I originally wrote this blog post in December 2018. Have since had 2 years of weekly therapy a trauma psychologist. Transferred this blog post as not renewing the domain name. A lot of my processing for post-traumatic stress disorder was self-directed. I often have elevated moods (hypomania, mania) when processing intense themes.
I published my novel, Pet Purpose: Your Unspoken Voice (about processing grief and trauma with bipolar disorder) in 2021. One reason it took so long (7 years) is that I needed recovery time as became elevated each time I worked on it and vice versa.
I am currently hypomanic (mildly manic) after a big PTSD triggering episode recently. Pouring the creative energy into my book Pet Purpose. One of the ways I organise what's in the chapters is to make a grid so I can add things that I want to make sure I include. I have written drafts for 21 chapters but they all need re-writing. Wrote the 4th draft of chapters 1-7 but got stuck at Chapter 8 Death Row which is quite painful for me.
But after being triggered, I jumped to the end. All the chapters were written out of order and started off as segments that were patched together as the storyline developed. It's my story in disguise which is the only way I feel safe telling my story.
The pink is what I've scribbled being up since the early hours of this morning after I had a hallucination of a shadow person using my head as a punching bag. It was scary, but I know exactly what it means and have been making more connections. Have also written pages and pages in my journal and have written a draft of the last chapter, intending to come back to Chapter 8 which I've been avoiding. It's based on a dog that was dear to me.
The process of putting together a very emotional cohesive journey has been helping me heal. My emotions were shut down from PTSD and I'd only 'feel' when hypomania or manic from bipolar. I write when I have episodes of hypomanic (even though I'm on meds). If I'm manic, my brain is too disorganised to form a sentence, so I've painted instead.
Danger - Slowing things down
Called the mental health crisis team to ask about my meds because I'm in a constant state of high arousal in a fight or flight state as well as hypomanic to manic like an Energiser bunny.
They told me what I already knew, that I need to rest and sleep because my bipolar and PTSD activate each other and things can spin out of control quickly. I need to temporarily adjust my meds so that sedated and sleeping properly and in a calm state. Have been in this state after a massive trauma trigger recently.
Some things I have are pressure of speech, racing thoughts, very messy and big handwriting, racing doing everything, sweating excessively, extreme hypervigilance (on the alert for danger) restless, heart racing.
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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).