I have a wealth of experience of being locked in and then let out again. In fact, I am over-qualified. Having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Bipolar since I was 21 has given me this gift. It was therefore familiar for me being detained in the UK lockdown. This time I voluntarily lost my liberty again, but for a greater cause.
The months passed and the pandemic progressed as series of shocking news items, press conference statistics, Government guidelines and promises. I worked from home in my role as a Media Officer with a charity and got accustomed to seeing people on a screen and behind glass. Then it happened. In October 2020, despite taking every precaution possible, Mum contracted Covid-19 and passed away peacefully on 9th October 2020 at the age of 80.
I used my creativity to master my emotions, throwing myself into my new business venture that was born during the pandemic christened The Visuals Adviser. Mum had seen me develop over the years with two new businesses and developing my career as a public speaker. I had already faced tough times during lockdown one in my jewellery business called Amoreantos as the casting companies and assay offices closed affecting production.
At Easter I had designed three new pendants, including one called Hope. I was so proud that Mum loved the lotus and infinity design and purchased one. When her pendant arrived from casting a few days after she had died, I was devastated. Over the months since Mum passed away, people I met talked about Covid-19 as a throwaway comment. Every business networking meeting the topic was raised and eventually I became desensitised.
I had faced my own finality many years before, after all there needs to be a trauma to have PTSD. I have always clawed my way back knowing that Mum would be proud as I developed to be a strong and confident woman. We had a special understanding that was based on good intentions and forgiveness. I made her laugh about the times in my life which were the most painful. The infestations of rats, mice, and insects; homelessness; amnesia; physical disability; terrible times in hospitals too difficult to bear and the list goes on. Every major trough was covered in those conversations, and each one was raised into peaks of laughter with the expertise that only someone with Bipolar can deliver.
Seeing that smile on Mum’s face was important after all the tears we had shed. As I face 2021 now without her, I am reminded of her strength, and that it is within me too. For me visual communication is my superpower. Transferring visual concepts from mind to mind is a minor miracle. I will always associate Mum with the word hope, and the design I created. I think of our conversations when I set up The Visuals Adviser. These are graphics that have impacted upon me indelibly, and they will always remind me of her and her guiding light.