Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 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!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Can't sleep

I can't sleep. I'm awake with worry. Specifically, I'm worried about disclosing the fact that I have depression to my new male friend, D. When exactly is the best time to tell someone that you have depression? Even though I've been relatively stable for more than six years, with the damn exception of a few months ago, I'm scared to tell him. It's the stigma. Even though I've been relatively stable, he doesn't know that. He might hear the word depression and run the other way. Yet I don't want to lie. I won't lie. But when do I have this conversation?

I haven't told him yet. I want to get to know him better, but more importantly, I want him to know me better. I figure he'll have a harder time running away if he knows the real me, but is that fair to him? Am I lying by omission?  

It is hard for me not to worry about this. And I have reason to worry. I've had other suitors run after discovering this blog. This blog, it's another thing I'm concerned about. It's one thing to tell D. I have depression, it's another to have him scour this blog for all the gory details. Do I tell him I have depression yet omit the fact that I write a blog about it? I just don't know what to do.

I'm awake with worry. I wish I wasn't. I'd much rather be peacefully sleeping. It doesn't pay to worry, as I have no control over how he will respond. But I don't want to be hurt either. I don't know what to do.


Kelly said...

I think I would give it some time, still, unless it comes up in conversation (either depression or your blog). It's a hard one- kind of like when do you bring up the fact that you are a widow or a divorcee or a cancer survivor or in AA. Any of those big things that don't really change who you are, but are a part of who you are. Remember, too, if he is the right guy, it won't scare him off.

Saracide said...

I fear the same - although maybe not in the same situations as yourself, as I haven't had much experience in the dating world.
When the time feels right, you can let him know. I do not think you are wrong by not coming out and telling him "Hi, nice to meet you, I have depression!"

My boyfriend knows about my blog. He does not read it though, not often. And sometimes I wish he would, because then maybe he would understand a little more about me.

I hate the stigma that comes along with mental illness... because it is a disease, and illness, just like any other physical ailment, yet people still do not view it as such. But I have been surprised in my life as to how many people are either struggling with similar issues themselves, or know someone who has/is.

As I said before, you will know when the time is right. :)
Good luck to you!

Finding Me said...

I agree with Kelly. If you have just met this person, give it time. When everything is jellying between you two, you will know and feel the right time to talk about it. Let this person get to know you. The real you. Not the one from the past. You have come along way :-) And about the blog, I would hold off on sharing this with him for now. Again, you will know when the timing is right to introduce him to this.

And also as Kelly stated, if he is the 'right' will not scare him off.

So enjoy your times together. Be happy! :-)

Depression Treatment Center said...

To tell or not to tell? It is a tough one. I have actually had men I dated tell me, "I don't date women with depression." As if that is all that I am. The stigma around depression still exists, unfortunately. Usually, if there is a relationship of any sort, it is better to tell-especially if it's "out there." Any person worth the time will be willing to at least wait and see how things go.

Michele said...

That's a tough one. You are a wonderful woman and if he is half as wonderful as you are, this will not scare him away. Wishing you all the best.

Kinza said...

If you can postpone The Talk, do it. Everyone has some baggage, do you think he has exposed his to you yet? If yes, it is more difficult not to tell him. It is also more difficult not to tell him, if the thought of it is keeping you awake for many nights. If you decide to tell him, you can start with saying that running for you is a way to deal with life and depression... you can see what his reaction is and does he have more question about it, does he know other people with depression and what he thinks about them.
If he is really cool, he will not mind. If he is OK, he will be open-minded although possibly cautious. If he is forgettable, he will be turned off - but then forget him!
Blogging personal things, covering also him, is also something to clear up. Does he read blogs, does he care? It is impossible to tell him about your blog without revealing your depression, so if eventually he takes your depression well, he will take blog well too - however be respectful of his privacy.
You have a good feeling about this guy, that's why you like him and feel well with him, so trust your instincts!

Anonymous said...

TOTALLY my personal opinion. I see the depression and the blog - as two totally separate things.

(A)Your blog is just that ~ YOURS. To be (overly) blunt - the blog is about you and for you. You are not discussing him or revealing intimacies about your relationship. Hold this close to the vest Etta ~ you can not "un-tell him" about the blog. So the blog I would hold private.

(B) When to tell him about depression? I have to agree with others on this one - your relationship is quite new. Allow it to grow naturally. There are positives to waiting and to telling him now. Get to know him on a deeper level ~ and let him know you (there is so much more to you than depression ~ SMILE). Learn more about him - how he deals with important issues - how he reacts to "surprises".....see each other in many different settings and Etta I bet the perfect moment will come....don't force it.

The most important advice I can give is ~ Pray over the answer to both questions - I bet the perfect answer will come to you.

I don't know if this babble helps or not it is merely my opinion ~ Maggie

Borderline Lil said...

This is a difficult question, and one I wrestled with when I met my sweetie (we've now been together a year). I waited until we'd been exclusive and growing closer for about three months and then told him about my mental illness. He had experience with family having mental illness, so understood pretty well. And because we had the love and bond already in place it did not affect our relationship. As others have said, you could keep the blog private. I only recently told my sweetie about my blog. He understood why I would not tell him about it and doesn't wish to read it.

Good luck with D, have fun and try not to worry. If it's meant to be, it will work itself out.