Everything in my life has always been to the max! I want sauce on my pasta, it’s gonna be sauce, with some pasta. If I’m gonna work out, I’m gonna run five miles in the blazing hot sun. Everything has always been to the utmost extreme and I’ve never been able to temper it.
I even moved to England for a semester abroad in college to a secluded area in the woods to try and “change.” I was determined to find moderation and thought uprooting myself from New York City to a calm rural atmosphere I’d learn moderation. Not…so…much. I was isolated and bored out of my mind. I came back the same: still an extremist, still walking hard and talking fast, still overdoing everything, still the same.
When I was 28 years old and diagnosed with Bipolar II I thought a mood stabilizer would stabilize the passionate nature that defined my being. Initially it was tempered, but it never changed me. There is no pill to change the way you’ve been your entire life. There is no selected environment that is going to control your mind. The debate whether people can change or not has always seemed to be a sensitive one. Primarily because people want to believe that people can change, they might, but never 100%. You’re not going to get another brain or another childhood. And there is nothing wrong about that, and thinking a pill is going to stop the fundamental nature of who you are ends in disillusionment.
People often mistake passion for anger, or extremism for over the top emotions. I saw an episode of Larry King Now with Jesse Ventura and twice King remarked “You seem really angry.” To which Ventura replied, twice, “I’m passionate, not angry.”
The spectrum of emotions that make you the human being that you are must be accepted and embraced. Only then can we find internal happiness that allows you to have a healthy happy life.
Exhausted runner photo available from Shutterstock
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Last reviewed: 28 Nov 2012