A slight play on a phrase that “Rocky Balboa” uttered in the first or second movie – I don’t recall which one at the moment. It popped into my head that one of the things being used to bash bisexuality and bisexuals over the head is a… potential of suffering depression and spinning it in a way that suggests that all bisexuals suffer depression while conveniently glossing over the fact that anyone can suffer from depression and for any reason. Is there some truth to this? Yes, there is and in this scribble, I’m gonna try to give you my take on this.
Having bisexuality pay you a visit – and even an unwanted one – it kicks off an internal “discussion” that is highly complex and involved but the short version is that a battle between “right and wrong” jumps off and for those who didn’t see this coming, an “investigation” into what’s “wrong” with them is taking place and almost simultaneously. The quandary is, simply, over how and why they feel a way that they’re not supposed to be feeling and that feeling this way is confusingly wrong… and right, too.
It can seriously fuck with one’s head when trying to, well, get their head un-fucked and while some folks don’t have that difficult of a time sorting it all out, some folks do and for them it gets even “worse” because while they’re trying to deal with the opening salvo, some folks can get pretty paranoid because it’s like they’ve realized this about themselves and now everyone who sees them somehow knows what’s going on with them and, of course, what’s going on isn’t quite according to Hoyle.
What’s worst than being bisexual and married/in a relationship? Getting hit with this and there’s no one you can talk to about it… and then knowing that some of the people you could talk to about anything might not wanna hear that you’re not feeling all that straight as you once did or that you’ve been feeling that pull “toward the middle” for x-amount of time and now you’re at the “what do I do about this” moment and now you just need to check your logic to make sure that you really haven’t lost your mind or something like that or that whatever decision you’ve come to is and will be the right one to make.
It is such an introverted process in that many find themselves spending an inordinate amount of time inside their own head trying to work this out and usually on their own and, at the very least, it can be distracting and, yeah, at the worst, pretty damned depressing. It’s not that being bisexual itself is depressing – it’s trying to get it all squared away inside one’s head that can land someone in a therapist’s office and winding up on antidepressants… or locked into an internal struggle with themselves and not getting any answers that makes sense to them because there is still that thing inside their head that’s telling them that feeling this way is very wrong but, again, it also feels very right and makes a whole lot of sense.
Which thing is really right? It bears repeating: Some people process all of this rather “easily;” some people don’t have an “easy” time with this and, whew, some people direct their energies trying to suppress what they’re feeling so, uh, yeah: If there are people suffering with some form or degree of depression, it doesn’t surprise me that they are – it’s just not the only thing that causes depression in people but it can add to it.
Once upon a time, homosexuality – and along with masturbation – was considered to be an official mental illness and even I was a bit shocked to learned that both things weren’t removed from the official list of mental illnesses until 1973 or 1974. Having been bisexual way before this, it even had me wondering if – and to use Rocky’s phrase – I was mentally irregular because I was bisexual and, yep – it was a pretty depressing thought and more so when I was also pretty damned sure that there was nothing wrong going on inside my head that would require a straightjacket or some time in a padded room.
It had me asking, “Well, if I’m insane, how would I know that I am?” and the good thing was that I pondered my own sanity in this for, oh, about a day (if that long) and decided that, nope: Not mentally ill… but I could see how and why it was thought and believed to be a mental illness because, as I heard time and time again growing up, you had to be out of your motherfucking mind if you weren’t straight – and like everyone is supposed to be. That “revelation” got me to thinking that if there was someone who was “mentally ill,” it was those people who thought that not being heterosexual was a symptom of mental illness who were suffering from some kind of – wait for it – mental irregularity.
Root cause analysis revealed that our social conditioning was – and still is – directly responsible for any sexuality-related depression; it really fucks with your head and can do so in some pretty bad ways to be aware of what other people are saying about anyone who isn’t straight – and like everyone is supposed to be. You know or are aware that you’re not all that straight and you do get to thinking and even believing that there’s something really wrong with you… because everyone else around you along with everything you’ve been taught, says that there’s something wrong with you…
But it doesn’t feel wrong. Those who just go with their gut feeling that being not-so-straight was really okay tended to make the adjustment and keep it moving; those who continued to struggle with themselves, eh, sometimes they came out of the other side of this being kinda/sorta okay and sometimes they didn’t and those who suppressed all of this, well, let it suffice to say that suppressing their feelings didn’t go all that well. Even when one was able to get their shit together inside their head or managed to suppress their feelings, there were – and still are – so many people going on and on about how fucked up not being straight is… but keep in mind that, in the early goings, not being straight meant being gay… but bisexuals know that they aren’t gay, well, not completely so.
Just hearing this can be depressing and I can tell you that it sucks in some of the worst ways possible to be around people you know and hearing them bashing the shit out of anyone who isn’t straight and more so when some of what you hear is pretty vicious and hateful and, yeah – you’re also kinda glad that those people saying such vicious and hateful shit aren’t aware that you’re one of those people they say are all – wait for it – mentally irregular.
The internal cluster fuck that some people can experience can be, all by itself, bad enough as one works toward resolving the conflicts going on in their head but bisexuality, in and of itself, doesn’t cause depression; the internal conflict does and, you betcha, knowing that we have a hate/hate “relationship” with anyone who isn’t straight. Pretty depressing, huh? It gets even worse because one can get their head around being bisexual but they now find that they have to keep it to themselves so as to not draw the ire of those people around them.
Does therapy help? I guess for some it does but from what I’ve others say about going to therapy, eh, not so much and being dosed with antidepressants, well, if you’ve ever taken them, perhaps you know how they can make you feel and, for some, it doesn’t feel good at all… which doesn’t “really help” matters. Yep… I’ve been asked how I dealt/deal with this and the way I deal with it is… not paying attention to what other people have to say about it and, yes, it took me a long time to get there. I was able to understand that what other people had to say about not being straight – and negatively so – was them not really knowing what the fuck they were talking about and many of them were, in fact, just regurgitating what everyone has been saying about this and ever since religion declared not being straight a mortal sin.
Yeah… there were those who tried it and it wasn’t their cup of tea and I knew how that could go south and I knew how that… failure could influence one’s thinking in this so, in way, they kinda/sorta knew what they were talking about but, yeah, I had a problem with that and more so when I was learning much about how people can think when something doesn’t go right for them; they rarely look at it as they should – it didn’t go right for them that time but because it did, well, it’s “proof” that not being straight is as wrong as it’s said to be… but it isn’t.
You learn – and, really, one should know – that everyone has an opinion about everything and that not all opinions are based on fact and, yep, everyone has the right to express their opinion… but you don’t have to pay any attention to it. The thing that I think causes much depression in this, again, isn’t being or feeling bisexual: It’s giving so much weight and attention to all that’s being said against bisexuality that can be so damned depressing – and, yeah, it doesn’t get any better for some when they can’t do anything about how they’re feeling.
Even I can tell you how depressing and frustrating it can be, as a bi guy, to crave cock and it’s not all that easy to get it and it’s not “that easy” to tell yourself – and convince yourself – not to worry your head off about stuff that you have no real control over. Now… imagine what it’s like for those who want to do something about their feelings… and they can’t do it or they’ve convinced themselves that they shouldn’t.
It’s not that dealing with one’s bisexuality isn’t depressing because it can be but I will say that depression isn’t “owned” by bisexuals because, again, no one is immune to being depressed. I know I am… but not because I’m bisexual; it comes from me having to deal with the aftereffects of the stroke I suffered and I have it firmly in my mind not to let something I can’t do anything about fuck with me more than it already is… and there’s not a whole lot anyone else can do about it that doesn’t involve a lot of drugs that I’d rather not be bothered with, thank you very much. But, of course, this is me and how I deal with being bisexual and let’s not forget that I’ve had a whole lifetime learning how to deal with it.
What can make any of this less depressing? Just my forty-five cents worth but it begins with getting it into your head that there’s really nothing “wrong” with feeling this way and despite what you’ve been taught and what you believe. It’s the way you feel and for whatever reason you do and, oh, yeah, you are not the only one who has ever felt this way – duh, right? Next, learn not to give so much weight and importance to what other people are thinking and saying about it and more so when, again, chance are very damned good that they really don’t know what they’re talking about – they’re just rehashing the same old rhetoric that’s been going on over all this time. Understand, and as best you can, that if you can do something about it, well, do something about it… but if you can’t, you just can’t. This part ain’t even easy to deal with and even for experienced bisexuals.
All the bullshit being spread around against bisexuality? Be aware of it and be aware that some of it is true… and a lot of it just isn’t. Trust yourself; believe in yourself first and foremost and no matter what anyone else has to say about it because you know yourself better than anyone can or does, don’t you? You know how you feel; you know what you’re thinking and, yeah, you know what you can and can’t do. Do your best not to let the internal cluster fuck make things worst for yourself; you know that not being straight is morally wrong but you also know – or should know (and if you didn’t know, I’m telling you) – that there are millions of bisexuals around the world. Millions. And many of those millions of bisexuals do not let the bullshit get in the way of who and what they need to be and in their minds, yeah – all they can do is not like it.
And the most important thing is, I think, answering this question: Whose life is it? One of the depressing things is knowing that you are expected, demanded, and required to live your life in a very certain and specific way and without exception… except, if you’re feeling bisexual, well, hmm; yep, let the cluster fuck begin. Just knowing that how you’re feeling and how you’re not supposed to be feeling can and does cause a shitload of problems and I know it’s easier said than done but it’s only a problem if you allow it to be one. This is how you feel and there’s nothing you can do about it. So many say that they didn’t ask for these feelings and they want them to go away… and they’re not going anywhere. You don’t have to do anything about the way you feel but you can if you want to or if it’s even possible and sometimes, it just ain’t possible. If you suppress them, eh, that might make you feel better but chances are it’s not going to. This doesn’t mean you should run out and do the nasty with someone but it does mean, again, accepting that this is how you feel.
Some folks will find this “easy” to wrap their head around and some folks won’t find it to be so easy. It’s not an “instant” self-fix; it takes time to sort it all out and to be okay with how you’re feeling. If you can find someone you can talk to about this – and someone who isn’t going to rake you over the coals and schedule you for a good tarring and feathering – it can go a long way to keep any feelings of depression at bay and if you can’t, well, yeah – that sucks and now it’s a thing of not letting it get you all down in the dumps and more so when a Google search can point you to groups of people who feel the same way you do (or close enough for government work).
Being bisexual isn’t the problem. The problem with is what we believe about heterosexuality being the only way to be; the problem is what other people are saying against it and the problem is believing what they’re saying; the problem is not having someone you can talk to about how you’re feeling and, yeah, being able to do something about how you feel really isn’t as easy as it might seem to be. The problem is that it isn’t all that easy to accept that you’re feeling a way that you’re not “supposed” to be feeling; the way you’re feeling just goes against that which you believe and such a… drastic change in your beliefs is and can be unsettling and, yep, depressing and it takes some effort not to give in to feelings of depression. And, damned right: If you need help dealing with depression, get some professional help; there’s no shame in it at all. Sometimes, just being able to talk about it and getting it “off your chest” can work wonders and these days, there are professionals who specialize in sexuality and if you find that you need one, find one. Join a group for bisexuals; hell, even get into LGBTQ+ stuff if this will, at the very least, give you someone you can talk to about this.
They – the haters – want you to believe that if you find yourself feeling bisexual, well, you’re well and truly fucked and I am here today to tell you that you’ll only be well and truly fucked – and in that bad way – if you allow yourself to be well and truly fucked in that bad way. I know and learned this and I’m not the only one who did or has learned it. It’s not easy but it is doable because, again, not only did I do it but millions of bisexuals have and are doing it and if they’re depressed, it sure as fuck ain’t over them being bisexual since, um, you know, this current coronavirus pandemic is, all by itself, very damned depressing.
Besides… who has the right to tell you how you’re supposed to feel? And you should really think about that one and very carefully. If you’re not feeling all that straight – and, yeah, if you’re not feeling all that gay – do you not have the right to feel the way you want to? It’s just that I have learned – and because people have tried to fuck with me about not being straight… or gay – that I don’t have to let them fuck with me and I’m not going to and because I don’t, it keeps me quite mentally… regular – and because it’s to my benefit to be regular even if it’s only as far as I’m concerned and at the end of the day, it is about what I think that trumps what others think because this is still my life and if you don’t like that I’m bisexual, that’s not my problem and no one is going to make it my problem; that’s been tried before… and they’ve failed.
True enough, it can cause depression… but so can a lot of things in your daily life; I’m just saying that being bisexual or even feeling this way doesn’t have to be as depressing as it’s being said to be and, nope – you don’t have to believe me but since I’ve been there myself, yeah, I might not be a mental health professional but I know a little something about being bisexual. I don’t have all of the answers and, really, no one does… and even this can be depressing as all get out… but only if you allow it to be. I didn’t. Millions of others don’t.