Actually, Love Just About Any Style Will Do
When I got up this morning the humidity was down, the temperature was wonderful and I actually felt — something, Couldn’t quite pin it down until finally I realized: I’m looking for love.
I hate that.
You see, when you’re working hard to overcome your negative attitudes people don’t generally see you as dating material. I can’t simply go out on the town and find any old floozy. Well, I could, if that floozy had an interest in me. But so many sources I read tell you to never, ever talk about your mental illness on the first date.
That is, if you can actually land a date at all. And if you do, what are you going to say when asked what you’re doing with yourself these days?
Well, I used to be in accounting, but now I’m searching for work again because no one will hire me because I’m bipolar and it took a long time for me to get better enough so that I could finally feel secure enough to look for work and to get out and meet a really great floozy like you. Hey, maybe you could buy me a Shirley Temple? I only have a buck left.
Oh. my, ain’t gonna fly. Or the other required dating question that strikes fear into my heart: What do you do for fun?
Well, I write this bog on my mental illness and I really like it because I want to help other people that are mentally ill, too, like me, and I want to help other people realize that mentally ill people are people and not ogres. But I like floozies, so it’s nice to know there’s a floozy out there that doesn’t mind dating someone who loves medication and long walks on the beach because that’s all I can afford these days.
Hopeless and rather pathetic, am I right?
Forever Alone Bear Is Forever Alone
I really feel just like this bear. I stand around wondering if, when they open the bars to my exhibit, a beautiful mate will appear and we’ll get along great. Loneliness sucks, you know. The best this poor bear could hope for is to sit around and chew salmon, but salmon tastes better when it’s served for two. And he knows it, Pathetic. Just look at him.
I Look Into The Future And All I See Is A Long, Dark Highway
Okay, I know, I know, I’m not supposed to look into crystal balls. Very bad. But one can’t help but think about the future and what that future might bring and as long as I don’t fixate on it and grind the hope I might find someone into brain-dust, it’s all right. Rumination is my enemy, after all.
But I think it’s time to consider dating again. And then I don’t. And then I do. And around and around we go. Fear it, want it, hate the idea, rinse, lather and repeat.
Oh The Pain, The Pain
My mental health team has always said that when the time is right, you’ll know. Or we’ll let you know. In a recent meeting with my counselor we agreed that perhaps the time is on the near horizon and it might be a good idea to put my toes in the water and see what happens. After all, dating is largely presenting yourself for approval. It’s also putting yourself on the catapult of rejection and handing the firing mechanism to your potential date.
If I’m going to hand someone the means of rejection, I want it on my terms. Of course that’s not going to happen.
I have to trust and for me trusting others does not come easily. Trust issues were a major reason for my years of therapy. I don’t want to fail in my attempts but I’m going to, and that’s something I have to choose. You can’t win if you don’t play.
Let Me Out!
So this is what it’s like. Trapped in believing in the future fears that you created all by yourself and making sure that your predetermination lives on.
Everyone has dating issues. Everyone has fear of rejection. Everyone wants to be loved and admired, appreciated for who they are. Everyone.
Except me, I guess. Yes, I want those things. But everyone else seems to be able to get past the first sentence, you know, like Hi, how are you or I think I be dazzled or Damn, you fine or some such acceptable entry into the social morass that is dating.
On Second Thought, Maybe I’ll Stay Home Tonight
Perhaps it’s just easier for me to forget about going out and finding that semi-perfect person that wants to snuggle with the likes of me. And unless there’s some sort of fetish that people get into where they date frightened field mice, I don’t know about finding that cuddler. But there must be someone out there for me. Every Broadway show I’ve ever seen has at least one song that says so, so there must be some truth to it.
You Just One Of The Koi In The Pond, Boy
That’s right. There’s hundreds of people out there just like me and that’s just in my own town, come to think of it. There are hundreds of guys that can’t seem to put themselves out there and for so many reasons it’s amazing. I’m too fat. I’m too whatever. I’m not worthy. I don’t get love from other people because I’m not lovable.
Oooh, Salvador, Lucky You
I’d love to feel like dying of satisfaction. In fact, when you’re bipolar and down, satisfaction seems a million miles away. When you’re bipolar and up, everything satisfies you until you realize the harm your actions have created to yourself and everyone else.
So here is where I present my dating quandary:
OH, GOD, WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO? WAIT UNTIL I’M DEAD?
Dead is too late and now is too confusing. What do I do about this? I think I can take the advice of my counselor to heart. I can begin to date. I can expose myself to scrutiny. But I have to take my time because at 56, dating can be as dangerous a contact sport as rugby. Get up, make the play, get knocked down and get a nosebleed. Or a concussion.
You Know That’s Gotta Hurt
So what to do? I could go on with bashing my head against a wall over it, but head-bashing is frowned upon by my therapist. I could just bite the big one, get up and out there and put myself in dating danger like most people. I might be able to place a Craigslist ad but I’m not too keen on finding love among the serial killers and no-show flakes. Or maybe there are other ways to meet people that I haven’t considered. Whatever it takes, it means getting my butt up on the garden wall and looking for a hot number to come down the road.
And I think we all know how that ended, at least for one guy.