When you’re a depressive, dating is hard. It becomes almost a game of Jenga. Which mental health piece do I pull first in order to keep the entire tower from falling? Maybe they’ve never dated someone with a mental illness. What if I have to explain clinical depression to them in between bites of dessert? What if they leave right in the middle of a date after finding out I’m bat-shit crazy with mood swings that go from one happy extreme to the polar opposite? Maybe I should just rip the bandage off and get right to the point by just saying, “Hey, I have a blog called the Happy Depressive and it’s about me! Nice shoes by the way!”
UGH. DATING SUCKS.
Two guys seemed OK with the idea at first. They almost thought it was endearing, like here is some sweet, sad, Emo chick that they can take care of and buy soup for because mental illness is the same as the common cold, right? The boyfriend who was dating me upon first being diagnosed flipped out. It made him uncomfortable to the point where I felt like he assumed I would break into pieces if he said/did I deemed out of line.
And now, I’m single. Problem is, I’m actually getting quite comfortable with my party of one. I’m actually using my mental health issues to drive guys away. So when I say that dating is hard, it’s only because I’m making it harder than it should be. By choice. Completely and totally 100% my choice. I’ve gone out on dates. I’ve given out my number. But there is absolutely no intention on carrying out anything serious. I’m just not ready to jump though hoops again and timing the “depression” topic to a T. There is never a “right” time to tell my story because as soon as I tell it, it’s the only thing most people focus on but don’t want to ask questions about it. I avoid it all together by choosing “me” instead of “we” for the time being.
Us depressives are already vulnerable. We have a weak spot that’s pretty evident when we go through a public breakdown. We deal with stigma on a daily basis. We are looked at as the “weird ones” when, in reality, we’re probably the smartest, most observant, empathetic people you will meet (for the most part). But with every breakup, every phone call left unreturned, every ignored text, we grow more fragile. We spend money on therapy, prescription drugs, yoga classes, running shoes to keep our emotions in check and the minute someone proves to us again that some people aren’t cut out to date a depressive, we’re sent into a tailspin. We lose trust in humanity. We see every man or woman as an equal in making us feel small or unwanted or worse, unlovable. Once again, relationships are pushed off the table and we resort to our coping mechanisms in order to build ourselves back up.
I would love to find a guy that wasn’t so afraid of me, that didn’t see me as “difficult”, but my time is better spent focusing on traveling and my friends and family and yoga teacher training and trying to decide what’s best for me. Eventually, the right man will step up to the plate and he’ll prove all the others wrong. Until then, it is my divine depressive right to keep not settling, to grow as woman, to have fun without worrying if my occasional emotional behavior freaks my significant other out.
We’re all human. We’re all lovable. But we’re also able to not sell ourselves short on ending up with someone who only accepts the “better” and not the “for worse.”