Does Sexuality and Sexual Preference Have More To Do With What We Learn Is “Normal” or “Acceptable” Or What Is Biologically Engrained Within Our Very Genetic Makeup?

Biologically our bodies are programmed for specific functions we share with all other human beings. In order to live, your heart needs to beat, your lungs need oxygen, and your blood is what holds you all together. Humans have natural instincts that don’t have to be taught to them in order for them to learn. From birth, you know how to take your first breath, and swallow your first drink of milk without much assistance at all. Our bodies are programmed to be a specific way, and when they aren’t what is considered the norm, a person is considered to have “something wrong”, be “sick”, or “disabled”. Our brain is a crucial part of our body and I have to wonder if the same rules or social norms really apply to mind as well.

Does our sexuality or sexual preference have more to do with what we learn is “normal” or “acceptable” or what is biologically engrained within our very genetic makeup? People who are attracted to the same sex are among the minority. Several studies suggest that gay, lesbian, or bisexuals have higher rates of some mental disorders compared to heterosexuals. I think that discrimination could be a factor in these statistics as well. There are higher rates of anxiety, mood, substance use disorders, and suicidal thoughts among people 15-54 who are with a same-sex partner.

In nature it is instinct for animals to find the opposite sex and procreate. Men have a penis and women have a vagina and they were created to be together. You see this pattern in everything in life. Male-Female. Black-White. Yin-Yang.. Some things just go together. And when something in your life doesn’t fit this pattern, you start to feel like something is not right.

Growing up, I knew that I was attracted to girls 5 years before I had my first feelings of attraction to boys. I have known since I was 3 years old that I was attracted to women sexually. I knew it, and growing up I didn’t know how to feel about it or WHAT to do about it because I knew what I was feeling wasn’t something anyone had ever discussed with me. I had never seen a same-sex couple, and I didn’t know that those feelings I was having had a label I would later learn down the road. But what I did know, is that my friends didn’t feel the same way about me that I did about them. I initiated “playing doctor” more times than I can count, and was confused why I was left with uncomfortable feelings in parts of my body that at that time I was too young to understand. Sexual attraction is instinctive. I know this because I developed it early on and it is something I’m still discovering and still question more and more everyday.

I was in a relationship with a woman on and off for a couple of years. She was the first woman that I had romantic feelings for the reciprocated. It threw me and the rest of my family for a total head spin, because up until that point.. I was always “straight”. But what nobody knew is that deep down there was a part of me that just wasn’t happy with the idea of having a husband someday. It just never appealed to me, and it still doesn’t. Even growing up, I never really had the desire to date men (or women for that matter). I would see my friend in and out of relationships and I just never understood the point of dating when you’re in middleschool or high school… It’s not like you can really truly have a life together at that point. Moving on from that though.. 

When I first started dating the woman, inside I was really happy.. But on the outside, I was still embarrassed and insecure what people would think of me. Luckily, I was in a city that was extremely accepting of the gay population. I had a job at that point that allowed me to interact with close friends daily who were also gay or bisexual. It’s funny how that worked out so perfectly, but everything happens for a reason. I truly believe that was my sole purpose of being there, was to truly discover who I really am without the pressure and expectations of small-town living. I eventually became more comfortable with it, and would proudly display her whenever we would go out on the town. It also helped that her friends and family were supportive of us, and mine came around eventually too. Things ended up not working out between us, so I ended up having to move back to my hometown. That move was the single most devastating moment of my life. I couldn’t afford my bills anymore and was having some serious mental health issues. So, my parents decided that it would be best for me to just come home. My dad gave me a 2 month notice that I would be leaving, and it threw me into a depression among no other. Along with the recent breakup, and the news of my departure.. I lost every motivation and became a hollow shell. I spend every night drinking hard liquor until I couldn’t drink anymore. I had friends stop by from time to time, but I have no memory of our interactions. I would lay in the middle of the living room floor with my vodka bottle in-hand and crawl to the bathroom from time to time. I remember waking up to what I thought were strangers in my apartment splashing water on my face or bringing me food knowing that I hadn’t eaten in a ridiculous undetermined amount of time. I started to pawn off my things in order to supply my alcoholic mental breakdown. 

I just got rather off track, so back to the point of this blog.

Scientists have been exploring the idea of a “gay” gene, but up until this point haven’t been able to pinpoint anything one way or another. It makes me wonder what is different about those of us who are attracted to the same-sex vs. those who are not. It poses a few questions in my mind. Could heterosexual people be happy being with someone of the same sex if all religious or moral inhibitions or insecurities places by society were all removed. I’m a firm believer in “You don’t know you won’t like it until you try it”. Or is the real problem something deep inside the inner-workings of our mind that makes us different… Perhaps a defect or malformation of something just not yet discovered. And lastly, can we be “fixed”? Is there a medication being created somewhere down the line that can be a cure-all for those of us who aren’t completely comfortable with our feelings? I don’t really know the answer to any of these questions. But think of this… What if it was the other way around and gay was straight and straight people were a minority. Below is a link to my favorite awareness video of all time. I think it’s important that everyone see’s this at some point in time. So if you’ve made it this far into this blog, please take the time to watch the video. CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO 

Thank you all for reading.

Kisses, Lennox

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What Is It Like To Crave Something So Simple, Yet So Hard To Ask For

What is it like to crave something so badly that nothing else can replace it? What is it like to have your whole body in constant pain just because you’re lacking one of the most important human needs? My answer to these questions is.. Empty. I constantly feel empty. I live virtually without any sort of physical human contact, and its lonely. Nobody hugs me, or touches my hand, or even lays their hand across my back as a simple gesture of genuinity. (I am aware that “genuinity” is not a real word, I’m not stupid, but I don’t feel it necessary to explain my reason for the word usage.)

What I need right now in my life is pretty simple. I don’t ask for much, and I’m easy to please.. but a hug is what I need. That is all. Even writing this, theres a lump in my throat, and I’m holding back tears that desperately need to be let out (but theres people around and they might wonder whats going on, and I don’t feel like making a scene..) The next thing I’m about to say isn’t meant to be taken lightly, but I also don’t want it to be taken too seriously. If you read my previous blog “What is REALLY Like To Have Rapid-Cycling Bipolar Disorder”, this will make a little more sense. I need so badly for someone to hug me and just let me cry… I need them to not judge me and understand that its something that needs to happen, because if it doesn’t… someday, it might cost me my life. I hate to admit that, but its a lonely, lonely place to feel this way when the solution is something so simple, but isn’t something you can just ask for. Ok.. Moving on from probably the most depressing thing I’ve written down to date. Whaddya do, I guess.

Anyways..

The last time someone hugged me, I left and I sobbed for an hour. I was so incredibly thankful that someone had shared such a small gesture with me. Its an understatement to say that it meant the world to me.. because it meant more. For a few days, the body pain went away.. the tingling that commonly radiates through my arms to my fingertips subsided.. and for the first time in years I didn’t want to hurt myself. I had a happiness about me that just hadn’t surfaced up until that point. She’ll never know how badly I needed that hug that day. But fortunately, she’ll know what it meant to me, because she visits my blog from time to time.

Thats all for now. Feel free to check out my previous 3 blogs.. its some good, very honest and raw stuff- if you’re into that kind of thing. But for real, they just bleed truth all over the place so if you care enough to wanna get to know me, feel free to check them out. You can view them by visiting my “Recent Blogs” category. Have a good weekend, everyone.

Kisses, Lennox

What Is It REALLY Like To Have Rapid-Cycling Bipolar Disorder?

If you know me, or have read some of my older blogs, you probably know that I suffer from bipolar disorder. Specifically rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. Lets get technical for a second. What is rapid cycling bipolar disorder?

Rapid-cycling is a pattern of frequent, distinct episodes in bipolar disorder. In rapid- cycling, a person with the disorder experiences four or more episodes of mania or depression in one year.

Reading the description of what is considered RC Bipolar Disorder makes me wonder how accurate it actually is. If I ONLY had 4 episodes of mania or depression a year, I would be doing pretty well. But let me tell you, I suffer from 4 or more episodes a month, sometimes a week, or even in a day. Sometimes you can feel it coming on, and sometimes it happens out of nowhere. I’m going through some med changes at the moment and can probably contribute my mood decline this week to that. The one thing that has been pretty consistent lately is that when my mood drops, it seems to be a pretty steady decline over the process of 4-5 days. Then I hit a low.. The lows consist of a lot of self-destructive thoughts and I freak out a little bit and think that everything is coming crashing down. These episodes usually follow an episode of mania, or extreme happiness where I feel like everything in my life is just all falling in place. If the bipolar lows aren’t bad enough, the highs are just as bad. It sounds all fine and dandy to be “happy” and “optimistic”, but to be completely honest.. it is exhausting, because you just can’t control it. During those highs, I can literally feel myself being drained of energy, but I just can’t stop. When I’m in a high, people seem to respond to me better. They feel happy that things are going so well for me, but the truth is.. its part of my illness. Its not necessarily a good thing when that is happening, because what is to follow is a great darkness that very few people can truly understand.

I’d like to sit here and tell you that I am genuinely a happy person, but I’m not. My “general” mood rests in a pretty flat state.I’m really easy going, so most times I just don’t care one way or another. I have a lot of trust issues, and I don’t typically keep many people in my life at a time. Its just too hard for my mind to process. Fewer people means fewer problems, fewer arguments, less chance of someone talking behind your back, and most importantly, less of a chance of getting hurt.

Mental Illness is so misunderstood, and it is a major goal of mine to educate as many people as I can and share my story in attempt to help people understand the matter more. What people don’t really understand is that it is a sickness. It is a chronic illness like any other…in the fact that it truly never goes away. People like me are put on meds and seek therapy in order to help alleviate some of the symptoms, but nothing completely can make it go away. Except maybe a lobotomy.. Kidding of course. That would just cause a whole new smorgasbord of challenges. (Lol) But really. Living with a chronic illness isn’t easy, and its even harder for people to acknowledge it exists. Sometimes people just think you’re being over-dramatic or irrational, but its something you can’t control. That is what people just don’t get. Most people never will, unless you suffer as well. Even so, nobody is exactly the same.. and that is why mental illnesses are so hard to diagnose. People can be having the same symptoms but can be suffering from completely different disorders. A lot of the same symptoms characterized by different disorders can be almost identical to others. And some of us are lucky enough to have all of the craziness harbored in one body *Raises Hand*

But think of it this way..In the end, the symptoms of mental illness make a full circle and can be defined as one label, “sick”, with many sub-categories; just like every other illness in the world. Your body is one complete circuit and it doesn’t matter if theres something wrong with your heart or your brain, when theres something not functioning the way it should, you need treatment. If theres anything I’ve learned over the past few years (specifically the past 6 months), theres no shame in admitting that you suffer from a mental illness. Its okay, its not secret that people do. If you’re just honest about what you are feeling and what you are thinking, things do get better. One of my biggest fears I used to have is that if I told people what was happening in my mind that I would get “locked away” without consent.. but I promise you that if you walk into a clinic and share all the crazy in your head, they’re not gonna just lock you away and drug you with Thorazine (Ooooo!) I mean.. there are extreme cases that require immediate hospitalization, but that won’t happen without a proper evaluation first. So fear not, my friends.. And Happy Hump Day! I hope you celebrate accordingly 😉

Kisses, Lennox

 

 

 

Did a little filming today, please watch ⭐️ Short Film: Depression, Anxiety, Self-Esteem, and Addiction ❤️❤️❤️ PinkRainProductions

Turn up the sound! ❤️❤️❤️ 

If video doesn’t work.. Click HERE

Immense Strides, Postive Vibes… Meets Reality. The Mind: Party of 1

I’m making immense strides in therapy. Some days like today, the pain still feels very real. And some days it’s still hard to get out of bed still hearing the voices they instilled in me. But I’m learning to push through it. For the 1st time in forever, I put on my ballet shoes, and got to dance. And for the moment, I’m okay. 

                                            

Let me tell you, today’s session threw me for a headspin. Out of nowhere I had so much to say… So much feeling.. So much truth.. So much.. Passion. And then, for the first time, I started to cry. For the first time in my entire life, I cried in front of someone. And then she said “Is that a tear I see”, slid the tissues my way, and just smiled. It surprised me that tears were even happening, and I think it surprised her a little too. But regardless, I needed to be vulnerable.. I needed to feel it, I needed her to see it, and in someway it represents the last bit of my mask falling away. Nobody has seen me that way, nobody has seen me crumble. But I know that I don’t have to hide from her, I don’t have to hide my feelings or my experiences, or my tears… She understands and that’s what I’ve needed for so long, is just someone to understand. Our sessions fill me with comfort and confidence that maybe, just maybe, that my fate doesn’t have to end up with me checking-out on my own clock, but rather the strength to hold on. “I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes, keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight” Those words run circles in my mind.. Just holding on for tonight. They get me through until my next session.

I’m at the very beginning of starting to see things in a new light. But it seems so foreign to me.. Like a parallel universe where the laws of physics are suspended. What goes up does not necessarily come down, and a body at rest does not tend to stay that way. Not every action can be counted on to provoke an equal and opposite reaction. Time is also different. It may run in circles, go backwords, and skip. It’s all so new. I just never thought of things the way they’ve been presented to me lately.

I’ve learned that crazy isn’t being broken or swallowing a dark secret. It’s just you and me amplified. I no longer fantasize about death.. Rather just know that it’s always a possibility in the back of my mind.. Some people say that having any conscious opinion on the matter is a mark of sanity, but I’m not sure that’s true. I still think about it. I’ll always have to think about it. Suicide is a from of premeditated murder. It isn’t something you do the first time you think about it. It takes getting used to. You need the means, the 0pportunity, the motive. A successful suicide demands good organization and a cool head, both of which are usually incompatible with the suicidal state of mind. 

Involuntary Memory Supression/False Memories

Many studies have been done to prove that our brains are capable of involuntarily blocking out painful memories. I, myself have experienced this first-hand. In fact there is an entire 3-4 year period of time that doesn’t exist in my mind. Because of the journals and writings I kept, I know some of what happened during that time. However, if I actually try to think back to specific circumstances, conversations, etc.. It is just all so black. It’s like my mind comes to a fork in the road and just stops as if there’s nowhere else to go.

A little information to aid this writing: Supressing memories is associated with increased activity in the left and right frontal cortex (the part of the brain used to suppress memory). Which in return leads to reduced activity in the hippocampus (the part of the brain used to remember experiences). The better a person is at activating the frontal cortex, the more likely they are to be able to suppress memories. Obviously this isn’t something a person can just turn on and off, it is involuntary, but it has a big play into those “blackout” periods we sometimes experience. Not only can your brain block out memories, but your brain can also create false memories. These are usually not trauma-oriented, rather due to lack of sleep, lack of nutrition, and misinterpreted information that the person truly believes to be real. You can actually convince yourself of false memories. The more you try to convince yourself they are real, the more you believe it.

Ok. This is the conclusion of the psychology portion of this writing. The next part is about to get very personal. So feel free to stop here.. Or read on! What I’m about to write has never been said out loud.

When I was about 5 years old, my mom took me to see a family psychiatrist/nutritionalist. My mom had blood work done on me about a week prior, in order to be able to share the results with the uh… We will call him Sir.  I remember going and sitting down in his office, and he began to ask me questions. I refused to answer any of his questions on front of my mom. She was then asked to leave the room and go sit in the waiting room. The next thing I remember is looking down and seeing my green polka-dot dress crumpled    up on the floor next to me. I remember feeling cold, and uncomfortable, and that I wanted my mom. And after that day, anytime my mom would want me to go back to see him, I would feel extremely anxious and would cry. All I knew is that his office made me very uncomfortable and that I did NOT like him.

Years later, I was at a church event through school and we were about to have lunch. When I walked into the dining area and got in line, right as I was about to be served, and I realized that the counselor from before was serving lunch. I remember that I felt my face turn beat red, I was extremely uncomfortable, and I felt like I needed to set my food down and run as fast as I could in the opposite direction. And because the church event was something all my friends went.                        to, I continued going every Tuesday for an entire school year. I would see him every week, and I would try to hide from him, afraid that he might say something to me.

This is the part that to this day still creeps me out… At one point in high school, I came to my mom and told her that I thought I needed to be put on some kind of medicine for depression. And instead of making an appointment with a doctor, she lied to me and said that I would have to see a counselor before a doctor would put me on anything. So I complied and agreed to see a counselor first. The following week, my dad picked me up from school and brought me to my counseling appointment. As I got out of his truck, I walked up to the building and had an eerie flashback like I had been to this place before. I looked at the name on the side of the building, and instantly recognized it. My heart started to beat out of my chest and I then remembered being here once before…when I was 5…wearing my favorite green dress.

When he came out to take me back to his office, I almost backed out. I almost told him that I was feeling ill and that I was just going to schedule for a later date, however.. I had no way home until my dad came back at 5, which was an hour and a half away. So I put on my brave face and followed him back to his office and sat down. He then said to me “So, why are you here today?” And I replied, “I don’t know. I guess I’ve been feeling really sad lately.. and I’ve been having panic attacks.” Then without saying anything, he handed me a folder with my name on it, and inside was 3 different packets. One on anxiety, one on depression, and one on sexual abuse. And then came the question. “Do you have any rememberance of sexual abuse in your past?” The way he said it, led me to believe he knew something that he wasn’t telling me. I’m very good at reading people, and the look on his face showed remorse.. I wondered why he phrased the question the way he did. Do I remember? Instead of “Has there been…” And I looked at my lap and said “Nope”. He leaned over and grabbed the pamphlet out of my folder and said “Alright” and then began talking about anxiety and depression totally disregarding anything I had to say. He talked to me in a voice that you might use while talking to a child. He made me feel dumb and naive, and I couldn’t take it. I closed the folder and stood up. I lied and said that I had a piano lesson to get to. He looked at me and said “you’re not coming back, are you?” I sternly said “NOPE!” And opened the door and walked out.

To this day, I still only have a faint memory of the day at the office when I was 5. Most of my life I’ve convinced myself that it was something I made up, or that I just wasn’t remembering it quite right. To be 100% honest with you, I’m still not sure what happened between Sir and I that day. The only thing I know is the shame and embarrassment I feel whenever I stumble across him every so often. I know the anxiety and the feeling that I need to run. But I constantly question whether my mind has involuntarily blocked out the office visit or if it was something that I just forgot over time. Unfortunately, it’s something I may never know.

In conclusion, the brain is a great thing. It’s potential is limitless. However, sometimes it’s provides us times of misinterpretation and confusion or conflicting memories. Unfortunately there’s no quick or easy way to decifer between or bring out repressed memories. Some people are able to recover repressed memories through therapy, and some people believe that hypnosis can be a powerful tool in unlocking the mind. Some memories are never able to be recovered. 

Therapy Misconception: “Confession”

Therapy. Ah, I topic I revisit often. As I learn, I am trying to debunk misconceptions commonly associated with seeing a shrink, therapist, psychiatrist..etc etc etc. But as for today’s misconception, it is that it’s just like confession. You sit down, and confess your sins, and you be saved.. Yeahhh, it’s not quite like that. For me, it’s mostly like I confess my “sins” and we laugh about it for awhile, and it makes me feel better. I just have to laugh at myself sometimes when I’m telling stories of my past to. Hearing some of the stuff I’ve said and done and actually saying it out loud is extremely cathartic. 

Cathartic: Providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions; causing catharsis or an emotional purge.

But in my case, cathartic is a fun little word my therapist uses often, and has now become an avid part of my vocabulary.

There’s something about conversing with another being of higher intelligence. She is smart.. Very smart..(Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m talking about you again. This is the part where you smile) and that allows us to be able to level with each other in complete honesty and be able to understand and relate.

Back to the misconception. No, it does not feel like a confession session. Confession session. Confession session. Say that 5 times fast. It just feels like I’m letting someone in and telling them the story about my life. It’s refreshing, somehow in the matter of only a short couple months, my therapist has managed to break down every wall I’ve put up to truly see what’s really behind them. (Except tears..If those happen, she will have made it further than any other human being thus far)  It’s really scary but comforting. I can be 100% honest and shame-free and that, my friends, is real trust.

I hear about people who have been in therapy for years on end, and still don’t find that sort of freedom in their therapist. I’m really lucky. Makes the whole “confession” thing pretty damn easy. If you don’t leave with a smile on your face, you need to find someone who does that for you. If you are lucky enough to not only be counseled but to be able to counsel them or make their day better, there is truly no better feeling. If you don’t leave feeling better than when you walked in, you need to move on. Fortunately, I have no complaints at this point, only great things to say. And through my experiences, I have encouraged a couple of people to see a therapist for the first time, and they have… They can now feel the sense of freedom I feel as well.

Nothing in life is guaranteed. And the euphemism most commonly used is “There’s a chance that you could walk out these doors and get hit by a bus, you just never know.” There’s only 86 400 seconds in a day, to turn it all around or throw it all away. Gotta tell them that we love them when we got the chance to say, you gotta live like you’re dying.

And by that I mean, cherish the ones that make you laugh, get rid of the ones that make you cry.. And if you’re lucky as me, you will find someone that’s there for you during times of both. I could not be spending my money on anything better. You just can’t put a price on mental health. 

Therapy. The good, The Bad, The Ugly. Most importantly..the truth ;)

Going to therapy is like having coffee with a good friend you haven’t seen in a long time. You talk, you discuss real life issues. You spill your heart and something about the sanctity of the coffee represents the “this stays between us” moment. Once you’re done sipping your last bit, it’s time to say goodbye. Once you leave, you smile because your heart feels lighter, but in reality you wish it would never end. That’s what therapy is like for me. It’s nice to know that every Friday at 11, I have someone to talk to. It’s nice to know that I have one thing to depend on each week. But the hardest part is knowing that once I step out of the office, I am out of sight, out of mind.

 You can’t expect them to genuinely care, you’re nothing but another number; a time slot once the hour ends. They move onto the next person, and move on with their day. 

It’s not fair to expect or want them to take work home. After all, you are work. You pay them to listen to you. Now come to think about it, I say this as I giggle, but it’s kinda like prostitution… You pay someone out of desperation for another humans services. (Hahaha) 

But it’s hard being able to trust someone and know that contact ends after the session is over. They give you the number to the office and tell you to call if you need anything. Sometimes you just need a hug, but you can’t get that by calling the office number and leaving them a message. Your therapist wont typically add you on Facebook, or text you to tell you to have a good day. Though it would be nice, some places strictly forbid it. Not all, and sometimes they make it a personal preference, but more times than not, I’m sure it’s a hard limit. 

In person, I’ve been known to be able to look someone in the face and tell them I’m doing ok, when I’m really not. Suicide or other awful things could be riding on my horizon, but because I’m a great actress, nobody ever knows. But..if you text me, I’ll tell you everything and more about how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking. It’s just easier to be honest that way. However the last person you should be lying to is your therapist. Just don’t do it..it doesn’t do either of you any good. Don’t waste their time.

I remember growing up hearing about people who consider their therapist a good friend. I can relate… I literally could not have asked for a better person to come into my life at this point. She’s just great.. And that really is an understatement. 

I’m just being completely honest here so if you’ve never been in therapy, you know what to expect for the long-term. But one thing I’d like you to take away from this is, despite the person limits they hold, it still really can be helpful. It’s been very helpful to me. And if you’re lucky enough like I was, you’ll get someone that understands that sometimes you fall, but also knows how to help you stand again. Makes it easier to talk to someone when you don’t feel judged. I’d also like to think that there’s a much weirded, crazier patient coming in after me. Makes me laugh a little bit. 

I’ve heard stories of people who work with mental patients… Though it seems like a very draining career, it’s something that interests me. I like to know how the brain works, and eventually that’s what I see myself doing as a career. As much as my therapist is learning about me, I’m learning from her. She doesn’t doubt my intelligence, and that’s a first for me. Most people considered me the “dumb one”. But what they didn’t understand is that I excelled at anything related to Psychology or English. Maybe someday I’ll be able to incorporate the two. That’s why I’m so honest on my blog, because some subjects people are afraid or embarrassed to discuss or write about. Not me, I am fearless when my words are in text. True story, bro.