On Dating the Mentally Ill: A Beginner's Guide

Before you date somebody with a
mental illness, you must remember
that calling them beautiful will
not adjust their brain's chemical
levels.  Sweet words do not reverse
sickness that plagues the mind

Before you date somebody with a
mental illness, you must remember
that no amount of kisses will ever
erase the scars on their skin and
and certainly not the scars
on their hearts.  They may heal the wounds
caused by scraped knees on the playground
but will still leave marks upon their wrists

Before you date somebody with a
mental illness, you must remember
that they do not feel whole.
You can pour cement
into their cracks but there is no
guarantee that it will harden

Before you date somebody with a
mental illness, you must remember
to never say you'll be there for
them through it all, unless you
will answer their three-am phone
calls and race to their side to
flush the bottle of pills.  
Always keep your word

Before you date somebody with a
mental illness, you must remember
that things that seem easy to you
can be extremely difficult for
them. Try to provide the courage
to make eye contact with the
barista at the coffee shop

Before you date somebody with a
mental illness, you must remember
that while some people find
comfort in being cuddled, others
cannot be touched without panic.
Don't be offended if they dislike
the feeling of your skin on
theirs

Before you date somebody with a
mental illness, you must remember
to not let them shut you out when
things start spiraling downward. Prop
the door open with a dresser if
you have to.  
Never let them lock it

Before you date somebody with a
mental illness, you must remember
to be patient. Do not force them
to do things that they are
uncomfortable with regardless of
how normal they seem

Before you date somebody with a
mental illness, you must remember
that they are not their disorder.
He is not his depression. She is
not her bulimia. They are simply
human

Before you date somebody with a
mental illness, you must remember
that they may start relying on you
to create all of their happiness.
You must never let this happen.
Teach them your ways of emitting
bright light from your heart

Most important of all, you must
remember that although they may
love you dearly, they will never love
themself

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If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741