Succeeding and thriving with mental illness

Oh my gosh!!

A humble brag of the most grateful proportions and so thrilled to share with you that I won the ADEC award for my painting ‘Fly Free’ yesterday at the Artability Diverse-city exhibition in The Atrium in Fed Square (Melbourne Australia)

(which also currently referred to in our household as- that damn birds painting!)

ADEC Award 2016
ADEC Award 2016

ill show you why in a minute!

So here’s the thing.

For me, I’ve finally worked out (took five yeas but hey better late than never right?) that I can be successful and award winning and live the life I want to live on my terms – as long as….

  • I listen to what my mind, body and soul needs.
  • I don’t push myself to be something I’m not
  • I accept my limitations as strengths and not something that is holding me back
  • I am real and authentic and say yes, when I mean yes and no when I mean no without guilt and shame and feelings of inadequacy
  • I surround myself with my tribe of folks whom I can be me
  • I’m realistic about timeframes
  • I’m realistic about my capabilities during episodes
  • I set self-care boundaries about what works for me
  • I appreciate who I am, as I am – no comparisons
  • I own it

and I stop beating myself up when I can’t finish a task, or am struggling more than usual and to take a break as part of self care and not as a point of failure.

and I promised I’d show you why we refer to it as ‘the damn birds painting’ in our house 😂


I love it! ❤️❤️ Now I can’t say I’ve been on a bottle of wine or a candle before but hey! There is a first for everything! But I gotta tell you dear reader, I feel like I’m being staked by one of my paintings, a la Hitchcock-esque! Seriously, it’s awesome, so much fun!

So now I know.

So here is what I also spoke about at the exhibition, sharing my story of recovery and hope and living with Bipolar (and art and recovery)

I guess success for me and what works for me is

  • knowing who I am
  • being honest about what I’m about,
  • surrounding myself with a support team (medical, holistic and brilliant mates)
  • and embracing all my bits, not just those I think are ‘acceptable’

I get to live the life I love and it’s BETTER (would you believe) before my brain flipped a switch and before I became / diagnosed Bipolar?

Because I had to get real and authentic and I reckon that’s success. Being who you are and loving yourself for it –  living your life how you want, on your terms in wellness, kindness, compassion, self forgiveness, self worth and love. ❤️

Gotta be happy with that and can I say, feeling tremendously blessed and grateful is just, food for the soul xx


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