Saturday, February 21, 2015

Cherish is the word I use to remind me of your love

For over two years, I barely functioned as a human being. Making a lunch took 45 agonizing minutes as every single decision (ham or jam, banana or apple) rendered me dumbstruck. I had lost so much confidence in my ability to make wise decisions that even the simplest choice made me anxious. What if she choked on a grape?! It would be my fault. I packed it! What if I don't pack enough?! The school will call and they'll start keeping track, judging my ability to be a mother. It was ridiculously disabling.

I'd spend so long weighing the benefits of washing dishes or clothes that an entire day would pass without me actually accomplishing anything. You can imagine the state of my house.

Through it all, my husband - my everything, patiently encouraged me. He would set small goals for me so that I could feel a sense of pride, prove to myself that I wasn't completely useless. For months, he asked me to just empty the dishwasher. That's it. How many men, with three kids, his own business, and a schedule that often had him working 6-7 days a week, would have endured/indulged their partner for so long? The thought has kept me awake many a night since my depression lifted.

I'm by no means out of the rabbit hole, but I do now have an awareness of the world around me. I'm no longer encased in a body bag as I struggle through my days. I can now make simple decisions. Should those decisions fail (cinnamon on chicken? Why not!), I am completely unable to cope with consequences. I feel quite happy and safe behind the wall of cards I've built around myself. If my fortress is blown down by the slightest breeze of discontent, my vulnerability is too obvious; Too raw. It scares me and I retreat into the black bag once more. I'm learning to cope with stress and disappointment like a toddler. Most days it ends in confusion and tears and biting.

If one amazing thing has come of my disability, it's that I know now just how cherished I am. My family, friends, neighbours, co-workers, and most of all, my husband, have shown me so much patience, understanding, love, acceptance and concern, have all made a positive impact on my little world.

Hundreds of couples speak their vows every day. Just as many sign divorce papers every day. Finding your soulmate is not easy when billions of people populate the earth. Many people find someone who loves them and this is enough. Love is a powerful thing, but it can't fix everything. For many couples, an extended hardship or the combination of many difficulties unravels the marriage ties that bind. It's a sad reality for many of my own loved ones. Many others simply leave "forever" out of their vows, knowing that such a timeframe is highly improbable.

I can now confidently say, without a shred of doubt, that Adam is my soulmate. For life. I could not have lived with myself through these past two years. I was a ghost of myself, a messy grey reproduction of the person I was. Intimacy was achieved only through duty, my heart couldn't be in it. I hid myself in my phone, shutting out everyone around me. And he patiently waited. He would be working a 13 hour day lifting hundreds of pounds of equipment when I would text him and ask him what colour socks I should buy for the kids. How he didn't go insane still baffles me. Adam held me when I cried, he soothed me when I raged, he loved me when I hated myself, he drew me from the blackness with his unwavering love and devotion. The commitment I feel for this man has never been stronger. I feel passionately about fulfilling his every desire, making him proud of me, our home and my parenting. I am utterly devoted to him and I feel humbled to know that he feels the same. I have certainty in our relationship. No power struggle. No mind games. Just unconditional love. I think it was this realization that saved me. I've always had that love from my family, but from someone who chose me seemed too good to be true. He may not share my blood, but he holds my heart. Thank you Adam. I will spend the rest of my life proving to you that I love you as much as you love me.

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