Being single and gay in the city dovetails with being in a bar or club.Fun as the scene is, my path to recovery butted heads with meeting potential paramours in loud, sweaty bars.After a lot of practice, I’ve found that I can work with these reactions.
Before I pulled out of the bar scene, I was briefly seeing a guy and when I was explaining my diagnosis to him he fell asleep.
I am pretty sure that was because he was drunk, or I am just the worst, most boring storyteller ever.
Still, I have to fight the stigma by being open about it. Someone who is a “fixer” will interpret your dating profile and past history as a “Help Wanted” ad. I am a survivor of mental illness and I am a survivor of sexual assault and intimate partner violence, and experienced both at the hands of a boyfriend when I was 19.
I have to accept that being honest is scary, but it is still brave. To be honest, being accepted by a potential partner also makes me anxious. While help and support is great and necessary in all relationships, for a fixer it is about “fixing” your partner. I also am wary of fixers because I firmly believe that most of them experience their relationship with disabled partners on dependence. The media saturates news stories with misconceptions of the mentally ill being violent, sick individuals; in reality, people with disabling mental illness(es) are statistically more likely to be subjected to violence, even by partners or caretakers. I can spot a “fixer” now, and quickly deflect any attempts to engage.
It was hard to pull back from all that fabulous wild abandon, but once I found my way to health, good things happened.