Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 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!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A date?

I had a date last night. It's been a long time since I had a date. We met for the first time yesterday afternoon at a local establishment. He had a beer and popcorn. I had a Coke and popcorn. After three hours of talking, it appeared we were hitting it off just fine. He's a nice guy. Well established. Mature with two kids. It was kind of nice to be out. I so rarely do anything like that. I think there will be a second date.

I was worried, as I always am, about meeting someone new. With a convoluted history as long as mine--well, it's not exactly a selling point. I got more worried when he began talking about his ex-wife, who had an eating disorder, and one of the women he's dated recently, who had bi-polar disorder. He wasn't exactly complimentary of either woman's illness, and he definitely had bad experiences with each one. I decided to leave my immediate history hidden, for now, right then and there.

Hiding any part of me is not how I typically proceed, and I hope I've not disappointed anyone with that decision. I did tell him I was in recovery. I'd rather he get to know me before he makes any decisions about me. I figured if he knew I had depression up front, we'd probably never have gotten to the "getting to know me" stage. Maybe he'll drop me like a hot potato once I'm more forthcoming with him, but I figure that says more about him than me.

I don't know. It's so hard to know how people will react to any type of mental illness history. The stigma out there is so great. What's interesting is this guy sees a therapist, so he's gotten past some of that stigma. He also has some education about mental illness, but he's definitely still got some stereotyped ideas. Maybe I'm being a fool even considering a second date...but then again, it's been an awful long time since I've had a second date! Right now I plan to take it a moment at a time, enjoy it for what it is, and go from there.


Anonymous said...

No need to be afraid of anyone's disappointment-- your decision not to tell him about your illness is your decision only, not ours to judge. But you DID tell him you are in recovery which is being very honest. I'm proud!

I hope date #2 works out!

Wishing you well,

Lisa said... nerve-racking. glad you got through the first one alive! :) and well!

And there is no need to expose all of yourself right away. If he's going to be part of a support system, you'll feel it.

take care

A. Paige Turner said...

I remember once (Long ago) I said to a counselor, "Oh, I trust everyone." And she pointedly said, "Why?" -- She taught me not everyone is worthy of our trust --- Just as not everyone is worthy of our "story".

For several years I told everyone who entered my life, everything - I emotionally threw up on them! (SMILE)And then stood back to see if they would still 'like me'. I eventually came to terms with the fact that "MY STORY" is just that - "MINE". I control who I tell - and who I don't. Not every friend - and definitely not every date need to know "you" completely at first. Allow this man (or any man) to get to know you a little - I don't mean 6 months! but 4 or 5 dates - and then begin to allow him into your world.

And Congratulations!! Not only for the DATE - but for being approachable enough that he asked - AND you were brave enough to say, "YES!" ENJOY THE ATTN!!! ~ Maggie Beth!

Borderline Lil said...

Good on you for being careful, not everyone deserves our trust and letting someone new into your life is a process. Hopefully you can educate him on some of the issues he is still struggling with. Good luck with date #2.

TDR said...

Hi Etta,
Good on you for getting out there again and seeing what happens. I hope that there is a date #2 and that things go well. It is very early days, try to take it slowly and see how it goes. People will show you who they are soon enough if you give them a little time.

Also, Maggie Beth, I'd like to thank you for your reply. I think I have had tendencies to either share nothing or share everything - which is probably not healthy. Your image of emotionally "throwing up" on someone is very graphic and very accurate. Thanks for helping me to grasp something I've been struggling with for some time!

Divas said...

I agree with your decision not to lay all the cards out on the table at this time, considering it would say something about him if later on he decided not to see you again. And why not just have fun for now anyway? Why limit yourself to just one guy to date? It's your time to enjoy life and have fun!
I think we women have a tendency to think too much and pre-plan/anticipate the entire relationship before it's even that far instead of keeping things light until it's time to make more serious decisions about disclosures and where things are going.
One thing I've learned in my life is to just take one day at a time while keeping goals in mind and worry about things when it's time to worry and not one day before.
Good luck and I hope you are enjoying this time in your life with so many good and positive things going on! =)