after reading this wonderful writer’s post, she seems to speak right through me. almost like stepping out of my thoughts and put in everything that she saw in to words.
i was always called “different” and a “loony” — streak [yes, just a touch of it.] there are times when i cannot bear to feel all these emotions inside me. i was told that all emotions are products of our thoughts,… i guess it is.. but for the longest time, i cant seem to feel anything [since i was powered by my mind for a decade]…but then, when i came face to face with my greatest joy… i began to fear. i fear like ive never felt fear in my life before. here i am, suddenly engulfed with emotions i thought i have conquered after a series of catastrophic blessings i thought i was unshakeable. well,i thought wrong. over the years when i was a dead man walking, the [self assesed] borderline personality disorder and intense emotions have disappeared too. i wasnt able to make any tantrums, or cried any tears [think years!]..
i have never felt more grateful for the beast in me. because that has allowed me once again to feel all kinds of feelings that has kept me alive in the past before i closed my heart. that beast is every part of who i am [everybody has their own beasts too] ….the beast are the feelings of love, lust, anger, pain, discontent, emptiness, guilt, fear, confusion, compassion…. that beast has made me form all those into poetry that wouldnt have made possible if i am not a [self diagnosed] borderline personlity. or bi polar.. [lol] my friends would call it everytime i “snap” —-they’d tell me “activated” ….. then, i would just laugh. sometimes i just feel too much that i have come to know that it really isnt me, or my energy why i have sudden shift in moods, and perception… if i listen to my mind, it would take me places where my heart and soul would go against.
because of my “activation” –[DNA or mood shift] i came to know more about myself and have learned to love me. for all the negativity that is around us, that is a hidden treasure we have yet to find. all these sudden rush of emotions that vibrate within us is usually not ours. our mind sometimes fool us annd we go along with it. it is hard. but whoever said that life is an easy road to take?
always love each and everything about us. its the only way to be really happy and live life in [eternal] bliss. each and everything that we go through, there is always a reason behind it.. it may not be clear for us now but one day, we look back on our lives and wistfully think that everything is working out for the best.
the pain is inevitable… lucky are those who can always feel it when it comes to them because they are alive. i hope that everyone finds beauty and find strength in the disguised blessings and comfort when they are able to get past all the anguish inside.
letting go is the hardest. i thought it wasnt when i was able to let go of two people [in a span of 3 mths] for their own happiness. maybe it was easy for me to because i was unhappy already and the other time is when he deserves to rest in peace. it was the most profound inner bliss that i ever felt. i could literally feel my shoulders have been lifted a weight off.
letting go when you are happier with a person is what crushed my heart. it is a welcome pain, nevertheless. but it is also unbearable for me. because it feels like i am betraying my heart and my soul… but because i only want the person to really be free from my BPD or mood swings.. because it is important for me… that he be happy even if it means i am giving up the only person who makes me feel most alive. who fuels my fire to write soulfully and because i have discovered alot about myself more.. i have finally become honest because i had submit myself to vulnerabilty that pain was something that i had to endure… patience has never become me. the fear will always stick a little longer than it should. but i hope to hold on to it, the way i can hold on to the joys of our memories because it is important to me that i stay in touch to who i am… to my core. i am complete…i know that i am.. but the feeling of incomplete will never go away if there will be unresolved issues to tackle.
love will be a big factor in my life. i am filled with so much love inside that to hold it back is a bigger heartache more than anything else… i guess, i will always remain a prisoner of my heart and not my head.
May 21, 2012
Mood Disorders and the Artist
If any of you love to read… and especially psychology books, you would love “Touched with Fire” by Kay Redfield Jamison. She does a great job in her research of poets of long ago and connects them with a possible mood disorder based upon their writing, melancholy, suicide attempts, suicide deaths, and information gathered from their families/loved ones… where applicable.
It is no surprise that mental illness goes hand in hand with artistic talents… for some reason, more so with writers than other artists. There is a striking number of suicides by contemporary writers that goes on to help prove the point. Lord Byron is quoted as saying, “We of the craft are all crazy”. (Speaking of other fellow writers and poets).
During a control study, 80% of writers were found to have any affective disorder. Affective disorder is descried as ” mental disorder characterized by dramatic changes or extremes of mood. Affective disorders may include manic (elevated, expansive, or irritable mood with hyperactivity, pressured speech, and inflated self-esteem) or depressive (dejected mood with disinterest in life, sleep disturbance, agitation, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt) episodes, and often combinations of the two. Persons with an affective disorder may or may not have psychotic symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, or other loss of contact with reality.
Think about it… 80% is a staggering number of writers to be found with mood disorders.
Poets have the highest percentage of Bipolar 1 Disorder than any other writers/artists, and also have the highest percentage for suicides.
The more I am spent, ill, a broken pitcher, by so much more I am an artist – a creative artist. ~ Van Gogh
Kay Redfield Jamison says ” Artistic expression can be the beneficiary of either visionary and ecstatic or painful, frightening, and melancholic experiences. Even more important, however, it can derive great strength from the struggle to come to terms with such emotional extremes, and from the attempt to derive from them some redemptive value”.
Depression’s no gift from the muse~ Robert Lowell
The book also mentions the creativity of the relatives of writers, parents – 7%, while siblings were 20%…showing a pretty strong link to the genetic predisposition of Affective Disorders and creativity.
There is a wonderful graph in the book that I wish I could put in this post but it would be excruciatingly long and painful to do. However, you can see it here. In this chart is a breakdown of particular artists and their possible mood disorders. It gives the breakdown of why they were believed to have mood disorders, what type, and notes if they committed suicide. Strikingly, there is a high rate of mood disorders, suicide, and institutionalization within the group of poets AND their families. “More than one half of poets showed strong evidence of mood disorders… 1 in 3 poets likely suffered from Manic Depressive Illness, aka- Bipolar 1 Disorder.” (Touched With Fire)
Here is a list of artists believed to have some form of mood disorder:
- John Berryman
- Honore De Balzac
- Hans Christian Andersen
- Robert Burns
- Samuel Clemens
- Lord Byron
- Charles Dickens
- Samuel Taylor
- Coleridge Isak Dinesen
- Emily Dickinson
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- T.S. Eliot
- William Faulkner
- Victor Hugo
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
- John Keats
- Ernest Hemingway
- Edna St. Vincent
- Millay Henry James
- Sylvia Plath
- Eugene O’Neill
- Edgar Allan Poe
- Leo Tolstoy
- Anne Sexton
- Tennessee Williams
- Ezra Pound
- Virginia Woolf
- Alfred Lord Tennyson
- Emile Zola
- Dylan Thomas
- Walt Whitman
- Irving Berlin
- Jackson Pollock
- Noel Coward
- Vincent Van Gogh
- Stephen Foster
- Edvard Munch
- Cole Porter
- Mark Rothko
- Paul Gauguin
- Georgia O’Keeffe
Touched With Fire by Kay Redfield Jamison is a wonderful book and really helps to piece together these artists and their often melancholic mood noted in their works.
I leave you with words by Edward Thomas… for those of you with mood disorders, this will hit home with you… for those without mood disorders, this gives you an idea of what it is like to have one.
“I stay because I am too weak to go. I crawl on because it is easier than to stop. I put my face to the window. There is nothing out there but the blackness and the sound of rain. Neither when I shut my eyes can I see anything. I am alone…There is nothing else in my world but my dead heart and brain within me and the rain without.”
i am a lover of life. and i have come to love every bit of pain, because it is basically what fuels me to learn and to grow. and to appreciate all the good things that life has to offer…
i think its ironic how it is for me. either i love love or i tend to numb myself
“i would rather hurt than feel nothing at all” – Lady Antebellum[need you now.]
it is just a matter of willfulness for one to really step outside the box and get in touch with his deepest feelings, … and to find meaning and purpose in life..
*with me, there are no grey areas…”
- Borderline Personality Disorder (tazromagna.wordpress.com)
- please keep the pain. (truelovejunkie.com)
- Fear spitting beast (sarahjaneprosetry.wordpress.com)
- What is borderline personality disorder? (halfwaybetweenthegutter.wordpress.com)
- Healing Received (svdbygrcty.wordpress.com)
- Release the Beast (theladiesfeed.wordpress.com)