Blogging the other day, I mentioned that for me, there’s a link between kink and being bipolar. Casey mentioned on Twitter that she’d like to hear more about the connection. So here goes.
The easy answer is that both the spanking fetish and bipolar disorder are parts of who I am so naturally they’re connected for me. But that answer’s easy and not either complete or useful. The sort of thing one says to avoid anything too personal. The honest answer is more involved.
One of the symptoms of the manic side of me is hypersexuality. Not everyone who’s bipolar has this one but I do. My desire for play is highest at these times, as is the depth and breadth of my desires — at a certain point pretty much everything sounds hot as all get out. Over the years I’ve made some poor choices at these times, been careless with both my body and safety.
Example: One time I was craving contact and play so much I picked someone up on AOL. I met with them to play at my place an hour later. This was without any negotiation or even knowing their real name (never did learn it). They weren’t a bad person, but we had very different limits. I ended up getting physically hurt, realizing after they’d left I needed medical care.
There’s nothing wrong with being sexual or playing with a lot of people. I firmly believe my inner slut is to be loved, accepted and embraced. But there are right and safe ways of doing it. The above was neither and I was lucky it didn’t turn out worse. Yet my manic side has real advantages to my scene self sometimes.
You see, generally speaking I’m both shy and introverted. I don’t socialize well and spend a lot of time inside my own head. When I’m mildly or hypo manic, I’ve got a lot of energy for scene social life, am able to manage friends (on and offline), blogging and play effortlessly. Mania is, for me, partly characterized by insomnia, which means I have a lot more time to get things done, a lot more time for play, a lot more time for people and new projects. I love the me I am during these times. If I could live my whole life in a state of mild mania I would, even with the occasional lapse in judgement. Manic Mija is a lot of fun at a party, though probably less fun to live with full-time.
But the thing is, whatever I might want, I don’t get to stay like that. And the higher or more manic I am, the harder and farther I have to fall. People who are used to me being in touch wonder what happened, sometimes worry they’ve done something that caused me to break off contact. Knowing this will happen (it’s only a question of when, not if) sometimes makes the highs harder to enjoy. I feel that how ever happy I can make people in the now, they’re going to inevitably be disappointed when the “real” me swings back again. There’s also nothing quite as awful as suffering from a bout of depression after having made a series of terrible manic choices and commitments.
Yet my depressed side doesn’t feel like the “real” me at all. I’m fortunate as bipolar people go in that I don’t experience severe depressions as often as I experience mania. Those times are connected with my scene self only in that depression makes everything, everything, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g feel like a huge effort. While there’s never really a time when I don’t feel some sort of desire for play, depression leaves me feeling play impossible with anyone other than Paul. Even then, he has to lead completely. The only emotions I feel like I can show are hurt and pain.
There’s probably more to it, but that’s as far as I can go with thoughts on the scene and being bipolar.