I decided to give myself a little extra time over the last couple of weeks to get my head in the right place. Realistically that is the first step in any situation to actually get better. Without your head on board it realistically just isn’t going to work. I’m not going to lie not all the time has been easy, but it has been a hundred fold better than it recently has which is great. It would be naive of me to think that in the last two weeks that everything is sorted and that I’m all fixed. This kind of situation requires time, patience, a pinch of luck for good measure and people in your life that will have your back no matter what. I feel like for the first time that perhaps I have that. Or more importantly I had that all along and I just couldn’t see it.
In some ways the last two weeks have been a bit of a game changer, my head is in a better place than it’s been in a long time. I’m grateful for that. I’ve finally started coming to terms with situations that previously I didn’t know how to handle and although I thought I never would be I am actually OK with how it is all turning out. I actually find myself smiling in situations that would normally have bought me down and although this sounds like a small development it is actually huge for me. To me it signals the start of my understanding of these situations and more importantly the fact that I can deal with them.
Of course it’s not all been plain sailing. I’ve been having a few doubts about my identity. I thought for the longest time I was gay, but I’m not 100% sure anymore. These doubts have rested in the back of my mind for years, languishing away behind a wall that I had shoved all my doubts and fears behind. The events of recent weeks have meant that that wall no longer exists. I think quite possibly it was my recent breakdown; which to me seems both literal and metaphorical; that brought that wall in my head crashing down. I at least learnt from that experience not to try and bottle up things, actually talk about them. I’ve found people far more receptive than I imagined. It has helped immensely to offload my concerns. I never did this in the past for fear of overburdening people, but in many ways I’ve become a better friend since I have.
For me the topic of identity is a bit of a Catch 22. I hate the idea of labeling myself as this or that; at the same time though I believe labels are needed to help us understand ourselves. I think the problem lies in that too many people place emphasis on what it means to be gay or straight or anything else. I also don’t think that sexuality can simply be defined in one simple term. In all likely hood I suspect that my sexual preferences can be described as Bi. A friend of mine, when I aired my concerns about it, merely said “You’re lucky. You get the best of both worlds!” I suppose they were right. But whether I am Bi or something else, this isn’t what defines me. It is just what I am. Merely descriptive in my eyes so others can understand who I am.
I mentioned that I don’t think one term can fully identify your sexuality. I have often struggled with this as usually I form very deep attachments to those that I like. I am not one for a one night stand or constantly having to be in a relationship. In fact when I think about it my lack of appetite to be in a relationship is quite possibly mind boggling for some people. To be honest when I really think about, the only reason I want one is to feel normal and to fit in a bit better in society. Frankly that’s an absurd reason to want to be with someone and is quite selfish really. It got me wondering about who I am and why I think so differently. A good friend of mine recently wrote an article about identity and this fueled the fire. We speak regularly and they asked me if I thought I might be Demisexual.
Now I had no clue what this meant. So I googled it and once again Wikipedia comes to the rescue! It is simply defined as part of the asexual spectrum whereby you only become attracted to someone after you have formed an emotional connection. Demisexuals also have a reduced interested in sex, which would explain why I have no interest in “going out on the pull”. At first I was skeptical about trying to define who I am into one word, but it transpires that there is no definitive meaning; as based on various factors, demisexuals can actually be pretty fluid in their definitions, for example the emotional bond can be defined at different levels with different people.
Like I said I’m not one for labels and I’m not 100% sure I do classify as demisexual. What I do know is this. Demisexual is the closest definition I have come across to date that I feel accurately describes me as a person and instead of being annoyed or frustrated that I am not “normal”. I actually felt a sense of relief to find out that I am part of a larger group of people who all feel a similar way to me. It is a bonus that the label as such is more an identifier of fact and is not rigid in it’s meaning. My views on my identity have been changing a lot over the years as I’ve come to understand myself better. Perhaps it will change again as I learn more about myself.
Right now though; I think I am Bi and I think I am Demisexual. Am I 100% certain of that. Not at all. What is 100% certain is that I am just me; whatever that might be. Most importantly though I am learning that I am cool with that. So what has the reboot taught me? Be myself and bugger what anyone else thinks. I’ve found the people in my life genuinely like me for me. So why change that?
Cover Photo: Reflecting on life in Brooklyn, New York City.