My Mother Saved My Life

There has been one constant in my journey with Bipolar One disorder, and that is my mother. Since the day I was diagnosed she has been there for me fighting the fight that I should have been fighting all along.

She fought for me when I didn’t fight for myself.

I can’t imagine the pain that I put her through over the years. I tried once to figure out how many times in the last ten years that I hurt her. The hospital visits. The suicide attempts. When I decided to not eat most days. When I couldn’t get myself out of bed for weeks at a time. When I just ignored her or caused more problems than she deserved. When she would have to rush home almost weekly because I couldn’t handle life.

I lost track eventually.

How much it must have hurt her to see me not want to a part of the world and not wanting to exist. I just can’t imagine that pain she held inside, and what is even more amazing is that she always believed I would come back.

I don’t deserve my mother, I never did. But, I wouldn’t be here without her. The Bipolar Writer is only possible because of her.

My mother saved my life.

My mother did everything she could those early years of my diagnosis. She fought to get me to see a psychiatrist in the adult system of care. She adjusted her life so that she could take care of someone who, more often than not, told her that he wanted to not be apart of this world. I was the worst version of myself, and even when everyone told her to give up on me and put me away, she said no.

So many people have given up on me over the years and I really can’t blame them because I was insufferable for so many years. Yet my mom stayed the course. My mom was the only person that believed everything I have achieved over the last five years was even possible. Finishing my degree. Writing over the last two years.

James Edgar Skye, my pseudonym, only became possible because of her.

My mother was relentless. She would always make sure I had my medicine no matter the cost or the fact that I had no insurance. She would take me to my appointments for the first three years of my diagnosis because she knew I wouldn’t go. I was so lost, and yet she had faith in me always.

My mother has a big chapter in my memoir The Bipolar Writer, but I thought it was time to honor the one person who willed me into the person and writer I am today. To always believing in the big possibilities in my life.

I am alive because my mother had faith. My mother saved my life. I love my mother for always being there for me.

Always Keep Fighting.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: sydney Rae

Going Through the Motions of Life

Life with a mental illness is a funny thing, and sometimes you just keep going through the motions of life.

When I am engaged in life, things are good. My writing flows, I get everything on my daily list done, and my focus is on point. I wish every day is good, but the reality of having a mental illness is that you will have days when you just go through the motions of life because of things like depression or anxiety. At times it just might be because it’s been a long week.

It doesn’t mean that you can’t be productive.

So that is where today’s blog topic is going. In your life with a mental illness, there are going to be times where you have to go through the motions of life on a given day. What does this mean? It means that you may have to do the things you need to, but you might not be here on earth mentally.

I find myself doing this often and I found myself doing it yesterday. I had an early start to my day. I woke up at 4:30 am (which I am far from a morning person) and I got going with my day. My morning was filled with tasks outside of my house and with the lack of sleep I got the night before, I decided to turn my mind on autopilot and go through the motions of life.

I just did the tasks that I could without worrying about things that are normally flooding my mind in my waking hours. It’s a strange feeling when I make the decision to go through the motions of life because there is a peace in my mind. It’s almost like being a robot, and I put one foot in front of the other. I don’t over think every second of my life, and the results of this type of day aren’t always bad.

I find that I can be very productive on an autopilot yesterday. I was able to write a blog post, a good one, in between tasks that morning. I usually need total focus to write a blog, but it worked out well enough that I could post a legit subject that seemed to be popular.I could post a legit subject that seemed to be popular.

I was able to write back comments on my blog from the night/early morning before I woke up. I was effective in completing my tasks up until got home almost five hours after walking where I finally crashed taking a much-needed nap for a few hours (this is a rare occurrence in my life but given that slept very little the previous four days it was expected.)

Even when I woke a few hours later, I did some tasks like working on a ​chapter and getting some reading for my business communications class done. I wrote a second small post about where my blog The Bipolar Writer is going. When I hit my limit, I was done for the day and spent the rest of my time binge-watching my favorite shows.

My point of this blog post is simple. Even when you have days where you have to go through the motions of life, it doesn’t mean that you should give up on your day. At any point yesterday morning I could have just given up on the day and make the decision to go back sleep before the tasks of my morning were done. In fact, in the middle, I did take much-needed rest, but I was still effective.

The other side of this is when you absolutely have to check out completely, don’t feel bad about it. Life with a mental illness is far from easy and you will experience days where getting out of bed seems impossible and checking out is possible. So, if you can, stay in bed and have a mental health day and maybe sleep in. Sure, in the long run, it is not an effective strategy to live life with a mental illness. 

If you can go through the motions of life, so it the best you can in that day until you reach the limit. The biggest thing is knowing your limit. If not take the day to work on your mental health by doing tasks like meditation or yoga. It could also mean just binge-watching Netflix all day, well then give yourself a break. Know your bodies limits when it comes to your mental health.

One thing I have learned on my Bipolar One journey is giving myself a break from life at least one day a week where my only goal is getting my mental health back on track. Even when I feel like I have no choice but to go through the motions in life, I “just do it” to steal the Nike phrase. You might surprise yourself that you can still be effective, I know I did yesterday.

I like to always end my blogs with a question and I am interested to hear from my fellow mental health bloggers.

What are some of the things you do when you “go through the motions of life” when you are mentally checked out of a day?

Have you ever found yourself effective despite checking out and going through the motions of life?

Always Keep Fighting.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: Anubhav Saxena

An American’s Obsession with Korean Pop

I wanted to write a post about an ongoing obsession of mine for as long as I can remember, Korean pop. It started one night while I was surfing Youtube that I started watching the following video from the K-pop group Girls Generation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was interesting video and considering I don’t speak Korean it was great to just watch a video and analyze it from a purely aesthetic point of view and how the video tells a story.

I have been hooked ever since and over the years I have watched many Girl’s Generation videos, Genie is one of my favorites. I always look up the English lyrics for each song, but these songs are beautiful in Korean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is also kinda cool to watch Girls Generation grow as a group over the years.

 

 

 

 

 

My two favorite songs from Girls Generation are these two songs  Maybe, Baby & Promise.

 

 

 

 

As all artists do, some of the members of Girls Generation went solo. One of the Artists, Jessica, came out with her single Fly (among others) and it is the song that has gotten me through a lot.  The English and Korean versions of this song are really amazing.

I listen to this song just before I start writing.

The last video I wanted to share another Girls Generation alum Taeyeon, this is really an amazing song and I love listening to it daily.

I chose to write this post because one of my New Years resolutions is to learn Korean. I purchased my 12-month subscription to Rosetta Stone. Korean is such a beautiful language. I realized how much K-pop has been a part of my music playlist over the last year and I thought it would be great share this with my fellow bloggers.

I am also putting South Korea on my list of travel destinations in the following year.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: @GirlsGeneration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What J.E. is Thankful For This Year

Happy Thanksgiving my fellow bloggers.

I thought long and hard about writing my thoughts on the things that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. It has been a crazy week for me, it always is during Thanksgiving week, but with the passing of my ten-year diagnosis and suicide anniversary, it was extra special kind of crazy. Still, I am thankful for many things and here is just a few.

1. I am alive, and that means the world to me.

2. Thankful for all the positivity that my fellow bloggers have brought to my blog.

3. I am thankful for finding my place in this crazy world and how I am working towards carving my own little niche in life.

4. I am thankful for those people who are in my life today and have always been there as family and friends that I would trust with my life.

5. I am thankful for the strength to write my story down and be honest within the space I am allowed on my blog.

6. I am thankful role-playing video games and music because, without both, my depression would consume me most days.

7. I am thankful for every blogger who has shared a piece of their lives with me on my blog, you mean the world to me.

8. I am thankful that I have the ability to write and change the stigma of mental illness as much as one writer can.

9. I am thankful for starting a new journey, a new ten years where I will conquer everything I can in life.

10. I am thankful that in 2010 someone, God most likely, intervened in my suicide and kept me on this earth. I truly believe I can connect with people through my writing.

11. And lastly, I am thankful for every blogger who spends a moment of their day on my blog. I couldn’t write without you.

What are some of the things that you are thankful for? Please share in the comments below.

I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving, from my family to yours. Share smiles with the ones you love. Be happy that we are alive.

And always keep fighting.

James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit: Pro Church Media

Why I Added a Button to my Blog

I wanted to say the outpour of support with my followers that have donated to my blog, thank you for supporting me. Asking for help has never been something I could just do, but as I continue to grow my brand “The Bipolar Writer” I wanted people to know why decided to ask for help in purchasing my laptop.

I bought my current Mac Book Pro in 2012. It was a refurbished machine. I was to embark the life of a student and as a struggling writer just beginning the journey of writing, and it was all I could afford. This computer has been amazing for me over the long years and it been my constant companion.

I have written countless papers for my degree. I have written several screenplays including Memory of Shane. There were times when my computer was my place to write and journal my thoughts. Every poem and short story over the last five years has been right on this computer that I am writing this blog post on.

It was a great computer but like all good electronics, they eventually have issues. I have always taken care of the laptop because all the magic of what I do as a student, blogger writer, part-time journalist, and screenwriter has been on this one machine.

My laptop started to have issues about a year ago, mostly with application freezing on me. I usually have at least three writing applications open at one time along with my web browser and iTunes open when I write. But lately, I have been dealing with major delays in my writing because of restarts because of issues. Its been slowing my productivity but I get by.

I write this not because I want sympathy from my followers and to be honest I’d rather not write something like this, but some of my followers have donated some good-sized donations and it means that they want to make sure The Bipolar Writer continues. I don’t ask anyone to donate unless they can, but I wanted to share a little bit of the “why.”

I hope I don’t lose followers because of this post, and I want to you know I wrestled in my mind for the last week to even make a post like this because no matter what The Bipolar Writer will continue and I will use the equipment I have right now. I really hate writing this…

Again thank you for all those that have helped me by donating it will not be forgotten and those who can donate you mean the world to me.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: Kari Shea

My Weekly Wrapup – 11/6 – 11/12

Nothing beats an early morning writing session, an extra hot/extra shot chestnut praline latte, and good music.

It has been a great week for me writing here on my blog and my memoir, but as I have learned this week sometimes you have to struggle with the bad things (depression) while achieving your goals. I did finish the final edits on my screenplay as well, so I really have no complaints.

I reached a major milestone with The Bipolar Writer blog reaching 1,000 followers, and it makes the journey a worthy road to go down. I couldn’t imagine my blog getting to this point with so many followers, and every one of my followers has my thanks and gratitude.

Let’s look at the past week before looking ahead.

In part five “My Social Anxiety Life,” I explored another part of my social anxiety, the thoughts that go through my mind late at night when I know there is something important happening the next day. These catastrophic thoughts can be crippling at times because it keeps me from sleeping, In this blog post, I explored the “what ifs” and the fear before anything has happened scenarios that haunt me at night.

In my blog post “My Manic Life – The Other Side of my Diagnosis” I explored the mania side of my diagnosis of Bipolar One for the first time on my blog. This blog post was one that I put off for as long as I could because, on so many levels, I don’t have the understanding of my mania. I explored my destructive behavior during manic episodes to include outrageous spending sprees. This is a great read as I shared another piece of the puzzle.

My mid-week blog post was one that I had been wanting to write for a while, “Journaling and Tracking Your Mood.” The aim of this post was to share how journaling my thoughts in a written journal and tracking my moods daily, weekly, and even monthly has been an effective way to see where I am at in a given day.

“How Therapy Changed my Life” was chosen this topic of discussion this week because I had been reflecting all week how far I have come since starting therapy. This piece is mostly about how therapy was effective in my own life and I emplored my reader to find a form of therapy that works for you, like group therapy.

I wanted to focus some of my energy exploring the topic of medicine, and more specifically my own struggles with Ativan. In “The Realities of Ativan” post explored my research for the first time on a medicine that has been a part of my diagnosis over the last ten years. This blog post was tough to write because at the end I still couldn’t answer if my need to increase my dosage back to a comfortable level is due to addiction or need. I will most likely expand this topic in the coming weeks.

I hardly get to explore a part of my writing on my blog and I think that has to change. In “Excerpt From Act Three – Memory of Shane” I shared a single scene from the third act of my feature screenplay. I like the feedback since I am moving this project to two different screenwriting competitions in the next month.

One of the goals of my blog is feedback. I wrote, “When My Creativity and Depression Collide” to see what kind of feedback I could get from my followers. It worked. This is a subject that plays out a lot with the seasonal element of my diagnosis takes over and my depression increases. My followers gave me encouragement and ideas to keep my creativity flowing regardless of my depression. It always feels great to make real connections.

That is the coming and goings with my blog over the last week. I will tackle some interesting topics again this week like giving up vices in my life that were hurting my recovery, more about my social anxiety, and a few other topics. This is the final week before my ten-year diagnosis/suicide anniversary, and in the week that follows I will be writing a three-piece blog post as I explore my thoughts on what ten years of being Bipolar has meant to me.

Always Keep Fighting.

J.E. Skye

The Bipolar Writer

Photo Credit: Alejandro Escamilla

Its the Little Things in Life

I have to learn to love the little things in life, like going for a walk on the beach. I never do that anymore.

This will be my last blog post this week as I am spending the rest of my weekend editing my screenplay again before I submit it for a few competitions. I am also going to find some time to watch football and read a good book. With that said here are just a few of the little things in life that I love in this crazy life I live.

My blog posts have been overly serious this week as I dive deeper into working on my memoir, The Bipolar Writer. I really love what I have shared so far here in my blog because it is a passion of mind to explore the many parts of the last ten years since my diagnosis. But sometimes my writing takes a lot out of me and I just want to write about things that make every day worth living.

One of the things I love in life, especially during the winter months when seasonal affective disorder (SAD) starts to take hold, is zip-up hoodies. I can remember wearing them as a teenager, with a beanie and the hood up before it became a “thing.”

As an adult, I still love to wear my hoodies this way because it became a part of me. If you ever see a guy with a hoodie and beard wearing a beanie in a corner table of a coffee shop with his headphones lost in his writing, it will probably me. Just so you know.

Music has helped me get through tough times in my life. Like today, I spent the day writing and listening to a wide range of music like the Hamilton soundtrack and one of my favorite artists Paramore. My playlists on iTunes music are endless, and it really depends on my mood or what I am writing. I don’t discriminate. I listen to almost every genre of music at some point in my life. I’ve listened to everything from hardcore rock to indie to classical. I even love Korean pop music (which has been an ongoing obsession for the last six years) or any pop music for that matter. I can’t classify myself as liking one type of music genre because if the lyrics get me in my feels, I am hooked.

It’s funny that one thing that has always been a constant in my life is my love for books. I only own about a million of them (okay nowhere near that but my collection is formidable.) One of the best things about being an English major is that I have taken about every literature class available and it has expanded what I read over the last few years.

I have my favorites of course like Rowling, Hemingway, and my all time favorite Edgar Allan Poe (the “E” J.E. Skye is in honor of one of the greatest writers I have ever read.) I have been reading since I was about three or four. My obsession with reading books came from easy access to books my whole life. I grew up (well middle school and high school) on The Harry Potter series, but I read so many amazing different authors in my life.

Within my book collection (which lately has included audiobooks) you will find every genre imaginable. My latest books that I am conquering are re-reading the Game of Thrones series and catching up on reading Stephen King. I am fan murder mysteries and I used to be able to say that I was a huge fan of James Patterson’s Alex Cross novels (though lately I have been turned off by his style, I am not sure it is even him writing anymore.) One of my favorite memories in life was going to the library and picking out books and just getting lost in the worlds that authors created. I could be anyone when reading a book. I could be the hero. Some of my deepest and darkest depressions that I got lost in the ugliness might have been worse without books.

I think my love for books is why I love to write. I am better when I am writing and it is my favorite way to communicate with people. This is why it is easier for me to discuss and explore my diagnosis on my blog rather than talking to my therapist.

One of my greatest loves, of course, is coffee. I am an addict and a better writer when I have coffee in my system. I am one of those people who you probably won’t want to talk to before having my coffee. When I had to give it up for a time this year I was insufferable to be around. I complained openly about having to give up coffee (because of my ulcers.) One of the happiest days this year was when my stomach doctor told me that I could drink coffee again.

The reason I wrote this particular blog post is that as I continue to share my life with the blog world, and I don’t want people to think that all I do all day is get lost in my writing and talk about what is wrong with me. I kinda lost sight recently on the good things in life. Like when I smile after listening to lyrics to a song that spoke to my heart. Or that moment when my favorite holiday drink comes out and that first taste of my gingerbread latte hit my system. I forgot how great it feels to have a hardcover book in my hands and getting lost in the pages. I forgot the feeling of going for a walk. I got caught up in the last few weeks trying to meet a deadline that I lost perspective on why I am writing.

I am a passionate person and sometimes I forget that the little things in life make life worth living. So tonight, after a long editing session, I will open one of my favorite books in the middle of the story and get lost again.

What are some of the things you love? It doesn’t have to do anything with your mental illness or diagnosis.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: Senor Sosa