Following is an article I wrote in September, 2017, that is the culmination of a week’s worth of arguing, fussing, crying, accusing…… rampant paranoia on the part of Clare and me. I was CERTAIN she was trying to ruin me financually and was colluding with my police colleagues to throw me in jail. She was certain I was fucking her bestie Charee – tbe woman who introduced us – and was certain I was trying to make sure she’d never work in BH again by “outing” her struggles with anxiety and PTSD borne of her father’s selfish choice when she was young. (To tbe contrary, I had two jobs available to her if she chose to accept my help).

Not many days later, both of us were sent inpatient to treat the underlying causes of our bizarre, uncharacteristic behaviors. For me, it turned out to be hypokalemia, a fortunate relatively easy fix. For Clare, she was dying. Only one of us ever saw the outside world again.

What brings me comfort is we both had two days of lucidity where we talked as two human beings in love. And then we were hospitalized.

I wrote the following article in a patanoid rage several days before our final conversation and was so hateful of myself I deleted the article the next day. And I apologized so vehemently Clare understood it wasn’t the Steve she loved who wrote this article. In our final lucid conversation that felt like “us” again, we apologized and held each otber and promised to speak again when we were well. This is all I will share of our final conversation. She knew I loved her effortlessly and died knowing this. From Day One.

It’s diificult dredging this article up to repost. Why would I do so, then, considering how hurtful the article is?


Thoughtcrimes is the narrative of my recovery journey, and that means the ugly behaviors can’t be swept away and hidden.

This article reflects psychosis brought on by low potassium, a condition called hypokalemia. Ignorance, prejudice, preconceptions, and intellectual laziness attribute this psychosis to my mental health history. This is so myopically incorrect I’m embatrassed for those who narrowly believe so wrongly.

The truth is this psychosis is a symptom AMYONE can experience, including the ignorant, prejudiced, predisposed, and intellectually lazy individuals who collusively hurt Clare during her final month.

To be clear, my paranoid delusional behavior during this period was totally independent of my mental health history, much in the way a runny nose and explosive diarhhea are similar only in bodily leakiness and not causally.

I am reposting this ugly article because it is a paradigm-worthy chapter in my recovwry journey. And as embarrassing as it is, I won’t hide the ugliness of something like hypokalemic symptomatic behavior.

Steve Bringe
December 22, 2017

Having dated women, and the number of women in summation qualifying as statistical significance, it still catches me annoyingly baffled when a girlfriend asks:

“If we break up, do you think we can still be friends?”

It is an established Law of the Universe that women speak a very rare dialect of some weird Moonman language indecipherable to non-Moonmen (read, the Entire Male Population in the Entire History of Ever). However, this specific Moonman woman-question is easily translated into Logicalese by any man who has been romantic with a woman.

Translated, the girl has already broken up with you and she’s planning the exit strategy least stressful for her in terms of emotional liability.

In Moonman logic, she’s doing the right thing for everyone, offering her friendship (with limited contact, support, affection, etc.) as an equitable substitute for the romantic relationship (with unlimited contact, support, affection, etc… and sex). She gets to break up with you AND feel good about it. Good for her.

So let’s examine this proposal as a logical non-Moonman would see things. This means Everyone in the Entire History of Ever Excluding Women.

  1. The girl is breaking up with you.
  2. After the breakup, she wants you to be her friend.

The first step is to define the concept of “The Breakup.” Perhaps the easiest thing to do is catalog what defines “The Romantic Relationship.” In my ample experience, having a girlfriend means offering her my shoulder to cry on, my fingers to massage her shoulders (etc.), my jokes to cheer her, my ear to rant to, my comfort when she feels alone, my support when she is uncertain, my encouragement when she is triumphant, and my unquestioning love to wrap it up all shiny and pretty with a bow made of fluffy clouds and unicorn nostril hair. And, not to forget, my Adonis-like physique and Ron Jeremy-like libido (I’m quite excellent at sex stuff).

What “The Breakup” does is takes each of these fine qualities and says “You suck at holding me, you suck at massaging me (etc.), you suck at making me laugh, you suck at listening to me, you suck at keeping me company, you suck at reassuring me, you suck at supporting me right, and you suck as being you and you suck as being what I need anymore. Plus, it’s impossible to get in the mood for bed-sports when you look like what Danny Devito squeezes into a toilet after a bender on steaming bowl after steaming bowl of tofu masala.”

“So let’s be friends!”

To the non-Moonman, this is what’s defined as “Rejection of Every Ounce of What Makes a Man a Man.” To the native Moonman (read, the Entire Female Population in the Entire History of Ever), this is the ideal foundation of the healthy, unsadistic, and lasting friendship.

I really want the answer to my own question, as a precursor to my own romantic relationship exit strategy.

Are little girls pulled out of class in the 6th grade, taken to the nurse’s office, rapped on the top of the head with an aluminum tennis racket, and given just the perfect amount of life-long brain damage where they can literally ask “If we break up, do you think we can still be friends?” without realizing they sound exactly like Greek Philosopher of Antiquity, Zorba the Dumbshit?

Sign me up! I want to be besties with the darling woman who just did a full-tilt KALIMAAAAAAAAA!!! with my heart. So maybe, just maybe, if I had the heroic fortitude of Indiana Jones I could pull off the “Let’s Be Friends” shtick without further anatomical damage, but, alas, my super powers are a magnetic colon and the ability to calm jittery squirrels with only the power of my mind.

I know! Maybe you can take my testicles and put them in your purse by your tampons for safe-keeping! No purse? Here! I fashioned a lovely fuzzy purse for you using my scrotum! Yes! What better way to start our new life together as “FRIENDS”!!!!!!!!!

Look, I’m not much into contributing in any way to the perpetual suffering I already contend with as an ongoing pet project. And while your consolation prize of “Let’s Be Friends” is moderately to not-at-all tempting, it’s like asking Sisyphus…

“Hey, dude, I know you kinda have your hands full with that boulder right now, but if you’ve got nothing else going on, can you squeeze into your calendar sliding down this razor blade banister buck-naked and sucking all the snot out of this dead donkey’s nose for the rest of eternity?”

So, to answer your kind, generous, thoughtful, patronizing, sadistic, and idiotic question of “If we break up, do you think we can still be friends?”, I feel I can speak for the Entire Male Population in the Entire History of Ever when I say………..

For Tiffy. Thanks for my best blog article in forever. Truly. Thanks for that.