You know when you're ready

During Taras' darkest times he withdrew from the world - but through gradually finding his feet online, he's started dating again.

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Hi, I am moving all the posts from the The Mix’s sister website Madly In Love to Your Voices.

I’m Taras, 24 and a full time carer to my mother. Though many people around me believe that I’ve become isolated due to my work they fail to realise my own depression is a factor.

Like many people out there I’ve faced difficult issues like my parents separating and friendships falling apart, but by far the largest impact on my isolation was my own physical and mental health rapidly deteriorating and landing me in hospital. I’ve suffered with depression on and off since I was nine years-old, but this time round it was for four years straight. On top of that I’ve experienced issues of anxiety, stress, regression, and on occasion suicidal thoughts.

Because I deemed myself broken I withdrew from the world to do what I felt was needed to recover. Due to some of the issues I hated being in public and felt more and more isolated with existing friends let alone new people. As I felt unready and incapable to socialise I finally stopped looking to the outside and tried to remedy the problem. However in hindsight I was looking in the wrong place.
Lacking relationships

I fully admit that at times being alone can be the right thing, but sooner or later you need other people and reality hit me hard in that respect. I’d come to understand what was missing in my life and that was a relationship. Partly romantic and partly in general, I lacked all relationships even the fragments of my family. I started by being realistic and through being housebound, found penpals through sites like who helped me start communicating. This was helpful as there was no history involved, no judgement on either part, they just took you for who you were, as my confidence developed I branched out and started looking to more romantic connections. This in part started in the same manner just talking to people online and making connections/networking. At the same time I was trying to rekindle my friendships, who at times were a bit more heavy-handed in trying to break me from my isolation. This wasn’t a bad thing because there was a level of comfort and trust in them that allowed me to slowly build up the confidence to get out and about a bit more.
Going on a date

The accumulation of all this was eventually a date with someone I met online, admittedly it had taken nearly 6 months of talking but I felt I was finally in a place where I was comfortable enough with the person. It wasn’t a traditional date because I think my anxiety would have crippled me more, it was just a casual quite few drinks but it was nice if not a little daunting. In a way I think it was more enjoyable than other dates I’ve had because it was a new found freedom, yes I was scared, anxious, and utterly worn out by the whole thing but I’d accomplished something I’d not done in so long! It just took more time and effort than I was used to, but I’m glad I put the effort in, because I think I would have been far more flustered had I forced myself to act sooner, and more depressed if I had waited.

I guess my overall point is to be realistic with yourself, we know ourselves better than anyone, you know when you’re ready.

As for at the moment, well I’m still single but I have far less anxiety when it comes to the thought of going out, that’s not to say I don’t still panic about these things but I’m far more open about them. I have a large online community of friends now, and have made a few more in person. I’m not the person I was years ago, but I’m making a life that works for me with my current condition.

This post was written by Taras and originally appeared on The Mix’s sister website Madly In Love.

Published on 22-Feb-2016

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