Many people with a disability feel like they are at a disadvantage when it comes to matters of the heart. You may question your ability to find someone who will understand your weaknesses and look beyond those to see your strengths.
In your heart, you long for a quality relationship and to find that one that is yours for life.
Just because you have schizophrenia doesn’t mean you cannot have a quality relationship. There is someone for everyone, or so the old saying goes.
Though it takes honesty and being open about the deepest parts of you, it’s possible to find a once-in-a-lifetime love. Here are four tips for helping you find your soul mate.
Be Open Minded
To love and be loved in return, you must be open-minded. You may meet someone at a support group or within the circles in which you run.
Keep in mind that often those who have mental illness are drawn to others who have had similar experiences. It can give you a basis for conversation and a deep understanding of what the other person has been through.
So, remember when considering dating, you need to be open-minded about their mental and medical conditions as well as yours. Be considerate of each other and your needs.
Mental illness is often a roller coaster with many ups and plenty of downs. It’s about learning to be with each other through the good and bad times that make a relationship work.
Don’t Let Schizophrenia Define You
Did you know that one in four adults experience mental illness? Just because you have a disability doesn’t mean that it has you. Sure, you have some things in life to overcome, but it doesn’t say that you can’t have or be something great.
Take for instance the story of Louis Wain. The English man suffered horribly with schizophrenia. He didn’t let his illness stop him. When he was put into a mental hospital in 1930, H. G. Wells and the Prime Minister rescued him for his great talent.
They had him moved to Napsbury Hospital, where there was a gorgeous courtyard with plenty of cats for inspiration for his hobby. Though he never found love per say, he fell in love with his work. It became his purpose for living.
He found that full enjoyment of hobbies can bring about the most significant relief, and he found comfort in his artistic abilities. His paintings were of anthropomorphized large-eyed cats and kittens.
Being one of the infamous artists who draw cats allowed him to cope with his illness, and it showed others that he was more than a man with a disease.
So, even if you don’t find love, find something to occupy your mind. Find a love and passion within yourself and allow it to come out. Many will be drawn to your talents.
Get the Help of a Counselor
Embracing the dating field is difficult. Because negative thoughts can start a downward spiral quickly, you need the help of a professional. They can guide you when a situation isn’t the best for you.
It’s important to have someone to talk to about your feelings. Many times, mental illness can impair judgment. Having someone in your corner that can give you advice, listen to your victories as well as defeats is advantageous.
It’s also important to stay compliant with medication. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling that things are going great and you don’t need your medicine.
The fact that things are going so good may be mainly because of the right treatment and counseling. Make sure to take care of yourself adequately, which includes taking your prescriptions and following through with the doctor’s orders. Being in a relationship is hard enough, but things can get even more complicated — if you let them.
Make a List of Things You Desire in a Mate
Never think that because you have a mental illness, you must settle for any relationship. Make a list of the things that are important to you. Do you want someone who has a strong faith or who is family oriented? Don’t trade your values for the chance at love.
While opposites do attract, there must be enough similarities to make life fun. Remember that there will be times when you or the other person doesn’t feel well. Do you like to be left alone during those times or do you prefer someone who is very hands on?
Finding love is like shopping for a home, your list of requirements and what you get is often entirely different. However, the core items are what’s most important. Don’t compromise on the big stuff.
Finding Love Against the Odds
Schizophrenia is one of the most difficult mental illnesses to have. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a spouse, children, career, and a fulfilled life.
Set boundaries for yourself and know when and if you have crossed them. Never settle for a situation that is less than ideal. Remember, the only thing worse than being single is being with the wrong one.
A great relationship enhances your life, and a bad one can destroy it. Pick your partners wisely and never use your challenges as a crutch.
This is a guest post from one of our readers.