As you may know, May is known as Mental Health Awareness Month. I wanted to make a post talking about that. More specifically, about my own mental health. I’ve always been open about it and have no trouble talking about it. People are also always free to ask me questions if they want to know anything. But in this post, I wanted to talk about something that happened to me this week. Something that left a big impression on me and will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Let me sketch the situation for you.
On Monday our neighbor was going to come by to check our toilet since it wasn’t flushing right. But we had a dinner date with my boyfriend’s family at 5pm. He didn’t come by before then so we just left, assuming he’d come by on Tuesday. While we were having dinner, I got a text asking if we were home from our neighbor. I told him no. Then a bit later he let me know the toilet was fixed, which baffled me since we weren’t home so how could he know? Turns out my mom used her spare key of our place (for emergencies) to let him in and even showed him the baby room. My boyfriend and I weren’t happy with this, of course. If they’d asked us first, it would have been fine. But they didn’t tell us. We don’t like people coming into our house when we’re not home without us knowing about it. This is perfectly reasonable, yes?
So I told mom the same. That they should ask first in the future because we’re not comfortable with it. Mom then made me feel bad about standing up for myself. And guilty. This triggered something in me. You see, I’m very sensitive to people’s opinion of me. And in the past, standing up for myself was always associated with being disliked or even punished. Mom doesn’t really understand how my brain works in these situations because she never does the effort to even try to understand. So she didn’t know what she caused. But I was pretty upset the rest of the evening. The noise in my brain got insanely loud and my self-esteem was once more below zero.
My boyfriend noticed this and when we were in bed, he pulled me close to him and I told him how I felt. I apologized for causing a fuss and for my “stupid, broken brain”. This was his response:
“Your brain is not broken or stupid. There’s nothing that needs to be fixed here. You’re perfect the way you are.” He paused for a second. “Do you ever talk to yourself out loud? That inner voice of yours that sounds like you? That’s who you really are. Not that noise that says all these lies to you about yourself. So what we have to do, is find a way to mute the noise so you can hear yourself again. Because you’re a beautiful and strong woman and I want you to see who I see. So when you’re ready, you come to me and we’ll confront the noise. Bit by bit. You’re not doing it alone, I’ll be there with you. I’ll do whatever you need me to do. Just sit there and be quiet. Or answer questions you have about the noise. Confirm or deny things. Anything you need. But I’ll be there. And we’ll do it together. Because you shouldn’t have to go through that on your own. And I don’t want you to do anything that scares you, so we’ll do it when you’re ready. Okay? Just remember that I love you and I’m here for you. And all that noise in your brain? It’s all lies. You’re perfect and I love you.”
Honestly, it made me cry. If you struggle with mental health as I do, you know it’s hard to find people that say things like this and be 100% sincere. It’s rare, at least it is to me. He is one in a million and I can’t believe how lucky I am to have him with me. He is the most perfect guy I could ever hope for and I love him more than I can put into words. Yes, that still scares me. Even after all the years I’ve known him and after the 7 months we’ve been dating. Even now that we’re expecting a child together. It still scares the shit out of me.
He makes my life so much easier. Because he understands me. He knows how to “handle” me on my bad days and he knows how to make the good days even better. He can make me laugh when I’m sad. I know I can handle anything as long as I have him by my side. He is my safe place in this world. Something I haven’t had since my grandma died fourteen years ago. And I love him.
So if you’re struggling, find that person that says those things to you and means it. Find that person that understands you and loves you for who you are. The person that doesn’t keep trying to “fix” you. Because there’s nothing to be fixed. You’re perfect as you are. And you deserve all the love in the world.