The Humans of Mental Illness: A Book Idea

My First Big Announcement of 2020

Stories. They are meant to be shared with the world. Mental illness stories are no different.

We all have a mental illness story. It begins sometime in the past where our realization and, at times, hospitalization leads to an understanding that you have a mental illness. Then begins the story and the journey. I have written my story, and now I am ready to share the stories of those in the mental illness community.

I have been preparing for a summer project that could be a year or two in the making. I want to create a book with the stories of those willing to share their stories. I have done this before at there blog level, and I am not ready to do this at the book level. My book would be an in-depth look at the stories of those who don’t have the writing skills to share their story but desperately want their voices heard. I want to bring together a book that will show the human side of mental illness and break the stereotypes and stigmas that we face.

I know there are so many great stories, and I want to share them. My hope with this project is not to make money for me but to help launch podcasts, YouTube channels, a Facebook page, and so many ideas to help those in the mental illness community. It will be a book of stories. Crucial to ending the stigma but also showing the world that we have a voice and its importance.

I have been utilizing the platform Zoom to do interviews for my memoir, as well as interviewing the subject of the book I will be ghostwriting this year. It has opened up so many possibilities for interviewing those willing to have me write their stories. I don’t know if this plan will hold water, but if you are interested, please reach out. I will be ironing out the details, including some interview questions I have everything, including ways to record and transcribe at my fingertips. I want this project to work so that we can have more voices in the world of mental illness and mental health.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

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Photo by Stanislav Kondratiev on Unsplash

The stars aren’t aligned…


This August was a happening month for me. I got everything that I had my hands on, was at the peak of happiness and wellness. Probably I have never been so productive in years as I have been this August – slept well, ate well, started gym, wrote poetry and blogs, attended workshops, sang songs and strummed my guitar and what not! But as I always believe: everything is temporary, so was my phase of happiness. Soon things turned chaotic, I began to lose composure and also, lost the ‘happy’ phase.

Phases of depression are cruel, you know. It jolts you, breaks you, kills you within but doesn’t let you die (even if you want to). It makes you suffer to the core but doesn’t let you escape from it; much like eternal damnation in hell. You know it will always be there till the last breath and you sort of learn to live with it but, don’t want to live with it at the same time. It gives you a ride to your worst self and makes you believe that that’s all you are. It leaves you with feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, discontent, and all that is negative.

Living with bipolar disorder isn’t easy, my friend. It throws the best and worst at you, and takes back both leaving you only with a feeble hope, hope that things will get better. As the ‘happy’ phase kicks in, it gives you all the positivity you could ever think of (or maybe, can’t even think of), fills you with so much vigour, vibrancy and enthusiasm, makes you feel like there’s nothing better but, soon depression ‘the sad phase’ slowly peeps in and takes away all at a gush. It replaces all the positivity with brutal negativity; all that was filled is now just a void, an endless void. You toss and turn, try to forget it like a bad dream but it throttles you by the neck and pushes you to the depth.

During the ‘happy’ phase you live with the fear of encountering a sad phase soon, and during a ‘sad’ phase you live with the hope of soon encountering a happy phase. Strange, isn’t it? But the best part about this swinging mood is, it gives you a taste of both happiness and sadness to the extreme. Just a consolation, I know.

Now that I’m down into the dumps, everything is a mess. My daily life is a big, big mess. My diet, sleep, daily activities, productivity, every single thing is messed up. Past haunts, present is clueless, future scares. But nevertheless, I’m living with the hope that ‘happy’ phase might soon kick in and my pain will then subside.

Maybe just the stars aren’t aligned….


What’s the Make, Model, and Year of Your Mental Health Struggle?

Hi, I’m Chelsea. I drive a minivan.

I didn’t want to drive a minivan. When people learn that I do drive one, they start assuming other things about me. They also assume: I drive slow, am distracted, have no taste in vehicles, have children, will make a bad decision whilst driving because I’m probably turned around yelling at said children, and that I shop at Costco every day.

Now…. some of those things might be true. But, guess what? am not the minivan. I just drive it. am a person. My name is Chelsea. I am not slow, distracted, tasteless, children, bad decisions, or Costco. I am a human and I am also worthwhile.

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When you go out into the world, what sort of vehicle do you drive? Van? Jeep? Truck? Bicycle? Bus? Sedan? Train?

Are you large, difficult to turn, and roomy like that van? Are you fun outside but hard on the joints over speedbumps like a Jeep? How about pushy and a bit too high off the ground like a truck? Maybe you can’t really afford much in life or are environmentally conscious like a bicycle.

Our mental health struggles are our vehicles.

Say that you go out to the workplace after a difficult morning, only to snap at someone because they echoed a mean thought your Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder chugged and chugged and chugged. That wasn’t you, though. That was the OCD you have to take to work.

What about the night that Depression was your ride? That dark interior, battered trim, and iffy transmission was only how you got to the party, not who came inside.

And let’s not forget the lunchtime meeting you had with Anxiety. Your mechanic still shakes his head over the number of ‘strange noises’ you swear it kept making, the sudden stops, and its refusal to even start when you were at a traffic light.

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Thinking about mental illness as a vehicle might make you say, “Well, then, why can’t we just get another car?” Money, mostly. Circumstance. What your insurance will cover. What you need for your size of family, parking space, parking expenses, and (again) budget.

That’s not to say you’re stuck forever in your quirky transport, nor that you can’t address some of its more-limiting issues. In fact, you really need to address them.

-If you are repeatedly blocked from getting the engine to even start

-If you are constantly arriving late

-If you cannot seem to ever get out of the seatbelt when necessary

It’s time to see a mechanic -er, a therapist or mental health doctor of some sort.

No matter the age or condition of the vehicle, they can always help. No, your car will not be the same as when you first unknowingly signed that crappy contract and drove it home -but, do you want it to be?

And, sometimes, you do get a different ride. Sometimes you have no choice. Sometimes it’s better, sometimes worse. But, the car you drive is still not you.

You are you. Most importantly, you are always the driver. Never forget that.

Photo credit:
Rodolfo Mari
Pixabay
James Sullivan