J is Real

This post is probably more about anxiety than love and romance. It’s probably rambling. There’s a part where I mention my best friend other than J, who is a long distance away (which bothers me some…I obviously wish she were closer). And there’s a lot about our dog. But it’s still about J and romance, kind of. Maybe even mostly. Because a part of what romance is to me is having my anxiety taken seriously. I know I gush about J daily here, almost, but sometimes I write things down to simply record that they are really happening. J is *real.* 

I’m an empathic, anxious, introverted writer, so I spend a lot of time in my own head making things up. See, I write romantic love stories…fantasies. It’s what I spend all my time doing when I’m not doing housework or errands, or being active with J and/or our son, or sleeping. And the men I write are fictional, but they are all inspired by the real man I live with. Not that I often have a hard time differentiating reality and imagination, but there are a couple of times I’ve questioned the realness of my feelings and why I was feeling them, particularly when it comes to my feelings for other people. 

This is exceedingly rare, but there are a finite number of people with whom I’ve connected quickly in a deep, layered way and it makes me think, ‘Well, maybe I’m making this up. I’ve turned them into a story character. They aren’t really real…’

J was one of those people for me, and sometimes I still reach out and touch him to check. He’s real. It’s nice to have that reminder that he’s my person and he’s real even though I’ve talked to him every day for over 15 years now, and we’re married. 

There’s only been one other person with whom I’ve felt that kind of overwhelming comfort and ease. I met her online too. And for almost a year, I’ve thought to myself, ‘Maybe she’s not real. Because she’s exactly the best friend you’d make up for yourself if you made one up…’

But I met her this summer. I saw her in person, and heard her voice, and touched her. She’s real.

Thank you for your enduring friendship and your kindness, and the effort that you made for me, A. I will never forget meeting you, and I’m glad I have all of the proof of your realness at home with me now. Maybe someday, we’ll get to be together in person again. I hope so. But I’ll be here digitally until then. ❤❤❤❤

Anyway, back to J and my anxiety. One of my worst triggers is medical procedure, for me and for the people (and other beings) I love. And I have separation anxiety. I know it’s something only babies and young children and animals are supposed to have, but I have it. I have it with J. I have it with the Boy. I have it with *our dog.*


Sometimes when I’ve had all the people I can take, our dog is always there for me to save the day. Just look at her. ^^^ She’s precious.
Our dog is an old girl now. She’s 15. She was a rescue right after we moved into our home nearly 13 years ago when she was 1 or 2 (not sure, because…she’s a rescue…but the absolute YOUNGEST she could be now is 14). So she’s unfortunately starting to need more veterinary care and that really freaks me out.

The real man in my life *really* built a ramp so our doggo can still get into our bed with us at night, and out of it in the morning, without jumping and putting more wear and tear on her senior dog bones. He picked out the wood; he drew the plans and engineered it; he constructed it; *he covered it with carpet* so she could have comfort and traction. She wouldn’t use it though. So he *bought a new box springs to lower our bed.* And sometimes he lifts her up there when she gets nervous and squirrely about jumping.

I didn’t want to leave our dog when we took family trips on vacation anymore, and it was a reason (I’m going to assert that it was a MAIN reason) we got an RV. To take our doggo with us.



(Those photos are of our dog at Cadillac Ranch in Texas and Yosemite National Park in California, respectively. Both of those locations are over 1000 miles from home. I’m so glad she got to go with us on that trip…it’s the same one I met my human best friend other than J on.)

Our dog just spent 3 days and nights in in-patient hospitalization and I’ve been out of sorts. Extremely anxious. We just brought her home and she’s doing better, but I’m still kind of nervous and this cloud of expectant, impending loss is hanging over me now. But J is focusing on positives (like he always seems to do).
‘We’ll have to check when the Boy’s spring break is to schedule that next vet appointment for sure. We might be on a trip with her three months out…’
Changing my focus to positive future things is the best course of action for anxiety, usually. That and hugs. Which I also get a lot of from J.

I’m just awed by how he thinks of others…people and animals…all the time. And how he solves problems and provides. And how gentle and kind and strong and capable and optimistic and future oriented he is. About how he adapts to the needs of those he feels responsible for and to, and he’ll change his own plans to improve things for them.

I mean…like…J is REAL. He’s not a work of fiction I made up in my head. He’s REAL. 

But now it’s probably obvious why I make up stories about romantic heroes all the time. 

1 thought on “J is Real

  1. this was beautiful to read & something i think a lot of us can relate to. thank you for sharing.


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