Dating is an interesting part of life. We can all remember our first one. We can all remember our worse one. If you are fortunate enough you find someone to spend time with, someone who you share interests with. If you are really fortunate you end up married and start a family. And if you are really really fortunate your marriage manages to last a life time. I made it to step 2 but that’s where it ended for me. So now here I am a single father of one amazing boy with a mental illness or 2.
I see a woman across the bar, I slowly walk over and sit down next to her. I go on to tell her that my name is TJ. I’m TJ and I live in my sisters spare bedroom, I don’t have a job, and I suffer from depression, anxiety, OCD and PTSD. Imagine the look. Now I’ve never actually done that but that’s what it amounts to for me and I’m trying to figure out at what point does she stop listening. Does she give me a pass on the house and job? Was it the depression, anxiety, OCD and PTSD that did it? Being single and dealing with a mental illness can be like a deathtrap. Everyone wants you to go out and have fun but all your thinking about is seeing all the couples together and how you will be going home alone. Or you have to down have a bottle of pepto to keep your stomach from doing flip flops because of the social anxiety. Nothing says single and ready to mingle like stinking up the bathroom cause your stomach is all over the place.
I’ve pondered the idea of dating. And I’m going to be completely honest, I had a fake profile on a dating site for a while just to be able to talk to females. Of course I wasn’t who or how I said I was. I wasn’t proud of it. Never planned to meet anyone but now I understand the whole term “catfish”. I can see how people get so lonely that they would rather pretend to be someone other than the person they really are. I’m well beyond those days but living with these things makes life lonely. I’m not afraid to admit I’m lonely. I think all the time about being married, having the house, my kids etc. And there are times I’d rather go back to that unhappy situation than be alone like I am and have been for 4 years.
Do you consider people hypocritical for judging someone for some things in their life when you have your own issues? If they had their own health issues that you’d have to deal with or perhaps family issues. I find it hard to imagine finding someone that will accept me and at the same time not have the baggage that will begin to weigh on my own mental health. That sounds so completely selfish but I know that’s what I would need and I know I’m not going to find it so I don’t bother to try.
I don’t think any of us should settle. But as I say that I’m thinking I just said I would go back to that unhappy marriage. So let me put it this way. YOU shouldn’t have to settle. Just because you suffer from a mental illness doesn’t make you less worthy of a loving relationship with someone that is everything you ever wanted. Let me tell you something… there isn’t anyone out there that doesn’t have something in their life. YOU are worth the effort. Don’t let others determine your value. If someone doesn’t accept you, its their loss.
Loneliness sucks. Holidays suck. Get togethers suck. Birthdays suck. Just know that your mental illness does not need to define you. You are not a statistic, you are not a definition and you are not a diagnosis. There is someone out there for you. Someone that will accept you and all that goes with you. Stay strong, be proud, and NEVER be ashamed of who you are.
Remember… YOU MATTER!!