Monday, June 11, 2018

Going from good to bonkers

So, let's discuss a topic near and dear to my heart - Mental health. This is going to be a very long post, but it's important, and I SWEAR it has something to do with poly, even though at first it might not seem that way.

Lately, I've been feeling great. R, my husband, seems annoyed with me lately. When he's annoyed for what seems like absolutely no good reason, it's usually because I'm starting to slide down the slippery manic slope.

So. Just so people know, before I say anything else, just like depression isn't being "just sad" mania isn't being "just happy" either. And I've been at this for so long, that I can see the darkness hiding in the light. I know that even though I have a laundry list of good things going on, I can see the red flags in there, even in the best of happenings.

1.) I'm crushing it at work. We have key performance indicators and I am DESTROYING them with my charisma and charm. haha. This is not a bad thing at all.

2.) Inflated self esteem. (if you couldn't tell from point number 1.) I'm clearly feeling REAL good about myself. My self esteem is great and my value at work is being noticed which only makes me feel even better. Again, not a bad thing. I also feel super pretty.

3.) I keep a fairly strict sleep/wake routine, and eating routine and other such things as a way to monitor my mental health so that when I start to fall away from my patterns, I am more likely to notice it and make note. I generally go to bed between 11:30-12:30 and wake around 7:30 am. Last night I socialized with a new person until 1:30 am and it took everything in me to finally kick him out so I could go to sleep like I knew I should have an hour prior.

4.) I tend to get super generous with my money when I'm hypomanic. Today I bought W a pair of (to be fair, sorely needed) eyeglasses. Not terribly cheap.

5.) I've been fighting the urge to drink lately. I don't drink. At all. It makes me manic. When I'm getting manic, I usually want to give in and drink and just scream into the void to BRING IT ON!

6.) I've been feeling super creative lately and writing more. I AM NOT COMPLAINING. I love to write!

7.) I've been told to 'slow my speech down' a lot lately.

8.) My sex drive is up.

So, while almost all of these things can be considered GOOD things in my life, they are also red flags. Because they eventually, if left unchecked, have a good chance of turning bonkers. This is how it goes:

At first, I crush my numbers at work, I get a lot of accolades and notice of my accomplishments. Then I start to get weird.

 I start sleeping less, socializing more, staying up late, waking up early, maybe I drink, Suddenly my performance starts to slide, and in a big way because I have a job where being charismatic is super important. When actual mania hits, and I start to worry that people can look me in the eye and SEE that I am not mentally well is when it really goes downhill fast. I worry people can see the illness inside me, I stop making eye contact, very important in my job. I start to distance myself from my patients/customers, get snippy with my co workers. It becomes difficult to go to work, to stay at work, to even show up and I talk so fast no one can understand me. I'm told over and over again to slow down while I'm explaining features and benefits, but I can't, so I just annoy people. This hurts my numbers and makes my boss (who knows I am bipolar) worry about me and the business.

 I start pretty much giving away my hard earned cash, taking my friends and sometimes strangers out to expensive dinners, I can't possibly burn through my money fast enough doing that so I start gambling. Tables games sometimes, mostly poker. You should not play poker, manic. NOTE: YOU SHOULD NOT PLAY POKER, MANIC.

Then once I've burned through my cash I start wracking up the debt. Some episodes take months if not longer to recover from financially. I stop going to work. I use up all my PTO, I stay home and fuck strangers I find on tinder because my sex drive is out of this world. I invite them to my house on first meeting and might not even catch their name by the time they are out the door. Then I unmatch them before they reach my porch. This is around the time I'll start hallucinating. Thinking the police are listening to me through my phone, I swear I can hear the police walkie talkie clicking coming from my phone, I hear them, hearing me. Old fashioned phones are ringing in my ear, people are angrily screaming my name, doors that aren't there are slamming. I feel electricity under my skin and I can't get all the energy inside me OUT fast enough and I shake and wring my hands until they are raw. I pace until I've worn a path in the floor. Soon, I'll get violent, and it will all end in a blazing glory of me hiking up the hill to the local psych hospital where I'll go to get my meds straight. Something I should have done long before all that other shit happened.

So yes, I'm keeping an eye out right now, and will up my haldol once I see for sure it's needed.

How does this relate to poly, you are wondering?

Well, I'm good at catching shit these days, I see the bonkers coming in the wave of positive things happening in my life. I find myself saying, "Why can't I ALWAYS feel this way? Why does it have to turn bad?" To which my bipolar partner K replies, "That is a manic sentence if I've ever heard one. And I have. From myself, every time I get manic."

My husband is annoyed at me and it will only get worse and drive a wedge between us if I let this go. K is happy and proud that I'm catching it early. W is saying, "Maybe you are just happy." But he has very little experience with mental health issues and doesn't quite grasp the seriousness of the events unfolding before us.

I'm very happy that I have so many loving people in my life that I can bounce off of and find support from and hell, even teach and help to understand further. If I HAVE to be sick...If I ABSOLUTELY MUST deal with this cyclical, at alternating times depressing and maniacal illness, if it is something, which it always has been (diagnosed at 14, sick long before that.) that I must deal with, in the end I'm glad I'm not dealing with it alone. I'm also so happy to have my polycule, so that I don't drain any one partner with all my bullshit. It makes it easier for me, and I imagine, easier for them, they have each other, I have each of them, no one person has to bear the weight of my sickness. We share this...I hate to say burden but in all honesty it is a burden. We share this burden and it makes the load a little less heavy for each who must carry it with them. For that, I am grateful.

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TL;DR

*I suffer from a wretched mental illness and am so happy I have multiple loves in my life to help me carry this burden.*

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*~*~*Slutty Heart*~*~*

Saturday, June 9, 2018

What a difference a year makes...



Around this time last year I was very happy with all of my relationships and all the forms they were taking. In that year I lost a bf. It was for the best and we are still friends. I'm also still friends with my ex meta. Everything ended on good terms and is the best option for all involved. He had warned me ahead of time he could barely handle one woman, let alone two. I didn't listen,  he was right, and I saw it with my own eyes and opted out.

This past February I met a man and I have the madly, truly, deeply type lovings for him. In past relationships, I  honestly settled a lot. Because I am acutely aware not one person will fill every need I have as a human being. So I let a lot slide, but some things were too big to let go. Which is why I had to leave one of my relationships last year. I feel very fulfilled and I don't feel like I am settling AND I feel like my needs are being met my by current polycule better than ever before. I am still with K, R and I'm connected to D still now more than ever, but, also, W. W has been around almost 4 months now, and we are very compatible. We met two years ago, tried to date, but it wasn't the right time in our lives. Now, things are much different and everything is cool. The fact he's going through a divorce (in small part due to him deciding he is definitely poly and his wife decided after trying it that she is definitely not.) is a little messy but otherwise things are great.

Something I find is a challenge to me in relationships is trusting people enough to make them feel that I am fully invested in the relationship and also being vulnerable. I'm not terribly trusting when it comes to the big stuff and I'm never, ever, vulnerable to new people. Chalk it up to the usual, getting burned one too many times in the past.

Lately I have been changing, I've been trusting, I've been vulnerable with K in ways I haven't before and also W has opened up a vulnerable side to me I didn't even know existed. Part of it is just this time in my life, and part of it is the influence of people who care about me begging to be let in. I just can't keep building walls to keep people out and then expect them to stick around. I can't.

Anyhow....it's JUNE! Pride month. I'm going to a pride event tonight with K, W and maybe R if he's feeling up to socializing. I'm super excited. :D

Also, I'm going to anthrocon again this year, I now have a fursona (lexi, she's a skunk!) and I hope to get some art this year commissioned at least of K and I, if not others pieces as well.

Fun times to be had by all.  :)













*~*~*Slutty Heart*~*~*

Saturday, May 20, 2017

#PolyCommunity

I posted yesterday about my amazing poly family, but there is something beyond that, which has been pretty life changing for me as well. I posted something about poly the other day and a bunch of people on my facebook ‘liked’ or ‘loved’ it or whatever. I looked at the people who did so, and they were all poly people I know, (makes sense) but it hadn’t prior to this, occurred to me, that I have a really great poly network and community as well. About a year or so ago I started to attend kink meet ups, then poly meetups, and I’m considering going to a bipgh meeting tomorrow.


My husband and I go back and forth on this. He’s quite introverted though trying desperately to change that fact. He doesn’t like groups or people in general. He also thinks that ‘the way you relationship’ isn’t enough of a thing to have in common with people to form any type of friendship or community with them.


He’s been coming to meetups and such lately. We do have a lot in common with many of the people in the groups, not just the fact that we are all poly, but poly seems to attract a certain type of person for the most part and they kind of seem to be ‘our people’. For the most part.

I live in Pittsburgh. We seem to have a large and fairly diverse poly community, and it has been something of a comfort to me. Yeah, maybe we just all ‘relationship the same way’, but there are challenges and joys that come along with that that literally, no other non-poly person can appreciate the way we can. I’m hoping to get more involved and make some new friends at some upcoming meetups. If you are interested and live in the Pittsburgh area, there’s a website now: www.polyinpgh.com check it out and come make some frands! :) Community is important. :)

*~*~*Slutty Heart*~*~*

Friday, May 19, 2017

"Friends are family you choose for yourself."

A woman at work said to me,

“I get the gay thing, the bi thing, I don’t get the non-monogamous thing.”

I can’t help but wonder why people have such difficulty with this. I GET the monogamous thing, and that is that I GET it, literally, without ever having been monogamous myself. I don’t see the appeal, but I’m not bothered by it, nor do I find it particularly mind boggling.

I can only speak from my own experience.

I am at work, so I don’t say to her, what I want to say, which is:

Hey lady, if you think loving and being loved by one amazing person is awesome, try adding a few more and see maybe if you aren’t walking around with a smile plastered on your face all day too.

I feel so much joy in my poly life. Someone asked me today how my life was going, we hadn’t spoken in awhile, and they said, “How is poly life treating you?” I’m so lucky, that even when my life is in shambles at work, when my mental health is in disarray and my physical health is failing too….the one constant is that my relationships are all amazing in their own ways. I have such an amazing poly family, I can not begin to express my gratitude here. I am loved, and it feels really, really nice. :)

My mom always said I was poly because I came from a broken/unstable family life. This could be true. I can’t really say, but if I had set out to create a better family for myself, than the cold and unloving one that I grew up with as a child, then I did a DAMN fine job of it. Because I am surrounded by people who love me, and I love them, and we are family. I have such a strong sense of family with all of these people and I just could not imagine my life without them at this point. They have all been around from the ‘newest’ partner, at 5 years to the ‘oldest’ partner of 22 years. These people are not flings or romp n’ roll in the hay playtime buddies. These are people I’m making memories with, memories that will last a lifetime. People who I can count on, who care about me, people who I am lucky to call partners and privileged to call family. If I somehow have set out subconsciously to build the perfect, loving, caring, supportive family, fuck it, I’ve succeeded.

For those who just don’t get it, or think I’m just being slutty, you have entirely missed the point.

*~*~*Slutty Heart*~*~*

Monday, May 15, 2017

"True Love in this differs from gold and clay/That to divide is not to take away.”


So, I haven’t written here for a very, very long time. In the past nearly three years a lot has happened. My polycule has honestly not changed much in terms of who is involved in it, but their roles in my life have changed. K spent the last two years being monogamous with a guy who they are currently trying to open their relationship with. We are, in some way, shape, or form, still, an item, K, R and I. J and I have recently started dating, taking our ‘friends with benefits’ and ‘broey-ness’ to a different place altogether. He is also dating a long time friend of mine. Things are pretty much the same with D, still a long-term play partner whom I care about deeply.


So while the structure of some things has changed, and B is gone entirely (friends still, but he is back at monogamy now.) life is still amazing. Relationships shift and change and evolve over time, and that is okay. K and R and I all kind of took some time apart when we split originally. Then when the hurt was a little less, we became friends again, and now it’s entirely clear to all of us that it was a bad time in our lives to try such a thing, but that we are glad we did, and we learned from it, and we are pretty certain that regardless of the form it takes, we will probably always be in each other lives in some loving capacity. We love each other so much, and when we are all together it’s still just fireworks and cuteness and adorbs all over the place. It’s a thing.


Part of the reason for the split was poor mental health on my and K’s part. Both of us were suffering and didn’t know how to be there for each other, and neither of us knew how to NOT make the other’s situation worse through triggers while we dealt with our own manic and depressive episodes.


R and I are still going strong. We celebrated 22 years on March 9th, 2017. Right now we are dealing with some poor mental health on my part, but that is an ongoing struggle. There are some days when I don’t know how I do it really, but, still, here I am.

I plan to come back to this blog. I plan to spruce it up, I’m going to go back and work on the grammar for sure, haha, but I’m going to make this a nice place. Feel free to check back. :)

*~*~*Slutty Heart*~*~*

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Communication is key, or, "I also get laid more" ;)

I talk about my relationships at work pretty openly, everyone knows I'm poly and regardless of what they think of the CONCEPT, they all know that it works for me and that I'm very happy. The smile I can't seem to wipe off my face tells more a story of my life than I ever could with words. Yet here I am trying anyhow.

I met and fell in love with my husband going on 20 years ago. At the time I was unknowingly and in that very young and confused person way, madly, truly, and deeply in love with a friend of mine who I was also sleeping with. She loved me too, somehow, but at that age (15 or so) we had no idea the emotions we were swimming in. When R and I got together, there was never even a conversation about non-monogamy. We were 15 and in love and he didn't mind that I had this other girl I loved around. It wasn't just her either, there were other girls, confused girls I'd kiss in the dark. He never did mind.

When I moved away at age 18, I was doing a lot of research about all different religions when I stumbled on a liberal christian website, ( www.libchrist.com ) It discussed Polyamory. At the time I was chat friends and phone chat friends with some guys who I found I truly cared about and I didn't get why I couldn't be with other men like I could with women, what was the difference? Nothing was going to change how I felt about R. So...I brought the idea up to him. He agreed to open it all the way.

My current polycule looks a little like this:

I am in love and in a committed relationship with R, K and B. I have two other men that I play with, J and D. one that I've been friends with for years, J, but we are kind of like bros though, the other, D, I feel like on some level I do love him. I miss him when we're apart for awhile, and when we're together I get the warm fuzzies. We send each other kisses and hugs and love online when we're apart, but I think we are both pretty polysaturated and know that there's just no room for additional partners with more of an investment than we're willing to give at this point. That's fine, we have what we have, and that's okay.

So, at work, people keep telling me how it all seems so COMPLICATED> and there are so many CONVERSATIONS....ALL OF THE TIME...WITH ALL OF THE PEOPLE.

I must say, it's a little disappointing to me that I am capable of multiple relationships with various levels of commitment, which of course, like ALL relationships, take effort, and the monogamous people I spend most of my time with don't seem to see the value in all of this communication. Maybe if more mono minded people put as much effort into their ONE other partner as I put into my multiple partners, they would be walking around with big smiles on their faces too. This came out sounding WAY more superior than I meant it to, but it is what I honestly think so I'm leaving it out there.



Sure, there are fights, but...there is so much love here, and with that love comes trust, honesty and transparency through communication. I feel all committed individuals, mono, poly, or otherwise identified, should have at the very least, those three things in their relationship toolbox.

/rant

*~*~*Slutty Heart*~*~*

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Love with a fearless and faithful abandon....


So, my poly family, K, R, B and I all went to the beach together. Our first trip. It was a great time. I'd love to bore you to death with tails of conquering the ocean, seeing the wild horses and dolphins and all the fun stuff we did, but I have something more serious to discuss.

So when we got back, a couple of weeks went by, things were starting to get to a certain point with B, he started to have doubts and jealousy. As K says, "If every poly person who had jealousy and doubts at some point or another stopped being poly because of those doubts and jealousy, there would be no poly people." Truth.

A lot of people assume we don't deal with these issues. But we do. Within monogamy, I feel like jealousy means something different than in polyamory. In monogamy, it's like a badge of honor. If your man or woman is jealous, it means they really care about you. I don't see jealousy that way though, I don't see ME being jealous of another person as a sign that I care so much about my partner, more, it seems like if I'm jealous that there is something lacking with me. Am I jealous of the time spent with that person? Their affections? Or is it something far more insidious, like a personal insecurity? Most likely, it is. That is the worst. Because no one wants to look into themselves and see that they doubt their self-worth. Will my partner be my partner forever? Will they find someone else if I "allow" them to see other people outside the group?

These were some things that B and K were dealing with at the moment. K made a promise that she's not going anywhere that she won't leave, and it was hard for her to be so vulnerable. This promise may have set his mind a bit at ease, but, none of us know what the future will hold. Maybe your other WILL leave you for someone else, or will find a new primary, or maybe you thought you were on equal grounds but suddenly you find yourself a secondary, somehow not knowing it had been that way all the entire time. There are many variables here. No one knows what's coming, what changes our relationships will suffer, and if they would survive those changes. All I know for certain is change is the one thing we can count on. Being a part of a relationship is almost like thrill seeking. Simply because we do not know the ending. Is it happily ever after, which we won't know until our death bed, or is it more of a 'may so and so be damned' situation. We don't know. We can't know. That's what's so amazing about it. You go all in with your emotions, you feel so fully (if you're doing it right) and you are risking it all. Risking your future with this person, risking things like "losing your youth" to someone you've given the 'best years of your life' to (I am quoting my mother here). But....what if....what if they stay.

What if it is happily ever after? There's only one way to find out.

So we talked and talked. Then, we talked some more. (If you're poly I'm sure you know how that goes!) Everything got worked out, even if they are issues that no one can ever guarantee the way K tried to guarantee them to B. I think on some level he knows that she can't know that no one will know until we get there. But I think there is faith, and that keeps him around. The faith, the blind, unwavering belief that she will be there for him no matter what the future holds is enough to keep his head above water, though he's nearly drowning in the fear that she will leave.

I suppose I have the same fears, and in some ways those fears are coming true. R, K and I have always claimed to be non-hierarchical. When push comes to shove though, B is where K's future lies. He can marry her one day and give her the children she someday wants, and we can't. That doesn't mean we have to end, but the dynamic has changed and like I said, change is all we can really count on.

My advice here to anyone who is questioning their relationship is just to love with a fearless and faithful abandon. If it ends "Don't be sad that it's over, be happy that it happened."

*~*~*Slutty Heart*~*~*