Updated: Sep 23, 2019
I knew that Thomas and I were meant to be together the day I nearly had a meltdown in Walmart while trying to buy make up. A year had passed since my granny took her last breath and it was the little things that I realized I missed the most. Somehow when he came along, he filled that void. Granny and I had the same skin tone so whenever it came to buying foundation, she'd have me sit down with her and Paw Paw while she had us flip through an Avon book and she'd pick out the exact color that we needed. Paw Paw would buy two containers of it. That went on from the time I was 14 until she passed away. I hadn't bought make up since my 18th birthday and fast forward to February of 2016 and I was completely out.
I remember standing in front of the Maybelline section of the make up aisle at the Walmart all the way in Huntington and my hands were trembling and I felt tears swelling up in my eyes. I was sweating bullets and my tongue felt like sand paper. I thought that calling my mom would be a good way to stop the growing panic attack, but when she didn't answer, it only made me freak out even more. I didn't know what I was going to do and more and more stress was added to the situation because Thomas had never seen me get this bad before (we had only been together for 7 months and he knew I had anxiety). I just wanted to be able to have my granny tell me what to do or tell me that I was making the right or wrong decision (even after 4 years I still wish I could get that from her when it comes to anything major in my life).
Somehow Thomas picked up on what was going on. I just remember him grabbing my hand and lacing his fingers through mine and he asked if I was okay. I was a little embarrassed to explain why I was having such a hard time, but it shocked me when he understood and took the time to calm me down (I was almost certain that he would think I was overreacting). He helped me pick a shade that actually turned out perfect and we we're able to carry on.
It's hard when you have someone significant in your life while you're trying to get a hold on your mental health. They have to deal with scars and baggage. They face break downs and when you lash out for no reason. They rejoice with you when you're feeling your absolute best and they stick by your side when you don't even feel like getting out of bed. They still love you unconditionally. Mental illnesses are a lot of hard work on both sides. In the very beginning of our relationship, I was pretty nonchalant about it and didn't get attached right away because I always told myself that he would leave just like everyone else. My mind kept me from believing that someone loved me and wanted to be with me.
Over the years, I feel like my mental health has put a major strain on us. He notices when I just want to sleep all the time or when I don't want to eat. He notices when I'm sad and tries to figure out why and how he can make it better. When I have my rough days, sometimes he waits on me hand and foot and then somedays, no matter how much I fight it, he drags my ass right from under the covers and I couldn't be more appreciative for that. I know that he's strong and truly loves me because I wouldn't know what to do if the shoe was on the other foot.
He hangs onto my rollercoaster of emotions as tight as he can on a daily basis because he refuses to let me drown in whatever is wrong with me even though we both know he had problems of his own as well. And more people need that. Loving someone when you can see that they're struggling is just what some people need to save them. Every time I had a suicidal thought, I would think that no one would care if I was gone, but now I feel like I need to stick around for at least the one person whose life is better with me around even though I'm a mess and can be difficult. And each and every single day, I'm thankful that I didn't give up and end it all. You don't need to give up. Keep fighting because you never know when someone will come along to help you through your darkest days. My husband is one of the most selfless people I know and most of the time, selflessness is all it takes to save a life.