Dating and Other Natural Disasters

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I’ve written before on my old blog about my views on dating and how the timing of revealing such a “unique” personality trait as bipolar disorder is crucial when addressing a potential mate. I, with all the finesse of a cannon ball, would initially just tell them first thing, right after my name.

Me:   “Hi I’m Michelle and I have bipolar disorder, just thought you should know.”

Shift to guy, now sitting uncomfortably doing his best impression of a deer in the headlights of an oncoming semi.

Him:   “Wow. Nice to meet you, Michelle. I’m just going to run home; I think I have to wash my iron and I left my hair on.”

How do you make a grown man disappear in less than 5 minutes? Don’t say Abracadabra – just say BIPOLAR DISORDER!

Needless to say, many friends who believe in the power of dating, love and other fantastical concepts, have told me that I should wait until I they get to know me, then drop that bomb on them. I honestly have never understood that logic; I’ll wait until you really like me, you think we have a future together, you think you know who you are dealing with and then, BOOM!


Like I just pulled a dead rat out of my purse at the nicest restaurant in town and plopped it on the dinner table, right next to the salt and pepper shaker.

What are you going to do now, big boy?


Now, don’t get me wrong; I completely and totally understand that reaction. Hell, if I wasn’t me, I would get away from me as fast and as far as possible. But I AM me and thus, I cannot escape from me. What I can do is to protect those who don’t deserve the rollercoaster ride from Paradise to the Basement at Dante’s Inferno, a level so deep they didn’t even give it a number. My ex-husband and my son and my family have had to ride that ride and no amount of reading Steven King novels could prepare them for what lay ahead. But because they loved me before they knew what bipolar disorder was, they were already strapped in before they knew what was really going on. Dating is a completely different story and one I’ve been hesitant to delve into.

Until now. Lord help me, I’m going to start dating a man. A real man that I’ve met in real life and have a lot of respect for what I know of him. A man who is legally, morally and completely single and available (it’s like finding a rainforest in Nebraska and in that rainforest there is a unicorn and on that unicorn there is wood nymph and in her hand, she holds a universe the size of a marble and in that marble is the cure for aging and the formula for time travel).

So my emotions are as follows: excited, terrified, defeatist, negative, unreasonably hopeful, fantastical, fatalistic and finally, distracting myself to not dwell and trying to allow things to just progress without trying to forecast or anticipate or orchestrate what is happening, how it happens and when it happens. CONTROL – it’s not just a Janet Jackson song. It’s a real expectation of being able to make things happen and make people do what you want; it’s a fantasy, though. We can only control so much and most of the time, when I try to control something I succeed only in controlling it right into a brick wall and smashing it to smithereens. For this experience, for this time, I will do my very best to sit back, enjoy the ride and not worry about where the next rest stop is, what time we will arrive at our destination, now much gas we’ve used on the trip. Instead, I will look out the window at the beauty that surrounds me, let the sun shine upon me and warm my weary soul; let my companion tell me stories of days long gone and I’ll tell him tales I’ve never told anyone. If we go nowhere fast, that’s fine, but I want to enjoy the journey.

I am tired of finding fault in hopes and dreams, exhausted to the core of my being with the sadness of loss and sick of the stench of fear in my heart. I want to be loved, but don’t want to be hurt. I want to love, but don’t want to lose myself in another. I want to be alone, but not lonely. I want to go, but I can’t seem to find a direction. I want to grow, but have been afraid to risk failure. I want to be accepted for who and what I am, not rejected for who I am not. I want to realize my full potential, not exist solely to mark days off a calendar and tick boxes off a list with no real meaning.

Which is why I’m going to take a risk, turn left when I normally would have turned right and have said yes when I would have said no. I’m going to take a chance, step out of my comfort zone and let Life happen. Who knows what will happen, but I know it will be like nothing I’ve ever experienced before because I’ve never let myself really just let go of all those insecurities and possible WORST CASE SCENARIOS. Maybe the WCS’s are best saved for my writing and not Real Life. There comes a time when the tools you used as a child to survive become the very things that destroy your happiness as an adult. This is one of those things. Control and Worst Case Scenarios. Time to delete and restart.

“Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.” – Plato


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