeful that the doctor could provide some type of mood-stabilizing or anti-anxiety medicine. So I calmed down and agreed to go. But although I seemingly transformed my demeanor, inside I was still seething with resentment and enmity.

In the doctor’s office, my anger resurfaced upon detecting coded messages throughout the doctor’s interaction with me. I promptly flew into a frenzy. I did not hold back my unshakable conviction that the doctor was also “part of it.” 

I began to berate her. I began to scream. I perched on the edge of her desk, slamming my hand down and inching closer and closer to her. I tried to shame her, screaming at the top of my lungs . . .”How do you people live with yourself?!?!? . .. . how do you expect me to save the world when you are making it impossible for me to work and concentrate!?!?! . . . do you people just sit in a room and think of ways you can further fuck up my life and mind!?!?! . . .you are an evil fucking bitch . . you and all of your people!!!”

The doctor maintained a steady gaze and was very calm and stoic throughout my tirade. She only reached her hand towards her phone, never breaking eye contact, and slowly picked up the receiver. “NooseGirl, I am calling in some other people to help us. You are making me very uncomfortable right now. Try to calm down.”

Within minutes, 3 very large uniformed armed guards walked into the room. They stood by the door as she explained to me and my boyfriend that she thought admittance into the hospital would be a good idea. She explained that the calm, controlled environment of the “behavioral health unit” along with a carefully prescribed treatment of medications could offer supportive surroundings designed to improve emotional stability and a return to comfortable normalcy. I continued to protest, but ultimately, between she, my boyfriend and the calm, friendly disposition of the guards, my tirade ceased. As I agreed to hospitalization and signed the papers to self admit, everyone, relaxed and exhaled a collective sigh of relief.

This drama rolled out on a Thursday or Friday, During the hospitalization, if I took any time off at all, it would have only been one sick day. My weekend in the behavioral health unit was spent watching tv, making crafts, reading books, attending group therapy and taking closely monitored medication. While the experience did not cure my psychosis, it did allow me to de-stress and calm down. The therapeutic visit provided an unplanned “staycation.”

I was released on Sunday night and back to work on Monday morning. I was all smiles, professionalism, (and as the sales & marketing leader) unrelenting team cheerleader. My job included internal PR so I was constantly engaging with and offering inspiration to employees with the intent of raising their self-confidence, their sense of ownership, and empowering them to perform with pride for our new business. I was Miss GoTeam all the way.

And just like the prior 3 years of living and working in psychosis, no one knew the hidden truth. No one suspected the depth and pain of my internal struggles. No one had an inkling that I passed the weekend away in a hospital mental ward. And no one would have ever fathomed that I believed the entire business was a government front and that most of the employees were secret agents. 

No one knew anything . . .  they just knew I was smart, funny, inspiring NooseGirl.

The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir – Book Release on Amazon

The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir by James Edgar Skye

The day has finally come, the publishing of my memoir. It is called The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir, and it is now available on Amazon both in print and in Kindle Edition.

This journey to share my experiences as a diagnosed Bipolar writer started here in 2017, with the creation of this blog. It was the fantastic people I met, who were willing to accept my story and share their own, that prompted me to write my memoir. I worked tirelessly for a year, coming up with ideas, the direction the memoir would go, its overall design, and, eventually, the completion of a first draft.

After its completion, I didn’t know if it would ever be seen by others. I considered self-publishing, and I was well on my way down that route when I found Eliezer Tristan Publishing. Together they helped me become a published writer. This memoir meant a lot to me, and to finally see its completion, it a life-long dream realized.

You will find within its pages my story not written in linear form but rather in chapters of different thoughts, ideas, and parts of my life. You can go to any chapter and read it, and it will be enlightening. You can read it straight through and still learn about my experience with a mental illness.

You will find the link to my Amazon author page throughout this post where you can purchase my book. It would be an honor. If you can, please share this blog post on your own blog, not just for me, but so that together, we can share one experience in mental health in hopes of helping others and ending the stigma. Thank you, everyone, who has been waiting patiently for the release of this book. Much love,

James Edgar Skye

Always Keep Fighting

The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir by J,E, Skye

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James’ Patreon Account

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Patreon is crowdfunding like GoFundme but much different. You become a Patron on me–James Edgar Skye, the writer. It is a monthly subscription based crowdfunding, and it allows you, the Patron, to be a part of my writing process. Depending on your tier you will get a sneak peek at a chapter in my memoir (which is in the editing phase of publishing) or a sneak peek at a chapter in my upcoming fictional novel The Rise of the Nephilim which I am working on, and I am nine chapters into the project. Other things that I offer are special shout-outs and first looks on upcoming blog posts before they hit The Bipolar Writer blog.

Becoming a Patron will allow me to do some great things like self-publish my novella Angel on the Ward and so that I can offer it on specific tiers. It will let me start to create merchandise for my brand The Bipolar Writer, which would be things like t-shirts and coffee cups. Here is my logo if you have not seen it yet.

A Look at J.E. Skye’s Tiers

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The Bipolar Writer Tier – $2

In this $2 tier, you help the continued success of The Bipolar Writer blog and the brand. You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with a mental illness on a daily basis and still finds a way to live. I have been struggling with mental illness since 2007.

You get a personalized letter or email welcoming you as a Patreon, and a “First Look” at weekly blog posts for the Bipolar Writer blog before it goes live! This tier will help keep my blog writing and help me end the stigma surrounding mental illness. This will also be a great tier to allow me to hire an “editor and manager of my blog.”

“The Bipolar Writer Maniacs” Basic Tier – $5

In this $5 tier you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with a mental illness on a daily basis and still finds a way to live. I have been struggling with a mental illness since 2007.


You get everything in the “Support for The Bipolar Writer” tier plus a personalized blog post on any “mental health” subject that you want for your blog, and my monthly newsletter to start every new month!

“Bipolar Writer-Maniacs” Mid Tier – $10

In this $10 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with Bipolar One daily and still finds a way to live. I have been struggling with mental illness since 2007.

In this mid-level tier, you get everything from the first two tiers plus an exclusive look at a chapter from “The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir before publication.

“Bipolar Writer-Maniacs” 2nd Mid Tier – $15

In this $15 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with Bipolar One daily and still finds a way to live. I have been struggling with mental illness since 2007.

It also comes with a personal invitation to my exclusive Patreon community.

“The Bipolar Writer-Maniacs” Top Tier $20

In this $20 tier, you help support James Edgar Skye and his writing endeavors as a Bipolar Writer Maniac! You’re also helping a struggling Graduate student and writer, who is living with Bipolar One daily and still finds a way to live. I have been struggling with mental illness since 2007.

In this top tier, you get everything from the previous three tiers plus an exclusive look at my upcoming fantasy fiction novel to include character sketches or a look at the first chapter of the novel “The Rise of the Nephilim” or a peek at “Angel on the Ward.”

“Bipolar Writer-Maniacs” Exclusive Tier – $40

In the limited Edition Tier, it is the ultimate experience for any Bipolar Writer Maniacs! In this elite tier, you get all the benefits of the previous tiers plus a signed copy of my memoir The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir. (With a release date in Early Summer 2019).

That is it. I really hope you will join me, James on my writing journey. I will be evolving these tiers over time, and even if you just join the $2 tier, it will be a significant help. I am going to be doing a lot of mental health advocacy work through my Patreon account. Click on one of the Patron buttons on this post and join me!

Always Keep Fighting

James Edgar Skye

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Celebrating The Bipolar Writer Blog Two Year Anniversary

I never thought that on this day two years ago, The Bipolar Writer Blog would take off and become what it has been over these two years.

Alongside my contributor writers, we have done amazing things to help spread our stories of the struggle that is living with a mental illness. We have done a fantastic job at spreading the word and working towards ending the stigma through understanding and shared experiences.
This blog has been an amazing journey. The things that I have shared here gave me the courage to write my memoir, which I found out today is done with formatting (it looks incredible). My publisher is waiting for the cover artist to finish and I moved closer to publishing my first book–which seemed impossible before I started this blog.

Thank you for inspiring me over these last two years to find myself as a writer, blogger, college student, and above all, be in the right place with my mental illness to share my experiences. It has never been easy, but with your help, I have continued to grow. Things will always be going up as things continue to grow within this blog.


This blog became a safe place for all those who want to share their mental illness journey with the world. I would not change anything we have done here with over 1,100 blog posts in two years we have done something pretty amazing here.

What an amazing two years!

Always Keep Fighting

James

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All Good Things Come to an End

The End of the Road?

I started this blog in September of 2017, for a class on how to sell yourself as a writer.

Creating a blog, as any blogger can attest to, is the hardest thing you can do. I never thought in a million years that this would reach so many people. When I made the jump to making The Bipolar Writer blog a collaborative one, it opened up for so many people to bloggers who are trying their best to live their lives with a mental illness, and still, write about their experiences.

2018 was a fantastic year, but for the blog which saw substantial growth on a hard platform to keep going. We reached so many people last year I came into the year hopeful that we could take this blog to the next level. We have been, as a blog, steadily decreasing since January 2019 in people coming to the blog. I think it is a lot of things. Blogging is in part dying out as viewers are turning to video blogs and those who do both. WordPress to me is dying out and we can see that just by looking at the raw numbers.

I have been thinking about the future. I have so much going on as a graduate student and as a writer that blogging is not fun for me anymore. Maybe it is time for me to move on, find a new platform. I have, for the most part, failed to launch my Patreon account though I will still continue to do so in hopes of having that be my next platform. Though I never thought about video blogging, it seems that is the future, and thus I will be making the change soon.

What Does This Mean for the Blog

I will keep it going at least until the end when the domain name needs to be renewed for another year, that is in March of 2020. I will most likely not be adding any more contributors because I am not sure if there is an audience anymore for this platform. Maybe the next few months will change my mind, but I feel that moving on to bigger and better things in the cards for me. I might just keep the blog going for the sake of those who come to the site looking for answers. I still want people to come to this site and find hope among the stories of others.

The Future

The future of James is interesting. I have a book that will be published soon and I plan on using the platform Patreon to sell my book. I think for me that is where my life is taking me and we shall see what that means. In the coming weeks I will talk about my book and more about my own future.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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What Are Friends For?

Do you ever get that feeling that you’re the needy friend in the relationship? I do, quite often I might add. You see, my depression was pretty much taken care of by my ECT treatment. The thing that didn’t go away, or even get better as a matter of fact, is my anxiety. Particularly my social anxiety. I don’t want to sound like I’m tooting my own horn here, but I am rather observant. Which, combined with my overthinking capabilities, can get me into so rather “sticky” trains of thought.

As a quick related side note, my family has been more or less disfuntional for just about ever. Yet, more recently I feel like it’s kinda falling apart. We don’t eat meals together. We don’t really gather all that much. I mean honestly I rarely ever see either of my siblings, and both of them are just upstairs. It probably has something to do with everyone getting older. My mother is well into her 50’s now, my siblings and I all in our 20’s. It just feels different than the normal dysfunction.

Back to the point, because of this, I’ve been going out to eat more often. However, due to my social anxiety, I find it incredibly difficult to do so by myself. It feels like, to me, that going to a restaurant and eating by myself makes me stand out too much. I almost feel like I shouldn’t be there. Needless to say, it makes me very uncomfortable to dine by myself. So I usually ask my family if they want to join me. Most of the time, it’s a no. But then, if we don’t go out to eat, and nobody cooks dinner, then are we just not going to eat? This happens uncomfortably often in my house. Granted, we are all grown adults, and able to fend for ourselves, but then I run into 2 problems. One, being that I can’t go out to eat by myself due to the wonderful anxiety associated with it. Two, if I make a meal for myself, the rest of the family gets upset that I didn’t cook for everyone. See, the second part I don’t have that much of a problem with. Unlike my two siblings, I was raised to think that if you are going to cook dinner, you cook it for the whole family.

Another quick related side note, I have a lot of these preconceived notions in my head about right and wrong, and how I should act accordingly. The issue is, is that most of these notions, are either self-detrimental, or are there because of my depression.

So, I can’t make dinner for myself, and I can’t go out by myself, where does that leave me? I usually call up my good friend, who lives just down the road. Let’s call him R, for the sake of his privacy, and my own. So, R and I have been friends for about a decade now. I met him through video games, and we quickly hit it off and became good friends irl (in real life). The problem that I’m facing now, is that I feel like I’m putting in a lot more effort into our friendship than he is. I also feel like I’m “The Needy Friend” because I am normally the one who initiates time together. As you can imagine, with my disposition to eating alone, I have been calling him more often than I used to. I mean, I also am a lot less depressed these days, so I am probably just overthinking it.

So, the question, that I am finally getting at, that I have for all of you is: Do you consider what I’m doing, to be okay? Like “normal” I guess? I feel like I call him numerous times a week, and want to hang out, grab a bite, whatever. I have had a lot of time on my hands, because he has been working, and I (until August) am not. So, honestly, would you consider me the needy friend? Hopefully none of you relate to this, because friendship is a glorious thing. Especially close friends, especially when your family is as lacking as mine. So, I basically want your advice TBW fam, what should I do?


And if you have a quick minute, or want to read more by me, check out my home blog Out Of My Mind

A Thank You, Patrons

Sunday is always my relaxing day but writing is life

Relax. Such an amazing word. It is something that I do not do well.

This month my Patreon account has grown a little with the addition of three new members. As it is the end of the month, I wanted to have a special shout out to those who have joined my writing journey.

For the purpose of this post is only to name first names as a thank you.

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  1. Angela
  2. Chris
  3. Paula

For those that are interested signing up and becoming a patron, the sign up is easy, and the lowest tier is $2, and in the future, when my book is published this summer, I will be adding more to the tiers. So why not become a Patron of my writing??

Writing Topics for June

It has been a struggle to keep up writing new content for The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog. With my hectic schedule with my graduate courses, my freelance work, and my writing projects there is just not enough time to do everything that I want to get done. I want to change this narrative.

So, this blog post is asking what type of new content would you like to see on this blog. It can me anything mental related and I will make sure that I write good post. So leave your ideas in the comments.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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Medication Changes in 2019

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This year has been the one for many changes as my new psychiatrist since the start of the year continues to make my life easier so that I continue to be productive in my graduate studies and writing projects.

The first change has been a good one. I am no longer on Ativan, and I have changed over to Clonazepam, which has helped my social anxiety and my general anxiety. It had some early drawbacks like I was really tired the first two weeks of taking the medication, but eventually, that went away, and the results have been positive.

My psychiatrist wanted to change my mood-stabilizer from Lithium to Depakote, but I had a bad reaction to this medication to where it was raising my anxiety the longer I was one it, and I was able to stop the medication and stabilize. Sometimes in this mental illness, life medication changes are not great, and this is one of those trial and error things that comes along with this life. I was able to stay on the lithium which seems like it will continue to be my future.

Today I had an appointment with my psychiatrist today, and she wants to make more changes since the Depakote failed to work. Right now, I am starting a new medication again called ____, and I will know in the next few weeks if it will work with the medication that I am already on. I am no longer taking antidepressants, so this new medication is supposed to help curb depression, but it is not an antidepressant.

The one piece of bad news is that there is not really a change for Seroquel, one of the most essential medications that I take and also the bane of my existence.

The medication would be fine if all it was for was to keep any voices at bay (not that I hear voices anymore that was a long time ago), it was used as an anti-psychotic, and for sleep. But the side effects suck. The two main ones are major grogginess with waking in the morning and the weight gain. Since having to take more to get me to sleep, my weight keeps increasing no matter how much I work out and change my diet, which I have done.

That has been my 2019 medication changes so far. Maybe there will be some positive out of all these changes, it is too early to know for sure, but at least I have someone that is finally listening to me. That has been a pleasant surprise so far. Things are always changing and that is a good thing.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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The $2 Patreon Challenge

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I ask a lot from the followers of this blog. Maybe too much. I want so much to publish my memoir The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir, and right now I am in the beta reading part of the writing process. I have a copy editor ready to put the finishing touches on the memoir. I have saved every penny (that has not gone to keeping this blog at its highest level) but it is not enough.

The last count for this blog 11,500 followers and I love that so many people are a part of this collaborative journey. I want to challenge my followers to subscribe to my Patreon account for the $2 tier. I know for so many, myself included, we have so many responsibilities when comes to this mental illness life. The sign up is easy and I offer a lot even at the lowest tier. There will also be a special blog post for those that become patrons in April and a release of a never before seen poem.

With that said, I hope I can get many of you to rise to the challenge. If you can’t I understand, if you can’t subscribe, please share this post. It would mean the world to me–James.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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