S1 Episode 15 of The Bipolar Writer Podcast

2020 – James’ Year in Review

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I wanted to share my experiences as James Edgar Skye with the ups, the downs, even the negatives and positives of life. I shared what I went through, which was a lot in 2020, with my mother’s loss in December 2019, and it changed my world. I still went through immense pain, and I am trying my best to continue to work on my inner I with living in the now. Life coaching was a major part and was suicidal thoughts that I endured. I felt the feels and was more vulnerable to others outside of me than at any point on this journey.  Join me as I talk about what 2020 meant to me, The Bipolar Writer and James Edgar Skye.  

You can find the post here.

How can you become an interviewee? Just email me @ thebipolarwriterpodcast@gmail.com.

I will record the Zoom interviews and use Anchor.fm to put the podcast on different platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcast or anywhere you listen. The only thing that will go live will be the audio file, and while I save my interviews, it will be on my cloud. The podcast is all about exploring the stories of depression, self-harm, anxiety, suicide, mental health issues today, mental illness stories, and everything in between. I would love for you to be one of the people who began on the Bipolar Writer Podcast’s ground floor. Thank you for your time, and you can use the contact page.


It is my hope for The Bipolar Writer Podcast to become fully listener-supported. You can become a supporter of the podcast here You can also support the podcast by clicking the button below, where you can buy me a coffee.

So how can you support The Bipolar Writer Podcast and James Edgar Skye? Well, there are several ways.

  • There is becoming a listener supporter through the anchor.fm where I do my podcast episodes. 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 or a one-time supporter. There are options for extras that include one on one mental health advocacy Zoom call, where you can ask mental health questions about blogging, tiers with my books, and other unique extras. The options for payments are credit card or PayPal. Soon, my support website Buy Me a Coffee will be t-shirts, mugs, and stickers available as soon as I get all that together with more support. You can click the button below.

The Energy Leadership Index (ELI) Assessment The Bipolar Writer Podcast

Episode Description What Kim is offering in this package are the ELI Assessment and a debrief. The two ways that come are one-on-one debrief with Kim or possibly a group debrief on Saturdays. I, James Edgar Skye, am offering to be a part of that process if you trust me as an option because I know what it feels like to go through a debrief. If you are interested, you can reach out to Kim Johnson directly at groundsforclarity@protommail.com and be open just to have a conversation about getting your ELI done TODAY. The debrief is typically done within 24 hours and on Zoom, but those details will be worked out with Kim and yourself. If there is a chance you want to jump right in, there is a special going on with my buy me a coffee website that you can purchase the ELI directly from me. Make sure to fill out the form that comes with the purchase. I will relay the information to Kim promptly, and she will reach out. Here is the link: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Jamesedgarskye/e/29676 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 Energy Leadership Index (ELI) Assessment
  2. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Alaina
  3. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Colleen
  4. Bullying and Mental Health
  5. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Krystal

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.

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12:15 AM

I was thinking about writing more poetry because its not an A-typical thing that I would do as it is the weaker area of my writing, but I have my moments. If you want to read more about my life, please consider purchasing my memoir here. It will not disappoint if you want to learn more about my life living as The Bipolar Writer with Bipolar One. In the book I explore even deeper topics than the ones written here on my blog. Here is a poem, which is also a chapter in my book.

12:15 am

It’s 12:15 am, I am in a dark room

my mind racing and

the panic 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.

My salvation.

God, I want to sleep

so much to do tomorrow.

The weight of my school obligations crushing me. 

Finally, in control— again.

Anxiety, why do you control me so?

It’s over for now, but

tomorrow is another day.

Another 12:15 am.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

My Memoir

Become a Patron of James Edgar Skye and be a part of his writing here: Become a Patron! You can get this amazing cup at a certain tier!

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So, Where Did The Bipolar Writer Go?

I know it has been a while. I have been on a small journey of self-discovery over the last few weeks. I have been up and down, even sideways at times. I felt depression and anxiety in full force. I was feeling lost in who is James and was, or how does The Bipolar Writer become more than just a place that I go when life is tough. I was not feeling the feels as my life coach would say. So, where did The Bipolar Writer go?

He was here all along, but he lived in two different worlds, the past and the future. The person that I have been since the death of my mom in December was someone different. I put everything into what I need to grow my business. To continue writing both for my business and above all the projects in fiction will allow people to know The Bipolar Writer. I lost my passion for writing and instead went to make a million plans all in the hopes of keeping me going and keeping me busy. I was still writing, and it was still good, but I was not me. That was key. It became my downfall in July. I felt so alone in the world, and I allowed myself to let old habits back into my life. I was not living in the present. 

I never thought I would lose my mother the way that it happened—the suddenness and having to continue to finish graduate school and keep myself from allowing the feelings in. I was hiding my pain, and it was growing into the monster thing that was hidden away in my mind. It wanted to be let go. I have been reading Permission to Grieve by Shelby Forsythia and also listening to her podcast. Both of these resources, alongside my self-discovery with my life coach (I will write more on this in another post), I began to realize I life-rejection and self-abandonment were my constant. (This book from Forsythia is really amazing, and I won’t spoil it here.) I was far from living in the present.

I was living by a narrative that was not my own, and I abandoned everything that made who I was inside. I had not once in my grief–the loss of my mom, the lost years of my life that I am always making me try to make up, and the loss of two relationships that altered how I treat people. I closed myself off to the world. I fell into my writing and school to try to grasp onto anything that felt good. I was not feeling good, and I was not myself. I have not been myself. I stopped living in the present and began to live in the future and the past. It is a destructive way of living.

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I had not once since my early 20 gave myself permission to grieve, as Forsythia would say. I lost parts of myself along the way, and I never thought to take a look back and pick those pieces back up. When I lost the one constant in my life that was always there to pick me up, my mom made me go way inside. I was so lost and let things like COVID-19 to not really live.

I was marking the months. Every 15th was a bad day. I had to let myself be depressed on that day–every month. I was still living, that is something that you do. You keep going and make all the plans because that is what society tells you to do. I was not really living. I need to grieve, but that means letting the person who I was before my loss—all of the loss over the last fifteen years. I have made decisions in my life moving forward.

I am connecting with a life coach who is teaching me to live in the present. It will be a four-month journey. I am using my love for reading to immerse myself in books on grief and living in the present. Reading is one of my loves, and I am taking away screen time (when I am not working on school, work, or writing) like when I am watching sports or streaming. If you know me, it is not easy. I am not giving up watching sports, but not spending my “downtime” streaming. I was for so long filling all my time with things, no matter what it is, just to do it. I was on my phone so much, and I was not living my life. I want to go back to my roots–books and stories. I love stories.

I want to be in the present, and I am working on self-care at the moment. Why am I writing this post? It is because it will help me find my voice again. I am learning to do things at the moment because you can’t know the future. The past will always be there, but I am no longer that person. I am ready for change. That means coming back here to where it all started—this blog. I want to feel the feels. I want to live again, AND I WILL.

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!

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Introducing The Bipolar Writer Blog Subscription Service

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The Bipolar Writer blog is a collaborative effort to share the best parts of my story and others’ stories in the mental illness community. My authors, over time, have made this blog what it is today. I want to introduce you to The Bipolar Writer Subscriptions. 

As I build The Bipolar Writer brand with t-shirts, coffee mugs, and hopefully other fantastic merchandise with my logo, I want to share with you that it is expensive to be a struggling writer, but it goes beyond that simple fact. I am growing my brand that includes my writing and marketing all my own. I have Patreon, which is growing slowly, and I have to use everything at my disposal to build my audience. Especially beyond the blog.

I have been investing in myself lately. I got a new microphone and setup to do exclusive videos, and I am looking at ways to create merchandise that you, my reader, can take advantage of, including my memoir. (Side note, my Patreon account already has merchandise available at different tiers). What comes with the new subscriptions. Well, it will be adjusted over time, but here is what I have so far. 

  • For the higher tiers, a free copy of my Memoir The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir and a copy of my upcoming fiction book Angel on the Ward. (You must be a level $25 subscriber for three months to offset the costs.)
  • Merchandise for levels $25 and above.
  • Exxclusive video blogs for levels $10 and up.
  • Personalized letter for the basic $5 tier.
  • You can also personalize your subscription to whatever you would like to subscribe to at a certain amount unique to you. The sky is the limit! 
  • I will be adding things as this takes off.

Tiers

The tiers below are really simple, and you can adjust them up and down when you click to subscribe. It will take to a place where you can make your monthly subscription. Please let me know if you want to end the subscription at any time.

That’s it, and I have no expectations that this will work, but I would rather want to know this is out there in the world! Thank you for all that subscribe to my new subscription service.

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!

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The Bipolar Writer Doubts

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I journal off and on over the last ten years. At times it is to clear my mind after a long depression cycle and to get my thoughts down during those times. At times I use journaling to come up with ideas for fiction and creative nonfiction work.

It is the area where my doubts to bleed on the page of my journal is when it comes to my writing. I am a published author with a memoir that is selling okay. There are other projects that I am working on to be published in 2020. There is a real fear that my writing will never go anywhere.

I know these doubts are just lingering because I have so much going when it comes to writing. I have the ghostwriting business that I am taking to the next level, and I am starting an LLC. I am launching my brand, The Bipolar Writer. Ive created new things for my tiers on my Patreon account, including merchandise with my logo. I have projects galore, and I am nearing the end of my master’s. I consider myself a seasoned professional writer with fiction and creative nonfiction that will take me to the next level of writing. Everything is either about to be published, in editing, or a work in progress.

You would think I would not have time for doubt, but it is always late that they come when I am alone.

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They say the monsters and demons tend to come out at night the most. That is true also with doubts. There is something about sitting in the dark on the doorstep of sleep that wakes up my brain, and so the last thoughts are of my doubts that I faced that day. There are times I have mini panic attacks.

I am a work in progress. I will always be adjusting as new things with being Bipolar, having social anxiety, and panic disorder change and the world changes. I have written about being alone recently and why I feel okay with that feeling. The doubts they tend to go to other places. Will I be alone forever? It is one that has haunted me.

It is not all bad. I am better equipped to handle these thoughts of doubts. I look at where I was when I began this journey. I was this 20 something who could not live, and wanted to die. Then I came back. Got one degree with another on the way. Graduated with honors as an undergraduate and heading that way as a graduate student. My life as a writer has improved. I am better at helping others and sharing my story. I have a future in my hand. You see, the doubts are just feelings of insecurity. Look at what you have accomplished and what you have in the future. No matter how small. To quote a friend, open doors and go through doors that are opened for you. This life is too short. Stay strong as always.

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!

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A Chapter on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy From my Memoir

Last Saturday, I held a “mental health discussion” on Zoom. I consider it a success as there were many questions and great dialogue within a small group. I will be writing about this experience later this week, and on Saturday, I will be hosting another Zoom get together. One of the topics that came up was Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and I wanted to share one of the chapters in my memoir The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir about learning Mood Induction therapy, which has served me well as a part of my CBT training. Mood Induction is a small part of the process, but for me, it is one of my favorites. I am in no way a professionally licensed therapist, and this chapter from experience only. 

I promised one the participants that I would share this as a stepping stone for them to research CBT.

Chapter Thirty-Two: My CBT Journey – Mood Induction

SINCE SUMMER 2017, I have been working on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. My therapist introduced it to me after a bad stretch of anxiety and social anxiety from January to March. My goal was to work on ways to fight anxiety without Ativan. I have learned a few techniques over the course of the summer and I want to share what has worked. One of the goals that I set out to achieve is to give advice about things that have helped me along my journey. 

CBT is the practice of developing personal managing strategies that help solve problems. The point is helping to change negative thought patterns in positive ways. The outcome is working on what is wrong with your thoughts. I have used CBT only for anxiety. I have known people who have used it for other mental illness issues, like depression.

Mood induction has been helpful for me as I work toward my goal of conquering my ongoing battle with social anxiety. Different experts go about using mood induction techniques with music in different ways. I am by no means an expert, but rather I will share what my own therapist gave me in the form of steps. Music has always been a great coping tool that I have used over the years, so it was exciting to work on this technique.

The first step is simple, the initial response step. First, find some music to listen to that will evoke emotion while you listen. It might be helpful to rate your mood before you listen to the song. Focus on the song and what it brings out in your thoughts and emotions. Then write down the emotional responses that you first felt (like happy, sad, or frustrated.)

The second step in the mood induction process is the intensity of emotional response. This step is your determination of how strongly you felt the emotions in the first step. Using a scale of 1-10, you rate how much emotion came when listening to the chosen song.

The third step, reaction to emotional response, is perhaps the most important of the steps. This step breaks down into important steps:

  1. Describe your thoughts: This is simple. What thoughts came to your mind while listening to the song?
  2. Describe your sensations or feelings. Did your heart rate increase while listening to the song? Here you talk about any feelings and sensations.
  3. Describe your behaviors while listening to the song. Did you fidget, pace, or sigh?

This step is important to the process because it is here that you analyze your thoughts and behaviors, which is helpful in real life. You take a moment in time, listening to a song, and you range your emotional response. From there, you can focus on what these thoughts mean to you. It also helps find the meaning behind such emotional responses. In my experience, it helps to choose a song that brings out a strong emotional response.

I use an Excel spreadsheet to help log my breakdown. Here is what a complete breakdown was like for me:

  • Song Choice: Nineteen Stars, Meg and Dia.
  • Emotional Response: Relieved, happy, good.
  • Rate Response: 8
  • Thoughts: Meaningful, it reminds me of the journey that I have been on. Where I was ten years ago to now. I want to be a part of this world now. What this song meant to me in 2007.
  • Sensations/Feelings: Heart rate increased.
  • Behaviors: Fidgeting and moving my legs up and down while sitting at my computer.

The responses and emotions are different for each person and the results will of course vary. I have used this on hundreds of songs. I used an excel worksheet to break down each section.

I have found it useful going back to the songs that you have already broken down and do the process again. It helps to see if your thoughts and emotions change when listened to the second time or a third time.

This is one part of CBT. There are so many books and schools of thought that I have found over the years. It has helped me sort through my anxiety. It’s a long process and I am not where I want to be with my social anxiety. It’s important that I keep moving forward and working towards using CBT every day. 

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!

A Weekend to Forget: A Lesson That Anxiety Can be Dangerous

I had no illusions or lofty expectations for my birthday last Friday. Some Chinese food and relaxing were on the agenda. My week was going okay. I was beginning my next semester as a graduate student, and I was ahead of schedule, which gave me a rare day off–and on my birthday no less! It seems anxiety and stress had a different idea.

Back in January 2017, I was in the midst of the worst two months of anxiety in my life. My levels of anxiety were so high every day that it was impossible to function, and most days, I failed. My doctor has tried unsuccessfully to take me off Ativan, and getting back on only made things worse. For the three weeks I was off benzodiazepines in December, I was on a rollercoaster of anxious thoughts, anxiety, isolation, and panic attacks.

The culmination was a week and a half in the hospital with bleeding ulcers (where I was literally bleeding in my stomach so much I was puking pints of blood), and I had to go through several blood transfusions and an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy three times. The first time I had a panic attack just before and passed out from the blood when they had to pull it prematurely. I spent two days in the ICU because of the loss of blood. It was the worst painful experience of my life. When I finally got the two endoscopies, first to fix the issues and then to see if it worked, my stomach was never the same for two years. I gave up meat entirely.

Afterward, when I went home, I realized that my anxiety can be a dangerous thing if left unchecked. I began to makes changes with adding meditation, and though I had issues over the next two years with what I could eat, and what made me hurl was an adventure. I got better at dealing with anxious thoughts, and panic attacks were not a weekly occurrence for the most part.

It was never perfect, but last summer, I was able to slowly reintroduce meat into my diet. It was good, and life was good. I wrote a 210,000-word novel and a 30K novella in just four months. No issues with my stomach. I took my daily dose of the neutralizing stomach acid medicine, and with the change from Ativan to Clonazepam last year, I was able to find some relative balance. Then COVID-19 happened.

I am not blaming everything on the virus. In truth, I am to blame for allowing fear, which I have talked about in the past, from taking over my life. Last week it culminated for the first time since 2019 that I had terrible stomach issues. The weekend I had to tone things down and change my diet (which included once again giving up coffee), and I had to de-stress my life. I walked away from social media and writing all weekend. I stayed in bed (which didn’t help my depression, but you can’t win every battle).

Monday, I felt a bit normal, and today I was able to eat. I am working not stressing out. Playing video games and writing helps. Also, not following every single article on COVID-19 really helped me. I am hopeful the upward trend continues. Less stress and more focusing on the positives. I am healthy and social distancing like I am supposed to, and I can only control what is in my orbit. Life indeed is too short to spend it obsessing if I will or won’t get sick. I am not going to go out and lick things, but social media takes a back seat. I will continue to do my part.

Last weekend was a life lesson in the dangers of anxiety and anxious thoughts.

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!

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An Unfortunate Series of Things

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They say do not panic. Try telling that to someone who lives daily with anxiety and panic disorder.

My biggest issue over the past weeks has been depression. There is no getting around the fact that when things get severe depression usually hits me.

I suffer, among other things, with seasonal affective disorder. April is generally a transitional month before my life picks back up. We are living in unusual times, and that means learning new things. Right now, anxiety is deciding that it’s going to fight for its own place in my life.

2019 was great for me as a human being from about May to November. I wrote the novel that I have been working on for years, and generally, my life was great. I had no real complaints. I was beginning to find my place and leaving my house more and more. Then the unimaginable hit me, I lost my mom, and with that loss, I lost myself. Depression was my friend for most of January and February, but I was getting out in the world.

March was supposed to be great, but as we all know, life changed. We had social distance ourselves more and more. Now it is getting even more restrictive to leave your house as things are not going so well out there in the world. My anxiety, already on its edge, has shot up over the last week. I have been dealing with intense panic attacks and anxiety that seems to have no end. I have been here before, oh so many times.

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I can admit the fear comes from the possibility of catching the coronavirus. It compounds my anxiety when I have to inevitably leave the comfort of my home. Sure, you can go weeks at a time without leaving, but eventually, you will need something essential and have to go out. You can wash your hands, carry hand sanitizer, and be as careful as you can, and it is no for sure thing you will not catch COVID-19.

Then there is the fear of if you can get things delivered. My medication was due this week, and my pharmacy is asking that we do only deliveries. There is real anxiety that, through no fault of their own other than the fact that they essential. That someone down the line had to deal with them that are infected with the virus. Even though I had no direct connection to the delivery driver, he or she has to be interacting with people. There is no guarantee they could not carry the virus. Perhaps if there is more testing it would be different, and maybe it would elevate some of my anxiety.

Fear can be a dangerous thing for our mental health, and if there was a good chance that the government actually cared, it would be different. I have never been much for giving into the types of fears. Things such as the coronavirus, it feels different. Like it is an inevitable thing that you can catch because, from some of what people that are working on the front lines, 1 in 3 people are carriers.

I wondered today, am I being irrational? I would like to hear from you.

As always, one last thing. If you have to go out into the world, make a plan, and limit yourself to exposure. Get items delivered if at all possible and make sure that you sat thank you to those who have to work in this crisis. If you see a nurse, paramedic, grocery store worker, delivery drivers, or anyone who still has to brave the world because they are essential, be kind. These people are the real heroes of this pandemic. Always stay safe.

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!

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Handing Anxiety and Panic Attacks- Not Just During A Crisis

Anxiety. If you have ever have increased anxiety at the best of times, it can worsen as we continue to live in a world of social isolation. Anxiety, for me, has always been a subject that I can write about from so many different angles. I have on this blog and also in my memoir.

My official diagnosis when it comes to anxiety is social anxiety and panic disorder. Right now, I am dealing with anxiety in several ways. I take a benzo, clonazepam, and I do other things that help me cope with my anxiety like breathing techniques, meditation, and writing. My ultimate de-stressor. I have not had a large number of panic attacks per week when things are good, but lately, I have dealt with them more.

It is less to do with the coronavirus and more about the stress of delays in my books and having to stop a significant book signing as a local bookstore. Add that to the weight of not knowing if agents are looking for authors. I need one because I am close to the end of editing my fantasy fiction novel. The uncertainty in life has made my anxiety more pronounced.

The Reality of Fear

If I could sum up all the fears associated with my own anxiety, those that are rational and irrational, it would be likened to drowning. Now I have never drowned, but when I was six, and at my hotel at Disneyland trip, I nearly drowned. I was saved by my sister.

Anxiety can cripple you, increase your heart rate, make it hard to breathe and make your thoughts irrational. I have thought during one of the worst panic attacks of my life that I was going to die–a very absurd idea. From what I know, you can’t die from a panic attack or anxiety. But the fear associated with it is genuine. Fear is an interesting thing because when you are in a panic attack, the fears in our lives are exponentially increased.

The fear is real at the moment, but eventually, when you can refocus, the fears become something you can change. It comes down to recognizing triggers in my experience. An example, late at night after I take my Seroquel, it can feel as if my body is shutting down, that is its job. But the fear sets in at times because anxiety and panic attacks do not let you know when it is coming. It is always at the most inopportune time, it is not? At times I hyperventilate, making the fear of not breathing seem extremely real when the reality is I am causing the increase with my irrational thinking. 

What Can You Do? Well I have a few Ideas

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Handing anxiety is not a one size fits all method. It comes down to what works for you. I have some ideas that will work. A thought journal after an increase in anxiety or panic attack, or even during if that is possible, can help you pinpoint your fears and triggers and come up with strategies to combat.

Tracking your mood several times a day in a notebook with the time, the level of anxiety with a simple scare of 1-10, and maybe a thought or two can also be effective in knowing when your anxiety is at its peak. Mine peaks around three in the afternoon and at times late at night right before bed. We are in a technological age and so CBT books or working with your therapist on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a great option. I find music is the great equalizer alongside writing.

Unpresidented Times

We are now living in unprecedented times when whole countries and states are in lockdown. The fears we now live in are a reality that we have to face when it comes to anxious feelings. With so many of us now sequestered at home, there are bound to be anxious fears about what is going on in the world.

I wish I had all the answers, but I am only the sum of my experiences with panic attacks and anxiety. One thing you can do above all else when looking for how-to solutions to handle anxiety. You can educate yourself. We have information at our fingertips and researching the technical stuff is important, but read the blogs of others. There might be something I have not talked about that could help you. Above all, anxiety is natural, and though it may feel like forever to many, it can be something that can be controlled. I have whole other posts about benzodiazepines that I will be writing in the future. These medications, if taken long term, can cause severe effects with anxiety and panic attacks. That is a post for another day with said, stay safe out there, The Bipolar Writer is thinking of you.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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Photo by Hailey Kean on Unsplash

Its That Time of Year

It is that time of the year–baseball. Yes, it is only the beginning of Spring Training, but I love baseball.

When I say that baseball and watching my favorite team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, is one of the things that helped save me, I mean it in that without baseball, I might not be here. That might be a bit over the top, it is not the only reason, there are many why I am here today, but in truth, it was something that became major in my life. It will always be from February to October, the sport I turn to when things in my life are too depressive or anxious.

I get excited for this time of year because baseball is such a mood booster for me. I get to watch for three or so hours the one sport outside of basketball and college football I follow throughout the season. Baseball is amazing. You can be the best baseball player on the planet and have a bad night, and then the next day, the player comes back and hits three homers. Baseball is a metaphor for how things go in my own life. The ups and downs, the highs and lows of a baseball season are magnified because they play 162 games a season.

The fact that even the player with the least experience can change the trajectory of a game. Even the best players can have long cold streaks, likened to how depression cycles can be like having cold streaks, and yet they can also break out of a slump. That is a metaphor for how depression cycles feel after it controls you, and you break free. It is why my love for baseball is something I love to share with the world. I even wrote a chapter of it in my memoir.

What is something in your life that you feel passionate about outside of things like writing (my greatest passion), or if it is writing, what are some of the metaphors you take from writing? Leave your comments below. I would love to hear about it!

Always Keep Fighting

James

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