Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 16 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

to date, to tell...

Parts of the following post were taken from a post I wrote on 2/2/08, which was also about dating.

Being a recovering alcoholic and person with depression, I don't find the bar-scene too inviting. So, I met a man online, and we had a date tonight. Here's the problem, the question, the conundrum...When do I drop the "D-bomb" on the guy? He thinks I'm swell; smart, funny, charming, sexy, blah, blah, blah... But just how sweet, charming and sexy will I be when I add depression to my list of attributes? How about chronic, debilitating, treatment-resistant, don't-have-enough-energy-to-brush-my-teeth depression? Charming? Sexy? Sweet? I don't think so!

This is such an anxiety-producing dilemma for me. Tonight, I let this guy get to know me up to a point. He doesn't realize I come with "a catch." I don't feel like I was honest nor totally dishonest with this very nice man. In fact, this whole process is painfully bittersweet. So far, this guy has gotten to know the person I used to be. I can still be that person, but only occasionally and for short periods of time. In reality, I no longer am that person. It's just an old, familiar role. And as I found out tonight, it's a whole lot easier to play the role via e-mail than in person.

In person, it takes a lot of energy to play the role of ME--the me I used to be. Me minus depression. If I act the part for for too long it absolutely wipes me out. At some point, I have to tell this guy. I like him. He likes me. Will he also like me--the me with depression? It's ridiculous, really! Obviously, if he can't handle it he's not a person I want to be associated with. But if not him, who? Major depression is not a selling point! Depression is just one more thing that is wrong with me.

I'm tired of having something wrong with me. I'm tired of having to explain what's wrong with me. Sometimes I wish I could go back to being me--the me without conditions, precautions or excuses. But then again, maybe he wouldn't like the old me. Looking back, I don't like the old me. In most ways the new me...even the new me with depression is a lot better person.


CollegeGrl said...

found your blog through stumbleupon. I totally understand that feeling of dread trying to explain your depression to a potential boyfriend. I also understand that feeling of wanting to be the pre-depression person, but in the end no matter what you do you can't go back. Even if you beat your depression, you will never be the same person. As for tellng him or not, as cliche as it may sound if you tell him and he understands he's a keeper, if not you don't want that type of guy in your life. I hope he is a good guy and understands.
P.s. feel free to check out my blog on depression, relationships, and dealing with it all

deepblue said...

ah, that is a tricky dilemma. I totally empathize with the feeling of wanting to go back to the old me and wondering how much to let people know of the me I am now. That's great, though, that you are able to see that you are a better person now. That kind of perspective is definitely worth something.

thestranger said...

I tend to tell people who want to get close to me about my issues right from the start. If they can't handle it I don't really need them in my lif. I'd rather have few healthy relationships than those that are going to be a struggle. It just makes things worse.

Also, most of my relationships have turned out disasterous so anything I say is suspect.

etta said...

You guys are awesome! Thanks for the great comments!