The Bipolar Writer is Going Through a Tough Time

I wanted to share this post and my latest episode of The Bipolar Writer Podcast. I will let the episode speak for itself, but I am dealing with a dark part of my life. I hope you listen to the words I have said today and know I am in a safe place.

Please listen to the episode here or where you listen to podcasts. Look up The Bipolar Writer Podcast.

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Interview with Kasey Claborn, Ph.D. The Bipolar Writer Podcast

Episode Details I always want the community with mental health/mental illness community and those on the front lines trying to change the way mental health and mental illness are treated here in America. Today, I am honored to introduce you to The Bipolar Writer Podcast Kasey Clabron Ph.D., a research scientist and clinical psychologist. This is her episode. About Casey Claborn Kasey Claborn, Ph.D., is a research scientist and licensed clinical psychologist. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Dell Medical School. Dr. Claborn received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Oklahoma State University and completed her internship at the University of Florida Health Sciences Center. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, where she crossed-trained in HIV and addictive behaviors at the Alcohol Research Center on HIV. Prior to joining Dell Medical School, Claborn served as an assistant professor in psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University. Dr. Claborn conducts research in the field of addictions and develops programs designed to improve access and delivery of substance use treatments. Dr. Claborn is licensed to practice psychology in Texas and Rhode Island. She is a member of PsyPact, which allows her to practice telehealth across state lines.  Where to Find James 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. Interview with Kasey Claborn, Ph.D.
  2. The Bipolar Writer Podcast: What's Going On? Why I've Been Missing
  3. The Energy Leadership Index (ELI) Assessment
  4. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Alaina
  5. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Colleen

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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It is Time to Talk Suicide, Again

Photo by Teymur Mirzazade on Unsplash

Fair warning, this will be a different approach than I have ever taken in the time since this blog became a reality. My approach to suicide as it has been in the past changed in October. Suicide is a challenging subject to talk about, and if you are not ready for what I will write here, you may want to stop reading any further. There is nothing wrong or right with suicide. It just is something that happens. I told you it would be different.

Listen to my latest Podcast episode for the latest about the last year of my life.

The last thing I wanted or needed when I had a suicide plan in place was for other people to talk me out of it. I was in a dark place in October. No one in that amount of pain that comes face to face with suicide, especially when they thought that part of their life was over, wants to hear that things will “be okay.” Or worse, have people tell you what to feel at that moment and the very worst that you need to be committed. I have been in those places, and they fail to help. It frustrates that person, and if they have the willpower to reach out, it took me almost two days for me, then that is okay. The last thing someone might need is a trip to the psychiatric ward (I will explain this more in another post.) Perhaps all that person needs is to be heard. Sure psychiatric ward visits are necessary, but I am going to say something radical. They do not actually help anyone!

I have been in psychiatric wards plenty in my life, and they medicate you. Then if your “stable,” whatever the hell that even means, then they release you. In 2007 I was in for a week and a half around Thanksgiving, and before I knew it, I was back in the same place again by New Years’ Eve 2008. A handful of weeks and nothing got better. I was suicidal. I wanted to not be a part of this world and be honest when we try to stop people from suicide, does it actually work? Think about it, it never did in my case, and while I count myself lucky to be a survivor, no one could have stopped me anyway. Something I experienced in the same scenario was a game-changer. It was called a safety plan, and it meant that I HAD TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. 

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This will sound harsh, and I will preface it with this, I failed for years to take responsibility for my suicide attempts. It is your choice, and if you make that decision and live, you have to live with that responsibility.  Taking responsibility is not about blaming the good or the bad that is going on in life or the good or bad of the suicide itself. Instead, taking responsibility is allowing yourself to be okay with that decision. As a result, if you die, it was your choice, and I know so many people have lost loved ones to suicide, and I have empathy, but you can’t take that pain on forever for another person’s choice. 

There are things that you can do, like reach out to places like the ASIST Suicide Prevention Training Program, LivingWorks, which you can visit here: https://www.livingworks.net/asist. You can learn how to guide someone the right way who is suicidal. I know I am working on getting this training, and I think everyone should have this training if I am honest (no, I am not getting paid to promote this.) But, I have experienced ASSIST firsthand with the safety plan and how the person trained in it approached me telling them I wanted to end my life. It changed my view of how suicide is treaded with the people trained in this program. 

Photo by Julian Tong on Unsplash

The most important thing, and I will keep harping on it because it is vital that the person who is suicidal has to take responsibility. A safety plan is excellent, but it is up to that person, in this case, back in October, it was me, to take the plan and implement it. Then I had to follow through or not, the other person will not know, and that is why I say it, the person who is suicidal is the person responsible for the fallout and everything that comes with it. That is how I feel, and it lessens the pressure that suicide is this super taboo thing. 

I know some of you that read this will be mad at me and say, “how could you, of all people, James.” Perhaps some will look at someone they lost and understand that they were in the worst emotional pain imaginable. Deciding to end your life is the hardest thing a person can do, in my opinion, and so trust that you will be okay. It is not about YOU. It is about the person that is suicidal. 

If you want to debate this or discuss it further, I am willing to Zoom with people or come on my Podcast and share your ideas. No one opinion is right or wrong.

The worst thing I have experienced when suicidal is someone taking on my pain to “try and make it better,” because at that moment, the now, none of your feelings actually matter. Imagine if you will experience the pain that the person feels and understand that they do not want to be fixed. Helping can be more effective, and if they reach out, try and not fix, just be there for that person. Perhaps it is controversial, and I will lose people following the blog, but if you’re suicidal and see this, know that I understand the pain and the choice. It is yours, but it becomes your responsibility. My next podcast will touch on this subject further. 

Always Keep Fighting.

What is the worse 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

The Bipolar Writer Podcast

For everything James Edgar Skye use the QR code below Or use this link.

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I Want to Connect with You

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I will admit that 2020 for The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog has been nothing short of impressive. Writers, of the blog you were used to seeing from month to month, have either stopped writing here or in general. There have also been some new amazing writers, and I also want to point out those who stayed the course that I want to commend. You, my fellow writers, have made this blog go from an idea to a global viewing audience.

I miss and long for the days where writing on here daily was a reality for me, and I am making an effort to, when it feels right in the now, to share my experiences. An event or situation came up recently that has shed some light on how isolated I have been since March. It was my mother’s death that was the catalyst, but COVID-19 gave me a reason not to be a part of life. I was not living, and there was so much pain in my life. The worst part was that I was up to my old way of doing things, not feeling the feels. In short, I was suppressing all feeling and numbing the pain.

Back to the situation, I had a suicide plan in place, and I will not make excuses for the why, but say I was in unbearable pain, and my natural default was to turn to the one place I never thought I would go, again–suicide. Life is the way it is, and I talked myself out of the plan and reached out to someone that put me on a safety plan after a day. This was just last month, and so it is still raw, and the safety plan is still in place. I want to be more vulnerable here on my blog. Talking about suicide is something that I do but always about the past, but I have a new appreciation for how people like me can go that low. There is nothing wrong with suicide. 

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I know that will anger some people and especially those who have lost someone to suicide. I am not saying that suicide is right or wrong. That is the point. There is no wrong or right only suicide. Those who have never been there are the worst feeling in the world, but there is a moment of total spiritual awakening that nothing on this planet matters or is holding you here. It is something that I am not romanticizing, but it is a feeling of peace. When you are at your lowest, you need that, and I hope if you are feeling suicidal right now, you reach out to someone, do not do what I have always done, and hide the feelings. 

For those on the other end of a suicidal person reaching out, we do not want people to fix us in my experience, for most listening and finding out if they are in a safe place more important. At the end of this post, I will again link Livingworks ASIST, go to the website and see what you can do for those who are suicidal if you are not. 

Where did we go from reaching out to suicide? It is simple. I was not reaching out, and in this world, we need that human connection, especially the mental illness and mental health community. So, to my point, I want to once again meet the readers of this blog. Shoot an email, and that is great, but as I have learned with my business, no matter where you are in the world, this fantastic thing called Zoom connects people all over the world! 

Seriously, let us connect in new ways. If you want to Zoom, please reach out. Create a group of people and invite me. Human connection in a COVID-19 mental illness world, especially in the winter, is paramount to us, making it through the tough times. Or as my life coach would say, there are no problems, just situations.

I want to end on a positive. Things are good. While the event is in the rearview, it is not over, but I am in a place where I can take on the pain, and my safety plan is what has been the reason to take responsibility. Ultimately, we have to do when we are suicidal, it is taking responsibility for our choices, not an easy task. I know. Stay safe out there in the world.

For everything social media for James Edgar Skye visit my Linq Site here. 

For ASIST Suicide Prevention Training Program | LivingWorks please visit here: https://www.livingworks.net/asist

Buy my book on Amazon through my website.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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National Suicide Awareness Month

September is National Suicide Awareness Month and September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. You never know what other people are going through. Be kind whenever possible; it’s always possible. Maybe this is something you don’t show much concern with because it had never affected you directly. You never know who in your life may decide to take their life. Even if you think someone is self-harming because they want attention, that doesn’t make their pain less valid. Existence is pain. Sometimes that pain is overwhelming. We can overcome that pain if we seek help from both professionals and from people in our lives.

If you’re hurting, or think your life is meaningless, there are plenty of places to seek help. If this post speaks to you, I want you to leave a comment. I may not respond, but if you feel alone, look at some of the other comments. Many people, hundreds of thousands, feel the same about their lives. You’re not alone because so many people have the same feelings. Reading articles from TheMighty.com helped me when I was looking for some comfort. I felt people there were in the same boat and I felt less alone. I’m sharing the resources listed on The Mighty website below.

Suicide Prevention Resources

If you are feeling suicidal, there is hope. 

You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255

You can reach the Crisis Text Line 24/7 by texting “START” to 741-741

You can call The Trevor Project, an LGBT crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline, 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386.

You can call Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 if you live in the U.S. Call 877-330-6366 if you live in Canada.

To find local resources in your area, visit To Write Love On Her Arms.

If you are hard of hearing, you can chat with a Lifeline counselor 24/7 by clicking the Chat button on this page, or you can contact the Lifeline via TTY by dialing 800-799-4889.

To speak to a crisis counselor in Spanish, call 1-888-628-9454.

If you are a veteran (or your loved one is a veteran), you can reach the Veterans Crisis Line by calling  1-800-273-8255 and Pressing 1. You can also send a text to 838255.

Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

For additional resources, see the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education).

You can read the following stories from people who’ve been there (from The Mighty):

And for additional messages of hope, click here

You are not alone.  

The Dark Passenger

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The Dark Passenger. The name I gave my depression a long time ago. It has popped up in stories, poems, and even in one of my novels. Why the dark passenger? Well, there is a story for just about everything in my life. I am a writer, after all.

First, I like the thematical element. My depression has always felt like it comes into my life, always at the wrong times. It is a part of me, but as I learned over time, it can go for periods of my life. The idea that depression is this thing in my mind means I can fight it and eventually leave me.

The dark passenger then became a motif in my work. It is said that your life as a human being often comes into your writing, and over the last year, there is some sobering truth to that idea. The dark passenger reminds me of the raven coming to the man in Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, and sometimes I imagine that my dark passenger is a white raven. One that can talk, putting evil thoughts into my mind and put me in the worst parts of my personality. It reflects in some of the darker themes in some of my work. 

The thing is, this dark passenger is not all bad. It taught me that its okay to not be okay. That this thing called depression is something that we can fight. The dark passenger wants me to fight when depression becomes my only true friend.

The white raven is one of the rarest birds out there in the world. I am not comparing it as my depression is unique, but rather the dark passenger helps me identify when my depression is taking over my life. Like a bird, it eventually flies away. I have been on the other side of depression, and so I know it will not always be this way.

Depression is not a forever thing. I once was so depressed for over four years straight with no real end. Then it ended. It took hard work and surviving a suicide to finally meet my depression, my dark passenger, as part of me that lives inside and outside of James. We can separate, but we will always be in one another’s life. That is not so bad only at the moment when you are at your darkest. So know your dark passenger or whatever you call it is not forever. I like to say always keep fighting because it’s true.

Here is a video I wanted to end my post with, if your suffering from depression, know that you are not alone.

Nineteen Stars by Meg and Dia

Always Keep Fighting

James

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

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

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You are not Alone

Photo by Anton Darius on Unsplash

I wanted to open today’s blog post with an apology. I had this grandiose idea of hosting a Zoom mental health party, but my anxiety and depression took a significant hit this weekend. I was lucky not to end up in the hospital, but with everything going on and hospitals overwhelmed, it would serve no purpose. I will reach out to my psychiatrist and let her know where things are in my life.

I have written recently and in the past to say that “it is okay to not be okay.” I am living this idea, and it has been my mantra as I work towards getting my anxiety and depression to a reasonable level this week. It rained heavily here this weekend into today, so going beyond my back porch is impossible. Getting caught in the rain would surely not help. The last thing I want is to be sick.

What sucks about this whole COVID-19 situation is you can’t get away from it no matter what you do. It is essential to stay on top of things. Educating yourself in a crisis is paramount in getting the right information. The coronavirus is an ever-changing dailt thing. At the same time, it can reak havoc on our mental health. You are not alone, it is a novel idea and one I believe in, but many of us are actually living isolation alone.

Photo by RANGGI MANGGALA on Unsplash

Many people over the last week have been reaching out in hopes of connecting with anyone. I feel your pain and never be afraid to reach out to me when your mental health is hitting all-time lows. I am a seasoned vet when it comes to this life, and no matter what, I find ways of getting through my day. Writing has been my go-to over the last month. It is my way of reaching out to the world for a human connection.

You are not aloneThere are so many of us right now struggling to get through. It can be easy to want to end it all. I know in better times that what we are living in, I have felt the dark abyss of depression. The worst type of darkness that can lead to suicide. What prompted me to write this post came from a story I read where someone with mental illness felt the pressure of COVID-19 and took his life. Fear right now is higher than ever, and so many people are at risk. You are not alone. Please fight!

I want to leave you with a song that has always helped me through troubled times.

Meg & Dia Nineteen Stars

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 Decade That Changed Everything Part One

This will end up a series that I will write in December 2019, as the decade comes to a close. I hope to share some wisdom now that my memoir The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir is published and out in the world. Each will have some theme that I think is relevant to the idea of the last ten years. I imagine walking side by side that person I was at the start of the decade, he was a different James than the one now. He now has so much to share.

A Few Things I’ve Learned

Image by Harut Movsisyan from Pixabay

A decade is a long time, and so many things can change in this life. It matters not if the change is good or bad, because change means that something is happening, and you can decide to take it or leave it. You can make the decision to change because its time, or you can get lost in what the change means.

Take me. In the first decade of the new millennium, I was younger than I was now, just a teen trying to find his place. While I was active for the start of it, there was a lingering feeling that something was wrong. I was suicidal at times, and in 2007 I tried to take my life. I spent the next two years denying that there was something wrong with me, that I was not Bipolar, and that my life was worthless. I barely lived, and then on that fateful day I tried to last take my life in 2010, in the middle of the first year of the new decade, I had a choice. Continue down this path, or finally face the truth–there was something wrong with me.

In the hospital, first for the suicide and then for the seizures I had after, it allowed me to think about this mental illness life and finally decide to start the healing process.

It was never easy, and it did not happen overnight. It actually took an additional three years before my life started on this path that I am now: author, graduate student, freelance writer extraordinaire, and mental health advocate. Having the same therapist for the last five years really helped, and the revolving door of psychiatrists made things hard at times. I lost my grandfather, whom I was close to cancer, and there were so many varying depression cycles in length and intensity over the past ten years. But I am still here and fighting.

I founded this blog in 2017, and I can say with certainty that we, the collaborative writers and mental health bloggers that call this place home, have made an impact. I started with an idea, and it became a blog and then a memoir. I have written this year a 213,000-word fantasy fiction novel, one novel in a series of six, I am currently editing this piece. I have written poetry and short novella this year, and things are always looking up.

Image by Jim Semonik from Pixabay

Hope. That is what I am always saying in these blog posts. I was ready to die in 2010, and yet I was one of the lucky ones.

If you’re suicidal or close to that darkness, please know that it is not forever. Suicide is never the answer because we will always leave behind someone that will have to live with that decision. If I learned anything this decade, that is it, that it may feel right at this moment, but there are always consequences to our actions. So live because there is always hope. Learn from my mistakes, and if you need to, please reach out. I am always there for my people in the mental illness community.

Lastly, if you want to know more about my experiences, please take a moment to read my book, The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir. In it, I share some of the things that have helped me over the years. I want this book to help others like me in this life, especially those at the beginning of this journey. I also want to help those at any stage of this mental illness life because I lived it, and I have so much to share. You can find my book on Amazon by looking up James Edgar Skye. I will link it below, as well. Yes, I am plugging my book, but I truly believe in the power of shared experience.

https://www.amazon.com/author/jamesedgarskye

Always Keep Fighting

James

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The Ups & Downs of Being Mentally Ill

I have not written on here for a while because of how up and down my mental health has been. Especially over the past week, I have had some really low days. On Saturday I couldn’t get out of bed,  shower or muster the energy to open Netflix to watch a movie to calm my anxiety.

My first post on here was about how my mental health was in a good place. For months I felt really good! I didn’t have any suicidal thoughts or urges to hurt myself in any way. I had energy, I felt that things were finally going my way.

Sure I still had my depression and anxiety but I felt that I was in control instead of them controlling me.

Then all of a sudden the tables turned (or the turn tables, if you’re a fan of The Office).

My brain decided to tell me all sorts of horrible things it knows will make me fall to my knees. It went from whispering to shouting in the last few days that the world would be better without me in it. That nobody at all would miss me but rather breathe a sigh of relief.

Writing that out makes me cringe but from reading the posts on here, I know I’m not the only person who is feeling or has felt this way.

When I’ve been doing well and then my mental illness tackles me to the ground without warning, I’m taken off guard. I have to remember how to handle these situations. How do I calm myself down when I’m shaking with anxiety? How do I stop these negative thoughts from drowning me? Why don’t I have a drop of energy?

I have my eyes looking forward to therapy today where I hope I can get myself situated again.

I hope that if you’re going through these ups and downs too, you can find peace and make it through this challenging time.

Stay strong, everyone!

Shame Ate My Soul

This is the first chapter of my memoir.

I will be done writing my memoir at the end of November. Please take a read. I welcome and greatly appreciate ALL feedback, good and bad. I am an amateur writer with a story to tell and am trying to improve my writing, learning every step of the way. My goal was to write my memoir so it read like a fiction novel with the difference being everything is true. I pray my book will educate, inspire and give people hope that recovery is possible. I am living proof of that.

shame

Shame Ate My Soul

Rising Above the Stigma of Mental Illness, Suicide Attempts and Addiction

Written by Susan Walz


Chapter One

Mesmerized by thoughts of my own death, I never heard them enter. They magically materialized in my house and stood at the edge of the precipice—the open doorway of my living room, tentatively peering in—afraid and unable to enter. Invisible prison bars barricaded them from getting closer to their own mother as I slowly sank deeper into the quicksand of my own abyss.

They silently studied me as I sat motionless, alone in the dark, stuck in my favorite old mustard yellow Lazy Boy rocking chair—the one with my Grandma’s lace doilies dressing up the armrests and top of the chair. I’ve become a permanent fixture in my chair with my legs outstretched and the bottom of my callused heels planted firmly into the footrest where concave indentations have become permanently etched into the cushion from many years of past and recent overuse.

Every light in my house is turned off, or rather has never been turned on. I do not have the energy or desire to turn the lights on. The darkness inside my house and my internal darkness is haunting to most. The only source of light comes from an outside street lamp and my 30-inch flat screen television set which is perched on an old peeling faux wood TV stand five feet in front of me. I stare at the meaningless images on the screen.

The 2017 Winter Olympics are triumphing and celebrating inside my television box, but I can’t celebrate with them. I am usually a huge fan of the Olympics, but not this time. The Olympic creed, or guiding principle, of the modern Olympic Games is a quote by Baron de Coubertin: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.” The problem with that creed for me is that I can’t take part in my own struggle, anymore. I’ve lost my ability and desire to fight.

I used to love watching the entire Olympics from the lighting of the torch  to distinguishing the flame at the closing ceremony. When I was a young girl, I lived vicariously through the athletes and dreamed of what it must be like to be them. I’ve always been greatly inspired by the comeback stories and the athlete’s stories of courage and perseverance, but not this year. My despair and mental unwellness have become so unbearable that even the Olympics’ figure skating competitions can’t distract me enough to stop my suicidal ideations, even momentarily.

I used to dream of having a good and purposeful life. Since I was ten years old, I dreamed of having my own children and being the best mother in the world. Being a great mother was what I wanted more than anything.

At fifty-four years old, I’ve been very blessed to be the mother of three amazing children and two more children that married my children. I’ve always loved my children unconditionally and praised them as often as I could. I was a good mother until I just wasn’t—until I failed miserably—like now.

Maybe my children are afraid to get too close to me because they know I am not their real mom in the true sense of the word. I am not the mom they once loved and knew. That mom is gone—removed from herself and life—lost somewhere deep inside the brain chemistry of her disease. She has come undone, unraveled from her spool of life.

Kylie and Keagan sensed the seriousness of my situation and felt helpless not knowing what to do. They wanted desperately to do the right thing but didn’t know what it was. Upon their arrival at my house, they were frozen from fear of doing or saying the wrong thing. They stood on egg shells, afraid to move, fearing one wrong move would cause their mom’s fragile shell to crack and break for good, this time.

Their fear of saying or doing the wrong thing stopped them from doing or saying anything. In my eyes the lack of doing anything was a sign that no one cared. But, of course they cared. I just could not see it. My perceptions were misconstrued and like anyone that has ever been in the middle of a severe suicidal depression my mind was telling me constant lies and I believed every one of them. At this stage of my disease, my reality was orbiting Venus and I was hanging on by only a small thread of shredded rope. How many more lifelines could my children throw at me when I refused to wear a life jacket as I continued to sink deeper from the weight of my own anchor?

My son Keagan leaned against the mahogany wood door frame as he looked at me and said, “Hi, Mom.”

Turning my head slightly to the left, I looked at him out of the corner of my eye and mumbled, “Oh. Hi.”

“What are you doing?” he asked kindly.

“What do you mean?” I said, knowing what he meant.

“Why are you sitting alone in the dark? he asked.

“I like being alone and I like being in the dark,” I said in an uncaring tone because I could not care about anything at the time. I had already died while breathing. I was gone inside. There was nothing left. I sat in the dark because the dark matched my mood. I was dark. My life was dark, and I couldn’t care about anything, especially myself.

As always when I see my son, I’m amazed at how handsome he is and not just because I am his Mom, but because he has model good looks. As he stood in the corner of the entry way of my living room staring at me, tears began to trickle down his face slowly, one at a time. I saw the tears. He could not hide them from me. I’m his mom. I saw his tears before he wiped them away.

I saw the tears spill out and trickle down around his high cheek bones and fall into his dark stubble resting on his square jaw. The tears I could not catch on my adult son, my baby boy. Another tear I could not save. Another tear shed that I could not prevent. Another tear I missed because my own dried up tears interfered with my ability to be a mother. I am his Mom and I am supposed to catch his tears no matter how old he is, but I couldn’t do it. Instead I caused his tears to form and his eyes to swell.

My oldest daughter Kylie stands further back, but firmly in the center of the doorway. I can see her entire self—her healthy and slender five-foot seven-inch dancer body frame. Luckily, she took after her father with his family’s body type genes and did not get my fat genes and short five-foot three stature. I look like a teapot. Tip me over and pour me out. Kylie on the other hand looks like a fancy wine glass with all the curves in the right places. Her hair is long and wavy and the same color and sheen as the milk chocolate of a Snicker’s candy bar. Her large brown eyes stand out as her greatest feature above her orthodontics enhanced straight teeth now hidden behind the frown of her full lips. It breaks my heart, shattering it to shards of emptiness to know I am the cause of her pain, again.

“Mom, it smells like cat pee in here. It’s pretty bad,” Kylie said concerned.

The pungent ammonia-like odor from both stale and new cat urine permeates the house. One of my cats must have urinated in the nearby litter box and did not cover his pee well enough to dissipate the smell. Or more likely, my poor cat couldn’t cover the pee because there wasn’t any clean litter left in the box to cover it with. I don’t recall when the last time I scooped their poop or changed their litter box. Feeding my two cats uses up most of my lifeless energy.

“So, what,” I say. “I don’t have the energy to clean it up. I can’t do it and I don’t care.”

“Do you want us to help you?” she asks.

“No. I don’t need your help.”

“Yes, you do Mom,” she says wiping her nose with the end of her sleeve.

I didn’t see her tears, but she was better at hiding them than Keagan. “I don’t need your help. You don’t care. So, it doesn’t matter,” I tell her.

“Mom, I do care. We all care. We love you,” she pleads.

“No, you don’t,” I snap back as my tears start coming and once they come I can’t stop them. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, “I say as I wipe my tears from my eyes and face with my fingertips and then sleeve of my sweatshirt try to stop my steady flow of tears. “I can’t do this anymore. I want to die.” It should never be this normal and easy to talk about dying, but lately I talk about it like I am announcing what we’re having for dinner.

“Mom, I love you. I need you to get well. Who will love my children like only you can? No one will love my children the way you do. You need to be here to be my children’s grandma, Mom,” Keagan said even though he didn’t have children of his own yet.

“Mom, we all love you and want to help you,” Kylie reiterates.

“No, you don’t,” I sob. “No one loves me or cares about me. I’ve failed at everything.”

“That’s not true.” Kylie says.

“I don’t have any money. I don’t have any friends. Lexie even moved out. My own daughter doesn’t even want to live with me anymore,” I continue. “I am all alone in the world.”

It will get better. It always does,” Keagan says.

It’s like they are taking turns with this banter. “No, it won’t. Not anymore. I can’t live like this anymore,” I add. “I will never go to the hospital, again. I won’t start that kind of life again. I won’t do it.”

“You need help though, Mom.”

“No one can help me. Nothing can help me anymore. I’m done.”

After we continued this never-ending conversation that was going nowhere fast, Kylie finally asked, “Mom, are you going to be okay?”

“Yes. I’m fine. I’m not going to kill myself tonight. I promise,” I say this knowing it to be true because I always promised myself I would never kill myself without writing my children a note first. I was too tired to write a good-by note tonight.

“Okay. Are you sure, mom? You promise?” They both say worn out from their fruitless efforts.

“Yes, I promise,” knowing it was true, at least for tonight.

“I love you, Mom,” they say in unison.

“I love you too,” I tell them. “Thanks for coming over. I love you to the moon and back a bazillion trillion times. I am sorry I am so sick. You don’t deserve a mom like me,” I tell them as they walk away. I’m a hugger and I would normally never let them leave me without giving them hugs, but I didn’t have the energy or ability to get out of my chair.

Kylie and Keagan walk out the back door of my house and sneak out of my house the same way they snuck in. After they leave, I sit alone in the dark staring at the meaningless picture on the television as it tries to talk to me, but I don’t listen or even see it. Thoughts of death are very seductive at this point in my life.

People don’t understand that suicidal thoughts are sometimes the only hope for the hopeless. At least dying gave me an option to end my pain. It was bittersweet because it would end my pain, but I didn’t want to leave earth forever. I wasn’t ready for that. I just needed to stop this never-ending pain.

Throughout my life, I’ve made some of my biggest decisions at my weakest, darkest and worst moments. Once again, I am struggling with the most important decision of my life—to live or die.

Where is my fight to live? Where did it go? I’ve had suicidal thoughts off and on for years, but this time it’s different. I knew one day it could happen. It’s extremely frightening and comforting at the same time. Maybe at last, there is an end to my painful unlivable, unmanageable life.

When you are contemplating suicide—planning it—selecting which day will be your last on earth, you think a lot about the life you lived, the mistakes you’ve made, the good things you’ve done and your children. You reminisce as much as you can about the good moments, your past, your childhood and the life you lived. I thought a lot about what lead me to this lethal moment.

The End… of Chapter One

The second chapter starts with my back story beginning with some of my childhood abuse and dysfunctional home life.

Thank you very much for reading and I hope you liked it…


Copyright @ 2018 Susan Walz | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights Reserved

I’m not “too sensitive.” I’m mentally ill.

It hurts when people erase us – our struggles, our scars, our victories, our invisible battles, a part of our lives that shapes us and our paths in ways others will never comprehend.

It hurts when people erase our mental illnesses.

gabriel-762937-unsplashIt’s like being told that everything must be your fault, a result of your flaws and weaknesses and choices; that it’s inconceivable that there is an invisible destiny carved into our bones by genetics and external factors of trauma or tragedy, leaving us learning every day the forever-evolving face of our mental illness and how best to get through the new day.

How many of us have at some point been told that we can be a little “too sensitive,” “too emotional,” or “too involved” ? How many of us have felt that we’re being told that our pain, our exhaustion, our hopelessness, our control over our minds slipping through our finger tips, are our fault? Our choice, even?

For me, I’ve heard it countless times.

“You need to toughen up.” “You’re too soft for this world.” “You can’t be so sensitive and expect to be treated right.” “You shouldn’t let things affect you this much.”

And in my head, with internal hot tears of anger and hurt at the erasure of my pain, of the war I have battled without complaint or surrender for as long as I can remember, all I can think when I hear that is, “thank you! So! Much! I am cured, of my depression, of my anxiety, and finally, presented with the easy to make and simple choice of “tough” or “sensitive,” I can continue my life with contentment and joy, never again to be pestered by the whisperings of my own mind! Bless you, kind sir!”

miguel-bruna-503098-unsplashI’m a little angry about it, I guess. And I should be. Because, when I’m at rock bottom, at my wits end, my life falling apart, my mind urging me to figuratively hit “quit without saving” on my existence, when I’m crying in the shower and in the elevator and in the moments no one is watching, when my hands are shaking as I desperately count the pills from my doctor and the consequences of absence from work, from relationships, from the world, are knocking on my door demanding that I attend to responsibilities even though I can barely attend to myself –

You telling me I need to “toughen up” and not be “so sensitive,” is erasing my mental illness, and you’re erasing the victories I win every single day with them, and you’re erasing the fact that mental illness is ugly, real, and that I am so so much tougher than you could ever imagine, because I face their hideous faces every morning.

It’s not that we’re “too” anything. It’s called mental illness.

Mine are called Depression and Anxiety. Whatever yours are called, kudos to you for fighting quietly or loudly or neatly or messily. However you win your battles, even on the days you lose, you’re not too sensitive or emotional or self involved or at fault. None of it is your fault. Call it what it is, and don’t let people who don’t understand convince you to agree with the shady voice in your head that tries to convince you it’s all on you, because it’s not, and I hope this is your daily reminder of that.

–  Steph