Hellooooooo my loves. I hope you’ve been well. I had a great time over my birthday, and I even had a birthday party that turned into an “adult swim” after the kids had gone to bed. I’ve had a few doctors appointments after that (remind me to write a post about the Mirena), which is why I’ve been so silent. All in all, 26 is shaping up to be a damn fine year.

Which brings us to the less lovely part of my post. Unfortunately, the past few months I’ve been hiding something from you all.

Part of this is the fact that despite posting and being open about my life, I don’t think any of you are entitled to knowing every detail about me. I love y’all but it’s true. Part of this is also because I wanted to get things stabilized before I shared it with you.

I was inspired to write this post (and it’s a long one!) after seeing some comments on various community forums (for polyamory and kink) that effectively said the same thing “don’t stick your dick in crazy”. This isn’t an uncommon thing. Many people on dating sites request that their partners are mental illness free. Allie Brosh, who is my favorite person ever, and Laci Green have both gone very public about their mental illness.

Maybe, just maybe.
Maybe, just maybe.

In May, I was diagnosed with Bipolar II. For those of you who don’t know, Bipolar II is often overlooked because many patients with Bipolar II exhibit depression and anxiety, and are then treated for those individually. Their “manic” episodes are basically just normal functioning behavior, and they more often have major depressive episodes. I’ve been on treatment since May, and it’s really, really working.

Allie Brosh has two posts about depression that really hit home in regards to my disorder. If you can read both, they’re here and here. Otherwise, let me sum up my Bipolar in a few images that I pulled from both of these posts:

So first it starts with complete and utter sadness.
So first it starts with complete and utter sadness.
Then we deal with random spurts of Happiness that seem absolutely absurd.
Then we deal with random spurts of Happiness that seem absolutely absurd.
And then we're back to being sad.
And then we’re back to being sad/angry/emotional.

One of the first things that ran through my head when I got my diagnosis was “shit, what are my partners going to say?”. I was truly worried that when I told them about a diagnosis for a disorder that could be manageable, but had a high rate of recurrence, they would be done with me. I was really concerned though because of a thing that I had heard often in the kink and poly communities. Hell, it was something I’ve even said before while I was managing (however poorly) my own anxiety and depression before my proper diagnosis.

“Don’t stick your dick in crazy.”

This sort of attitude within the alternative lifestyles, the poly and kink lifestyles made me terrified by my diagnosis. What if no one wanted to play with me anymore? What if my partners dumped me? I was already a cancer person, why would they want to also have me now that I’m crazy.  I have, since I was younger, been working through traumas, anxieties, and mental blocks through BDSM. It was working for me up until now, but maybe my diagnosis was a sign I should stop.

So many people behaved as though I could just not be sad anymore.
So many people behaved as though I could just not be sad anymore.

I worried that I would no longer be acceptable in the poly community, no longer “healthy” in the kink community. Despite almost 10 years of non-monogamy, and nearly 6 years of kink experience, I worried that I would not longer be “desirable” because I was sick. Even if I was being treated. I feel like there is more of a stigma in alternative communities to be mentally stable simply because the things we deal with are so delicate. If you’re mentally fragile, how can you handle the complexities of multiple partners, or the intensity of scenes that can, if done incorrectly, harm your mental health?

My biggest concern was how my partners would react, and if they weren’t able to continue on with me, how they would break up with me. I believe in being at choice in your relationships. If you can’t handle being with someone because of their health, mental illness, whatever, then you shouldn’t be. It’s not healthy for anyone involved to be in a relationship out of duty or guilt. But a better question is, how many people don’t seek treatment, or don’t tell their partners about their diagnosis because they’re scared of how their partners will react?

Everything is fucking spiders.
Everything is fucking spiders.

When I’m not sure of what to do, I turn to my friends to help me process through some thoughts. I spoke with Dr. Liz Powell, and Tamara Pincus, both trusted friends of mine who have helped me sort through many a mental health quandary. I asked them some questions that I had been asking myself, here are some of their thoughts and opinions!

Do you feel there is a higher number of people with mental illness (diagnosed or otherwise) that flock to alternative lifestyles like poly or BDSM? If yes, why do you think that is. 

Dr. Liz Powell: I think that there is a somewhat higher incidence of acknowledged mental illness in alternative lifestyles.  I haven’t seen any good research as to why, but my guess is that people in alternative lifestyles are more likely to encounter situations that encourage them to work on their problems.  I think that mainstream, monogamous, etc. lives allow people a lot of room to look away from problems and pretend they aren’t there for long periods of time.  BDSM, Poly, and other alternative lifestyles require much more communication to work at even a basic level and so I think this may force more self-reflection and acknowledgment of problems that may otherwise fly under the radar.

Have you heard the quote “don’t stick your dick in crazy“? How do you feel about it?

Tamara Pincus: I feel like people who say that are probably really uncomfortable with emotions and are showing themselves to be not ideal partners. I would clarify with them if they really mean what they are saying or if they are trying to be funny or ironic before you get too annoyed at them.

HA. A comedy tragedy mask is a weirdy appropriate tattoo to have now. I'm glad I thought of it in 2009...
HA. A comedy tragedy mask is a weirdy appropriate tattoo to have now. I’m glad I thought of it in 2009…

Do you think there is more or less stigma against mental illness in alternative lifestyles?

Dr. Liz Powell: I think that there’s more education about mental illness in alternative lifestyles which doesn’t necessarily lead to less stigma. I think that because alternative lifestyles are by their very nature more complex that many people elect not to involve further complication in the form of poorly controlled mental illness.  I also think that because those in alternative lifestyles tend to have somewhat more social justice consciousness there are people on the other end of the spectrum who are aware of how ableism affects dating/sex for those with mental illness and try to examine their privilege and prejudices.
Being that people should be able to opt in to relationships, and opt out if they cannot handle the circumstances, what do you think is the best way to go about rejecting or ending a relationship with a person who has a mental illness?

Tamara Pincus: I think if you are ending a relationship you should explain why you feel that way and focus on why the relationship isn’t good for you. Instead of saying “You’re crazy, I’m leaving”. I would say something like “I don’t have a lot of experience with people with mental illness and I’m afraid it will be too much for me to handle so I am going to ask that we scale back or change this relationship” or “My mother had a mental illness and I’m afraid that your issues will be too triggering for me to handle”. Ideally people would end relationships based on the actual behavior of themselves and their partners as opposed to based on stigma about a particular group.

Dr. Liz Powell: I think that rejecting someone with mental illness is the same as rejecting any other person.  When breaking up or turning someone down, I personally think that a kind and honest but not brutal approach is best.  For instance, saying “I think you’re a great person and I’ve loved the time we spent together.  There are lots of positive memories I’ll take from this (give examples).  However, I’m in a space where I think it’s best if we transition to (being friends/whatever).”  Joreth Inn Keeper and Sterling Bates give an amazing talk, Breaking Up Poly, that I think everyone can benefit from in learning how to end a relationship.

Basically how I feel whenever I'm not feeling terribly depressed.
Basically how I feel whenever I’m not feeling terribly depressed.

Overall, I found that I felt way better after talking to Tamara and Liz about the entire situation, and my partners were amazing. I came away from the experience with the knowledge that I am just as worthy of love as anyone else, and that I shouldn’t feel shame about having a mental illness. If you have this disorder, it’s hard, it sucks, and some days you might hate everything and want to be in bed for a year, but it does get better. If you have depression and anxiety that aren’t being treated by traditional antidepressants, ask your doctor about testing you for Bipolar II. It isn’t treated effectively with antidepressants, and the symptoms are easy to miss. Check out the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance for more info.

So here I am. I’m joining the ranks of many others who are living publicly with Bipolar Disorder. My name is Rebecca Hiles, and just like Mary Lambert, I’ve got bipolar disorder, my shit’s not in order, I’m overweight, I’m always late, and I’ve got too many things to say.

Until next time.
-The Frisky Fairy


  1. We all got something, it’s just when we reveal it. I had a similar experience with my cancer. Plus, I’m overweight, depressive, a recovering and won’t shut up. Welcome to the world, baby girl.

  2. I didn’t particularly care for the title or certain points in this post. I feel that people refer to “sticking their dick in crazy” in terms of sleeping with a very irresponsible, clingy, overly jealous, immature female, and you are relating it to someone with an actual mental illness that they are actively seeking treatment for.

    Having also been diagnosed with BiPII a few months before you, I know I was also worried that my partners would have concerns with my diagnosis. Luckily they were very accepting and supportive of me getting the help I needed, as was my metamour.

    1. Author

      I could write an entire post about the sexism behind “sticking your dick in crazy”, but this post in particular was less about the problematic ramifications on a societal level, and more the smaller ways those sorts of comments affected me personally.

      That being said, you’ve given me a great idea for my next post that isn’t a review 😛

  3. Best of luck in everything. Your post makes me stop and think, even though I’ve never uttered that phrase.

    Also! fucking awesome tattoo

  4. Thank you so much for this, and for your site in general. I’ve also got BPII and holy hell, does the “mania is basically feeling normal” ring true. I’m poly, fat, and have some chronic systemic health problems that go beyond my weight or anything else. Your blog is immensely helpful to give me a sense that I’m not the only one with a similar set of problems to have along in a relationship. You’re fantastic, and I appreciate you sharing your insight.

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