WARNING: The following is a 2am rant. Not a story, not a poem. there may be several grammatical errors and redundancies. You’ve been warned.
I must have been 15 or 16 when i first started wondering if I had some sort of mental illness. Thats around the time I started googling symptoms, taking tests, learning as much as I could. At first I thought I had depression, but after much self-reflection and research, I concluded that it had to be something different. I suspected bi-polar maybe, but I thought it could be something worse. I googled multiple personality disorder and schizophrenia. I knew something was wrong with me, I just didn’t know what, but something HAD to be wrong with me. I knew my brain wasn’t functioning the same way as my peers. I know that a diagnosis isn’t a guarantee, but the bi-polar diagnosis I received made sense. Since my diagnosis about a month ago, I’ve begun looking deeper into it. I’ve come to an agreement with my counselor that our relationship would be researcher/research assistant. Originally it was supposed to be her that was the researcher, and I the assistant, but since I was doing all the researching, we decided it was more appropriate to call me the researcher. I’ve discovered a lot. The self-reflection and research have been just as ever-present as they where when I was 17. A lots been made sense of over the last month or so, and yet a lot still conflicts me. One nagging question thats been stuck on my mind is one that I dont know could ever be answered. Initially, it was a thought that popped up occasionally , but I wasn’t sure of its validity. You see, I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, “have I ever really fallen in love with a girl, or has every confession of love been out of mania.” On a hunch I typed “bipolar love” into the google search bar. Sure enough, the first three articles attempted to answer the very question I was asking. As with everything that has to do mental illness, the answer was more gray than black and white. The feeling of mania and love are very similar, and are often confused with each other I found out. But that didn’t answer my question. One of the psychologist in the article asked his patients “did they love you back?” I felt like that one question was enough to cut my search off right there. The answer was, no, they didn’t love me mutually. Perhaps they considered me a friend, maybe even a good friend. But I know for a fact that they considered me nothing more than that. I know that because I impulsively declared my love to them multiple times, and was unsurprisingly rejected. If madness is doing something over and over and expecting different results each time, mania is declaring your love over and over and expecting a different answer. My opinions of the “girl” I supposedly “loved” wavered. Admitting that perhaps my undying love for these woman may not have been love at all is hard, because I have been a persistent bugger over the years. Its also hard to admit because, well, it makes the question “will I ever truly love someone” loom even larger. And this is directly correlated with my illness, or so counseling sessions would suggest. See, in my last counseling session, me and the counselor went over “Maslows hierarchy of needs.” I had heard about it in psychology class, and I imagine some of you may have too. The first two levels are physiological needs(clothing, shelter, food) and safety. Then, in the middle, is love and belonging. After that the top two are esteem and self-actualization. The counselor and myself came to the conclusion that Im stuck on the “love and belonging” level. According to the theory, one can’t move up the pyramid unless each level is fulfilled. You see, in my mind, familial love is conditional. Any set of two people could have banged me out, given me any number of brothers or sisters, and loved me just as much as my current family. The “condition” of familial love is that, well, your family. I dont love my mom because she’s some lady I meet at a gas station and thought she was bad ass, I love my mom because she’s my mom. Just the same, my mother, my father, and both of my sisters would have never been inclined to love me and take care of me if I wasn’t their son. Now, perhaps this isn’t true. Theres plenty of examples of parent who didn’t love their children, examples of people who have disowned their family. However, if my family was a bunch of strangers, and some how by fate we where brought together at a party or something, would any of them have any care to know who I was? Thats my argument for why I feel the way I do. Thats how I feel, and its unfortunate, its just the truth. So, if family can’t fulfill “love and belonging” on Maslows hierarchy for me, than what can? Well, theres friends, right? Now see, friends are great. I’ve felt very loved by friends. Hell, friends have sometimes been all I had. They’ve come through for me in the clutch. But for me, they simply dont fulfill what I need for love. See, what I feel Im missing is the intimate love. The close human contact. The things only one type of relationship can fulfill. A lover, and a confidante. Someone who choice it is to love you, to be with you on an intimate level. I identify as straight, so that person is a female. The problem with needing a “lover” or “girlfriend” or whatever the hell you want to call it to advance to the next level in the hierarchy is that, the farthest I can go to finding that someone is half way. They have to meet me in the middle. I can seek them all I want, but if they dont reciprocate my feelings, then Im fucked. So, basically, I can’t gain my esteem or self-actualization until some chick falls for my devilishly good looks and charm(haha). Do you see the problem here? By this estimate, I essentially can’t fix myself. Im helpless. I can put myself out there as much as I want, but if no-one does the same for me, I cannot move past love and belonging. And now we come back to square one, is it love or is it mania? I mean, Im not actually helpless am I? Is it just a manic state that convinces me that I need love to be ok? And is it because of this manic state that I get depressed when I find that I know no such lover? This thought-line leads to another thought-line…I dont need anyone. I dont need the friends, I dont need the family, and I especially dont need the “lover.” All I need to do is focus on me. Write every day. Read every day. Increase my intelligence. Experience the world. Work out. Get healthy. Quite smoking. Save my money. Party hard. Cross of my bucket list. I dont need anyone else. They say, if you tell yourself a lie enough times, it becomes true. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be a reality. Maybe I dont need someone else, but I really want someone else.
Anyways, thats all I got. Its 2am, I have to wake up in 5 hours for work, and every word of this was typed out of an impulse to write. I couldn’t sleep until I got it out. Had I not sat down and typed this all out, I would have been up tell 6am, my thoughts tossing and turning in my head. Perhaps I didn’t need to share all of it, but what are blogs for, right?
Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts with me! Thanks for reading