Bipolar Dating

When you’re bipolar you never really leave your disease behind. It’s always with you, memories of moods gone too far up or too far down stuck to your ribs like indelible tattoos punctuating frailties you will never outgrow or out master.

Dating his hard. It’s a tiresome performance, a one-woman-show all about you at your most charming packed with stories you’ve told so many times you know how long to pause for a laugh, an understanding nod.

Sometimes, you forget you’re bipolar. Most of the time, you don’t.

If you like the guy, you wonder, how many dates before I say something?

You fear being judged. All the while, you judge too. You judge and you wonder: is this the kind of guy who could handle me at my darkest hour?

Tonight, I’m going on a third date with a guy who seems to be made of stuff that might be able to handle me and my disease. I don’t know why I’ve bestowed this strength upon him. It’s just a gut instinct. A feeling. A judgement I can make long before I expose myself to the kind of judgment that arises when you tell someone you live with mental illness.

We all have things we hide, vulnerabilities, fears, doubts, foibles. I never want to apologize for who I am. This date tonight will most likely be one more in a series of near-misses. The spark won’t ignite and we’ll go our separate ways. He may think to himself, when bipolar disorder comes up in conversation or in the news, that he never knew anyone bipolar.

By then, I’ll be long gone, on my way towards finding a guy who, someday, some way, I’ll be able to tell.




2 thoughts on “Bipolar Dating

  1. Hi Michele

    So good to read your writing. Felt stoked that it was posted on my birthday.

    I totally relate and don’t dip my toe in the dating pool for fear of being judged and humiliated.

    I am glad that you have found blossoming love. What a lucky guy!

    Take care,

    Kind regards Liuschen Ackerman +27 72 610 6608

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t begin to understand the stigma of dating in a bipolar world. I was diagnosed after having children. I imagine that your mind puts more pressure on the situation than is needed but we have a tendency to do that. I tend to warn people upfront that I’m bipolar- that way when I do something weird I can use it as a shield. lol

    Liked by 1 person

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