Welcome to yet another instalment of ‘Shit depressed people have to hear’! I’d be so pleased if I could just put this whole series into rest as it would mean people have stopped coming up with absolute nonsense but alas, this is not meant to be yet.
Today’s bullshit comes from a personal experience. I don’t know how common this is, let’s hope it isn’t but I have an uncomfortable feeling that it probably isn’t. So let’s get right to it.
Picture the scene: Me with a friend I haven’t seen for a long time having a catch up in a coffee shop. This is before I decided to come out of the closet with my depression and it was information only meant for the selected few. This friend was one of them.
The conversation turns into relationships. All of a sudden my friend says: “No offence but nobody wants to be in a relationship with a person with mental health problems.”
I’m so stunned that it takes me a few seconds to even register the sentence. Which is a miracle in itself since I always have such a fucking mouth on me. But now, I have nothing.
First I think she’s kidding. We do stuff like that, say outrageous things using a stoic tone. At first I think she was doing just that but this person is someone I’ve known since I was thirteen. I know from her expression that she isn’t kidding.
I’m stunned. I’ve got nothing.
Had it been anyone else but a friend I would’ve probably ripped them into proverbial pieces. It’s such a horrible thing to say that I wouldn’t say it to someone I didn’t like, let alone a mate. I’m just in shock that someone would actually say that.
Let me say at this point that it takes a lot to offend me. It’s water off a duck’s back. I’ve never cried into my pillow at night because of something some wanker said. Whatever nonsense they sprout my way tells more about them than it does about me. I just do not give a fuck.
But this is someone I’ve known almost half my life. Someone who knows me through and through. The fact that she can’t see me having any other qualities to offer except my diagnosis, that I don’t have any redeeming qualities is something so unbelievable that it took me ages to come up with something to say.
Finally I tell her that obviously nobody seeks to be with someone with a mental illness. If they do, I think there is a whole another level of nope going on. If you could make a choice whether you’d be with a non-mentally ill person or a mentally ill person, obviously you’re going to go for the first option. Unfortunately real life isn’t that simple.
I didn’t rip her to pieces. I was too shocked and upset to my core by what she said. Of course I cried afterwards.
I have been single for four years. I don’t really think of myself as a single person though. My only relationship was abusive and horrible and ever since it ended I’ve been of the opinion that it’s better to be alone than with someone who isn’t good for you.
I hate meeting new people. I hate small-talk. I hate dates. That makes the whole concept of dating a fucking trifecta of cringe. I know that even my oldest friends were strangers to me at one point but I still magically hope that people would just know me without having to go through that ‘getting to know each other’ phase. I was never a patient person to begin with but depression has taken the little I had left.
I don’t want to know to go through that ‘what do you do for living’ nonsense. My only requirement for people is that they get me, and the only way to find that out is to let the other person talk about various topics and usually a choice of words reveals an attitude which I either agree or don’t agree with.
Like one time when I was talking to this guy about dinosaurs. Once he found out my favourite dinosaur is a T-Rex he sent me a photo of its skull he had seen at a natural history museum. I responded with a video of a guy in a T-Rex suit taking part in American ninja warrior. He never responded. Hardly noticeable difference in stances but its existence became apparent within this exchange.
My mum wishes I’d meet someone. Not because she thinks I’m going to be alone forever but because she wants someone to take care of me. I’m not fussed. At the moment I’d be perfectly happy with a service like Ubereats for cuddles. I could ring up a service, someone would come to have a cuddle and then they’d leave like a PG prostitute. Luckily I have friends who are happy to provide cuddle-wise.
Even now I can’t start properly dissect that sentence because it’s so utterly ridiculous. I can’t hide the fact that I have a mental health condition. Of course it isn’t the first thing I tell about myself but it does come up at some point, Even though it isn’t all of me it still has an effect on how I do things and my reactions so hiding it would be useless. And why should I? It’s not a lifestyle choice.
If someone can’t be kind and understanding to someone with a debilitating illness, I didn’t want them in my life in the first place. If someone is incapable of such basic human empathy, their problems run much deeper than mine ever did.
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I’ve now distanced myself from the said ‘friend’. I guess the only thing I could say about this is would’ve she said that if I had a broken arm?
“No offence but people will only want to date someone with two working arms.”
Also just a general tip in life: If you’re about to start the sentence with ‘no offence but’, stop, go over the sentence in your head, notice that it is most likely something highly offensive and abort mission. Saves your fellow humans from unnecessary upset.