I have decided not to renew a Pet Purpose domain name, so will move a few blog posts to here before it goes. This post was originally published February, 2019.
Sometimes I paint with a knife. This could be a finished painting but I feel that I want to paint the patterns in it with blue (representing depression) and yellow (representing bipolar mania) over it.
My emotions shut down with PTSD, especially with the emotion of anger. I usually can't feel anger and I shut down if someone else gets angry.
Someone got angry at me and I partially shut down. When I was alone, I was on the verge of tears but only a few released. It's hard for me to cry. I felt numb. So that's one of the times when I paint - when I feel numb.
I 'cut' the canvas with a knife dipped into red paint while listening to a song that came to mind. Arlandria by Foo Fighters. It's my 'angry' song.
This red layer of paint represents pain. So painting expresses what I can't really feel. Music helps me to stop 'thinking' so I just go with the flow more. I am still analytical though so the meaning of all my paintings comes to me in brief flashes before, during or after I've done them.
Some of my process drawings and paintings are done on paper with crayons and dye and bright colours. With a very childlike expression - my inner child expressing what she really feels. It's been therapeutic.
After painting in red, I painted translucent layers of blue and yellow while listening to relaxing instrumental music. They blended to make green. To me, the green symbolises growth and stability. The name 'Growing Pains' came to me, so that's what I'm calling this painting.
The underlying pain is always there, but is no longer the focus when I've added the other colours. Yet that pain needs to be addressed, rather than just medicating the bipolar.
Xanthe finds creative expression including writing and painting to be therapeutic and helps her to manage her diagnoses of bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).