Dating Hell

So, I used to like to date. I used to go on a lot of bad dates to give my friends something to smile about, laugh about, and sometimes I met some nice guys. Dating was like a hobby of mine. Don’t get me wrong I always offered to pay my share, was nearly always refused.  I never took advantage of the guy in terms of where we stood. I dated because I wanted to meet Mr Right.

Well now, since “the Epilepsy” came back, it’s a bit different. I can’t drive so getting to the dates is a bit difficult (although I must admit, public transport/bikes = hot in my nice date outfits). Giving a stranger my address = bad mojo, so what to do, what to do? Bottom line, I haven’t dated. I’m becoming a bit of a recluse and my dog is my only full time company.

There are so many issues and hardships when it comes to dating when you have a life long disability. When to tell them, how to tell them, and how do you explain it to them? How do you throw on someone you like that “oh by the way, I have a disability that makes it so I’m dependent upon others, and one day I may be without a part of my brain. When do you spring that on them? The first date? Oh, by the way… I have seizures. When you find out you really like them, and you want it to continue? Which at that point your heart is invested and it could be harder on you?

The other thing that frightens me about the whole thing… I may never get to have children. I’ve gone back and forth about whether or not I want to be a mother and I’ve come to the conclusion that I do. So then what? Pregnancy and the hormones can increase the risk of seizures, which means I could kill my unborn baby just by being me. I feel like I’m disappointing my family (I know I’m not, but sometimes it feels that way) by even thinking that way.

So what to do? I’m not saying I’ll never find Mr. Right. I’m just saying the minefield in front of me is a scary one. It’s one that a lot of epileptics have to walk through.  There’s no right or wrong answer (at least in my opinion).

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Management

When you have a disease, a disorder, or really any malady, it’s all about management. Everything has to be managed. Your life goes from as care free as an adult human life can be, to the exact opposite.

As I was counting out pills this morning, trying to figure out exactly when I needed to fork out the money and call Canada again to set up my next order, I realized my life was managed down to the day. Pills had to be taken at certain times, I had to be in bed by 11 or my body clock would go crazy, everything was managed. I was like a fine tuned business without the joy of the income.

It’s nearing the time of year I love, and hate. This time of year is the time of long weekends, friends, parties, wine, champagne, and a multitude of other sins. Sleep schedules go wonky, diets go out the window… This is the time we forgive ourselves for not being managed. We forgive ourselves for letting our hair down and running wild and free. I used to love this time of year. Staying up until I saw the first dawn of the New Year used to be one of my favorite things. (Cover your eyes mom) drinking with my friends and just enjoying life, being a twenty-something.

To an extent, that’s no more. Obviously alcohol isn’t needed to make a party fun. You don’t need alcohol to be in good spirits, but it’s part of the season. Upset sleep schedules and letting emotions run whichever way you want and feel like… That’s something I can’t do anymore, not really. Alcohol is a definite no-no in my world. Between the benzos and the other medications I’m on, alcohol could be a death sentence. Upset sleep schedules increases my risk of seizures… Emotions running up and down increase all of those lovely stress hormones that can increase the likelihood of seizures… Basically the holidays can be a shark infested ocean for those of us that have to be managed.

Holidays are still my favorite time. I love family, I love friends, I love presents and food and pretty much everything the upcoming months stand for (including costumes!!) but they’re also some of the hardest times. Every time you go against the managed plan, it’s like going the wrong way down a one way street. You just pray you’re lucky and it isn’t this time.

I’ll never forget the first time I realized this. It wasn’t a holiday, but I was out with my friends in the town I grew up in. It was late, and we were out to see a punk band that has long since broken up and gone who knows where with their lives. I had been up late several nights running, I had a lot of caffeine in my system and the lights and the sound were bringing on simple partials like crazy. My friend Jim went outside with me and sat until they slowed down. It was cold, his jacket was wrapped around me. The sky was pitch black and people were milling around outside for who knows what reason. It was then I realized regardless of what I wanted to think and believe I’d never be like everyone else in the venue. No matter how hard I tried I’d be on the outside.  When I finally stabilized to the point of what a 16/17 year old would feel as good to go, the show was over. Everyone came out of the venue and I wasn’t on the outside anymore.

People call me a control freak. Some say I don’t go out enough, I need to do more things and stay out later. Every time I think of that, I think of that one time I spent my night outside a venue trying my best not to freak out with Jim right there. I never want to feel like I’m on the outside, so I manage my life around it. I keep myself safe and secure so when I do go out, I’m able to be on the inside. To listen to the music, to open presents, to be a part of something other than this managed place I live in.

  • Meg
  • Reid B. Kimball

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