So, it’s about that time for folks to make New Year’s Resolutions to hopefully positively improve their lives. And it’s definitely, in our culture in general, time for folks to reflect and review the year that just passed, and hopefully we’re focusing more on the positives. I encountered this question in an article earlier this year, and I wrote something about it. I have literally written thousands of pages, both fiction and nonfiction, about the many ways and the huge amount J has positively influenced my life; it’s really been an immense impact, honestly. But I’ll try to keep this one short(ish).
J is a calm, positive person in general, which is something I desperately need in my life. There are times I feel surrounded by erratic, negative people, so having my partner be steadfast and usually optimistic about life is helpful and relieving. I have a wide open door when it comes to empathy, and I tend to ‘pick up’ and experience the feelings of people around me, even strangers, but the people closest to me (emotionally, mostly, but also in literal proximity) I tend to absorb more from. So ‘picking up’ J’s customary calm optimism is good for me. I’m around him most of the time, and that helps me to maintain my own peaceful positivity about life most of the time.
J’s strength, consistency, and care help control my anxiety. I’m not saying a loving relationship can ‘fix’ anxiety, or in any way is a replacement for therapy and needed medical intervention. But I’ve had anxiety my entire life, really. I had my first panic attack in the fourth grade. It was at school, and a teacher helped me through it, but my next several were dealt with alone. When I expressed the feelings that came with them, I usually got some form of either, ‘Grow up,’ or, ‘Calm down,’ neither of which is very effective. J doesn’t shame panic. He helps me find reasons to calm down; he doesn’t just order me to, and then act surprised and aggravated that I can’t just do it. His reassurance combats and eliminates the insecurity that drives my anxiety. I honestly don’t know (or want to even think) of where I’d be without him in that regard.
And I’m never lonely. Before I met J, I felt the least lonely when I was actually alone, which I know sounds weird and counterintuitive, but when I was by myself, no one else could judge me and deem me ‘not good enough.’ It’s lonely having people actively choose against you. Think ‘last picked for teams in gym class,’ but in pretty much every aspect of life. I’ve always kind of felt disposable and expendable. No one ever really chose to spend time with me, they only tolerated that I was in the same class, same family, same workplace, same elevator, whatever. I could (and can) feel that; when someone would rather be somewhere else, doing something else, with someone else, than be with me. They didn’t (don’t) wish me ill or anything, they just wouldn’t choose me, and on the rare occasions I didn’t get indifferent tolerance, I got chosen *against.* Other people and other activities have always been more important or enjoyable…work, hobbies, other friends, etc. I was never ever anyone’s first choice, not even my parents’, and I was an only child for over a decade, so I find that weird and suitably hurtful. I wasn’t even second in line behind each other with them. J chose (and continues to choose) ME. He’s the only person that never makes me feel neglected and pushed aside. He always WANTS me around.
Of course, J’s positively influenced my life in countless other ways, but these are the big ones. These are the greatest struggles I have; the heaviest things to carry, and J willingly…sometimes *joyfully* picks up weight for me. I’ve said this about J before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but he feels like magic to me.