People giving me advice on coping with bipolar disorder

Somebody told me again that I probably just need good sex and that would help with my problems with having a high sex drive. That might work for other people, but considering that I tried to most of the past 16 years or so to get someone, anyone, to have sex with me, I don’t think it would be reasonable for me to assume I will be able to have sex again anytime in the future. I certainly wouldn’t consider it healthy for me to get my hopes up, anyway, because that would be setting myself up for failure. It’s possible that I will never really get over that, the fact that people don’t seem to find me sexually attractive, but I think I also need to be realistic about things. And I do hate the idea that I “need” sex, (this person’s words, not mine) because I find it highly unlikely that I will ever get any. There was a time when i was in more of a depressed episode and didn’t really care, though, but it’s impossible to predict these things.

It is a difficult symptom of my bipolar disorder, and no drugs or anything seem to help with it. But like they said in The Princess Bride, “life is pain,” I suppose.

I think people just say that because they assume anyone/most people are able to find sexual partners. I’ve had people actually suggest that I hire prostitutes, but I would not be comfortable with that and am too afraid of STDs.

I suppose it annoys people when I complain, but I don’t really care. If they find me annoying, they can stop talking to me, I guess.

More reasons I don’t like Facebook

Another reason I don’t like Facebook is because things like this come up (from explosm.net):
withoutsex
I’m sure it’s been at least 15 years, maybe a bit more. Not just comics, of course, but I mean every time I see other people posting photos and updates on their Facebook it reminds me that I don’t have a normal life.

For at least five years, the medications caused me to have no sex drive, which was very nice. Before that, I guess I just never figured out how to initiate relationships, or had bad luck. Any time I expressed interest in another person, they would say they were not interested in me. This bothered me a lot and I’m sure I made posts on my Livejournal about it. I liked Livejournal so much better than Facebook. Not just the anonymity, but the fact that you saw every single post that each of your friends made, in chronological order.

People suggested things like dating sites, and I did have some dating profiles up maybe 10 or 12 years ago. No one contacted me through them, so I decided you probably need to be good looking or fabulously wealthy or successful to meet people on the internet.

Now I’m older and even less good looking/successful, and my mental illnesses make it hard for me to leave the house at all. I can’t drive so I can’t travel. These things mean I also can’t meet people in real life, not to mention I wouldn’t know what to do with a significant other if I had one; I have almost no experience with sex and no experience at all with relationships.

I try not to think about it too much, but Facebook makes that hard. It’s hard for me not to compare myself to other people. That’s why I prefer to use internet forums about specific topics (movies, music, etc.) rather than deal with Facebook, where there is no way to know what people are going to be posting about. I can’t think of anything in the world that could be worse for my mental health than Facebook, yet I still feel compelled to go there because it’s taken over the internet. It’s like Walmart coming to town and all the local businesses close down. Facebook happened and people left most internet forums and stopped using email. I am still working on transitioning to only using internet forums and not looking at my Facebook newsfeed, but it’s difficult. It’s like an addiction, especially since it’s so convenient and because I work on the computer so I’m online all day anyway. I am often tempted to check Facebook during slow times between work projects.

In addition to that, I really hate all the memes about the idea that happiness is a choice, or to cut negative people out of your life. Maybe that’s why people don’t talk to me anymore; I’m too negative. I can’t really help it, though, due to circumstances and mental illness. I think it’s kind of shitty, like telling people if others are having a bad time, just cut those people out of your life instead of trying to be understanding. I don’t expect people to want to listen to me complaining all the time, and that’s another reason I am not able to talk to people out loud, in real life (even therapists). I don’t want to bug anyone. But that’s what I used Facebook for, and I feel like these memes are trying to make me feel like a bad person for it.

Many times when I look at Facebook I either get angry or start crying. The pain medications I’m on right now are also doing terrible things to my state of mind, and I spent most of last night staying awake crying for no particular reason. The pain from the kidney stones isn’t doing anything good for me either, and I guess I have 3 fractured vertebrae and that’s another reason I’m in pain all the time, which also contributes to my shitty mood and general sense of despair. When the kidney stone was hurting especially badly and causing me to vomit from the pain for a few days (before going to the hospital), I spent about 10 hours curled up next to the toilet, thinking this is all I have to look forward to in life. Pain and sickness. And it’s only going to get worse as I get older. And then I laughed about it a bit.

Sexual orientation

This is a reaction to reading this article: http://lgbtfeed.com/post/comments_bisexuals_are_tired_of_hearing

I find these articles interesting partly because of my own internalized biphobia, which I think I am getting over, but I was certainly in denial about for many years. I can remember being attracted to girls long before I ever had a crush on a boy in school. So I figure either I had my own internalized homophobia or biphobia, or I also just believed bisexuals didn’t exist. Of course, being on medications that erased anything resembling attraction or libido also complicated matters so that I identified as asexual for several years.

I don’t really think I could do relationships, and if I could, I certainly wouldn’t be in a rush to do so any time soon, but in theory I would like to have some idea of my orientation eventually.

“It’s just a phase.”

Translation: “I know your sexuality better than you do.”

As for the article, I have told myself #1: “It’s just a phase.” I figured if men weren’t interested in me, maybe I was “settling” for women. I now think that was a horrible and homophobic thing to say.

I also had the additional problem of thinking yes, maybe other people *do* know my sexuality better than I do! Because I sure as hell didn’t know much about it.

3. “You have to like one more than the other.”

Translation: “Stop being greedy; you can’t like both genders equally.”

#3: Yes, that too, and that’s part of the reason I didn’t use the word “bisexual” for a long time: I’m not attracted to equal numbers of men and women. I figured if I was attracted to men more often, maybe I was really heterosexual and confused or something.

The other ones don’t apply to me. Since I never really told much of anyone, I never had to deal with any of the stigma of people thinking I was promiscuous or whatever. In fact, since I am perpetually single, I’m pretty sure no one would think of me as promiscuous at all (I’m pretty sure people think of me as celibate and/or asexual).

On sex and body issues

Since I never address this, I will write a massive wall of text about body issues and sex and relationships problem:
[*]Currently have some physically-related self-esteem issues, and being naked around anyone for any reason is the most nightmarish thing I can imagine.

Even ~10 years ago, my eczema was so bad I covered up from head to toe so no one would see it and run away screaming or worry they were going to catch something. People who are very obviously having health problems (such as being covered in oozing sores) are not considered attractive, also. It took many years and many hospital stays to get the skin most under control, and now I have similar problems due to weight gain from the medications.

To give an idea, it’s not just sexual situations I avoid. I avoid mirrors and don’t even have a valid photo ID card right now because I hate the idea of having my picture taken. I don’t think I’ve posted a selfie online in the past 10 years.

This is a reaction to the current state of things and is not my permanent way of being. I used to take my clothes off all the time. A guy I knew in high school told me the other day he remembers the time I changed clothes right out in front of everybody while we were practicing for high school jazz band. I’ve let art students take nude photos of me. In my old apartment, I had topless photos of myself on the kitchen wall. So it’s reasonable to assume, I think, that this is a strong reaction to weight gain, Cushing’s syndrome, skin issues.

That’s not to say I had no self-esteem issues; I was made fun of a lot in school when I was very young, even my best friend would often get mad at me and decide to say things to try to hurt me, like saying I was too ugly to get a boyfriend. I probably believed it in middle school. I had a problem that if someone hit on me, I’d take it as making fun of me (that happened more than once, also) and react badly. By high school I considered myself average-looking and, as a result, had more or less normal relationships with people.

[*]Due to medications, I also had zero sex drive for about 8 years, and zero interest in relationships. I consider being single and celibate an ideal situation for this reason.

I think I also get a lot of my insecurity from my mom. When I was in high school, and I’ll tell you right now I had a fucking fantastic hourglass figure and great tits, but I’d put on a dress and get ready for school and she’d give me a disgusted look and tell me my legs were too fat to wear that and I should go change. And so on. Eventually I ended up having a very hard time taking compliments and would be very uncomfortable if complimented for anything physical. Eventually I tried to ugly myself up enough that no one would compliment me on my looks (not that I was a supermodel to begin with) and any compliments would have to be about things I could do, not how I looked.

What was it that RuPaul says on her show? “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell can you love anyone else?” I think that sums up my problem. I have gone from hating myself and wanting to die, to hating myself [physically!] and not wanting to die. I think it will take me some time to recover from all of this.

I realize that many/most people would recommend continuing to at least see the therapist, and maybe that sounds helpful in theory, but I tried and tried for years and I can’t discuss anything important to me with any therapists. I experience a sort of verbal block. It’s stupid, but I have not been able to overcome that, making therapy quite worthless for me. Toward the end I actually felt really bad about wasting my therapist’s time and/or boring him to death. I’m not anti-therapy, I am just unable to make any productive use of it.