A Letter to Myself on my Birthday

Note: I have wanted write this blog post since day one of starting The Bipolar Writer blog. It seemed to fit that on a day like today— my birthday— that I would share this letter. It means the world to me to be in a place where this is possible, to talk about where I have been. This letter is written to James Edgar Skye, my pen name.

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A Letter to The Bipolar Writer

What a journey it has been to get here, James.

I can remember a time where you honestly believed that you would never make it. You always thought that the darkness that still sometimes engulfs your life would eventually take you— and there were a few close calls along the way. Somehow you find the will to fight, even on those days where you thought it would be your last.

Look at you now. Just a few months away from getting your Bachelor’s Degree in creative writing with a specialization in fiction. You found your writing side in the past few years in minoring in screenwriting, political science, and journalism. It has been a journey of peaks and valleys, the good and bad parts of being Bipolar seemed always find its way in your studies— and yet you are going to graduate summa cum laude. I remember the doubts you had over the last four years, and each time you proved yourself wrong by always excelling at everything school threw at you.

Even though you never got your Hogwarts letter, you still maintained your love for reading. Now you have turned that love into a writing career.

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I can barely remember your first birthday after your diagnosis became Bipolar One. You were a different person then, and you have come so far from the days where you barely noticed time passing you by in this life. The first three years of your diagnosis was filled with so much negative. Depression became your most familiar companion. Anxiety seemed to fill your days, and so you hid from the world— and you barely left your house those three years.

I always wondered why you gave into the darkness three different times in your life and turned to suicide as a way to escape. It was the worst parts of your life, and luckily you survived. Now, look at you, sharing your experiences with suicide and self-harm to advocate that there is a better way. Suicide is never the answer— that is what you tell people now. You had to live through a lot, but it was all worth it to help others. I believe that you are helping people.

Who knew you could find the strength to tell your story. You really have come a long way, and now you have a real chance at helping others. Writing and creating The Bipolar Writer blog was the best decision that you made outside of going back to school. Now you have finished the first draft of your memoir, and now you are looking toward the future instead of the past.

On this journey, you have found ways to cope. Listening to music and your favorite K-pop group have gotten you through so much. Writing finally became your way of life, and you have indeed found your place in this world. It has helped you grow as a better person in life. It defines the best qualities of who you are— never let that go. You found watching baseball— the Los Angeles Dodgers— as your way to cope during the summer months. You get through the worst parts of your depression and anxiety, and you are always open to finding new ways of dealing.

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Sure, you are still a work in progress. At times social anxiety gets the best of you. At times you lose yourself in panic attacks. Depression likes to sneak up and take over for a time. It’s not a forever thing. But this Bipolar life is always evolving, and you still find a way of adapting.

There is so much to look forward to James. Selling your screenplay. Publishing your memoir. Working on your Masters later this year. For the first time in this life, you are making plans for the future, and the goals that you have worked so hard on are within your grasp. There has been so much pain over the last ten years, but there was so much good. You found a way to live with being Bipolar— without it defining who you are inside and out. You just have to give yourself a break and work on not being your harshest critic.

There will be days where being Bipolar is all you can deal with, but you go to sleep each night knowing tomorrow is another day. Anxiety and depression are a part of who you are— but they don’t define you. The most significant thing I want to tell you is that you are a fighter. It was always there a part of you. It took you so long to get here, but the journey was worth it.

There was a time when you didn’t want to live. That time has passed. You know it is God’s plan that you are alive.

You used to wake up and hate that you were still alive. Now you wake up with the knowledge that the day before was a fight— and you fought well. Always keep fighting, it is the best part of you, James.

Here is to many more birthdays to come and finding happiness in this Bipolar and social anxiety life. I’m on a rollercoaster that only goes up.

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J.E. Skye

 

 

 

Please Help me Publish my Memoir

I am almost done editing my memoir “The Bipolar Writer,” and I have decided to go down the self-publishing route. If you can donate anything towards my goal, it would mean the world to me. I am still working towards enough to pay an artist for a good cover. Those that donate will get a special mention in my memoir on a page dedicated to those that made my memoir possible. Thank you in advance!

$2.00

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoAustin Mabe

unsplash-logoSteve Halama

unsplash-logoRae Tian

unsplash-logoCampbell Boulanger

unsplash-logoWang Xi

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138 Replies to “A Letter to Myself on my Birthday”

  1. Thanks for the follow and the Like! A few years when I was argumetning (my word) with someone about climate change she told me she was a Baccalaureate at sone university I’d never heard of and had graduated magna cum laude, to which I made an immature remark and asked her how a degree in Agriculture trumped my actual science degree, though unfinished at the time. She told me I was an immature strumpet amongst other highly laughable insults. I think of that every time I see latin and the phrases summa (congrats on that btw) and magna cum laude remind me of that.
    Obviously today is a quiet day at uni…
    Funny how your bio is in the 3rd person, but you’re a writer so that’s ok, your letter to yourself on your birthday sounds like it’s written by a parent. Years ago my councillor told me to write to myself and sadly Scarlett – nome de plume and Miranda – actual me never got on well but they did write some funny dialogue, I was at the cafe at the time, those two got on my nerves.
    enjoy your day/night/cake.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What an amazing amount of relatable articles you have here. Your blog is a real credit to you and your blog authors. Being a go to place for information on mental health is extremely important and very necessary, thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading more articles here 💙

    Thank you also for taking the time recently to like and follow my poetry blog, I really appreciate that 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the recent like on my blog about The Out of the Darkness Walk. I’m just curious, you’re young, definitely a talented writer and your blog is very personal. But why choose to hide behind a pen name ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good question. I found that could be open and objective when I write under a pen name. When it comes to my non-fiction work I was so much open when it comes to writing my story under my pen name.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok, almost like a security blanket. Hey man if that’s what it takes for you to be as open, than by far keep at it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This might be belated but… Happy Birthday!
    I enjoy reading this blog post and I find many common points for my dealings with anxiety (especially the part about k-pop). This letter is a gem.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very Brave of you to share your experiences. I also want to congratulate you on your success. I’m sure you will be successful in anything you put your mind to. I have a few friends that suffer from the same thing. One of them uses their mental health to manipulate people, and I’m glad that you are using your mental health as motivation instead of crutch. Stay strong you are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Appreciate the vulnerability of how you share your journey with others. Keep on fighting, and I pray people who can fight alongside you will fill your life. Happy birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this. Nothing about life is ever guaranteed and things are rarely easy, but it is worth the effort, I promise you that. I wish you all the best on your continued journey, and I hope you had a great birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am a combat veteran and the way I’ve learned to be released is by going inward. Acknowledging the pain, seeking spiritual guidance, self care and returning to my traditions have been key in my life. I hope that through writing you will find the balance in your own life. Be blessed in all things.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I found myself completely inspired by this post. It demonstrates your journey, your struggle, your strength, and most importantly, your evolution. Every once in a while, I write a letter to myself and it always stands out to me to see how much I have changed. For me, that is the goal: to always be better tomorrow than I was yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is exactly my purpose behind writing this piece. Thank you for sharing. I write a few letters throughout the year. They don’t always make it here on my blog but it helps to write them to find my focus.

      Like

  10. Happy belated birthday James! You have such a wonderful way of expressing yourself. I see that you have gone through many tough times and yet you stand strong as a fighter. Victory is yours my friend!
    I can also relate to the social anxiety part where I have had loneliness accompanied too. It is a battle and its not an easy one.
    More power to you and people like us who suffer through similar challenges. Keep writing! Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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