The lyrics 'I get knocked down but I get up again' from the song Tubthumbing by Chumbawamba came to mind after I watched back a video I recorded in 2017 when I was struggling. At that time, my psychiatrist said, 'I'm doing my best to keep you alive right now'.
It was rough. Rapid cycling from mania then crashing into depression. I was unable to drive, unable to prepare a basic meal, unable to work at all. Now I can drive when I am up to it on quieter roads, can work around 8 hours per week, can usually prepare basic meals.
purpose to stay alive
Determination, purpose and my need to have a voice kept me alive. Even a voice in disguise (using metaphor and symbolism). Improvising art helped calm my racing mind and also served as mindmaps from when I was in a better space briefly to work on my manuscript. Pet Purpose: Your Unspoken Voice was written and edited in hypomania episodes, out of order, then rewritten until it flowed. It took 7 years from conception to publication (self-publishing was my first choice as I didn't want my voice changed).
cyberbullying and harrassment
My clinicians around this time said I was the most insightful client they ever had. In the video, I mentioned there were jealous people trying to harm me. This was not paranoia. Still to this day, the harrassment has continued, 8 years since my marriage breakup. I had the insight to realise it's fueled by jealousy, when I recorded this video 5 years ago.
When someone has been what I have, you either die, or you get stronger. My enemies wanted me dead and the mental health crisis team have been involved many times because of the cyberbullying. Only these hypocritical fools have made me stronger. Once you understand projection, that what they accuse me of is really about themselves and that bullies do it because they despise themselves, it takes away its power.
The silly thing is, the main harrassers and abusers actually dox themselves when they dox me. As even just linking my first former first name to my legal name now links back to a public record that links my names. I am trying to get the names disconnected but I may not be able to, legally. Goes straight back to the number one turd harrasser with her residential address and her toxic circle. So they have just shit in their own nest, essentially doxxing themselves. Fools.
ridiculous goals during my advocacy journey
At this time of recording this video, I was very vulnerable and was focussing on a 'ridiculous goal' of an art exhibition. I called that exhibition 'Spinning Orbit' after a painting I did without a paintbrush that represented how my mind felt. I was also trying to build a website (from self-taught skills I'd used in the past), with cognitive impairments. I since dumped that website as I moved onto Bipolar Courage (including some videos since 2017) and now Soar Purpose.
Parts of my journey. Plus I don't want the cost of domain names if I am not really using something (even though it's possible to have a completely 'free' basic website).
I won't be dumping Bipolar Courage though. I have going my through my YouTube channel and privated most videos that have less than 50 views. As well as some with hundreds or thousands or views that I feel aren't so relevant to my message. I have put the videos into years recorded (none were recorded in 2018, as I was preparing for my first art exhibition and didn't think I would ever attempt to vlog again).
Ending advocacy to pursue my passions
The final video for Bipolar Courage was recorded in April 2023. The channel had over 181,000 views at the time of writing this blog post. I expect that number will drop in the 'about' page with privating a large number of videos. I actually use the channel as a library for myself, to remind me of things I write about.
My advocacy journey has actually been 15 years but I have deleted most of my efforts prior to Bipolar Courage. Although one thing I founded was taken up by others and ended up bringing about what was called the biggest reform in a generation. I loathe politics so I am quite amused that I founded something that had massive political influence. Advocacy wasn't something I wanted to do. It was something I felt I needed to do. Helping others in a way to help myself.
I went onto have two solo art exhibitions and self-publish two books (more books are in the works). These were very challenging goals, yet they took my focus off my struggles. I always have a very challenging goal that is achievable with perseverance. My goal is four linked yet separate books about relationships with disaiblities, two memoirs, two novels.
Autism spectrum features
In the 2017 video, I said I was informally diagnosed Aspergers (my son's childhood diagnosis). This is true. What this meant was a psychiatrist and a psychologist said I am but they didn't formally diagnose adults. I stopped calling myself autistic after an assessment said traits only better explained by other diagnoses (the clinicians admitted they did that to make sure I got approved for therapy for PTSD).
I have since been reassessed and diagnosed pervasive developmental disorder - not otherwise specified, PDD-NOS. A psychiatrist said I have definite autism spectrum features but he thinks PDD-NOS is a better fit than Aspergers or Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD. All are current diagnoses in New Zealand.
My son and I are both on the autism spectrum, with features more prominent in childhood. The opposite to what this new wave of advocates are claiming who had no clinicially significant impairment since childhood.
Autism 'advocacy' has turned into a joke, with some milking it for all they can, when they don't even have their own stories because were 'neurotypical' for decades. So they regurgitate from online communities making stuff up as they go along. 'Masking' fulltime since early childhood is a load of bollocks. Anyway, I don't want to harp on about how much that topic irritates me.
Since this video, I have been in therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD for more than 4 years, expeted to be more than 5 years total. I was diagnosed with the avoidance and shutdown presentation of PTSD. It was severe but now it's more in the moderate range. I actually knew I had PTSD before I was diagnosed with it, because I'd read books about people who had escaped cults and they had PTSD. Also from the knowledge I'd gained working with pets.
It can take a long time to process complex trauma with grief and a mood disorder tangled in. I did quite a lot of processing on my Bipolar Courage YouTube channel but I have now privated most of the very vulnerable videos. So hopefully what is left is a useful resource.
My therapy with a clinical psychologist is expected to end by the end of this year. She's delighted that I made the decision to move on from advocacy (which unfortunately is full of toxicity from politics, drama and bullying).
The meds for bipolar disorder have side-effects such as weight gain but they do help me to get some sleep to stop becoming so severely unwell. My fitness has been derailed after injuries but I intend to build up again. In the meantime, even a short walk in nature in time to music really lifts my mood. I listened to empowerment songs yesterday and it took me from feeling very unsafe (triggered PTSD) back to confidence and determination.
I've been lied about again and again, still to this day. I am moving on with my life, beyond advocacy. If these fools want to stay obsessed with me, than it's their problem. The cyberbullies were especially obsessed with my first memoir, Bipolar Cringe. Even this past week admitting that still obsessed with it. How pathetic is that? It took courage to publish it, as it's a minimally edited, raw account of the state of mind leading up to a breakdown. The mania and shutdown presentation of PTSD. It's actually linked to Pet Purpose (which is more polished), yet they are completely different stories.
It takes courage to share one's vulnerabilities. I've decided that I am being more selective with what stays up and how I use social media going forward. I have also deleted most pics and videos from Bipolar Courage on Instagram. Still to look at Facebook. I am intending to blog exclusively at Soar Purpose. One of my blogging ideas is to write something about internet safety when a blogger/vlogger or even running a microbusiness. I don't want to blog too much though as I want to try finish my third book.
I want to lead a more private life. Social media can have benefits but it can also be incredibly toxic. The more you put out about yourself, the more bullies can try harm you. Unfortunately, this is what happens with advocacy about any kind of vulnerability.
With Soar Purpose, I have stayed behind the camera and I intend to stay that way. Soar Purpose is focussed on my creative expression, mainly writing and painting. Perhaps one day, I'll do some painting tutorials online? Who knows? There's possibilities beyond being tied to diagnoses which are not my identity.
My biggest goal this year is complete my memoir, Bipolar Courage, which is mainly about an intense connection with an autistic man. I don't want the recent drama and politics to feature in it. There's already been attempts to sabotage it before it's even completed. Driven by envy and jealousy I'm sure.
I have to say, it's been weird having a whole bunch of strangers obsessed with me. I even had marriage proposals from strangers, along with all the insults. Apparently I am infamous. Well, I'll take that as a compliment. I was never popular but infamous sounds a whole lot cooler.
I am no one's scapegoat. If I choose to, I will fight back and I will win. People underestimate how strong I actually am. I'm just not interested in playing in the sandpit with cowards who hide behind fake profiles (even though I know who some of them are). Although, I can't be bothered fighting with these twits. I have better things to do with my time and energy.
I've become pretty much fearless now. I went from the little girl who didn't speak to taking on Accident Compensation Corporation, ACC in court. ACC hired two solicitors and I represented myself. It was massively stressful but I faced one of my biggest fears, which was to be dismissed by a judge. I am legally eligible to be reassessed (stupid reasons were used to deny compensation, such as I paint and write).
I won't update here how that goes. Perhaps I'll mention in it in my book, perhaps not. I want to keep the political and bullying crapola out of it as much as possible.
back to writing my memoir, Bipolar Courage
The book is about 'Maxwell' whom I have never named publicly. I met him during the advocacy journey. He told me that he forgave his enemies as he has the same flaws they do. Strangers were pretty obsessed with him too. I thought he was a really interesting guy, so I want to write about him (avoiding politics, of course).
By the way, because the gossiping rubbish that goes on with social media, I am being vague about EVERYONE in the book. More than changing names. Not even saying what country, family details, what anyone looks like, occupation etc.
I don't care for ideology as it's toxic. Observing cult-dynamics with ideology has been a long-term 'special interest' of mine. But a toxic one that I am kicking to the curb.
Embracing only that which in meaningful to me.
I am Xanthe Wyse. No longer Bipolar Courage but I am courageous.
Find me more behind the scenes, with creative expression beyond advocacy at Soar Purpose.
Romantic iconoclast & destruction therapy
1 June 2023 update: 'Maxwell' (whom I see as a 'renegade fighter') called me a 'romantic iconoclast'. I found it therapeutic to destroy symbolic objects in elevated mood episodes (hypomania to mania). I am thinking today of calling the memoir, Bipolar Courage: are you sure you're not autistic? Started back on work on it yesterday and determined to complete it this year.
The destruction video below is my most prepared video out of all the videos from Bipolar Courage (as I only had one take at filming it and I was aiming for under 15 minutes).
My old qualifications with old name were triggering and would never go onto the wall again, so I smashed them with a sledgehammer (don't worry, I still have the academic transcripts, even though I can no longer use my qualifications). Also destroyed the laptop associated with trauma (if you ever want to smash a laptop, remove the lithium battery first and destroy the harddrive separately).
The destruction was part of my therapeuetic and creative process. The sculpture, Survival Flight, went into a community art exhibition and was destroyed again then repurposed into a bee which sold at another exhibition (my first sculpture ever to sell).
sledgehammer to my old name
The video is metaphor. The sledgehammer is what it is like to be smashed apart by trauma and why I legally changed my name.
I recommend listening to the songs that I'd listened to, for more of the experience (I couldn't play them due to copyright restrictions).
Renegade Fighter (Zed) from 0:04
Thunderstruck (AC/DC) from 3:15
Bring Me to Life (Evanescence) from 9:07
Renegade Fighter (Zed) from 13:31
I am no longer blogging or vlogging as a mental health and disability advocate. The politics of it is too toxic for me.