Bipolar Takes Courage
It takes courage to live with bipolar disorder and the effects of trauma. Bipolar Courage is a blog and art by Xanthe Wyse who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder (type 1), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety disorder. Courage is facing overwhelming challenges and pain despite the presence of fear. Whereas bravery is is facing danger without fear. Courage is a determination to keep going despite limitations. Courage is a state of mind that the struggle and cause is worth it.
In the painting above, Sensitive Soul is a figure wearing a cloak of courage facing the storm. Sensitive Soul is wearing a cloak which was originally transparent but then became stained with magenta, representing blood-shed and suffering. The abstract figures in the background are either jeering or cheering or both. The painting is an abstract, symbolic self-portrait and was painted while feeling depressed and struggling with suicidal ideation which is common with bipolar disorder and PTSD. There are deeper meanings in the painting with colours symbolic to the artist representing pain, trauma and depression. The painting means to keep pressing forward and to stay alive, even when it hurts. Sensitive Soul wants to see meaning and purpose in her suffering. A sense of purpose keeps her going.
The painting above depicts some of the characteristics of living with bipolar disorder and PTSD. The bigger the wave, the bigger the crash. Xanthe's personal experience is going from numb emotions to extremely intense emotions. Very high energy to completely depleted energy. Yellow is where she likes to be - feel purposeful and creative. Her determination keeps her going even when she is in the red and grey zones.
More about the difference between courage and bravery.