In 2003 during an elevated mixed state, I commenced numerous projects, many of them still unfinished. Somewhere along the line I managed to learn to recognise when the number of projects was getting out of control and started a list of the fantastic and awe inspiring ideas I had (well, in my mind they were fantastic and awe inspiring).
One of these ideas was to write a book about my experiences with and learnings around managing Bipolar. I prepared a 4 page document mapping out my book, starting with “What do I call it?” At this point in time I was experiencing ongoing hallucinations, tactile (touch), olfactory (smell) and auditory (hearing), and these were my reality regardless of others around me not having these experiences. Thus the name “This Is My Reality” came to being.
Over time I added dot points to my book map when elevated, but it never seemed to make it to the top of my priority list, especially as I was and am loath to produce something that when shared, demands a price. My belief is that those who need the guidance and insight around mental illness, are usually those who can least afford $20+ for a book.
Then all my non-funded Mental Health Advocacy work was put on hold for 3 years while I worked in the mental health field. I found it was too much for me to work in mental health all day and then come home and work on my passion of mental health information sharing. But, by a stroke of luck I found my job was made redundant and whilst unemployed and searching for a new position, I took up my Advocacy work again.
I happened across my book map whilst elevated, reassessing the need to get my information out to the mental health community. So much had changed. Books had been replaced by e-books; information sharing emails had been replaced by websites and blogs. There was a whole new world out there and I had no experience with it. But I love to learn, no matter how frightening it may seem at the time.
Discussions took place with various friends and family members, as well as those I consider mentors. An idea was born. “This Is My Reality” was to become a website and thus it began, hundreds of hours researching, collating, building, designing, consulting and stressing.
So here we are, welcome to “This Is My Reality”, welcome to my world.