We Said Goodbye Six Years Ago Today

My Grandfather with his sister circa 2004

The 4th of July has never been the same, I get that it is this fantastic holiday that we, as Americans, celebrate our Independence Day, and I will always honor the day like all of us, just with a sad heart.

On July 3, 2014, we lost my grandfather forever.

Every year I have honored one of the greatest presence in my life, my grandfather. I once wrote a poem about him called The Bravest Man I Knew. I wanted to spend some time this year talking about the man that was always there for me when I needed him since I was a little boy.

My grandfather was born March 18, 1932, in Ewa Beach, Hawaii (pronounced Eva Beach because the “w” is a “v” in the Hawaiian language). My grandfather and grandmother were married in November (I forget the year). My grandfather served in the United States Army for twenty years. He was an amazing man who loved to buy cars, computers, and was very intelligent (where I get my own smarts).

A fact about my grandfather, he was in Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was bombed.

I wish he was here today as I near the end of publishing my first novel. I started going to school for my bachelor’s degree around the time that he got sick with cancer. The doctors gave him six months, and he fought for a year and a half. My grandfather had an amazing spirit, and he was always willing to help his only daughter, my mother, and his grandchildren, he even got to know five out of his six great grandchildren before he passed.

I still remember, he went fast. He was okay in June and then starting on July 2nd be started to lose consciousness and before we knew it he had passed on July 3rd.

It sucked. I was depressed for close to a year after taking care of my grandfather for that year and half. I have never gotten over the suddenness of how cancer can take a person. But he was this amazing man who lived his life, saw the world during his time in the military and drank coffee everyday (which is one of the reasons I am a coffee addict!) My grandfather was, is and always will be loved by those who knew him because he was an amazing man.

Just from these photos, you can see the people that loved him and that five years ago came together to honor this great man. I love my grandfather to this day because he taught me so many great things that I have today. If only he would have seen me continue my recovery with Bipolar 1 and panic disorder, but I believe he is still here in spirit and watching over us with my grandmother.

The last photo was taken weeks before my grandfather passed with his sister visiting. What you don’t see in this photo is all the sweets on his desk not just for him, but his great grandchildren. We all miss you grandpa!

Always Keep Fighting

James

You can visit the author site of James Edgar Skye here.

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

Become a Patron of James Edgar Skye and be a part of his writing here: Become a Patron!

The Upward Climb

For those of you who remember me, I’m sorry I’ve been gone for so long. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Alan Wolfgang. I am diagnosed with Severe Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety. I have been suffering from my diseases for around 20 years, since I was a young child. I have been treated with a wide variety of medications, all to no avail. In 2019, I underwent Electroconvulsive Therapy, or ECT. While the cost of the treatment went beyond just financial, it has effectively cured my depression. While I am certainly no expert in the field of mental health, I definetly have amassed quite a bit of experience. Throughout my years, I’ve learned many things about mental health, those who suffer from mental illness, and most importantly, myself. Whether you’re new to the mental health world, or you’ve been here for decades, whether you’re a patient, medical professional, or just someone who wants to further their understanding, whatever you suffer from, you know that this (whatever this may be to you) is not easy. Life with a mental illness, or caring for someone with a mental illness is all consuming. If I may, there are a few things that I’ve learned in my journey that I would like to share with you. Some, you may already know, others, you may not agree with, and that’s fine. Because my number one rule, is that one person will never know everything about anything. Sure there are experts in their respective fields, but even they learn new things all the time. What you do with the knowledge given to you, that is the important part.

The most important thing to do for anyone trying to do anything, is to never give up. I wish I could say that hard work is always rewarded, and that perseverance pays off, but unfortunately the world is not such a romantic place. Nevertheless, if you are fighting against mental illness, or supporting someone who is, giving up cannot be an option. You may be asking, “If my hard work never really makes a difference, what’s the point in never giving up?” While I wish the answer was simple, it’s not. Giving up seems like the best option, a lot of the time. Believe me, I know…with 3 suicide attempts under my belt, and a fourth that was thwarted by my underlying desire to live, and an attentive therapist, I know that giving up is incredibly tempting. More than any drug or material good, it is the oasis in the desert of your suffering. See, the thing is, that even though giving up will end your pain, it doesn’t disappear, it gets passed on to those you leave behind. I learned this the hard way, waking up on a ventilator in the hospital, with both my parents still in tears, holding my hand. Dying is never quick and painless, because that pain will last a lifetime for someone who loves you. You may now be thinking, “Well that’s fine, because nobody loves me”. While you’re not wrong, maybe nobody loves you, but you’re looking at it in too small a timeframe. You’re looking at your past and your present, but you’re forgetting about your future. I know that it’s pretty easy to lose sight of any future when you’re in the depths of depression, but that’s where never giving up comes in. The longer you live, the more likely it is that you will find love, that you will find happiness. I mean, the statistics alone are probably mind-boggling, though I wouldn’t know, I’m awful at math. Though who knows? I may not always be awful at math. The obvious secret about the future, is that it is unknown, completely unknown. You can have plans, dreams, and aspirations, but who knows what will actually happen? You don’t, until it happens. In the darkest period of my depression, I developed a suicide plan with a 100% chance of success, and I was saving it for a “rainy day”. I never would have thought, never even would have dreamed I’d be were I am today. To the past me, the present me was an impossible fairy tale. Yet, here I am, against all odds, living, breathing, and loving life. I mean it’s not perfect, but it never will be, I am just content with what I have. I know, a very confusing notion.

This leads me to my next tip. You will never be or do anything perfect. We are all humans, I hope so anyways (Shout out to all my alien bros hiding amongst the population). The thing about being human, is that we are intrinsically flawed, we make mistakes, and a lot of the time, no matter how hard we try, we will never reach our own ideal perfection. I don’t care what religion you follow, what the color of your skin is, how much money you have, where/when you were born, or who you love, nobody is perfect. Not one person. Ever. So do what you enjoy, dance like no one is watching, binge that one show in a single sitting for the seventh time this month. Do what you love, love what you do, and don’t give a sh*t about what anybody else thinks. Yeah, words hurt, but so does not doing something you enjoy because somebody else doesn’t like it. So what? Are they the ones who spend most of their money on figurines and miniature statues? Nope, so why should they have any say over whether or not you do. Now of course, there are two exceptions to this. The first being, moderation is key. Overindulgence is never a good thing, and will more often than not harm more than it helps. Second, just because you enjoy it, it does not mean you can run around in your KKK getup, shooting people in the face, and beating pregnant women with a baseball bat. Don’t be a dick. Do what you love, so long as it doesn’t HARM other people. So long as you do that, who cares what other people think about your hobbies. You like watching other people play video games instead of playing them yourself, go get it fam. You like sculpting anime characters out of ice, make sure you bundle up. You like going to conventions dressed as a humanoid fox, a little weird for me, but who cares what I think. You like growing and brewing your own tea, when can we meet up? Whatever you enjoy, just enjoy it! Without worrying about anybody else’s opinions. Because opinions are like buttholes, everybody’s got one, and nobody wants to hear about yours.

Another key step in working towards mental or physical wellbeing, is accepting yourself for who you are. You didn’t ask to be plagued by suicidal thoughts every second of every day. You didn’t ask to be born in the wrong gender’s body. You didn’t ask to be afraid of making your own appointments over the phone. You didn’t ask to be deathly afraid of boats and open water (That one’s me). But here’s what you can ask for, help. It is never an easy desicion, to ask another person to help you with all your problems. However, there are these wonderful people out there, that listen to your problems, give advice, and trade that for money. They’re called, “Therapists”. I know, you think that going to a therapist means that you are admitting defeat, that you can’t handle your own crap, so now you have to have someone else do it for you. While I thought like that in the past, I’ve come to realize that there are several things wrong about that way of thinking. The first being, that going to see a therapist, is not a show of defeat, it’s simply reinforcements for the war that’s raging on inside you. You couldn’t win on your own, but that doesn’t mean you’ve lost, you just have to bring in more fighting power. Second, the therapist, no matter how good they are, won’t solve all your problems for you. I mean it is kinda common sense, but you’d be suprised. “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. A very common saying, and very applicable here. Seeing a therapist once, isn’t going to solve your issues. Hell, seeing a therapist 100 times may not even do the trick. However, if you work with your therapist, progress can be made. Albeit small progress, it’s progress nonetheless; and any progress is good progress. It means you are moving forwards, you are refusing to let the anchor tied to your ankle that is mental illness, drag you down any further. You refuse to simply tread water and stay afloat. You are making an active effort to save yourself. However, the part of finding a good therapist is slightly more tricky. The few things I have found that work for me, may not work for you, and that’s alright, there is no “one size fits all” therapist, or way of treating mental illness. It’s important that you find a therapist that thinks that way too. If your therapist thinks they can treat you just by reading from the DSM, and “listening intently”, you need a new therapist. Personally, mine challenges me, she doesn’t always agree with me, and is very honest about what she thinks regarding my actions and such. I have a very easy time rationalizing bad decisions, so she regularly calls me out over my BS. Again, might not work for you, but if you want therapy that works, you’ll have to work hard to find a good therapist. Secondly, make sure you can afford to see them regularly, and if need be, in emergencies. This is a often overlooked, yet crucial part to having successful therapy. You need to be able to see your therapist as much as you feel you need to. When I’m having a rough time, I’ll see mine weekly, when I’m doing better, I see them about once a month. And they are very flexible on scheduling. After all is said and done (after insurance) I only pay about 20 bucks per visit. It took me 7 years to find another good therapist after my old one stopped practicing, but again, never give up, and you’ll find the one who works with you and for you.

My last tip, because this is getting a little lengthy…almost feel like I should put a tl/dr…is take each day for what it is. What I mean by that, is try to frame your mind by thinking, “tomorrow is a new day”. Sure you may have stayed in bed all day, watched some tv shows, and got one meal in, but didn’t do your laundry, take a shower, or even open your bills. But that’s okay. You did what you could, maybe even what you had to, to make sure you could make it to tomorrow. And tomorrow is a new day, full of new opportunities. Don’t be too hard on yourself, you’re only human. Sometimes it takes all you have just to make sure you ate something. Just don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get things done, but also don’t procrastinate too much either. Start small, and start slow. If you didn’t shower today, tell yourself you’re going to shower tomorrow. If you still don’t get it done tomorrow, make sure to get it done when you feel you can, especially before you start to stink (I’m guilty of that…) Make sure you try to make a plan to get something done, and if it takes you a bit longer than you wanted it to, so be it. At least you got it done. The singular thing that keeps me going these days, is that when I wake up tomorrow, it’s essentially a clean slate. Sure I still have my past, my emotional baggage, but every new day can be whatever I want it to, so long as I set my mind to it. Managing your mental health is incredibly difficult, and very complex, and there are a lot of things that work for others, but not for you. You’ll find there are just as many contradicting things too. So the important part, is carving out your own path, finding what works for you, and trying your damndest to make it to tomorrow. Don’t be afraid to explore various treatments, medications, and methods to treat your illness. You may often surprise yourself.

The Re-release of “The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir”

I have been working on getting back to this point. I am announcing that once again, The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir is finally available to buy once again on Amazon!

Working on getting my memoir republished all has been a humbling experience. So many hurdles came with republishing my memoir, but I learned a lot throughout the tribulations of these experiences. It is the same with being Bipolar–it is a learning experience. That is the essence of my book!

I will link to my author page below. If you purchased the first version of this book, you would notice that there is a different cover now. I wanted a fresh start with the cover design. I have put my book on Amazon in print and digital, if you want to purchase my book, please do from my author website page because there is a digital version of the old book still on Amazon. There are some old copies in print too, but those will not be under my name. I hope that the end of the week, the other digital copy from my publisher, finally takes off their edition. It takes time. Please purchase my with the cover above with the raven. I will be setting up some special offers for the re-release on Amazon!

Please purchase my memoir from my author website here!

Always Keep Fighting

James

So Many…

There are so many men and women out there during this pandemic, waiting, longing and eager to send their friends, partners and parents flowers.

So they waited a long time to show these flowers how pretty and wonderful these people are. But they have to wait a little longer…

Thank you for being with me. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Sending you angel love and blessings.

Love, Francesca.

2020 Big Ideas

First and foremost I would love to share my new author site outside this blog. www.jamesedgarskye.me

I am a writer who needs multiple projects that are ideas, in first drafts, editing, and ready to publish. I am also seeking an agent for those out there looking for a writer. For right now, I understand the self-publishing process, so that is good in my book. I will continue to go down this route. I have a fantastic cover artist (if you are looking, please email me!) and people I trust besides myself to edit my work. I prefer to keep busy.

Here is an idea of where I am at right now just in works in progress.

  • The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir – (Non-Fiction) Republishing in March 2020
  • Angel on the Ward – (Fiction Novella) In formatting and working on the cover art. Getting ready to publish in April 2020.
  • The Rise of the Nephilim – (Fantasy Fiction Novel) In editing looking for an agent
  • Hyeon and the Precious Notebook (Short Story) Looking for literary magazine publication.
  • The Dark Passenger (Short Story) Currently in the final editing phases.
  • Vacation From Heaven (Non-fiction) this is my major ghostwriting project of 2020.

What can I say, I like to keep busy, even as a graduate student.

My Next Big Ideas

A Book Sharing the stories of the Mental Health Community

That brings me to other projects that I want to launch in 2020. The first being A collective book on the stories of the mental illness community. I have been throwing around this idea for a while, and I think it is something that will be long-term. I hope to travel and meet people to write their stories. The money will go to helping others with medication, seeking mental health services, and perhaps other projects. Not a dime will go to me. A lot of this project will hinge if I can convince my followers to become Patreons. I will use my books as incentives for those who want to be a part of my writing process.

A Mental Health Podcast

I have two people that will become contributors once I get all my ducks in a row for this project. Both have experience in mental health. One of these two mental health advocates has experienced differently from mine. One is a bit younger with varying mental illnesses, including PTSD, that she deals with daily. The other, he is the man whom I am ghostwriting his book, is much older but also has some fantastic experiences that significantly differ from my own, including getting off benzodiazepines, which is a tremendous story. It will have guests, and I have big plans for this project in 2020.

Growing The Bipolar Writer Brand

Building my brand is going to be a fun project, and again, it comes down to if I can launch my Patreon account with enthusiasm. I am thinking t-shirts, coffee mugs, and maybe even one-day hoodies that show inspirational things alongside my brand The Bipolar Writer.

I wanted to share all of this because this is the year where I take everything to the next level. My followers are so important not just to me, but to the contributor writers that call this place home. I want to show the world what a community such as ours is capable of doing amazing things. That the support and understanding that I have experienced is the best. We need to change the stigma of mental health together!

Stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James

Please if you can, Become a Patron!

If You Ever Need help

The idea of sharing my number is not the first time I have done this, but I wanted to double down on my recent renewal of being more of a committed mental health advocate.

If you ever need someone who will help you through a tough time in your life, I hope to be that person, because it is important to me to be accessible to the readers of this blog.

My inspiration of late comes from the outpour of support from the followers of this blog. I am going through one of the worst experiences of my life. I can say with certainty that I am not suicidal even though my thoughts have been depressive at times. It is a significant thing to lose a mother. My mom would want me to dive deeper into my mental health advocacy, as she always told me, and so that is why I am doing this post. So here again, I am posting my number, you can find it on my blog as well on the main page.

James’ Number – 831-287-4369

If you need someone to give you some advice on how to get through how you feel, I will be there and answer as quickly as possible. The other route of course is my email.

James’ Email: jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com

I will also list my social media platforms so that if you are not comfortable with these ways of connecting to The Bipolar Writer, you can always contact me.

Twiter: https://twitter.com/JamesEdgarSkye

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesEdgarSkye/

What I want is total transparency with being there for the people following this blog and the mental illness community. So I hope that those who feel like reaching out because they are suicidal or anything mental health-related do.

Lastly there is always the National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Always Keep Fighting

James

The Bipolar Writer Has Been Gone, and I am Sorry

It has been a while friends, and I am sorry.

I was mad at the world. No one in particular, or at some level, I was angry at God. My faith, my foundation, and my life shaken to the core the day my mom passed away on December 15, 2019. The anger I had inside of me made it impossible to write a single blog post.

I wanted to say thank you to all that reached out while I am grieving for my mom. It means the world to me. I am still in the process of working out what my life looks like without my mom. It is a certain thing in this life to lose your parents, but my mom still had more life to live. To see me continue to grow as a writer, and I felt this last over a month now that there is a piece of me missing, it will always be that way. I feel lost some days, but I have to stay strong because it is what my mom would have wanted.

I wanted to write here on my blog about everything I was feeling, but everything came out angry and sad. I am still sad, but I am no longer mad at the world. I didn’t want my followers to see me like this, alone, angry, afraid, and above all, depressed. I have always been open about how life affects my mental illness daily, but I needed some time. I wanted to reach out because I was lost. I am far from out of the woods as the grieving process is a long one.

One good thing about this process is that I was still able to write. I stayed busy. I am helping my dad clean out his shop. I am increasing the number of jobs I am working on in my freelance. I even began ghostwriting this amazing book.

I am querying my major novel, and I finished this excellent short story. I will be publishing a short novella, and writing has become my coping mechanism. I am in the beginning stages of a book about others in the mental health community, an idea that my mom came up with, and one I will be running within the coming months. I am looking to start a podcast. Staying busy right now helps because I have less time to dwell on the negative. That is not to say my nights and some days that I feel I can’t leave the warmth of my bed, but I am not getting down on myself–my mom would not have wanted that for me.

Life is fleeting, and I intend not to waste away in depression and anxiety. I will honor my mother’s memory by living life as the best as I can each day. I will write more here and begin to heal.

Always tell your family you love them, I didn’t get a chance to tell my mom before her stroke took over her brain. I got a goodbye, and I always told my mom how much she meant to me. I wanted to end this post with a story. On December 6th, 2019, I was reading a chapter in my memoir that I wrote about my mom. I texted her right after and told her that she was the one reason that I am alive today and doing what I love. I had no idea that hours later, my mom would have a stroke and never regain consciousness. But something told me that day I had to read that chapter and tell my mom how much I loved her and was lucky she always believed in me. I tell this story to everyone who asks me about that day because the last thing I told her was to “please just breathe mom.” I couldn’t tell her I loved her at that moment because she was being taken away by paramedics.

Always Keep Fighting

James

2019

2019 has been a year of growth and challenges.

But I can never blame myself for wanting to live.

Everything is teaching me something.
As long as I’m open and willing to learn.

Everyone comes into this world being enough. I am enough. 💫

Here is to 2020.

Thank you for being with me.
Angel Love and Blessings.

Love, Francesca.

Leading by Example

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

It was pointed out to me recently that this blog runs best when I am active as a writer and participant. Lead by example, and there is some truth to that statement.

I will admit that over the last few months with my novel writing, my graduate work, my freelance work, and getting my memoir published took up all my time. I thought that this blog was functioning well enough that I could take a step back, and it worked for a while. Still, over November 2019, we had the lowest number of articles published on this blog, nine. Even in this blog’s infancy, the first full month of this blog saw twenty-three articles written by me.

This blog, when it was in its highest peak, turned out eighty articles in a single month and saw an average of sixty articles a month. I would write a few blog posts a week myself, and of course, my fantastic ensemble of contributor writers added so much depth in the area of mental health advocacy and sharing mental illness stories.

My point is things have to change, and it starts with me. I want to end the decade for the Bipolar Writer Collaborative Blog to end on a high note and begin the new year and the new decade on the right note. I will be making an effort to write at least two blog posts a week. There are so many topics that need to be talked about again.

For my current contributors I would challenge each and every one of you to share an update or a new blog post that talks about the new challenges or even old challenges surrounding your mental illness/mental health. Let’s continue to do what we all set out to do on this blog, end the stigma surrounding mental illness.

For my current contributors, I would challenge each and every one of you to share an update or a new blog post that talks about the unique challenges or even old challenges surrounding your mental illness/mental health. Let’s continue to do what we all set out to do on this blog, end the stigma surrounding mental illness. This blog is not just my legacy, but also yours.

Image by Elias Sch. from Pixabay

The other part of this blog post is an open invitation to new contributors that want to add their voice to this blog. If you want to be a part of this fantastic and safe place for mental illness/mental health advocacy, then please contact me @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com. I am open to allowing an increase of new vices and ideas. One thing I have learned on this journey is that everyone has a story.

This month I will be updating my followers on some new and exciting projects for 2020 that includes a new book idea and a podcast. With that said, always remember to stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James

P.S. If you have time, please purchase my book. You can find it on Amazon by looking up my pen name James Edgar Skye. The name of the book is The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir. It is available in print and Kindle edition. Thank you for your support. I will also link my Amazon page below.

https://www.amazon.com/author/jamesedgarskye

Become a Patron!https://c6.patreon.com/becomePatronButton.bundle.js

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.