I wrote this poem on April 3, 2015. I was in a dark place. I was close to suicide for the first time since 2010. I had been mourning my grandfather and my life was in a bad place. I was in the depression cycle that started in the summer of 2014 and didn’t end until the summer of 2015. I haven’t had a depression cycle quite as long as this cycle.
This poem is one of my more darker free thought poems. I just wrote what I was feeling.
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My Darkest Depression
I know it has been a long while… I have been lost. Depressed. And even tittering on the edges of suicidal thoughts.
It has really just been that way. I am so afraid. So afraid of what could happen. What might happen? The truth? I am going down a road that I may never come back from again. It scares me to death. I know the signs and yet here I am. Afraid. I am really just a mess so much lately. Most nights I really want to cry.
So I cry myself to sleep. Wishing. Wishing that I don’t wake the next day. Yet, here I am. Awake again. Another day. More struggles. I often think that God hates me. That I hate myself so much that God has given up on me. Let’s face it, I would give up on me. It is a wonder that no one wants anything to do with me.
Is there something I can do, probably not. My life is this mess, the mess I created. The Chaos.
It’s not gonna change—I tell myself that every night. It has become me, my past is present. It might be my future. What does all this mean anymore? I continue to perish in the darkness. Forever. Darkness, my best friend, and worst enemy. Depression my familiar companion, you never leave me.
I want to challenge you, those in this community that are sharing their experiences and stories. I know that we are all at different levels in our journey, and there is the idea that I had heard that blogging is not what it was when I first introduced the Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog but your stories matter. The challenge is that you continue to find ways to share your stories at the moment.
The stories are the reason that we are fighting to end the stigma. As we share the experiences in the moment of what we have been through as much as possible, it means that you might reach one person. I am honored to all that share their stories, and you are doing a fantastic job. The challenge is to look beyond blogging and into other platforms. Blogging is great, and writing is what I love. If we challenge the next generation of human beings who struggle with mental illness without too many resources, we need to find ways to bring them into the fold. They are the ones that will be taking on the challenge that we all are fighting for–ending the stigma.
Growing up in a world that we never talked about mental illness culturally and in America’s schools was tough. I had no idea that I had a mental illness. I knew suicide was wrong, but now what it meant to be suicidal was steeped in more profound meaning. The truth was that even when my diagnosis at twenty-two. It was a struggle to get an understanding and the outside world. There were not many resources or groups that I knew of, and it meant I was alone.
Technology and social media platforms are at our disposal. We can use what makes us comfortable. The younger generation needs to hear our stories even if you are in your twenties or beyond. Mental health advocacy is a collaborative effort for all of us. No matter our age or sexual orientation, the stories are essential to our collective effort to let the world know with one voice that they will hear us. That is what I challenge. Writing a blog is excellent, but as I learned in 2020, there is so much work that we can do. Mental health advocacy is something we all can do at a level that is good for you.
Stay strong in the fight, share your stories, and know I am always with you.
I would love to add a new segment to The Bipolar Writer Podcast where you, the listener, ask questions about mental health/mental illness to me, and I answer one per episode to open an episode. I think it would be a great way to get the listeners involved in the podcast.
There are two ways to do this: email me at email@example.com or visit the podcast at The Bipolar Writer Podcast where you can leave me a message!
What do I want you to ask? Really anything, and I will do my best to answer and research within the mental illness realm. Some ideas are about suicide, mental health in general, living with a mental illness, what a day looks like for James, depression, anxiety, and everything in between.
If you want to be a guest and share your story, you can also use the email above. Right now, there is a list, but I am always looking to interview new people, and I plan on a heavy January schedule. I do interviews on Zoom. I hope that the community reaches out and continues to continue to share your stories. I plan on taking The Bipolar Writer Podcast to new levels. If you want to listen to my podcast, it is available wherever you listen to podcasts. I will also have it below.
Excitement always comes to mind when it comes to sharing the latest episode of The Bipolar Writer Podcast. I have to admit that it has been so impressive that all the people who have become listeners in the short time the podcast has been live. I am in awe of all the people lining up for a guest spot, and these are extraordinary times to share with the world. I even had my first international interview, all the way from Malaysia, that you will be listening to soon. It is memorable to be working on my mental health advocacy again on a new platform.
Episode six looks at Men’s Mental Health – Why Are Men Not Talking About Mental Health? It is an essential topic for me, and you will see the passion I have for this topic. The episode is bit darker, although is my thing. It is possible what you listen to what I am saying could be wrong. If I am wrong, then okay. I have the experience to back it up, you will see a future episode with a retraction, but I see what I see within the community.
I wanted this podcast to be different, and yes, I am sharing the stories of others. It is a significant part, but I must also shake things up within the community to end the stigma. In this episode, what I say might be controversial to some, and you will see it a lot in solo episodes, but the point that will be made will make my point within the episode. Please listen to the entire episode because this subject must be discussed, so you can leave comments, reach out in emails, or even leave me a message on my phone (my number is on this blog). I hope you enjoy it!
I wanted to preface this poem with a “trigger warning,” this is a poem I wrote about suicide and depression recently, at this time I am NOT depressed or suicidal. But, this poem could trigger those feelings, so please read only if you are in a safe place. This free-verse poem was written during a poetry class in my last semester of my bachelor’s degree. It was my raw feelings when I was suicidal turned into a poem, please enjoy. I will link the other poem I posted recently.
It has been a long while. I am lost in my darkest contemplations. Sinking, unable to breathe. “I’m Depressed,” there I admit it. Teetering, on the edges of the blackest of thoughts— suicide. The darkness serves as my safe and unsafe place. “I am always here for you,” says the darkness— it is far away in the distance, but I hear its cry. Fearful of this darkness I let the thoughts of the end consume, afraid of what could happen. What might happen? What will happen? This winding road is leading me to the point of no return. The darkness laughs, and it moves closer in the distance.
My thoughts seek the out the painful memories, and the thoughts missile into my consciousness. Afraid. So Afraid of losing myself. My life is a mess, a black hole of endless despair. At night I lay my head down— wanting to cry, and so I cry myself to sleep. “Yes, my friend, give in. You belong here with those who lose themselves.
Wishing. Waiting. Wanting. This will be my last day, nevermore. Awake. Alone. Again. Another day lost in the darkness, it consumes my inner soul.
God hates me for what I have become, I hate myself so much that God— he has given up on me. Let’s face it, my hope evaporated long ago, it is a wonder that no one in my life wants anything to do with this lost soul. “I am here for you—always,” the darkness tells me. Can I fight this— is there something I can do? Probably not. My life is this mess. The Chaos. I created a monster inside me.
The darkness begins to consume, first my mind— and then my body. The darkness is just outside my door, it tells me this is the right thing. “Death is just mean to an end— the end of the infinite agony,” he tells me. “Give in, your life is not worth living. Give in, it will be painless.” Thoughts devour any shred of hope. The darkness wants to win. It just might.
I find myself on edge again— a familiar place, but this time it is different. I lay out the pills tidily in front of me. Counting. Thinking. “Yes,” exclaims the darkness, “this is who you are now.” How many sleeping pills does it take to sleep forever? This becomes routine— a nightly ritual that never changes. I tell myself every night, this is the night. “You must do this now,” the darkness hovers just beside me, “this is your destiny.” A flood of my past consumes my present. There is no future.
What does life mean anymore? I continue to perish in sinking into darkness. Forever. Darkness, my best friend— and worst enemy. Depression my frequent companion, never leaving me. My darkest depression. Will I give in?
It’s 12:15 am, I am in a dark room
my mind racing and
the panic is rising out of nowhere.
Shallow and slow,
I can’t catch my breath.
It happens, every night, this night— the next.
Restlessness. A feeling of unease.
“I can’t do this,” I think.
A tingling feeling engulfs my hands,
numbness consumes my body.
I pace, take a drink of water—
then begin to pace again.
I must stay inside, “no— I can’t.”
I must go outside, “no— you can’t.”
“Fight this feeling! Please!” A different part says.
“You will never win this fight,” the anxiety answers.
My mind races faster this time, I’m running out of breath.
Helplessness, I am no longer in control of my body.
I overthink. “I am going to die!”
“Please stop! You must fight,” my heart and brain say.
Then again, I over think! And again.
My mind overthinks, “is this my life?”
I feel as if I am under water trying to catch my breath,
to be the person I was before I started to drown.
Sleep, it would be divine. I reach
for this tiny white pill. It is in my hand.
God, I want to sleep
so much to do tomorrow.
The weight of my school obligations crush me.
Finally, in control— again.
Anxiety, why do you control me so?
It’s over for now, but
tomorrow is another day.
I am doing something unorthodox today here on The Bipolar Writer. I hope that I have created a place where my fellow mental health sufferers can have a “safe place” to discuss their own issues. I often get emails from many who are seeking help or guidance or just want to talk about things. I want everyone who comes to this blog to know that if you are suicidal there is always someone here, I am always here to talk.
The unorthodox part is that today I am going to give my number to my followers if you are suicidal and you don’t want to reach out to help-lines (I have learned recently that they are not always great.) So, if you need to chat you can text me anytime. I will get back to you as soon as humanly possible. As a mental health advocate and someone who has been through the worst parts of mental illness alone, I want you to know I am a lifeline.
You are not alone. Suicide is not the answer. Again, I am always here to talk anytime.
I felt the feels a lot lately and I have resist moving on from the guilt, pain, and really the feelings that come from letting go. I have been one foot in with grieving and the other out, trying to cling to an idea that letting go of all those things would mean forgetting my mother. My life coach always asks me what is the worse that can happen? I have been half-assing it because I know it could, which “could” is vital here, send me over the edge. That edge, of course, is suicide. I know deep down that I would never forget her, but to let her go or not is a choice to make, but not as a means to an end.
In October, I learned that the truth is suicide is not so black and white as it has been conditioned in my head. There are no right or wrong answers in any situation, which is what suicide really is, the situations in my life. Black and write thinking gets us nowhere. I am tired of it in my own life, and now if I could practice what I preach! I have sought for most of the last thirteen years since my diagnosis for the answers. What if there were no answers to find? what if it was always in me, my responsibility to work on myself.? When I think about it too much, I am up in my head, which gets me nowhere in this life but the ego makes you feel like the worst version of yourself. Sometimes you have to follow your heart.
I have been stuck in the overthinking world I have been trying to resist, but resistance can be also be unhelpful. Not knowing the answers to all of life’s questions is something that, no not knowing any of the answers, is different. It is even scary to not think every moment of your life. Why do we have to answer these questions?
Why must we always be trying to figure out the next move instead of staying in the now? We can get so lost, and I know many of you feel the same, and I am going, to be honest, I do it all the time. My need to control every second from the moment my eyes open is something I am working on all the time. There are moments in now where nothing matters. No plans, no trying to control my day for the sake of being in control. That word honestly makes me feel like cringing because control never got me anywhere.
This might be a change from the normal writing pyou are used to when it comes to this blog, but change happens in the moment. Many of us are stuck right now, in these moments in life. Where things are just about feeling your way through this life. Letting things come though to from the universe.
There is something about living in the grey area of life, that place between right and wrong. There are no problems, only situations, as my life coach always has told me. The ego loves it when you allow it to control you. When you begin to let go of identities like being a writer of books, you have the opportunity to put things into action and piss off the ego. The last example I will give for this blog post is something that happened to me recently. I was “talking” about starting The Bipolar Writer podcast. I got all the equipment, but in my head, I was “planning” the next move–for months. It got me nowhere, but when I took action within life coaching, I began the steps of what will become an idea that will grow like this blog.
There is this character in a show I like named Lapis. One of her narrative threads is that she decides to let go of the anger that she had when she was trapped in a mirror for thousands of years, and even when Lapis felt real power, she knew it got her nowhere because of her anger, and she let go. I have a lot of anger towards myself about not letting go of the pain and the guilt that I could have done more when my mom passed away. That guilt consumed me to the point where I once again became lost in it, and suicide was the way out. Again, no right or wrong in what happened with the suicide plan as I have moved on and detached, but instead, we need to acknowledge at the very least that things can fester and becomes a part of us that we feel needs control. Then we lose it. Let us find that grey area in this life.
Mental illness is a community of people who are the most amazing people I have known for a few years now. People reach out to this blog, and they write about their experiences. We don’t always want to say that we are stuck, but I am here to say you don’t have to because it is okay to know why you are stuck. I haven’t been able to say, “I miss my mom…” without reason. Why do you have to have a reason? Why do I?
2020. If you could sum it up with one word what would it be for you?
For James, it would be simple as WOW.
Here in this safe place, my collaborative blog, I have always been honest as I can with what I write, and for the most part, I have been open to everything about my life I share with you, the reader. There is a caveat, there was for a while me not so open to the world. Perhaps even most of my life, and that has been a different James thanks to life coaching. Now that will be for a later post, but it is relevant to what I will share with you now.
An Updated Works-Progress Literary Works
Works to be Published – Angel on the Ward
I have one work that is ready for the world to see. I have mentioned a few times that I am working towards self-publishing my first fictional piece, a novella about a year in the making, Angel on the Ward. There have been some delays. I am looking at a tentative date in early December if my cover is done by my cover artist.
In Final Edits – The Rise of the Nephilim
My major novel, The Rise of the Nephilim, has been on the back burner as I have been swamped finishing my master’s degree (I have one more semester). I have decided to take a semester off to get this novel over the top and ready to be sent out to publishers. For those who do not know, this is fantasy fiction, Dark Romanticism, gothic, medieval and futuristic six-book series that I have been writing for over a year and developing for over nine years. I finished the first draft sometime around this time last year, clocking in at over 213K in words, so I have got my work cut out for me in editing.
Works in Progress
I currently work in the writing process and move towards a first draft, a book for my business, The Bipolar Writer Ghostwriting Services. This book is for a local man, and I started it in January. We have gone through the interview process, gathering everything, and now I am writing the book’s significant chapters.
The Beginning Stages Projects
One of the upcoming projects and I am working on funding is The Legacy of Sang’s Cafe in Salinas. It is a local book that I am proud to be writing. As a writer, there are not always chances to write about the place where you grew up. The author is raising funds and so if you can donate to The GoFundMe here. I am the ghostwriter on the project.
The other project I am also excited to be working on is more of a secret project. I can say I am in the interview stage, and it will be a fiction novel. That is all I can say right now.
I wanted to add to this list because I am working on an idea, and right now, they are ideas. One is a nonprofit to educate the rift that I have seen within the mental illness community and the professionals who prescribe us medication and therapy. Through experience, education is something that I have done throughout the blog, but see a need that can be filled. It will take some research from now until the end of the year. I am also beginning to get the first few episodes of my podcast off the ground.
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