My name is Xanthe Wyse. I have been diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder. Two of my Facebook pages are Bipolar Courage and Soar Purpose.
Here I am tired but inspired after doing a lot of processing last night (writing on the old records listening to music – with tears). I slept 6 hours with sedation from my meds. I usually need 8-9 hours sleep. My mood has been coming down from hypomania.
When I watched this video, I noticed that a plane flew over when I said the word ‘soar’. This is an example of the synchronicities or meaningful coincidences I see dozens of time per day. I’ve been told that it is my seeing patterns in everything. I find synchronicities so fascinating that I have woven them into my first novel in progress, Pet Purpose. Along the way, I had an art exhibition, Spinning Orbit. Painting helped me remember what my storylines were as I have short-term memory issues. I also ‘journal’ in the form of mind-maps with coloured felt-pens. This helps inspire new ideas from my life experiences and observations.
In recent videos I have been sharing some of my creative process. I am on medications but I have specifically requested to not be over-medicated. I still want to feel and work through the pain, not to have it all shut down (which is what I do anyway). Being creative gives me purpose. I am driven by the love of my son, whom I am separated from by thousands of kilometres and the sea.
Music is healing. I couldn’t listen to music when I was depressed as I would feel upset with some songs, but then I embraced listening to music again. I only listen to enough of the really painful ones to process and then change the tune. I change the lyrics. Music can emotionally move me when my emotions are shut down (from PTSD).
I paint, but some people say ‘but I can’t paint, I can’t do anything creative.’ Some of my process art was done on old cardboard with old paints that had been in the garage for over 20 years. The painting on my wall of the infinity symbol with a hammerhead shark symbol behind it (meaning strength, courage, determination) was done on an old bit of cardboard that still has dinged up corners. Re-purposed materials. I didn’t feel my art was ‘good enough’ to paint on canvas at first. So I got it out on bits of wood, cardboard etc.
I have a suggestion for you to try. I bought some old records and CDs from the op shop for 50c each. I’ve been writing snippets of song lyrics on them as I listen to music. The parts that emotionally move me. I have significant memory issues and can only remember a tiny portion of lyrics – sometimes just 3 words. But then I look the song up and listen to it (every song I’ve looked up so far has been on You Tube).
I might cry. It’s a healing release. When I’m done with that song (listening on repeat), I change to something else. I end up with something I find uplifting. I listen to songs of many different styles, from different eras, even some songs I don’t particularly like. They are linked to memories.
Listening to music on loops is one of the major ways I have been processing trauma. Having a sense of purpose has been keeping me going. Like when I made a ‘ridiculous’ goal of having an art exhibition when I only had a few paintings. When I was struggling with alternating mania and crashes, despite being on medications. I wanted to share how painting was therapeutic for me. Even drawing in crayon like a kid. It all helped me.
I am still on my healing journey, but I wanted to share to help inspire others to keep going.