Crazy for Life

Escapades of a bipolar princess.

Adventures in Dating with Mental Illness - Prt 3

What happens to dating after diagnosis. Is there love after lunacy?

This is part three of what happens when you’ve been disappointed in your escape from the psych ward with the cute guy from room 2B and land at a Xmas party. Read part one and part two to get all the juicy background details.

After my escape from the psych ward with Sam, the cute guy from room 2B runs me right into his girlfriend I fall into a plum blue blackness from late summer through and into winter… it is excruciating. This depression? Not even the benefit of sadness. Then on the darkest, shortest day of December… I meet Mu at a holiday party. Mu – not like the cow, but MU. M. U. Anyway: he’s an artist, carpenter and spiritual seeker. He’s freakishly tall, remarkably lean and incredibly good looking. He’s also 16 years older than me and extremely commitment phobic. He’s perfect!

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It’s an ‘Orphan’s Christmas’, a potluck with no family, only friends. I should have known something was off…Christmas with no family? Means no history, just burnt bridges. Very suspect. For the potluck? I bring a can of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce. Yeah. I am very depressed.

These potluck people are all very touchy feely, vegetarian types (that means instead of turkey for dinner, we get Tofurkey for dinner). They’re all into meditation, Reiki and Astanga Yoga. I’m into meditation, sort of, but that’s it.

From across the room, Mu is searching me out and swaggers towards me. I decide to get drunk. He decides to get drunk with me. I’m giggly; he picked me. Now I’m depressed and oddly self-satisfied.

He drives me home in his rusted out, beat up Beige Bronco. We’re not smart – driving while impaired. I don’t approve, but I don’t care. Some awful stuff like Michael Bolton or Billy Rae Cyrus ricochets inside the truck. I flip to NPR. I blare the Messiah!

Mu looks at me from the corner of his eyes, says “Plucky are ya?”

Plucky? Who is this guy? A character out of ‘Leave it to Beaver’? I like him anyway.

“Hey,” he continues, his silver hair winking under passing street lights “You want to be impulsive?”

 Has he heard something?

“I’m going to Mexico in a week. You want to come?”

He wants to vacation with me?! I haven’t had anyone want to go for coffee with me. I’m thrilled. But instead I get real. “Oh. Um, no I couldn’t. Not now.”

After New Year’s, this postcard comes: I’m coming back early. Can’t stop thinking about you. He comes back 10 days early for me – from Mexico! Crap, I’ve never had a boyfriend come home early from WORK for me! Within a week of his return, we are attached at the hip.

 Snuggled up like twisted pipe cleaners on his futon couch Mu tells me “I want to grow old with you...”

 It’s Corny, cliché (I know) but still.

 “I want to visit purple sunsets in the Mexican mountains with you. Tickle your toes when you’re sixty…” He brushes some hair out of my eyes, cradles my cheek in his palm, then kisses me.

He still doesn’t know about my ‘history’. Why risk telling him, right? At first, it’s fine. I’ve been out of my last down cycle and I’m not cycling up. I bounce up and down, but only mildly so. He just thinks I’m ‘enthusiastic’. I’m actually leveling out, which ironically puts me on edge – I always get nervous when I feel okay.

End of February, over 8 weeks in. I decide to say something. Just to you know inform him – not burden him, or ask him for help but just give him a fuller picture. I make it casual, really casual. So casual I don’t exactly tell him the whole truth.

For more juicy Part 4 here .

© Victoria Maxwell 2013

Victoria MaxwellBFA, BPP* is creative director of Crazy for Life Co. an educational and consulting company offering workshops and stage plays on a range of mental health topics. Her acclaimed solo shows about her personal experience living with bipolar disorder and psychosis, tour internationally. To contact her at  or visit

 *Bachelor of Fine Arts / Bi-Polar Princess                    Photo credit: MoToMo

Victoria Maxwell is a playwright, actor, and lecturer on her 'lived' experiences of bipolar disorder, anxiety, psychosis and recovery.


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