Monthly Archives: March 2015

Sex and Bipolar Mania

Today is the first full day of Spring, and I may have Spring Fever.  Or maybe I’m feeling flask_Whiskey_Frisky_pink_4_1024x1024a little manic.  I could be a little depressed.  Or just frisky. I don’t really know how I feel, I only know how I’m acting these days and the times in which I’ve acted like this before haven’t turned out so well.

I’ve written about by first big manic episode involving near-anonymous sex and out-of-control feelings.  I don’t feel like that right now, but I find myself with similar desires.  I very much want to have sex.  Lots of it.  Fortunately I want to be with men that I know and like instead of random dudes from Craigslist.  Still, I feel the same edge, the same need to connect physically that I experienced during mania.  And in order to smooth that edge I’m working towards having two lovers, which I’ve never done before in my right mind, so this is uncharted and slightly scary territory.

My quest for paramours began with Matt, to whom I’m very attracted but whom I’ve only seen twice.  Lately he’s been busy with his kids, work and seeing the other women that I’m aware are on his dating roster.  Though I’d like to have a sexual relationship with him, our schedules haven’t meshed in a while so I’ve had to seek other companionship.  Enter Mike, a friend of a friend that I met a few months ago and with whom I’ve had many conversations over time.  We’d talked about going out on a date and recently I took him up on his offer, meeting for dinner and then bringing him back to my place for the rest of the night.  We had fun, and we’ll do it again, but my desire for Matt has not been slaked which means that I’ll continue to see Mike and Matt at the same time.  I just hope that I don’t utter the wrong name at a crucial point in any crucial proceedings.

So why am I stressing about a simple decision to be non-monogamous?  Because it’s uncharacteristic.  At this stage in my life, I’m usually not about the change. I like doing things the same way over and over again, even if they don’t turn out well.  Particularly in relationships.  I find the guy who’s somewhat withholding, fall in monogamous love with him, get annoyed, get hurt, do it over again.  This time things are different.  So maybe Matt is a little withholding, or at least practically unavailable if not emotionally.  We’ll get together at some point.  Even if we don’t, I have Mike around for when I get antsy and need some company.  But it’s that antsy feeling that troubles me, and perhaps racking up simultaneous lovers to occupy myself with sex isn’t the best way to deal with it.

Sex is a complicated thing, or at least it is for me. I’m probably a typical woman in that I have better, more enjoyable sex when I have some kind of attachment.  And it means more to me than the physical enjoyment of the process.  I realized that I’m one of those women who gets validation from sex.  Way back in my teenaged years I was always the “just a friend” girl.  I always figured that guys wanted to just be friends with me because there was no attraction.  As an adult I know that sex can mean many things, and I’m confident in my ability to attract a man when I want one.  Still, part of me always views sex as a way to reinforce that I’m no longer that unattractive teenager.  It makes sense that sex was my go-to activity when I was emotionally unstable, providing me an emotional boost along with an endorphin rush.

If I’m honest with myself, I probably spend more time with Mike because Matt is unavailable, and part of me likes having two men around because of a lingering sense of rejection from my youth.  And though my rational self would never admit it, some part of me is still recovering from my last breakup and craves the excitement of male attention.  When I think about all of that, I might not be having my healthiest moment.  But I’m certainly not at my least healthy or least introspective.  So, for now, I’ll hang around with these guys that I like.  Maybe I’ll be physical with both of them.  I won’t say or do anything that I’ll regret later.  And I’ll be sure to keep tabs on my feelings should they slip back into mania or depression.

Dating While Bipolar: When to Trust Your Feelings

As you may have figured, Matt and I had another date this past weekend.  Again, it was Manic_Episode-2pretty good as far as dates go – there was talking and eating and kissing, all in satisfactory amounts.  After two enjoyable evenings, I’m starting to feel things for Matt.  Happy things.  Scary things.  Years of bad dates and rejection have made me distrust my feelings in the romantic realm.  Years of therapy have made me distrust my feelings and instincts in many realms.  So what am I supposed to do now?

I haven’t admitted this aloud yet but I really like Matt, or at least I think that I could like him a lot in the future, or maybe I just like having a man pay attention to me.  I can say that I like talking to him, I like that he does volunteer work, and I like the way he looks at me when he’s going to kiss me.  He also reads this blog, which couldn’t be a bigger turn-on. Even writing that confession fills me with something akin to guilt, which is a bizarre reaction.  How can one feel guilty about positive emotions?  Apparently it is possible because right after having a warm-fuzzy about Matt I generally feel like it’s wrong for me to feel that way.

That sense of wrongness has some basis in reality, at least for a somewhat cautious lover like me.  I’m very newly seeing Matt – you wouldn’t say that we’re in a relationship – and I don’t feel like it’s in my best interest to care so soon, before I know what he wants from me.  Also, I know that he’s only been interested in casual liaisons since his marriage ended, and while I’m interested in something casual I’ve always been a dating-for-a-serious-relationship girl.  I can’t say that I’ve pictured a future with Matt and me beyond the next date, but I miss some aspects of heavy relationships, like daily phone calls.  And I even feel needy and inappropriate for feeling and admitting that.

Feeling wrong about my feelings also comes from having negative thoughts and the emotions that they engender. Years of depressive thinking have worn a negative rut into my brain, so I’ve learned not to trust my first emotional reaction.  It has taken years of therapy and some nice psychotropic drugs to get out of the negative thinking habit, but not out of the habit of second-guessing myself.  The last time that I used my therapy to solve a relationship problem, it turns out that my first instinct was right. I thought I’d done something to push away my boyfriend at the time because my behavior was pretty unsettling.  I’d gone through some emotion regulation and cognitive behavioral therapy exercises to get a more rational hold on my feelings, only to learn that the boyfriend was cheating on me.

Basically I don’t know how I feel sometimes, and I usually need some time to process my feelings until I can make sense of them.  Which probably means that I need to be less angsty about my feelings for Matt for another week or two.  And regardless of how I feel about Matt, it would be a good idea for me to keep striving toward emotional awareness. Which should be easier without a cheating boyfriend.