January 7, 2018

I had to post in this moment because it feels like a mini triumph of self-acceptance.

I’m getting good at analyzing my moods. Like the feeling of ants beneath my skin versus actual muscle spasms. Or being lazy and not leaving my apartment all weekend versus a depressive episode and the feeling of being trapped in my mind, or even better, a panic attack where I literally cannot leave my apartment.

I can’t tell yet if the new med is working. My doctor started me on an antidepressant in addition to a mood stabilizer. He said the antidepressant should help with the extreme anxiety I’ve been having. High hopes, man, high hopes.


It’s freezing rain outside, so my only goal today is to make it to the gas station in an hour or so, and to finish paperwork.

Happy new year, back to school, and better mind!

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December 30, 2017

Alright. So, I finally made an extra email for an extra Instagram account. With that said, I may also still make a Twitter from the extra email account.

I joke on here about my mania side wanting to be famous for my writing, but I feel the need to emphasize that’s not the purpose of all these accounts. I don’t keep daily written journals by my beside and inconsistent blog posts when I’m overwhelmed, and hundreds of iPhone notes, and pictures saved from Snapchat with captions of the places and feelings that went with them at the time just because I want someone to like it. I keep everything documented in all forms and compartments of my life because I know without writing it down, I will probably (98% sure I will) forget it. Depression consumes a majority of my days, and even when I’m me I still have a poor memory. Blame it on lifelong bipolar or antipsychotics or anxiety or whatever you’d like. Regardless, I have a poor memory, and I hate that quality about myself.

I love rereading journals from college and on (I threw away all journals from middle-high school, though I desperately wish I didn’t). Every little day or crush that I thought I would remember forever has to be jogged back, but it’s a welcome thought to review all my previous stresses or obsessions or frustrations with a different mind. It’s comforting to know those experiences weren’t lost or forgotten. That each little day mattered.

And I love getting the words out of my mind. Thoughts that won’t leave me alone do so once I put them in words on a page or screen.

So, I now have just one hardcopy journal that sits on my nightstand. I have one blog that I try to be completely honest on, and in extreme situations have made those extra honest posts into private status because they’re just kind of too awful for another human to read. I have two Instagram accounts, but only one of which I actually post about my bipolar and bisexuality and general tendency to be a complete asshole; on the other, I try and convince the world I am a high functioning heterosexual adult foodie without any sexual partners or self-destructive tendencies…

Maybe I’ll get a Twitter, or maybe I’ll put all extra effort into the Instagram to make sure all little iPhone note posts or blog entries get transferred directly to that account.

I think the most exciting thing about the extra Instagram account is that it’s public and honest. I can talk about anything on there and anyone can read or like or follow me and it’s all just out there. It reminds me of being a nude model in college and that surrender of control and worry about other’s opinions or judgements. I would undress, keep my eyes open, and settle into a position for 3 solid hours. That job taught me to let go of my physical insecurities and be vulnerable. Sometimes, the vulnerability scares me more than the fear of failure.

 

December 18, 2017

I went to the DBSA group therapy meeting tonight for the first time. I plan to go again when it starts back up in January.

Therapy like this is important and incredible to be apart of, just as it’s a solid reminder to be compliment with treatment. You need support with any major illness, mental disorder, mood disorder, loss, abuse, etc. You need counseling, you may need medication, and with some of those situations; you may be willingly seeking the treatment. I write about the things I have had or currently experience because those are the subjects I know. As much as it’s right for my family to know I have bipolar and panic disorder, it’s more important for my actual support system to be made up of friends, counselors, or therapy friends who can relate and understand what I am going through. Pity, worry, or disappointment aren’t emotions that help me correct my depression/hypomania because those emotions don’t make any difference. Correction, they make me feel ashamed of something I can’t help.

Just today, I locked in a January appointment with my psychiatrist to discuss medication and get a new prescription. Tonight, I attended the community DBSA group therapy at the hospital. Tomorrow, I plan to call back about setting up a counseling appointment with one of the local psychologists. I’m back on medication with the intention of long term use. Granted, right now I’m feeling good. This is all a different story when I am depressed or eventually get tired of taking such calculated care of myself. (I feel like I’ve talked in other posts about how strict my weekly exercise schedule and gain-weight-diet-plan is.)

So, I’m nervous that someday in the future I will be non-compliant with treatment again. I’m also nervous walking into the spring semester because some of my most severe depressions have started around January. But, I have to emphasize on here and mostly to myself just how drastically different I am today compared to one year ago. At this point, I have so much hope and confidence back in myself. I feel strong and at ease with the diagnosis, which is a feeling I never thought I would get to. For the longest time, I was still making up speeches in my head how I would propose to my psychiatrist that I was wrong about the symptoms I’d described and that I was actually probably just depressed not bipolar, so could he just give me a new diagnosis so I wouldn’t have to carry this one with me forever?… It’s taken so long to get to this point of acceptance, and I have to remember how important that is.

November 24, 2017

I had a lot of crazy dreams last night (rich food always throws it off). One of those dreams I was walking across a long, windy, skyscraper-like bridge behind a long line of women. We were all wearing the same uniform and my general feeling was unease and worry with what would happen to us when we reached the other end. Very suddenly, the woman in front of me turned around and held onto my shoulders and I felt a wave of love and belonging and strength. Her face morphed into my own face, like a mirror (my dreams always morph), and she/I said to my point-of-view, “You are ready to have sex again.” The words were so shocking to me they actually woke me up completely. LOL.

I think I’ve been kind of waiting for a sign or a feeling from inside that I was ready to go back to sex from this year long break. That dream felt so real and so much like permission, like my heart telling my mind, “I trust you again.”

The dream was serious, but with it waking me up so suddenly, I was laughing at the weirdness of it. Honestly though, sex is both meaningful and irrelevant all at once. Like, I don’t care how many people I sleep with, or which gender I’m sleeping with. I don’t care if my sex preferences are kinky or how my body looks when I’m performing them. I don’t think sex with one person, your partner, or multiple, non-monogamous partners should mean anything strange. Sex can be so physical and so pleasurable without reading too much into what it says about you or what it means that you sleep with so many people, or sleep with a same-sex partner, or sleep with a different person each night, etc.

And then there’s that point where sex loses it’s meaning completely. I hit that point slowly, dully. Sex became less pleasurable. I began to use it to fill a void so I slept with dozens of people, multiples per week. I stopped being adventurous in bed, so much more insecure. I began to only sleep with men because the sex was faster and there was no cuddling afterwards. My final sexual partner was a fwb, who I’d invite over late at night by leaving my front door unlocked and falling asleep naked. He would come in, we’d have sex with me mostly motionless or feigning to be too tired to move, then he’d get dressed and leave. To no ones surprise, he eventually stopped texting back. The last time he came over was on December 9, 2016.

On December 8, 2016, I was unofficially diagnosed with Bipolar 1 with anxious tendencies by a local counselor. And on December 12, 2016, I was officially diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and Panic Disorder by my first psychiatrist.

I’ve mentioned it before, but this year has been a whirlwind and a much needed break from where I was on December 9, 2016. I haven’t figured everything out, but I’m much healthier and have much better coping mechanisms in place than I did then. Having Nicole has been enjoyable, but I don’t think having a monogamous partner means I’m anymore healed than I would feel now if I was still casually dating. Still, it feels good to walk back to sex (semi nervous and still a little insecure) healthy and proud of myself. I am excited to get back to that point where again where sex is a fun activity, not a product of my mania or depression.

October 29, 2017

I think I’m going to break up with her. Its maybe not an actual breakup because we’ve only actually been dating since August so I’ll say that I don’t want to date her anymore?

I just texted my best friend today that I was thinking of breaking things off with N and Liz was shocked. N is the first person I’ve dated in a few years. She’s been a big milestone in my life since we met in May, so why break it off?

Because I don’t feel anything for her anymore.

And this always fucking happens. Always, the feelings just get shut off like my heart left the room and turned off the light. Out of nowhere, I don’t feel a single thing for her now.

And she did nothing wrong. Nothing about her is wrong.

And the smallest part of me wants to insert “me” into that sentence beside her and say that maybe nothing’s wrong with me either, but that’s not true. I’m the one who chose to stop taking my medication. I’m the one who has the bipolar and has the experience dating with bipolar and knows this is just how my moods affect my relationships. Boys or girl, apparently, everything still turns out the same.

In December 2016, I decided to take a break from dating (for the first time in 6 years). Before December, my dating patterns had gone steadily downhill. I’ve never been a longterm partner, with my longest relationship lasting exactly 4 months. Every time, even before the diagnosis, it would be the same. We’d date, sleep together, become exclusive, then I would have to break it off. Mostly, they got angry, like I’d teased them. Every time it was confusing for me. I would immediately look for another person thinking maybe the last one wasn’t interesting enough, maybe we rushed sex, maybe so many other excuses.

It’s just a weird emptiness to feel so much and want a future with someone, then to roll over the next morning, or to be holding hands during a scary movie and look up at them, or be mid kiss with her tongue against my lips and then feel…nothing.

I don’t care if I end up alone, mostly because I don’t care about anything at the moment. I’ll finish grading papers today and make myself dinner in two hours. I’ll wake up early to walk tomorrow morning, and go running with the women’s group tomorrow night. I will follow my routine because it takes no emotion, no motivation from me to do so. Also, none of it will bring me happiness. Waking up to her texts will not make me care.

Breaking up with her won’t relieve this mood, but I owe her a lot, especially honesty. That doesn’t mean she’ll understand, or won’t look for other excuses like our age gap or the distance or my recent coming out to be the real reasons. They’re not, though those reasons are her insecurities, they’re not it. Maybe I’ve got this wrong and deep down I don’t believe we’re going to last anyway so it’s easier to break it off now, but 97% of me thinks it’s the bipolar.

Regardless, I don’t think I was single and unmedicated for long enough. Going back to casual with all genders feels like what I should do for now, with my main focus on moving.

October 19, 2017

Living with bipolar requires patience and a lot of acceptance.

I hate antipsychotic and mood stabilizing medication. I hate the empty, zombie-like feeling. I hate the way it hurts my head. I hate how all the blood tests. I hate that it knocks me out so hard at night that I struggle to wake up for work the next morning. I hate that it might be permanently damaging my brain, but it’s still my only choice. I hate hate hate the meds.

So I’m not currently on medication.

For a few giddy days, as I transition off my dosage, I always have a moment where I think, “I feel so good with less of this shit in my body. I must not really have bipolar. If it gets bad again, I’ll just ask my general doctor for antidepressants…” and so on. Like, I can totally just be normal and pretend I don’t have a major mental illness.

I’m fully aware I might need to return to medication in the future.

For now, I am high functioning enough that I can manage my symptoms without medication. However, I watch my diet (I’m 120 lb., 5’8″ so it’s definitely not about weight loss) to make sure I’m eating healthy and regularly. I have a week night routine that I follow, no excuses, or sitting down after work or else I won’t go. I’m involved in multiple group activities that are naturally amazing at checking up on me if I miss even one night, which is necessary motivation to always go, no excuses. And my sleeping pattern is consistent, even on weekends, always at least 7 hours.

It can be maddening to be so tightly wound into a schedule I don’t want to break. However, it’s equally as maddening to be on the medication. I’ve made the choice, and because I have the ability to, not take daily medication, and manage my symptoms through my own methods instead. I had a falling out with my last psychologist, and intend to move soon, so I’ve put the counselor search on the back burner for a bit, but will eventually need one within the next few months, just for check-ins.

My antipsychotics weren’t antidepressants, they weren’t taken to improve my mood. My medication simply evened out some of my depressive episodes so they weren’t that bad, but they were still present in my life. With that said, I don’t feel happy to not be taking my meds because I wasn’t happy while taking them.

I accept that I might someday have to start taking my medication again. I accept that I have bipolar and it’s extremely serious and important that I take care of myself and am careful of my actions.

I accept all of it.

July 30, 2017

N and I have a date planned for the day after I get back. L has officially moved there as well. About 75% of me is already planning out the next year of my life with N, including eventually moving down and in with her next year. I wish I was joking, or not taking this as seriously as I want it to turn out to be.

Taking this year from sex and moving to a different state (even if it was only for a few months) feels more than necessary. At first, I took a break from sex and relationships because I wasn’t interested in anyone, and hugely depressed. Then, when the depression transformed into a bipolar diagnosis, my focus warped around that news and how to live and deal with it. As the months have stretched on, I tried a few dates with guys and a girl and still nothing stuck. So I read more, and got on a normal sleeping schedule, and cooked more, and moved across the country for the summer. And things didn’t change much at first. I still had to work out here, I still drank and made instant friends with the rebel from work, as always. But slowly, things did start to change, inside. I started going places alone, forcing myself at first, but still going. Going to restaurants, bars, going dancing, exploring different cities (Taos, Santa Fe) , taking local transit, even traveling 8 hours to spend the night, Airbnb style, in Santa Fe, alone. I stopped worrying who was judging me for eating or traveling alone to the point where I don’t even think about it anymore.

I’m to the point where I deeply enjoy being alone, not because I don’t want anyone else, but because I’ve come to love myself that much. What started as depression and pulling away from relationships has become the best (and longest) relationship I’ve ever held, and it’s been with myself. 

Since I was young, I’ve always had a vice. Porn, alcohol, drugs. When I lost my virginity at 18, I really lost it. At first, I slept with a few men out of heartbreak. Then dated a few, badly. I was terrible at relationships. Then cheated on one with another guy. Then really spiraled. I’ve slept with nearly 30 people, and I eventually expect that number to grow. There was no break in the sex either. Maybe a few months, that being the longest break in time since 18. Until last December, thats when I officially stopped. I’ve still drank and smoked a few scattered times while being out here this summer, but nothing sexual.

This is the most important thing I’ve done for myself. I know myself now. I know my beauty, my worth, my strengths, the things that have made me brave, that I’m more than my fear or my diagnosis, that it’s still possible for me to grow.


I found out the little silly things that take away from who you define yourself as. How I don’t only have to like beer because it makes me seem cooler to guys. Hell, I’m allowed to take myself to a fancy, candlelight farm-to-table restaurant alone, only to figure out that their homemade Strawberry Kombucha and Bourbon cocktail is a $12 drink to be proud of.

 

How I don’t have to propose my coming out as bisexual as a question if the other person is okay with it or not. I’m fucking queer and I’m not afraid of your reaction. I intend to date this girl because I really fucking like her and I just need you to know this about me now so you don’t have to figure out on Facebook, because I do value you.

How important it is to keep writing and drawing, not just saying it’s something you like to do. How cool it really is to love poetry so much that when someone asks what your favorite artist is, your automatic response is to list off a spoken word poet because you know that counts as music.

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How important it is to know and love your body. To know how strong your bones are, and how many bruises they can birth. How much fun it is to finally get a visible tattoo, one that you see daily that simply reminds you how badass you are.

To enjoy your own touch. 

I love myself. It was important to take this time in order to fall in love with myself. Whoever I come to date, to sleep with, to marry in the future will only be a compliment to the love that’s already inside me.