The Bipolar Writer is Back

aaron-mello-142044-unsplashAn Update on my Writing Projects

It feels terrific to be back.

I am writing again. I took about two weeks of no writing because my creative side was not blending into my regular life. For a while, my mind lost in the darkness, and I was on the fringes of depression. I felt alone. That is normal.

I did come up with a few more chapters for my memoir, I am not sure if they will make the final draft (I am focusing next week on getting my book on Amazon), but when I go to print I could use those chapters. I have a great cover artist, cover design, and some fantastic chapters. I am ready for the future.

I am also working towards (in my next master’s program class) a new book concept over the next ten weeks. My hope is to ready to start writing chapters in two months seem very hopeful. I am also going to try and finish the novel version of my screenplay.

*On a side note: If anyone knows someone in the movie business– agents, managers, or production companies; let me know. I am selling three different screenplays.

It feels excellent to be back on track and with the next week off from my school work, and I am ready to refocus on the blog.

Stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit:

Aaron Mello

HB Mertz

The Start of Something New

My move is official, and I am into my new house. It is a chance for me to reset the clock on my life. It was time for something good and change. I think it will be helpful for my anxiety. One significant life-changing thing this week– the move. Then at the end of this week, I will be completing the primary goal since starting my recovery journey that I have been working on over the past four years.

I will be the first to graduate with my bachelor’s degree in my family.

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As I start this new stage of my life, a chance for something new, I wanted to reflect on how things have gone since 2010. I remember it still as if it was yesterday. I was laying in a hospital bed, the second time in two weeks. The first hospital visit was a suicide attempt where I came close to dying. I spend three days in a coma because of an overdose. If I am honest, I didn’t believe that I would wake up. I am happy to be living my life right at this moment.

It was in the second hospital visits after several seizures that I reflected on the path my life had taken from 2006-2010. It had been a life of chaos. I wanted stability. It was the first time in my life that I admitted that my life was falling apart– and I finally said “I am Bipolar” for the first time since my diagnosis in 2007.

It was there that my life started to change. I realized at that moment that for some reason, despite trying so hard, that there was something bigger going on in my life. Against the odds, according to my doctors, I survived– barely.

It has never been easy. Every day I struggle to find the balance between my life and my mental illness life. The lines are blurry between the two worlds. Since that moment I have been happy. I have been sad. I have been through depression cycles both long and short. I developed social anxiety, lived through the worst insomnia, and found a place in this world where I belong– like becoming a mental health advocate.

Just in the four years that I decided to go back to school and get my degree in creative writing so much has happened in my life. The good always outweighs the bad. I went through bleeding ulcers last year– I survived. There were so many times that giving up seemed like the perfect option– but I persevered.

I have written my memoir which has been my most significant achievement. I wrote a screenplay that featured a character that was Bipolar, and the novel version is close to completion. My favorite thing in the last four years is creating The Bipolar Writer blog and coming up with my psydonym– James Edgar Skye.

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My blog has become a place of solace and where I can be myself. Sharing my journey with you has been the highest part of my day.

My upcoming achievement is a testament that even with a mental illness you can overcome and do great things.  We can fight. I can fight. Always keep fighting because we can’t let mental illness win.

I offer this last thing before ending this blog post. Together we can fight the stigma surrounding mental illness. I challenge you to write your story. Collaborate with other mental health writers and advocates. Life is too short to let mental illness win. Above all work on your mental health first.

James

P.S. Its time to open a bottle of Jameson to celebrate this coming weekend.

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoAlex St

unsplash-logoVasily Koloda

Day One

With my struggles recently I wanted to post this blog post that I wrote just after I completed my ten-year anniversary since my first suicide and diagnosis in November of last year. At the time I was only a few months into The Bipolar Writer blog. Looking at this post makes me realize I have come so far in year one. I will always keep fighting.

Day One – A Start of a New Journey 11/17

Its day one of a new journey, and its time to look towards the future.

The time has passed. I hit my ten-year mark and the only looking back I will be doing is when writing my memoir. It was a wonder to finally get to this point. My past is in the rearview mirror, and I am here for the present. My future isn’t written yet and so I am making it a point to live in the moment.

Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and even my mania is still a part of me, but I what I have learned in the past few months is that writing about what is bothering me, is the most therapeutic thing in the world. Even with my future unwritten, I want to talk about what I am looking forward to as we move towards the end of 2017 and beyond.

I am really looking forward to completing a major project, my memoir. I talk about it all the time and I am working around the clock to finish the first draft by the end of the year. It may happen, and it may take longer, but I am hopeful while at the same time not worrying about the part of this that is out of my control. Things happen and while there is always a need to finish, it is best to stay within who I am as a writer.

I am also looking forward to completing the novel version of my screenplay Memory of Shane. It was such a process to write the screenplay and it was grandiose of me to think I could write the novel version right after its completion. I was too close the project because it has been a major part of the last year and a half, but after few weeks I became burnt out rewriting a story that I know all too well. So I am hoping my April of next year I can be ready to pick the project back up, maybe sooner if the timing is right.

Speaking of my screenplay, I am excited to be entering full-length screenplay for the BEA Festival of Media Arts student screenwriting competition. It would be amazing to win this competition, but it will help to just get my screenplay out there in the world. There are a couple of end of the year screenplay competitions that I will be entering to end my year. I am really excited about the opportunity that my school is partnered with BEA.

Then there is my blog. What an unexpected journey it has been to grow my brand as The Bipolar Writer. It is great to connect with real people in the mental health community. I getting ready to expand my blog by interviewing others like me. I think it will help me hone my feature writing skills that have come with minoring in journalism.

My thinking is twofold for this blog, interviewing other bloggers to help showcase their own experience and their blog, and also having guest writers on my blog. Its a scary thing for me, but I have already had people ask me to help them tell their story and to showcase their blog. I am most excited about this project because there is so much we can learn through the experiences of others. I am thinking once my blog hits 2,000 followers would be the best time to make this idea reality.

I am also happy to be nearing the end of my educational journey. It has never been easy but somehow I get through every semester given that depression, anxiety, and insomnia take their turns making my life difficult. Through it all, I have become stronger, and I have honed my writing skills through education. It is one of the reasons my writing has improved over the last few years.

I am excited about​ what is coming and where my writing will take me in the coming months and into the new year.

What are you looking forward to as we approach the new year? Let me know in the comments below!

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: Octavian Rosca

Writing — It Changed my Depression Oulook

Writing over the last two year has been the best and greatest thing I have done for my mental health. What you will find within the confines of this blog post is my thoughts about depression and how things changed when I became The Bipolar Writer.

Writing Changed the Way Depression Effects Me

I started 2016 by hitting a rough patch in my life. I was on the end of my last real depression cycle that lasted almost two years. I had zero to little motivation outside of school to write. It was here that I decided to make a change, but my life was in turmoil. That summer changed my life. The difference became when I decided to refocus my writing into screenplay writing.

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In 2016, my fiction writing and the need to write every day was fading with each passing day. My last project was a short thirty-page short story about my experience in the psych ward which I wrote in 2015. It never made it past the first draft, and I have yet to finish editing the piece. I posted a few parts of this written work last year here on my blog. You can find it here.

I knew I had to fall back into love with writing. My first screenplay class was a beginners class. The purpose of the course (eight weeks long) was to write a short 10-15 page screenplay. As writer this was a challenge as the project was to have all three acts in such a short span. This class changed my outlook on writing. My final project was about a poker player (a rounder so to speak) that was in Las Vegas for his twenty-first birthday. It was terrific to be able to create a piece that was complete from start to finish. I told a story, a fictional one. I fell in love with screenplay writing, and I once again have the “need to write.”

My next semester I took the next level (intermediate) screenwriting class for my minor. It was in this class that my screenplay, Memory of Shane, was born. In the first class during the late summer, I wrote act one in the class. The next semester we worked on act two in the advanced course. By the end of this semester, I had all the tools to complete my first feature screenplay. By the end of 2016, the first draft was complete.

The thing was I barely made it through 2016. I was dealing with a severe uptake in my anxiety and depression for the first two months of 2017. It was hospitalization in February that I lost my way again. I tried to start new projects with little progress.

It would take months to get back on track. Somehow through it all, I finished the proofreading and editing phase my screenplay in March 2017. In April I was able to get my first ever copyright on completed work. I thought it was a sign that things would get better. I was wrong.

I lost myself again. At least for a few months. The summer of 2017 brought new opportunities to write, and I started to work on the novel version of Memory of Shane. But I love for writing was leaving me again. I would go days and then weeks without writing.

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Something real was missing in my life as if I needed to do something to get back to who I was as a writer.

It is funny how life can change so quickly. In September of 2017, I started one of my required classes for my degree. It was a class in creating a writers platform— a blog. The Bipolar Writer blog was born out of this class. To my surprise, I found myself for the first time as a writer— a real writer. The Bipolar Writer. The rest, as they say, is history.

In October I began to write my memoir, and I learned to use my blog as a stepping stone for what would become my memoir– The Bipolar Writer. For the first time in years I was writing everyday. Since the beginning of The Bipolar Writer blog, I have spent at least an hour writing a day. Since January I have written as many hours a day as I could, not because I had to write.

I wanted to write. I found it so therapeutic.

I became The Bipolar Writer. I guess at some level it was always in me to write. I went back to school to work on my skills. I learned so much, and for the first time, I was applying these skills.

What came out the last six months was that I found that depression, while still a part of my life, was manageable. I haven’t had a depression cycle longer than a few days. That has never happened in my ten plus years of dealing with depression— my familiar companion. I will always be Bipolar.

Writing changed my life. I have a real future now. I am so close to graduating. I have plans to start my Masters in October. I want to teach writing and screenwriting some day. Its a few months on the horizon but it is real. I completed my memoir and now I am so close to another goal.  Even if it is the first draft that is progress. I could never imagine my blog would take me to new heights.

If I am honest. When I started writing my blog, I had little expectations.

Now I have sixteen contributor writers, and my blog grows every day. The mix of writers keeps the ideas flowing, and it keeps The Bipolar Writer blog working on its primary goal. To end the stigma surrounding mental illness.

What I want people to take from this blog post is never give up. Always keep fighting. Find what makes you happy. Writing has been the best way for me to work on my mental health. Life is too short to let a mental illness be your life. I will always be Bipolar— but it will never define me other than it is a part of my life.

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Stay strong in the fight.

James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logo85Fifteen

unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt

unsplash-logoMatt Atherton

unsplash-logoJohn Baker

My Fifth Honest Post

I love writing a series of honest blog posts. These posts are all about writing about what is on my mind a lot. Being that this is the first honest post of 2018, it has an extra special place on my blog.

Here a couple of my past blog posts in this series:

Part Four

Part Three

Part Two

So Let’s Get Started.

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I have been super busy. Writing. Blogging. And then more writing and blogging. Next week I start what will be one of my three remaining terms before getting my Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing with a specialization in Fiction. I will have minored in journalism, screenwriting, and political science. My journey to reach my goal of getting my bachelors degree is so close to its end. Its been a long one, but being able to really taste the end for the first time, it just means the world to me.

My plans after getting my first degree are to take a small break, maybe two-four months before starting on my eighteen months long Master’s program.

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I have been doing better in the area of social anxiety and my overall anxiety. It’s true I am just skating by during the winter months hoping that Spring will come early. I do spend most of my time in my safe place of home, but things are changing. I always feel better about dealing with my anxiety and depression once Spring turns into Summer.

It has been about a week and a half since my last panic attack and I feel better that it’s under control for the moment. I think my new Ativan dosage is helping but I don’t know in the next couple of months that it is truly working. Still, I am hopeful that I will get my anxiety under control.

I am thinking of taking the payment button off my blog at least for now. There have been so many people donating to my blog, and it means the world, but I am falling short of my goal of enough donations to buy a new computer. This will be the last post I will add a button. It looks like I will be looking at buying an iPad Pro instead, so rest assured those you who have been amazingly donating anything you can, it won’t be for nothing.

My memoir The Bipolar Writer is coming along greatly. I didn’t even think how much I have been working towards this singular goal. There is still more on to and chapters to expand on, but what has been written so far has grown as I have used this blog to really gauge what works. I have been editing a few chapters a day after writing. I am hoping to get everything done by the end of January for a first draft.

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I can’t believe we are just six days into the new year. It has already gone so fast. I am laser focused on my writing. I am been looking at publishing my memoir myself (self-publish route) or going with a named publishing house. It’s crazy because I know a lot about the publishing, industry,  but I am having trouble knowing where to go for my memoir. Is it too soon? Should I find out more after I complete the first draft?

I sometimes wish there were two of me right now. It would make life a bit easier for me. That way I could have one James working on school work and the other writing full-time. I already write and do school full-time, but it would feel nice to actually have time for it all.

But I do my best. I wake up each day ready to tackle another problem.

Lastly, I am going to focus on selling my screenplay again since the start of the New Year. I need to find an agent first, and then I can go and get help to sell my screenplay. I will try to go the manager route as well and see what happens. If anyone knows an in for an agency, any agency that is taking new screenwriters, I will be forever grateful.

This week has been great to me and it feels great to really start 2018 off the right way.

How are your first week’s coming along?

Always Keep Fighting

J.E. Skye

Photo Credits:

unsplash-logoAndrew Butler

unsplash-logoDanielle MacInnes

unsplash-logoTamarcus Brown

unsplash-logoAlfons Morales

A Goodbye to 2017

What a year its been for me. I have been through some of the worst anxiety and depression episodes that life can throw at me, and yet here I am. I have grown so much in the last year and for the first time in my life, I can say that I am moving forward.

I started this blog “The Bipolar Writer” back in September and the changes that I have gone through by sharing pieces of my life has been the best thing to ever happen to me. It got me writing full time again.

I have met the most amazing community on WordPress of people just like me working to tell their story.

I got to see my first screenplay Memory of Shane go from just a dream to completion this year. It’s entered in a student competition that I hope to win. Or at the very least get my name out there as an artist. My screenplay has given me new life to write the novel version of the story. Completing my screenplay opened up the possibility for me to share my own experiences, and it became my blog.

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I finally found my courage in writing my blog to finally start to write my memoir, which also titled “The Bipolar Writer.” I am nearing a real first draft. It has been real to share my journey here with The Bipolar Writer blog and I am looking forward to sharing all of my stories.

I have found how therapeutic writing can really be.

I am closer to my goal of finishing my degree, and I have just a few more months before this dream becomes a real reality. It has been a journey the last few years to get this close. There were so many times that I thought it might not happen even in 2017. At one point took a semester off in the Spring of this year, and I almost didn’t go back. But I keep working towards my goals and I persevered.

It wasn’t always good this year. The stress and pressure of completing my screenplay (which I did) landed me in the hospital in February with really bad bleeding ulcers. Since then my issues with my stomach have gotten better and worse. It will be something to work towards in the new year in getting healthier.

2017 was the year of anxiety for me. I can’t count how many panic attacks have been the result of my anxiety levels reaching unimaginable heights. Since the first of January, I have been dealing with the severity of not really understanding the triggers of my social anxiety. I have over the past four months had a better understanding but I have a long way to go.

It amazes me in 2017 how many times I said my last panic attack was the worst one ever.

I said this at least ten different times this year. I finally, over the last month, got the first real change in my Ativan dosage and my anxiety is still there but the panic attacks have been fewer. That is a win in my book.

Where did 2017 really go? I honestly have no idea sometimes. It seems as if it was the longest year ever and at the same time, it went by so fast. It is always an amazing feeling to be through another year. Even though there were plenty of bad days, the successful days outweigh any negatives in my life.

I will write about my goals for 2018 in another post, but I have come so far. This blog means the world to me.

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The people that comment and give me hope or advice every day mean the world to me. The connections I have made and the people that have given me their life stories to share on my blog are my reason to keep writing. It has helped me become a better writer, and at the same time, I have learned that every mental illness journey has its unique qualities.

I am going to miss 2017 because it was another year of growth. I got to my much important ten-year anniversary since my first suicide and diagnosis. I have written more this year than any year of my life. I can share my daily struggles with my fellow bloggers and get the real insight into how to better myself.

I have already said this, but I want to thank all of my fellow bloggers and followers that have made it possible for me to be a better writer and person.

So goodbye 2017. You have been an interesting year. I hope 2018 will be the best one yet.

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James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoAndrew Neel

unsplash-logoBrigitte Tohm

unsplash-logoAngelo Pantazis

unsplash-logoMartin Shreder

What Drives Me

I have a lot of things driving me at the moment. It’s the “why” when I first ask myself why should I get out of bed.

I have the sheer willpower to finish what I started. For this. It means finishing school. That means finally getting my degree. I want to feel the sense that I didn’t waste the time I have to spend on my degree. There were some bumpy roads, a couple of lost semesters along the way, but I am so close so it drives me.

The fact that in 2018 I will be starting my Master’s degree is a very big driving factor in my life.

The chance of getting my written work out there in the world drives me. I just entered a prestigious student screenwriting competition which could change the course of my writing, and finally, see Memory of Shane to completion to the point that it gets sold. I have had some interest but this competition is the key.

I am also excited, after taking a break in writing the novel version of Memory of Shane, to finally get this piece back on track.

I have this amazing blog that just reached its 2000th follower in just under four months over the weekend. I have grown as a writer so much on this blog, and I have learned so much from the mental illness community. We are so strong together helping one another.

I feel a part of the mental Illness community on WordPress, that’s I have a place to share my own experiences, so that they are willing to share theirs with me. I never imagined I get to go this place on my blog so quickly.

I have shared so much on my blog, and plan to do even more. That means posting at least two interview features week. I am writing two articles this week which has been an amazing experience and I am excited to share my writing with other people’s stories. When people trust me to share their story, it means the world to me and it drives me.

I am excited to be nearing the first draft of my memoir. I have worked so hard to get to the point where I have a good idea of where I am going with the project. The end game is the point of writing. It drives me every day to write or edit a chapter a day.

I have driven by my the need to continue to fight this great fight with anxiety and depression.

I am driven by the future and what it means for me over the course of 2018.

I am driven by the positive direction that I  am going on with my life.

I am driven by the failing health of my mother.

Life is unpredictable and we need things in our lives to keep moving forward and not looking back. If I have learned anything from this blog, it’s that what drives me the most is writing and sharing this experience with my fellow bloggers, and maybe those that just stumble upon my blog.

So I ask my fellow bloggers, what is driving you at the moment?

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoPatrick Tomasso

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

Excerpt From Act Three – Memory of Shane

This is a scene from act three of my screenplay Memory of ShaneI wrote this scene after I completed the first draft and its a special scene to me. This scene shows Shane just hours before his suicide attempt at the end of the screenplay. It has no dialogue, yet it to me represents some of what I felt before making the decision to take my own life. If the scene looks familiar it is because it is a mixture of depression and anxiety that comes with such a decision. Here is another blog with a different scene.

INT. ADRIANA AND SHANE’S APARTMENT – AFTERNOON SAME DAY

MONTAGE:

– Shane is rapidly pacing the living room of his apartment. His laptop is open on a coffee table and a cup of coffee sits next to it, the steam still coming from the cup.

– After a beat, he sits down on the floor in front of the laptop leaning against the couch. He begins tapping on the keyboard of the laptop what seems to be a letter for Adriana.

– He gets up again unable to hold his focus on his work and begins to pace his living room once more.

– After a moment, his breathing starts to quicken as he takes deep shallow breaths. He moves to the kitchen and takes a bottle of water out of the refrigerator and takes a long drink. A look of panic washes over his face as this does little to help his breathing.

– He pulls his phone out of his pocket setting it on the counter next to the water. He starts to rapidly open and close his hands over and over.

– He picks up the phone from the counter and begins to make a call to Adriana but he quickly pushes the end button.

– His breathing quickens faster and he starts to feel faint. He grabs his water and then makes his way to the couch as his legs buckle under him.

– He pulls a pill bottle out of his pocket and puts several small round white pills on the table. He takes one and puts it in his mouth and gulps more of the water in the bottle.

– He continues to sit as he opens and closes his hands. It is a long time before he decides to take another of the white pills.

– After a while Shane sits calmer than before, his panic attack seems to have has subsided. He moves from the couch back down to the floor in front of the laptop and starts to type again.

END OF MONTAGE

Photo Credit: Alexander Lam

Excerpt From “Memory of Shane” Act 2

In an effort to share my writing and get feedback I wanted to share some scenes from my screenplay entitled Memory of Shane.” The following is from two scenes at the start of Act 2 because it shows two specific things in the screenplay. First, the back and forth between the present when Adriana arrives in California to find Shane in a coma, and the past when Shane is first diagnosed. I wrote my screenplay on Final Draft so I kept the format. If you want to know more about the history of this piece you can find it on my blog

EXT. HOSPITAL – CALIFORNIA – AFTERNOON

Adriana stands outside the entrance of a small hospital as PEOPLE walk past her. She has a large coffee in her hand. For a moment, she hesitates just outside the door and then proceeds inside.

SUBTITLE FADES IN: PRESENT

INT. HOSPITAL – SAME DAY

Adriana walks up to a counter and sets her coffee cup down. A young RECEPTIONIST sits behind a desk, her eyes locked on her cell phone, a moment passes before she looks up.

RECEPTIONIST

Hi. How can I help you today?

ADRIANA

I’m here to see Shane Camp.

RECEPTIONIST

One moment, please.

The receptionist with her finger finds Shane’s name.

RECEPTIONIST (CONT’D)

Shane is in room 211. The intensive care unit. You will need this.

The receptionist hands Adriana a guess pass sticker. She puts the sticker on her shirt.

RECEPTIONIST (CONT’D)

Visiting hours are until seven today.

Adriana turns and walks down a long hallway to an elevator at the end and presses the button to go up.

INT. HOSPITAL ELEVATOR – SAME DAY

Adriana firmly presses the number two on the elevator panel and the elevator hums to life moving up.

INT. HOSPITAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT – SAME DAY

On the intensive care unit, Adriana casually glances at the numbers on the room doors until she finds room 211 and goes in.

INT. SHANE’S HOSPITAL ROOM – SAME DAY

Adriana stands motionless in the entrance of Shane’s hospital room with her hand on the door. Her eyes survey’s the room as Shane lays lifeless in a hospital bed with tubes and wires coming from his body. She stops after seeing this. Fighting back tears she starts to retreat backward running into a nurse who keeps the door from hitting Adriana.

NURSE

I’m sorry dear, are you okay?

ADRIANA

I’m… I’m fine. How is he?

NURSE

Are you family?

ADRIANA

Not exactly.

NURSE

I can’t give you that information but you can go in if you like.

Adriana grabs the door with a shaky hand and enters the room sitting in a chair next to Shane. She puts her a cup of coffee on a small table next to Shane’s bed. She then puts her hand in Shane’s.

ADRIANA

I never thought in a million years I’d be in a hospital with you again Shane.

INT. HOSPITAL PSYCHIATRIC WARD – SEATTLE – DAY

Shane sits at a round table with chairs encircled around him. His quick glances around the room keep him from making eye contact with the other PATIENTS and VISITORS around him in various stages of activity. His face is a pale white. His eyes lock on an OLDER MAN at the next table quietly in conversation with himself. He is in a T-shirt, hospital pants, and hospital socks. A nurse comes into view breaking his nervous glancing.

SUBTITLE FADES IN: SEVEN YEARS EARLIER

NURSE

Shane, you have a visitor this morning. Are you up for it?

SHANE

Sure. I guess. Who is it?

NURSE

It’s your girlfriend.

Shane rubs his right hand over his heavily bandaged left wrist.

SHANE

Send her in.

The nurse makes her way to a locked door that opens to a small lobby. The nurse faintly calls a name, after a moment Adriana comes into view carrying two coffee cups. Shane looks down at his feet as she makes her way to the table and sits down.

ADRIANA

Hi Shane. I wasn’t sure if they would let me but I brought you some coffee.

Adriana slides the cup across the table.

SHANE

Thanks. The coffee in here sucks, with everything else.

Shane takes the coffee cup taking a long a drink. Adriana’s eyes move from Shane’s face to his bandaged wrists and then quickly back.

SHANE (CONT’D)

Shouldn’t you be in New York?

ADRIANA

I came as soon as Mark could get me on the phone. What happened?

Shane again looks down at his feet.

SHANE

I let the darkness take over. My thoughts consumed me. I couldn’t stop them. It became too much.

ADRIANA

I didn’t know you were getting worse. I shouldn’t have left…

SHANE

This isn’t your fault Adri. I should’ve never gotten involved with you. I let my emotions get the better of me–

Adriana reaches out and grabs Shane by the hand.

ADRIANA

–Shane. I’m not going anywhere.

Shane slowly pulls his hand out of Adriana’s.

SHANE

If you were smart, you’d walk away. I’m damaged goods Adri. I can’t be helped.

After a moment of silence, Shane rises quickly to his feet pushing the chair back and walks away. Adriana has a look of exasperation, with defeat she begins to weep.

ADRIANA

Shane…

Photo Credit: Trent Erwin