That’s it. That’s the journal entry. All of it. One word. One, all capitalized word.
It is no secret to those within the mental illness community that many of the diseases, Bipolar being no exception, have significant connections to sexual issues. Sexual addictions. Sexual deviance. Sexual crimes. Sexual binges. Sex, sex, sex.
Part of being a “highly functional” Bipolar individual has included my ability to keep this piece of my illness in check. For the most part. I have had my struggles with pornography and habitual masturbation, but have avoided anything illegal (at least, getting caught), partners outside a monogamous relationship and clear harm to myself or others due to the challenges a borderline (and sometimes not so borderline) sexual addiction can pose.
With all that said, I am a nearly insatiable individual sexually. My wife and I engage in sexual activity on almost a daily basis, with each engagement lasting from 15 to 45 minutes, and often longer. Best of all, it never gets old! So at this point of my hospitalization…I was losing my fucking (see what I did there?) mind. I had been away from my wife for a week, and we had gone a few days physically apart prior to my running due to the early stages of my meltdown. That’s when it happened.
I was actually on the phone with her sharing in a rather flirtatious discussion. Borderline phone sex, as she is also a fairly insatiable individual and was also reaching the end of her rope. As this discussion is taking place, I have a clear view of a large, flat screen TV hanging in one of the three common areas of the psychiatric ward. On the screen is a couple. I have no idea what the show is, no hospital staff is anywhere to be seen, and the only other patient in the vicinity seems quite at peace watching whatever is about to unfold. And then it unfolds…
The man in the scene passionately throws the woman onto a tile kitchen island. He yanks up her skirt and pulls down her panties. She lifts her legs almost as if she is in the OB/GYN stirrups while looking at him with eyes that clearly say, “Make this hurt!.” He drops his pants, and they start fucking. Hard. Loud. Almost animalistically.
This comes as no surprise to my wife reading this, but I love to watch people have sex. It does not have to be pornographic sex. It can be rated R, rated PG-13, even TV rated sex where you are getting little more than face shots, blankets, and moans. My imagination can fill in the rest. It turns me on. Makes me want to be with my wife. And totally brings out the animal in me (because much of what my wife and I enjoy doing comes from the realm of wild animals!).
By the time I got off the phone while being distracted with these visuals and returned to my room, I was completely aroused and desperately in need of relief. I closed the door. Wrote down this word. Turned off the lights and found it.
End of story? No. It never is. Because one of the greatest areas of shame production in my life has also been sexual. Shame over things I observed as a child. Shame over things I found myself addicted to as a teenager. Shame over the dysfunction of my sexual life through two plus decades of my first marriage. Shame that I could be lying in a psychiatric ward having abandoned my family back home a week prior, and be so damn selfish as to jerk myself off when I should be learning how to develop some self-control in my areas of weakness.
Too much shame to even journal on August 30th because it would have simply been another single word in all caps beginning with S… SHAME.