I originally wrote this blog post on a blog I will not be renewing the domain name for, so transferring to here. I have had weekly therapy with a trauma psychologist for 2 years now. I published my first novel, Pet Purpose: Your Unspoken Voice in 2021.
Today I had a well overdue professional massage. Think it's been over a year since I had one last. If I could afford it, I'd have one every 1-2 weeks. There was a time when I would feel extremely anxious about any form of touch including kisses, hugs and sex. Or even someone standing too close to me. It still makes me feel anxious if there's any kind of conflict.
I originally wrote this blog post in January 2019. Moved post to here as not renewing domain name for other blog. I am diagnosed bipolar 1 disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder.
It's very hard for me to cope with workplaces. Many times over, I have become anxious about someone else to the point of panic and then left (avoidance). I have been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder along with bipolar and PTSD. All these conditions affect my ability to keep a job.
I am a recovering perfectionist. A perfectionist is someone who puts unrealistically high standards on themselves with overly critical self-evaluations. Some may project that onto others as well.
I got triggered by my own perfectionism while painting a bird - my second attempt at painting a bird (below). I'd invited constructive feedback by other hobby artists during the process but then I felt my normally low blood pressure rise, I felt angry inside and I felt 'done'. My frustrations came out in scribbling paint over the background and overdoing the highlights as per suggestions. I knew I had to stop.
"I think adults who paint are brave. They need support to shine." Sue Graham, artist.
Art was one of my favourite activities as a child. I have memories from kindergarten slapping on thick layers of brightly coloured paint at a stand up easel. I won a poster competition when I was around 10 years old. It was judged by a well-known landscape artist whom I met. She told me my poster stood out because of the colours and composition.
When I was a teenager, my art teacher at school said, 'you always paint differently according to what mood you're in.' I felt criticised but thought, 'isn't that the point?' The same teacher said, 'you're going to have a nervous breakdown one day.' She said it was because I was busy doing so many activities with no down time to rest.
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).