Will try keep this short as I have a pile of stuff out on my bedroom floor (sorting) and there is an open home tomorrow.
After a three-year battle, I finally won against Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) for a lump sum payment for my mental injury of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I'm not going to go into detail in this post, as I haven't even read the doctor's report yet. Although it is satisfying that the doctor who assessed in my favour used to work for ACC. After seeing me on a 'good' day, at my 'best.' After years of therapy.
I am currently sorting my minimal possessions, preparing to move, as the house (not my house) is on the market. I came across a printed copy of a blog post from a deleted blog from around 2008 (15 years ago). The blog was when my name was a pen name (now my legal name).
Only a few snippets of my writing survived.
I wrote the blog post when I was diagnosed with 'treatment resistant' depression and generalised anxiety disorder (later changed to bipolar 1 disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD).
Just revisting some journal entries from five years ago, when I had my first solo art exhibition (which I pitched as an art as therapy exhibition). I'd set a 'ridiculous goal' of an exhibition when I was severely unwell and struggling. My main diagnoses are bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I still have permanent disabililty after treatment.
I did the painting below, More than Good Enough, during that exhibition. It expressed the mixed feelings of the exhibition process. I didn't put prices on the paintings, as I didn't want people to judge. One of the main reasons I did the exhibition is because I didn't feel good enough and that my art wasn't good enough (in fact, most of my art in the past ended up at the dump).
Extract from my journal from over 5 years ago, when I was starting therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):
"I won a positivity award at work…Seems ironic as feeling so negative internally about it.
Might paint Snowball – a longhaired fluffy white cat…with purplish eyes…a book cover for Pet Purpose? What is her hope?"
I've actually been a writer for many years, but most of it hasn't seen the light of day. I've even destroyed a lot of what I have written. The raw stuff (journals etc) can inspire books later. I spend years writing my books, as I am processing plus working with disabilties that affect my cognition and memory.
I had some space last night to go through some of the extracts I'd torn from journals from 2017-2019. The rest of the 8 journals were burned recently.
I recently published a memoir. After the intense focus to get it finished, the frustrating parts of the self-publishing process, the triumph after finally achieving some huge goals, I felt down. This tends to happen for me, with accomplishments and it can be exaggerated with bipolar disorder (now managed best I can).
I had therapy today and I want to touch on that. I'm now at a stage where I'm more maintaining my mental health, rather than actively processing trauma. Hence moving beyond advocacy.
Will try to keep this short, as I have wet hair that needs drying, late at night.
I've had to sleep a lot the past few weeks, as I've had the flu then recovered from that, then had surgery. Still recovering from that. I'm still on track though to self-publish my memoir by mid-September, even though I had a break from it.
I did it! Yay! Nearly two years of effort and I have written my third book. Although it's not quite ready yet, to release to the world. Just some final polishing, still underway.
It's a huge milestone, at the stage where authors would send to their copyeditor. Only, as an indie author, I am the copyeditor, proof-reader etc (a friend is helping out with the proof-reading). I've already been doing some copy-editing (improving readability etc, yet I want to retain my 'voice').
I'm quietly excited. No big parties, just a quick blog post from my room, which I will follow up with a gluten-free donut and ice-cream (spotted the donuts yesterday and couldn't resist).
Shedding some tears, listening to Missing You (John Waite) on a loop, as I am nearing completion of my manuscript for Bipolar Courage: are you sure you're not autistic? It's an unconventional love story.
'Zander' is my son. 'Maxwell' is a man I had an intense connection with. (Not their real names). Both diagnosed Asperger's Syndrome (since merged into Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
I've been separated from Zander since he looked like the portrait. I tend to paint my stories before I write them. I've included a few extracts from my manuscript, below.
Just a quick blog post to download some thoughts in my head. I went for a walk today and stopped to take a pic of this bloom. I think it's a magnolia blossom. The buds are fuzzy. It's really important to get some exercise in as self-care, when working on projects like writing books.
I have only two more chapters to edit/re-write out of 31 for my memoir. All going well, I'm on track to self-publish it next month. I wanted to include a little bit about why I change my name, in case I edit it out (if I have way more pages than expected when do further formatting).
Disclaimer: the author of this blog is not an expert by profession and her opinions should not be taken as expert advice.