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Old 03-09-2012, 03:20 PM
Lariel Lariel is offline
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Question Am I Poly or just Depressed?

Hi everyone,

I've been reading through the vast swathes of advice and newbie threads, and while there is a lot of helpful stuff I can't seem to find anything specific enough to me to help sort my head out.

I'm a straight guy in my mid-twenties, in a mono relationship of 3 years with an amazing girl who I love dearly, but after dicovering polyamory last year (our housemate became a unicorn with another couple we knew) it seemed to explain some of the way my head works. I seem to be able to love everyone, or at least large numbers of people - I don't feel as close to anyone else as I do my partner, but there are plenty of people I feel close to and would be happy to have a relationship with.

My main problem is trying to figure out how typical this is. Some people seem to just know if they are poly or mono - my partner for example knows she would not want to be involved with anyone else while with me, but is (with some difficulty) trying to be okay with my possibly being poly. The worst part right now for me is not being sure!

So, how normal is it to feel affectionate for friends of the sex(es) you are attracted to, and to what degree? I'm fairly sure it is an attraction thing rather than just friendship because it's stronger for some female friends than the baseline friendship closeness I feel for other female friends and all male friends.

My other main problem is a long-term case of depression that has been amplified by various stresses in the last year, and my over-analysis of my own thoughts - trying to figure out why I am unhappy, if I even am unhappy, and if this whole thing is just me trying to sabotage my current relationship.

Any help people could give me would be great, and any insight from people who have been in similar situations
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  #2  
Old 03-10-2012, 03:48 PM
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Shannanigan Shannanigan is offline
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What's typical/normal for you won't necessarily be typical/normal for others. My friends have learned that it's quite normal for me to be very affectionate and even tell them that I love them, but they themselves may not be so freely "generous" with their affection. When it comes down to it, I'd say you should focus on the feelings you're having and rather than asking if they're "normal," to instead acknowledge that you have them and decide what you are going to do with them.

I feel like we have something in common in terms of the depression and not being sure if you are unhappy and figuring out why. When I began exploring polyamory, the dark clouds parted little by little, and I realized that I was unhappy because I was trying too hard to fit a mold that wasn't for me. Ever since tossing that mold aside and discovering myself and my wants and needs, I've been a much happier person. There were relapses, don't get me wrong; it was tough. But I'm happier and stronger now for it.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:59 PM
Lariel Lariel is offline
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Yeah, I figured this might be the answer, but I'd still like to see if there is anyone else who was in the same position and what it was that helped them. In an ideal situation I would continue to see the mental health people and they would figure out what was causing it, but I have a suspicion it is a myriad of things that can't easily be solved (I can't actually remember not being depressed in my life), while the doctors are treating it like it'll go away if I keep thinking of rainbows and kittens .

But anyway, that's a different matter. I need to figure out what to do about this, but there don't seem to be any way out without hurting people. Even if I ignore the 'would I be happier being poly' thing, I feel terrible when I'm around these friends with these feelings in my head, especially when my partner is also there. But I don't feel that I can allow myself to try and see if it helps - no matter how much my partner reassures me, I can see how much this whole business is hurting her even without anything actually happening
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:59 AM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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Just my two cents on depression:
I not only didn't remember ever not being depressed, I did not even know I was depressed. I did know my life was pretty fucked, but I didn't know I was depressed. I was prescribed antidepressants for a not-mental condition (my diagnosis was fibromyalgia). A side effect of tricyclics is sleep, and that is why they give them to some chronic pain patients.

I was overcome with a feeling I had never felt before. Kind of overcome. I was so peaceful and serene that I could not get overly worked up about it! I was concerned, because I could not identify it. It took around two weeks to figure out that what I felt was lack of depression.!

At that time, I was not in therapy. I decided to stop the meds. Some time later, I had my doc, a psychiatrist, and a therapist. They all talked to each other, and I once again tried meds. Again, I was able to have the lack of depression.

I asked the shrink, 'how long do I have to take this stuff?' (a few side effects, like anorgasmia, were unacceptable). She said some folks take them for awhile and never need them again. Some have to take them periodically through their lives, and some have to stay on them always.

I turned out to be periodic until I wasn't anymore. I took many rounds of different things. I would be wealthy woman had I invested all the money I've spent on therapy. And I'm living proof that depression does not have to be forever. It does not have to be crippling.

Just because it is not easily solved does not mean it's impossible. I invite and encourage you to invest the time and money you can into solving it now. It will be worth it. It doesn't matter how long, on the day you realize you're no longer depressed, it's worth it.

For me? Totally normal to have loving feelings for friends.

Also, what Shannagin said.

I'm sorry you're hurting, and I encourage you to keep on.
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Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own...
Robert A. Heinlein

Me: female, bi, (formerly hinge of a vee)
with FirstBoyFriend (FBF)(moderately long-distance)
and no longer with CurrentBoyFriend (CBF)(who lives in the apartment building next door)
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:58 PM
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Shannanigan Shannanigan is offline
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I'm going to be honest; discovering polyamory didn't "cure" me of depression. I don't think anything ever will. Depression runs in my family and I've had therapists since childhood, and I've accepted that it's a part of my life that must be managed.

However, acknowledging my feelings, exploring them, and being more open and honest with my friends and lovers has immensely helped that management process. I used to get depressed and think, "Nobody understands me. I'm so weird. Why don't I fit?" Now I think, "I might be different, but the people in my life 'get it'," and that's a huge help in letting me know that I have people I can go to, talk to, and be honest about my depression with since I'm also honest about everything else with them.

All in all, your feelings aren't going to suddenly change, and rather than sitting around feeling guilty about them, I would encourage exploring the feelings and talking about them with someone rather than letting them bubble inside.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:54 AM
Lariel Lariel is offline
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I'm glad you're being honest, because I'm not looking for easy answers, I want to find the right ones. I don't expect trying polyamory will instantly cure everything, I'm just trying to figure out if not trying it is making me worse, and I guess I'm on here posting instead of actually trying it because I'm scared that it is.

I've been completely open with my partner about all this, and she has tried to be accepting about the possiblity, but since we had our first major talk about it last week she was in a really bad emotional state. Yesterday I calmed her down and said it was okay and we can carry on like before, that it didn't mean so much to me, and now she is a lot better, but I feel worse. At the time I didn't think it did mean a lot, especially compared to seeing how much she was hurting, but having said that to her I feel worse again
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