Dating, relationships and Mental illness

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    Hey Eliana,

    Something that has really helped me is imagining the person I am talking to is my best friend. Also, thinking of a favorite person or memory can put me in a better frame of mind when I am down. Perhaps if you try a few strategies like these, they may start to counteract your urge to hurt people, which has its roots in something. All these unwanted emotions we carry has a source that we need to explore and move beyond.


    Hi Mark and Anita,

    Mark, you brought up some very interesting points about thinking about that person as my best friend. An excellent idea! Thank you so much for your thoughtful insight. I appreciate your kindness and understanding and will take your words to heart.

    Anita, you also brought up some amazing points as well, bless your heart. You two are the best. I actually have not dated since 2005. I took a break from dating just to focus on my therapy and volunteer work. But then, I lost the last of my family, my best and closest friend, My Dad. This was in 2008. Then things went downhill from there. I got sicker with hospitalizations and had to end up filing for disability. I lost my beloved cats that brought me so much joy and company, I had to part with them, and I really have not been the same after losing them and my Dad. I lost my car and my beautiful apartment, and now live in housing for the disabled.

    Although, I do have some friends here, it’s not like it was. It can be isolating. I moved from a very large city to a small city, in the downtown area. It is mostly married people here, so even if I wanted to date, I couldn’t. I am quite honestly too scared too date, because it’s been so long. My sponsor told me to wait a year to meet any men after the two 12 step programs..then I got lonely, and noticed a 1/2 sister I wanted to bond with on Facebook along with several old acquaintances. That’s where the trouble began, men saw my profile picture and would start chatting with me. I enjoyed the flattery and compliments, but then, romance iccured..as well as another social media site, I started getting into squabbles, and my sponsor said “no men on internet!” so that put an end to that. I deleted my accounts. I just want so much to be well and live a normal life, but it is very hard. I am at the point where, I have pretty much given up on dating. I will just keep working on my therapy, and hopefully something will make sense one day and make life will illness a little easier. Thank you both so much for being there.


    Dear Eliana:

    I love how some 12 step sponsors give such simple, unambiguous instructions: “No men on internet!”- reads like a good sponsor, or so I hope.

    Distress Tolerance and Mindfulness is the answer, the combination that works. This is what my therapist worked on with me, distress tolerance and mindfulness. It works if you work it, it really does!

    And you are welcome. Thank you for the kind words. Post anytime.


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