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***I have no intention to make this graphic or unpleasant, so it shouldn’t trigger anyone.  I will be frank about the subject.  Read at your own risk.***

Looking back on my formative years now, it’s easy to see that my symptoms of bipolar started to manifest around the time I hit puberty.  I was incredibly moody and withdrawn a good deal of the time, and as soon as I got brave enough I started having sex.  If memory serves I was about 13 at the time – a freshman in high school.  It was a particularly bad idea.

But once I started I didn’t want to stop.  Quite often it was all I could think about.  Any time my boyfriend and I could make it happen, we did.  And then I made the mistake of marrying him and it all went downhill.  I was still revved up and he wasn’t interested because I didn’t read his tiny mind and realize he wanted me to lose 100lbs overnight.  Cue divorce #1.

I started going out on the prowl after that, looking for a man – any man – who was interested enough to get in bed with me.  I had a whole slew of one night stands because I thought that getting a guy to sleep with me was proof that I was pretty.  And mechanical intervention was just not as interesting.

I met husband #2 and we had a great time.  Pretty well as much as I wanted as often as I wanted.  Only it wasn’t enough.  I knew that he found me attractive, but I was so insecure that I needed proof that other men still found me attractive.  So I cheated.

It honestly wasn’t because I felt I was being neglected or that I wasn’t getting enough love at home.  I needed to have that validation from other men and the only way I thought I could get it was by having sex with them.

And then the bottom dropped out of my world.

I was admitted to the psychiatric unit just a few months before I turned 30.  They diagnosed me with bipolar II and started me on meds.  I was in and out of the hospital several times that year, always for med adjustments.  My sex drive completely disappeared.  I didn’t even want him to touch me.

Two years later, when I was much more stable, he left.  I don’t blame him, not one bit.  I had been terrible to him and he needed to move on.  I went back on the prowl.

More one night stands, more shitty “relationships.”  And – sadly – four suicide attempts.  I was given an additional diagnosis of borderline personality disorder.  I meet 8 of the 9 criteria for diagnosis, or at least I did.  I’ve since been through two rounds of DBT and feel as though I’m in a much better place now.

Anyway, then Josh came onto the scene.

I’ll spare you the sordid details of the early days of our relationship – they’re back in the archives if you’re really interested.  He’s a much different human being now than he was when we met.

When Josh and I moved in together I wanted – no, expected – sex every day.  EVERY DAY.  He did his best, but he’s older than me, his testosterone was low, and he was getting drunk every night – not a good combination.

And then I turned 35 and my gynecologist took away my birth control pills.  I’d had my tubes tied when I was 30, but the pill kept my hormones level which majorly helped my moods.  So my doc offered a partial hysterectomy – she took my uterus and my cervix and left the ovaries so I wouldn’t need hormone replacement.

I had to go 6 weeks with no sex after the surgery.  SIX WEEKS.  I know, cry me a river, right?

Josh and I got closer during that time.  We would take time to really talk to each other.  We would touch, knowing it didn’t have to go any further – it couldn’t go any further.  It was so wonderful and so frustrating.

Now we have a sex life that’s probably closer to “normal” for people our age.  Sometimes there’s more, sometimes less, but we try to make time when we can.  And we still spend time just being us and being sweet.

I can’t say for sure that it was that 6 week enforced “dry spell” that did it or not, but I definitely don’t feel like I need to have a constant hook up to feel good about myself.  It’s really very liberating.