FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Attempting to Date whilst Dealing with Depression and Addiction

Art_Addict
Community Member
Hello! Im Kate and I am have lived with depression and an addictive personality my entire life. Im 31 and only overcame and eating disorder that i'd had since age 12. I found myself in a low place in my mid 20's, met a man who took advantage of my vulnerability and we married. I left him 2 and a half years ago and he stalked me for 2 of those. Because of this I developed post traumatic stress, was unable to work and to this day whenever im stressed I get a tremor that I use alcohol to cover. To the outside world I may seem successful as an ex dj and now artist but the reality is I've never felt more lonely and isolated in my life. Men seem to find me attractive but either I pick the wrong ones who either have their own problems that they are in denial about, they are men who want to prey on my vulnerability, or mostly they are men who like me up until they discover the reality of my past and the conditions I live with. Im going through one of the worst months of my life, im so lonely that all I want is a boyfriend to hold me and fill the void...........How do you go about having a healthy relationship when you yourself aren't vs dealing with so much emotionally and mentally that you're not strong enough to do it on your own. I miss being held, and as great as having a friend give you a hug its not the same as someone romantic. This is not a post soliciting for dates, please understand. I'm just really curious how others living with conditions like mine go about screening people or surviving this mental battle on their own?
2 Replies 2

Zeal
Community Member

Hi Kate,

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for posting!

A bit about me: I had an eating disorder when I was in my late teens, which really "put my life on hold" for a few years. I didn't date anyone until I was 18, and then, because of my illness, I didn't have my first boyfriend until I was 21, which was last year.

I am very glad you have overcome your eating disorder. It's such a relief, isn't it! πŸ™‚ I'm glad you left the man who wasn't treating you well. If you don't mind me asking, have you sought help for your depression or PTSD? It's vital that you start or continue to seek help for those conditions, so that you can minimise the impact they have on your wellbeing.

I didn't have a boyfriend until I was well. I also didn't date at all during my eating disorder. Firstly, I spent a lot of time by myself indoors, I was frail-looking, and I had very little energy. Last year I had a boyfriend for a few months, and then decided that I just wanted to be friends with him. Right now I'm in my first "serious" relationship. We've only been together for 2 months, but it feels like longer πŸ™‚ We've been friends since the start of this year, and he is also in my friendship group. He knows about my past experiences with mental illness, and is really understanding and supportive. We are well suited as a couple because our personalities are compatible and we have similar goals and values.

As you are really struggling this month, meeting a new man is going to be harder. Trying to think about someone else new, and about their wants and needs, is really challenging when you are struggling to look after yourself. I understand wanting to have someone right there, who you can cuddle up with. That is a healthy thing to yearn for. If you do meet someone kind and genuine, then by all means go on dates with them and get to know them. You don't need to tell a new man all about your past on the first few dates, but can open up to him gradually, as you become more comfortable with him, and as you get to know each other more. Picking or attracting the wrong type of people is unfortunately quite common.

Spend as much time with friends and family as possible, and seek help from your GP for depression and PTSD.

I hope something I said has been helpful πŸ™‚

Best wishes,

SM

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Kate, welcome

SM hit the nail on the head. I'm 59yo but I had a long dating life from 17yo to 29 when I married my first wife. And then I still married the wrong one!!

We divorced after 11 years then I lived with a woman for 10 years then married my best friend (female) 4 years ago and we are wonderful together.

Our relationship works well for a number of reasons. We are similar in character, think the same, enjoy the same things like our love of animals and country living and she loves my daughters. We are both firey though and that needed new approaches for us to work. Boundaries that is like not leving the property when upset, giving each other space and approaching the other person say after 30 minutes and offering coffee. It all works. The longer we are together the less firey incidences occur.

Although a vast number of people don't understand mental illness it really is more that they need to be kind and supportive when you are in a hole/cycle. If they don't mind listening and making the odd suggestion then that's the most you can expect and often its enough. I mean how can they get into our heads and analyse? So it isn't bad to be a little reserved to protect your loving relationship.

So look for a kind loving and semi supporting partner not too unlike yourself in the communication stakes. As for your past....everyone has a skeleton in the cupboard.

THE CUPBOARD

THE CUPBOARD  

They ponder they do

Some but we don’t know who

For it in their own head they ask

How could all those guilty

                        Hide so many skeletons

                        In their cupboard?  

They check their own wardrobe

It bare, no skeleton, they sigh with relief

While they ask they not aware

As they get dressed for another day

Put clothes upon their own skeleton

                        They carry around with them

                                    -all the damn time……