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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My Delusions

So, as you are all probably painfully aware, depression is an illness that can take all of the life out of living. This was the case for me. For roughly 8 years, out of the 20+ years I’ve been depressed, I had nothing to live for. I tried to kill myself twice before 2011, when I was barely a teenager. Obviously, both tries were rather unsuccessful, I think that I have my poor planning skills to thank for that. My childhood was not great, but not awful either. Granted there was nearly constant bullying from people that I thought were my friends. However, you get into my teenage years, and it all seems to go even further downhill. I lose my will to live, secretly attempt suicide twice, and go through the motions with school, chores, relationships, etc. It wasn’t until 2011, that I really planned out my “next” suicide attempt. I had shoplifted 2 bottles of over the counter sleeping pills, that I originally was using for my insomnia, which I suppose could be related to my depression or even my anxiety. Though, I had gotten to a point, where I just couldn’t stand living another day. Going to school. going through the motions, getting bullied, going to football practice, coming home to a dysfunctional family, I just couldn’t do any of it anymore. So, over the course of about 3 hours, I drafted my first real suicide note. Posted it to Facebook, and then took roughly about 150 sleeping pills. This was my first serious suicide attempt. By serious, I mean, it actually had a chance of succeeding. Luckily for me, someone called the police once they saw my suicide note on Facebook, and I was saved, by the “skin of my teeth”. I woke up probably a day later, on a respirator machine, in the ICU of the local hospital. My parents both there beside me, with a rather obvious mix of anger, sadness, and joy written all over their faces. I then promptly got committed to an in-patient facility, and began my near lifelong journey in the mental health system. If any of you reading this are also residents of the lovely United States, you know that our mental health “system” is severely lacking, and filled with stigma.

So, the next few years weren’t easy, by any standpoint. Though I graduated high school, enrolled in college, had a rather serious girlfriend at the time, and life was going, not great, but well…at least for a little while. It was in college that I finally tried medication for my conditions, and not quickly, discovered that I was medication resistant. So, I believed that with a mix of medication and weekly therapy, I would be able to get back to living my life. For several years, it kinda worked, though I was still plagued by incessant suicidal thoughts, and severely deep depression. I also developed a rather unhealthy dependence on alcohol, but that’s for another time. Fast-forwards a bit, to 2016. I was technically a senior in college, but due to my inability to decide what I wanted to do with my life, I needed a fifth year in college. As a small side note, I couldn’t pay for my 5th year, as the scholarship I was “awarded” only lasted the 4 years. I was barely keeping my head above water at this point. Seeing my therapist every week, was basically the only thing keeping me alive. Though, with the constant suicidal thoughts, I always had a plan in motion to kill myself, I would just never act on it. My therapist knew this, and gave me some leeway in not committing me. The problem is, I was spiraling the drain, and I knew it, but I did nothing to stop it. What definitely didn’t help, was my chemistry teacher was also my academic advisor. He, when I went to him to schedule spring semester classes, told me that I would never amount to anything in life, or be hired by any company, if my GPA wasn’t above a 3.0, which it wasn’t. This single line is what pushed me over the edge. Turned, what I call “passive” suicidal thoughts, into “active” suicidal thoughts. One day, during my chemistry class, with Professor…oh I’m sorry…DR.WHATEVER THE HELL HIS NAME IS, I got fed up with listening to him pretending to be a good teacher. So I stormed out of his class, went to my therapist, and told her that I was probably going to act on my plan…SO, in what not to do to someone standing on the edge, she called the police on me, and had me committed to in-patient…

Fast-forwards a few more years now, I was single again, and have gone through several jobs with promising companies (contrary to what my advisor said) and began working at a rather large laboratory company. I, once again, began circling the drain, and I saw it coming from a mile away. I hated my job, hated my life, yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah you get where I’m headed with this, right? So, this time, wanting my life to be different, and not go back to in-patient, I quit my job. Right there, on the spot, no warning, no advance notice. I then began to look into ECT treatment, which you all have probably heard me talk about before, so I’ll skip explaining it. After about 6 months of ECT treatment, I finally began to feel better. I went from, essentially, the bottom of a ravine, to the peak of a mountain, in the course of a few weeks. Yeah, I’ve read the articles that ECT causes permanent brain damage, and that the “elation” that I felt, was simply a symptom of the concussions ECT was giving me. I don’t believe any of that. I was saved by ECT, because it was more or less, my last resort. After a couple months of feeling like I was on top of the world (or so I thought). I began to “level out” and stopped being so happy all the time (which probably was as unhealthy as depression) and began experiencing what “normal” feels like. It was then that I was scared that a I would fall back into my deep depression, as my mood was starting to dip. What I didn’t realize for a few weeks, was that life is basically a whole lot of “blah” feelings, with a little bit of sadness or happiness sprinkled in at the right moments. So, coming off of this “high” I was on after my depression faded, I was scared of falling back into depression. I was under the impression that this “happiness” I felt, was going to be the way I was from then on. Of course, I was wrong. And contrary to my beliefs, my mood stabilized around a sort of “grey” middle-ground between happiness and sadness. This was not something I had ever experienced before, so I was (needlessly) worried for quite some time.

Y’know, I was under the impression that life would get easier once my depression was gone. While technically I was right, I was also completely wrong at the same time. I have always known that life is not easy, for almost everyone. Of course I also knew that this really depended on where and who you were born to. I have known for a long time, that I got rather lucky, as I was born a white male, to a successful mother, in the United States. Although, I was convinced that once my depression was gone, I would be able to do all the things I needed to do, that I couldn’t while depressed. Such as chores, simple self-hygiene, socializing, finish my degree, get a good job, pay my own bills, move out on my own. Y’know, become a true adult. While life certainly is much easier to manage without constant suicidal thoughts, and all the depression symptoms, it is not as easy as I thought it would be. I was unemployed for 7 months, in order to get my ECT treatments done. Though, because of my bills, I never stopped looking for a job after I quit my last one. Though, I have to say, until I was hired around the end of July, I have never had as much trouble finding a job, as I had during those 7 months. Even depressed, I had a seamless transition between two jobs, for more pay, and less commute. Though, without my depression, with all the energy and motivation that I had regained, I couldn’t find a suitable job for the life of me. I still dealt with all the same issues that I did while I was depressed. I couldn’t take care of myself, I could barely pay my bills, I didn’t do chores, I still had a drinking problem, I still had massive anxiety, it was like nothing even changed. My life was supposed to get better by leaps and bounds without depression, or so I convinced myself. The problem that I didn’t account for, is that life always sucks, whether you’re mentally ill or not. Life is always hard, and nothing will fall into your lap just because you want it. Like I said, life did get easier for me, but marginally (Compared to my “predictions” anyways).

I just had to realize a few things that most people learn in their childhoods (that I didn’t thanks to depression). #1, life is hard, for EVERYONE, regardless of circumstance. #2, life is not all happiness without depression. Like I said, it’s mostly this weird “grey” area, with a little bit of happiness and sadness sprinkled in. #3, if I want ANYTHING in my life, I am going to have to bust my a*s for it, no excuses. #4, my depression is in REMISSION, not cured. Unfortunately there is no cure for depression (yet), and it will worm it’s way back into my life at times. I just have to hope that I have enough experience to deal with it the right way, rather than just kill myself. Once I realized these things, life didn’t seem so bad. I go to work, pay my bills, hang out with my friends, actually live life. So if you are still struggling with mental illness, don’t delude yourself the way I did. Although life will get better if you get your illness under control, it won’t magically become super awesome. So continue with your treatment plan, go to therapy, take your meds, and just bust your butt, until what you want is realized. Having a dream that you are striving towards is usually a double-edged sword, take my word for it. It is great to have a goal in life, but you either have to make it realistic, or be prepared to never reach your goal. Granted, with a wild, outlandish aspiration, there will be a boatload of fun along the way, but it will be incredibly more difficult. So, y’know what, live your life the best you can. When your time comes, as all ours will, just make sure that you had enough good times to look back on as it all fades to black.

Hopefully this wasn’t too depressing for you people. I really wrote a lot didn’t I? Sorry…not sorry…hope you enjoyed reading. As always I would love to hear from all of you on what I should write about next. Especially since the future for the BPW blog is a little fuzzy at the moment.

ANYWAYS, hope you all have wonderful days today, and forever ❤

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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Off My Chest

So, as you can probably tell, this is not going to be like my usual posts. My brain has returned to its normal, insanely fast pace. I of course didn’t really do anything positive to help myself. I watched some of the saddest music videos I could find. Of course, you know that I believe music to be one of the most powerful things that humans have ever created. A single certain song can make or break your whole day. Today, the song that set my spiral was 1-800-273-8255 by Logic. You may or may not know that that’s actually the number to the National Suicide Hotline. And of course, it has a very sad music video, and very sad lyrics. I found myself sobbing at the end, and went on my usual depressive train…I am not proud of myself, because I worked so hard to become not depressed, and here I am, willingly slipping back into it. Granted, this is not my old clinical depression, this is simply situational depression. Yet, that doesn’t make it suck any less, and that doesn’t make it less terrifying to me.

What I have to get off my chest, is the two main reasons that I wanted to die while I was depressed. These may sound like small problems to you, but to me, they meant everything.

The first reason I wanted to die, is that I am a empath. See, sounds trivial, but let me explain. You see, when I see, or hear about people struggling, with anything, my depression deepens because I cannot help them. It really all stems from the phrase, “You can’t save everyone”. That single phrase kills me inside. There are things going on in peoples life that makes them suicidal. Or maybe you were/are like me, and you’re suicidal for no reason, all the time. You know, now that I think about it, I probably should have started with reason two, because they are rather intertwined. The second reason I wanted to die, is the world f*cking sucks. There are such injustices in the world, slavery, oppression, corporations pushing products down our throats. I like to think that I’m what the kids call “woke” in that I see everything wrong with the world. Yet, I’m only one person. I can’t fix the worlds problems. You see how the two problems are intertwined? It hurts me to my core that there are so many problems in the world, and I can’t fix any of them. I can’t save everyone, nor should I. But that’s where my empathy takes control of my mind. I so badly want people just to love each other, and love themselves. So, I started blogging to help with my own issues, and I really wanted to help as many people as I could reach. The internet is a wild thing, we are all connected now, literally. How can I focus on myself, when there are so many problems in this world. Now, I have to stop myself from thinking like this, because it will drive me deep back into depression, and I cant go back, I won’t.

For real though, like what the actual f*ck is hate? Why do some people hate other based on their skin color, gender, sexuality, whatever. It pisses me off. It pisses me off even more that I used to hate people based on things they couldn’t control. Yet, the wealthy and greedy all only care about money or power, or both. I mean, we could cure cancer, but do you know why we won’t? There is more money to be made treating the disease than curing it. That’s f*cked isn’t it?! Why the actual f*ck is there a market for child sex? Like WTF is wrong with people? Why do corporations continue to destroy the planet, and then blame our individual actions? Like me using a plastic straw is worse than dumping millions of gallons of trash into the ocean. This world is just full of such bullsh*t, and I couldn’t stand it. That’s why I wanted to die. The rich and powerful continue to trick the rest of us, making us think we can change things. But as soon as we affect their bottom line, it gets swept under the rug.

I am terrified to have kids, because I KNOW that I won’t be able to leave the world a better place for him/her/them. And I’m just supposed to live my best life, while turning a blind eye to all this? How the heck can I do that? I so desperately want to live a normal, not even happy, just like baseline, life. These thoughts though, it is a real struggle. Now don’t get me wrong, there is true beauty in the world. I want to be able to focus on the good in life, I think that’s the only way I’ll make it, but I don’t know if I can. I need hope. It’s as simple as that. ECT did treat, and probably, cure my med resistant depression. But without hope, I don’t see my life changing all that much. Please. Whatever you do, just love yourself, love others, let’s make this world a place suitable for our children, our children’s children. Let’s just live and love life. Please.

What Is Depression?

I’m pretty sure most of you here already know the answer to that question. Unfortunately because most of you have lived with it for months or years or maybe even your whole life. I’m sure that you’ll agree that depression is more than just sadness. It is an almost unexplainable emptiness. It’s like someone replaced your heart with a void of nothingness. Of course there is sadness, sure, but it is sadness and somebody turned the dial to 11 by mistake. This overwhelming sadness would be manageable, I think, if that’s all there was. This sadness strikes us often, and usually without warning or meaning. It’s like a virus that suddenly takes over your whole body, like a cold. You wake up and suddenly, you’re depressed. Yeah, doesn’t happen exactly like that, but I hope that you get my point.

To make matters more complicated, depression is a thief, and a very skilled one at that. It steals your energy, motivation, and planning capabilities. Most days, you just lay in bed staring at the ceiling, or scrolling through Facebook. Well, that’s what you want to do, but life doesn’t get put on hold just because you can’t get out of bed. I mean it should, in my opinion, as this can quickly become a matter of life and death if not managed correctly. So most days, it feels like you ran a marathon in your sleep, you’re more tired than when you went to bed, and you just want to vegetate. Bills on the other hand, couldn’t care less. So this means you still have responsibilities to uphold.

So depression, being the shifty thief that it is, steals from you everything that makes you feel alive. To avoid being caught, it replaces what it steals with sadness, loneliness, and a general feeling of worthlessness. Even when we catch it in the act, depression lies it’s way out of any compromising situations. I mean if you think about it, I willingly let them shock my brain, in order to get relief from depression. Depression is like the neighbor that doesn’t mow their lawn, leaves the garbage can at the street all week, and let’s their unruly pets off leash to crap in your yard (don’t get me wrong I love animals). The truth of the matter is, that you can’t deal with this on your own. I would love nothing more than to say that you can, but depression is ruthless. The only way that you will get a glimpse at inner peace, is if you let others in to help you. I’m not even saying professional help, though that is a great place to start. If my life has taught me one thing, it’s that everything is easier with help. So if you’re depressed, and you’re reading this, get some help. Whether it be a family member, a therapist, a stranger, a social media friend, it doesn’t matter. Whatever you do, don’t try facing depression alone. It will chew you up and spit you out, without a second thought. I don’t mean to sound overly gloomy either. Depression is a dragon that you can slay, just with the right team. There is hope, there is always hope. So don’t let anybody tell you different. You can beat depression, it sure as hell ain’t easy, but it is possible. Just get as many people as you can in your corner, and lead the charge!


If you liked reading this, check out my personal blog: Out of My Mind

Nightmares While I’m Awake

I lay in bed, my brain twisting with horrible thoughts. This weekend my husband takes two of our small children to a baseball game without me because I’ll stay home with the baby. A thousand scenarios race through my mind days before they leave. I can’t sleep and know I won’t be able to until they are home.

Someone could try to kidnap one of my children. There could be a bomb. My husband could be robbed at gunpoint in front of them. He could be hurt or killed.

My legs twitch and the pit in my stomach grows. Why do I do this? Worst case stories pile up. Which one is the worst? Because that’s the one I’ll play from start to finish multiple times. I hate myself for allowing these images to take over.

They could get in a car accident, killing everyone, leaving me with no family. There could be a random shooter.  

At therapy, this is explained to me as irrational thinking. My anxiety revs up when things are out of my control and I allow the news to intertwine with life. Does it help that my mother in law used to send me articles about children being snatched from grocery stories when their mothers turned their back for just a minute? No. And I’ve asked her to stop sending those. She just sent me an article about bacteria in the ocean killing people, though. I’m not sure we’ve made progress.

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They could be crossing the street and someone could run a red light. One of my kids could wander away and my husband wouldn’t notice because he’s preoccupied.

How do I turn this off? I don’t know if I can. I tell myself it’s irrational, but then a voice in my head tells me, “But these things really happen to people!” An attempt is made to silence the voice from continuing hounding me with horrible ideas.

Sunburn! Sure, it’s not as bad, but what if my husband forgets the sunscreen. Worse, they could accidentally fall off the top balcony.

Let the thoughts come in because trying to stop them causes me more anxiety. Recognize them, then figure out where they are coming from. In this case, it’s a lack of control. I won’t be there to watch after my babies (ages four and seven). My very capable husband will be companied by his father and another friend (albeit the friend has a 4-year-old also). The adults equal the number the children, which eases my worry, slightly. The scenarios anxiety comes up with play through like a train going over a crossing.

They could eat too much junk food and throw up in the car, coming homesick. Someone could flash them. I’ve been flashed in the city multiple times, the first time when I was their age. It’s not something you forget.  

I tell myself to see my thoughts. Let them pass, wave them goodbye, have hope, know the likelihood is everything will be fine. My children drive me crazy, but they are my life. I’m not always the best mom, but I’m pretty sure that definition is unattainable. Especially for an overactive thinker and anxious driven woman such as myself.

They will have a great time. They will be part of a parade of little leaguers and get to walk the bases. They will love this special time with their dad. He will feed them cotton candy and they will come home wired, maybe a little sunburn, and probably asking me about panhandlers.

Deep breath. I can’t control everything. Life would be boring and too predictable if I could, but truth be told. If I could put a magic protective bubble around my family, I would do anything to do so. Anxiety runs deep, affecting me in so many ways. Out of sight out of mind? Not when your anxiety fills in all the blanks for you.

Melisa Peterson Lewis is a blogger at Fingers To Sky with over two-hundred personal essays on book reviews, insights on aspiring to complete her first novel, and some good ol’ fashion soul searching. Follow her on Facebook or Instagram, she’ll follow you back and not delete you.

Featured Photo by Eduardo Balderas on Unsplash

Other Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash

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When You do Too Much in This Mental Illness Life

When I came into my current graduate courses I was riding a perfect high. My new novel was coming along, and I was finding a real balance between work (writing and freelance) and school. My memoir was in the publishing phase, and life was good. My grades were at the highest it could be for the first few semesters, and I thought I was going to continue to breeze.

Then somewhere depression and mania decided to hit one right after another. It happened first with mania, or it is possible it started with hypomania, but I was on top of the world. I was not sleeping well, and I was averaging somewhere between 3-5 words a day on my novel. I thought for once I was balancing my life. Then my grades started to slip, I almost quit graduate school, and my depression decided that it was time to pay me a visit.

That was about five weeks ago, and since then I have been battling a long depression cycle–again. It sucks because when you get out of a depression cycle, you feel so much better than before, and this will be a good thing because it is good for your mental health. I had one early depression cycle, and I usually have them until April, but the months of March, April and May everything was relatively okay and depression free.

I am not good at dealing with stress, and I am a perfectionist when it comes to school. I graduated summa cum laude with my bachelor’s degree because I was relentless to be the best. When it comes to facing some adversity, especially with school, I run and hide because dealing is not something that I do well, I have to ulcers to prove it. I was ready to end my graduate career over one bad grade.

When things spiral for me it sucks because school is my fallback, and so is my writing. I had to reshuffle my life. Refocus on school. Take a step back from writing every day. I finished the first draft of my novel last week, which is great, but I can’t seem to shake this depression. I am trying, and I hope to get out of one of my classes, Literary Theory, with an A, or at least B. Perfection is the untenable thing in my life but it gives me control. I am the worst version of myself when this happens, and I came close to buying a bottle and drinking for the first time in four years–just to forget.

Life will give you reminders when your overloading and I have to get better at figuring out these triggers in my life because I can’t continue on this up and down rollercoaster. Just when I think I have this mental illness life figured out, my life changes in unexpected ways. Where to go from here? I am not totally sure, but I know things have to continue to change in the right way. I have to take “me time” for my mental health.

I am work in progress, and it seems I always will be.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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.

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

My Aging Body Image

I sit at the public pool, it’s Ladies Night, and I’m surrounded by women I know. One of them is a school teacher who tells us about a body image lesson she is teaching her class. She tells us the average sized woman is five foot, four inches tall. The average weight is one hundred and forty pounds and wears a size fourteen in US women’s clothing. My first reaction is to compare myself to those measurements.

I’m five foot, five inches, but I’m heavier than one hundred and forty pounds.

Her class talks about Barbie and how horrible of a role model she is for body dimensions. She shows her class a picture of an artist who made Barbie life size. The sculpture’s waist small, her breasts so big she’d topple over. When I looked up the pictures I was surprised to see such an attractive artist standing next to the sculpture. This beautiful woman feels the need to point out how unattainable the image of a plastic doll truly is. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Summer is just starting where I live, and the dreaded bathing suit season has arrived. Thank you, Amazon for allowing me to order twenty suits to try in the comfort of my own home. As a matter of fact, while I’m already on the computer, scrutinizing every dimple in my ass, I’ll go ahead and search before and after pictures of breasts lifts and tummy tucks. Wow, those are some amazing results. Just think what I could look like for nine thousand dollars.

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“Love your body!” Is what I hear, over and over again. The message makes me ashamed that I can’t appreciate all my body has done for me over the years. I’ve given birth to three children. I live an active lifestyle full of hiking, gardening, trips to the beach, and other good times. I pay one hundred and twenty dollars to go to the gym, and I actually go a few times a week.

My stomach is deflated, it’s wrinkled and saggy. Once perky breasts from my younger years are sad and I have a hard time keeping them in a swimsuit. There’s no filling to them, I’m embarrassed to say the truth. Skin bags is what they remind me of. Hence the hatred of swimsuit shopping.

I want my body to look good, so I take steps to do that. However, it will never be like it once was. I’m not after Barbie, I’m after my youth. It’s gone, fading faster every year. My anxiety has a way of reminding me of this, over and over again. I can’t force my body back in time no matter how much I work out or curb my eating habits.

“Love your body!”

Please be quiet, I hear you. I really do. It’s the salty mix of losing my youth and seeing how my body responds that leaves me defeated, sad, and hating the naked image of myself in the mirror. It’s okay to be sad sometimes, we can’t be happy all the time. That would be a lot of pressure.

Every bathing suit season from now until I die will probably lead me down the same path.

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Melisa Peterson Lewis is a writer, blogger, book reviewer, gardener, and stay home parent. You can follow here on at Fingers to Sky Instagram. Facebook.

Images from Pixabay.