Multiple Sclerosis in the dating world
*****The names of the males in this blog post have been changed in order to protect my reputation****
I was talking to friends about the need to change some names while editing my book. I told them that one of the names I had to change was that of my most recent boyfriend, who was also one of the two loves of my life.
(Is it ok to have two loves of your life, maybe three? Especially if one was your very first love way back in high school and into your early twenties. There is that love of my life and the most recent guy and “one who got away” guy. That’s all. Just those three with some problem guys, no way guys, and “what on Earth was I thinking” guys in between.)
Anyway, let’s call this guy, the recent one, John. Since I haven’t talked to John in a while and so could not get his permission to use his real name in my book, I had to change it. I changed it to Steve, thinking Steve was a good name. I told my friends that I came up with the name Steve as I had always had a little crush on a guy named Steve Smith.
“But isn’t it weird to give John the same name of a guy you dated?” Serena asked.
“I didn’t date Steve Smith,” I replied. “I just had a crush on him.”
“No, not Steve Smith. But you dated Steve Jones. Remember Steve Jones???”
Serena was right. Not only had I dated Steve Jones but I had actually lived with him for a bit. My MS brain completely forgot about a total relationship. It wasn’t a terrible relationship either. It was actually a fun time in my life. How could I have forgotten all about Steve Jones?
This was very concerning. Memory loss with multiple sclerosis is very common. But forgetting an entire relationship was on a whole other level. MS has contributed to making my dating life pretty much non-existent. If it starts erasing memories of the social life I used to have, then what will I do???
Being single is one thing, but having always been single, especially if you weren’t? That is just way too much.
People ask why MS has affected my dating life. The simple answer is the fatigue. No matter what people say, dating takes work and work is exhausting. And since I am already pretty fatigued all the time, I feel like a zombie.
I’m not picky but I am not sure that it would be good idea to date someone who wants to date a zombie.
Who do zombies date anyway? Not vampires. Zombies don’t have much blood and what little blood they do have is filled with interferon and other meds. Not a good match for a vampire.
A werewolf? Do zombies date werewolves? That seems pretty hairy to me.
On and on the thinking goes and just like that, I am even more exhausted just thinking about dating.
But in case you think I am bailing on this dating thing too early, let me give you an example. I was invited to a social gathering, a party if you will. With my first glass of wine in hand I started talking to a guy as it turned out we had something in common. We talked about what we had in common. Then I realized we were talking!
I didn’t know this guy’s story. He was about my age but was he single? Nice?
I started to think too much. My legs started to hurt from standing there talking to the guy. I started to panic and with only two sips of wine, the panic was not subsiding. Should I continue to stand there and gulp down wine while I attempted to continue this conversation?
It seemed too much. Getting ready for the party had been tiring enough. What I really wanted was a nap. I couldn’t take the stress. And since stress is not good for MS, I ran away from the guy into the lawn chair in the middle of my safety net- ie, the people who had invited me to this shindig in the first place.
Fortunately, the chair happened to be right near the table holding all the wine.
Then I proceeded to beat myself up for running away and hence, just gawked at the guy during the whole rest of the event. That, of course, made him think I was a weirdo. I prefer the term zombie.
Fast forward several weeks and I get invited to another shindig. I find a table with friends and high chairs. I am mostly through my glass of wine when I realize that a guy I recognize from my party days happens to be standing directly behind me.
This was a somewhat fancy event and I was dressed up a bit and had actually put on some make up. Girly girl make up, not zombie cover up.
I was sitting, felt giddy with the wine and decided I would not repeat my mistake from the last social event. I re-introduced myself and the guy and I chatted for quite a while. He was there alone and I wasn’t panicking. I could do this chatting/flirting thing.
Someone called to him and he moved away. Eventually I moved away from the area as well and then it was time for my friends and me to leave. I didn’t talk to him again but felt confident that I had taken a step forward, moved out of my “destined to be single forever” shell.
Then I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the car rearview mirror and realized I had a bit of pesto from one of the appetizers stuck in my teeth. That made me re-analyze the whole pesto added conversation and I got tired all over again. I’m sure the wine didn’t help. I went home and, you guessed it, took a nap.
So you see, dating is very fatigue inducing and stressful to me and my MS. I don’t really mind being single as I have had a pretty fun and interesting social life in the past. Which is why I need to remember it and why forgetting Steve was very traumatic!
Luckily, I had Serena to remind me. That’s what friends are for.
At least until I find me a zombie.
I will name him Steve.
***I take this blog writing gig very seriously and always try to research what I am writing about. Turns out, there is a dating site for zombies! Who knew? If you know a single zombie looking for love please direct them to ZombieHarmony. Their tagline is “because the apocalypse doesn’t have to be lonely…”
***Further research shows that the site is no longer active. Guess all the zombies have been matched. Damn.
***For observant readers interested in my future book, you read right. I am editing away. The goal is for the published (still unnamed) work to be released just after the New Year. If the apocalypse doesn’t get me first…