The Blue Flame of Passion

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I just poured out a torrid comment on passion. I guess I be feelin’ it today.

My passion…that consuming part of me that pushes me to rant, pushes the pedantic part of me to the fore…Would I give it up? I guess I’ve been asking myself that a lot lately. I’m facing the prospect of making another appointment, this time to REALLY assess whether or not I’m suffering bipolar (and whatever else they want to throw in the mix). And while I want to stop the up and down roller coaster, the thought of perhaps losing my passion along the way frightens me….

I may be the only one afraid of me losing it. I imagine it can look scary from the outside. I’ve been told I can be scary.

Can I lose that scary edge and still be passionate? Still feel that flame deep within me?

The logical part of my brain knows the only reason I began writing poetry was because I was emotionally torn and unable to talk about it. I liked using metaphors to reveal what I felt. It was easier than just speaking the words. And I got hell for speaking the words. I was berated. I hid my poetry from my family, but I readily shared it with teachers. And got PRAISED. They LIKED it. I had one teacher take extra time with me between and after classes; she was a poet herself. So my early artistic efforts brought what I felt I lacked: attention. Praise.

You know, if all artists begin art to express what they emotionally feel but can’t verbally express, I suppose in a weird way I owe my mother a thanks. She certainly set me up for this shit.

I both envy and pity non-artists. I envy what I perceive to be their lives; the routine, the safety in repetition and compliance. Certainly I envy the financial stability. I also pity it: the lack of variety and everything I think is meaningful to LIFE. The FIRE.

The fire. My brother told me for years I work in fire. I do, too. Get an idea and pound away, hour after hour. It becomes an obsession, an all consuming passion. The results have been as passionate as the process. And while they’ve served to release things in me, they’ve not left me feeling all that good about the final projects. I nitpick. I hear all the flaws, all the things I did WRONG. Not the millions of things I did well so that that ONE damned flaw sticks out.

…..You know, I guess I’m still working with fire, but I changed the flame. Before, the fire was red. Hot burning red and orange with licks of yellow. An unconfined fire, burning everywhere and everything. Now when I see the fire, it’s blue, like a gas flame. Narrow. Tight. Controlled. In my head it’s become a tool, not a force of destruction. I use it but I’m not letting it consume me.

I don’t know HOW this happened. I can tell you WHEN it happened; it was autumn 2014. Began in September, as I was going cold turkey off my anti depressants and the world was full of tears. I scrambled for something to occupy me, something to keep me from crying for just an hour or two. I turned to making music. And I saw the blue flame for the first time. For the first time, I reached out and USED that flame to begin fashioning sound. I wrote an entire release’s worth of new club techno. And maybe for the first time in my life I’ve written a few songs that have reached perfection. Utter. Perfection. I’ve been listening to my studio roughs for at least 6 months now. Got some changes to do on 3 songs. But the rest are sublime. My bro has compared my latest work to Sven Vaeth, whom I worship as a DJ. And for the first time, I feel like I can agree with my brother. It’s REAL good.

….I guess, now that I know I have that image of the blue flame of passion so strong in my mind, I need to learn how to use that in other areas of my life. Outside of music. Keep the fire in that narrow, tight, controlled mode. For some reason, now that I’ve got that image in my head it seems much easier to do. Maybe that’s just the mania talking right now; can’t ever discount what may or may not be a manic episode..Bleh. I really do need to get some sort of label attached, I guess. I keep reaching for labels but I don’t know if they fit. Kind of feels like going to the damned store and trying to find a pair of pants that fit. Yeesh! But maybe I don’t need to jump on the mediation bandwagon immediately. Maybe I can talk to whomever I see and tell them how I feel (now that I’ve sorted it out for myself!).

OH! And the self disparaging side of me wants to add ‘and maybe pigs will fly’.

I guess I just need to stand up for myself. Make up my own mind on what’s best for me right now. My GP told me I wouldn’t be forced to take any medications. I can’t be hospitalized without my consent. Doesn’t happen here. So I can move forward at my own pace.

*sigh* Knowing I tend to procrastinate and be lazy when I just don’t want to be bothered doesn’t help THAT thought.

I’ve been SO caught between a rock and a hard place! Told my bro I reposted a blog from a doctor. Told him how I was so amazed to see so many patients come in with anxiety and or depression complaints. He said ‘I’ve been telling you you’re not alone for a long time’. It’s true. He has. And I realized even THAT can be a trigger for me: I have a horrible memory of my sister screaming at me and telling me I wasn’t special or different, that I liked to PRETEND I felt different from everyone else but I was just faking it because EVERYONE felt and goes through exactly what I feel and go through.

*shudder* That memory is strong. It was repeated. A lot.

But I believe, somewhere BETWEEN my rock and hard place, somewhere BETWEEN the self degradation and grandiose thoughts lies the calm, blue flame. And I will keep reaching for that flame. Over and over again.

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9 thoughts on “The Blue Flame of Passion

  1. Well I would say art is not the only beauty in life, so don’t pity non-artist people. They are still producing beauty in other forms. To me you seem to be still too attached to your passion. I don’t know how to express but I believe that we can live a balanced life without having to throw away our passion if we learn how to recognize the beauty of our simple, non-passionate life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, when I take a moment (hard to do right now) that non-artistic people have passion and live with passion. I hope everyone has a passion. But it is my perception that they live without passion that’s the problem, you see. I understand that. I also cannot change my perception that they live without spark in their lives, no matter how much the logical part of me says yes, of course they do.

      As for my attachment to my passion…yes. I AM attached to it. And personally invested in it. My credo is I am artist first, person second, woman third. I am an artist because of my passion, so take that away and you take away the very first identifier I have set for myself.

      Having said THAT, I do feel moments of pure connection without that flame of passion. The zen of nothingness, and yet allness at the same time (difficult to find the words). That IS where I’d like to live. In the meantime, when the passion is too hot and the flames too much, I use my art to keep my sanity.

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  2. I’m not artistic, but I’m certainly passionate! If losing your passion by going on medication worries you, then I’d like to tell you of my own experience… My disorder robbed me of my passion. The first month or so of taking medication robbed me of my passion. But if you are on the right medication for YOU, your passion and creativity will return. Your libido probably won’t (mine hasn’t – I miss her so much) – but yeah. Its all up to you really!

    Maybe try some therapy before you start on meds? Learn some techniques for dealing with your anger, anxiety, depression. And if that isn’t helping as much as you would like, then consider medication. I survived my whole life without meds because I had no idea I had a problem, until it actually became a problem (does that make sense?).

    I totally understand your not wanting to lose the fire in the mania! It can be spectacular 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Heya lola – don’t know WHY I can’t approve your comment. I can like it but not approve it. *Grr*

      Thanks for sharing with me your experience. Your head is right along with me. Or maybe it’s right along with my FEAR. I can’t tell; I’m too deep in it. When I began this journey I was on the down side and begging for help. I WANTED the meds. Now I’m up and I don’t want the meds. I know this is a typical reaction. I also know when I started I said I didn’t think just talking to anyone would make a difference. So I feel caught between my own mania and depression. I’ve heard myself say – and feel 100% – both sides.

      I feel like the only thing I can do is be honest about it. See what everyone’s opinion is. I want to start without the meds. I know I’ll be begging for them again if I fall into depression, so I guess maybe that’s what I’ll tell them. I also know the standard reply: The meds will take a while to take effect, so I need to start taking them now so that I don’t fall into depression in the first place. Yadda yadda. This is as much a snake eating its own tail as all of my ups and downs is for me. Circular. Always bringing me back to the same place.

      I dunno. I think I know some of the signs of falling into depression. But then, I’ve had times when people have told me I’ve been depressed because I cry for no good reason even tho I’m not feeling particularly depressed.

      I guess I’m not a real good judge of my own emotional gauge, if I’m honest and don’t let the mania get in the way.

      And right now, I don’t honestly know what I’m gonna do. I think it will depend on how scary I find their analysis of me. Too many labels and pills and I won’t take it. One pill to try, on a low dose, and I probably would.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, I personally think low dose, one pill, done deal! Fuck that shit of taking 8 pills a day – that’s not recovery – that’s drugging us into a stupor so they can send us on our zombie way. No spank you! I’m on a low dose of Effexor, and I swear by it. I was in a desperate state when I started taking it – I still didn’t want to take it because I felt like I was a failure for not being able to manage without drugs. The simple fact is, some of us just can’t! And that’s OK! I’m probably always going to be non-compliant with other drugs, but this one (I have come to realise) I absolutely HAVE to take. And I won’t be adding any other drugs to my regime either. They can shove it 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. lol! As usual, after writing out my worries I was better able to talk about them with my brother. He’s been through the system, including the bipolar wing to make sure he really wasn’t bipolar (current diagnosis is ADHD). He’s assured me that yes, many bipolars can manage without drugs. I don’t have to take drugs. And, he’s promised to watch me through this process. He’ll be an extra outside eye in the house if I DO start a medication to make sure I’m not bouncing around too much or going off one end or the other.

        He gave me an analogy I really like. He said bipolar was like living in an elliptical pattern. There’s the extremes, and then there’s the time in-between. The goal is to bring the ellipse as close to a circle as possible. But the ellipse isn’t bad or wrong. It’s only a problem if it becomes a problem for me.

        Obviously, I think it’s now a problem in my life. The mania I can ride out. People LIKE me when I’m manic. The depression is awful, and the mixed episodes – the times when I cry at the drop of a hat for no reason – are intolerable. I find I spend too much time hiding my tears, whether I’m feeling them or not. And my experience on an anti depressant was night and day; I felt better within 48 hours from taking the first pill. Not different. I was still ME. I was just able to put aside nagging thoughts, to not get so easily caught up in circular self berating. I’m concerned it MAY have been the cause that I then, within a year, went off on a 3 year manic streak that remains to date the longest I’ve run full blast without stopping.

        But yeah. I want something to take the edge off the depression but not interfere with the me. I can handle sad thoughts, dude. Been living with feeling like a nothing and I should just DIE for all my life. Just can’t handle the tears.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Your brother is right! The symptoms of any disorder are only a problem if they’re a problem for YOU. And that’s exactly why I wouldn’t change my medication. Because the antidepressant I take works for me – I still feel like myself, and I don’t mind the mania, as long as I’m not stepping out on my husband 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree with Lola that there are techniques that help dealing with anger, anxiety, and depression and you should consider taking therapy first before the meds (if you haven’t). My therapist was very nice, he didn’t just tell me to give up on anything, we just talked about my thoughts that had driven me to depression. He never judged me, he just talked to me in a nice way and gradually help me to calm down and recognize the unhealthy negativity in my thoughts (negativity is my word, he never said that).

      Mania cannot last too long because it exhausts us. When the mania starts to fade, my strategy is to try to take care of myself the best that I can (cooking, companionship, exercise – things from the very ordinary life, esp. those that keep me away from thinking too much).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Certainly, when I’m depressed I have said (and will no doubt say again) that talking won’t do any good. When I’m manic I think talking is a great option. When I’m depressed I want to pop a pill. When I’m manic I don’t want medication.

        This is CLASSIC bipolar. I KNOW that. And I still feel that way; I can’t help it.

        One of the reasons I want to get into the system soon is simply because I’m manic, and I know that once the depression begins I won’t want to even pick up the phone and tell anyone I’m struggling. So I gotta get out there now, before that sets in again. And I’m all for talking right now. Alternative therapies. Been using color therapy and music therapy on my own for a while, and they DO help.

        As for taking care of myself, well, living with my brother is a godsend. He’s always had to take special care to eat properly and rest every day whether or not he feels like it. So meals, nutrition, fresh air and exercise, and rest have all become very relevant in my life.

        And I feel pretty confident that I’ll be able to find someone I’m comfortable talking to. It may not be the first person I see. I WILL have to assess my counsellor as much as any counsellor will have to assess me. That scares me. I get caught up in not knowing if other people are intentionally being nasty or not. I don’t ask; I become withdrawn, angry. I know this is a problem! And I do my best to take a deep breath and deal with it but honestly I just freeze a lot. My brain sort of shuts down and I retreat. Only then does anger come. I don’t want to face this in counseling. I don’t want to spend my days and nights trying to figure out if the counselor is being a bitch or just saying something that’s true that I’m uncomfortable with. And I’ve already run into one bitch.

        Not that any of that has to necessarily do with medication. I’m off and running; my apologies. Talk now, pills later.

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