Depression and Dating

April 13, 2017

I am more than open about my experiences with Depression (with a capital d) and Anxiety (with a capital a). It's always a little bit scary for me to meet new people, especially guys that I am interested in. I never know at what point to disclose that hey, my brain is neuro-atypical (although I'm not totally convinced the whole world doesn't have depression, but that's for another blogpost) and sometimes I am extra irritable and sad and tired, but that's okay.
There is still such a strong stigma surrounding mental illness, and I guess that's my biggest concern in dating. I tend to avoid asking for help from anyone because I'm annoyingly independent, and I definitely do not want to feel like a burden on someone else. Especially in a new relationship when I want to be cute and fun, I don't want to tell someone that I have Depression and Anxiety and have them worry or run away. I wish it wasn't like that, but people get scared, even when they don't need to be — I've seen it in my own life multiple times (which is unfortunate because I'm pretty great, so whatever, their loss). For the most part, my experiences are manageable. I have off days where everything seems more difficult than it needs to be, but I have taken the necessary steps in the last few years to take care of myself and make my mental health a priority. I am not my Depression and Anxiety. I have Depression and Anxiety, but I am so much more than that.
What I've learned in dating with Depression is that the right person won't be scared away. It freakin' stinks when someone doesn't want to be with you for such a ridiculous reason (although they won't always admit that that is the reason, but other than that I'm basically perfect (just kidding) so I don't know what else it could be (@ every guy in the world who isn't dating me, especially Chris Evans)), but at the same time, you don't want to be with someone who is going to run away scared. I'm not saying that you have to unload your deepest struggles and fears before you've even kissed the guy, but you shouldn't be afraid to get the support (and give the support) that is needed. You need someone who will stand by your side, love you, and give you help when you need it. And you need someone who can trust you to do the same. You don't need to hide who you are. You don't need to be afraid to ask for help. And you don't need to settle for anyone who doesn't think the sun shines out of your heart.

Yours truly,
McKay

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