Support for The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Advocacy & Writing

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As you know, everything outside of my writing is for the mental illness community and is mainly free to all. The Podcast is a free outlet for people within the community to share their stories and to listen, but it is not free to do a podcast. There is equipment that needs to be paid for and time. I am dependent on the mental health advocacy side for the podcast and blog to be “listener and reader supported.” As much as I hate to reach out, it always helps when the support comes from the community because it shows that the platforms that I have are essential, like The Bipolar Writer Podcast and The Bipolar Writer blog.

So how can you support The Bipolar Writer? Well, there are several ways.

  • There is becoming a listener supporter through the anchor.fm. That link is here. It is simple to support Apple Pay or a credit card for once month, and you can end your support whenever it feel right to you. There are options for $0.99, $4.99, and $9.99, and all options will go 100% to the podcast. No need to create an account.
  • Last is Buy Me A Coffee, a great platform in my mind and where I want to grow most of my lister support for the Podcast, blog, and in some ways, my writing. You can be a monthly subscriber, a one time supporter, and there are options for extras that include one on one mental health advocacy Zoom call where you can ask mental health questions and tiers with my books. Soon to come will be t-shirts, mugs, and stickers available as soon as I get all that together. You can click the button below.

Buy Me A Coffee

Over the years, you, my audience, is why I continue to do my mental health advocacy. Joining me allows for other projects and gives me more outlets to help end the stigma, and while I am saying that it takes the community. I have a major writing project called The Many Faces and Voices of Mental Illness, and I want to open up my own non-profit. I know times are tough at times, but if you can help a little, please reach out in one of the ways above. It means the world to me and allows me to continue to bring the content that helps the community as a whole. If you can, please listen to The Bipolar Writer Podcast on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music or wherever you listen to podcasts.

The Bipolar Writer Podcast: What's Going On? Why I've Been Missing The Bipolar Writer Podcast

Episode description This is a catch-up episode of where James is right now as we head towards the end of June 2021. Catch up with James and learn the new journey he has been on over the year.  If you are looking for all things James Edgar Skye, you can find his social media visiting https://linqapp.com/james_skye The Bipolar Writer Podcast is listener-supported, and for as little as $5 a month, you can help support the mental health advocacy that I do by visiting http://www.buymeacoffee.com/jamesedgarskye. Please help this podcast grow by sharing with friends or anyone that you think will benefit from the experiences of others and myself. You can also find me on the following websites. You can also find me on the following websites to book your interview, ask questions, and reach out to me. http://www.jamesedgarskye.me Purchase my books at: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks If you are looking for all things James Edgar Skye, you can find his social media visiting https://linqapp.com/james_skye The Bipolar Writer Podcast is listener-supported, and for as little as $5 a month, you can help support the mental health advocacy that I do by visiting http://www.buymeacoffee.com/jamesedgarskye. Please help this podcast grow by sharing with friends or anyone that you think will benefit from the experiences of others and myself. You can also find me on the following websites. You can also find me on the following websites to book your interview, ask questions, and reach out to me. http://www.jamesedgarskye.me Purchase my books at: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/jamesedgarskye22/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/jamesedgarskye22/support
  1. The Bipolar Writer Podcast: What's Going On? Why I've Been Missing
  2. The Energy Leadership Index (ELI) Assessment
  3. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Alaina
  4. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Colleen
  5. Bullying and Mental Health

Always Keep Fighting.

What is the worst that can happen?

James Edgar Skye

Visit my author website at http://www.jamesedgarskye.me

Purchase my Memoir and Novella here: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks

The Bipolar Writer Podcast

For everything James Edgar Skye use the QR code below Or use this link.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

The Bipolar Writer Podcast Episode Ten – Interview of Yun From Malaysia

Photo by Esmonde Yong on Unsplash

It is my honor to share the first international episode of The Bipolar Writer Podcast. I want to welcome Yun all the way from Malaysia! Yun comes on my show at my request to share her own story dealing with her mental illness and the differences in culture than what many audience members and I know here in the United States. Listen to her story because, as always, we must share all stories no matter where they come from in this global world.

Buy Me A Coffee

Stories are so crucial to the Bipolar Writer Podcast and The Bipolar Writer Collaborative Blog for the community. We are the stories, and each of us carries a unique story within the mental illness community, and I want to share yours. Consider becoming an interviewee on the show. Our stories transform what society sees and show the real chipping away at the stigma, and perhaps the future, the ones that are young and dealing with mental health and mental illness, that we have to protect. Our stories are the key.

Join me in listening to Yun’s story from Malaysia.

The Bipolar Writer Podcast: What's Going On? Why I've Been Missing The Bipolar Writer Podcast

Episode description This is a catch-up episode of where James is right now as we head towards the end of June 2021. Catch up with James and learn the new journey he has been on over the year.  If you are looking for all things James Edgar Skye, you can find his social media visiting https://linqapp.com/james_skye The Bipolar Writer Podcast is listener-supported, and for as little as $5 a month, you can help support the mental health advocacy that I do by visiting http://www.buymeacoffee.com/jamesedgarskye. Please help this podcast grow by sharing with friends or anyone that you think will benefit from the experiences of others and myself. You can also find me on the following websites. You can also find me on the following websites to book your interview, ask questions, and reach out to me. http://www.jamesedgarskye.me Purchase my books at: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks If you are looking for all things James Edgar Skye, you can find his social media visiting https://linqapp.com/james_skye The Bipolar Writer Podcast is listener-supported, and for as little as $5 a month, you can help support the mental health advocacy that I do by visiting http://www.buymeacoffee.com/jamesedgarskye. Please help this podcast grow by sharing with friends or anyone that you think will benefit from the experiences of others and myself. You can also find me on the following websites. You can also find me on the following websites to book your interview, ask questions, and reach out to me. http://www.jamesedgarskye.me Purchase my books at: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/jamesedgarskye22/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/jamesedgarskye22/support
  1. The Bipolar Writer Podcast: What's Going On? Why I've Been Missing
  2. The Energy Leadership Index (ELI) Assessment
  3. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Alaina
  4. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Colleen
  5. Bullying and Mental Health

Always Keep Fighting.

What is the worst that can happen?

James Edgar Skye

Visit my author website at http://www.jamesedgarskye.me

Purchase my Memoir and Novella here: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks

For everything James Edgar Skye use the QR code below Or use this link.

Photo by mkjr_ on Unsplash

The Bipolar Writer Episode Six

Men’s Mental Health

Photo by Jonathan Farber on Unsplash

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.

Buy Me A Coffee

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!

The Bipolar Writer Podcast: What's Going On? Why I've Been Missing The Bipolar Writer Podcast

Episode description This is a catch-up episode of where James is right now as we head towards the end of June 2021. Catch up with James and learn the new journey he has been on over the year.  If you are looking for all things James Edgar Skye, you can find his social media visiting https://linqapp.com/james_skye The Bipolar Writer Podcast is listener-supported, and for as little as $5 a month, you can help support the mental health advocacy that I do by visiting http://www.buymeacoffee.com/jamesedgarskye. Please help this podcast grow by sharing with friends or anyone that you think will benefit from the experiences of others and myself. You can also find me on the following websites. You can also find me on the following websites to book your interview, ask questions, and reach out to me. http://www.jamesedgarskye.me Purchase my books at: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks If you are looking for all things James Edgar Skye, you can find his social media visiting https://linqapp.com/james_skye The Bipolar Writer Podcast is listener-supported, and for as little as $5 a month, you can help support the mental health advocacy that I do by visiting http://www.buymeacoffee.com/jamesedgarskye. Please help this podcast grow by sharing with friends or anyone that you think will benefit from the experiences of others and myself. You can also find me on the following websites. You can also find me on the following websites to book your interview, ask questions, and reach out to me. http://www.jamesedgarskye.me Purchase my books at: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/jamesedgarskye22/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/jamesedgarskye22/support
  1. The Bipolar Writer Podcast: What's Going On? Why I've Been Missing
  2. The Energy Leadership Index (ELI) Assessment
  3. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Alaina
  4. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Colleen
  5. Bullying and Mental Health

I hope you enjoy!

Always Keep Fighting.

What is the worst that can happen?

James Edgar Skye

Visit my author website at http://www.jamesedgarskye.me

Purchase my Memoir and Novella here: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks

The Bipolar Writer Podcast

For everything James Edgar Skye use the QR code below Or use this link.

Photo by ConvertKit on Unsplash

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

Asian Culture and The Stigma of Mental Illness

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I am a Hapa–I am Asian mixed with something else.

I am a mixed breed if you will. I am Filipino, Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, German, and Irish (as far as I know, according to my mom.) One thing I learned before my diagnosis and after is that there was a significant stigma within Asian culture when it comes to mental illness.

My parents were shocked, having never faced something like a mental illness head-on like when my diagnosis became first schizoaffective disorder and then Bipolar One at twenty-two. Even my grandfather, who is full Filipino, never really understood what was going on with me. He tried to understand, but the truth is that in his culture, mental illness is not something you discuss. Even more so, my grandfather, on the other side, I will not say which, never got diagnosed, but given my history and how he was, mental illness was something you deal with in any way. I firmly believe that he might have been Bipolar. Same with others in my family. You pick yourself up and keep going–mental illness be damned.

The unfortunate side effect of what I like to call cultural differences is that it feeds the stigma. I have met so many people from all walks of life, and the stigma is real everywhere. However, in Asian culture, it is generally not talked about because mental illness is not something that is openly talked about in the culture. Many of my fellow followers from Asian countries have reached out asking about how I deal with this, and it was recently it came up again.

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

What is comes down to, in my opinion, is that Asian cultures value the family very heavily as a unit. Asian culture emphasizes where each member belongs in the family. It can be a shame to put your family through something like having to deal with a mental illness. Instead, mental illness is swept under the rug by never talking about it, especually in our older generations.

Many Asian cultures are highly religious, and they tend to believe that things like mental illness can be taken away by a simple prayer. Please do not take my words as a slight. I believe in God, but in my experience, prayers are good, but they do not help with the actual issues that come with dealing daily with a mental illness. There is a more deep-seated stigma of shame associated with Asian culture. With that said, I think there is a real change happening in the younger generations, and with anything, it takes time. Above all, we, as individuals within our Asian culture, need to be proactive and educate ourselves.

I had personally dealt with this growing up when my mental illness came up during my teenage years. There was a level of shame, and I knew that even talking about the idea of mental illness was not something that happened. So I never talked about my issues. Ever. Not to my mom, dad, or grandparents. I let it feed into my life. I never sought help until I was downright suicidal and tried to take my life. Even then, it was three years and two more suicides before I was able to admit I had a mental illness. When it stared me in the face, I denied that something was wrong. I don’t want that to happen. Mental health advocates talk about the stigma for a reason because it is real. If you think there is something wrong, never feel like you can’t seek help.

Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash

I want to end this with hope because I am here with a plethora of experience in dealing with this area. It is okay if your parents do not understand that your anxiety and depression are real. Talk to them. My parents eventually understood my illness by educating themselves, and it came with me living this life every day. The ups and downs are a part of the package, and maybe they will understand someday. But you have to work on you.

That is so important in this mental illness life. Self-love first is so important. Never feel alone because I will always be here. Email from the website or go to my home page, where you will find my number and text me. I will even figure out other methods for people to contact me and discuss this topic or any that you want to talk about because I am always here.

With that said, stay strong in these strange times of social isolation and always know there are so many others like yourself.

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!

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

A Chapter About the Stigma and Isolation From my Memoir

In these unprecedented times of social isolation, I wanted to share my thoughts from my memoir. Yesterday, I offered suggestions about what you can do while the world is heading into a “shelter in place” type of society, and isolation will be a friend of ours. Today I wanted to share a chapter that can be helpful. You can always find my memoir on Amazon here. This chapter talks about the stigma surrounding mental illness but it also discisses more towards the end isolation.

Chapter Nine: The Stigma. What is it?

I MUST PREFACE THAT MY EXPERIENCE is not professional, I am not a licensed therapist or psychiatrist. What I write here is what I personally have learned and experienced when it comes to the stigma of mental illness. I ask that you take what you read here into further research. There are so many great resources out there on the internet.

The stigma surrounding mental illness is a real thing, but it is important to first look at what is a stigma? I consider a stigma something in your mind that you believe puts you at a disadvantage—like having a mental illness. It becomes a stereotype, not only in the lives of the sufferer but also in the minds of those who do not understand or have lived a day with a mental illness. The mental health stigma can lead you to worse mental health down the road. I am not immune. For a time, I hid behind the mental illness stigma, and went as far as convincing myself there was nothing wrong with me. I was scared of what it would mean to admit to myself that I had a mental illness.

Growing up, mental illness was not something that was talked about outside of a classroom setting. When kids that I grew up with talked about mental illness, it was always in a negative light. I remember as a middle school student, there was a mass shooting on the news that happened at a high school. The conversations among my peers were that only people with mental illness do such terrible things. It sat with me for a while, I knew very little about mental illness, and it was effortless to take what adults on the news said about mental health as fact. This only perpetuated the stereotype in my own mind as an adult with a mental illness. 

The problem when the stigma continues, is it can have some unintended consequences that have a lasting effect on a person’s mental health. One of the most significant issues that is talked about in the mental illness community is how the stigma has made sufferers reluctant to seek help. In my own experience, I was in my twenties before I sought help. It was only after years of struggle, a suicide attempt, and a diagnosis of Bipolar-1 that I got help. I hated it, and for years the denial that there was something wrong, kept me from genuinely finding peace in this mental illness life. 

When it comes to an understanding, there is the harmful effect of believing that, because you have a mental illness, that means your chances to succeed life is not plausible. I have fallen victim to this for many years on this journey. I lost so many years that I will never get back because I believed the lie—that succeeding was out of the question. 

When I finally got back on track, I have proved this theory wrong. I went back to school and finished one degree, then began to work on a second. I started writing full-time to including a screenplay/novel. My blog The Bipolar Writer, has become a safe place where other writers with mental illness can call home. I have found my place within mental illness, and it was only possible when I started to fight the stigma. One thing that I have found that has perpetuated the mental illness stigma is the lack of knowledge and resources available to families. 

For my own family, it was very hard at the beginning of my mental illness journey. When I attempted suicide, it threw my family for a loop. The understanding that my family and friends have now come from trials, errors, and a lot of suffering. I honestly believe if I would have given in and admitted early that my mental illness was real, it could have saved myself some lost years. On the other hand, my struggles, including those lost years made me who I am today. 

There are other areas that the mental illness stigma can hurt sufferers. One area I see issues with, is bullying. When there is lack of understanding, it can lead to bullying of those that are open about talking about mental health. Work life can be affected, where your options can be limited because of the stigma. There is a lot of self-doubts and personal shame that comes along with a mental illness, and it affects how you do socially in work, school, and in your social life. 

I have talked about the dangerous parts of the stigma surrounding mental illness, but there is another side—finding ways to cope when the stigma is there in your life. The biggest thing you can do is seek help. It sounds simple, but the truth is it can be hard to admit something is wrong. I can tell you, getting treatment and believing in that treatment is the best way to tackle the stigma. In my experience, personal therapy and writing helped me overcome the stigma. 

On my blog, I often get inquiries from teens and young adults about if he/she should talk to an adult about seeking help. I tell them every time that the answer is yes. Mental illness is a growing issue as we continue to put our entire lives on social media it can have adverse effects on how people view mental illness.  The main thing that I see is that those talking about mental health are only doing it to seek attention, and that is dangerous.

There are other important things can help you fight the stigma. First, believe in yourself. Your illness does not define who you are in this world. Yes, it is a part of you, but that is something you can overcome. What some experts will tell you to say is instead of “I am Bipolar” you can say “I have Bipolar Disorder.” This is good, but I like saying that “I am The Bipolar Writer.” I am not ashamed at all, but I believe you find what works for you. 

One area where stigma comes to play in my own life, is isolation. It is essential for someone dealing with a mental illness to resist isolation. When it comes to social anxiety for me, this is a significant issue. It can become an easy thing to just hide away from the world, I have done it a lot in this journey. That only further hurts you, and it can make the stigma in your mind grow. A way to keep from isolating is to join mental illness support groups online or group therapy. Find a coffee shop and say hello to one person. I have met some amazing people simply by saying hello. 

The last thing I want to share to honestly cope with the stigma, is to speak out. Become an advocate. Write about your experiences, if you are ready. Get the knowledge out there for those who are just beginning their mental illness journey. When you share your experience, as every mental illness story is unique, it means that we are coming closer to getting others to understand what we live through each day.

I once let the stigma of mental illness run my life. I became a lifeless and hopeless wreck that was allowing life to pass me by. I could not see what was up or down. I lost so many people in my life because living was so hard. Eventually, I gave up, three times I was almost not a part of this world. 

Life is a funny thing. I went through the worst and best parts of my mental illness. I am lucky to be alive and to have the ability to wake each morning. I have no idea how many more days, weeks, months, or even years I have left. I plan on making the most of the time. Always keep fighting the stigma. 

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!

Photo by Francois Hoang on Unsplash

Celebrities with Mental Health Issues: Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi began rapping at the end of high school, about six years after his father passed away from cancer. He’s since pursued a highly lucrative life as a professional rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, and even actor.

Kid_Cudi_2010_2_(crop).jpg

The man who began life as Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi has really made a name for himself. What many fans respect him for, however, is not his fame or even his sculpted profile -well, maybe the profile. Many, instead, admire how real he is about life and its challenges.

Back in October of 2016, Cudi publicly told his Facebook followers that he would be checking himself “into rehab for depression and suicidal urges.”

KidCudi.JPG
-Kid Cudi’s Facebook feed

As of this posting, the message has garnered 65,000 comments and 133,000 shares. Comments range from supportive “You’re inspiring” messages to, most importantly, others coming forward in vulnerability to share their struggles and stories as well.

Some people who fight mental health issues worry about opening up. Cudi did, taking a risk to his career and future with his honesty. Was it worth it? Did he lose everything by doing so?

In an interview with Red Table Talk two years later, Cudi reflects:

“I was really worried, and I kinda like had that moment where I was just like, ‘Do I really wanna get back on drugs and do cocaine again?

“Do I really wanna go back on this journey at 32?’ I woke up one morning, and I was just thinking like, ‘Man, this isn’t healthy. And I don’t know what else to do but get some help and find some place I can go.’ And I found a place.”

Red Table Talk

He found a place, a better place. And these days, he’s back to doing what he loves and excels at. As to his mental health?

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-Kid Cudi’s Twitter Feed

Kid Cudi’s fame and fortune didn’t exempt him from serious mental health issues; they did, however, give him a reason to get help. Also, they gave him the chance to be an example to others.

 

Photo Credit:
By brinsknaps – KiD CuDi, CC BY-SA 2.0

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Celebrities with Mental Health Issues: Dwayne Johnson

Few actors measure up to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, a pillar of muscle and model of perfect appearances. His godlike attributes are even lampooned in films like Baywatch or Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, where his characters have no weaknesses.

His admitting to struggling with Depression, therefore, surprised many.

Dwayne Johnson.png

According to an interview with The Daily Express, Johnson’s major depressive period began with saving his mother from an attempted suicide. When his life dream of playing professional football failed and his girlfriend dumped him, his mood and grades plummeted.

But The Rock isn’t in that same dark place and wants to open up. He thinks talking about our mental health issues is much better than keeping our feelings inside.

“Open dialogue, period, when it comes to mental health -especially when it comes to teenagers but especially when it comes to guys, too [is more helpful].” -Dwayne Johnson, interview with CityNews Toronto.

Besides encouraging open dialogue, he reaches out with hope and advice.

“Just gotta remember: hold on to that fundamental quality of faith. Have faith. And on the other side of faith is something good.” Dwayne Johnson, Oprah’s Master ClassOWN.

We typically think celebrities don’t have any problems. They make millions and look great. If they do have problems, a few thousand sunk on therapy cures everything. Right?

Wrong. Mental Illness knows no boundaries.

Mental issues like Depression affect everyone. Instead of thinking celebrities like The Rock are invulnerable; are literally a rock, let’s take Dwayne Johnson’s real life advice and experiences and make them our own.

Never quit fighting. The Rock didn’t and neither will you.

 

Photo Credit:
By Eva Rinaldi – Dwayne Johnson, CC BY-SA 2.0

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month. While it’s great there’s a month dedicated to this, it should be 365-day year awareness.

I understand suicide can be a touchy subject especially for those who have struggled with it themselves or have lost a loved one to it.

I wanted to share my personal story with suicide because that was something I struggled with for a long time.

I was 14 years old when I started getting suicidal thoughts. I was in high school and was completely miserable. I was living in an abusive household suffering abuse from my mom on a daily basis. It was physical, verbal, & psychological abuse. Living in such a toxic environment and experiencing that abuse on a regular basis caused me to go into a severe depression.

I would spend hours locked in my room crying myself to sleep. I would always question God asking him “why me?”

“Why was this happening to me?”

“Why did I have to get a mom who treated me so terribly?”

It wasn’t much longer when I started to get suicidal thoughts on a regular basis.

My mom told me so many lies on a regular basis that it was hard for me to not believe them. She convinced me I was a burden to others & that I shouldn’t be on this earth. She told me things that no child or person should ever here. She told me she wished I were never born and that she wished she had me aborted when she had the chance. These are things I wish I could say never happened, but those were all lies she told me.

My thoughts started to become more negative and darker as the days went on. I started to lose feelings of happiness and forgot what happiness felt like. I started to feel numb & empty on the inside not feeling any emotions but sadness. I started to cope with self-harm when I was 14 years old. I believed it was the only way for me to feel something besides emptiness & sadness so I turned to self-harm.

That’s when the suicidal thoughts started to creep in and became more frequent. I started to believe the lies my mom and my depression told me. I believed I was a burden to others and that the world would be a better place without me in it. I wanted out of the world so bad that I came up with a plan when I was 15 years old to end my life. I had been prescribed pain medication from a dentist visit when I had to get a root canal and researched that medication and found that if I took all of the pills in the bottle I could never wake up again. That was my plan.

It was like playing tug o war in my mind though, there was that part of me that believed I was a burden and that I should just leave the world now, but there was another part of me that wanted to keep fighting. It told me to keep pushing through that those negative thoughts were lies and I could beat them.

I confided in my high school’s guidance counselor and he helped me push through the suicidal thoughts. I didn’t seek out treatment for my depression at the time even though I should have. Throughout high school I still struggled with depression and being active in sports helped me manage it.

After high school and when I went away to University the suicidal thoughts started to creep in again. I thought it was just homesickness since I was going to school on the other side of the country, but it was much deeper than that for me.

It was the summer of 2014 when I was home from University that I sought out treatment for my depression. I struggled with an alcohol addiction and one day when I had way too much to drink I couldn’t control the suicidal thoughts. I knew that if I didn’t seek out help that night, I would have harmed myself and may not be alive today. I had my best friend’s boyfriend drive me to the mental hospital and drop me off. He asked me if I was sure I wanted to do this and I told him yes I knew if I didn’t get help I was only going to get worse.

I spent three days in the crisis unit of the mental hospital. I was put on Zoloft and anxiety medication that helped ease my anxiety while I was there. I wish I could say going on Zoloft helped with my depression, but it actually made things worse for me. At the time I was diagnosed with depression and didn’t know I had bipolar disorder. When I was on Zoloft I felt like a zombie I was so out of it and numb, I hated it. I didn’t realize that for those who have bipolar disorder, anti-depressants could cause you to go into mania, which it did for me.

When I was back at University that semester I was a wreck. I was in and out of depressive episodes along with being in manic episodes. My alcohol problem was out of control and my behavior was reckless. I was failing all of my classes and was drinking on a daily basis. I started to struggle with self-harm again and the suicidal thoughts again. I knew that if I didn’t leave University and get myself out of that environment things were only going to get worse for me. That’s when I withdrew from University and moved back home to Florida.

I wish I could say everything got better for me when I got back home to Florida, but my depression grew worse. The psychiatrist I was seeing was no help at all to me and didn’t listen to my problems. He didn’t care to give me a proper psych evaluation and just wrote me a script for the next anti-depressant out there. I continued to struggle with self-harm and battled the suicidal thoughts daily.

I was empty & numb living in an endless cycle of my depression.

It wasn’t until the end of 2016 when I finally found a psychiatrist who gave me a proper psych evaluation and diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. Getting on the proper medication and changing my lifestyle to healthier habits, put an end to the suicidal thoughts. It was like the fog had finally been lifted and I could see clearly again. I started to see a therapist for a few months as well that helped me work through some of the issues from my past.

I’m happy to say that I am stable now and have not harmed myself in over three years now. I still find myself going into depressive episodes every now and then and will catch the suicidal thoughts creeping into my mind. I’ve become a lot stronger than I was three years ago and can fight off the thoughts much better than before.

I know living with a mental illness will be a life long battle for me. I’ve spent over ten years now fighting the demons and while it can be exhausting, I know I will survive the fight.

For those of you that have experienced something similar or going through a tough time please never hesitate to seek out help. There are so many resources available out there today and remember you are not a burden to others. Your life matters and you are never alone in this fight.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

My Healing Journey

At the beginning of the year my number one goal was for me to work on healing myself from the inside out. I had put my own inner healing on hold for a long time. I had pushed down the most painful memories of my childhood in hopes I would never have to think about them again. Over these last eight months more and more old wounds have been resurfacing. Old wounds that I forgot were even there were resurfacing. This was finally my time to work on healing myself.

 

I grew up in an abusive household facing abuse from my mother on a daily basis. I suffered from this abuse from a very young age up until my early adulthood. I suffered from physical, verbal, and psychological abuse. The most damaging towards me was the psychological abuse.

 

Growing up I always knew there was something “off” about my mom because of the way she treated me. I was the oldest child and I guess my mom figured she could take out all her aggression on me. My brother was extremely lucky because my mom treated him completely opposite of how she treated me.

 

A month ago I read a book about healing from Narcissistic abuse. It opened up my eyes to what narcissistic abuse is all about and it confirmed for me that it was the abuse I suffered from growing up. It confirmed my theory that my mom was a narcissist and the symptoms & actions described fit my mom perfectly.

 

My entire life I could never fully be myself. My mom was the one who called all of the shots during my childhood. It didn’t matter what I wanted to do, if she didn’t like it then I couldn’t do it. It was like my mom was trying to live out her life through me. I wanted to play piano and my mom hated that, she threw away my piano books because she didn’t want me to play it. I wanted to do gymnastics, but she told me no & convinced me that I was never good enough to do it in the first place. She hated me having friends and never let me hang out with my friends. This occurred throughout my entire childhood.

 

She terrorized me, manipulated me, and controlled me my entire life. This book opened up my eyes to how abusive a narcissist can be and how evil they can be.

My mom caused me immense pain growing up. She told me things no child or person should ever have to hear especially from your own mother. I was screamed at so many times. She told me lies like that she didn’t want me born, she wished she aborted me when she had the chance, no one in my family likes me, I’m a burden, I have no friends, I’m fat, I’m not pretty, and I’m not good enough. She RARELY told me she loved me & meant it.

 

Now that I’ve reached adulthood and have started my own healing, I feel like I’m starting to find myself all over again. My mom never let me express who I was so I was always fitting into the mold she wanted. I finally feel like I’m starting to find my own identity and who I truly am as a person.

 

At first I felt like I was going through an identity crisis because I didn’t know who I was as a person at first. It’s forced me to dig deep inwards to get in touch with my true authentic self. I’m still learning who I truly am on a daily basis. I’m starting to finally feel free again since I no longer have to conform to what she had led me to believe my entire life.