I have talked about the podcast before in a post. With a couple of episodes under my belt, I wanted to share what this means to me. It means everything and also what the podcast will be. In conjunction with The Voices of Mental Illness book and my upcoming work in the realm of nonprofit in 2021, the many things I plan on doing alongside the podcast. I want people to be a part of the experience. That means you, the followers of the blog to become a part of the journey through interviews. I will do the interviews on Zoom and then put them into episodes.
We will talk about mental illnesses, mental health, depression, anxiety, suicide, bullying, the divide between the mental illness community and the mental health professional community. Everything in between will be discussed, and no idea is off-limits.
I do not have an official “this is what the podcast will be,” which is okay. There are no right or wrong answers, only life in the now. Why not continue to be spontaneous like it has always been with the blog. One thing to note, The Bipolar Writer Podcast will be listener supported through Patreon and also on Achor.fm has its own lister supported area. You can use the link below to become a part of the support.
This is one of those episodes that makes me happy as it is just me, the mic, the ideas in my head, and you, the audience. On January 1st, 2021, I recommitted to my sobriety after losing five years after my mother’s death. Alcoholism has a history in my life, and I discuss how it came into my life, how it is not great to mix alcoholism with mental illness, how I used alcohol as a coping mechanism, and so much more. What I want from these episodes is to learn through my own experiences, and if it reaches one person, then that is okay. I have done what I set out to do.
It is my hope for The Bipolar Writer Podcast to become fully listener-supported. You can becomea supporter of the podcast here. You can also support the podcast by clicking the button below, where you can buy me a coffee. This also goes towards future writing projects. I also have a Patreon that you can find below, and some of the tiers come with some fantastic things like a mug once you’re a supporter for three months. This also goes towards writing projects, so please, if you can, become a supporter of James Edgar Skye and The Bipolar Writer brand. As Patron and Buy me Coffee grows, I will be adding amazing things like free books for the two that I have written, one is my memoir and my novella, both in the mental illness realm.
I want to challenge you, those in this community that are sharing their experiences and stories. I know that we are all at different levels in our journey, and there is the idea that I had heard that blogging is not what it was when I first introduced the Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog but your stories matter. The challenge is that you continue to find ways to share your stories at the moment.
The stories are the reason that we are fighting to end the stigma. As we share the experiences in the moment of what we have been through as much as possible, it means that you might reach one person. I am honored to all that share their stories, and you are doing a fantastic job. The challenge is to look beyond blogging and into other platforms. Blogging is great, and writing is what I love. If we challenge the next generation of human beings who struggle with mental illness without too many resources, we need to find ways to bring them into the fold. They are the ones that will be taking on the challenge that we all are fighting for–ending the stigma.
Growing up in a world that we never talked about mental illness culturally and in America’s schools was tough. I had no idea that I had a mental illness. I knew suicide was wrong, but now what it meant to be suicidal was steeped in more profound meaning. The truth was that even when my diagnosis at twenty-two. It was a struggle to get an understanding and the outside world. There were not many resources or groups that I knew of, and it meant I was alone.
Technology and social media platforms are at our disposal. We can use what makes us comfortable. The younger generation needs to hear our stories even if you are in your twenties or beyond. Mental health advocacy is a collaborative effort for all of us. No matter our age or sexual orientation, the stories are essential to our collective effort to let the world know with one voice that they will hear us. That is what I challenge. Writing a blog is excellent, but as I learned in 2020, there is so much work that we can do. Mental health advocacy is something we all can do at a level that is good for you.
Stay strong in the fight, share your stories, and know I am always with you.
This will be coming out of the left field. I know I should have been marketing this book more here and in other places. Tomorrow should be, barring any more setbacks, the release of Angel on the Ward, a novella by James Edgar Skye!
Here is a sneak peak!
Life. Death. We have the power in us to take our life away, and James tried that with his own. Here is the thing. When you survive suicide, the aftermath devastates the survivor psychologically. For James, it landed him in a psychiatric ward with a fresh new diagnosis. The mysterious Angel appears on the ward with all the answers. James struggles with his dark passenger taking the wheel with Angel as his guide to the darkness. His world will be forever changed by a dream, but what does that mean? James will find out. So will you in Angel on the Ward.
The book deals with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, diagnosis, life on the ward, suicide, self-harm, and other important topics that I thought could fit in about 130 plus pages and 35K words. It is action-packed, and I consider it a psychological thriller within the mental illness realm. It is written in my normal third-person omniscient from the main character. It was initially a short story I wrote when I began my bachelor’s degree.
You can find all my books on my author’s website, including the new novella. I hope to get everything cleared by tonight, including adding the novella and where but it to James’ book corner. If everything works out accordingly, I will be releasing the novella on the first anniversary of my mom’s passing, December 15th, tomorrow! Tomorrow will be a filled day as I plan on releasing my next Podcast episode as well, where I discuss how the last year has been, the things that I have done, and how I am dealing with the grief. It will be about tomorrow and my experience on the 6th, which marked the first anniversary of my mother’s stroke and the last time that I got to talk to her in person.
With that said, I hope that if you are a fan of my work, you are willing to purchase the book either on kindle unlimited or paperback (which I would love the most!) There will be more to come after the release about possibly selling the book on my website alongside my memoir, and looking out for a future post about getting a copy of the book in exchange for good or bad reviews does not matter to me. My writing so far is about word of mouth, so please share this post if you can on social media and WordPress. Help a struggling writer continue to do what he loves!
In this interview episode, it is an honor to have Tiffany on my podcast. New to a diagnosis this summer, Tiffany has dealt with her own childhood trauma and working through it to get to a point where her diagnosis became PTSD and Persistent Depressive Disorder. We discuss life living with a mental illness, how childhood trauma tends to affect us in the mental illness community, how it is to share her story, and living in a pandemic world with a mental illness. Tiffany talks about mental illness being heredity and how her nephew is the light and reason to live each day. Join us as we take a journey through Tiffany’s story.
It is my hope for The Bipolar Writer Podcast to become fully listener-supported. You can become a supporter of the podcast here. You can also support the podcast by clicking the button below where you can buy me a coffee. This also goes towards future writing projects. I also have a Patreon that you can find below, and some of the tiers come with some fantastic things like a mug once you’re a supporter for three months. This also goes towards writing projects, so please, if you can, become a supporter of James Edgar Skye and The Bipolar Writer brand. As Patron and Buy me Coffee grows, I will be adding amazing things like free books for the two that I have written, one is my memoir and my novella, both in the mental illness realm. You can purchase the books here.
I would love to add a new segment to The Bipolar Writer Podcast where you, the listener, ask questions about mental health/mental illness to me, and I answer one per episode to open an episode. I think it would be a great way to get the listeners involved in the podcast.
There are two ways to do this: email me at email@example.com or visit the podcast at The Bipolar Writer Podcast where you can leave me a message!
What do I want you to ask? Really anything, and I will do my best to answer and research within the mental illness realm. Some ideas are about suicide, mental health in general, living with a mental illness, what a day looks like for James, depression, anxiety, and everything in between.
If you want to be a guest and share your story, you can also use the email above. Right now, there is a list, but I am always looking to interview new people, and I plan on a heavy January schedule. I do interviews on Zoom. I hope that the community reaches out and continues to continue to share your stories. I plan on taking The Bipolar Writer Podcast to new levels. If you want to listen to my podcast, it is available wherever you listen to podcasts. I will also have it below.
Excitement always comes to mind when it comes to sharing the latest episode of The Bipolar Writer Podcast. I have to admit that it has been so impressive that all the people who have become listeners in the short time the podcast has been live. I am in awe of all the people lining up for a guest spot, and these are extraordinary times to share with the world. I even had my first international interview, all the way from Malaysia, that you will be listening to soon. It is memorable to be working on my mental health advocacy again on a new platform.
Episode six looks at Men’s Mental Health – Why Are Men Not Talking About Mental Health? It is an essential topic for me, and you will see the passion I have for this topic. The episode is bit darker, although is my thing. It is possible what you listen to what I am saying could be wrong. If I am wrong, then okay. I have the experience to back it up, you will see a future episode with a retraction, but I see what I see within the community.
I wanted this podcast to be different, and yes, I am sharing the stories of others. It is a significant part, but I must also shake things up within the community to end the stigma. In this episode, what I say might be controversial to some, and you will see it a lot in solo episodes, but the point that will be made will make my point within the episode. Please listen to the entire episode because this subject must be discussed, so you can leave comments, reach out in emails, or even leave me a message on my phone (my number is on this blog). I hope you enjoy it!
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this episode, I explore the last year of my life, from the start of my mother’s death on December 15, 2019, to the first anniversary today. I talk about how I was not living life to many months to opening up in Life coaching, living through a suicide plan, suicidal thoughts, depression, and find my way in this life. I talk about as much as possible with what I experienced this year. It is an honor to share this episode when I celebrate my mom’s extraordinary life that she had, and although she is no longer here, she will always be in my heart.
You can find The Bipolar Writer Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.