“Do you ever feel like you are too mentally ill to date someone who has their shit together?” Because we do.
Picture this: I am scrolling through Tik Tok and I come across a video that starts with the words
“Do you ever feel like you are too mentally ill to date someone who has their shit together?”
The answer: Yes. Absolutely. And I keep watching the video of a user named Olivia Klugman singing a song called “Precooked Rice”. I immediately resonated and became obsessed with the song, and the idea that someone else felt the same way I felt: that they were too mentally ill and their brain too bad to be in a relationship with someone they really love.
I saw this video about two weeks after I went to my boyfriend-with-a-real-job’s work party and proceeded to have a panic attack and lay in the grass and not hang out with his friends. After I backed out into his car because I got distracted thinking I left the oven on and after I almost got us into a car accident because I was panicking because I convinced myself he was going to break up with me (he wasn’t).
After I had broken down and spent the money on pre-cooked rice and vegetables that I couldn’t microwave because I didn’t even have the energy to cook anymore. And honestly, I’d been hating myself for it.
Then I heard the song,
“But I don’t wanna tell you why I don’t cry anymore.
How many nights I’ve spent clutching my knees against the floor,
I buy precooked rice, and I’m not that nice to myself”
I was so excited to relate to something as much as I had with Olivia’s song.
Fast forward, a week later I sat down with them and talked about their song and the story behind it.
And what she said surprised me.
First, the relationship behind the song is from two years ago about a relationship that she bailed on, in part due to the fears expressed in Precooked Rice and on the guy they dated.
“Being particular doesn’t mean that they have their shit together”
That threw me off, that in the relationship dynamic Olivia and I both experienced, the “person with their shit together” sometimes experiences the same emotions and feelings as the “mentally ill one”, they just control them with very meticulous, adult behaviors.
This phenomenon is also gendered, with this “togetherness” that the men we date–
(“Maybe this will be a coming-out article that I’m not a lesbian”- says Klugman),who identifies as bisexual/ queer.
– portray, is a manifestation of the feelings and messiness that non-men get to outwardly express more.
So-I asked-what have you learned? How do you date while mentally ill?
This is what she suggested:
First, be very upfront about you and your feelings: the good and the bad, how you operate. Even if one seems more “together” than the other, both modes of existing are valid.
Second, date people with “similar ranges of emotions”, says Olivia. Even if you experience your highs and lows differently, being able to conceptualize those highs and lows is important.
Finally, she quotes her current partner by saying
“Why would I want to date myself, it would be so boring”.
And that, that stuck with me. We date people that operate differently than us because dating someone with the same brain as you would be boring. And even if that means that you are the one with crumbs in your bed and an inability to cook non-microwavable meals, that’s ok.
Olivia Klugman, whose song “Precooked Rice” has almost 300k views on Tiktok and who is on their way to being the up-and-coming folk singer on your radar, still eats precooked rice (the frozen brown rice from Trader Joe's btw) and all other sorts of frozen food.
So, work on yourself, of course. But if buying precooked rice and being a mess is what gets you through, so be it. Everyone else is doing it differently.
And what’s next for Olivia Klugman? Well, first an acoustic cover of “Dancing in the Moonlight”, out July 2nd, and then more songs to wrap up 2021 So get on the Olivia Klugman train quickly, because she is going far, all while being fueled by frozen rice.