I’ve been slightly MIA for the past few months. I’m sorry about that. I just bought a house, and I’ve been busy with house stuffs.
However, I cannot blame my lack of blog posts solely on my house. I’ve had plenty of time to write, I just haven’t been in the mood. Even when I’ve been in the mood, I cannot think of anything worthwhile to write about.
I’ve started several posts, but I didn’t feel any draw to finish them. Tonight, I’m going to write about a rather windy road I’ve traveled in the last year.
I have always loved kids. I remember “helping” in the nursery at our church in Oklahoma when I was nine or ten. When I was eleven, I would go over to our preacher’s house and entertain his kids whilst his wife did work around the house.
We moved to Texas when I was twelve, and I immediately started helping my mom in the nursery during bible class and sometimes during worship at our new church.
Thanks to my exposure to kids, my earliest dream was to grow up and be a mom. It wasn’t until later that I had to add the qualifier “wife.” Apparently, it’s really hard to make babies without men.
Oh, well. I just added that to the list.
- Find attractive Christian man who wants kids.
- Make as many babies as possible.
That was my to-do list. Just two things! Not hard at all, right? People do it every day! No sweat.
I knew I’d be able to find someone worthy of marriage at college. M-R-S degree, here I come!
Except. Life happened.
I went to college and came home after less than a week because I went 85 hours without sleep and had a psychotic break.
Turns out I’m bipolar.
I was stuck at home the fall semester of what should have been my freshman year. I was unstable for the majority of my semester off. My psychiatrist had me on the right medicine, but we were still figuring out dosages, and I had to figure out how my medicine affected me.
I did not have a social life during my recovery.
I went to a Baptist university the following spring, but finding a man was not on my list of things to do. I was borderline reclusive in college (my mom would say, “Borderline?!?”), and I put forth zero effort to appear appealing or attractive to men.
I was dealing with a lot of unresolved shame and garbage from high school, and my diagnosis just made it worse. For a while, I think I was ashamed of being bipolar. A big part of that shame came from being dropped by a few friends from high school after I told them I had a mental illness.
I probably couldn’t have articulated it at the time, but I’m sure that rejection played into how little I put myself out there in college. I’m not blaming anyone for my asocial behavior, I’m trying to express my mindset during that time. If people who knew me and liked me before my diagnosis suddenly wanted nothing to do with me because I’m bipolar, how could I trust that people who didn’t know me would want to be friends with me?
I made some friends in college, but they were vapid and The friendships didn’t last once I graduated.
I got a job soon after graduating.
Finally, a legitimate adult!
And boy, oh boy, was my desire to get married and have kids still on the table. I wanted it so badly I could taste it, but apparently not so badly that I’d do anything about it. I still didn’t have a social life.
Enter online dating.
Eharmony. This was circa 2015 or so. I was actually slightly ashamed I was on there at the tender age of 23. Suffice it to say, I didn’t go on a single date during my six-month subscription.
In hindsight, I was probably a little too honest and forthcoming. Not just with my illness, but also with my personality. I’m an introvert, and most of the guys with whom I interacted online could not handle my being shy and introverted. I was constantly passed over and rejected. I’d like to say I was secure enough in myself that I didn’t let it get me down, but I’d be lying.
Fine! Nobody wants to be with me! Men SUCK! I’m never going to get married or have kids. My biological clock is ticking! I’m going to die an old maid. MEN SUCK!!
Blah, blah, blah.
Guess what? I was still singing that tune until about a year ago. I’d done a few more stints of online dating with better luck in terms of meeting men, but most guys just wanted to be friends after a couple of dates.
I won’t go into depth about my mindset surrounding men leading up to last September, but let’s just say I was resentful and angry.
A bunch of shit hit the fan last fall, and surprise, surprise, all of that (still) unresolved shame and anger reared its head, and I put myself into counseling.
Once I was fully immersed in counseling, I thought, “Being single right now is good for me. I’m able to work on myself.” In the back of my mind I still had the desire to get married and have kids. It was more subdued, though. It wasn’t kicking down the door of my brain or lady parts.
Then about seven months ago, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw pictures of a high school classmate of mine with her months-old daughter. In that moment, I felt this immeasurable sense of peace and acceptance that I didn’t have any other humans to take care of.
I was still wading through my emotional shitstorm in therapy, and for the first time, I was completely content with my life.
As much as I’ve always loved kids, I realized getting married and having children would not have been a good idea with my emotional baggage all over the place.
My beautiful mind took it one step further. It reminded me of the many autobiographies I’ve read by people with bipolar, and I concluded that me having kids is a terrible, awful, no good, very bad idea.
And there it is.
My lifelong dream came to an end six months ago.
I grieved it briefly, but I accepted it as truth. Sarah + children = BADBADBAD
Sleep is king for me. Sleep is my number one priority. What is the one thing new parents are almost guaranteed to get VERY little of? That’s right. Sleep.
Thus, kids are a bad idea for Sarah. End of story.
Ah. This conclusion lead to more acceptance of my relationship status. If I’m not going to have kids, there is no biological clock for me to worry about.
I’m still seeing my therapist, and in the past several months, we have made significant strides for my emotional health. I feel like I’m in a good place. I’m probably more stable now than I’ve ever been.
Then I bought a house, and things got even better because I live alone (I was living with my parents before). I love my parents dearly, but living at home at 27 was not easy. And I know it wasn’t easy for them either, bless them.
A few weeks into living alone, I rashly decided to join an online dating site. Why I did this, I do not know. I do know that the chances of me meeting eligible bachelors is very slim without the assistance of something, and I do long at times for companionship.
If I signed up for something free, I would’ve just deleted my profile. But no, I paid for one like an idiot, so I felt like I needed to be somewhat active on it.
A couple of weeks later, I met a guy on the site, and I’ve been talking to him exclusively for the past couple of weeks. He lives three hours south of me, so we haven’t met yet. We are going to meet this Saturday.
We’ve talked on the phone quite a bit, and during one of our first conversations, I told him I might have a deal breaker. He asked what it was. I told him a truncated version of my story about being diagnosed.
“So, I’m bipolar.”
There was a long pause, and I just thought, “Well, I guess this was nice while it lasted.”
He said, “Wait. I’m confused. What’s the deal breaker?”
I accepted my illness long ago, but I always go into relationships assuming the other person will not accept me since I have the illness, which means I probably haven’t fully accepted my bipolar after all.
Maybe I need to stop looking at my illness as something to overcome.
Which maybe means I need to stop making such large and sweeping decisions about things I know nothing about. Such as having kids. Maybe it is doable even though I’m bipolar. I just don’t know. Thankfully, the decision doesn’t need to be made any time soon.
Being somewhat introspective, I am able to laugh at myself, and I think it is funny how I take everything to the extreme. It’s either, I want as many as possible, or, I don’t want ANY EVER!
I know not moderation.
Thank goodness I’ve never done drugs or alcohol.