Happy Birthday, James. It will be a strange one, but all things can only go up from here.
This is officially my third time writing a letter to myself on my birthday, April 10th. A date that the Bipolar Writer came into this world not knowing where he would end up, and yet through the chaos of 2020, I can count myself among the lucky ones to be able to celebrate my birthday. I do not take this birthday lightly as I might have in the past. You can find the previous versions of this idea below.
Since the last time we were here a year ago, you became a published author. Wrote your big fantasy fiction novel, wrote a novella, and a few short stories, all headed towards publication. Your dream of being a published writer is finally achieved, and yet you have so much further to go, and while that can be scary, it can be invigorating. Never give up this dream, James, no matter the struggles you are sure to face over the coming months and perhaps years. It is all relative.
The worst thing that happened to you since last time you wrote this letter to yourself is you lost your mom. A monumental life-changing event that almost crushed you to the point of no return. The grieving process will be a long one, but you have proven to yourself that you are more durable because your mom will always be a part of you. She helped you get here, never forget that, and always remember that she waned you to continue your own fight and the fight for others.
Where do you go from here, another birthday alive when no to many years ago that might not have been a possibility?
You find yourself at a crossroads in so many facets of your life. For one, I am nearing the end of my graduate degree before my next birthday. It is all planned out from now until the end, and it though it may feel bittersweet, you have come such a long way as a writer, a person, and a human being.
You know that there are so many great things in your life but never forget the big ones. Traveling and teaching in Korea after your Master’s. Taking a trip to Tokyo and the Holy City. These things may seem impossible given where the world is on your birthday, but never give up on your dreams. Only you have the power to stop them from becoming a reality.
There is no doubt that things are always moving fast in this life and that during a pandemic, you saw what people could be as humans. Empathetic to those on the front lines of COVID-19. Your greatest hopes are people seeing how anxiety, depression, and anything that comes with a mental illness is something that is not made up. So many people are living in a world of anxious thoughts and depression that could lead to suicide and self-harm. Something new to so many, but for us, those in the mental illness community, have to live with every day. Perhaps compassion and empathy could be applied to once and for all-conquering the stigma of mental illness. I know you will always be fighting.
If you are feeling the voice that accompanies suicidal thoughts, please know that it is not the answer. James has been there, and it only leads to two things. Death or regret. There are more options. James is living proof.
It feels hopeless sometimes, James, but you know that there is always the other side of your anxious feelings and depression. Trust in the people that are a part of this blog. The people that are on your side telling you, “you are not alone.” You are not alone in any of this mental illness life.
James, it has been real to be a part of this amazing journey that is your life, and I hope that we have many years to come.
If there is one thing that I would want on my birthday, it is for people to read my book. It is free on Amazing Kindle Unlimited, and you can find it here. Of course, buying my book would be amazing as well, and you can find the links to my author site and where to purchase my books below. I thank you for coming here on the day of my birth and sharing in my letter to myself on my day.
Always Keep Fighting
You can visit the author site of James Edgar Skye here.
Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.
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