Real Love

As anyone who’s been reading here knows, I’ve been fairly anxious, at least at a low hum, for more than a month now. It’s been hindering my ability to write. And I’ve had some good days, but sometimes things stack up, and when I’m left with a head full of thoughts and a stagnating muse, that’s when I tend to go into some negative, sometimes even nonsensical thought spirals.

I’ve been having a persistent one for the last week that I know is irrational on every level. And I keep asking J to reassure me, and buttress my own logic and knowledge so I can quiet the anxious thoughts. To paraphrase and condense several conversations I’ve had with J about this topic over the past week…

Me: Tell me this won’t happen/isn’t happening.

J: It’s not happening. It’s not going to happen.

Me: But what if it is/does?

J: It WON’T. There is a zero percent chance of it happening. But if somehow, against all odds, it does, we will deal with it.

Me: There’s not a ‘good’ way to deal with it. And if it happens, that pretty much ruins our lives.

J: It won’t happen, so it won’t ruin our lives. But if it does happen, it doesn’t matter that there’s no ‘good’ way to deal with it. We’ll deal with it. Either way, it won’t ruin our lives.

J’s unwavering support when I’m at my worst is pretty amazing. It really is. Last night, when he basically said that it doesn’t matter that there’s no easy or 100% difficulty-free solution to the problem (that’s almost certainly not even a problem); that we’d handle it anyway, calmed a lot of my nerves. I know it’s exceedingly rare to have a person in one’s life who is so steadfastly loyal and caring. There’s really only J in mine. Most of that’s on me, because I know a few other exemplary, good people. But I wouldn’t even trust another person to talk about the specifics of my anxiety this time. Only J. I know I’m sort of vague-posting about it here, but that’s not to solicit questions about the problem (that’s again, probably not even a problem) from friends and readers. It’s to just log and record gratitude for J and what a singular, amazing presence he is in my life. That I trust him so much. That he’s never made me regret it. That he can calm anxiety with his superhuman consistency.

Last night, when I crawled into bed with him, I said, ‘Thank you for putting up with me and supporting me when I get crazy.’ He told me I wasn’t really ‘crazy.’ He said he knows where the thoughts come from, and even though the thing I’m worried about WON’T happen, he knows what makes the incessant thoughts that it will happen show up and move in like they’re staying. But he’ll always help me evict them. And then he said, ‘I know there might be some time down the line when I feel crazy, and I know you’ll support me.’

That’s real love.
He’s right.
I’ll support him.
Not happy that J would feel ‘crazy,’ but certainly I’d gladly help him with anything he wanted my help accomplishing; whether that’s putting together an IKEA bookshelf or talking out something that’s concerning him and occupying his mind in a troubling way.

Real love is helping to hold your partner up when they’re struggling. And real love is securely knowing your partner will hold you up when you’re struggling too.

lean on me


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