This began as a snarky comment on Facebook, a fiery reaction to a very good friend’s (incorrect) observation, and it made it all the way over here to Thoughtcrimes. It’s funky cool what “copy & paste” can do. We’re livin’ in the future!

Her comment got me thinking very diligently about a topic I much rather leave for future generations to ponder and proclaim.

And while “copy & paste” might move us closer to the Jetsons World of Wonder and Stuff and Things, one place we as a culture plummet time and again is accurate, useful, and germane information when it comes to peers, and more specifically . . .


You see, there are those who feel that when a peer is symptomatic, that is their “base line” and the peer will always be bizarre and unpredictable. Fortunately, you have Professor Steve Who Knows Everything About Stuff and Things to guide you along from benthic ignorance to Himalayan enlightenment. Get this noise:

Folks with mental health symptoms are really cool and totally safe to date, the same as everyone else. They are folks like all other folks. In fact, you might not even know you’re dating someone with a mental health diagnosis right now… and the call is coming FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!!!


Ok, that “inside the house” thing isn’t helping me make my point. In penance, I’m going to move things along by dispensing with some “bonus dating features” folks cite as “extraordinary” personality traits special to peers and perhaps not Muggles.

  • Peers are often more “intelligent” than Muggles.
  • Peers are often more “creative” than Muggles.
  • Peers often have “superior” linguistic skills than Muggles.
  • Peers are often more “intuitive” than Muggles.
  • Peers average a 35% longer penis (males) and 58% larger breasts (females) than Muggles.

Think John Nash, Van Gogh, Brainiac from the Planet Zoltar (little known caretaker of the Tower of Babel), Nostradamus, and Ron Jeremy & every woman in Brentwood, California.

Think John Smith, John Smith, John Smith from the Planet Zoltar (little known caretaker of the FedEx on Johnston & Smithsonian), John Smith, and John Smith & every woman in Brentwood, California.


Ludicrous, yes? If peers are “more often extraordinary”, then Muggles make up the remainder (“less often extraordinary”). How to quantify this? I’m sure there are equally many mundane and notable Peers and Muggles, and it is only those individuals who do something headline-grabbing that garner the attention of the public … rendering them “extraordinary”. And the media loves to make a correlative link (but not causal) between headline-grabbing and mental illness. I would lay even odds that 50% of Peers and 50% of Muggles exhibit these “extraordinary bonus features.”

So cool, that’s out of the way. There’s no true “extraordinary bonus features” dating a Peer will give you over dating a Muggle. Got it? This misconception is dispensed, disposed, dispelled.

Dating a Peer is no different than dating a Muggle. Dating a Peer is exactly like dating a Muggle. Folks are folks. And folks with issues are folks with issues. And EVERYONE has psychologically diagnosable issues if you hang around with them long enough. EVERYONE.

The crux: Some feel (by innate default) romantic relationships seal their inevitable doom with one or both lovers who (in addition to being the best kind of people) experience mental health issues. Words like . . .


. . . and . . .


. . . and . . .


. . . are used to justify what is essentially their . . .


. . . that a relationship is worthless and mistaken predicated strictly on the partial basis of “IF” and/or “MIGHT” a peer have an “UNPREDICTABLE” mental health crisis.

What rubbish. Regardless of mental health issues . . .

ANY and ALL romantic relationships are at the whim of “IF” or “MIGHT” or “UNPREDICTABLE.”

And you don’t even need a diagnosis for this to happen (nod to the single and divorced folks of the world).

. . . and believing anything other than just this is a special brand of competency ignorance and/or a singularly myopic intellectual laziness. Allowing blind stigmas to lead happiness and joy astray, particularly in an advisory role offered from the ignorant and lazy, is both saddening and upsetting. And humorous, and baffling, and slightly salty, and confusing, and exhilarating, and nauseating, and dizzying, and sticky, and happy happy happy. . . wowzers, this sounds just like dating.


Currently, in the right-at-this-second world, there are folks who are divorced, folks who are single-as-an-unintended-and-unwanted perpetual state of being, and folks capitalizing on weakened yet naturally fortified confidence by projecting their own romantic misgivings and missteps masquerading as . . .


. . . to ensure peers . . .


. . . because we are so much more fragile and require extrasupermega-care to not be triggered by any emotional situation.

Again, what rubbish is this advice, no matter how well-intended it is.

Folks are folks. Folks with issues are folks with issues. And EVERYONE has issues. EVERYONE. And EVERYONE has issues that jack with the tranquility of their romantic relationship from spell to spell… and EVERYONE does not consistently trudge through the emotional mire just like EVERYONE else. EVERYONE.

A valid question: Deductively or inductively, do romantic relationships face hard times (financial, infidelity, lack of affection, etc.) only for folks with a DIAGNOSED mental health issue? And can these hard times affect folks with a DIAGNOSED mental health issue? Or is it more universal independent of brain chemistry? And can these hard times destroy a romantic relationship only for folks with a DIAGNOSED mental health issue? Stop using it as an excuse, any and all of you, please. Just an aside that fits here neatly.

In either case, want a keyhole sneak peek at a protective reflexive nature of the human condition? Necessarily so, when trauma occurs, our brains kick into high gear engineering ways to avoid such trauma once again. At this point, it’s sometimes geography that does the trick. Other times, the defensive brain transposes cliches and aphorisms for true logic, such as those types of statements proclaiming . . .

“Just because two people love each other DOESN’T mean it WILL work out”

Easily, this logic can be turned to an exact – and more upbeat and accurate – reflection of true feelings such as switching to . . .

“Just because two people love each other DOES mean it WILL work out.”

These are both valid statements, in the same way a Huffington Post article blasting Trump and a Fox News article lauding Trump are reporting on the exact same story. I prefer the latter. Not Fox News. The upbeat, positive, hopeful and happy love ode. The one that states “DOES mean it WILL work out.

Now we speak upon the validity of friends and families as useful advisors to heartbreak. We needed to get here eventually because friends and families have opinions. And opinions are like assholes. Everyone who disagrees with me is an asshole.

I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again, and then I’ll say it again, and then I’ll say again infinity plus one. You can count on friends and families to be 100% supportive in two very special ways.

  1. Friends and family are wonderful for offering unconditional, impartial support based on only the very most flimsy, unsubstantiated, and partial foundation.
  2. Ignorance is only temporary.

Clare Clarissa Nina Castellano

What this means is friends and families will tell you exactly what you want to hear, friends and families are champions at mirroring supportive moral outrage, and friends and families are only too eager to offer advice rarely of germane substance or erudite knowledge.

So you got your friends and families, you got people in the know because they’re just people in the know, and you’ve got naysayers who say nays like a one syllable, one word foreign language just shy of “I am Groot.”

And then you got yourself and the choices that have to be made all on your lonesome, with only yourself as counsel and only your heart as Sacagawea. All things weighted with equality, inequality, or just plain “I have no f’ing idea what I’m thinking and feeling and would rather be playing Cat vs. Electricity” (that might just be me), what you’re left with is . . . what does your heart say?

Since we’re on the subject of mental health and IF and MIGHT and UNPREDICTABLE, what does you heart say? Is this lass in deep depression the lass you fell in love with? Is this dude experiencing delusional paranoia the dude you fell in love with?


They’re the same person experiencing medical symptoms. And the best part is, these are symptoms that go away because they are TEMPORARY and not CHRONIC symptoms.

Will these symptoms reemerge at some IF/MIGHT/UNPREDICTABLE future time? Who knows? Will a person in remission has their breast cancer return? MAYBE is the best answer to these identical questions.

This entire article was spawned from a single comment my pal Cherry (named changed to protect confidentiality… a sure sign I’m on the mend) shared a couple days back, and I was upset by her words. Really upset. And because I was so upset (I kind of laid into her with strong thoughts but not irrational ranting… a sure sign I’m on the mend), I decided to compose this article for her, to address her single comment:

“I know you’re a good guy, trust me. That’s why we’ve been friends for years. I’m just afraid if you struggle again with your mental health, this is going to happen all over again. I know you love her, but I don’t know if it can work.”

I’ll forgo my litany of upsetitude because I really want to reply succinctly to Cherry… because she is my friend and she deserves this respect from me.

Life, caring, love, it’s all incredibly risky. Allowing myself to be 100% vulnerable to Amanda Huggenkiss (name changed to protect confidentiality… a sure sign I’m on the mend) meant I got to be 100% HAPPY for the first time since my mum passed away. With Amanda Huggenkiss, it was easy. I was in love with her since day when we went bowling. And it was effortless because I never felt a desire to lie to her in any way. And it was natural because she believed in me in a way no woman, or human being, ever had.

And all of this took risk. So, if “this is going to happen all over again”, then that’s the cornerstone of love… the risk that I will give the person I love the most my entire me with the very real chance that through unintentional harm or unforeseen neglect my entire me will shatter.

And it’s totally worth it. She is totally worth the risk to be 100% happy.

People care about Amanda and me. They only want the best. And I say the best version of me is when I am with her. I pushed myself too hard when I needed inpatient treatment. She pushed herself too hard trying to keep up with my ever jerking moods and triggers.

There will need to be forgiveness.

There will need to be trust.

There will need to be healing.

There will need to be emotional, psychological, and physical mending.

All of this scares me. It’s a huge risk giving her my everything again. And as said, she’s worth it. I can’t ever piece together my mind over the last two months. However, I can say with 100% certainty that this type of triggered crisis can never happen again. How do I know? Because I learn and I am aware and I love her and I could never bear hurting her like this again.

Ultimately, it’s up to us. And the idea of “IF” it happens again and/or it “MIGHT” happen again and it’s “UNPREDICTABLE” if it happens again, well, guess what?

Mental health diagnosis or not, this is the human condition, and we all share this risk.

Mental health diagnosis or not, every romantic relationship sails through the oceans of “IF” and “MIGHT” and “UNPREDICTABLE.”

Mental health diagnosis or not, life circumstances changes – for the better, for the worse – a romantic relationship will experience turmoil that tests honor, trust, and love.

And mental health diagnosis or not, both partners must ask, “Am I worth it?”, “Are they worth it?”, and “Are we worth it?”

Yep. On all accounts. As if mental health wasn’t even a factor … because it isn’t and never needs to be.

To not come together, clearing emotional wreckage, building upon a stronger, better prepared foundation… it’s trading manageable RISK for unwielding FEAR, and that’s a shitty way to live a life. Being a little wreckless and in love is so much more fun and challenging than being a lot scared and self-imprisoned and alone.

Moving to a wholly personal disclosure, the romantic relationship, I own my part in this with no reserves (while raising uninformed, serious doubts, sadly):

  1. Where’s the faith? I ALWAYS get better, with more skills, wisdom, awareness, and ability avoid the triggers and subsequent symptoms of every UNIQUE episode, catching it before it can become crisis.
  2. Where is the evidence this is such a common occurrence with either of us that this is an “all the time” unpredictable life we’ll being living always? Two weeks out of inpatient care and already I have the discerning skill not to send escalated, inappropriate communication. This is a HUGE personal victory.
  3. Where is the proof that this behavioral turmoil irresponsibly goes untreated? Five years without a crisis or hospitalization… I got caught off guard, voluntarily went inpatient, adjusted medications in a controlled, safe environment, and now have new skills and awareness, also known as wisdom that is something EVERYONE on the planet acquires as the years roll on . . . promote the good and abolish the bad.

  4. So this leaves me thinking about how similar those with mental health diagnoses are to those who are either lucky enough not to have symptoms or those who have yet to be diagnosed. It leaves me thinking about four letter words that are a go to move for expressing a final sentiment. Here’s my logical progression because this article has totally depleted nearly every neuron because I’m exhausted from writing and revising this article for three days. I really want it perfect because this is important.

    Okay, here goes…


    Great Caesar’s ghost, that’s not it…


    Nope, missed the mark again…


    Closer, almost perfect…


    Got it!


    The real four letter word that is entirely indivisible from LOVE is the four letter word RISK. Got it? Good on you!

    Look, what happened with me and Amanda could have happened to anyone, emotional, psychological, and physical distress included. It’s not exclusive to me, it’s not exclusive to Amanda.

    And it’s not exclusive to MENTAL HEALTH either.

    And if Amanda and I part ways for good, we both face this same risk with anyone else in our lives.

    The only real blockade to moving forward is FEAR, much in the fashion your comment was able to generate so much instant ire in me. Cherry, your comment scared me because I thought, “Fuck, what if everyone thinks like you do?” You’re a good gal, Cherry. I just know it’ll be a lot easier facing that FEAR with Amanda in my arms. Where she needs to be once again.

    And guess what? After reading all of this, hopefully you understand we’re not our diagnosis and we’re not our symptoms. Cool beans.

    There you go, Cherry. You are a good friend and you’ve earned this article from me. Crap. I’ve been working on this for two days. You owe me a bag of Skittles, but not the sour faux Skittles, the ones where you can “Taste the Rainbow, Mutherfucker!” I know of no sour rainbows save those over a sewage treatment plant and that’s less sour and more on the finer side of rot, like a perfectly aged wine, a lovely brie, and putrified human feces.

    And guess what? Why be with a guy who cares about you and treats you nice? And is 100% dedicated to mitigating risk with shared preparation. I’m in love with you, since Day One. And no one else’s thoughts or words mean anything to me, only you and yours. So there.

    For Cherry and Amanda Huggenkiss