My last blog post on this blog was how avoidance and tangents actually resulted in my getting things done. My last blog post though was on my 'old' blog for Bipolar Courage, because I felt it fit there better: 'My enemies made me stronger'.
Will try keep this blog post as brief as possible.
Sorting and archiving mode
I'm currently sorting stuff for archiving. In the past, I would often just delete or destroy but some things I am keeping. Simply because they are useful for my creative projects. Have already reduced the content for my mental health advocacy to what I think is the most important stuff for Bipolar Courage on YouTube and Instagram.
Also been going through Facebook (quite tedious). I also sorted the YouTube videos into a timeline of year recorded (as some were actually recorded prior to putting under the banner of Bipolar Courage and uploaded out of order).
I decided I wanted to have less of a social media presence moving forward. That also meant cleaning up my current public social media. I deleted most mood selfies etc. It's kind of tedious and I don't enjoy it very much other than it feels like I am getting something done that I rarely do (have a big sort out).
Anyway, I wanted to give a brief breakdown of how one idea lead to another for various creative projects over the last year. Some of which had way more influence than expected. Even though my brain is tired, I am in a sorting out mode (for a change). This means getting rid of old digital files I don't want or need anymore. Also timelining some key events.
Timeline (kind of like a creative CV)
2008 - After less than a year living in Australia, won a major prize in a writing competition about mental health. Xanthe Wyse was born as a blogging name (as at that time, I was shy about expressing my opinion).
2008 - 2011 Researched and blogged about various topics including science, religion and Aspergers Syndrome (my son's formal childhood diagnosis). Part of it was my letting go of religious indoctrination.
2011 - started a pet sitting business from the skills I'd learned from a blogging and writing community (made my own marketing materials, built my own website etc on a shoestring budget).
2012 - Blogged about pets as well as looked after them. Interviewed by local newspapers and invited to speak on two radio stations (I did one interview, turned the regular slot down on the other as speaking isn't my thing). Pets was actually a hardcore 'special interest' and also including learning more about dog training. Won a business award for the pet sitting business.
2013 - founded an advocacy group that went on to influence both the New Zealand and Australian governements (immigration issue). Even though I loathe politics (I had learned my lesson enough to stay behind the scenes while also running a business). Didn't stay in it long but it was a collaborative effort (I don't like working with others) it achieved some pretty big things.
2014 - had started writing a book to process leading up to a breakdown. Did a lot of pet digital artworks. Put a lot of effort into gift photography for clients. Clients called me 'passionate'. Also conceived the name Pet Purpose for a proposed book about my bond with pets around the time of major surgery and a traumatic event.
2015 - burnt out with the pet sitting business so sold it for a very low fee just before a marriage breakup. Legally changed my name to Xanthe Wyse just before a breakdown (requiring hospitalisation). Returned to New Zealand. Deleted former blogs (was pressure from family mainly). Completed and published the memoir under a pen name. Then, deleted it when a few people said it was sad.
2016 - Came off meds, started another pet sitting business (called it Pet Purpose, even though that was the book name). Built the website, set it up etc. Wasn't in an ideal demographic back in New Zealand, so there wasn't as much interest, plus I was struggling with mental health issues & effects of trauma. So I didn't continue pet sitting.
Vlogged for the first time, starting with pets then moving to processing trauma, as I was doing this creatively while waiting for clinicians (other than a psychiatrist). Most stuff to do with it has been deleted or converted (the YouTube channel for Pet Purpose was changed to Soar Purpose). I'd deleted all previous videos.
2017 - had some major setbacks with mental health. Went back on meds. On waiting list for psychologist. Started to paint to ease the racing thoughts and anxiety. Used anything I could find including old garage paint. Set a 'ridiculous goal' of an art as therapy exhibition. Built a website 'Spinning Orbit' etc
2018 - approved for a grant for art materials and exhibition fees. Kept painting. First solo art exhibition, 'Spinning Orbit'. Assessment with a psychologist, diagnosed PTSD and referred to another psychologist.
2019 - Assessed by another psychologist. Approved for treatment for PTSD. Working on writing Pet Purpose. Setbacks (depression), so started Bipolar Courage - blog and then vlog - mental health advocacy. Included some of the 2017 videos.
2020 - Advocacy as Bipolar Courage. Approved for a grant again. Second solo art exhibition, 'Speak'.
2021 - Published Pet Purpose: Your Unspoken Voice. Then found that a copy of the memoir still existed (had to retyped it from an unpublished ebook). Published it as Bipolar Cringe.
2022 - Mainly working on Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) appeal case (horrible, boring, tedious legal stuff yet also very triggering). I saw medical records that I'd never read before. Also worked a bit on a second memoir, Bipolar Courage.
2023 - Have had a pretty full-on and stressful last few months. Goal is to publish Bipolar Courage, the memoir this year. Decided to stop advocacy as Bipolar Courage just before a big announcement that went into international news related the advocacy group I founded. The transition has been rather stressful and not without drama.
Moved over to Soar Purpose (name chosen in 2019, I think, when decided to rewrite the ending of Pet Purpose so there can be a sequel). I feel like I can't get back to the memoir until I have finished my 'sort' out (more or less). Deleting digital files I no longer need is like decluttering my brain. Expected to finish my therapy for PTSD by the end of this year. Well aware that I had better get cracking if I want to meet my goal of completing the memoir this year (it's at the cull and rewrite stage).
Final blog post as Bipolar Courage: My enemies made me stronger.
I was thinking about culling all of the photos I took of pets but I think I might keep some of them. These were some of the pets I'd cared for in Australia. Clients loved my amateur photos (they also acknowledged it was a brilliant marketing strategy as each time I'd visit, I'd leave behind some pics from the time before).
Phoenix rising from the ashes
So anyway, there was a lot of surges of creative energy, burnouts, determination and rising from the ashes like the phoenix. Partly my personality, exaggerated by my disorders. Changing my name, changing names of my projects etc. Constantly reinventing.
So this is how I have had some pretty big accomplishments despite difficulty with 'ordinary' things. In the past, my creative pursuits have also included music (I was a part-time contemporary piano teacher for around 3 years).
This post turned out longer than expected but at least I have a timeline now of some key events for me (which has actually been woven into my creative projects, in storytelling form). I always write way too much but in my books, I write more storytelling form, so it's a lot more work and a lot of culling.
Currently my energy hasn't been 'creative' in a 'pleasant' way but I have managed to be productive about some tasks I would usually avoid.
Disclaimer: the author of this blog is not an expert by profession and her opinions should not be taken as expert advice.