I recently met someone. It is not serious at all yet and we are still very much getting to know each other, but for the first time in a long time I actually think that there is potential there. In the past couple of years I have had only messy non-relationship relationships and drunken flings. I’ve never been good at the dating game. Therefore I am naturally inclined to a sense of impending doom, but since I am in the best space I’ve been in since, well, ever, I am cautiously optimistic. But I really don’t want to skrew this up, especially before it’s even really begun.
Being the obsessive, anxious control-freak that I am, I am already worried about how, and at what point, I’m going to tell him that I have Bipolar Disorder. On our first date he mentioned something about a psychiatric hospital and I just laughed and said nothing, even though I felt ashamed at betraying myself. There are certain subjects I tip-toe around, and I constantly have to watch what I say and steer clear of certain topics. I am filled with anxiety about how he is going to react when he finds out. He is getting to know me at my best now, but what will happen when I inevitably hit rock bottom again? Will he even be willing to stick around until that happens?
I know my worries are very premature. Who knows if we’ll even get to a stage where it’s necessary to tell him about it. Still, it is a situation that all people with illness have to face at more than one point of their lives. I have been able to avoid this since I was diagnosed, only telling people who I know love me unconditionally and would not judge. It’s confusing and causes so much anxiety, thinking about how it will impact on the future, the possibility of rejection getting the timing wrong and losing someone you care about.
My plan is to just not think about it, take it one day at a time and deal with these situations as they arise, hoping that I will know when the right time is. I suppose I don’t want to be with someone who can’t accept me the way I am anyway.
When did you break the news about your illness to your partner and how did he/she react?