Mad Love


“Hearts are breakable,” Isabelle said. “And I think even when you heal, you’re never what you were before.”
— Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))

“In an undertone, I murmured, “This isn’t over. I won’t give up on you.”
“I’ve given up on you,” (s)he said back, voice also soft. “Love fades. Mine has.”
— Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))

“Fall in love… that is fine, but just make sure you fall deep enough to stay there forever.”
— Ram Mohan

In the wake of transitioning from relationship to true friendship with my Beloved, I am continually struggling with what to do with myself in light of heartbreak, hardship on socially moving forward — alone, as it were — and ways to keep Hope alive.

It should be no surprise to you…” she said to me and continues to say during tough dialogue where I make all attempts to come to understanding with courage and conviction to better move forward without the one woman who I went all in with over the course of my work in the Appalachia rural regions of North Georgia and now into DC’s work where I landed near two years later, and clearly, without her here with me.

The heartbreak goes deeper than losing Beloved with whom I imagined I would wear white, daisy chains in our hairs, hers curly and long, thick and lovely, and my short boi cut. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Where love once held firm and hand to hand in the dark to red slashes deep within… This makes no sense to me.

Were I to ably move forward in silence and in privately held pain and suffering, weeping in heartache, hoping for relief and release, wouldn’t falling apart be easier without as much aforethought? Placing blame on my mental diversity, my moods, as it were… she denies and I muse on the association between the hardships of maintaining relationship with a woman not in the field of Mental Health, or Recovery, or the Peer World, with me with deeper friends who know me and support me. I ache. I turn over as if I’m a nomad, in sleep and then don’t sleep.

The heart holds fast to those images of our walk together that has ceased. I run the gamut of self-hate, jealousy, darkly-held meditations on aloneness.

My heart. My big heart, is breaking. It’s not enough to hold onto hate eliciting anger. Where is the hope. When will relief enter the soft red folds of flesh to hold onto myself safely?

Parker Palmer, a revered Friend in the Quaker Community, one whom I was introduced to with my Beloved, teaches constant mindfulness. In his recent article, Heartbreak and Hope: Three Questions about Suffering, speaking to the terror the Paris murders brings to mind, “Left untended, our hearts can become so brittle that under stress they break apart into a million shards, and are sometimes thrown like fragment grenades at the ostensible source of their pain.” 

At the July 2015 Friends Gathering Conference (FGC) which my Beloved and I attended at West North Carolina University, Palmer spoke to his own lived experience with depression. It startled me and his honesty spoke to me in the midst of my physical withdrawals from psychotropics which continue to play havoc with my biochemistry, my body, my mind, my Spirit, my heart. My heart. I wanted to run up to him backstage and ask him, “yes, but… do you take meds too and do they fuck you up as they fuck up me and many others?” I didn’t. Instead, Beloved and I walked up the long hill back to our dormitory and the next day I burst wide and broadly in a very inappropriate measure of anger and rage from internal pressures, amounting eventually to this separation.

My heart. This heart which I am borne with feels too much, I think. 

I search slowly, not as much as I ought and am able to in this wretchedness for glimmers of hope, dignity to retain my head up, to move on and find that my WRAP®, my WHAM®, my eCPR, my IPS, my CPS in two states doesn’t do much at all and they do not or cannot help me find comfort. One would think that servant leadership since surviving ECT for 2.5 years has built any amount of residual sustainability in such a private and personal place. My Peers. My Comrades. My Colleagues who continue on are doing it. Why can’t I? Not for a second. Not for a nanosecond. Not for one breath quietly drawn in without my rickety breath, creak and moans that are my own.

But this then, speaks loudly to me this morning from, Shannon L. Alder:

/ˈdignitē/ noun

1. The moment you realize that the person you cared for has nothing intellectually or spiritually to offer you, but a headache.

2. The moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad Pinterest quotes.

3. The moment you stop comparing yourself to others because it undermines your worth, education and your parent’s wisdom.

4. The moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do. People’s opinions don’t matter.

5. The moment you realize that no one is your enemy, except yourself.

6. The moment you realize that you can have everything you want in life. However, it takes timing, the right heart, the right actions, the right passion and a willingness to risk it all. If it is not yours, it is because you really didn’t want it, need it or God prevented it.

7. The moment you realize the ghost of your ancestors stood between you and the person you loved. They really don’t want you mucking up the family line with someone that acts anything less than honorable.

8. The moment you realize that happiness was never about getting a person. They are only a helpmate towards achieving your life mission.

9. The moment you believe that love is not about losing or winning. It is just a few moments in time, followed by an eternity of situations to grow from.

10. The moment you realize that you were always the right person. Only ignorant people walk away from greatness.”

This is not the first relationship to have gone to the wayside out of the consequences of any/all of my inaction, words spoken or not, malbehavior presented, but rather to symptomatic effects of psychotropics from this non-disease, the omniprescent challenges as I was clearly handed a tough hand of cards in this round.

This heartbreak issued is threatening and this speaks more truth to the matter at hand, but to see and realize and to feel that my hope is too lateand only that all is over. Only to forget Beloved and that loss is all that remains for either of us. I see no Glorious end-game in looking back, as to what Beloved suggested one rainy afternoon drive from DC into Baltimore… All I see is fault and poor cracks in memory for character flaws due to my “(ill)health” and this mad love.

This crucible I wear is more than a jagged spiked copper nailed milagro cross. Words hold no faith. Comfort comes with difficulty. My daily maintenance plan is no marker, I believe, to that which I can or can’t or will not do any longer. Heart to heart dialogue holds no support to this red Loser emblazoned word on my heart, my chest. Crisis is abated, only to hold onto what hope brings today, this day.

That we cannot perhaps have heartbreak without love or that were my heart really broken, then at least I know that at one point in time, I loved my Beloved, is my truth. Friends encouraged me to follow my heart. I did. Mine is broken and all is lost in that perfect dream with She who held me tightly with full promises. That I have loved much, must count for something in that I must have given much also, and with everything over, feel as though I have lost everything.

Winter comes now. In the cold of the morning, my own arms embrace myself, believing that Beloved and I stand on different sides of a mountain path, in forest and it’s a marker, downtrodden muddy and slippery with no foot-hold that neither of us can cross. She is meant for somebody else.

Perhaps in our white snow blindedness, the only upshot is that in Recovery, peacefully and in community, Joceyln Soriano writes we

“… cannot love a person with an all accepting, transcending and encompassing love without being hurt somewhat, without being disappointed, without being failed of our expectations. We cannot love without being broken, yet we cannot continue in love without being stronger than our brokenness… that evenIt is (in) our wounds that create in us a desire to reach for miracles. The fulfillment of such miracles depends on whether we let our wounds pull us down or lift us up towards our dreams.

Internal fortitude brings so much fear, trepidation that I can’t do this. I can’t move forward, but I must. I can go on and accept that were it not for knowing that my hard-heartedness lends much to Beloved’s truth that once I loved. Once I loved and the saddest thing in this writing is to have realized that to once have been a minute to someone, all is lost, when you’ve made them your eternity. My heart, broken… I shall make art with the pieces of my own madness, sullen, withdrawn, impervious to loss.

* * * * *


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


Mad in America has made some changes to the commenting process. You no longer need to login or create an account on our site to comment. The only information needed is your name, email and comment text. Comments made with an account prior to this change will remain visible on the site.


  1. Lovely and aching and poetic. Such loss is devastating. So many striking quotations and evocative descriptions. Too bad so many fall in love, but not deep enough to “stay there forever”…
    Love the Dignity list, especially
    “Only ignorant people walk away from greatness…”

    Report comment