To the Husband Who Loved Me Before and After Anxiety Came Into my Life
We’ve only been married for less than two years, and we’ve only been together for less than five, and I’ve only known you for less than seven. However, you have saved my life more than you will ever know.
When we got engaged, we were both immersed in a really big transition in our lives. We had both graduated with our Bachelor’s degrees and were moving on to new adventures that didn’t include one another. We decided to start our life together, apart. I still commend us for that. I was in the best shape of my life, full of pride, so excited for what was to come, and so were you. When you came into my life, you gave me something that for a long time, I hadn’t had. You gave me home, stability, and love I never had to worry about losing. When we got engaged, I was entering a new career with new people in a new place, and you would be doing the same. I was in the best mental and physical shape of my life, ready to conquer the world.
Something happened that year, despite being blissfully happy about the new journey we had agreed to take together, despite our miles. Being away from everything I knew, away from the bustle of the city, away from non-stop social situations, I was forced to just be… me. During that time, I learned that all of these things I felt weren’t just fleeting feelings; I had a problem, a big one. However, I was too busy taking care of the students I was teaching to stop and address it. So I pushed on. You came to me in Arizona, and we started our strange little life together. We lived together, we moved back to the East Coast, and after some challenge, some hardship and some terrible apartments, we built a life.
And 13 months ago, we discovered we were pregnant, an exciting surprise that resulted in our beautiful 7-month-old boy we have today.
I wish I could say all of these new additions to our life have made me feel bliss. I wish I could say I am the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been, but that would be a lie. I am the heaviest I have been ever been, the most unhealthy.
And the most terrified.
It took me a while to figure out what led to fast weight gain and near-daily panic attacks, and I figured out it was part-job, part-everything else.
I became anxious about everything. I simply fear driving in the car because I may get into an accident that causes me to lose my life, and therefore lose all of you. I fear spending money just in case we make a mistake and lose our home. I fear going to sleep every night in the rare event that I wake up and our baby isn’t breathing and we lose everything.
It took me until now, as I am writing this, to figure that out, and as I figured it out, I decided I should say thank you.
Thank you for:
1. Knowing when I am feeling anxious even before I do.
2. Being a weighted blanket when I feel so anxious I can’t sit still.
3. Encouraging me to go to two or three yoga classes in a row at night so I don’t come home to our baby anxious.
4. Calling me out when I snap at you, when you know it’s about something else.
5. Telling me I am beautiful even when I tell you I’m not.
6. Telling me you love me in the middle of a panic attack.
7. Sitting on the floor and holding my hands when I can’t feel them anymore.
8. Texting me, “I know you can get through this,” even when I haven’t told you I am worried I can’t.
9. Encouraging me to do whatever it takes for me to feel safe, even when it puts the burden on you.
10. Trying to make me laugh, even when you know and I know it won’t make a big difference in the moment.
11. Never giving up on me.
12. Reminding me I am enough.
13. Proving to me that I can be loved for all I am.
14. Forcing me not to hide my truth but to embrace it.
15. Being an amazing husband, friend and dad every day.
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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez, via Unsplash