Been having a few days off from working on my memoir. Mainly because I had a mood crash. I'm trying to avoid talking too much about detail about my mental health on this blog, although I still have struggles, whether I say something, or not. My primary diagnoses are bipolar disorder (type 1) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and I see them as medical conditions, not my entire identity. One of the reasons I moved away from my advocacy as Bipolar Courage, is that I wanted to focus more on my other passionate hobbies, especially to do with creative expression.
Creative pursuits can be high risk for burnout, especially with diagnoses like mine. It's trying to get the balance. I've set a pretty ambitious goal of publishing my memoir in September 2023. In the the polishing stages. I should be set to achieve that, if all goes well.
I've need a break from it for a few days, with the mood crash. A mood crash is plunging suddenly from an elevated or energetic mood into a low or depressed mood. It's always accompanied by suicidal ideation for me, then I tend to have mixed features, as well.
Fortunately, I recover from the worst of it quicker, these days, within days, rather than weeks or even months. It's still rough to go through, though. The mood crash was in part, from editing a few back-to-back triggering chapters. I'm trying to make the story entertaining and mostly light-hearted but some parts are pretty intense, as it's still raw for me when I revisit it, even though I've been editing a lot of stuff out.
During the mood crash, I had some pretty morbid thoughts, including what would happen to my unpaid advocacy work etc. in the even that I'm not here anymore. Well, any books published would stay available, although buried under millions of others, so not many people would know about them. The blogs would eventually disappear, if no one pays renewal bills. My social media, including YouTube, would likely stay.
I considered taking down my advocacy YouTube videos. Hundreds of hours of effort. I've privated some videos where I felt vulnerable, other videos which were viewed less etc. Deleted a lot from other social media platforms, to leave as a resource.
It's never a good idea to make big decisions in the middle of a mood crash. However, I might decide something afterwards. Someone left a comment on a video saying they wished they could be 'cool and inspirational' like me. They didn't know I spent the day in bed, too fragile to go anywhere.
When I was coming out of the mood crash, I decided to unpublish my first memoir, Bipolar Cringe, after talking it over with an online friend. 'Maggie' is in my second memoir and she said she doesn't mind if people guess who she is. She's been very supportive of me. It means the world to have a trustworthy and non-judgemental friend. She said I was vulnerable in the first memoir and it might be a good idea, as part of moving forward.
I could always 'republish' it if I want to but I don't think I will. I was shamed and abused, for showing what bipolar and PTSD is really like. Ironically, most of the abuse was by those who preach 'inclusivity'.
Heck, I'm vulnerable in this current memoir but I feel like I have spent way more time filtering what goes into it and what I leave out.
The good thing about indie (independent) publishing, is I can 'unpublish' anything, just like that. I had only published it to KPD on Amazon. The ebook disappears but the print-on-demand version stays as 'out-of-print' in case anyone wants to resell. Given most people purchased my books as ebooks, that's unlikely.
Unfortunately, the malicious reviews stay. It's actually one of the parts of the current memoir, I was editing, that was linked to that crap. I needed to mention the cyberbullying but trying to keep it to as minimal as possible.
I spent all day in bed with the mood crash. Managed a walk the next day. Today, was a sunny winter's day, so I went for a walk by the river. The two pics in this blog post are from the walk.
I like this part of the river when I've been struggling, as the sound, colours and movement of the river is calming. Some parts look blue; others have whitewater.
Moderate exercise is an important part of self-care for me, and walks in nature are so good for my mental health. I listen to music when I want to forget about being tired.
I guess some people want to know what artists and writers look like, so I've included a selfie, for the first time, on this blog. Taken a few days before the mood crash, with my DIY haircut.
next steps with memoir
I've decided to change a few character names in my memoir. I intend to run it through a few grammar and spelling writing apps. Then, give the updated manuscript to a friend who is reading it. Then, I have the last chapters to edit. I still have a lot to do. I have no firm deadlines, only the flexible goals I set for myself.
Sometimes, we just need a rest and then approach things with fresh eyes. Sometimes, I've had way longer breaks but now that I'm in the editing rather than writing stages, it's been pretty steady.
My upcoming memoir is called Bipolar Courage: are you sure you're not autistic? It's my best writing effort since my semiautobiographical novel, Pet Purpose: Your Unspoken Voice. I skim-read Pet Purpose for the first time, last night, since publishing it (over 2 years ago). I'm really proud of it, as I was struggling with severe symptoms of my diagnoses at the time of writing. It is sheer determination, that I completed this project, as well as I did, with the level of cognitive impairment I had (way worse than now).
I'll try not to write too much on the blog, although I've had a lot of visitors lately. Thanks for reading.
Disclaimer: the author of this blog is not an expert by profession and her opinions should not be taken as expert advice.