Friday, October 20, 2006

The creative life

Mom,interrupted's site, has been dealing with mania, heightened sensitivity, and creativity - something I find a fascinating topic. It is truly amazing how so many of us are highly creative people. So many artists, musicians, and especially writers, have had bipolar disorder or depression.

Personally, I thrive on creative projects. I'm a photographer, writer, cookbook author, knitter, crosstitch embroiderer, inspirational booklet publisher. I've initiated innovative projects. As I've matured, I've learned to take on leadership roles. Living Room, our church's faith-based support group, is my latest project. It's something that excites me and gives me lots of opportunities for creative planning.

I'm sure all this has something to do with my disorder. It's largely because of this that I'm not unhappy about having bipolar disorder. The meds contain my moods so that they don't overwhelm me too too much. I stay on the page.

Heightened sensitivity has influenced my spiritual life as well. When I've been high, the words of the Bible speak powerfully to me, in a way that would not be possible if I were stable. Not that the way I read it is an "insane" response, I actually absorb the meaning in a much more intensive way than I would if my mood were more flat. The scripture becomes more understandable to me. The meaning I get out of it goes deeper.

I've accomplished much with my life, things I would never have been inspired to do if it were not for my frequent highs. It's been costly as well. All too often, these highs are followed by periods of depression. Yet, when I look back, I can say I am grateful for all God has given me. Life has been difficult, but it's also been an exciting adventure...and it continues to be that.


Sarah said...

you inspire ME. a whole lot more than you can imagine, i wanna be just like YOU when i'm older. the whole support group idea i so wanna get to the point in which i'll be able to help others (though first i need to find myself, help myself out and all that)

anyhoo i SO KNOW what it's like to rasp more of Scripture when having ahigh. oh i know that only too well.

my problem right now is: finding my way to scripture when i'm low. :(

i'll get there and thanks for all the support you lavish on me

jumpinginpuddles said...

actually sarah has raised a good point, i cant seem to be able to read my bible at all any auggestions ?
And you are a gift marja thanks for writing this blog

marja said...

I also have trouble reading anything at all when I'm down. But I have a lot of stuff underlined in my Bible, verses that have made a big impact on me. If I find it hard to read, I leaf through my Bible and read all the underlined stuff.

But the Psalms are great to read when I'm down. I'm almost sure that David, the writer of most of them, was also bipolar - though I'm sure many Christians would think it sacriligious to say that.

Check out Psalm 30. Or Psalm 139:7-12. Or Psalm 34:18.

Pick out only one or two verses, perhaps copying them to carry with you. Then you can refer to them whenever you need some encouragement. They can give you a source of strength and a promise for hope.

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy reading your blog. There definately are some benefits to being bipolar. Have I already asked if you've read "Bipolar Advantage"? I think I have, but can't remember.

Anyways, emotionally I'm not too too good right now. I know it's PMS, but still..that doesn't help right NOW. Know what I mean?

Unknown said...

I totally agree. I've been reading a book called "The Bipolar Advantage", and this is one of the advantages people wouldn't give up - their creativity. You sound like you really use it to your advantage - how awesome is that! As much as I hate the stigma, if given the choice, I don't know if I would choose to be "normal"...? Being bipolar is such a part of me now.

Bleeding Heart said...

Creativity is amazing amongst those with Bipolar. I just found out my Grandmother wrote a book of poems and music as well as painting, crocheting, and played the piano.

I just cannot comprehend why?

marja said...

Jane: Yes, I'm going to have to get hold of that book. I find this such an exciting topic.


Terri: Think about yourself. You yourself might not be quite as creative as you are if you weren't so intense, moodwise.

Isn't life with bipolar exciting? Yeah, hellishly difficult, but interesting. We have to remember the bright side.

Bleeding Heart said...

Yeah I know, but I am still confused and cannot comprehend WHY us bipolars are so creative! What gives? Not everyone who is creative is bipolar.