Forgive Me Father, For I Have Sinned.

Or maybe I haven’t.

Or maybe I have, and I’m just gonna go to hell.

Or maybe I have, and it’s forgivable. 

I mean, I broke a commandment. Thou shalt not commit adultery. There has to be some repercussion for that, right? Some penance? I need penance. It’s not a “Oh, she was manic, she has an illness, she loves her husband and didn’t mean to hurt him – it was wrong, but it’s ok, you need to forgive yourself.” That just doesn’t sound right to me. But I kinda feel like that’s what I’m getting from my therapist.

She said I need to “do whatever you need to do to feel better”. Yeah, we’re at that point. 6 months later, and I’m not forgiving myself still. It’s like she’s pulling her hair out and looking confused wondering why I just can’t get over it. I thought it would just happen over time.

I know, for someone who did what I did, that this will sound really wrong, and maybe like a flat out lie. But I have strong morals. Which is probably why it’s so hard for me to let this go. Pillars says he has forgiven me. I have made great strides in attaining a normal mood, adjusting my life so it’s more kind to me. But I’m holding on to this nasty, hurtful feeling, and I’m not sure how to let it go.

My therapist asked Tuesday, “Why did you do it?”

“Because I couldn’t not do it. It was a physical urge. It wasn’t even an option. It was an energy. It didn’t make sense.”

“And that is Bipolar. It doesn’t make sense.”

Pillars asked why I am looking for sense in something that doesn’t make sense. Why can’t I just let it be: something that happened that doesn’t make sense.

I guess because I haven’t tortured myself enough yet.

If I wanna torture myself, fine. But the reason I am trying to figure this out is because I think that it’s coming between me and Pillars, physically. I had been explaining my low sex drive (I’m only wanting it once every 10 days or so) to meds, life, everything else. But things keep becoming clear to me – I’m able to see ways I am sabotaging myself . Ways I am lying to myself, maybe little white lies to others in effort to be what they expect me to be – or what I think they expect me to be. Doing things I don’t want to do, worrying about people judging me for any little thing. I wasn’t being true to myself; I might not even know who myself really is. I didn’t notice I was doing all of this, and now I’m slowly seeing it all.

So it became clear to me last week when we were having sex that I get little flashbacks, images, etc of my affairs. And of course that floods me with negative emotions: disgust, anger, hopelessness, pity, and more. I get really uncomfortable, and Pillars can tell. Therefore, sex = negative emotions for me. Hence why I hardly ever “feel like it”. We figured all that out in marriage therapy.

Now, I want to forgive myself for my husband. So we can have that intimacy back. So I can be his and be present while we are in bed. 0

I think a confession would be a good step forward. It seems to be what my mind always comes back to when I think of forgiving myself.

On the topic of the ten commandments – people commit murder to save themselves, people work on Sundays, people say the Lord’s name in vain, people covet what their neighbor has…

So it’s common place. It happens. A lot. I probably shouldn’t be so uptight about it.

But a little bit of me worries that if I let this go, I’ll do it again. But I’d have to be manic, and I keep too close a guard on my symptoms and my moods, Pillars pays close attention, and I see my therapist(s) too often for this to happen. So I should just let it go and trust myself and all of them.

That’s where I am. Focusing on that. Or trying not to focus on that. Whichever.

I was a little loose.

Still being fairly new in my diagnosis, I’m still looking back in my life with a fine tooth comb. Trying to find previous episodes that went undetected. How serious had I gotten? Were my 2 previous episodes of depression and hypomania my worst? Do I think any future episodes may be worse?

So I was just casually thinking aloud to myself last night as I was crawling into bed with Mr bRaving. I was thinking of past moments that qualify as hypomanic episodes. Those were what I was oblivious to. Who would question such a good feeling anyways? Especially when they were always peppered with depression.

Any hypomanic episodes I can remember are mainly characterized by hypersexuality. Looking back on them, I wonder why I did that. It wasn’t getting me anywhere. There was no emotion behind the sex. No desire for the person, just the act. At the time, when I questioned it, I summed it up to Daddy issues. Last night, it was clear to me what all that was.

It’s been clear to me for weeks that that’s what that was. But then I let my mind take it another step and ask, “Why didn’t anyone tell me I was doing something wrong?”

Who would’ve told me? The guys I was banging? Um, no. My Mom? Yeah…like I’d tell her the way I was behaving. My boyfriend at the time? He never found out. My friends? I didn’t have any. Me? I was following an instinctual drive.

It was souless. Very much like pounding a pawn around a game board. I was just hitting the spaces, counting up the numbers.

Then it occurred to me that I had no boundaries at that point in my life. No marriage vows to break. No rules as a single girl in her late teens/early 20s, living away from home.

Fast forward to now…rules are in place, and I broke them. My pawn hit the “Got to Jail” square. And finally my illness is revealed.

I wish I had known all this before I did something that I’m having a very hard time living with.

Hypersexuality and Bipolar Disorder

Hypersexuality (previously called nymphomania) is being excessively interested or involved in sexual acts. This can include internet sites, increased sex with your partner, phone sex, prostitutes, extramarital affairs, and other risky behavior.

There’s not really a criteria for hypersexuality, but just that the person is doing stuff out of the norm for them.

I like this site.

This was by far the most damaging symptom of bipolar mania for me.

I had no clue what it was initially. Over time, I came up with several reasons for my hypersexuality. My most convincing one, most logical one, was that my body wanted to procreate again. Really. It had been about 15 months since my son had been born, and that was the longest my body had gone uninhabited in almost 5 years. So I thought YES, THIS MAKES SENSE. My uterus is reaching out to the world. Except, my uterus was reaching out to people it shouldn’t have. My reasoning for that, my husband had put on some extra weight and I had lost some attraction.

It all made sense to me. And to top it all off – it was what my body was telling me to do. Not just my uterus. My mind and my senses. My senses had never betrayed me before. They led me everywhere I had been in life, and ultimately to my husband. I trusted them. They were me.

Everything I was doing was a drug. It literally got me high. The weird part, to me, was that the sex wasn’t the most exhilarating part. It was getting the men to want me.  To make the whole thing more exciting, they had to be attached. One was married, the other had a girlfriend. I thought that sex was the ultimate goal, but it wasn’t until after I was medicated and my husband asked questions that I realized that the chase was my drug. As soon as the sex was over, I was plotting when I could hook my prey again. Yeah, I was a total hooker predator. It was like taking a hit of something, and the longer I went without it, the antsier I got. I felt frantic, sweaty, desperate. I had to have it again. 

The next question is “how did you think this was going to end?”. I’ll be honest, I had no idea how it was going to end. The largest part of me, that controlled me, didn’t give a hoot. I had no disillusions of running away with either of these men. I loved my husband, my children, my family, our life. I wasn’t in love with or emotionally attached to anyone other than my husband. But when I thought about stopping what I was doing, my body reacted. Almost like an evil little man had taken post in my head and when he saw someone about to end his rein, he attacked. It seems like I was on a path to destruction, whether I wanted it or not. I was no longer in control. I didn’t realize I wasn’t in control at the time, I thought I was following my senses. I remember thinking to myself that I was disagreeing with myself, and thought it was odd. I analyzed the two feelings I was having, one being that I was doing just what I had to do right then, and one saying that it was wrong. I let myself feel these thoughts, hoping that by feeling them, I could at least commit to one and shut the other up. But I realized that the feeling that what I was doing had to be done was much much stronger than my resistance. Sure, I could think that was I was doing could be wrong, but I was being held captive by this other side that controlled me. Slightly like an out-of-body experience. I couldn’t move against myself.

I can tell you now, that when you realize you’re not in control of what your body is wanting to do, it’s time to see a doctor.

Here’s the kicker: I WAS seeing a doctor while this was happening. The same therapist and psychiatrist I had been seeing for 3 years. I had been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, which both seemed accurate. And that’s accurate for someone who is bipolar. You can feel jittery, and you feel depressed. There were lots of details that seemed insignificant to me that I failed to mention. That, and I was just never brutally honest with my therapist. I was as honest as I thought was necessary. Yet another hard lesson learned.

So this evil little man in my head, he didn’t completely occupy my mind. He controlled my behavior, but I could still occasionally think for myself. In a clear moment, I told myself that I knew something was wrong, and I had to get help. So the night before I was to see my therapist again, I took a notebook that I had been recording my moods in, and wrote down everything I had been doing that I knew was wrong. I was going to take it the next day and figure out why I was doing this and how to fix it. I didn’t allow myself to leave out any detail. It was clear to me that there was something wrong, and I wanted to get all my dirty laundry aired. I was tempted to start erasing, so I took the eraser out of the pencil. Sounds like a good plan…but my husband found it before I could get to my therapist. That’s a whole other post.

I should add that the hypersexuality wasn’t just for those other men, I was having much more, and much better, sex with my husband. Unprompted, in front of the washer, raunchy, hot sex.

But I got that notebook to the therapist. I wasn’t even onto the 2nd page before she interrupted and said, “I hate to say this, and I’m no doctor, but it sounds like you’re bipolar.” If I had been maybe slightly more honest years ago, this may have been diagnosed earlier, and I could have saved my husband a lot of pain. It’s hard though. I’m a woman. I’m emotional. Sure, I’ve had depression, and I certainly had anxiety, but never had any clear cases of hypomania or mania. Until it nearly ruined my marriage. I had been promiscuous years ago, but aren’t most 20 year olds? And anyways, I blamed them on Daddy issues. Isn’t that a huge cause of needing men?

Very troubling subject. Mine ended fairly well, considering how it could have ended: STDs (I was responsible and got checked), pregnancy, divorce…
It did cause more than enough damage, and I wish I could take it back. I hate thinking that there are people out there struggling with it right now, maybe ruining their life in the process. Now that I know I am Bipolar, I can better avoid these occurrences in the future. I feel like I should give out advice now…so,
1 – be brutally honest with your therapist and psychiatrist
2 – just say you need help, something is wrong
3 – take your medication


I finished “An Unquiet Mind” by Kay Redfield Jamison today. I loved it, and it’s helped me find a little more peace in life right now. I found many passages that touched me, and I’ll eventually share them all. There is one that I found in the last few pages today that has changed the way I view my illness now, and I wanted that to be the first one I share:

“I have seen the breadth and depth and width of my mind and heart and seen how frail they both are, and how ultimately unknowable they both are. Depressed, I have crawled on my hands and knees in order to get across a room and have done it for month after month. But, normal or manic, I have run faster, thought faster, and loved faster than most I know. And I think much of this is related to my illness – the intensity it gives to things and the perspective it forces on me.”

I personally have always felt like I feel everything, be it good or bad, to the extreme. I always passed it off as me being an emotional nut case of a woman. I mean, we’re all emotional right?

I have been viewing bipolar (or manic-depressive if you prefer) in a totally negative way. True, it can be destructive. And, it’s been destructive in my life recently. But it’s also to blame for the intense GOOD feelings I have. It’s why my mom has always called me a perfectionist and why I always pushed for perfection in everything I did growing up. I kinda liked that label until the last several years, when I felt like my internal drive for perfection was interrupting how much enjoyment I was getting out of life. I was too concentrated on making sure everything I was doing was RIGHT instead of enjoying the moment and enjoying what I was doing.

It’s why I feel a burning passion for so many things: music, children, running, art, sleep (HAHA). I sincerely mean a “burning” passion. I thought everyone felt that burn, and it’s those people who don’t feel any passion that are “wrong”. But it turns out that there’s a more normal side to passion, and while I am on one extreme the feeling, those that don’t feel the burn are on the other. And if their extreme is wrong, then so is mine. Needless to say, I no longer thing they’re wrong for not feeling a burn. God gave all their burn to me.

It’s why I can sit outside, anywhere, and be brought to tears from the sound of the wind and the smell of the grass.

In short, I can’t hate this illness. It’s made me who I am. It made me a good musician, an artist, a lover, a hater, a runner, an eater, a worker…a feeler.