He Doesn't Even Know!

Someone recently asked Matthew if he ever feels anxious, sad, depressed, etc. He immediately and bravely answered "No, I never do". And he meant it. And I believe him. And I admire him. What it must feel like to go through this life with no burdens of mental illness. What a toll it must take on a mentally healthy person to be married to an anxious ball of joyful, sad tears. What an amazing heart must beat in that chest of his. To be strong enough in his head and in his body for not only himself, but for another living being. A living being who looks to him to keep her from falling, to pick her up when she is down, and hold her up when she is weak. What strength he must have to deal with the heavy burden that comes with being married to me and my scary, dark, fearful, anxious thoughts that are really good at ruining things for all involved. Someone who has lost a parent and other family members all within a short period of time can opening and easily admit that he does not struggle with anything more than some situational anxiety (he hates driving in the city!), grief that doesn't linger, and is able to see more positive in any situation than anyone I think I've ever met.

Then a little pang of jealousy circulated through me. I don't even know what a life with so much peace is like. I don't think I've ever truly lived any part of my life without some sort of anxiety or depression laying dormant inside of my brain waiting for the right (read: wrong) time to attack. I'm sure at some point when I was too young to remember there was some peace in this noggin of mine.  I can recall times in school, all the way back to Kindergarten, when I bawled and begged and tried everything I could think of to get my mom to take me home from school for the day. Usually it was for no other reason than I just didn't want to be there (and that one time I peed my pants during lunch...) I have memories of making myself sick in the second grade. I would refuse to eat and my parents were worried I was not healthy enough. I would walk home from school in 5th or 6th grade while my friends walked behind me and threw rocks at me. I think back to a lot of times where things inside of my head weren't okay, and were probably a lot scarier than I realized at the time. Matthew has no idea what that is like, none whatsoever. Yet he deals with me and all my crazy notions and ideas that are false 98% of the time. He doesn't judge me. He doesn't criticize me. He doesn't call me stupid for being worried about something that isn't likely to happen in a million years. He can make me laugh when I'm pissed off and want to kick the shit out of anxiety. He lets me sleep when I'm tired. He lets me mope around when I'm sad. He lets me cry when I have no idea what is wrong. He lets me hide from him. He reassures me when I think the world is ending. He lets me take my anxiety out on him, knowing I will apologize when I am back into my normal frame of mind. He stops my negative self talk in it's tracks. He is ALWAYS pointing out things that we have to look forward to. He's pretty good at compliments, even though I don't ever believe him. (Thanks, brain).

Best of all, he doesn't try to fix me. He knows there are things in my head and in my heart that are dark, and scary, and painful. My struggle isn't a secret. He supports (most of) my crazy off the wall ideas on what I think will help me. He flips the bad into good. Somehow he does all of these things without having any experience with these monsters in his own life. He is one in a million. The world needs more compassionate people like Matthew. How lucky I am.


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