The Positive Side of Bipolar Disorder Series One: The Feels

“Bipolar disorder is a severe and debilitating psychiatric disorder with an unpredictable course and a high impact on social and occupational life.”

While this is a true description of Bipolar Disorder it’s also severe and harsh because the truth is, for all of its darkness there is an equal amount of light. Yes, I am saying that there is a genuine positive side to Bipolar Disorder.  I’m not going to list all the great things right now about having Bipolar Disorder but rather I want to do a series and highlight one at a time.

The Positive Side of Bipolar Disorder Series One: The Feels

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Some might see this as a curse. To feel everything with intensity. But I say it’s a gift. Picture the colour purple. To you it’s just purple, maybe the hue is slightly red or maybe a little bit blue but you haven’t really stopped to think about it. To me purple can be soft and velvety and smells like baby powder. It can be electric like the indigo lightning streaks you see over the ocean at night.  Purple feels like gelatin if you stick your fingers into it softly it bounces back and it’s coolish to the touch.

Feelings work the same way with the same level of intensity that I would perceive a colour. I feel with depth and intensity and this makes me a very empathetic person. In a manic or depressed state I will admit I tend to be more self-centred but when my mood is optimal my empathy game is on point.

I am an excellent listener and often I can gauge if advice is needed or just a shoulder to lean on.  I’m sensitive to the feelings of people around me. Sometimes this one is a struggle because I tend to take on the feelings in the room, and sometimes I get self-conscious that I’ve caused the mood that you are in. Often I can sense your mood even if you aren’t sharing it or you are denying it. This can work well for you because I can cheer you up without you having to ask!

I am naturally giving.  If I have it to give you I will. I like to do things just to make you smile. That might be baking you my most amazing banana bread, sending you flowers, or dropping by with a coffee or tea just because. I’m an excellent gift giver. My gifts are with intention and really have you in mind.

When I pay attention to it (ha!) I have good intuition. My gut feelings are strong. My heightened feelings allow me to understand even if I haven’t directly experienced what you are going through. I can easily put myself into your shoes and see it from your perspective.

I forgive easily because I have gigantic heart that is filled with love. I just want to love the people around me and let them know that I care.

I think the range of emotion I feel the highs and lows have taught me to appreciate that the two can co-exist. That the darkness really allows you to appreciate the light. That struggle and sorrow always pass and happiness is waiting on the other side.  Some people see feelings, sensitivity and emotion as a weakness.  Not me, I see it as strength.

 

 

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