Survivor with bipolar and PTSD. Symbolism in art and music.



I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. I am still under the influence of sedation in this video (had a 2 hour sleep and the sedation has not completely worn off).

I started a painting in the early hours of the morning waiting for sedation to take effect. It is currently called ‘Survivor’. These are the initial layers, painted messily under heavy sedating while listening to Electric Storm by Delta Goodrem that has words such as crashing, striking, tossing, turning, fighting, no reward, shipwrecked, stranded, survive, predators, I won’t be struck, I won’t give up.

For me, colours have symbolic meanings and they have multiple meanings, including the polar opposite depending on how I use it. In this painting, I wanted to use black for the bass clef but the darkest colour I had was burnt umber. I see symbolism in the names also so it fit. Although I bought carbon black today. Carbon is also an element that makes up diamonds under extreme heat and pressure.

I also thought of the song ‘I’m a survivor’ by Destiny’s child, so I will likely listen to it while I paint some more layers. While I paint the symbolism listening to music on repeat, I do processing with minimal distress. When I don’t have the paints out, I write mind maps as interconnected notes into a scrapbook (my current journal). I use felt pens and biros in symbolic colours and do strengths and emphasise key ideas. I may incorporate these into my paintings. They are also notes that help me with my memory when I make videos.

I forgot to say the the bass clef looks like an ear to me which means to listen. Also that I have been hurt by mean things that people have said to me. This painting is about trauma and pain. But also resilience and courage.

Source: Youtube