I don’t know if anyone will read this within a day, a week, or even a year of its posting, but I suspect that’s not the point.  It doesn’t matter if it ever gets read.  What matters is that I write it.

Those who know me personally probably already know that I am taking medication for migraines.  Most of those also know that the medication I was prescribed is an anti-depressant, this specific variation of which is sometimes used for its side effect of reducing the frequency and severity of chronic pain.  A few will be aware that this might be a good thing for me beyond handling the headaches, since I’ve shown several of the symptoms of depression off and on for many years.

Well, now I’m out, and can’t afford to get any more.  The medication itself isn’t particularly pricey, but the office visit to renew the refills is.

Now, before anyone pulls out the wallet and heads to PayPal or whatever, I’m not looking for help with this.  I just want to discuss a few things with myself, as it were.  Get my head back on straight.

See, the pills were beginning to lose effectiveness on the headaches, but they were actually doing wonders (apparently) on my depression-like symptoms.  (I’m trying to avoid self-diagnosis so as to not marginalize those who actually for-certain have depression.  Unless/until someone with the training to know says I have something, it’s only symptoms.)

At least, since the meds started effectively leaving my system, my mood has been less predictable and more negative.

I’ll spare anyone reading this the full details of my symptoms, but it does bring up a few other items I feel are important enough to put out there, even though they are of little importance otherwise.  These are facets of my life that I start to fixate on whenever my mood turns this direction, and if I can get the discussion on them out of my own head, it may do me some good.

First, my belief system.  It’s both very simple and very complicated, all at once.  The simple part: I believe that the sheer force of belief itself shapes reality.  It certainly shapes our actions, at least, and I don’t know many rational people who would argue that our actions have no effect on reality.  Then there is the effect of shared beliefs on how objective reality is perceived, and thus explained and explored.  Whether this cascade effect continues to the level espoused by spiritualism and religion is ultimately beyond the point that those beliefs shape the actions of those who hold them, which in turn shapes the world we share with them.  That in itself is often enough.

The complexity, if that isn’t obvious already, comes from how those myriad beliefs interact, and how to determine which beliefs are most true at any given moment.  I tend toward treating them all as equally effective, since I don’t have sufficient data to know for sure in any case.

Second is a personal understanding of my own nature which, frankly, can only be interpreted as insanity given current knowledge and understanding of various scientific principles.  Probably schizophrenia, or one of its relatives.  I feel strongly about its truth, but my certainty doesn’t help in my attempt to defend myself.  I’ll leave this one at that.

Last is a facet of myself that isn’t widely known (mostly because it doesn’t really matter in the vast majority of situations), but which shapes my own thoughts and actions, sometimes in ways that make others uncomfortable.  This bit will probably make many people even more uncomfortable around me than they already normally are, but I think it’s beyond time I say it.

I am a practicing bisexual.

What does that mean?  It means that I love my wife, and we are as intimate as our bodies will allow.  But it also means that I am attracted to men just as much, and enjoy such intimacy with them as well.  This is not a surprise to my wife, who is wonderful beyond what I could possibly deserve.  We discussed the matter long ago, and decided that the main issue with extramarital intimacy wasn’t the sex itself, but rather the damage of trust.  So long as neither of us tries to hide a sexual relationship from the other, if it happens, it happens.

Now, this doesn’t mean we’re out sleeping around.  I won’t speak on her sex life (aside from the one she has with me) because that’s her story to tell or not as she pleases.  For my part, however, I don’t tend to find myself in situations where I could take advantage of this arrangement anyway.  That said, I have had a few exhausting nights with a member of my own sex.  And I enjoyed every minute just as much as I do the ones I share with my wife.  So, no, I’m not just “bicurious”.  I know I like playing both sides of the field.

That was as non-graphic as I could make it while still being clear about that bit of myself.  I suspect some – if not most – of the people reading this (assuming, again, that anyone will) will place as much distance between me and themselves as they can manage.  Hell, it’s even still legal for me to lose my job(s) over it.  (Well, not so much legal as not illegal, but in practice, they’re about the same…)  I accept that as something I cannot change.  But I feel the need to have it said is far more important than maintaining friendships or employment where this aspect of me justifies such reactions.  Indeed, if this is enough to end these relationships I’ve built even while being this person I’ve now admitted to being, then those relationships probably weren’t worth the time to cultivate in the first place.

I hope, though, that the relationships I have with others are strengthened by this knowledge, if they are affected at all.  That would be the best scenario for everyone, I believe.  It would certainly do a lot for my faith in people in general.

We will see, I am sure.

With all that written down, I am indeed feeling more sure of myself, as hoped, and could probably store this away someplace where it would never be read by anyone other than myself.  That wouldn’t be particularly honest of me, though.  Not after what I’ve written here.  So here you go, world.  I accept whatever damage this will do to my career(s), my friendships, and even my family, as I take full responsibility for it.

And who knows.  Maybe my fears are misplaced.

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13 thoughts on “TMI”

  1. you’re you. you’re family. love you as you are.

  2. Dan, thanks for sharing.

  3. Ahhh sen’s, run away! nah, you know enough of me to know nothing here is really news to me, be happy to be you 🙂

  4. Believe it or not, Daniel-san, it takes a lot of courage in this local environment to say these things. Here’s to you…*toast*…it’s your life, make of it what you wish…the power is yours. I know my daughter will say the same. As someone who has been treated in the past for depression (anxiety), a lot of healing comes from letting things go and realizing what’s important to you–trying to please everyone gets your nowhere. Blessings and hugs your way…

  5. My concern is that, you are no longer getting your pills that you said were keeping you steady. Depression is not something that should be dismissed. Undignosed and untreated it can feel as if the world is crushing you. I do think that it would be very worth while to investigate your options for getting some help with this.
    To me depression can be more damaging, when left untreated, to your career and family life.

    1. Mostly, my options here depend on how much longer the Navy will keep me, and given the NOSC, that may not be very long.

      1. The Navy has a responsibility to provide support services to their members. You should check One source. The NOSC is not all superior even though they think they are.

  6. Hey man, long time no see. First of all, even though social attitudes towards homo- and bisexuality are changing, it’s still tough to come out and tell the world (or a limited subset thereof) who you are. It took a lot of courage to say what you did, and I applaud you for it. For my part, I still accept you as a human being and shipmate. I don’t think you will face the hatred and loss of friends that you anticipate. People will see you differently, but you just changed how you present yourself to others. My hope is that your new honesty with the world will manifest itself as increased confidence and happiness. Keeping something like that hidden for so long can manifest itself in many ways, including stress, depression, and a sense of disconnectedness.

    The Navy cannot do anything to you over this. If they try, fight it. You are of value to your unit, the NOSC, the Navy Reserve, and the United States. The laws have been changed to support people in your position. Don’t let them damage or take your career.

    Everyone deserves to be happy with who they are. There are people who would take away your happiness because they do not agree with your behaviors. It’s who you are. You have the right to be happy. Take that right and run with it. If people turn their backs on you, they weren’t good friends to start with. They don’t deserve you in their lives.

    Take care.

  7. To clarify, I’m not concerned about the Navy kicking me out for anything I’ve said here. They are already aware of the medication I’ve been prescribed, and they’re not allowed to do anything about my sexuality anymore, either. I wouldn’t have posted this publicly if I thought they still could. The problem on the Navy side of things is that because of the medication itself, I am not considered medically ready to deploy, and the NOSC needs a higher-level opinion of whether I can stick around. The way they’ve been handling the paperwork aspect, though, has made it difficult to have any optimism that the response will be positive. And the entire time I’m waiting for the medical record review, I can’t go on orders anywhere, meaning I can’t do my annual training, nor volunteer to mobilize.

    As to the concerns that this post might jeopardize my job, I was referring to my civilian careers. I am currently a software developer for both a company I own and a local SEO firm. I can’t get fired from the one I own, but if I have no clients, I have to declare bankruptcy and shut down that side of my life. I don’t think the chances of being fired by the SEO company are *particularly* high, but they exist, and not only would denying that be personal dishonesty, I also have a tendency to err on the side of paranoia – the idea being pleasant surprises instead of unpleasant ones – when it comes to the possibility of losing a job.

    Hrm. That sounds like it might be one of those symptoms I mentioned above…

  8. Daniel,
    I am of course very worried about your depression. I will e-mail or facebook you.
    You have my support.
    Leigh Ann

  9. Dan, I don’t know your personal life well, but this was interesting to read. Personally, I don’t think any different of you. In fact, I still have the same respect as I did before – you’re a great asset to the team and an excellent software developer/programmer. That being said, I doubt your job is in jeopardy for what you believe. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep up the good work! 🙂

    Nathan Hawkes

  10. It’s difficult some times – no matter what the personal struggles are – to keep personal life from interfering with work life. While I can’t relate with everything you’ve shared with us in this blog, I can understand how you may be weighed down by such things. Life as a divorcee and the ups and downs of the dating world occasionally challenge my desire to do much. My beliefs were challenged. I had to rebuild self worth. And, I continue to search for a meaningful relationship. But, I will say, that other than the awareness of your headaches, I never would have suspected you had any other challenges going on in your life. You’ve seemed to always be quite effective and highly valued in the workplace.

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