My name is Xanthe Wyse and I have been sharing several short, unedited videos about mental health and how improvised creativity helps me manage my mental health (diagnosed bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder = PTSD, social anxiety disorder).
Creative expression with music is the key to helping me process trauma with out re-traumatising myself. My anxiety increases if I try to do anything perfect (I am a reformed perfectionist). I don’t even wear makeup or dress up for most of my videos. I value authenticity.
I find it hard to feel and express emotions as I have the shutdown presentation of PTSD. Music and creative expression helps me to express those emotions without necessarily feeling them. Sometimes I cry but it is healing and the music playing eases the pain.
I listen to several songs for each painting and there are multiple layers. I don’t go for realism. I paint metaphorical abstract symbolism. I mostly paint the answer to ‘Was ist Liebe?’ (‘What is love?’). Love is abstract.
I am a very deep person just like all the layers in my paintings. Mainly of my paintings have hidden layers. Some have multiple paintings underneath.
I have shared in my videos multiple ways of creatively expressing and processing, in case painting isn’t your thing. It doesn’t need to be perfect. If anything, imperfection allows it to flow better for me.
For me, the butterfly visiting my window after I showed a messy scribble of a butterfly was an example of synchronicity or meaningful coincidence (which I find rather fascinating and have woven into my art and novels – the patterns, links, associations I observe). I actually got quite excited about the butterfly but it did not show outwardly how excited I was. That’s how the shutdown presentation of PTSD affects me – affects my ability to feel and express intense emotions.