Introduction

If you have ever ridden a roller coaster, you understand the excitement and fear that courses through your mind and body as you burst through the track. You experience such an intense jolt of so many emotions as your breath is stolen from falling and you only have enough time to take another breath as you ascend. In a lot of ways, bipolar disorder seems to share many similarities. It seems to change a person drastically in mere moments and can even span episodes for days at a time. You never know how you will feel when you wake up in the morning. You never know what will happen to send you spiraling into a depressive episode. I often like to call it a “Jekyll and Hyde” effect in my personal blog.

I am Shelton Fisher and recently I have been given the privilege to be a contributing writer for The Bipolar Writer. I am a 25 year old with a full time job, an amazing wife, and the two best dogs in the world. I used to be a decent musician and writing has become a passion of mine. Amid the wonderful things that life has provided for me, I have mental health issues that fight me tooth and nail on a regular basis. Anxiety has been a familiar part of my life since I was a child, but alcoholism and panic attacks made me realize that I needed to finally address these problem medically. In September of last year I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder and began a regimen of serotonin inhibitors and recently I have began seeing a therapist. After several sessions addressing my childhood behaviors and my current behaviors, we have discussed that I may be bipolar and the symptoms honestly surprised me.

As I continue the journey into my mental health to confirm a diagnosis and discover how to live a better life, I want to include you through personal stories, free verse poetry, and the occasional informative post. I am not a professional by any means, but I am living proof that mental health is a war to be won. If you have ever been afraid to speak, afraid to make a move, lost motivation and hope, hurt yourself because you couldn’t find the right words or felt trapped inside your body, screamed at the top of your lungs with tears rolling down your boiling red cheeks, self medicated with alcohol or drugs, fallen into depression for no apparent reason, or just want to know how I am handling things, my posts are for you.

Tabling Our Vices

Is it possible to table our vices for the day? Enjoy waking up in our own beds, the softness of the sheets and warm spot we created from our slumber is enough to bring a smile to our face. That smile spreads as our toes touch the cool floor and our eyes begin to focus on the sun peeking through the shades. Today is going to be a good day: echoes through our thoughts and vibrates through our body. Take a deep breath in, coffee/tea/water/food, whatever nourishes you in the morning is waiting to be unwrapped and presented. Get up, throw your blankets over the mattress to resemble a made bed, then head to the kitchen. Today is going to be a good day.

We have made the first step, and it’s a big step. Knowing today is going to be a good day. What journey will we seek? A movie, a hike, a rummage through a used book store, a coffee or tea at the local joint, a chat with a friend, a game of croquet [because we never play and it might be fun], finding a piece of old furniture to paint, anything that gets us moving and gets us going today. Today is going to be a good day. It might not be a great day, or the best we have ever had in our life. It’s just going to be a good day.

When the sun begins to tuck itself in for the day, we make a final attempt. Today is going to be a good day. The day isn’t over yet. Night may cast itself over our heads, but we are still awake. The journey continues. No matter if we change into our pajamas [maybe we never changed out of them], or we throw on our nice shirt and head out to meet a friend, we know that we are still making today a good day.

Our head finally hits the pillow and the day is done. Maybe we couldn’t table all of our vices for the day, but we made an effort. Tomorrow is going to be a good day. 

Fingers To Sky

The Greatest Things I did for my Health

As we enter a 2018 New Year I wanted to really look at the vices that I have given up over the years because it was helpful to get back to a healthy place.

I made the decision three and half years ago on my birthday to give up cigarettes. It was the best thing for me because it gave me the opportunity to not have to rely on a vice for my anxiety, and I also meant less congestion in my chest. Before I quit I smoke and then feel super congested.

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Given that cigarettes have gone up two or three dollars a pack since the last time I smoked (there was a new tax on cigarettes this year in California) I think the financial gain of not spending 7-8 dollars on a pack means that my decision was a good one.

It doesn’t mean on those days where anxiety has its hold on me that I don’t want to buy a pack.

For New Year’s Eve, I didn’t drink. I haven’t in about the last four New Years. I don’t have the best track record when it comes to drinking. Once I start I am incapable of stopping.

I have so many great Vegas stories where I overdrank. I am surprised I lived through them. I was never a social drinker, however. The worst parts of my drinking are those times when I would drink alone at night.

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I would have a bottle of Jameson and I would take shot after shot so that I could feel numb. Alcohol became a negative influence in my life that only served to further my depression.

In life sometimes you have to give up the vices that are killing you. In both cases, I quit cold turkey and never looked back. For some that might not be easy. I know this, but if you can quit, do it as soon possible.

Things like alcohol and cigarettes can work against those with a mental illness, at least in my own experience.

I am not telling people to quit. It’s up to each and every one of us to recognize the vices that are counterproductive to our illness. It could be for you that cigarettes help you stay steady with your anxiety. I know for me it did.

The flip side of that is the health factor. It’s why I made the decision to quit smoking. It just made sense. I have enough help problems without having to deal with more issues.

Alcohol and most mental illness medications don’t mix. That is a fact. My point is that all of us have own vices in our lives, and sometimes these vices can work against us. The best thing I ever did was to quit drinking and smoking.

Always Keep Fighting.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoMarion Michele

unsplash-logoSajjad Zabihi

unsplash-logoChristin Hume