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TZHI #3: Bipolar Disorder is out now

It’s been a bit. Sorry about that. Lots of life, and growth, and all sorts of other things happened in the past few weeks, and I haven’t been able to prioritize blogging in the mix. However, I am very happy to announce that TZHI #3 is now available from Microcosm Publishing, and will also be available on this site soon as well. Though growth is often uncomfortable, with growth, there’s always change, and there will certainly be some changes (expectantly for the better) coming soon for TZHI.

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Hyper Productivity

So I don’t think I’m manic right now, because I’m not experiencing racing thoughts nor am I not sleeping or having any other manic symptoms. But I am experiencing a period of increased productivity. I decided to collaborate with not one, not two, but ten different artists. All at the same time. So that’s happening. I put it out there on Instagram that I’d like to collaborate with a long list of artists thinking that maybe two or three would respond. I got so many responses that I’m a little concerned that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. We’ll see what happens, and I plan to post the results of some of my collaborations here.

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Blog Post Topics

Yesterday I decided to come up with a list of topics to fall back on when Shiny Object Syndrome inevitably strikes. So now I’ll have my SOS plan. Here’s my list from the mania side of things:

  • hyper productivity
  • spending sprees
  • hypersexuality
  • paranoia
  • racing thoughts
  • anxiety
  • euphoria
  • delusions

And here’s a depression list:

  • irritability
  • fatigue
  • appetite changes
  • inability to concentrate
  • feelings of worthlessness
  • sleeping too much
  • anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure)

And then some self-care topics:

  • exercise
  • eating healthy
  • hobbies
  • making space for creativity
  • mindfulness/meditation
  • listening to music
  • relaxation techniques
  • spending time with friends/loved ones
  • nature therapy

…and there you have it. A solid SOS plan list. I feel fully equipped next time SOS strikes to be able to focus in and write on a topic from one of my above lists.

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Creativity Bursts

I’ve been experiencing a “burst” of creativity lately that I obviously haven’t been applying to the act of coming up with topics for and writing blog posts. I’m not sure why it is, but for some reason, whenever I have a creative burst it’s usually in a different area than whatever it is I’ve been working on at the time. The trick, in this case, is to try and direct that creative energy into what matters more than just whatever is the “most fun”. Call it “Shiny Object Syndrome”, or SOS. When I feel a little “up” is typically when I have a burst of creative energy. That’s also when it’s most difficult to focus. So I think my energy goes to whatever comes the most naturally as opposed to the thing that requires concentration and focus. This is something I think I’ll work on going forward. Putting what is “important” before what seems “urgent”. When my next creative burst comes, I think I’ll attempt to focus on something that I’ve needed to do before I jump into whatever is most attractive to me at the moment. One idea I have is to create a list of blog post ideas that I can reference when the creativity strikes so I’ll have something solid to fall back on.

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DAVeTOO Stickers

I made a BUNCH of DAVeTOO stickers today. As much as I love working on the computer, there’s something very therapeutic about sitting and drawing with markers on labels. These are set up for collabs on which other artists will draw which is why there is so much blank space on each one.

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When the Music Hits

I’ve been thinking more about music and mental health lately since the next issue of This Zine is going to be a music-themed issue. I’ve got an interview lined up with UK ska/punk band Call Me Malcolm, and I have one other singer/songwriter I’m planning to ask to be in the issue, Amy Gerhartz. I’ve been looking up quotes about music and mental health and have found some good ones so far. I’d heard this one before but love it… “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” – Bob Marley. Another good one I found is… “I think any time I’ve ever got down or ever felt low the one thing that picks me up from that is writing a song about it. At least you’ve got a positive experience out of a bad experience.” – Singer Ed Sheeran. And there are so many more.

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Sorry it’s Been a While

I took a day off from blogging and suddenly it’s something like four days later. How’d that happen? Though I’ve been seriously slacking on making blog posts, I’ve been working hard on This Zine in the meantime and I’m happy to say it’s nearly ready to send to the publisher. Just one bit of text and one image left to drop in place and, VOILA, another issue complete! I’m pretty excited about everything that’s going into issue three from the cover, through all the amazing contributors’ content, to the Resource Guide, and everything in between. I always strive to make each issue the best one yet, and I think and hope that this issue will live up to that expectation.

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A Day Off

Yesterday was a day off from blogging, walking, working, nooming, parenting, and pretty much all the other “ings”. The day was dreary and just kind of blah with overcast, rainy weather off and on all day. Today I’ll get back to doing all the “ings” and reflect here on taking the day off yesterday. This morning, my inner critic told me that yesterday was a waste, but the one thing I did do was rest. And resting is a form of self-care and self-care is never a waste. I’m realizing that more and more. Why is it that when we care for ourselves we think we’re being selfish or lazy or whatever other negative thing our inner critic tells us we are doing wrong? I know that making self-care a priority is important not just for my own mental and physical health, but it helps me be the best me I can be for myself, and for those around me. And that’s always worth doing. It’s just that darn inner critic that says if I’m not busy accomplishing something then I’m wasting valuable time. I think the inner critic never stops talking, but I’m going to do my best to listen less. And if you’re struggling with self-care, then I’m giving you (and myself) permission to make it a priority. Not just for ourselves, but in order to be the best version of ourselves we can be for those we love and care about.

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A Sneak Peek

Here’s a sneak peek at two of the beautifully illustrated stickers coming soon to the next mental health stickersheet by artist and mental health advocate Jen Aboki. Stickersheets will be available here soon with proceeds from sales going to the mental health charity of the artist’s choice. If you’re an artist interested in contributing your artwork to this project you can read more info here.