e.g. alcoholism and depression (h/t) Jezebel.
As a bisexual woman who is a recovering alcoholic and periodically deals with depression, I am DELIGHTED to know that there are other miserable queer women out there. Let’s get together and eat stuff that isn’t good for us and talk about how complicated life is.
During my adolescence and my drinking years, I had a bunch of crushes on girls that I didn’t know how or whether to address. It would have meant a major Life Realignment for someone whose defining characteristic might have been boy-craziness since she was 6. Boy-teasing came easy, I knew how it worked, and I liked how the attention felt.
I only knew one other bisexual woman in high school, and though I met some lesbians in college during the Vagina Monologues, I never had a chance to work with again. So even though I knew I was queer in high school, I was in a relationship with a dude for most of college. And once we broke up, I was kind of busy with the drinking.
I’ve definitely noticed some ‘tude about bisexuality within the ladies who like ladies community. I dated a girl last summer who went on and on about hating men (which, you know, I relate to in lots of ways), but gave me a side eye when I mentioned having dated men in the past. And if things didn’t work out with her and me, it was possible I’d be dating men again in the future. Suddenly I wasn’t gay enough.
As it happens I’m dating a dude right now. I’m crazy about him, and I really like imagining a future for us. Unfortunately I know that settling down with a dude means it’ll be even harder to have a bisexual identity. As it is, if I don’t bring it up, I think it’s pretty rare for people to assume I’m anything but straight. And that is depressing. It’s depressing that I have to Make An Issue of a crucial part of my identity in order to be Known.
And I know that’s not the kind of depression they’re talking about. I have the mundane brain chemicals kind too, which is often exacerbated by the seasons changing. The first week in October is my annual “Where’d the Light Go” Blues Fest, where I lose momentum and motivation and it all..seems…too…much. See Allie Brosch’s awesome post on depression here. Some days I just have this shaky feeling in my stomach that tells me something is Wrong and it’s my Fault because I fucked it UP. And some days I can just go to bed and wait for that to subside, other days I have to get up and get outside to shake it off. And then there are days I just have to remind myself that brain chemicals are not real, that the circumstances of my life are good and that’s not changing just because the walls feel like they’re falling down.
I was extremely uncomfortable as a teenager and as a young adult. It took getting sober, moving to a city where I was a very little fish in a freaking ocean of queeritude, getting laid off and changing jobs and writing professionally for a minute, plus the world of online dating where everyone has at least as many issues as I do, to bring me into my own.
If you’re identifying with any of this, please know that you’re not alone. My bisexual compatriots, you’re not confused, you’re not broken, and you don’t have to know RIGHT THIS SECOND whether you want a guy or a gal as arm candy as you sashay through your life. If you feel like your drinking is becoming a problem or your depression is darkening to harmful thoughts, feel free to shoot me an email. MKPheartsNYC (at) gmail.com. Let’s tawk.