Saturday, 31 March 2018

Creating My Odyssey: BLAHHHH.....

Creating My Odyssey: BLAHHHH.....: BLAHHHH..... Right... It's like this... That's how I've been feeling. It's all for the good, but very unsettli...



It's like this...

That's how I've been feeling. It's all for the good, but very unsettling. The story thus fàr has been - for those of you who're newbies here - the rebuilding of my life starting nearly five years ago - that long?! Scheisser! - since complete recovery from thirty years of depression and anxiety. 

As my 'about' and introductionary message says, I'm rebuilding my polymath creativity and life. Which also means that we're redecorating and freshening up the house after thirty years of neglect. 

Not being the most domesticated of persons, matters in those areas have been largely ignored. I concentrated on bringing up two children so that they wouldn't turn into glue-sniffing, granny-bashing, heartless buggers later on. That worked, mostly. More than mostly. They're fabulous adults and we love 'em to bits and we're sooo proud of 'em and we're best mates. So that worked, definitely. I was also struggling with depression and anxiety. I was writing my epic novel because I had to/needed to/desperately needed to, and that did help keep me sane.  

So the house went largely to pot. I did manage to disinfect the loo occasionally (Himself did a nuclear clean up once a week), and did the washing (our sweet elderly neighbour noticed that the washing had been hanging up for a while - a day or two - and she'd been tempted to take it down herself! I didn't want to be seen as domesticated at the time so it got left out...). I managed to cook, just about. I loathed needlework at school and preferred cooking, but daughter was a shocking eater, which put me off cooking forever. I now prefer needlework!

Sooo...not domesticated. 

In recent months, then, we've been eyeing up the house and, our psychological outlooks vastly improved and stimulated, we decided enough's enough! Bit more than a spring clean. I wander around the abode and see stuff that's needed fixing since we moved in (1992ish. Son was four. He's now thirty). A few years ago we did redecorate our bedroom and the hall and stairs and they do look good but need freshening up. A few months ago we redecorated and rebuilt the utility room and downstairs loo. New cupboard fittings, fresh paintwork. Now it's the turn of both the upstairs bathroom and loo and the conservatory/studio. We decided to do it all at once. We're on a roll now. 

We bought new cupboards for my antique curios collection and new glass and decorative wrought iron table and shelves for the conservatory/studio. Love them! Halfway through the bathroom and starting on the conservatory. We christened the new loo last night - hooray! - going downstairs to the cold loo at night was a right pain in the posterior. 

I am suffering a little. We returned from our two weeks in Madeira, and I almost immediately came down with a nasty bout of the flu which meant I missed my sculpture course for two more weeks, and missed writing group. And having the house in continuous upheaval while we redecorate isn't much fun. So yes - suffering a little, mentally. As Husband says, my comfort space isn't. Or wasn't. I was desperate to get out, and low mood descended. Unsurprisingly. So we're making sure the sitting room is comfortable for the evenings. 

We're getting there, and we can see results. Husband is working his butt off with plumbing and putting together the bathroom cupboards. He's so good! It's coming together. Lots of photos to come....

The conservatory as it was...

Friday, 30 March 2018



Great to connect with you! 

     I’m Jo - quirky artist, writer, traveller, mental health advocate, music lover, wild west nut intrigued by science, and renaissance soul with a potty sense of humour. 

     Five years ago I began a three-year journey towards miraculous full recovery after thirty years of depression and anxiety – a medication crisis was the catalyst, I’ve never felt this good - and I’m chronicling the rebuild of my eclectic, adventurous and creative life on my blog, Creating My Odyssey   

     By enormous good chance our wonderful neighbours introduced us to the brilliant mental health team, who, with a medication combination (known as California Rocket Fuel - love it!) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, brought me to where I am now. Which proves that provided sufferers know where to look, help is available. That's the hard part, which shouldn't be the case. Depression is one of the most treatable of mental health issues. I’m now networking with individuals and creatives with mental health issues - depression in particular - and reaching people with a voice, in the hopes that sharing my experience will give hope. Also, I'm hoping to be a bit of a role model for my age group - the over sixties. (Ageism is one of my pet hates!) 

     Less altruistically perhaps, Creating My Odyssey is a great vehicle for my creativity - writing (anecdotal articles and an epic novel) and art - and covers a myriad of eclectic subjects. I’m unleashing everything that was previously hidden under a bushel, and I've been interviewed and had articles published on mental health and general sites. 

     I’ve also been writing my humongous novel forever, on and off, particularly during young parenthood and depression to help keep me sane. Alias Jeannie Delaney is the story of a devastating cowgirl who’s the fastest gun in the west and also bisexual. Since my recovery I've screwed up the courage to get it out there with the help of my soulmate Husband. I’m blogging about my slow but sure progress. I've had interviews about my fascination for the wild west, and appeared on a news item on UK television.

     I exchange links and guest posts with other bloggers, particularly on mental health matters, so if you're interested, I'd love to hear from you. I also collaborate with creatives who suffer or have suffered from mental health problems, and exchange posts about creativity - whatever ideas anyone may have. I'm open to (almost) anything!

     Thank you so much for reading this preamble and all the rest!

Ps: I was born confused and disorganised, so any lovely respondants be warned: I do sincerely want this but sometimes I have to be shouted at to gain my attention ! 

Wednesday, 28 March 2018


Creating My Odyssey: TO ALL CREATIVE COACHES - A BIG THANK YOU!: TO ALL CREATIVE COACHES - A BIG THANK YOU! I'm subscribed to umpteen zillion creative coaches, a practice begun just after I bega...



I'm subscribed to umpteen zillion creative coaches, a practice begun just after I began recovering from depression and anxiety, and may I say what a fantastic job these people do!

     They send out regular, free newsletters containing tips, hints, encouragement, a gentle kick up the rear end - to artists, writers, singers, musicians, dancers - anyone in the creative biz, whether professional or otherwise, who may be struggling to do what they want/need to do, for whatever reason. They've been ill for a long time and need a pick-me-up. They've had a long break for any number of reasons. They've been in totally different disciplines and want to try their hand at creativity. These coaches are particularly good at giving those who've lost their creative confidence a bit of a helping hand. 

     When I first subscribed to newsletters, hundreds of those subscriptions were to life coaches, which were equally valid at the time. After a year or two, I cancelled most of them because, thankfully, I was doing pretty well, myself. And of course I thank these people too, because they're also doing a free service. But I've hung onto creativity coaches (if you see what I mean!) because, although I don't necessarily need their services myself, for which I'm very grateful, the advice, prompts, exercises they offer are very useful to other creative souls, and I want to pass on their advice to others. 

     On that note, I've just opened up my latest batch of emails, and, one of them is from a creativity coach. That's when I decided a big 'thank you' was in order, and the idea of sharing these mails on my blog and to social media popped into my head. Here follows, for everyone's delight and delectation, a non-exhaustive list of some of the creative coaches I'm subscribed to, plus others, and doubtless I'll be adding more later.  

     So, to all you creativity coaches out there in the big beyond - thank you so much!

40 ways to stay creative | Infographic | Creative Bloq