“Bipolar”; Synonymous with Passion?

When I think of passion the thought of artistry or craftsmanship often enters my mind. After all, artists (of all kinds) are often considered the most passionate people around, and I initially coupled this idea of “passion” with something like a tenacious drive to succeed or create.

Earlier this week I was contemplating this notion, and I concluded that I didn’t really have a solid idea of what passion really is. I was having trouble putting my thoughts into words, and when this happens I generally find myself making a run for the dictionary.

While I did see some definitions that involved enthusiasm or romanticism as a main theme, I was surprised to find the following definition at the top of the list in regard to passion:

A powerful emotion, such as love, joy, hatred, or anger.” 

The idea that passion could be linked to any strong emotion was a new concept to me. As I began to consider it, it became clear; what is my life experience, but the amalgam of powerful emotions?

I am someone who can be, admittedly, a person who can be hard to compromise with. I know that a lot of that comes from the fact that I have strong feelings attached to everything I do, and because of bipolar disorder (or whatever it is that inherently contributes to the depth of my emotions) that passion can quickly overshadow the shrugs and indifference of the people around me.

I also know that this passion is something that draws many people to me, particularly those that also experience big or powerful emotions themselves. Frankly, it can be difficult for me to understand the motivation of people who don’t seem to care about much, and when I am surrounded by passionate people I feel the most at home.

While I don’t want it to sound like passion is limited to those who have bipolar disorder, I think we simply experience those big emotions much more frequently than the “average” person (average here used in more the mathematical sense than a dictation of social standing). Frankly, the disorder itself it based on the fact that we do. 

Of all the words I could possibly use to describe my emotional states (many having negative connotations) I think it is important to level the linguistic playing field from time to time and remind people that the attitudes we use to describe our lives have a big impact on overall social acceptance. At the same time, I find it extremely important to remind myself that the thing I keep trying to silence has truly contributed to an interesting life.

I hope that if you take nothing else away from this post, you will take away a short and sweet reminder this Friday:

Through all the ups and downs, there is one constant: your life is one of passion! 

5 responses to ““Bipolar”; Synonymous with Passion?

  1. I used to be full of passion and hope. I wanted to make every moment count. This is a nice reminder that I can still choose to live life that way. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Yet Another Brilliant Blog (YABB)

    Till last year when I my success-triggered mania tripped me for the last time, I once fancied my enthusiasm and spirit and passion were great assets. Now, I’m come to the stubborn realization that, for me, these spikes are the greatest internal threats to my well-being.

    I’ve spent the year exploring this idea, writing under the pen name of Revu2 on psych central. One metaphor I had to burst was that I would swing from feeling successfully to the disasters this mood nearly inevitably left in its wake. Real tangible loss and damage, and then the emotional drop into the pool of despair when I returned to my senses.

    So, I came up with the idea of a Mobius strip serving as my metaphor. If it’s all in a circle or loop but with a half twist somewhere that makes it seamless and one thing, with a single edge. To accomplish this I had to allow my old mania to die within, and to that end I held a burial ceremony in my soul’s imagination.

    This has reorganized everything so much I hardly know now how to succeed at what I most want! It’s been a year of just blah. But this week upon awakening Monday I felt a whisper: it’s time to get it back together. Then over the week I peeled back the covers on the blahs to see that my anger is one of my under acknowledged resources. Yes, another passion, but I feel compact and focused rather than elated and flighty.

    Thanks for inspiring these thoughts.

  3. Perhaps BiPolar amplifies the passion, both positive and negative?

  4. Without a doubt bipolar disorder shapes how I think and feel. My mind has taken me where others will never go. I have felt intense emotions that others may never feel. But whether or not I am symptomatic, I am a passionate woman. There are times that passion may be dampened, when I may experience a lull, but I remain the same passionate woman, treated or not, symptomatic or not. Of course, whether or not I am treated, and I am, my brain remains a bipolar brain. It still differs from a normal brain. Even medicated, I stand as a woman living with bipolar disorder and it so deeply influences who and how I am that perhaps I cannot untwine the two.

  5. Yes! So much yes here. Sometimes I think I am just SO FULLY ALIVE AND HUMAN — and it looks “disordered” when compared to the way our society/culture has been built… which is around, I think, the more “average” emotional experience.

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