There is nothing shameful about loving yourself. The shame is in NOT loving the unique and brilliant individual that you are.” 
― Miya YamanouchiEmbrace Your Sexual Self: A Practical Guide for Women

I am so glad that I am on Medicare.  On the other hand, Medicare is not the gold standard that everyone seems to think it is.  They did not want to pay for my IUD even though it is the birth control method that works the best for me.  Fortunately, I was able to file a formulary appeal and it was approved.  I suspect that my answer to the question, “Have you ever tried other forms of birth control?” Had a good part to do with it – my answer was, “I got pregnant.”  And really, how much more expensive is it to pay for the birth of a baby and the ensuing extra treatment I would need for my mental health if I went through with the pregnancy than just paying the $8OO for an IUD.  Still, $8OO is a lot of money for me, so I was ecstatic that the IUD was granted full coverage for me.

Me being me, I sent an email to my boss explaining that I would need coverage at a certain time so I could go get my IUD inserted and that this was SO IMPORTANT but I not only sent it to my boss but to every person’s email at every Peer Support and Wellness Center in Georgia.  Once I realized my mistake, I gulped and said, “Well, I really don’t have any secrets anymore…”

Later, I was talking with a coworker and said, “Well, I guess everybody at every center knows now that I have a good sex life…”

She said, laughingly, “And we all want to know your secret!”

Here’s the thing – I was not that embarrassed by my mistake.  In fact, I think it’s quite funny.  I have a part-time job doing mental health presentations around Georgia where I talk about my crazy history.  At this point, I am used to being authentic and many times, revel in it.

I believe authenticity is one of the greatest gifts we can give to the world because when we are true to ourselves, we give permission for other people to be the same.  If more people were more comfortable with showing their true selves to the world and if all of our realities were celebrated, then I think this world would be a much better place.

I no longer have any shame about living with a mental health challenge and being disabled – I am working on eliminating sexual shame too.

Having an active sex life when actively chosen is something to be celebrated.  Being in a non traditional romantic relationship in our world is definitely something to be celebrated, even if it appears odd to others.  For that matter, choosing celibacy or monogamy is something to be celebrated too if it is intentionally chosen.  I wish our society would allow us to feel more comfortable to dialogue about different sexualities and choices without judgment, condemnation or sensationalization.  I firmly believe that it is in respectful dialogue with different people that we can find the most opportunities for growth and freedom.

By the way, my secret to meeting people that I want to connect with, whether romantic or nonromantic, is to simply go ahead and pursue the things that I am already passionate about and to just be open to the possibilities that come with meeting others with similar passions.

That’s it.

Be open to pursuing your passions and be open to forming connections with people on the way.  Life is much richer that way.