I am at a crossroads as I begin 2021 on the right note. The Bipolar Writer Blog has been the highlight of the last few years in my quest to be a mental health advocate. I love that I have been able to share stories, bring in writers, and make this a safe place for us in the mental illness community to discuss mental health since 2017. The crossroads is if we continue to provide the right amount of people writing and sharing to make this blog still work?
What helps is having writers, and I hope that in 2021 my writers come back, and we can continue to share our stories. For at least this blog, it is not getting people to read the current things being written through WordPress. I see it overall with WordPress, and I could be wrong, but fewer people are on than when I started this blog in 2017. It is why I decided to begin the podcast. It made sense to find a new platform. So, anyone willing to join our group of writers, please reach out in the page’s contact area, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The hope is to keep the blog in February, and we will see, but I need more people writing on the blog to make it worth it to continue the blog. As much as I love writing, my time will be split up a lot this year. Who knows, many people have really launched their own blogs through The Bipolar Writer blog. I am looking for anyone willing to really write here and share with the world. Reach out, and let us work together.
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!
Imposter syndrome. I am not a medically trained expert, and I always come at blog posts from experience. Throughout my life, I know there have been so many doubts about my skill in writing, growing my business, my mental health advocacy work, and at times everything that I do daily. I feel like “what is the point” of every thread that is the life that I have created as they intertwine with one another. More than once I have felt like a “fraud” in this mental health advocacy work that I do, and it leaks into my writing. You can throw into that the doubts that The Bipolar Writer GhostwritingServices, my business, will become an actual reality in 2021. Then I breathe and realize that the imposter syndrome is not real, and when I live in the now, the imposter syndrome a manifestation of my ego.
The ego can be so tricky at times, and when you feel like life is going right, it is right there with the doubts. There is no right or wrong here, and that is comforting. Yes, the imposter syndrome is a real thing, but it is what you make it, and for me, it had held me back in 2020, when the whole world went wrong with a pandemic. If I use it as an excuse, it just furthers the ego’s control. The release of identities over months in 2020 has angered the ego. As I continue to live in the now and decide to work on the inner I, the external stuff goes away, which can anger my ego.
What can you do? Plenty! First detachment from identities, in my life it was writer, businessman, depressed guy, anxious guy, stressed-out dude, and mental health advocate, to name a few. That does not mean that these are not a part of your life, but The Bipolar Writer and James Edgar Skye are part of me, but it can’t define me. When it does, that puts pressure to succeed, and success is not defined by identities. As my life coach always tells me to approach situations, there are no problems, with just the facts. It helps. Identities come with so much weight, let them go, and you will see a change.
You can put a metaphorical mirror up in situations and see what is causing you to feel fraudulent that you find in other people. It usually means that they are doing something your ego recognizes, and this is a way to break the silence when it comes to how you feel within the imposter syndrome. It also allows us to look at the positives in our life and focus less on the negative, though not comfortable, I know, it really does change the perspective. The imposter syndrome truly is your perspective on your life.
Live this life willing to fail because everyone fails at something, and it never means that it is the end. Learn from the failures and know that it can mean the difference when you approach it with just the facts in a healthy way. I had failures and let them control me and keep me from doing what I love, and where did that get me? Nowhere. When things feel like an imposter feels, I stop and focus on the feelings. I let go of the feeling that failure is a bad thing or a good thing. Many famous people have failed, and yet you know their names without me saying it.
I am sure you can research imposter syndrome further and find what works. What I learned in life coaching is creating my own physics. That is a whole other story, and I would not want to steal from my life coach, but it makes sense. You are your own person, just as much as I am my own person. Find what makes you happy. It is writing and mental health advocacy for me. Then just do it without pressure or even fake it until you make it because people can feel when your not totally in, and above all, do not do what I did, and half-ass what you want.
When I wanted to create a podcast, I used every excuse I could to NOT do it. I bought all the gear, and I knew what I wanted, but I felt like an imposter. Who is James to take his mental health advocacy to the airwaves? I would tell myself I hate my voice, which is not my favorite feature, as an excuse. It is my voice, and that will not stop me. Always be positive because living in a negative world never gets you anywhere.
With that said, stay strong in the fight. Live life and always know the ego wants you to fail.
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.
Well, I thought it was time as I move forward to launching my LLC in January 2021. The Bipolar Writer Ghostwriting Services is looking for its first new clients for the new year. While the business is new, I have been ghostwriting for close to six years, and I have several books under my belt, and I have current projects that will cross over into the new business. I am a memoirist at heart.
The Bipolar Writer Ghostwriting Services focus will be on memoir writing in the mental health/mental illness realm, but I have other services that include a complete ghostwriting package, copywriting services, manuscript evaluations, teaching how to become a better writer, and blogger. While my main focus is on memoirs of any kind, I am willing to work on smaller projects as well. Even collaborative work will become a focus.
I know someone reading this blog post really wants to tell their story to the world and make money at it but lack the skills to write nonfiction. I come into the story as part of your narrative, and I take something beautiful, making it readable with little work on your part. I can do the initial meeting on Zoom, and I will compete for your business. This is an investment in you, and I will work to make your dream a reality. Please reach out to my new business email: email@example.com. Let us collaborate on something unique together!
I will admit that 2020 for The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog has been nothing short of impressive. Writers, of the blog you were used to seeing from month to month, have either stopped writing here or in general. There have also been some new amazing writers, and I also want to point out those who stayed the course that I want to commend. You, my fellow writers, have made this blog go from an idea to a global viewing audience.
I miss and long for the days where writing on here daily was a reality for me, and I am making an effort to, when it feels right in the now, to share my experiences. An event or situation came up recently that has shed some light on how isolated I have been since March. It was my mother’s death that was the catalyst, but COVID-19 gave me a reason not to be a part of life. I was not living, and there was so much pain in my life. The worst part was that I was up to my old way of doing things, not feeling the feels. In short, I was suppressing all feeling and numbing the pain.
Back to the situation, I had a suicide plan in place, and I will not make excuses for the why, but say I was in unbearable pain, and my natural default was to turn to the one place I never thought I would go, again–suicide. Life is the way it is, and I talked myself out of the plan and reached out to someone that put me on a safety plan after a day. This was just last month, and so it is still raw, and the safety plan is still in place. I want to be more vulnerable here on my blog. Talking about suicide is something that I do but always about the past, but I have a new appreciation for how people like me can go that low. There is nothing wrong with suicide.
I know that will anger some people and especially those who have lost someone to suicide. I am not saying that suicide is right or wrong. That is the point. There is no wrong or right only suicide. Those who have never been there are the worst feeling in the world, but there is a moment of total spiritual awakening that nothing on this planet matters or is holding you here. It is something that I am not romanticizing, but it is a feeling of peace. When you are at your lowest, you need that, and I hope if you are feeling suicidal right now, you reach out to someone, do not do what I have always done, and hide the feelings.
For those on the other end of a suicidal person reaching out, we do not want people to fix us in my experience, for most listening and finding out if they are in a safe place more important. At the end of this post, I will again link Livingworks ASIST, go to the website and see what you can do for those who are suicidal if you are not.
Where did we go from reaching out to suicide? It is simple. I was not reaching out, and in this world, we need that human connection, especially the mental illness and mental health community. So, to my point, I want to once again meet the readers of this blog. Shoot an email, and that is great, but as I have learned with my business, no matter where you are in the world, this fantastic thing called Zoom connects people all over the world!
Seriously, let us connect in new ways. If you want to Zoom, please reach out. Create a group of people and invite me. Human connection in a COVID-19 mental illness world, especially in the winter, is paramount to us, making it through the tough times. Or as my life coach would say, there are no problems, just situations.
I want to end on a positive. Things are good. While the event is in the rearview, it is not over, but I am in a place where I can take on the pain, and my safety plan is what has been the reason to take responsibility. Ultimately, we have to do when we are suicidal, it is taking responsibilityfor our choices, not an easy task. I know. Stay safe out there in the world.
In 1992, the World Federation of Mental Health established World Mental Health Day. In almost 30 years, knowledge about mental health a grown a great deal. The biggest goal for this day is awareness. Even today, there are many people who don’t understand the vast mental health issues people struggle with every day. Even the most recognizable disorders such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) still lack awareness in the general public. Worst of all, people with no medical or behavioral health training claim to know about these disorders and spread false information.
I use this blog and others to share my own experiences. I share my first-hand account of struggling with PTSD and how I learned I had PTSD with two goals in mind. First, I want to bring awareness to people who know nothing about mental health issues. Second, I want others who experience the same things to realize they’re not alone. Many people suffer from poor mental health and don’t realize it. And many have no means to seek help. They may not have insurance. They may not have the means or ability to access medication. They may be afraid to take medication or think they don’t need any.
Help spread awareness about mental health by sharing your story. Only share what you’re comfortable sharing. I have found it helpful to talk about my experiences. It was one step I had to take among many to begin the path to healing. I’m still healing and still have a long way to go. Never give up. Never surrender.
James Pack is a self-published author of poetry and fiction. Information about his publishing credits can be found on his personal blog TheJamesPack.com. He resides in Tucson, AZ.
I wanted to open this blog post with a disclaimer, I am not an expert in life coaching or any realm of psychology and therapy. I will always come from someone who shares his experience with mental illness and what comes along with what I am learning through life coaching and reading. So, what is detachment? Well, let us turn to Eckhart Tolle for a great quote.
When you are detached, you gain a higher vantage point from which to view the events in your life instead of being trapped inside them. – Eckhart Tolle
Over the past almost two weeks now, I have experienced complete attachment from events causing massive negative and depressive issues in my life. When I decided to detach from the event, seeing my life as Eckhart said, my life was surreal from a different vantage point. I was trapped inside these events so bad that self-doubts, self-loathing, negative thoughts, and dare I say some thoughts of giving up on life.
I will be vague about the event in the sense that I will share an event that was troubling me a lot because of the negative feelings I was associating with this person. It was my feelings that were driving a wedge between myself and this person. What did detaching myself from the situation do for me? It gave me a chance to shift my perspective. See the event from a different vantage point. I went into the event with an open mind. I noticed what was triggering me and bothering me was my ego trying to take hold of the situation. I chose positive intentions over negative ones. I detached entirely from the event and went in with just the facts. I came out with a better understanding that there is a different way of approaching an event with negative connotations or anytime that I feel the ego awakening (again, please read Eckhart Tolle to fully understand.)
Something my life coach told me–take consistent action. It makes so much sense now when I apply it to my life. Since my mom’s loss in December, I have felt like the punching bag of everyone that comes into my life, but in truth, I was playing the victim identity card. I allowed depression to be an excuse for my lack of energy or feeling like general crap. Depression is an emotion, but it can be a part of what is going on without controlling you. For the first time in forever, it seems my depression hit a ONE. I am not sure of the time or if this ever actually happened before.
What shifted? Everything. My approach. My attitude. Checking my ego at the door. Allowing detachment to give me a higher vantage point that I needed to look at the event. It is something that can and will be replicated in my life. I am tired of being the person that hides from the problems and events because I am here to tell you, they will continue to keep coming up in this life. So I leave you with hope. Change the narrative. Detach from the event. You will feel better for it. As always, stay strong in the fight.