Write to Heal: Jess Melancholia

The Bipolar Compass

 

Jess Melancholia is a blogger at The Bipolar Compass, Huffington Post and bpHope from California. She

writes to heal…

 

 

 

Why do you Write To Heal? Has something happened that moved you to using writing as an art form, such as an illness or traumatic experience?

Yeah something definitely happened that’s for sure. It’s so hard to talk about because most people just don’t understand what it’s like being bipolar let alone having a manic episode. When I’m in mania, nothing matters. Nothing can stop the urges and sensations except for medication and even then it’s extremely difficult. When I’m manic, I get something called hypersexuality; which is essentially manic-induced sexual addiction. For anyone who has experienced this you already know how bad it is but for those of you who don’t it’s a real thing. That and it’s an absolute nightmare, especially when you are happily married! I cheated on my husband and felt like the worst person in the world. I couldn’t stop shaming myself for what I did. It was awful. I kept telling myself I should’ve tried harder to resist the temptation but it was just too powerful. So I decided to do some research and found out that it’s actually pretty common. Through blogging I was hoping to do two things: find support and understanding from people who have been through what I’ve been through and end the horrible stigma associated with hypersexuality and mental illness in general.

For me, bipolar disorder is more than just a heavy burden to bear, it’s sheer torture at times. The only thing that seems to relieve some of that stress is writing. It allows me to get everything off my chest without interruption. When I write I tell my life in the form of a story.  If I look at my life from the perspective of a journey, it helps me track where I am and how far I’ve come. I find that using analogies when describing what is going on in my head is calming and less threatening. I write like this to better understand myself. I’m lost and therefore need a compass to guide me but all I have is a Bipolar Compass; which doesn’t work very well at times. My mind is a vast landscape with Purgatory, a Cemetery, a Forbidden Forest, a Firth, and a Trail of Stability. Depending on where I am, I’m able to let my readers know exactly how dark or out-of-control I feel. In that way, maybe they won’t feel so alone. By not describing my “enemies” as demons, it keeps me from treating them like demons. They feel like demons.Depression and Mania are my demons and they tend to consume my entire being much like Fog and Fire, respectively. You’d understand more if you read my blog.

 

So you write to cope with your mental illness?

Writing for me brings clarity and purpose. My mind works and reads like a spiderweb. Thousands of thoughts going in all different directions that it’s so hard for me to talk out my feelings in the moment. I can’t seem to find which direction to go. I feel like if I don’t just sit down and write out my feelings in a cohesive format then it’ll get lost in translation. When I finally finish a post, there is this immense weight lifted off my shoulders because I’m able to reassure myself that things are hard but I can keep fighting. Being able to go back and reread my posts lifts me up and shows me how much I’ve grown and changed. This and writing allows me a bookmark to go back and remind myself that things were bad but I made it through in one piece.

 

Do you see yourself continuing writing to heal, and do you think your work has/will change in time?

I can’t imagine my life without my blog. I just can’t anymore. Writing brings me the ability to connect with people online that I honestly consider great friends. I love them despite having never met the vast majority of them in real life. Their constant and consistent support and conversations bring me hope. They give me purpose. When I was hospitalized a little over a month ago they asked me if I was suicidal. The very first thing that popped into my head was “No” because of my blogging community; which includes my husband and best friends. I feel I owe it to them to keep fighting for my life and my sanity. There have been people who have thanked me and said I inspire them through my writing. I can’t tell you how amazing that makes me feel. They tell me they never thought that someone else is going through the same struggles that they have gone through.

Quite honestly, my writing has gotten much more raw and honest. It’s amazing to look back on my previous work and see how timid I was and how ashamed I was for just being bipolar. Now I feel like I’m closer than ever before to becoming the person I always wanted to be and writing allows me to be that brave warrior I think I can be.

 

Did you blog before becoming the brave warrior you are now?

No not in the least. I’m not the “writer” in my family. I hated English class because there was too much writing involved. The only thing I did was journal in high school because I had the most intense crush on my now husband. That was so cute and I still have the journal. I love reading it!

 

What’s your blogging goal?

My inspiration is the fight against stigma. That drives me. If there is anything this country needs it’s less ignorant people like Anne Coulter who says “Guns don’t kill people—the mentally ill do.”

 

That’s a powerful quote. Is that around when you started?

I wrote after that but that woman certainly keeps me writing.

 

Did your blog’s content happen organically or did you say to yourself, “I need to do this to help myself”?

A little of both. I actually read on one of these how to get over an affair websites and found advice that says “Don’t blog about it.” Right then, I thought to myself, “Well no. I need to get this out. Fuck that! I’m going to start a blog!”

 

Now how often do you write/commit to your work?

I only write if the words are flowing. Mostly when something happens. In my case it’s often. Drama likes to follow me around. I’ve called the cops on it so many times and I have a legal restraining order but nothing. Pretty sure I’m going to get shanked soon. But seriously. If there is something going on in my head and I feel like I need to say something, then I’ll blog. Other than that I can’t and won’t write as well as I do. It baffles me when people post 5-10 times a day. How do they find the words?

 

Do you have a different profession besides this?

Yes actually. Without giving too much away I work as a molecular biologist at a biorenewables company. I absolutely love my job. I’m a total nerdy scientist with my name on my lab coat.

 

Lastly, what dreams do you have for your writing?

Not to brag but I’ve been told that my writing is really good and that I need to write a book. I was given until 2025 I think. My hope is that through my story things will change with regards to how mental health is treated on this planet. It’s awful. That’s the reason I choose to remain anonymous for now. I can’t risk my job and I don’t want people to walk on egg shells around me. Not anymore than people who know who I am already do. That’s the dream.


17 thoughts on “Write to Heal: Jess Melancholia

    1. Ty! Jess is really cool. I repost some of her stuff here.

      I used to do Writing To Heal pieces often. Then I went on my Hiatus and I stopped posting all together. I still have 2 more I haven’t posted.

      Now I’m really tired and am just publishing what was already scheduled. I’m in a slump and just- blah.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You really should get them posted, it might help with your slump. Your quality is excellent so whatever this slump is it’s something you can write your way out of.
        I understand the blah, but your still astounding!

        Like

      2. believe it or not, this piece got like no traffic. my other Write To Heals used to. I think it’s what you mentioned in the email- some summer slump. Maybe everyone is at the beach. I should be there. Instead I’m in bed today recovering from piercings I should have NOT gotten… stupid body modifications. A search for unattainable beauty fucks me over.

        Like

      3. Your kidding me! The problem with blogging is we’re all writers and some are far more selfish. For now let it be the summer slump.
        Piercings? Well I’m sure once they’ve settled you love them (pictures later? ahaha) It’s only July there’s plenty tine for the beach.

        Like

      4. my writing to heal pieces were the biggest ones besides my poetry and a couple of my quotes. Jess is an amazing writer so it’s not her fault. i used the correct tags.

        yes piercings. i have tattoos too.

        i was gonna go to the beach today to a party but then it was canceled and it’s a junkie beach stretch anyway (needles and shit). like there are all different sections and i don’t go to that one. and i don’t go to another one because when i was younger i legit got a needle in my foot and had to be treated with emergency anti-HIV meds.
        YAY NEW YORK CITY FOR CLEANLINESS.
        ends up I’m fine though- nothing bad happened. also got a tetanus shot. all is well. thank God. that’s the last thing I need. For fuck sake. life.

        Like

      5. Wow!!! That’s beyond words fucked up! I mean I don’t live by a clean beach but it’s just the water I have to worry about…and the gays so I keep getting told. What’s there to worry about I bet you they’d be nicer to me than most women 😄
        I honestly don’t think anyone is to blame here. It’s marketing to an audience that might not even be there. Blogs are way more complicated than a movie or a perfume. You know you do great work. Maybe what you need is a different channel. I really don’t know, I just wish I could help.

        Like

      6. Drem has an instagram and a Tumblr. The instagram has followers but they don’t really come here. and the tumblr is fail. i don’t really understand social media. i know all the high school kids now use snapchat. I’m lost.

        why the water? u live in a clean country. wtf.

        Like

      7. I keep forgetting to follow your Instagram I literally made one so I could got distracted playing with filters and went to bed. I’m a disgrace.
        I understand social media, I work in it so I kinda have to. Cross promotion is difficult, you find you main channel filters your followers to the other sites but not the other way round. Twitter is the powerful tool but it’s a bitch to get started.
        As for snapchat, im pretty sure that’s for sending naughty photos which I’m sure would really get you followers but it’s not worth it. I thought about it but my boobs aren’t that great so why bother 😄

        Yes clean country but it’s something to do with sewage. There’s safety warnings that let you know if the water is okay on a particular day. It’s just one of those things where big company’s said fuck you environment and we live with the aftermath. It’s really annoying because it’s got the potential to be an awesome beach but it’s Scotland and we get the sun for 3 days a year. it’s not a priority.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. i followed u back!
        I’m sorry about the sewage. if it makes u feel better, it took 20 years to clean up the Hudson and even now when I go in there are floating condoms and litter everywhere.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I can’t remeber when the clean up started, maybe when I have kids it’ll be nicer. Either that or I can run for office under the clean beach campaign.
        Awww thanks, hopefully get some interesting stuff up and have a good look over your general instaawesomness…its a word😉

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Well I have to imagine their mother would protect then the first few years before she gets too tired. Then again I’m pretty sure any woman I end up with will be as mad as me 😉

        Like

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