Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why do I look like I know where I'm going?

Three people asked me for directions today. I am terrible with directions -- I have no sense of direction. Fortunately, I was in my neighborhood, on my way to and from brunch with my friend Rochel the shadchanit, so I was able to steer them correctly. But it just makes me wonder why people think I know where I'm going, when I feel so uncertain.

Rochel and I had a great time, discussing books, her new blog (I haven't told her about mine), and bashert.

"Ayelet, you have your bashert, just like everyone else," Rochel said. "You deserve to meet him as much as anyone else does." Of course I agree, but it's hard to keep the faith when you go out with guys like TD and Captain Best Effort.

Unfortunately, Rochel doesn't know a lot of modern orthodox guys, and I've already dated all the ones she knows. (What a sad comment on my life....) But she's just landed on Facebook, for which she has high hopes. Maybe she'll meet someone new and introduce him to me.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to tell her about my illness, though. Trying to boost my spirits, Rochel told me about a gentleman for whom his third marriage was the charm. He was married for a long time but had no children, and they divorced. He got married again -- very briefly.

"After two weeks, he was living in his car," Rochel told me. "She told him she was bipolar before they got married, but it wasn't until they started living together that he realized what he'd let himself in for."

I winced. I don't think she noticed, because she went on, "But he met his third wife less than a month after his second divorce. And then they got married two months later. And he's crazy about her." Unintentional irony in her choice of adjectives.

Sigh. I realize that I'm not the stereotypical "difficult" person with bipolar -- I take my medication and I work hard at functioning well. But most people don't realize what a large continuum mental health is. Bipolar sounds like a scary diagnosis, to most people.

I guess I'll have to trust that my bashert is out there and will be able to accept me, disorder and all. As the AA folks have coined, "Those who matter, don't judge, and those who judge, don't matter." (AA's big on pithy slogans, but this one really speaks to me.)

Rochel's a Rules-certified dating coach, and she gave me some pointers about how to approach dating and developing a relationship. My "break-the-Rules" style certainly hasn't worked for me. I guess I'll try being more of a "Rules girl" for now -- if I can pull it off.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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