Change Gives Me Anxiety

My last post and this one are going to be a little contradictory because circumstances have changed. I previously said that I am mentally ready to take a break from therapy, that I am in a good place to be independent.

Now I can’t wait to see my therapist on Monday morning because my anxiety is weighing on me. It’s not the worst I’ve ever experienced but I feel that the anxiety is growing each day. I really want to talk through what’s happening in my mind. I want to cry in her office and spill my guts.

“What is making you so anxious?” you may be asking.

Change.

Change has always been something that I hate whether it’s good or bad. One of the best times of my life was living in England but I was depressed for a big bit of it. I did a lot of isolating myself and watching every Wes Anderson film alone in my flat.

As I may have mentioned on here before, I am moving out of my childhood home and into a house with my boyfriend of 2.5 years. The thought of not being in my comfort zone that I have been in for almost all of my life makes me so scared.

I’m walking around the house taking in every inch of it. The carpet beneath my bare feet. The view of the street outside my window. The beautiful counter top in my bathroom. All of it so familiar to me.

I need to grow up which comes with a lot of discomfort, something that also makes me anxious. I will have to adjust to so many new things and leave many of my comforts behind. Mainly my cats, I will deeply miss not having them sleep with me every night.

I’m only moving a few streets away from my mom’s house where I live now but once I move all of my things out, I won’t have any true comfort to return to. My bedroom has always been my solace, my safe place. Without everything in it, it’s just a room.

It’s the equivalent of taking away my baby blanket.

There are lots of things I’m looking forward to in my new house such as truly feeling like an adult instead of a teenager, spending more time with my boyfriend, cooking in my own kitchen and having a porch.

A few years ago I wrote a poem about how my mind is like the night sky. That the darkness is my depression, anxiety and all of the bad stuff while the stars are the happiness and positive stuff. I look up and I focus on the darkness instead of admiring the twinkling stars above. I’ve rarely been the one to look on the bright side.

Does change make you anxious and/or depressed? If so, how do you cope with this? I’ve never seemed to find a way to positively cope with change so I’m open to all ideas!

Forgiveness

I have recently been listening to a podcast called “Ordinary People, Ordinary Things” by Melissa Radke. It talks about appreciating the small things and that “every day we have tiny miracles happen all around us and we call them ordinary things.” I definitely recommend it! You can find it on Spotify or iTunes. The episode I listened to today was about forgiveness.

Forgiving Others

Forgiving someone who has wronged you can be a really hard thing to do. I struggle with it all the time, as I’m sure all of us do. When someone has wronged me, my first instinct is to get back at them in some way; but that isn’t the best option. If we all did that, then it would be a never-ending cycle of hurting each other. Forgiving someone is something we should choose to do over and over and over; totally and completely. If you don’t forgive someone completely, then you will still be holding on to and I promise you, it will eat at you and will probably cause you to still have negative feelings to that that person.

I saw a video on Facebook by Jay Shetty that I think represents this well. I’ll put the link here.. It starts off with a professor holding a bottle of water and asking her students how much they think it weighs. They give various answers; but then she holds it out in front of her and asks what would happen if she held it like that for a few seconds. They all answered that nothing would happen. Then she asked about hours, and they said that her arm would start to hurt. The professor then said “This bottle represents our challenges, our problems, our worries, our stress and anxiety. It shows that the longer we hold onto them, the more damage and harm they could cause us.” Melissa, in her podcast says that “unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” The longer you put off forgiving someone, the more it will harm YOU. The person that betrayed you, will go on and live their life, and you will be stuck with all the negative feelings. LET. IT. GO.

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on” -Eckhart Tolle

Forgiveness is for yourself, not anyone else. You cannot change what already happened. But you can change how you respond. Do not hold on to the anger or hurt, it does not serve you. Hold on to things that lift you up, make you happy, and bring abundance to your life.

Forgiving Yourself

Now, forgiving others is hard, but forgiving yourself is harder. I’ll be the first to say that forgiving myself is not something I do often. I beat myself up over a lot of things- how I acted when I was up, my weight, school work, almost anything and everything. Jay Shetty, in his video says “Sometimes the weight you want to lose isn’t on our body. The most expensive real estate in the world isn’t Dubai, it’s not Singapore. It’s not New York or San Francisco, it’s your mind. Don’t let anything or anyone stay there for free. You have to understand that people come and go. Stop holding on to those that let go of you a long time ago.” Forgiving myself is hard. How do I apologize to something (myself), I spent half my life trying to break? As I’ve gotten older, especially in the last 6 months, I’ve really been focusing on myself and trying to forgive myself more for mistakes that I have made and will make. I don’t want to hold on the toxic feelings. It isn’t healthy. Which brings me to my next point.

Forgiveness and Mental Health

I know from first-hand experience, at least for me, that with mental illness forgiveness is one of THE hardest things. With depression, when someone wrongs you, you immediately think “What is wrong with me? Why don’t they like me? What did I do wrong?” We never even consider that it didn’t have anything to do with us. If someone wrongs you, that is on them. They made the mistake. Everyone makes them, forgive them. Now, I’m not saying that if someone does something to you that really hurts you, you have to continue being friends or whatever. You can choose to forgive someone but not keep in contact with someone. The forgiveness will bring you peace and you can move on with your life without them, if you so choose. On the flip side of this, if you wrong someone, including yourself, FORGIVE YOURSELF, and ask for forgiveness. That is basically all you can do. Or it will eat you alive.

“If we don’t heal the pain of our past, we will bleed all over our future. “ –Jay Shetty

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How Poor Mental Health Can Ruin Relationships

In this mental illness life, one thing I have been good at is ruining relationships. The worst of it for me was when I was suicidal and in poor mental health.

For me, personally, I have lost friendships, working relationships, and personal relationships because my mental health got in the way of living life. It was never anything personal because I was doing the best I could in the impossible situation of living with a mental illness, but when you start canceling plans because your too anxious, or are living on the border of suicidal thoughts, it can severely hurt personal relationships.

Why does poor mental health ruin relationships? Mainly what I see is the lack of understanding from those who have never lived this life, or worse the lack of empathy for people that have for mental illness sufferers. Right now, I am in a place in my life where things like people saying “just get over it” does not bother me, but I am in a different place in my mental health recovery. Someone in poor mental health is usually not so lucky because they feel guilty. When you lack empathy, it makes it harder for us to be open, and it ruins relationships.

I get it, we all have problems in this life. I am not saying mental health sufferers are worse off than any one person, but they do deal with more at times than someone who doesn’t wake up dreading a depression and anxiety-filled day, every day. They have to worry that depression will keep them from being productive or even a simple task like getting out of bed. It can seem impossible to find the energy to take a shower. Have you ever been so depressed that you can’t even take a shower? It sucks.

My hope with posts like these will reach those who are living with someone with poor mental health that you find a place of understanding. It is not forever. I, The Bipolar Writer, is living proof that you can get better in this mental illness life. I got my Bachelors of Art in Creative Writing and English. I am going for my MFA. I am soon to be a published author. The poor mental health, although it seemed it at the time, did not last forever.

Yes, poor mental health can ruin relationships, but it doesn’t have to because if you really love someone you will fight with them for better mental health. Stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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A New Bipolar Writer Blog Milestone

12,000 Followers on The Bipolar Writer Blog

I always celebrate the significant milestones of the Bipolar Writer blog. I know I am not around as much, but I wanted to say The Bipolar Writer blog has reached the 12,000 followers milestone!

I wanted to say thank you to everyone following this blog and keeping it going. To my contributors, thank you for being there even when I can not by creating valuable mental health content. Let us celebrate our mental health advocacy, mental illness, and mental health recovery wellness.

Always Keep Fighting

James, and the Contributors of The Bipolar Writer blog

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Writing Topics for June

It has been a struggle to keep up writing new content for The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog. With my hectic schedule with my graduate courses, my freelance work, and my writing projects there is just not enough time to do everything that I want to get done. I want to change this narrative.

So, this blog post is asking what type of new content would you like to see on this blog. It can me anything mental related and I will make sure that I write good post. So leave your ideas in the comments.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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Being in a Toxic Relationship & How I’m Doing Now

Please understand while reading, that this is a bit of a terrifying post for me. Other than those who watched it all happen, not many now know that this was a part of my life, and now I’ve decided to tell my story in hopes to find the relief that my other posts have brought me. A few months back I wrote about Relationships and C-PTSD, and in there I mentioned quite a bit about the fact that I was in a very unhealthy relationship on and off for nine years. For most of this time, my brain was in war with itself over the good vs. the bad of the relationship. Should I stay, should I go? Should I forgive him, should I hate him? A lot of back and forth. But due to his manipulation and my mental health and lack of self-esteem; I’d always go back. Until I didn’t. After that, so much started to change.

Continue reading

Official Launch of the James Edgar Skye Patreon Account

It was always the goal for me to write full-time. It has always been a dream of mine to be financially stable enough to write full-time. I have been a struggling writer for a long time, and my experiences with my mental illness have been shared here so many times here on my blog. I do struggle holding down a full-time job and my work with freelance has been up and down. With the change of medication, and the fact that I am feeling much better it is time to officially launch my Patreon account.

Become a Patron!

What is Patreon?

Patreon is a way for artists like me to connect to my readers in a real way, and at the same time, it offers tiers for special offers that keep you in the loop of what I am working on a the moment.

This is the official look at what a Patreon account looks like: Patreon is a crowdfunding membership platform that provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service, with ways for artists to build relationships and provide exclusive experiences to their subscribers, or “patrons”.

Become a Patron!

What does it Mean for J.E.?

If I can get my Patreon account going, it means a lot of things. The first is working on my current writing projects full-time and have enough money to hire a top-tier copy editor, so that when I self-publish The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir it is the best possible product. It will give me the time to create a book about the members of the mental illness community beyond just my memoir. I want to start a podcast that will show the many phases of mental ilness and people’s experience.

Once I meet my goals, I will be able to offer merchandise and, of course, copies of my books. I can do so many great things for the mental illness community. There are so many great things I can accomplish. The lowest tier is $2 and $5. I know I have asked a lot of the mental illness community of late and this is just something I have good feeling inside my heart

If you can help that would be amazing. I am genuinely in awe of people in the mental illness community. If you have questions about how to sign up and join a tier please reach out. It can be a confusing process.

Update: I got my first three patrons. I am really excited.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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Reflecting Before It Gets Ugly

I’m starting to see some negative characteristics in myself. Recently feelings of jealousy have been becoming more and more prominent in my mind.

My jealously is fueled by fear.

The fear of being forgotten. The fear that I won’t be loved anymore. That I will eventually fade from his mind and heart because he will be focused on spending time with friends that he cares about more than me.

I fear that the more time he spends with his friends, the less he will love me.

My anxiety is telling me all of these things despite reality. I know he loves me, I see it everyday!

I know that the tighter I hold on, he will feel suffocated. He will want to push me away instead which is the exact opposite of what I want.

The last thing I want to be is a toxic person to one of the people I love most.

I don’t know how to get rid of these jealous feelings, I’ve never felt this way before.

I want him to be happy in all aspects of life. And I’m not just writing that because I’m about to share this with a bunch of people; I truly mean it.

Have you experienced jealously in a long term relationship or in a friendship? How do/did you cope with it? How were you able to overcome your feelings of jealously?

Dating and Mental Illness

As someone who experiences mental illness dating has always been somewhat of a challenge. Don’t get me wrong it’s doable, and I have had a few romantic relationships over the years, but it does make it a bit more challenging. If you’re in a good space and fairly stable then that obviously makes dating a lot easier.

This subject has come to mind as I have started seeing someone who also has a mental illness. We get on really well and have a lot in common. So far so good. I can see a future with her. We are still in the early stages of getting to know each other, but the connection is definitely there for both of us. We talk daily without fail. This leads me to ask…

Can two people who both suffer from mental illness be in a relationship together?

I believe the answer is yes depending on maturity, personal growth, self-awareness, and a commitment from both people to make it work. Others may have a different point of view. I would be interested in your perspective?

Patreon & Changes

The best thing in this mental health life is that you can always turn the page on your mental illness.

I recently dealt with an impressive mixed episode throughout two very rough days, but the sun always comes up, and I take comfort in that reality.

Something New… Patreon

That brings me to something I have been working on all week and I want to officially launch it on The Bipolar Writer blog–my official Patreon account.

http://www.patreon.com/jamesedgarskye

Here is what Patreon is according to their Website:


For creators
, Patreon is a way to get paid for creating the things you’re already creating (webcomics, videos, songs, whatevs). Fans pay a few bucks per month OR per post you release, and then you get paid every month, or every time you release something new. Learn more about becoming a creator on Patreon.

For patrons, Patreon is a way to join your favorite creator’s community and pay them for making the stuff you love. Instead of literally throwing money at your screen (trust us, that doesn’t work), you can now pay a few bucks per month or per post that a creator makes.  For example, if you pay $2 per video, and the creator releases 3 videos in February, then your card gets charged a total of $6 that month.  This means the creator gets paid regularly (every time she releases something new), and you become a bonafide, real-life patron of the arts.  That’s right–Imagine you, in a long frilly white wig, painted on a 10-foot canvas on the wall of a Victorian mansion.  And imagine your favorite creators making a living doing what they do best… because of you.

http://www.patreon.com/jamesedgarskye

What Patreon Means to The Bipolar Writer?

My goal in my Patreon account is for me to connect with my followers to a point where they become a part of the experience. I have created tiers on my Patreon account that give a patron a level of access to my writing that has never before been seen.

I want to be able to write full-time, and this idea, using patrons that have access to my work monthly work through a subscription service can help me achieve some significant goals. The first goal is to pay for a legit editor for The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir. I am going to self-publish, but I want this book to reach every person possible. That means releasing the best work possible.

A second goal for creating a Patreon account is to start new projects. I am planning on starting a mental health podcast with fellow advocate because she has very unique perspectives on her mental health. I want to be able to share the stories of others much like my interview series.

That leads me to the next goal, writing a book on different members of the community much like Humans of New York with a focus on the many faces of mental illness. There are so many more things I want to do to spread the word and end the stigma, and I think Patreon will allow me to reach these goals.

The most basic tier is $2. If half of the fantastic people here on The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog sign up, I can begin to reach new levels in my writing.

http://www.patreon.com/jamesedgarskye

Changes to The Bipolar Writer Blog

There have been some changes to the blog already in place. The business level allows me to add new tools to get our message out to a better audience.

I will admit, I am not the best at making everything work, so I am looking for someone with experience that can take the plug-ins that come with the business level and make everything better. There will be an upcoming store soon which the goal here is to help others sell their work through this blog (I am still working on this.) There will be changes in the coming weeks and I will keep you updated. Stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James